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The Mystery in the Box

I was just looking in my neighbor’s yard. There is a large wooden crate behind his deck that hasn’t been touched in the last 6 months. As far as I can tell, it is there to stay. This got me thinking about people’s belief in god.

If my neighbor told me that inside his crate was $1 billion, I would probably call him crazy. But if he told me that I could have the $1 billion, he might pique my interest for a moment. I’d want to see some sort of proof or obtain some form of collateral, but he would have my attention. Here’s the bombshell: he tells me that to obtain the treasure, I would have to spend an indeterminate amount of time cleaning his house, mowing his lawn, doing other various chores, and finally giving him 10% of my annual income.

Well, screw that. Sure he lets me play basketball on his nice court, gives me a meal once in a while, and takes me on his annual ski trip with his family, but I’d still want some sort of evidence that the $1 billion actually existed before I donated vast amounts of my time and resources to obtaining it.

I know this isn’t a direct parallel to the god belief that so many among us hold, especially considering that the rewards of most modern religions don’t come until after death (if at all). Add in to that the uncertainty of whether our actions are predetermined or based on free will, and you have an even stickier situation which should give more people pause before devoting their livelihoods to the religion of their choice. Unfortunately, it does not.

People, for the most part, tend to carry on the beliefs of their ancestors and hold them dear without ever taking a moment to question them (After all, questioning those beliefs is a sin in itself.) What does it take to actually get someone with such a deeply internalized belief to question it? A traumatic experience? A trip to rock bottom? Too often, these events further entrench beliefs rather than diminish them.

I guess atheists need to start having a ton of babies.

Unsolicited Email

I receive a lot of unsolicited email. Most of it could be easily categorized as “hate mail”, and I archive it away without a second thought. Rarely do I get email from people who appear to have intelligence. I appreciate email from people who have opposing viewpoints that respect that I’m not likely to be converted to their belief system. However, I dislike getting into long philosophical debates over email. I would much rather have these discussions in person, if at all. It’s not that I hate philosophy, I just hate that 9 times out of 10, people turn into self-righteous cunts when they get philosophical.

My goal with this website is to address modern day concerns of atheists and other non-believers. My goal is NOT to ponder the origins of the universe. You will not likely ever see the word “epistemological” or “intrinsic” on this website. That’s just not my purpose. There are plenty of websites out there if that is your thing.

This is rather long, so I’ll save my front page readers with a break tag. For my feed readers, I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do for you.

Hello,

Just came across your website and was interested in starting a conversation with you about religion, the existence of God, or the lack thereof.

I noticed your website seems to be based on a distorted definition of faith, at least according to Christianity. Faith isn’t something that’s blind – that’s called wishful thinking and superstition. When it comes to religion, faith is something that is built on facts and evidence, at least according to the Bible (Hebrews 11). Blind faith isn’t faith, nor is it rational. It simply doesn’t make sense to believe in something there seems to be no evidence for. Faith is when we know by evidence and facts that what we believe is true. We can’t see God, which is where faith comes into place, but our belief in God needs to be heavily supported by facts, or it doesn’t make sense and isn’t true faith.

I understand many Christians out there are under the same mistaken idea that faith is somehow blind and belief against proof. Biblically at least, that’s far from the truth.

Second, you seem to strongly advocate science. Nice. So do I. But the presence of science doesn’t = the absence of God. Science, by its very nature, is never capable of proving anything doesn’t exist. Science operates on inductive reasoning, which means it observes the world, and then draws conclusions based on those observations. Therefore, it can only draw conclusions about things that can be observed in the physical world.

Also, science and religion address different categories. Science addresses the “how,” religion addresses the “why” and “who.” Ok, the world formed billion years ago in a Big Bang. But why? And who? What is the purpose?

I believe in evolution as much as the next intellectually equipped person. But even evolution doesn’t make sense without religion. What endows these organisms with a will to survive? Why do they want to live? What’s the point of living? Who or what gave them the will to live?

Your site seems to capture very well the present time’s separation of critical thinking and religion, but it doesn’t have to – and is not supposed to be that way. Religion is supposed to involve rational and logical thinking. So what you’re really taking aim at are the people who practice religion, and not God.

I’d love to hear your response.

Matt

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A = B = C = D, right?

rehab521

Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles is usually a pretty raunchy webcomic touching on a variety of issues including promiscuous sex, prostitution, and many other unsavory topics. Religion is NOT usually one of the prominent themes, but when it does come up, it’s usually comedic gold. This cartoon finds an interesting path to proof that god does not exist through a collection of quotes and colloquialisms. Enjoy!

Rationality Present Aplenty in Fiction

The above video is a clip from Firefly featuring a dialogue between characters River Tam and Shepherd Book, a preacher.

If only more people would take River’s stance in this clip. Unfortunately, most people take the view of Reverend Book.

“It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith. It fixes you.”

Want to know how I read that? “It’s not about making sense. It’s about letting disbelief take over your better judgments, and letting your muddled judgment blindly guide your life. It’s about faith. You don’t trust your better judgment. Let faith ‘fix’ you.”