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Ask an Atheist

Isn’t atheism just another religion?

I’ve seen this one a few times out there.  People like Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis like to tout this one.  He takes it a step further in saying that atheism and those who believe in the theory of evolution are religious and want to kill Christianity by saying they aren’t a religion so they can be taught in schools…yeah so no.  But to get back to people who genuinely think that atheism is a religion, no it’s not.

Atheism is an answer to a single question, “Do you believe in a god (or gods)?”  There are no tenents of atheism.  There are no rules, no dogma, no other unifying factor in it other than a lack of a belief in any god.  We don’t meet weekly and study “The God Delusion” or watch old videos of Christopher Hitchens.  I’ve heard it explained this way which may be helpful:  Atheism is as much of a religion as not stamp collecting is a hobby.  My lack of beliefs do not guide my actions, only my beliefs.

We atheists don’t have a club.  Most of us disagree on a lot of things.  We disagree on whether morality is subjective or objective.  We disagree on whether there is free will.  There are a lot of things that we don’t have in common.  Literally the only idea we share is a lack of a belief in a god.  I know I’m repeating this a lot here but this seems to be a huge point of confusion.  There are other idea that atheists may gravitate towards such as Secular Humanism but again that’s also not a religion any more than a book club is.  The confusion here might just be a paradigm issue.  Theists just may not understand that one can live a life without religion.

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Deeper Story Pt. 7

Continued from Part 6

I coasted through high school doing the least amount of work I could get away with.  I began to resent school and wanted only to do “church stuff.” I was easier to me.  There were few wrong answer do things and nearly no studying needed.  When ever I came across a problem I didn’t know I could just answer “I feel like God is saying…” And that would be the end of it.  I absolutely loved playing on the worship team.  I replaced a lot of time studying school work with practicing playing guitar.

I think the first time I had any thought of doubt would have been freshman year.  That’s the year, in my school, you took earth science.  The age of the earth stuff never really bothered me, I hadn’t done the biblical math yet.  He did say one thing that stuck with me though.  He said “Sorry to break it to you but the water going off your back does so in the exact same pattern as a fish.” I never looked into this but it planted a small seed.  In Sophomore year I had read up some on creationism and decided to debate my biology teacher on whether evolution was a real thing.  I was indeed brought down from my high horse.

Being one that always enjoyed science,I began to shift my views on some of the teachings of the bible to what science had taught me. Instead of being a staunch “God did” christian, I decided that what ever science finds that “how” god did it.  It was easier to maintain my cognitive dissonance that way. Not that I knew what that was before I left religion but I do now 🙂

 

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Fallacy Friday!

Appeal to emotion

An appeal to emotion fallacy is something that most people might already be aware of, with out being aware of it.  Those Sarah Mclachlan commercials with the dogs.  The ones that make you either cry or want to change the channel are a prime example of an appeal to emotion. What this does is to use imagery or stories that stir up an emotional response in people in order to “prove the point”.  Sure these may be examples of what is being argued but just because something elicits and emotional response does not lend it to be a sound argument.

What I’m saying here isn’t that we shouldn’t change things because a fallacy is presented.  There may be other arguments in there that are valid.  In this example I believe we can agree that the mistreatment of animals is wrong.  However it’s not wrong because of the images and stories told.  It’s wrong because we shouldn’t cause undue suffering on them.  There is a whole separate debate on whether or not it’s right to eat animals but that’s not the argument we’re having here.

 

If you’re looking for a good resource on logical fallacies I recommend YourLogicalFallacyIs.com It’s been great helping me understand what the difference fallacies are and how they are applied.

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Ask an Atheist

What would it take for you to believe in God?

Firstly I would have to ask which god?  Yaweh? Allah? Zues? Vishnu? But getting past that and assuming they meant whichever god they believe in I suppose there are a lot of things.  Perhaps something written in our DNA that has their signature in it? Like “Yaweh was here”. But readable in every known language. This would have to be in the DNA of every living thing. 

I often thought that maybe magical sky writing they everyone could read in their own language but that could be alien in nature.  

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clark

The long and short of it though (borrowed from Matt Dillahunty) is that if there was a god, it would know exactly what evidence I would need. 

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Deeper Story Pt. 6

Twitter Post - Deeper Story

Continued from Part 5

Dating in high school was an interesting situation.  Being that I was so into Christianity that left a lot of  “normal” things off the table. However I had my father sending kind of mixed signals.  He wanted me to have a similar high school experience to him however was also teaching me the morality of Christianity.  He didn’t push abstinence only on me and told me that if I was going to have sex to use a condom.  But at the same time telling me to do what the bible said (don’t have sex until marriage).  This felt very conflicted.  Along the same lines dating wasn’t supposed to be all fun and games, it was supposed to be looking for a future wife.  How messed up is that?  I was 15 years old and was supposed to be looking at every girl I dated as the girl I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with?  I didn’t even know what that was supposed to look like!

I dated girls off and on, some serious, some not so serious.  But I always put my whole heart into it, so it hurt anytime I was broken up with.  I recently found my old livejournal account (everyone had one at the time…dating myself I know), and realized I was kind of an ass.  I dated girls and looked for a way out to date some other girl I may have liked.  Not realizing at the time that I was doing anything wrong.  It kinda makes me sick looking back at it now.

Stock photo…not me I assure you!

One thing that did come from that thought was I did meet the person I would spend the rest of my life with.  She was in one of my classes.  I won’t go too deep into it now as that’s for another post entirely but she was certainly the greatest thing that came from high school.  Being the “good” Christian that I was, I of course had to make sure she started going to my church.  I dragged her along with me to as many youth events as she’d agree to go to.  Long story short we got married at that church.

 

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Housekeeping

The Comeback Kid (or blog)

sorry-note-rex.jpgHello again!

Sorry for the hiatus!  Work has been crazy the last couple weeks and the with the domain shift it’s been next to impossible to get any good writing in. I’ll be back to my regularly schedule postings next week.

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Housekeeping

This week!

Hey All!

With the move to the new domain there is a lot of house keeping that needs to be done.  Posts may be delayed or missed entirely while I work through this.  Sorry for the delay but I’ll be back to the normal schedule very soon!  Thanks for your patience!

~Godless Journey

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Fallacy Friday!

Social Media - Fallacy Friday

Ad Hominem

An ad hominem fallacy is when you use a personal attack on someone during a debate instead of attacking the argument.  Something to the effect of when you put forth a solid argument, well thought out and presented perfectly.  Your opponent retorts with something to the effect of “how can you trust someone who smoked pot in college?” It does nothing to address the actual argument but will make a person listening to the debate think lesser of the one being attacked.

ad_hominem

I see this often in debates between theists and atheists from both sides.  Usually from the theists because they’ve been backed into a corner and can’t find a logical way out.  From the atheist side, usually a neck-beard trying to start a fight (yes I realize the irony of that statement).  But in all honesty I think that putting down these sorts of attacks is not a productive way to go about debating.  I think its ok to make an attempt to see the point of view from the other side of a debate. I think this makes for a better dialog.  Also you can understand it with out accepting it.

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Thoughts

Free Will?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyac3meJml8&w=560&h=315]

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Ask an Atheist

pexels-photo-356079

What if you’re wrong?

I’ve heard this from a lot of Christians “What if you’re wrong, that means you’re going to hell. You don’t want that do you?”  Well there are a few things that come to mind when I see this.  First and foremost, what if you’re wrong?  There a lots of religions out there.  What if you picked and / or were born into the wrong one?  Do you actually thing that if you were born in another part of the world that you would come to the same belief about Christianity that you do today?  I’m willing to bet that if you were born and raised in the middle east that you’d be a follower of Islam.  Perhaps if you were born in India you’d be practicing Hinduism.  I find it interesting that depending on where you’re born and raised so heavily influences religious beliefs.  It’s almost as if man created god instead of the other way around. Seems unfair that you’d be sent to hell for a belief that you’re convinced of due to your culture.  I quote a great philosopher of our time, Homer Simpson “Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god? Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder.”

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Secondly, from what I’ve read and been taught, when one ends up in heaven you just don’t want to “sin” anymore.  For a god that is so worried about free will that it won’t reveal him/her/itself to the world because it would mess with our “free will” they seem very ready to take it away once you get to heaven.  Free will is a subject for a whole other blog post but just one more thought on that.  If free will is what keeps god hidden because if we knew they existed then we would have no choice but to worship him, what about Satan?  He knew god existed and still chose not to.  He was his right hand angel for a while there and still went up against him.  Seems that knowing that god exists doesn’t really have a bearing on whether or not we worship him.

If I’m wrong, god has a lot of explaining to do…