Strange Questions

Strange Questions: Aliens?

This is going to be quite possibly the dumbest blog that I have ever written…

So this question is actually going to be in response to a blog that I found here on WordPress. To quote the blog:

“Atheists do not believe in God.  Yet, I am pretty sure that if we suddenly found out that aliens invented the Earth and created the animals and humans and plants, they would be ok with it.”

Okay, so first I realize that the quote above is not well written or well thought out but let’s simplify it a bit…(How does something invent a planet?)

“If we found out that Aliens were responsible for creation, would atheists accept it?”

aliens2

The answer to this is rather simple to be honest. If we found out, meaning we found verifiable evidence that pointed to aliens creating us then we would accept it. Now before you think you got us atheist folks, let me also say that if we found verifiable evidence of a divine or godly creation atheists would also have no recourse but to accept that as well.

The thing is in both scenarios there is absolutely no evidence of either a god or a superior race of aliens creating life here on earth. There is however a plethora of evidence that points to life coming about by natural means. We may not yet fully know exactly what started the life ball rolling but we do understand what the building blocks of life are and how evolution by natural selection then pushed the system forward.

aliens3

Secondly….let’s just point out that if life were to have been started here by aliens that would not end the atheist/theist debate. It wouldn’t actually move the argument forward by a single inch because…

A.) Aliens are physical creatures and not divine.
B.) Theists would then be able to simply say that god created the aliens that created us.

See how this would in effect change nothing on how either group were to view the argument at hand?

So to answer the question in a simple way:

If we found RELIABLE EVIDENCE that was VERIFIABLE of either aliens or god, we would accept it as true.

Lastly I want to state that simply because something is possible it does not mean that it is also probable. To say that I do not believe in god or aliens is not to say that these things have absolutely no possibility of existing. It is to say, I see no evidence that points to that existence and so I see no need to live my life as if they do exist.

Maybe the universe is just one big unicorn fart? It doesn’t appear to be a big unicorn fart and so I won’t base my life around that idea but is it 100% impossible? Whoa to you who doubt the great unicorn asshole which granted us life and all the blessings of this earth…

Atheism once again simply means to be someone who does not believe in a god or gods. Outside of that anything is possible.

As Matt Dillahunty put it:

dillahunty

Strange Questions

Strange Questions #3: Why Do You Hate God?

For last weeks Strange Questions, click here.

Once again before I start writing this article I must explain, even though through the name of the blog it should be obvious, that I am an atheist and I am not the one expressing this question.

Often times people express the belief that Atheists hate god. Is this actually the case though? We are asked in on-line debates and discussions, Why do you hate god? This is used as a way of stating that the only reason that Atheists deny the existence of god is that we have a personal vendetta against him. I think you will find in the following paragraphs that this is not the case.

In my own case, I loved god, I wanted desperately for god to be real. I was a minister, I had been raised in the faith, and it took years and years for my faith to actually completely wane. I now have a completely different view of faith and the bible that has occurred much after I had left the faith. Giving up my ministry, leaving the faith, and dropping my religious beliefs altogether did not come in any way from hate.

What people often times confuse with hatred against god, is anger against religion in general. For this point I can say it’s true. Many atheists are also anti-theists, especially those, like myself, who have come from a life in the faith. After realizing all the lies and misinformation that I had believed for many years, I was filled with a deep anger for those who promote faith as the answer to all of life’s worries.

In fact I was consumed with so much anger that for a while it would have been completely impossible for me to write this blog. Leaving the faith requires a decompression period when all of that pent-up anger comes out. This can be confused as anger against god but that isn’t so.

When you found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real did you get angry at Santa, or did you maybe have a bit of angst against your parents for lying to you? Generally speaking your anger would be aimed at your parents. Much the same is true for the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, unicorns, etc… The anger is focused at those who lied to you rather than the thing you had once believed in.

Being angry at a non-existent being makes absolutely no sense anyway. It would be like screaming at the corn on your dinner plate because it isn’t creamed. You would really be doing nothing but making yourself out to be completely illogical. Does this sentence make sense to you?

I am so angry at unicorns for not existing in reality!

Of course that wouldn’t make sense, how can you be mad at something that doesn’t exist or at least is not evidenced to exist? I think this is more an issue on the side of the theists than atheists. Wanting their own beliefs to be validated they deny that others could ever truly lack a belief in god. This challenges their assumptions and causes a form of cognitive dissonance which bothers them greatly. I know this to be the case since I too felt it at times as a theist.

This is why one of the primary arguments that apologists will use is to act as if atheists simply deny something they know to be true instead of actually providing evidence for their own claims.  It is far easier for them to claim we hate god or that we are simply denying an existence that we actually know to be true, than to accept that some people look at the same information they do and come to a different conclusion.

Atheists do not hate god, we simply lack a belief in god. This is due to the fact that we don’t see there as being any verifiable evidence for a god. Some will take a hard-line stance that this evidence does not exist, while others will simply claim it is highly improbable that the evidence exists. You cannot hate what you lack a belief in, any more than you could hate a sleep gifting fairy for not existing and being incapable of curing your insomnia.

 

Strange Questions

Strange Questions #3: What Is The Source Of Atheist Morals?

For last weeks strange question, click here.

One of the primary attacks that Christians throw at atheists is that we have no source for absolute or objective morality. This is done for several reasons which are both dishonest and disingenuous in nature. I will go into the various reasons throughout this article. You’ll find that atheists actually have the upper hand in regards to morals than their theist objectors do.

The primary reason that Christians bring this up is that it’s true. Atheists really do have no grounds for absolute or objective morality. Yet you will find that Christians also have no grounds for absolute or objective morality either. What both groups have are a set of subjective moral traits that one side pretends to disguise behind false veil of absoluteness.  (I will refer to absolute or objective morality as simply objective morality for the remainder of this article.)

For objective morality to exist then these morals have to exist outside of the observer, meaning they exist outside of our own humanity. Since atheists do not believe in god, and the vast majority do not believe in anything supernatural, then the idea of a moral author existing outside of ourselves is asinine. Atheists are obviously fully capable of being moral and so Christians will state that this is because the objective morality reigns supreme, even in the hearts of atheists. But lets take a look at some of the Christians side of the argument before moving forward.

Many Christians will argue that morals come from one source alone, god, and without god there is absolutely no reason for moral behavior to exist. Even so, many of the Christians who will state this today espouse a morality that it even higher than the morality their supposed god granted them. What do I mean by this?

  • How many Christians do you know that have sold their daughters into slavery?
  • How many Christians do you know that own slaves?
  • How many Christians do you know that have burned a witch?
  • Stoned a homosexual?
  • Forced a rape victim to marry their rapist?
  • Committed Genocide?
  • Bashed the head of an unbelievers child against a rock?

If you have been able to answer any of these questions with 1 or more, I would suggest finding yourself another neighborhood to hang out in. The facts are clear, believers today no longer follow any of these archaic practices and yet their god was absolutely fine with them only a couple thousand years ago. By what authority are they able to find this better set of moral guidelines to live by outside of their own deities prescriptions?

Some Christians will state that everything I mentioned are from the old testament and thus are not to be followed today. They will state that the new testament reigns supreme and that it is a testament of love and compassion, but is this true? At first glance you might assume that they are correct. The new testament seems void of god’s murderous and vile tendencies, yet when you look a little deeper you find many of these things still ring true.

  • Slavery is still condoned
  • Women are still property
  • The unbeliever is still to be slaughtered, albeit at a much later date.
  • Even after being slaughtered, the unbeliever is condemned to Christs invention of Hell for all eternity

Even more chilling is the following scripture:

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18

Which seems to work perfectly well with this scripture from the old testament:

“And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.” – 2 Kings 17:37

So we have Christ saying that all of those evil laws are to be followed until the end of time and then we have a scripture from the old testament stating that the law and commandments are to be followed forever. Granted “Forever” is a bit longer than until heaven and earth pass away, but who’s really counting a few hundred billion years or so…

So why go into all of this on the theist side of things? I do it simply to point out that the vast majority of Christians today are far more moral than their god ever wanted them to be. They have risen above his statutes and laws and formed a faith that is far better than the one that even Christ laid out. Still harmful in many ways but far better than the moral teachings of their own scriptures.

So then to get back to the question at hand, What is the source of atheist morals?

The answer to this is chiefly evolution. Looking at the animal kingdom, lower forms of life; insects, fish, and reptiles have fairly low standards when it comes to morals. The lower the life form it seems that the less of what we would call morals can be seen. Yet even there we can see small forms. Insects, Fish, and reptiles will often times defend their nests prior to their offspring hatching. Putting their own lives at risk so that the next generation can survive. Once the offspring are hatched, sure, you might snack on one or two but the majority survive because of how well you defended them.

Then we reach birds, which care for their young not only as eggs but also as they grow in the nest. This takes much more energy than it does for the lower form, so mother and father bird often work together to help raise and feed the young. It’s crucial to have a good provider in this type of scenario and so many bird species mate for life or at least several breeding seasons, trusting that the other will do everything it can to protect and raise their offspring.

We then make out way to mammals and find that not only do we give birth, raise our young, but in many cases take care of these children for much longer still, until they are fully capable of existing in the world on their own. Family units spring up due to the huge amount of energy that must be spent in raising and gathering food for the young. Note: Just how close the family unit of prairie dogs are.

When we make it to the primates, we find that many of the things we call human are already found in our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Not only do primates care and raise their young as a group, but they also follow a strong social structure filled with social norms and guidelines for all of the members. They defend one another against attack and are even found to grieve dying members and help take care of the sick and injured.

We then find ourselves, the highest of the primate order and the only one that seems to associate their morality with a higher being. We are moral because society needs us to be moral for it to exist in any livable manner whatsoever. If everyone was killing each other than social bonds could not be found, life would be highly expensive in energy usage, and you would find the quality of our lives to be much worse. Note how our morality has increased as our lives have become easier with technology, I have no doubt that as we progress further we will find the morality of today to be archaic and cruel compared to what we see as moral 100 or 200 years in the future.

So what is the source of atheist morals? Our morals our found in our deep need to be social creatures living in a thriving society. We evolved these traits because they were the best features to ensure the survival of our offspring and the future of our species. Our morality isn’t objective because there is no outside force that has dictated these morals, however we might be able to make a case for semi-objective morality since our morals do seem to be written into our genes.

“The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don’t want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don’t want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you. You know what I mean?” – Penn Jillette

The best answer you can give when a theist asks something along these lines is to turn it around on them. Ask them if they truly would be a serial killer or a rapist if they found out tomorrow that god truly didn’t exist? Would they cut their neighbors throats for a bigger pool or a nicer car? Heck, ask them if they would be willing today to stone a homosexual or burn a witch?

If they answer yes to any of those questions, you are dealing with a psychopath and should probably leave as quickly as possible. If they answer no, then they too know that their morals are not granted by some all-powerful deity but are in fact the same as our morals and built upon the exact same foundation.

 

While you’re here, have you checked out my journey away from faith? It can be found here.

Strange Questions

Strange Questions #2: Isn’t Atheism Just Another Religion?

For the last strange question article, click here.

This is a question that you can either hear this as a question or as if it is a definitive fact.  One of the means that apologists use to try to win people over to their side of the argument is to claim that Atheism is just as dogmatic and creed driven as any religious faith. This is on one hand a very sad argument and on the other hand incredibly annoying.

As stated before, you almost only hear this question posed by trolls and apologists, which in reality are pretty much one and the same in my book. Apologists are incapable of stating that there are any issues with the faith and have no real argument for why that is the case, so instead they try to create controversy within the atheist ranks where there really is none.

Atheism = A lack of belief in a god or gods.

That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

Now let me first state that there are organizations within the atheist community that do act in some ways like a religion. Secular Humanism and Satanists both have creeds and to a certain extent dogma, Satanists even have their own rituals. However anything that these groups teach are actually an addition to atheism and mean nothing towards the simple definition that I have laid out.

I am an atheist, I am also a secular humanist.  However, I’m a secular humanist because I care about my fellow human beings and like the ideals of the secular humanism. I could easily be an atheist and not follow any of the ideals of secular humanism or Satanism for that matter.

Do you have faith that there is no Santa Clause? If the answer is yes, and you actually have to actively believe in the non-existence of something, then you are more than likely mentally ill. Not believing in something does not create a need to believe in the lack of something. If that were the case then my next scenario would require belief…

The_Great_Gazoo

Say I told you that sleep is a blessing granted to us by little green men who live under our beds. These little green men are invisible, though they did reveal their green skin to me once, so I know it’s green. They are also 5th dimensional beings and so even if you don’t have space under your bed, they can exist within the confines of your bed.  Each night when you close your eyes, they wave their green penises, large for their small stature I might add, over your eyes and you drift to sleep. I know this is true because each night when I close my eyes, I eventually drift off to sleep.

Does it require any faith on your part to say….I don’t believe there are little green penis waving men living under my bed? If you say it does, then I question your sanity. If you say it doesn’t then the same can be said for anything else that you lack belief in.

Now some will try to reverse the argument and say, well you can’t prove that anything exists. This is where evidence comes into play. If I were to say the little green men, leave green semen trails on our noses each night, and you woke up with green splotches on your nose every morning…you might have some work on your hands to disprove my theory. However, god shows none of these signs.

People will say that nature proves god’s existence and yet we have scientific explanations for just about everything in nature, which are much better explanations than “God dun it…” People will say that god is an ever-present force throughout the universe that is undetectable but obviously there. If it’s undetectable, then we might as well say it doesn’t exist, as in order to have an effect on us, it would have to be detectable in some way.

Some will go so far as to say that god is the universe, yet if that’s the case, why not just call it the word we already have for it….the universe.

If you are new to atheism having just come out of faith, you will find that theist love to move the goalposts on their argument. They will try to do anything they can to prove that atheism is a religious faith in some fashion or form. Yet the following list should clear this up.

What Atheism requires…

1.) A Lack of belief in a god or gods.

What Atheism doesn’t require…

1.) Faith
2.) Belief in the supernatural
3.) Belief in Science
4.) Rituals
5.) Sacrements
6.) Meditation
7.) Works
8.) Prayer
9.) Creeds
10.) Anything outside of a lack of belief in a god or gods…

Are we clear?

If the answer is no…just realize…that green semen is actually invisible too but I was allowed to see it once and that is why I know it’s green.

Thank you for reading.

Strange Questions · Uncategorized

Strange Questions #1: If You Don’t Believe In God, Do You Believe In Anything?

han.pngToday, I decided to start a new series on some of the strange questions you hear as an open atheist. The above question seems to come up a lot in debates and I don’t think it ever gets less annoying. The idea that belief in god is a requirement for belief in anything is sketchy at best, but it is also incredibly illogical. Think of it in another context…”If you don’t believe Star Wars is the greatest movie series in history, do you believe in anything?

Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god. It is not a counter belief that there isn’t a god as many apologists would have you believe. Does it require belief to say, I don’t believe I can fly? If you say it does, then is the act of being unemployed actually a job in itself? People who try to say that lack of belief requires belief are only doing so in an attempt to make it out that Atheism is a religion unto itself. It’s dishonest and what’s leprechaunsmore, if you ask them if they require a belief in the lack of fairies, unicorns, or leprechaun’s? They will tell you that these things are illogical and require no belief. If they don’t do that then they will say any stance requires belief and will drag you down their slippery slope to absolute nothingness.

 

However, let’s talk about what I, as a single person who is an atheist, believes in?

I believe in survival, and by survival I include those qualities that we as humans need in order to survive. These things include but are not limited to: Love, Friendship, Dignity, and Respect; without which life will lack a certain zest that most of us need to embrace it at its fullest.

Love

Love may or may not be a series of chemicals released while you are around certain people, its evolutionary aid may simply be to ensure that genes are passed down from generation to generation but it’s effects rise above and beyond the genes.  Love is a beautiful thing that you can witness in many corners of nature from protective mothers, monogamous species, and care given to those in your particular grouping. Human love though has taken this to another level, and is something we all yearn for in one way or another.

Friendship

Friendship may or may not simply be a response to an evolutionary need to stick together and defend one another from attack but it has also risen above and beyond its genetic reasoning. We find those that we share common interests with, form a camaraderie that can take us through some of the roughest patches in life. Friendship can be shared with many or few, it can be helped by the one you love or by many others.

Dignity

Dignity probably has no evolutionary basis that I can think of but it is in our shared genetic makeup that we can see that we are all truly created equal. Every single one of us is a mix of our mother and our fathers genes and thus a truly unique human being deserving the ability to make their way in society as best as they can. When humans work together towards the dignity of humankind, we see what we can truly become if we strive together and stop bickering about petty differences in belief and location.

Respect

Respect has the evolutionary advantage that it allows you to also be treated with respect. If you don’t like people treating you like a dick, it’s probably a good idea not to treat others like a dick. It is no wonder to me that one of the shared traits of many faiths is a form of the golden rule, in other words, “Do to other people as you would like done to yourself.” However as we have progressed as a species our ideas have gotten better and perhaps a better rule today is to treat others as they would want to be treated. In this we can all share a mutual respect for one another.

Some atheists throw out the believe word altogether, feeling it is far too connected to faith. Instead they use the term, trust. So instead of saying…I believe in the goodness of man, they will say…I trust in the goodness of man. I too have used this tactic when in a debate where someone says that belief requires something outside of yourself and unsure in nature to depend on.

These are just a few of the things that I believe or trust in outside of faith. Simply put, Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. What you believe in outside of that is completely up to the person. There are atheists, like myself that lack belief in anything supernatural at all, and atheists who believe in ghosts, spirits, and even some form of an after life. There are liberal atheists and conservative atheists, there are logical atheists and completely illogical atheists, there are atheists that are open and direct with their lack of belief and there are atheists that are closeted and even some that stand behind pulpits every Sunday.