by Stephen F Roberts
Things I ramble about:
The Design Problem
Is there a problem?
Know god, know fear
Christians vs. Death
to issue 1.3...
to issue 1.1...
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...One of the most popular theist charges is the Design problem. It goes something like this:
"Life is just too complex to have arrived by chance, therefore, god must have created it." or "The complexity of life is obviously designed, everything that has been designed requires a designer, therefore, god designed it."
...However, I do have a minor stake in this debate, since I too hear this call often.
Know god, no fear no god, know fear
...I've always cracked a smile on this one for multiple reasons.
...Well, the first one was displayed last nite while debating a theist... They said fearing god is the first step to wisdom. Well, in order to fear something, you have to know he exists, so rite there, it seems that little quote is off...
...The second problem is an old variety of the "wrong hell" problem. Since I dismiss all gods, I am not worried about some mythical "hell" or "eternal torture" for my disbelief... However, the theist, since he accepts one god as possible (most say god is required or inevitable), they cant really say other gods aren't possible too. They can argue and say their god is the mightiest and all, but their basic premise is that gods are possible... therefore, they could be worshipping the wrong god!
...And, of course, there is the "path to redemption" problem. Which path is the correct one? There are sooo many christian teachings out there.... which one really leads to heaven and avoids hell? Catholics say only good works can keep you from hell. Baptists say only jesus can. Mormons say only Mormon rituals can.
...And since those teachings are generally exclusive, which one really leads to heaven? And which sect _really_ is reading the bible correctly?
...I do not accept that there is some "hell" or punishment for me afterlife, so I do not live in fear of some god's wrath, just like christians don't live in fear of coming back as a cockroach for offending the Hindu gods...
...Well, no. Of course, you will never hear a theist admit that (at least not a creationist brand theist). There are plenty of things in nature that we admit are natural and yet are surprisingly complex. Diamonds and other crystalline structures, sedimentary layers, river beds... hell, your average garden rock is incredibly complex...
...When the creationist tries to pin the label of designed on things, he usually tries to point out how different living and non-living objects are.
...Well, one thing I always ask the theist is: "exactly what defines life?" Is a bacteria alive? What about a virus? Where is the dividing line between life and non-life?
...Can you imagine something... anything that is just barely on this side of "alive"? Now can you imagine something that is infinitesimally simpler and less alive than that?
...Don't worry if you can't answer... Philosophers and scientists throughout time have wrestled with this question and no-one has an answer yet...
...I always get some amusement talking to christians about death and/or dying.
...On one hand, they are all so quick to point out that the person is "going to heaven" or "going to a better place".
...Then on the other hand, they all too often are quick to fight euthanasia and to insist on heroic measures and life support...
...Is it just me, or do the two above seem at odds with each other?
...Sure, when the person dies, you miss them and don't want them to go. But at the same time, the person is going to their "final reward"... You should be happy for them. You should want to speed their journey as much as possible. If you care at all for the person, you would never want to keep them for even one moment longer from joining their god in eternity.
...And, of course, most christians oppose murderers... This is in direct contrast to their teachings. Here is a person who is sacrificing their eternal soul so that another can get to god that much faster. The person should be championed, not condemned. He is making the ultimate sacrifice for another, far more of a sacrifice than Jesus, who knew he was going to heaven upon death...
...So in christians hypocritical attitude towards death, we see their true feelings. They are afraid they are wrong. Otherwise, why fight death at all?
...The average atheist, on the other hand, accepts death as a natural part of life, and so is truly upset at someone dying because we know that person is gone except for what they added to this world and the memories they left us.
The 100% Problem
God and Hell
The Problem with Faith
The Missing Link
Copyright © 1997- 2001
by Stephen F Roberts
Rights reserved except where noted