Answers. A Statement

Many of you have started sharing input to Isabella for her research on atheism vs religion. Due to time lag and the nature of WP threads it gets a little monotonous. If each of you would share right here one of your best arguments for atheism it could simplify this process. Choose any topic you like and feel free to include even just one small favorite. Every little bit helps. We’ll try to keep comments to a minimum. Thanks

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Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

54 thoughts on “Answers. A Statement”

  1. Here’s one of my best: Human religion is a confusing mess. An all-powerful god who actually wanted to communicate with humans should be able to do better. The fact that there is no clear consensus on what god is or what god wants points to the whole endeavor being the result of human invention.

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  2. When I became an atheist a few years back, it was more for sensible reasons than scientific reasons. Scripture is an ambiguous text full of elastic morality that requires hairsplitting explanations that even today no one can agree on. Apologetics is so “over the top” today. I got tired of making excuses. Also the entire bible is in question. It is heralded as infallible by believers and is unscrutinized in its truth. so on just one point I quote “The Exodus is so fundamental to us and our Jewish sources that it is embarrassing that there is no evidence outside of the Bible to support it”(1)
    It didn’t happen. A hundred years and not even a pottery shard. So this part is not infallible. Then the next and the next. The entire book is right then it’s wrong. It endorsed immoral behavior that would never pass any type of litmus test among common sense decency. I could go on and on. Prayer is the final one I’ll point to today. God gets credit for everything good. He gets a free pass when it doesn’t go so well. “God knows best”! “His wisdom is beyond ours”. Giving glory to god when you find your car keys, while making excuses for deity when children die or people are starving to death. Now they are “wrapped in the arms of Jesus”. The fact is people pray and look for answers and any hint that things went right is a sign from god, when most things resolve in a day or two anyway. The verifiable reason people believe this is because they want to.

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    1. …that cannot be sorted out in matter of a few weeks or months, especially if one examines acutely all — and I mean ALL!Independent sources of contextual historical events of the period! This certainly means the many sources that are NOT Judeo-Christian or Christian or later Greco-Roman Christian.

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  3. Who’s Isabella?

    Argument for atheism? That there is zero evidence (primary, seconday, or tertiary) for any deity. The complete failure of every theistic argument for deities. The complete failure of every cosmogony. The fact that no religion, or god, has ever emerged twice. The fact that no sage has ever revealed something genuinely new, original, or even useful. I could go on.

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  4. I would not be arguing FOR atheism, necessarily, but for what I’m comfortable with right now: Freethinking Humanism. So if that’s acceptable Jim I could copy/paste my blog-page here or provide the link. Which would you prefer, if anything? LOL 😉

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  5. There are some other reasons for being an atheist that build off of what John and Ubi have written.

    1. One can’t justify the existence and need to worship one deity without justifying the existence and need to worship every deity ever.

    2. Religious practices are not reliable; their alleged causes do not yield specific, definable effects. Prayer, for example, often has to include many different disclaimers to cover the myriad of possibilities to link the prayer with the alleged answer.

    3. There is zero evidence to suggest any world religion has spread through supernatural agency. Christianity in particular is aware of this, as evidenced by the sheer weight of materials designed to influence young minds.

    I could think of more reasons, but I think these three are a decent start.

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  6. Let me do one more, while I’m thinking about it:

    Human religions all use the same methods for arriving at “truth”: reliance on sacred texts, reliance on other humans who claim to have special knowledge about the supernatural, and “personal revelation and insight”. These methods do not produce reliable or consistent results. Therefore the methods themselves are flawed, and we cannot trust them.

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  7. As I’ve conversed with Isabella on her blog these last few days, and as I understand what her search is about, it isn’t the challenges/rebuttals of HER beliefs, but more what the details are of a non-Christian’s beliefs. My Freethinking Humanist page is a bit more personally detailed; here is that link:

    https://professortaboo.com/about/freethinking-humanist/

    Otherwise, these are some common tenets of a Bohemian Freethinking Humanist 🤩 …

    A Humanist is one who embraces all aspects of humanity objectively and sympathetically, when possible, often reminding myself I too am a living part of this planet.

    What is a Freethinker? — A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. [And I would toss in there Humanists as well] No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith [in their purest form] are inclusive not exclusive, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.

    These are the questions my page above answers at length:

    • How do freethinkers know what is true?
    • Do freethinkers have a basis for morality?
    • Do freethinkers have meaning in life?
    • Doesn’t the complexity of life require a designer?
    • Why are freethinkers opposed to religion?
    • Hasn’t religion done tremendous good in the world?
    • Do freethinkers have a particular political persuasion?
    • Is atheism/humanism a religion?
    • Why should I be happy to be a freethinker?

    Thought it would be better to just abbreviate all this here Jim, while providing the link to my Page.

    Thanks. 🙂

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    1. Something to keep in mind: Each belief should stand or fall on its own merits. For example, even if all of our beliefs were wrong, it wouldn’t make Christianity (or any religion) correct. If evolution were disproven, creationism doesn’t win by default.

      Some of my thoughts on some of your questions…

      Why are freethinkers opposed to religion?

      In a nutshell, speaking for myself: because it’s false and harmful.

      Hasn’t religion done tremendous good in the world?

      Some religious people are motivated by their religious beliefs to do good things. Some to do harm, knowing or not. Worse, sometimes incorrect beliefs motivate people to do harm, but makes them think they’re doing good.

      Better to align our beliefs with reality first, and find motivation for good next, IMO.

      Is atheism/humanism a religion?

      No, as neither entails belief in any G/god.

      A pithy response is that “atheism is a religion like ‘off’ is a TV channel”, or “… like bald is a hair color”. It’s categorically different. There is no belief in any god, and it doesn’t come with a holy text or worldview. Admittedly many of us atheists reach similar conclusions about certain aspects of our worldviews, but that’s quite different from the sort of prepackaged worldviews the come with religions.

      Humanism is arguably a worldview of sorts, but still there are no gods, and no holy texts. It’s more about having an ethical framework – including motivation for doing good, without God/gods or religion.

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      1. You wrote “Some to do harm, knowing or not. Worse, sometimes incorrect beliefs motivate people to do harm, but makes them think they’re doing good”. I was just reading GK Chesterton tonight. “To be born among pine-trees might mean loving pine-trees. It might mean loathing pine-trees”. Thank you! Very concise and helpful. Love that “off” is not a tv channel. Lol. Good sense rules!

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  8. Ubi Dubium…..exactly
    No evidence…definitively a human construct.
    No logic..too fantastical and a mirroring of early medieval times
    Then there’s the problem of evil, which is a BIG one.

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    1. Yes. Lol. A priest and a rabbi were watching a young boy skateboarding in the park. The priest finally says “man I’d like to screw him”. Then the rabbi says ” outta what”??

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    1. If there are any specific questions you have you can ask them here if you like, or go to each of the commenters and ask directly. Happy to post something for you if you need. Let me know. Does this satisfy some of your curiosity?

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      1. Thank you Jim:-) The comments are very useful and help me get a broader perspective. Can anyone help me with the following: I am very keen to learn more purely (neutral) scientific arguments. Like say evolution of the universe. … “The complete failure of every cosmogony” backed up by its facts. Say you leave religion out of your arguments completely and focus on evolution of the universe and evolution of the species. The system itself/systems themselves. Thank you so much for your help:-) Love, Isabella

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        1. I would ask that question direct to John Zande’s comment. He is quite an expert on that. Has a couple books out and runs a fantastic blog. I came to atheism on my own reasoning. I have a medical background but am just a fan of physics and other sciences. Nothing in religion was really working the way they said and I came to my own conclusions. Never read an atheist book till a week ago. Try that with John. He’s pretty helpful. He and Taboo ate excellent as well as everyone else. I really fell into a good crowd when I started this. I did send you an email. Check spam if you didn’t get it

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        2. Cosmological/biological evolution is a big subject, but briefly, it contradicts all notions of theistic creationism. It contradicts all notions of a ‘good’ and ‘mindful’ Creator. It contradicts all notions of a competent Creator.

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          1. Thank you for that straight to the point answer John. Could you briefly pinpoint some cosmological contradictions of a good, competent and mindful Creator? Love, Isabella

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            1. Briefly, no. But 13.8 billion years, for starters. This universe is better ‘designed’ for the production of black holes, not life-capable planets. If the objective was black hole production, then great, job well done. As for biological evolution, 80% of all naturally occuring mutations are harmful to an organisms fitness. Does that speak to competence? And if we look at the claim of a ‘benevolent’ Creator, then consider the simple fact that it was only 210 million years ago that terrestrial life stumbled upon the chemicals (enkephalin) and cellular structures (opioid receptors) with which it could begin to recognise the first spasms of something not unlike ‘happiness.’ Could a designer of extraordinary compassion and unlimited means oversee a world where the very mechanisms necessary to physically experience ‘happiness’ would not even exist in the world before some 3.5 billion years of terrestrial evolution had passed and untold billions of generations of living things had suffered enormously without as much as the hope of corporeal relief?

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            2. Thanks, this again is very useful and helpful information. How often do mutations occur? Could you send a link/source that affirms the 80 percent? Also, a link/source for how often mutations occur if possible. If not can tell me where I can find these numbers. This is actually information I have been trying to find. Thank you:-) You write in a very orderly structured manner, which is great.

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            3. With all due respect, Isabella, but please do your own research. Start with a question, and go to Google Scholar. It’s a good starting point. Contact the papers authors directly. You’ll find most very open to questions if you identify yourself and the reason for the email/call.

              Re 80%: From the Genetic Literacy Project: “Most mutations in the human genome are recent and probably harmful”

              Joshua Akey of the University of Washington … estimated that more than 80 percent are probably harmful to us.

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            4. OK. I have been trying to find this information without any luck. With the help of google. I will not bother you again.

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            5. Sorry for all the questions, but can you tell me something about our universe’s predisposed ability to form black hole that you mention. Do you know the science behind that? I would really like to understand that.

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            6. Isabella, what John Zande is ALSO saying/recommending is that when YOU do the majority of the research (neutrally), with a wide lens which includes both comparing and contrasting of perspectives from all relevant sources, and within an appropriate (lengthy) timeframe, you tend to avoid lots of subjective partiality. Myself, when I do this type of investigative work I like the sources/authors allowing ME to find my own destinations OR transition points, and conclusions or tentative conclusions. In other words, the sources/authors are “suggesting” the plausibilities or the fallacies.

              When you do your search/examining on your own, you avoid (to an extent) other’s biases, some their hyper-bias.

              Warmest wishes to you Isabella. ❤

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            7. Thank you for passing on this information. Very well put:-) My aim at the moment is to find out what arguments I am up against. Whether they are biased or not that is irrelevant. I want to learn them. If I am to defend my theory of everything (designed to think anew) I want to be prepared. So, when I publish the book and critics come my way this does not intimidate me. Also, why not let it be a discussion among friends. Since the book is not finished yet it will also allow me to improve, eliminate and include content. The research (documentaries, online sources) that has led to my book has been going on for over ten years. Not ever planning to write a book, until I sort of just felt utterly compelled to do so. Love to learn, love creative and divergent thinking. Love to try to figure out things on a grander scale. With my personal God in the midst of everything;-) Hugs, Isabella

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            8. Hahahaha! Smart ass! 😉 We trying to be all seriously scholarly up in here… and you gotta go bring in delicious sweetness!!!

              I should slap you upside yo head. 😛

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      2. I wrote something wrong in the previous comment. God just started the ball rolling … Why on earth did I put that there? I want the non-believer view. Sorry for making such a mess.

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    2. Isabella,

      I’d be happy to talk with you some about the basics of black holes, but first I want to point out something about science questions in general.

      The theistic model is “I don’t understand how x came to be, so it must have been god.” (The “god of the gaps” argument.)

      The non-theistic model is “I don’t understand how x came to be. It’s an interesting question to investigate. Perhaps we will figure it out some day. But maybe I will never know. ‘I don’t know’ is an answer that I need to be comfortable with, rather than just inserting an answer that feels good but may well be wrong”.

      A lot of non-theists have a strong interest in science, but you can come to non-belief without any knowledge of science at all. You just substitute “It was definitely god” with “I don’t know”.

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      1. Thank you Uni Dubium for this kind offer. I understand the basic of black holes quite well. Been watching my share of documentaries. It was the conditions in the early universe that caused black holes to “thrive” I was curious about. However, I will do my own research from now on. Since, I can easily become quite annoying. I am really into learning all sorts of facts, and do not often encounter other people with the same enthusiasm for learning. So, even though I include God in my theory of everything I am aware that I do not actually know everything. That would be completely ignorant. I will be leaving, thank you for your time. Bye:-)<3. My time here is up! Bye everybody ♡ ♡

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        1. Isabella, you are NOT being annoying — you are structuring your questions in such a way (not intimidating or arrogant?) that it allows the free exchange of information and ideas within an environment of LEARNING rather than fighting. Besides, how can one learn without asking questions, sometimes LOTS of questions. 🙂

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          1. Oh dear sweet friend ♡ ♡. Thank you so much for these encouraging words. I do not think everybody shares your view though, so a “gazillion” questions will remain unanswered;-) You have been very helpful and I have learned a lot through conversing with you. Love, Isabella

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  9. In my book I do not focus a great deal on religion. Not to say that is not included with its implications. Religion itself does not disprove that there is a Creator/God. It proves that humans have the capacity for language together with abstract and creative thinking.

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  10. If someone should ask me, “Why don’t you believe in God?” my answer would be “I haven’t found a reason to believe in a god (emphasis on the words ‘reason’ and ‘to’). Please tell me why I should believe. Please. I’m open to it. If I’m not convinced by your argument, I’m an atheist by default. So far, I’m still an atheist.”

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