31 December 2008

Alternate 10 commandments

Religion is knocking on your door...

Quotes


Today’s religion will be the future’s mythology. Both believed at one time by many; but proved wrong by the clever. - Steven Crocker

Happy New Year 2009

30 December 2008

Temperature of Heaven and Hell

See the calculation here, originally published in Applied Optics (1972, 11 A14).

The temperature of heaven is 525 degrees Celcius (977 degrees Fahrenheit)
The temperature of hell is 444.6 degrees C (832.28 degrees Fahrenheit)

Heaven is hotter than Hell!

Heaven or hell, your choice!

Genesis 21

bible source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/21.htm
skeptic bible source http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/21.html

Verse 1: Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised.
What has god done to get Sarah pregnant? Interesting... right?

Let me ask you a question. What do you think of Sarah as a person?

Sarah Presenting Hagar to Abraham (Adriae van der Werff, 1696)
First she gave her maid to Abram (previous name of Abraham) in order to have a child [Genesis 16]. Then because "when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes", Sarah dealt hardly with her. Eventually, god asked Hagar to go back to Abraham.

Sarah wants to drive away the maid and her sonNow, Sarah herself has a child. She saw the two half brothers "mocking" hence ask Abraham to drive out this maid and her son, the reason being the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.

Let me ask you another question. If you were Abraham, what would you do? Would you drive out Hagar and her son and let them die in the desert?

OK, god may have his plan. S/he commanded Abraham to drive out Hagar and her son and then later saved them, God even make the son a great nation.

As far as morality goes, that's not very kind.

29 December 2008

Science shows that the Universe was built in 6 days, as the bible says

from http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3393&start=200

and the universe was with out form and void, is the King James translation.

But in the Torah the origonal words are
and the earth was toha and bohu

toha means unformed or chaotic
bohu means filled with the building blocks of matter.

Source: Talmud and Nahamanides

So the most accurate translation would be: in a state of chaos but filled with the building blocks of matter.

Thus the story begins as told in the Torah with the appearance of the building blocks of matter. or in scientific term when quarks were confined creating protons, the building blocks.

We know the temperature then and thus the frequency of light radiation. We know what it is from theory but also by direct experiments in the lab. It is ~ 1,000,000,000,000 K

We also know what the temp of that same radiation is today ~ 3 K and thus its frequency. Thus the frequency of radiation at the start of the story was ~ 1,000,000,000,000 (10^12)times greater than the 3K radiation today.

The expanding universe has slowed the frequency of that radiation by 10 ^12. This applies to proper rates of events

Source:
P.J.E Peebels, Principles of Physical Cosmology, Princeton University Pres, Princeton 1993 page 96

When we here on earth today measure the age of the universe, we look back in time, using earth based clocks. We measure an age of ~ 15 billion years.

The Torah adopts earth based time perspective only after the advent of Adam. The initial clock in the torah looks forward in time from "the beginning" a clock tuned to the rate of events, i.e. the frequency of light , the back ground radiation at the moment the building blocks of matter first appeared. That same radiation view today is stretched by a factor of 10^12 and thus to an observer today, ticks 10^12 times slower. A 10^12 difference in time perception thus exists.

While the initial cosmic clock ticks of one minute, our clock ticks of 10^12 minutes.

Now divide 15 billion years by 10^12.

15,000,000,000/1,000,000,000,000 canceling zeros

15years/1000 = .015 y

.015 y = .015y * 365 days/year = 5.5 days

If the universe had been any other size, temp, or mass, or if the threshold temp for the formation of mass (building blocks) (protons and neutrons) had been any different, this ratio would not hold.

The Torah and science agree within agreeable margin of error.

To get exactly 6 days, the universe is 16.438 billion years old.


WOW! Ray Comfort should take note of this and cite as needed.

Genesis 20

bible source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/20.htm
skeptic bible source http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/20.html

As noted in the skeptic bible source,
Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister."
Honest Abe does the same "she's my sister" routine again, for the same cowardly reason. And once again, the king just couldn't resist Sarah -- even though by now she is over 90 years old. (See Genesis 12:13-20 for the first, nearly identical, episode, and 26:7 for another repeat with Isaac, Rebekah and the same king Abimelech.)


The author of Genesis must run out of ideas and was recycling old stuff. Or was Abraham, who was previously called Abram, that good in using the same trick twice (and will be a third time as noted by skeptic bible)

The above point is only a digression, god and Abraham were engaged in a kind of extortion - deliberately putting Abimelech in a trap and god threatened Abimelech in order to extort "sheep and oxen and male and female servants..." Only upon praying to god by Abraham that god healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children.

Oh, goodness! I can only hope that no intelligent human will take that book seriously and model our society using that as a moral reference.

Evolution or Learning

Is this evolution or is this a demonstration of the ability to learn? Anyway, god(s) would not have expected this, would s/he/they?

One god (13) Vs gods (34)

from How many gods are there in the bible?

Based on the bible, the result is:
There are more than one god.

Antidisestablishmentarianism



Antidisestablishmentarianism is on the march. It is time for us to start the counter-Antidisestablishmentarianism movement.

Religion in schools to go God-free

via University of Melbourne Secular Society

Good news for atheist parents in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. When my daughter was in primary school, I pulled her from the religious studies and she ended up spending the time in library while other children were bombarded by religious non-sense. I don't regret what I have done and am glad to report that she maintains a healthy dose of skepticism even when she went to an Anglican Girls School for her secondary years.

My point is that instead of the religious non-sense, students who opted out should be given proper equivalent instructions.

28 December 2008

Are we born evil?

According to the scripture, we are born evil.


Let me pick up the argument of this 9 minutes piece:

1. from Genesis 6:5 "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." - hence all men are sinners.

2. challenges a reporter to reveal all his thoughts and claims that that would shame the reporter - because the thought crime would be embarrassing.

3. from Genesis 8:21 "The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; " - hence man is evil from the very beginning.

4. 18-months old trying to get a shiny watch - if that 18-month old as strong as 18-year old, he would kill and get the watch.

5. Some good quotes: "Do you have to teach a child to lie? ... Do you have to teach a child to be brutal to others?" - if you don't discipline a child, s/he will return into a monster.

6. Covering your ears does not provide a solution, just like a cancer patient does not want to hear the bad news does not provide a solution.

7. Every man hates the god of the scripture.


BUT
1. This sentence starts with "Then". Hence it is important to find out what was before that sentence to make god concludes that wickedness of man was great. Genesis 6:1 and 2: "Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose." Ah, because man chooses the wife the man finds attracted to! Hey, that's called love! There is nothing wicked about falling in love and "took wife" [which I would interpret as getting married].

2. Is "thought crime" the same as crime? Mr Washer, there is something called self control. Moral is judged by what one acts, not how one thinks in private especially without any intention to actually carry that action out!

3. This is an important verse for any church. Hey people, pay up and scarify! Read again "The LORD smelled the soothing aroma". The soothing aroma of ... the burning fresh!

4. Is 18-month baby attracted to the shiny watch because the watch represents wealth? Why would a 18-month baby be interested in the shiny watch? Would every 18-year old, seeing a shiny watch, kill and crab the watch? That is extrapolation to the extreme!

5. Human are born with an over-sized brain [14% of the birth weight] and would grow [consuming 75% of infant's daily energy needs] 3.3 times compared to 2.5 in chimpanzees [ref ref]. This gives human the advantage to be creative, but also requires baby human to be nourished. Human baby is born without any mean of survival without the help of the mother. Current best practices in education theory [see my blog Random Walk in Learning for my view on this topic.] emphasis on learning - not teaching. If you are REALLY interested in knowing "Do you have to teach a child to lie?" etc, read up. Among all the things you can do, the worst would be demonstrating to the children that you believe in god where you do not have any proof of god's existence. Where do you think your children learnt to lie? Punishment should be out too. They will learn to use brutal force to solve a problem, such as punishment when you cannot show the children the right way to approach a problem (e.g. negotiation and compromise)! Guess who is the model children will be learning from! [this paragraph updated on 29th Dec 2008]

6. Denying the existence of a problem obviously would not help in finding a solution. Turning to a non-existence god would not help as well.

7. Finally, I can agree with Mr Washer on one thing. The god in the scripture cannot be loved. This god is really awful.

More info about Paul Washer

The difference between dog and god

The difference between dog and god depends on whether you are right or left.

27 December 2008

Goodness can be godless

Goodness can be godless.
Goodness is godless.
Goodness should be godless.

Is it? or Not?

26 December 2008

Why I believe in Science?

In God, the Scientist, Paul Penfield, Jr. explained the differences between a science-based and a faith-based explanation. Here is the example he gave:

Question:

Tell me why the stars do shine,
Tell me why the ivy twines,
Tell me why the sky's so blue,
And I will tell you, just why I love you.
audio (39 seconds; 859K)


God as an explanation:
Because God made the stars to shine,
Because God made the ivy twine,
Because God made the sky so blue,
Because God made you, that's why I love you.
audio (46 seconds; 1020K)


Explanations based on science (here only a reference to the theory were used):
Nuclear fusion makes stars to shine,
Adhesive tendrils make ivy twine,
Rayleigh diffraction makes skies so blue,
Chemical hormones, that's why I love you.
audio (40 seconds; 878K)


One thing I noticed is that the god explanation is much simpler. We just invoke god to explain anything that we don't know. While you don't need a PhD in Physics or Chemistry to understand the theories invoked here to explain the situation scientifically, no doubt it is much more complicated than using god as an explanation.

Another interesting point is that if you ask a religious people how confident is the god explanation, s/he may say s/he has 100% faith in the answer. If you ask a scientist the same question, the most likely answer is that s/he thinks the theories given are the most probable explanations, or the best available explanations. There is always a doubt in scientist's mind about any theory.

Paul Penfield, Jr. applied three tests to tell if a theory is good or bad: a good theory needs to be accurate, simple and suggestive.

To me, the god explanation is completely useless and does not even worth mentioning. Why? Because the god explanation does not explain anything and totally not suggestive. That is there is no utility value. Let me just use an example given by Paul Penfield, Jr.:
Rayleigh diffraction is a good explanation. It not only explains why the sky is blue, it also explains why a sunset is red. On the other hand, invoking God in this context is not really explaining anything at all; it is just a way of closing off discussion, or of saying the explanation is so arcane that it is not worthwhile. This is the opposite of opening up interesting new questions.

25 December 2008

The Good Life: The Twelve days of Christmas

from ABC Australia by John Cleary

Original audio source

Notes:
Here is a complete list of the 12 symbols with their meanings*:
1 Partridge in a pear tree = The One true God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch" which contain the law condemning us of our sins.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

24 December 2008

Happy Holidays

Answers to Questions Atheists Can’t (definitively) Answer

This is a post by Ray Comfort before I started this blog. I am not going to repeat his assumed answers from his imaginary atheist. Let me just put in my own answers to these questions.

1. What was in the beginning?
Answer: I don't know. I am assuming that Ray would say, according to the bible that god created the universe. May I then ask who created god. In other words, neither 'god created the universe' answer the same question. However, my answer is still better than saying that god created the universe because we are not admitting defeat. I don't know and may be I will never know. But one day, human may know. By assuming god, which is a non-answer, will ensure that human will never know.

2. Do human beings have more intrinsic value than animals? Well this is not the question itself. The real question was in his answer.. [If your pet dog and your neighbor are drowning, and you can only save one of them, who would you save? If it’s your neighbor, why?]
Answer: We do not need a bible to tell us whether we should save the pet dog or the next door neighbor. See value theory for an introduction. This is a question philosophers have been tackling long before the bible even appear. From evolution point of view, it obviously makes sense to place more value on your own kind than other.

3. What happens after death?
Answer: Surprisingly, Ray is right on this one - to a certain degree. The only way any of us can speak with any authority about the subject of death, is to have reliable information from someone who has been there. First of all, it depends on how to define dead. Is someone clinically dead dead? If yes, then I have a friend who recently was clinically dead for two days told me his experience of dead. His family has a history of early dead due to heart failure. Without modern medicine, he would have died. During those two days when his heart stopped beating, he was kept alive only by machines. Do we qualify him as "have experienced death"? If yes, I can definitely tell you his experience of death is just like falling asleep without dream. Nothing! Death is death! Nothing! Again, referring to bible is no answer because bible was written by men before these men died.

4. What is the purpose of life?
Answer: To reproduce. [Isn't this also what the bible says? In the few chapters of Genesis I have read so far, god rewards by blessing the selected many children and descendents.] Does bible provide an answer to the same question?

5. Why there is order in all of creation?
Response: What was the question again? Looking into the answer provided... Why then is there order from the tiny atom through to the massive universe? Why do summer, fall, winter and spring come around each year, at different times of the year, in different parts of the world--always in the same order? Why can we predict the sun’s rising to the second a 100 years into the future? Why is there order in the makeup of the eye, the ear, the brain, the blood, the heart, liver, kidneys, hands and feet? Ah, the same question as 1 formulated in a different form. May I ask who created the creator? I can also add a point about the "order". What we observed in our "human size" is the statistical average of the random fluctuations in the quantum world. Don't understand what I am saying? Instead of reading that fiction called bible, you may start your research here and here.

7. Why does every civilization believe in a Creator?
Answer: Great question! There have been many proposed creators, why that Christian god and not the others? To really understand the answer to this question, read Dan Dennett's books, or watch this TED video.

8. Why does every sane person have a conscience, even when it is not dictated by society?
Answer: survival! watch the linked video above.

9. Which came first--the chicken or the egg?
Answer: Wrong question! Study evolution please!

10. How did nothing create everything?
My question: How did you god come from nothing and created everything? - ie see my answer to question 1.

BTW, other atheists have different answers to these questions too.

Here is a video on 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Why I don't believe in a personal god

Here are my reasons why I don't believe in a personal god. Obviously I have been influenced by various thinkers and writers. I am not going to acknowledge them individually.

1. I don't buy the "god created us/universe" argument. While I am interested in the original of universe, putting a god there does not add any value to the quest of the beginning of the universe. It only shifts to "where does the god come from"?

2. The flip side of adding a god in the "beginning of unverse' also adds another difficulty in understand the origin of intelligence. Richard Dawkins/Darwin have provided a great insight - the climb of mountain of improbable. By introducing an intelligent designer, we are dumbing down. By accepting an evolutionary nature selection, add some random variations and with lots of time, I can see a gradual path for intelligence to develop.

3. I am aware of The simulation argument. Can god be the simulation designer? Again, this question is just another variation of (1) above.

4. OK, there may be some intelligence which have evolved before us and hence has arrived to a level of intelligence that they decided to create a simulator - and we are now living inside that simulator. "Ah," the theist may say, "I told you so." But, in this case, the simulation designer is NOT the kind of god theist has been promoting all along. I cannot see any reason why such designer (it) would be interested in every individual human being's moral value. I cannot see any reason why it would demand worship like god. I cannot see any reason why it will alter the rules/laws in the simulator to "answer' some of the prayers.

5. When I was born, I was born without knowledge of my existence - until I have learnt sufficient to start my own independent thinking. When I become old, very old, the neuron connections in my brain will begin to break and malfunction. I will start to lose my accumulated knowledge and my self conscience. When I die, I will not bring away anything except leaving some memories to the people who know me. I believe that when I die, I will just go to sleep, no dream and just will not wake up again. The atoms that are my body will return to where they belong.

6. Judgment Day? No worries. I have been honest, hard working and commit no crime. I have nothing to fear. By the way, this is a good story to read.

23 December 2008

Why I am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell (2)

Yesterday, I posted the part of Bertrand Russell's 1927 speech explaining why he did not believe in the existence of god. I will post my own reasons next. However, the following is the last paragraph of his speech upon which we should all reflect.
We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world -- its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of a God is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.

Bill Maher on Religion

22 December 2008

Why I am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell

The following is part of the lecture given by Bertrand Russell on 6th March, 1927 at the Battersea Town Hall under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society, England.


The Existence Of God

To come to this question of the existence of God, it is a large and serious question, and if I were to attempt to deal with it in any adequate manner I should have to keep you here until Kingdom Come, so that you will have to excuse me if I deal with it in a somewhat summary fashion. You know, of course, that the Catholic Church has laid it down as a dogma that the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason. This is a somewhat curious dogma, but it is one of their dogmas. They had to introduce it because at one time the Freethinkers adopted the habit of saying that there were such and such arguments which mere reason might urge against the existence of God, but of course they knew as a matter of faith that God did exist. The arguments and the reasons were set out at great length, and the Catholic Church felt that they must stop it. Therefore they laid it down that the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason, and they had to set up what they considered were arguments to prove it. There are, of course, a number of them, but I shall take only a few.

The First Cause Argument


Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God. That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality that it used to have; but apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man, and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: "My father taught me that the question, Who made me? cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question, Who made God?" That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu's view, that the world rested upon an elephant, and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, "How about the tortoise?" the Indian said, "Suppose we change the subject." The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.

The Natural-Law Argument

Then there is a very common argument from Natural Law. That was a favorite argument all through the eighteenth century, especially under the influence of Sir Isaac Newton and his cosmogony. People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and they thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in that particular fashion, and that was why they did so. That was, of course, a convenient and simple explanation that saved them the trouble of looking any further for any explanation of the law of gravitation. Nowadays we explain the law of gravitation in a somewhat complicated fashion that Einstein has introduced. I do not propose to give you a lecture on the law of gravitation, as interpreted by Einstein, because that again would take some time; at any rate, you no longer have the sort of Natural Law that you had in the Newtonian system, where, for some reason that nobody could understand, nature behaved in a uniform fashion. We now find that a great many things we thought were Natural Laws are really human conventions. You know that even in the remotest depth of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard. That is, no doubt, a very remarkable fact, but you would hardly call it a law of nature. And a great many things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. On the other hand, where you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find that they are much less subject to law than people thought, and that the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance. There is, as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design. The laws of nature are of that sort as regards to a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes the whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was. Quite apart from that, which represents the momentary state of science that may change tomorrow, the whole idea that natural laws imply a law-giver is due to a confusion between natural and human laws. Human laws are behests commanding you to behave a certain way, in which way you may choose to behave, or you may choose not to behave; but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and, being a mere description of what they in fact do, you cannot argue that there must be somebody who told them to do that, because even supposing that there were you are then faced with the question, Why did God issue just those natural laws and no others? If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say, as more orthodox theologians do, that in all the laws which God issues he had a reason for giving those laws rather than others -- the reason, of course, being to create the best universe, although you would never think it to look at it -- if there was a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary. You really have a law outside and anterior to the divine edicts, and God does not serve your purpose, because he is not the ultimate law-giver. In short, this whole argument from natural law no longer has anything like the strength that it used to have. I am traveling on in time in my review of these arguments. The arguments that are used for the existence of God change their character as time goes on. They were at first hard intellectual arguments embodying certain quite definite fallacies. As we come to modern times they become less respectable intellectually and more and more affected by a kind of moralizing vagueness.

The Argument From Design

The next step in the process brings us to the argument from design. You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application. It is an easy argument to parody. You all know Voltaire's remark, that obviously the nose was designed to be such as to fit spectacles. That sort of parody has turned out to be not nearly so wide of the mark as it might have seemed in the eighteenth century, because since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them, but that they grew to be suitable to it, and that is the basis of adaptation. There is no evidence of design about it.

When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan, the Fascisti, and Mr. Winston Churchill? Really I am not much impressed with the people who say: "Look at me: I am such a splendid product that there must have been design in the universe." I am not very much impressed by the splendor of those people. Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is merely a flash in the pan; it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions and temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.

I am told that that sort of view is depressing, and people will sometimes tell you that if they believed that they would not be able to go on living. Do not believe it; it is all nonsense. Nobody really worries much about what is going to happen millions of years hence. Even if they think they are worrying much about that, they are really deceiving themselves. They are worried about something much more mundane, or it may merely be a bad digestion; but nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy by the thought of something that is going to happen in this world millions and millions of years hence. Therefore, although it is of course a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out -- at least I suppose we may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation -- it is not such as to render life miserable. It merely makes you turn your attention to other things.

The Moral Arguments For Deity

Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called the moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason; but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother's knee. That illustrates what the psycho-analysts so much emphasize -- the immensely stronger hold upon us that our very early associations have than those of later times.

Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God, and that in varying forms was extremely popular during the nineteenth century. It has all sorts of forms. One form is to say that there would be no right and wrong unless God existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are then in this situation: is that difference due to God's fiat or is it not? If it is due to God's fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God's fiat, because God's fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. You could, of course, if you liked, say that there was a superior deity who gave orders to the God who made this world, or could take up the line that some of the agnostics ["Gnostics" -- CW] took up -- a line which I often thought was a very plausible one -- that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the Devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that, and I am not concerned to refute it.

The Argument For The Remedying Of Injustice

Then there is another very curious form of moral argument, which is this: they say that the existence of God is required in order to bring justice into the world. In the part of the universe that we know there is a great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying; but if you are going to have justice in the universe as a whole you have to suppose a future life to redress the balance of life here on earth, and so they say that there must be a God, and that there must be Heaven and Hell in order that in the long run there may be justice. That is a very curious argument. If you looked at the matter from a scientific point of view, you would say, "After all, I only know this world. I do not know about the rest of the universe, but so far as one can argue at all on probabilities one would say that probably this world is a fair sample, and if there is injustice here then the odds are that there is injustice elsewhere also." Supposing you got a crate of oranges that you opened, and you found all the top layer of oranges bad, you would not argue: "The underneath ones must be good, so as to redress the balance." You would say: "Probably the whole lot is a bad consignment;" and that is really what a scientific person would argue about the universe. He would say: "Here we find in this world a great deal of injustice, and so far as that goes that is a reason for supposing that justice does not rule in the world; and therefore so far as it goes it affords a moral argument against deity and not in favor of one." Of course I know that the sort of intellectual arguments that I have been talking to you about is not really what moves people. What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason.

Then I think that the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling that there is a big brother who will look after you. That plays a very profound part in influencing people's desire for a belief in God.

Born on 25th December

Here are some famous people who were born on 25th December [from wikipedia]:

1624 Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac_Newton

1876 Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus was a German chemist who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1928 for his work on sterols and their relation to vitamins.
Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus

1904 Gerhard Herzberg was a pioneering physicist and physical chemist, and Nobel Laureate in chemistry. Herzberg's main work concerned atomic and molecular spectroscopy. He is well known for using these techniques that determine the structures of diatomic and polyatomic molecules, including free radicals difficult to investigate in any other way, and for the chemical analysis of astronomical objects.
Gerhard Herzberg

1906 Ernst August Friedrich Ruska won half of the Nobel Prize in Physics for his many achievements in electron optics.
Ernst Ruska

and many more.

However, Jesus was not born on 25th December.

I would support changing the name of coming holiday season to be NewtonDay.

21 December 2008

Genesis 19

bible source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/19.htm

Skeptic's bible source http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/19.html

This is very likely to be one of the worse chapters in the Bible.

First, Lot offered his two virgin daughters to mob and do whatever they want.
“Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; [Verse 8]


In chapter 18, god promised not to destroy the city if there were more than 10 righteous men. Well, it seemed that god has already made up the mind to destroy the city anyway. The bible did not even bother to say whether god has checked and counted how many righteous men were there. Anyway, the city was destroyed sparing no one, not even children and infants.

Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. [Verse 24 & 25]


Modern moral systems generally consider incest as immoral. While I do not have any moral basis to suggest, nor object, incest, the bible definitely has described a case of incest. I look forward to finding out the consequence of this incident.
Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day. [verse 31 onward]

Butterfly and Ants



I wonder who got the shit job of scouring the planet for the 15000 species of butterfly or the 8800 species of ant they eventually took on board Noah’s Ark. But at least we got that magical rainbow for all their trouble. - Azura Skye

Virgin Birth

Here are some links for your enjoyment.

Fact or fable at Religious Tolerance.org

Dr. Tony Nugent interviewed by Valerie Tarico at Debunking Christianity. Dr. Nugent is a symbologist, an expert in ancient symbols. He taught at Seattle University for fifteen years in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and is an ordained Presbyterian minister.



Happy Miraculously Busted Hymen Day! at You Made Me Say It

Christmas Holiday, Winter Solstice Holiday?

from Is it OK to Celebrate Christmas, Even If You're Not a Christian? by Valerie Tarico published in Huffington Post

The following is a condensed version of the post.

For most religious Americans
December 25 has become the time that Christians express the joy that comes from a sense of unearned forgiveness and unconditional love. It is a time when they relish the community of believers and family, and they look forward to a future when peace and joy will reign on earth "as they do in heaven" and the lion will lie down with the lamb.


Catholic Church chose December 25th (Winter Solstice in the Julian Calendar) to honor the birthday of the Christ for a very specific reason: It was already a well loved holiday -- a time of revelry, gift giving, and yes, celebrating the birthdays of gods.

Obviously, early Christians were offended. Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell outlawed the celebration in England, and his prohibition against Christmas was kept by the Puritan colonies in the New World.

20 December 2008

should the church be responsible for children's deaths caused by 'healing by prayer'

From ABC news, a significant number of members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City allowed their children to die by not giving the children proper medical care.

[Recently (Dec. 10, 2008)] Carl Worthington, 28, and his wife, Raylene, 25, belong to a church that believes in faith healing, and police said that, instead of going to a doctor when their 15-month-old daughter Ava got sick, they turned to prayer.

The infant girl died March 2 from bacterial bronchial pneumonia and an infection, both of which could have been cured with common antibiotics, the medical examiner said.

...

Another Oregon City couple who belong to the same church face similar charges, after their son -- who was Ava Worthington's uncle -- died in June.

...
A decade ago, the church received national attention after ABC News affiliate KATU-TV in Portland, Ore., reported that the state medical examiner believed approximately 20 children, whose parents belonged to the church, had died from untreated illnesses that were curable.


Some more info here.

Should the church (and the clergy) be charged for manslaughter?

I don't believe in jail!

Ray Comfort wrote
If a man throws a shoe at a dog, nothing much happens. However, if he throws a shoe at a Head of State and calls him a "dog," something big happens. The perpetrator is arrested and may face up to 17 years in prison. His crime escalates, according to whom it is committed against. This may be a strange thing to have to explain, but the man goes to jail even if he doesn’t believe that jail exists.


There are three issues here that should be considered separately:
1. Should we throw a shoe towards someone?
2. Is it fair to escalate the action only because the throwee just happens to be someone in a higher office?
3. Does jail exist?

Since the rest of Ray's post deals with point 3 above, let us address that as well.

Does jail exist? Yes, because we can prove that by showing you the jail.

Does god exist? No, unless you can prove that by showing me god.

19 December 2008

Parish priest arrested over child sex abuse

Another priest — you know, an official mediator God and man — has been arrested because he couldn’t keep his holy hands off little boys.


I totally agree with the suggestion by Daniel Florien:
stop going to church and keep your children away from priests. I think you’ll find their chances of being abused by clergy decline significantly.


I also believe that as long as Father David Taylor (the child abusing clergy) repents before his God, he will be admitted to Heaven any way.

18 December 2008

You Are Wrong! You Are *So* Wrong!

Hemant Mehta in Friendly Atheist points out how Megyn Kelly defends the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s atheist plaque in Olympia, Washington and yells at Bill O’Reilly — repeatedly — for being wrong.

The main problem I see in this youTube video is how a TV host, being religious, stubbornly refuses to admit he is wrong. Megyn, being a lawyer and Bill knows that, and has done her research pointed out repeatedly the law behind the decision. How can a TV host, being NOT a lawyer, continues to say otherwise.



As a RedneckSkippy pointed out in a comment on youTube :
Wait... Bill... was arguing what? I can't tell if he was open minded or close minded. Past experience says close minded... but this was just so confusing, and they kept switching sides.... if he was being open minded on purpose.... my fellow humans, I fear the end times are upon us.


Is this a typical "close minded" feature of theists?

Dark Ages

There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.
- Richard Lederer

Genesis 18

bible source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/18.htm
skeptic's bible source http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/18.html

This chapter contains parts of two stories: god telling Abrahan (formerly Abram) that he would have a son despite the couple were old, and the intention of god to plan a mass murder (version 18 onwards).

The interesting thing I can note here is that Abraham seemed to be of higher moral standard than god. At least he was able to ask if it would be just to kill all the people in a whole town if there were still 'righteous' men in town.

Another interesting, and very disturbing observation I can made is that god was much crueler than Abraham - "As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.". God was NOT interested in sparing the town for less than 10 righteous men!

What is the moral of this story?

17 December 2008

Should This Atheist Propose to His Christian Girlfriend?

Please read the complete email from here first.

I totally support Hemant Mehta's first suggestion:
You need to respect the other person even if you don’t respect the other’s beliefs. Talk about religion. Argue about religion. But ultimately, you need to find a way to live with those differences. If you can’t, then maybe marriage shouldn’t be in the picture. [my emphasis]


Christians have the so-called evangelism - coming out and trying to convert people into believing their BS. If Steve *really* loves this woman, I think Steve has the responsibility to help this woman come out from the enslavement of religion. This may be hard, but this is the right thing to do.

16 December 2008

Poll on OpposingView

This is an image capture of the polls on Opposing view website.

Do you agree with these result? The following are my own answer:

Is Homosexuality a Sin? No

Is There a God? No

World Created in Six Days? Wrong question! Universe was created in a big bang. The life form on Earth has evolved through millions of years. (or simply, my answer is no)

U.S. a Christian Nation? Constitutionally, she should not.

Prayer in Public Schools? No

Does Islam Promote Violence? No, or just about as much as Christians. OK, I change my mind, Christians as exemplified by US President Bush promote more violence than Islam. (Invasion of Iraq is a government sponsored terrorist attack! The Iraq war has killed more Iraq civilians than deaths of the 911 and US soldiers combined many times over!)

The Photoshop Effect

Beauty delusion for millions of women, since the digital era.



God delusion by millions, for centuries.

Santa Vs God


Image modified from Unreasonable Faith

Right or Wrong?

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord does not work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. - Emo Philips

15 December 2008

Tree during this holiday

If you do not want to put up a Christmas tree during this holiday, you can try Tree of Knowledge.

Simple How-to
Put up a tree and decorate with book covers

14 December 2008

Genesis 17

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/17.htm

There is a voice in your head:

"I am going to make you very rich and have many children. But you must cut off the foreskin of your penis and the same for all your children."


Will you do that?

In today's standard, that's in humane. However, that is exactly what god requires Abram to do - circumcise!

Again, I do no understand why an almighty god would require one of his creation to do that AND then give special "blessing' to Abram? Why not all his creation?

13 December 2008

Just for you, Christians

Here are two products for all the Christians. Enjoy!

1. Prayer amplifier


2. Church Sign Generator
url: http://www.churchsigngenerator.com/

Follow-up of Burden of Proof

Neece at Heaving Dead Cats followed up with a longish piece inspired by a comment.

It is a good read.

12 December 2008

The culture war for the White House

I am shocked to read this paragraph:

I see this financial breakdown, moreover, as being not merely a moral crisis but the monetary expression of the broader degradation of our values – the erosion of duty and responsibility to others in favour of instant gratification, unlimited demands repackaged as ‘rights’ and the loss of self-discipline. And the root cause of that erosion is ‘militant atheism’ which, in junking religion, has destroyed our sense of anything beyond our material selves and the here and now and, through such hyper-individualism, paved the way for the onslaught on bedrock moral values expressed through such things as family breakdown and mass fatherlessness, educational collapse, widespread incivility, unprecedented levels of near psychopathic violent crime, epidemic drunkenness and drug abuse, the repudiation of all authority, the moral inversion of victim culture, the destruction of truth and objectivity and a corresponding rise in credulousness in the face of lies and propaganda -- and intimidation and bullying to drive this agenda into public policy. [my emphasis]


So I look up what is militant atheism.
Today the term is sometimes used pejoratively by theists to describe people believed to campaign actively or outspokenly for atheism and against religion.


In that sense I believe I am a member of militant atheists. I am happy to take up challenges. Of course we atheists are peace-loving people and I won't engage in killing or harming any other beings. I will accept challenges to prove that your religion is a BIG LIE!

Richard Dawkins: An atheist's call to arms

From TED

I did not know that Richard Dawkins can be this funny. Enjoy!

The Ungrateful Christian Parents

via You Made Me Say It

Mail Online has a report on an accident which happened to a 20-month Nicholas Holderman.
Somehow he managed to fall on to his parents’ car keys, one of which pierced his eyelid and penetrated deep into his brain as these X-ray scans reveal. Miraculously the American tot has since made a full recovery. [my emphasis]



This was indeed a miracle.

The question is whose miracle was it?

The ungrateful father thanked the "Lord":
'Fifteen minutes later for another [doctor] to say nothing was wrong, we knew it was a miracle from the Lord', Chris added.

PhillyChief of You Made Me Say It put that into a correct prospective:
What kind of sick fuck of a god jams a key into a kid's eye just to have a moment later after everyone's been properly terrified and a kid made to suffer to have a little "miracle"? Are you kidding me? What, is he sitting around thinking he's gotta do something to remind people how awesome he is and decides, "I know, I'll jam a key into some tot's brain, but make sure he doesn't have any permanent damage. Yeah, that's the ticket!"?

So let's thank the emergency crews, the whole 911 system, the helicopter crew, and of course the surgeons at the hospital.

God-based morality?

Someone left a comment to God, Atheism and Buses at Washington Post.

You can't answer the paradox of God-based morality by defining obedience to God as morality. The counter is obvious: what if God told you to do something immoral?

You recognize the problem, and so answer the question by begging it. You say, God wouldn't tell me to do something immoral, and if he did, I would know it was not God.

How would you know in the first place if the requested act was immoral? You can't ask God; he just told you to do it. That leaves your own human-developed sense of morality as the only standard.

Neither can you say that a request to do an immoral act cannot be from God. That just shifts the question from whether the act is immoral to whether the act was actually requested by God. You have no way to answer the question if your only standard for determining whether that was actually God is determining whether the requested act was moral using your own standard of morality. [my emphasis]

Burden Of Proof Lies With The Claimant

At Heaving Dead Cats, Neece puts up a very nice layman argument on why it is the burden of the churches to prove that god exists - it is not atheist's responsibility to prove the non-existence of god.

For those who were put off by my request of understanding of Russell's teapot, please have a read of Neece's post. It is much more easy to understand than the wikipedia's version of Russell's teapot. Neece use "pink unicorns".

11 December 2008

The Atheist Starter Kit

In Atheist Central, Ray Comfort has "The Atheist Starter Kit". The following is my modified version based from his.

1. Whenever you are presented with credible evidence for God's existence, call it a "straw man argument," or "circular reasoning." If something is quoted from somewhere, label it "quote mining."study the evidence careful to ensure that God really exists, not just tricks!

2. When a Christian says that creation proves that there is a Creator, dismiss such common sense by saying "That's just the old watchmaker argument." understand where s/he comes from and does s/he have a science background. If human is so complex that human needs to be 'designed', then the designer must be more complex than us. Ask him/her who created the creator? Read Richard Dawkin's book on Watch-maker.

3. When you hear that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose (the pleasures of Heaven, and the endurance of Hell) by obeying the Gospel, say "That's just the old 'Pascal wager.'"think again. First, does the Gospel represent a good moral system for us? Second, is there really a Heaven and a Hell? Third, if you end up in Heaven, do you really want to serve under this God? Go through this thinking process with the Christian.

4. You can also deal with the "whoever looks on a woman to lust for her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart". by saying that there is no evidence that Jesus existed. None.Do NOT feel guilty about watching beautiful woman. It is natural. Just like you enjoy listening to beautiful music or great painting. The problem is whether you have the self-control not to offend the lady.

5. Believe that the Bible is full of mistakes, and actually says things like the world is flat. (Does Bible really say the world is flat?) Do your own Bible reading, just like me. If you like you can read along with me. :-)

6. Say that you were once a genuine Christian, and that you found it to be false. (The cool thing about being an atheist is that you can lie through your teeth, because you believe that are no moral absolutes.) Additionally, if a Christian points out that this is impossible (simply due to the very definition of Christianity as one who knows the Lord), just reply "That's the 'no true Scotsman fallacy.'" PLEASE NOTE: It cannot be overly emphasized how learning and using these little phrases can help you feel secure in dismissing common sense. I don't know how to correct this. Ray Comfort's words are just not comforting.

7. Believe that nothing is 100% certain, except including the theory of Darwinian evolution. Do not question it just like you should question everything, including the Bible. Believe with all of your heart Study and research to prove that there is credible scientific evidence for species-to-species transitional forms. When you make any argument, pat yourself on the back by concluding with "Man, are you busted!" That will make you feel good about yourself. Be humble, we are dealing with logic, reasoning and evidence. Be open-minded. Argue with confidence.

8. Deal with the threat of eternal punishment by saying that you don't believe in the existence of Hell. Then convince yourself that because you don't believe in something, it therefore doesn't exist. Don't follow that logic onto a railway line and an oncoming train. Do not succumb to incredible threats. We base our daily life on logic, reason and evidence.

9. Blame Christianity for the atrocities of the Roman Catholic church--when it tortured Christians through the Spanish Inquisition, imprisoned Galileo for his beliefs, or when it murdered Moslems in the Crusades. You may want to do this. But we should also look at the historical and political background. Yes, religion can make an otherwise good man do evil thing, in the name of god.

10. Finally, keep in fellowship with other like-minded atheists who believe as you believe, and encourage each other in your beliefs. [Atheist is NOT a belief. I would have objected to use words like believe or belief to refer to atheism. But will just keep it here as it is] Build up your faith. Never doubt for a moment. Remember, the key to atheism is to be unreasonable and based on evidence. Fall back on that when you feel threatened. Think shallow deeply and seek evidence, and keep telling yourself that you are intelligent. Remember, an atheist is someone who pretends is convinced by logic and reasoning that there is no God.

Eternal Publishment


[image source from Atheist Central]

Ray Comfort posted a question for the atheist. Should this man be punished?

I would also like to post the same questions to religious members of the society. Should this man be punished?

If yes, how? If no, why?

10 December 2008

My feeling so far

I have started this blog about 1 month ago. During this interval, I was constantly reflecting on the following questions:

1. Does god exist?
2. Does our moral system need a god?
3. What's the god in Old Testament like?
4. Can the Bible form a healthy, sound and reasonable base on which modern moral system can base?

My answer so far:
1. No.
2. No.
3. Very bad.
4. No, definitely NOT.

What if you were wrong?

In debates, I was often asked what if I were wrong?

I based my atheism on reasoning.

1. There are many religions which claim their god is the true god. So, I have a problem in choosing whose god to believe.
2. There is absolutely no evidence which convinces me that there is a god. If you have one, I would love to hear from you.
3. For those who argue that evolution cannot result in complex organism such as human, so there must be a god to create us in the first place. I would like to know your answer to "who created god?"
4. If there were a god, I would definitely believe in one who is better than the one described in the old testament.

Now, let me ask the same question to you, especially those evangelists preaching about your god. What if you were wrong? When did you last check whether what you are preaching is true?

You may argue that what you believe is true because the Bible said so AND the Bible is the words of god. Did you check that the Bible is REALLY the words of god, not just imagination of some men died thousands of years ago? If you have done that, please send me some proof. Again I am open for you to convince.

在辯論中,我常常被問"如果我是錯了,會如何?"

我的無神論是根據邏輯和推理。

1 有許多宗教聲稱它們的神是真正的神。所以,我不知道應信哪一個神。
2 直至現在沒有任何證據證明神的存在。如果有,我會非常樂意聽你的。
3 對於那些認為誰進化不能創作人這樣複雜的機體,因此必須有一個神來創造我們,我想知道“誰創造神”
4 如果有一個神,我肯定認為這個神會優於舊約所述的一個。

現在,讓我問你同樣的問題給。如果你錯了,會如何?上一次你什麼時候檢查你的說教是否正確的?

你可能會爭辯說,因為聖經是這麼說的和聖經是神的話。你什麼時候審查了聖經真的是神的話,不只是一些幾千年前人的想像?如果你已經做了這點,請給我一些證據。

The best caller ever

The caller to this TV program asked two questions and both times he correctly answered his own questions. ;-)

09 December 2008

Vatican Goes Solar with $1.6 Million Array!

Glad to know:



More photos

Genesis 3: God punishes all mankind for the disobedience of two



In my first reading of Genesis 3, I pointed out the lack of "kindness" and "love" of the god in this myth. I felt uneasy of the concept of "original sin". Here is why from the post linked in the title:
Let’s say your grandfather is the worst man in the world. He raped and killed a thousand women and the truth finally came out. The judge pronounces the sentence: yes, this man must die, but not just him — his sons, daughters, and grandchildren must be killed as well. We would scream, “Injustice!” and remove him from office.

08 December 2008

5 moral pillars

Although this TED talk focuses on the difference between liberals and conservatives. About 5min into the talk, Jonathan Haidt listed 5 moral pillars that he found in different cultures and group.

Genesis 16

I am sure bible is written by man. Woman and servant are just properties. Ladies, let me just translate into today's language and see if can agree on the moral values given in this chapter.

Abram has no child. Sarai, his wife, gave her maid (Hagar) to him in order to have a child. After having a child, Hagar despised her mistress. When Sarai told her husband that, Abram told Sarai to do whatever she liked to do on Hagar. Being treated badly, Hagar escaped but was told by god to go back and submit to her authority.

In today's moral standard, Abram, although his wife did not have a child, took a maid as wife. That is adultery!

Sarai treated her maid as a property which can be given to her husband. God told Hagar to submit to her mistress. That's is slavery in plain text.

Our moral standard has advanced. Bible can no longer be the basis of any moral discussion!

Genesis 15

version 9;
So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”


This god is truly and surely suffering from serious inferiority complex. If god has really created the Universe and man, why is he so unsure as to constantly require reaffirmation from his own creation?

I guess god just like blood!

Genesis 13, 14

Nothing I would say about these two chapters.

06 December 2008

The Worst of Sins

From Atheist Central.

Despite the name of the blog, Atheist Central is a Christian promoting blog. In this post, Ray Comfort has the honesty to point out "83 percent, of public school and private religious school students admitted to lying to their parents about something significant, compared to 78 percent for those attending independent non-religious schools." He blames the lack of fear of god.

One of the commenter points out the truth:
Looks like the fear of God isn't working in the religious schools.

Could this possibly be due to the fact that we get our morals from our parents, and not from the bible?

Score one for secularism. [my emphasis]

05 December 2008

Texas man says God told him to hit woman's car

The whole news story quoted below with my highlight.
The driver of a pickup that struck a woman’s car on San Antonio's South Side on Friday morning is being evaluated by psychiatrists because he thinks God told him to drive in excess of 100 mph to take the other car off the road, police said.

The bizarre incident that shut down southbound U.S. Highway 281 above the Medina River happened about 7:25 a.m.

“He just said God said she wasn’t driving right, and she needed to be taken off the road,” said Lt. Kyle Coleman of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman was driving her sedan northbound when the pickup rear-ended her vehicle. The pickup’s driver told deputies that was driving in excess of 100 mph at the time, Coleman said. The impact caused both vehicles to spin across a median before they came to a stop along a barrier in the southbound lanes. No other vehicles were involved.

Though both vehicles were badly damaged, the drivers suffered minor injuries.

God must have been with them, ’cause any other time, the severity of this crash, it would have been a fatal,” Coleman said.

The woman was taken to a hospital as a precaution, while the pickup driver was taken for psychiatric evaluation.

Police did not find evidence of alcohol or drug use by either driver, nor did the pickup driver specify for police how the woman's driving was unsatisfactory.


There are three people involved here; the pickup driver, the woman and the sheriff.

The driver, as a result of belief in God,was taken to undergoing psychiatric evaluations. The woman, the victim, might have suffered a shock and has a damaged car because someone else believed in a non-existence God. The sheriff has become a joke claiming the God has helped the save the man and woman. [If god really exist and is almighty, should s/he stop the action in the first place?]

我在上述新聞報導增加了粗體。

在此事件中,有3人:司機,女子及警長。

由於對上帝的信仰,司機被送往精神病院進行評價。女子,受害人,因為別人相信一個不存在的上帝遭受多餘的損失。聲稱上帝拯救了司機和女人,警長成為了一個笑話。 [如果上帝真的存在,並且是萬能的,是不是應該將防止事故擺在首位? ]

04 December 2008

"Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas"?

The title link to a news about 1 year ago asking should we say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas"?

Here are a few youTube videos on the subject recorded in 2007.





Faith and Terrorism

Washington post has a series of articles (from a panel) trying to give advice to their President-elect on how to confront religious extremism and terrorism, I particularly like Matt Maher's view point:
to associate deep religious fervor with being the sole inspiration for something that is also socio-politically motivated, is wrong [my emphasis]


The root of the problem (if there is one) comes from the injustice the opposed people feel.

03 December 2008

The Christian Proselytizer Questionnaire

The title of this post link to a questionnaire. The original author asks Christian evangelist to answer all 154 questions before s/he would consider converting to a Christian faith.

I will set the bar lower. If anyone can answer 20 of these 154 questions with clear simple English (or Chinese) and with sound logic, I would convert.

Anyone like to take up the challenge? Post your response as comment here.

標題鏈接到一個問卷。如果基督教傳道可以回答所有的問題,原作者會考慮信基督教。

我將要求降低。如果有人能夠明確的, 用正確邏輯和簡單英文(或中文)回答其中20個問題,我會考慮轉換。

你願意接受接受這挑戰?

01 December 2008

Genesis 12

source http://kingjbible.com/genesis/12.htm

What is our relationship with our wives? Is my wife my property or partner?

According to verse 12, Abram treated his wife more like a property, may be used to trade for shelter and other pleasure. He is happy to let his wife to serve Pharaoh as "wife".

妻子是財產或夥伴?

對亞伯蘭,妻子是一個財產,可用於兌換住房和其他享受。他很高興地讓他的妻子擔任法老王的“妻子” 。

Genesis 11

The story of Genesis really describes a very bad god. If moral standard were based on religion such as those that based on old testament, we would all be in stone age still.

Because "now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them" (verse 6), god decided to confuse man's language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.

I really cannot understand the motive. If I were the creator of something intelligent, would I like to see my creation furnish to its full potential? Is god afraid of man creating something? What would that be? The truth that god actually does not exist?

創世記描述的是一個非常壞的神。如果道德標準是基於舊約,我們都將仍在石器時代。

因為以後他們所要作的事就沒有不成就的了, 神就使天下人的言語變亂.

我真的無法理解神的動機。如果我是創作者,我會希望我的創作能充分發揮其潛力?神就是怕人類的創造?或怕我們發現真相--神實際上並不存在?

30 November 2008

THANK GOODNESS!

In 2006, Philosopher Dan Dennett was admitted into hospital in an emergency. In his own words:
I was rushed by ambulance to a hospital where it was determined by c-t scan that I had a "dissection of the aorta"—the lining of the main output vessel carrying blood from my heart had been torn up, creating a two—channel pipe where there should only be one. Fortunately for me, the fact that I'd had a coronary artery bypass graft seven years ago probably saved my life, since the tangle of scar tissue that had grown like ivy around my heart in the intervening years reinforced the aorta, preventing catastrophic leakage from the tear in the aorta itself. After a nine-hour surgery, in which my heart was stopped entirely and my body and brain were chilled down to about 45 degrees to prevent brain damage from lack of oxygen until they could get the heart-lung machine pumping, I am now the proud possessor of a new aorta and aortic arch, made of strong Dacron fabric tubing sewn into shape on the spot by the surgeon, attached to my heart by a carbon-fiber valve that makes a reassuring little click every time my heart beats.


In the wake of his epiphany, he said "thank goodness". In his own words again, "there is a lot of goodness in this world, and more goodness every day, and this fantastic human-made fabric of excellence is genuinely responsible for the fact that I am alive today. It is a worthy recipient of the gratitude I feel today, and I want to celebrate that fact here and now."

To his religious friends who have prayed from him, he has gladly forgiven them. The reasons he said he has forgiven those who prayed for him are clearly explained in his article. I cannot do justice to summarize them here. For those who are time-poor, read the last 4 paragraphs of his article linked to this title.

Bible Contradiction?

Ray Comfort posted an explanation to the contradiction that Adam, after eating the forbidden fruit, lived to 930 years.
Adam died the moment he sinned and broke fellowship with God--the Source of all life. At that second, death entered his body and he began to degenerate (to age). The Bible also tells us the a “day” to the Lord is a thousand years to humanity (see 2 Peter 3:8), and Adam died within that “day.”


So, Ray is telling us that god actually created the universe in 7000 human years and then he took a rest. I suppose we should have a Sunday (rest) every 6000 years!

29 November 2008