30 November 2008


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

Why is there religion?

from TED

Let's pray

source http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=460925&sid=1acb2dd35f021e3fdecffb1dbcdec951
Our Server, who art in cyberspace,
SSL encrypted be thy URL.
Thy domain come,
Thy scheduled tasks be run,
On Mac as it is on UNIX.
Give us this this day our daily hot fixes.
And forgive us our spam,
As we forgive those who spam against us.
And lead us not into Windows Server 2003,
But deliver us from Microsoft.
For .NET is the humdrum, the porker and the gawky. For ever and ever. IBM.

No gods were harmed in the writing of this book

The title of this post is a disclaimer from the author (Guy P. Harrison) of 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God

Here are few gems spotted by a reviewer left on Amazon;

"...atheism is not a conscious act of turning away from all gods. It is simply the final destination for those who think...you will be pleased to discover that the sky does not fall down on your head...if you still want to pray, you can (the success rate of your prayers is unlikely to change)."

"...it can be a wonderful life without gods...wise choices, hard work, being born somewhere other than an impoverished hellhole, good health, and a little luck can add up to a fine existence for just about anyone."

"...couldn't natural disasters such as tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, and tornados be unintelligent and indifferent events that can strike down anyone anywhere, regardless of which gods are prayed to? ...it matches the reality we see in our world."

10 Reasons Atheists Are Morally Superior To Religious Fundamentalists

Of course, there are more than 10 reasons why atheists are morally superior to religious fundamentalists. The post linked in the title pointed out at least 10 which Neece has opined. To me, I like her common sense conclusion:
See, atheists don’t have some god telling them what to do, how to (not) think, how to believe. We think for ourselves. We figure out what’s right based on our life experiences, and hopefully some good role models, then do our best to live good lives, simply because it’s the right thing to do. Also, it’s basic common sense.

Genesis 9

From verse 2, we can see what is the main motivational force god will use:
The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.

God blessed Noah so that every beast of the earth will be fearful and be terrified by Noah. Is it the same tactic god uses towards man? God wants man to be fearful and terrified by him. For an all-loving god, there would be other ways to gain the respect from man, right?

Verse 22:
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father ...

What is the big deal of seeing the nakedness of your father? Why while Ham saw the nakedness, yet Noah cursed Canaan?

What is kind of justice the bible trying to convey?


via the eBay atheist

Hi Christians,

Can you tell me if the above animation faithfully describes your god? If yes, what are the key messages? If no, why?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

28 November 2008

Should religion be a part of public school's program?

from wikipedia
People oppose religious education in public schools on various grounds. One is that it constitutes a state sponsorship or establishment of whatever religious beliefs are taught. Others argue that if a particular religion is taught in school, children who do not belong to that religion will either feel pressure to conform or be excluded from their peers. Proponents argue that religious beliefs have historically socialized people's behaviour and morality. They feel that teaching religion in school is necessary to encourage children to be responsible, spiritually sound adults.

What do you think?

Genesis 8

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/8.htm

version 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; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. "

First he is ??? [lack of an adjective here]. He enjoys the smell of burnt meant!

Second, thank god! He suddenly realised that what he has done was wrong and said that he won't do it again.

Let's pray he won't change his mind. Amen.

[Remember that he is a lier and cannot be trusted, Adam and Eve was told that eating that fruit will cause death, which resulted in eternal suffering!]

Why we have to have atheist evangelist...

inspired by Atheist Bus Campaign… in Australia? Ad Company Says No

My wife and daughter said it is impolite of me to tell people that there is no god. They said it is not socially acceptable. I found this bias very much entrenched in our 'tolerant' society. Why are religious organisations allowed to spread their totally non-evidence based message and rational and reasonable people like me cannot spread my own message. I want to save you too. I want to save you from slavery of god.

27 November 2008

God’s Problem and Human Solutions: How the Bible Explains Suffering

Bart Ehrman is renowned for his contributions to the field of religious studies, focusing on New Testament interpretation and the history of ancient Christianity in the first three centuries AD.

Genesis 3: God screws up the world, blames man

Here is a post from a self-proclaimed evangelical Christan for over a decade.

I like his concluding remarks:
On the other hand, we have the natural answer. We see that there are natural laws and can predict many natural disasters. We know they are simply part of the world that we live in — parts that have helped form us, and without which we would not exist.

We can study disease and see it is not demonic or a superstitious curse. And as we have progressed in science, we have been able to cure many diseases.

We know that children are starving because of economic, agricultural, political, and cultural problems — problems that can be solved with science, government, and human compassion — not sacrificing sheep to an angry sky God who delights in the burning smell of animal blood.

The natural explanation makes far more sense than a supernatural one, and has the advantage of having an abundance of evidence. Why cling to old superstitions and supernatural boogeymen when we have a better natural explanation?

Root of All Evil and its debate

Here is Richard Dawkins' 2006 documentary
Part 1:

Part 2:

Debate after screen to an audience in Canada:

26 November 2008

Scientific Explanation?

atheists trying to establish science as the the only source of truth and access to reality. They go far as to claim that everything outside of science is irrelevant and even absurd. It's this same philosophy that has totally infiltrated our school systems.

While the above statement is a huge generalization as if atheists IS one person and only one voice, let me just assume that some atheists may be pushing the argument too far. Science, as a method of investigation, is order of magnitude more valid and relevant in terms of understanding truth. While the quote above complains 'this same philosophy that has totally infiltrated our school systems', the same can be said of the creationists' agenda of posing intelligent design as a science. This is simple politics of interested parties flighting for attention.

The post continues to give an example:
For example, there is a pot of water on the stove. If someone to pose a question "Why is this water boiling?"

The scientific answer would go something like this: The water is boiling because the temperature is excess of a hundred degrees, when that happens it has an effect on the molecules, and those molecules begin to react in a certain way and that's why the water is boiling. And that is a perfectly good scientific explanation.

But here is another explanation as to why the water is boiling, Because Dan wants to have a cup of tea. That is an explanation on a different level then a scientific explanation and yet it is completely valid and moreover, the scientific explanation itself, would be incomprehensible if you didn't put into the context as to why the pot got on the stove in the first place, because Dan is trying to make himself some tea. Thats why the set of events have been set into motion that cannot be described scientifically. [my emphasis]

The problem with this example is that Dan failed to realised the overloaded meaning of the word "why". In English, "why" seeks explanation of the phenomena, ie what makes water boil. At the same time, "why" also seeks the causality of who boils the water. Science does not, and has never, attempt to explain the causality of human initiated events.

Dan dismissed science from then onwards. However, it is important to note that in understanding human interactions, it is also important to be "evidence-based'. Someone is murdered. Can we just accuse a passerby of murdering? We need evidence to convict the murderer, right?

Faith, is not evidence-based. Claiming any 'truth' based on a set of old fictions is more absurd!

25 November 2008

Genesis 7

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/7.htm

Seven of every clean animals and two of every animals that are not clean are taken onto the ark. How large the ark should be in order to host that amount of animals? With today's technology, I don't believe we can build a ship large enough to do that. Are you telling me that the Noah was able to do what modern man and technology cannot?

20 November 2008

Genesis 6

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/6.htm

In verse 5, god saw the wickedness of mankind. The chapter has not specified how wicked man were at that time. Can we assume that not ALL men are wicked to the same degree.

God then decided to kill ALL men on earth except Noah and his family.

I have a problem with this.

1. God has indiscriminately killed ALL (except Noah and his family) without consideration of the different levels and kind of wickedness. Is that that unjust?

2. Because Noah himself is righteous, it does not imply members of his family is also as righteous. But again, god indiscriminately saved all his family. Again another unjust.

Genesis 5

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/5.htm

This chapter is about the Descendants of Adam and full of funny ages:
Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years,
all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years,
all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years,

Is bible telling us that people have long life span back then? I would seriously doubt the accuracy of that. Anyway, I don't see much interest in this chapter unless someone can tell me otherwise.

19 November 2008

Genesis 4

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/4.htm

This chapter starts to describe the descendants of Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve have two sons, one (Abel) kept animals and the other (Cain) grew fruits. God only likes the offering from Abel (animals). Why? Because god knows that Cain will be jealous and killed his brother Abel?

If yes, isn't it a trap again? Cain killed Abel out of jealous which is a result of god's bias towards Abel. Being all knowing and all mighty, why god does not prevent it from the first place by being fair to both?

If no, god is NOT all knowing and all mighty.

Either way, the bible is self contradictory about god is/is not all knowing.

Either way, the bible describes a god who is a 'shit-stirrer'.

Also, if Adam and Eve were the only two human created by god, where is the other woman come from to marry Adam and Eve's sons?

Did god created more human? If yes, why condemn all human to sinner because only those descendants from Adam and Eve have the "original sin" because Adam and Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit. The rest of human should all still be in the garden of Eden.

Genesis is a poorly plotted fiction!

Adam and Eve's family tree

source: website linked to the title of this post

18 November 2008

Which billboard below is aggressive?

Read the post linked to the title of this post. :-)

Genesis 3

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/3.htm

This chapter actually described how god (while I don't believe god exist, but to keep the text flowing, I will use god to refer to that awful character in the bible) has lied and created a trap for man.

In verse 3, god has spelt out the consequence of eating the fruit of knowledge - death. However, we later know that after eating the fruit, both Eve and Adam did not die! God is lying!

Trap for man
Before I continue, let consider a simple example that may happen today in many household. You have a small toddler. You also happen to have a pot of hot water where the toddler may reach. You tell the toddler not to touch the hot water because she will get burnt. (quite similar to what god has set up, except we are honest to tell the toddler the true consequence of disobeying.)

Now, the toddler touches the hot water and gets burnt. What do you do?

If you are like me, you may likely to tender the toddler, even if the toddler is not my creation :-). I will comfort her and tell her that because she disobeyed, she suffered the burnt.

In comparison, what did god do to man?

First he puts serpent and woman into enmity. Not only that, he puts all future generations of serpent and woman into enmity!

Second, he punishes the woman by increasing her pain in giving birth. BTW, human has won. There are now procedures in giving birth without ANY pain!

Third, he curses the man to have to work hard for the food. BTW, is it god's intention in the first place to have the man to cultivate the ground? (Genesis 2:5 - one of the reason why there is no plant is because there is no man to cultivate the ground.)

Fourth, because there is a tree of life in Eden and god does not want man to live forever, god sent the man out of the garden Eden.

To me, the punishment (even if you think Eve and Adam should be punished by having the curiosity to eat a forbidden fruit - which is a temptation deliberately set up!) is totally out of proportion to the crime. A moral modern man, as described in the example about the toddler above, would have exercised kindness. On another level, a "all mighty, all knowing" god would have definitely foreseen this happening. Instead of removing the tree of knowledge (i.e. set up a boundary so that the toddler could not touch the hot pot), he chooses to let it happen. I would also accuse god "negligence".

An added bonus for Christians, if you ever go to heaven, you will end up cultivating the ground for god forever. If I were you, I would seriously consider whether heaven is worth going to.

16 November 2008

Genesis 2

source http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/2.htm

I am not interested in the description of the land. However, I did note in verse 16 and 17:
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

So god wants people not to know good and evil. Why?

Later, in verse 25
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

This verse is important which I will make a comment in the next post.

Burden of proof

Genesis assumed the existence of god without any justification. Whether god exists is one of the major difference between atheist and Christian, so let the comments of this post be the forum of discussion about this issue.

For those entering comments here, please at least read Russell's teapot and theologian Alister McGrath's counter argument from wikipedia first. Please do not repeat what others have been said. If you like to support a point which other has already pointed out, you are welcome to link to the original point and extend on the argument. Thank you.

15 November 2008

Genesis 1

source: http://nasb.scripturetext.com/genesis/1.htm

The scientific accuracy of the bible's description of the formation of the universe has been highly debated mostly between Darwinism followers and Creationists. When we examine the arguments, we need to beware of the tactics which is used to mask the real issue at hand. This site has three videos listing 25 common argument tactics used by many Creationists. Critical thinkers should apply the same tests to arguments advanced by Darwinism followers.

It is now commonly agreed in the Scientific community that our Universe is about 15 billion years ago and that time scale is very long compared to our human time scale. It will be extremely unlikely that we can ever understand the formation of the universe - but we (human) have done a great job of coming to an estimate.

If there were a god (remember I am an atheist), it will be quite remarkable to think of the god who created the universe 15 billion years ago will be interested in the daily activities of each and every member of a special species (Homo sapiens) in the animal kingdom who has only existed in the last 2.5 million years. Question: what has he been doing for the past 15 billion years?

(I am assuming that the god is male, which I have no idea whether it is true of not although the bible text cited about does use a singular male third person pronoun for him.)

In particular, the god announced this interest only about 2600 years ago through Moses (the author of Gneesis). Again why that late (compared to the 2.5 million years of existence of Homo sapiens).

Humans are members of the genus Homo click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced. Modern people are Homo sapiens click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced. However, we are not the only species of humans who have ever lived. There were earlier species of our genus that are now extinct. In the past, it was incorrectly assumed that human evolution was a relatively straight forward sequence of one species evolving into another. We now understand that there were times when several species of humans and even other hominins were alive. This complex pattern of evolution emerging from the fossil record has been aptly described as a luxuriantly branching bush on which all but one twig has died off. Modern humans are that last living twig. [source: http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo/homo_1.htm at the time of writing]

Since today's human is not the only species of the genus Homo, the text which is very much Earth and homo sapiens centric (especially verse 26 to 30 which explicitly grants ruling power to human) only enforces me to think that Genesis is a creation of a human being and hence the god described in Genesis is also a human creation. Modern moral and scientific theories have advanced to the stage that ALL creatures, be it as small as a virus to as complex as a human, are part of a mutually dependable eco-system. Believing that one species has higher "right" or "importance" over other is certainly counter-constructive in our well being.

Treating Genesis 1 as true IS WRONG morally and factually.

14 November 2008

Why I want to do this?

I am a self proclaimed atheist and have an aggressive attitude towards religion. Basically, I don't believe in any god and look upon religious evangelists as social scrum who prey upon the weak. They are either too stupid to understand that god does not exist or they, for some self-interest, keep on telling lies all day everyday.

Recently, my father was baptized while in hospital. That makes almost all members of my family Christian (except me and next younger sister). Other sisters and brother insisted that I have misunderstood the bible.

I am now taking up a challenge to read the bible in details and commenting from an atheist's point of view. My brother and sisters also promise to engage in a gentleman-like discussion on issues raised by my post on the bible. They hope that this can convert me to a Christian while I hope I can rescue them from the grip of religion.

Rule of engagement
So, for all the post I am going to put up here, comments are welcome. However, I will delete any comment which make personal attacks, either to me or to any other people posting comments.

You are free to post comment in English or Chinese. But please expect responses in either of the languages as well.

After a post is made, I will try to be diligent and respond to comments about that post for a week. I may not respond to comment after one week as I have, most likely, posted a few more posts.

There is no point for me to repeat the bible text in this blog. However, I will provide link(s) to the section which I am commenting. Your comment should also base upon the same text. If you think I have made a bad choice from various online versions of the bible, please suggest a version which you think is more appropriate and explain the difference between my choice and your recommendation. If I found the difference is significant enough, I may choice to comment on the text based on the recommendation.

Final words before starting

I am making a genuine effort to read the bible line by line and word by word. I will be critically commenting and writing how I feel after reading that text. Please bear in mind that I am an atheist and I started by treating bible as a fiction. While I will not be commenting on the linguistic quality of the writing, I will comment on the trustworthiness and potential of being true of each of the text. I will also make comment on the moral aspect of the text from my point of view. You are welcome to disagree with me. But you must also respect my disagreement with you.

Let start by acknowledging the fact that I disagree with most of the ideas in the bible. Can you convince me to change my mind?