Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Presuppositional Apologetics

For the last Bad theism article, click here: Bad Theism: Lying for the Lord. This will also be a continuation of an earlier article: Bad Theism: Circular Reasoning.

So tonight I’d like to talk a little bit about Presuppositional Apologetics. To start Let’s define the terms.

Presupposition – something tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.

Apologetics – reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.

So together we can gather that these are arguments based around ideas that one assumes everyone shares. Tonight I will be dealing with Christian Presuppositional Apologetics but the facts are that any person can delve into these ideas, it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Far-Left, Far-Right, etc… All that is required is for someone to make an assumption on some ideal that they believe everyone shares and form an argument around that assumption.

In the religious realm this takes the form of assuming that everyone, regardless of what they claim, actually does believe in god and not only that but they recognize the truth and inerrant nature of biblical scripture. If someone says that they do not believe in god or scripture, the presuppositionalist will claim they are lying and once again repeat that everyone knows the bible is true and that god is real.

The reasoning behind Christians, or anyone for that matter, using this type of argument is that there is really no way that any new information can enter into the debate. This prevents anything from contradicting the argument and so it may seem like it makes the one promoting this type of argument appear correct. It feels really good to be right and surprisingly it feels just as good to believe you are right even if the truth of the matter is different from what you may believe.

Bullshit

It may come as a shock to some that are new to this blog but I was once a Christian presuppositionalist. I knew that everyone believed in god and the only ones who said they didn’t were lying because the devil wanted them to lie. I was a major proponent of every bad argument that you have ever heard a creationist or fundamentalist promote. I wasn’t a young earth creationist but I was a creationist and I was definitely a fundamentalist.

At one point I thought that my faith in god was unshakable. If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be an atheist today, writing articles in an effort to disprove arguments I once used, I would have laughed you out of my church. However, my faith was anything but unshakable and it was actually the fragility of those beliefs that exposed the error of presuppositionalist thought.

You see, when I started to question my own beliefs I began to realize that it was actually possible to doubt the existence of god. It was possible to lose a belief that I once thought everyone shared. When my faith began to wane my christian life actually increased for a good period of time. I prayed more, I read the bible more, I fasted and tithed more, in every facet of my life I pushed myself to go further than I ever had in order to reignite the faith that I had once enjoyed. Yet, even with all that my faith continued to wane and I found that there was no devil over my shoulder leading me into the world of sin.

shrugged

I never found myself falling into a world of sin that I assumed everyone who claimed to not believe in god lived within. I didn’t get a drinking problem, in fact I drink far less now than I did as a minister….yes I drank when I was a minister, and felt damn guilty every time I did. I didn’t find myself shooting up, wanting to rape or murder anyone, and I didn’t find myself going down any path that I considered sinful. I simply had lost my faith and it never returned. So here I am today telling you that presuppositional apologetics are enshrined by their own desperate weakness.

Now that we have that out-of-the-way let me talk to you a little bit about why these arguments are bad logically.

If I were to ask the classic,

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

I am assuming, of course, that you beat your wife. You could answer yes, which means you beat your wife in the past, or no, which means you still beat your wife, but either answer still points to domestic violence at some point in time. The same is true for religious arguments.

Example:

“Why do you hate god?”

This question assumes that there is a god in this reality for which we can hate. If you answer that you don’t hate god, then the answer would be, “Well, why don’t you follow him?” If you answer that you do hate god, then the answer would be, “AH-Ha, you do believe in god or else how could you hate him?” If your answer was anywhere outside of the bounds of an I do or an I don’t, the presuppositionalist will simply say, “Of course you say that, you hate god.”

Now another reason why this argument is poorly thought out is that it is open to the exact reverse being said.

A Christian may say, “All men believe in god.”

however

An Atheist could say, “All men know god isn’t real.”

Neither side can be argued from a logical standpoint and but both arguments nullify any information that contradicts the argument. It’s true that both arguments can be debated against but the presuppositionalist will simply disregard any argument, no matter how sound it might be, as rubbish since it contradicts their original argument.

To put it bluntly, the Christian Presuppositional argument is simply a security blanket that allows them to feel better about their beliefs, superior to the evil ones who deny their supposed truth, and giddy at the fact that their argument makes those who use actual logical debate tactics want to rip their hair out.

Thank you for reading and it’s obvious to me that this is the greatest article ever written and anyone who says otherwise is definitely lying. Goodnight!

Arguments Against Atheism

Arguments Against Atheism: Atheists are Stupid

For the last Argument Against Atheism, click here.

Disclaimer: I often get people who simply read the title of this blog and get upset. This article is not written in support of the claim in the title but as an argument against that claim. I hope you enjoy it.


I spend a great deal of time reading theist blogs looking for ideas to use as future entries to this blog. The argument today is one that I have scrolled over simply due to the fact that I didn’t feel it was worth even talking about and yet the more I scrolled past these articles the more prevalent they seemed to become. So today I tackle the idea that atheists don’t believe in god because they are dumb.

Now this argument can come in a couple of forms which I will list now.

1.) Atheists are just dumb, or The fool has said in their heart that there is no god.
2.) Atheists deny reason and logic by denying the existence of god.
3.) The Devil blinds atheists to the reality that god exists.
4.) Atheists stupidly proclaim that there is no god while inwardly knowing that there is.

In this article I will attempt to debunk each of these claims.

1.) Atheists Are Just Dumb

PatrickStar

First off I want to point out that it is possible to be an atheist and be dumb. Nothing about atheism claims to be endowed with a superior intellect than any theist. Atheists simply do not have a belief in god or gods. What this argument attempts to claim is that all atheists are dumb and it is simply due to our stupidity that we attempt to make the claim that there is no god.

From my own personal experience, the less informed I was the more theistic I found myself to be. That isn’t to say that theists are stupid, I am and have been known to have a good grasp of life and ability to reason. Throughout school I was almost always at the top of my class and have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. At the age of three I taught myself how to read and have been reading ever since.(This is not due to a higher intellect but in the fact that I have autism and reading is little more than pattern sorting)

However, when there were facets of my life that I did not question I was a theist. I was skeptical of all things outside the faith but in regards to my theism I left it alone. This might seem strange to some atheists who were never a part of a faith but it is perfectly possible to be rational and logical in all areas of your life but still hold an illogical and irrational view of faith. For example, I could tell you exactly why the moon landing wasn’t fakes, why vaccines are not harmful, or why reptilians do not control the world but I could not tell you why the belief in hell runs contrary to the belief in a loving god. My faith was off-limits to my critical thinking skills and I think that many believers find themselves in exactly this same state of mind.

Prior to becoming an atheist I started college. I will never forget an assignment that I was given in a critical thinking course. The professor asked that we write down a few things that we were absolutely certain about (With the exception being matters of faith), after that we were to rank these in certainty. Once we did this we turned in our papers and were told that our assignment was to write a paper based on the counter arguments to our most sincerely held belief.

My assignment ended up being an argument against the “American Dream.” I remember thinking to myself, how on Earth am I going to argue against the American dream. However, I sat down and began researching the American dream, in the end I an innumerable source of information on-line which allowed me to see things from a new perspective and I ended up getting an A on the assignment. It wasn’t easy to keep my personal bias out of the article but in the end I found myself fascinated with the idea that I could be wrong.

After that assignment the professor told us that we should use these skills for any strongly held belief. It is something that stuck with me throughout the rest of my college studies and eventually helped me in regards to leaving the faith. When the doubts started to mount but my mind clung to those beliefs for dear life, I began to question and research. It is through that research that I found the courage to leave the faith and I will always be thankful for the lesson that my professor taught me. Even though that professor was also a Christian minister. (PLOT TWIST!!!!!)

hitchens razor

2.) Atheists Deny Reason And Logic By Denying The Existence Of God

This one is fairly easy to debunk and will require much less time and effort. For starters reason and logic both must be based on facts in order to be considered good reason and logic. Since the argument, “there is a god,” has no verifiable evidence to support such a claim it cannot be used in a reasonable and logical manner. You can however use bad logic in order to prove the existence of god but bad logic is never in any way reasonable.

For example:

All dogs have four legs.
Allgators have for legs.
Therefore all alligators are dogs.

It seems like a logical argument but the truth of the matter is that it is bad logic and completely unreasonable.  Hitchens Razor states

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

What this means is that if you say god exists and yet provide no verifiable evidence for the existence of god then it is equally acceptable to say “I don’t believe you.” No evidence is required to prove that I don’t believe you since no evidence was provided to prove your initial claim. This argument against atheism is complete bunk.

church lady

3.) The Devil Blinds Atheists To The Reality That God Exists

So the next couple of points are really not debatable due to the fact that any argument counter to the claim simply feeds into the initial claim. However, being a glutton for punishment I figured that I would touch on these two points. The first claim is that the only reason that atheists cannot see the proof of god is because the devil has blinded them to the reality that god exists.

The only argument against this that I can offer is anecdotal and so it technically is not a good argument in and of itself but since the original claim is indefensible I will allow it….since I write the blog and fuck you if you don’t like it. lol

When I first started having my own doubts I begged and pleaded with god to prove himself to me. Not because I didn’t believe in him but because it would absolutely destroy me if he did not exist, or so these were my thoughts at the time. I spent countless hours reading the bible and in tear-filled prayer trying to regain the faith that I felt falling away from me. I fasted to the point of sickness and gave up anything that could even remotely be considered as sinful. I sought counsel from other religious people and hoped that something would bring the breakthrough that god was real and working in my life.

It was only after many failed months, that equated to a few years in total, that I finally accepted my newfound lack of faith. Remember, I wanted my faith to be real, I wanted it more than anything in the world. Every single morning I awoke hoping that god would reveal himself to me in some way. Expecting this is obviously not evil when in the Bible numerous people doubted god and were provided with clear evidence that god existed. For example, doubting Thomas had to actually stick his hand inside Jesus for him to truly believe that he had raised from the dead and yet this was not actually counted against him in terms of the faith. Doubt was not sin and expectation of gods revelation was not a sin either, I was an earnest believer hurting and struggling, yet god never once stooped down to even provide me with the slightest example of his existence. The devil never played a part in this…

I need only point out that the bible clearly states in the book of James:

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
-James 4:7

In my state of submission, prayer, and fasting the devil couldn’t have even gotten near to me if we are to believe what the bible teaches. Thus this argument is null and void even if it is not actually a debatable argument.

4.) Atheists Stupidly Claim That There Is No God, While Inwardly Knowing There Is A God.

spongebob

Popular among apologists is the idea that atheists pretend to not believe in god while in reality they really do. Once again this is not actually a debatable argument since any argument against it once again feeds into it, but in the interest of this blog and my readers I choose to take a stand.

The only real argument that I can see which we can use here is how do they know that their god is the real one. A Christian apologist will use this argument to prove their theology and yet what is to stop a Muslim from using the same argument against the Christian. Isn’t the Christian just pretending to not believe in the Islamic god, while inwardly they know that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger? What is to stop the atheist from claiming the exact same argument in that the Christian pretends to believe in god knowing fully that god actually does not exist?

The true argument against this claim is that it is self-defeating. Absolutely anyone of any faith can make this claim with an equal footing. Perhaps there is someone who earnestly still believes in Thor, what is to stop him from claiming that everyone on Earth pretends Thor doesn’t exist knowing that he really does. I mean we have a whole movie series based around Thor and in a way this is a type of worship and adoration, so aren’t we all just pretending that Thor is non-existent?


The key reason that these claims are used is due to the fact that they are easy outs. A Christian or member of any faith can use these arguments without any need to defend them. They allow them to separate their minds further and allow that portion of the mind which deals with faith to remain fully sealed against skepticism. I found myself in this situation several years ago and I also found myself using these same arguments at the time. They are poor arguments and only truly point to the futility of attempting to prove that god exists.

The Diary Of My Mind

The Fear of Hell

Well, I just watched the Kansas City Chiefs blow an 18 point lead and lose a playoff game so in order to get my mind off of that I decided to jump on here and write my counterpoint to the article that I wrote a few days ago, The Fear of Heaven.

As stated in my last blog the only reason that I saw Heaven as a good alternative is due to my fear of hell. Heaven was seen as a boring and awful place but hell was definitely something to be shunned, wasn’t it? Well, the more I looked into the Biblical narrative the more I began to see the Christian idea of hell as nothing but a fear tactic used to do exactly what it had in my life. A place of eternal punishment, if you don’t take a moment to actually think about it, is more than enough to keep you in your pew on Sundays, paying your tithes, and doing the will of the church. In today’s blog I will discuss a few of my reasons for why hell is not a place to be feared and what’s more is a place that was never meant to be viewed in the way we do today.

sheol

Hell and the Old Testament

It comes as a shock to many Christians that the Jews did not have a definitive view of the afterlife. The Old Testament is based around the idea that if you follow god’s law, your life here on Earth will be blissful and blessed. The only real story that goes against this in the OT is the story of Job and yet in the end, due to his strong faith, he is rewarded with much more than he lost due to the trials that he was put through. (Although getting a new wife and more kids would never truly replace someone you lost, but hey that’s not a part of the story) You’ll notice when you read the Old Testament that when the Israelites followed god they had nothing but sunny days and more gold than they could handle, at one point it states that the wealth of Israel was so great that silver was as numerous as the rocks on the ground. When the Israelites turned away from god they would go through nothing but struggle and heartache.

The OT narrative is one of allegory and is meant to point out that if you are a good and just person, good and just things will happen to you, if you are evil then evil will happen to you. I know that in reality this is not the case but that’s the narrative the writers of the OT were attempting to promote. It was the same style of prosperity doctrine that I spoke of in my article Wednesday Woo: Christian Edition: Name It And Claim It.

In terms of the afterlife we find that the Jewish people were split on the idea. Some viewed death as going into an eternal sleep(Sheol), while others believed that their was a paradise in which the good entered but the bad were separated from.

Simple evidence of this claim is found in the book of Acts:

“For the Sadducees say there is neither a resurrection, nor angels, nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.” Acts 23:8

Regardless of whether you were good or bad the Israelite’s had no concept of eternal punishment, the evil would be punished in this life having their kingdoms destroyed, their children die, or famine descend on the nation.

Hell Is Based On The Greek Hades

Hercules-br-disneyscreencaps.com-635

What might upset conservative Christians more than anything else is that their idea of hell comes from immigration, not necessarily of people but of ideas. The Greeks had a belief in the afterlife where the souls of the dead would go to Hades. When a soul entered the greek underworld they would first have to pay a fare for a ride to Hades, if they couldn’t pay they became a spirit roaming the earth, if they could they entered the underworld. Once there they were judged based on the merits of their past life. If they were good they were allowed to enter the Elysian fields, a place of bliss and happiness. If they were evil or simply because the gods did not like them they could be eternally punished.

Sound familiar?

The New Testament states that when we die we are judged, the believer gets to go to heaven and the unbeliever goes to hell where he will be eternally punished. This is nothing more than plagiarism of already existing ideas that would have literally floated or walked its way into Palestine by the time Christs ministry is said to have begun. The Middle East, being in the middle of everything, has long been a crossroads of trade routes between Eastern and Western cultures. Not only were goods traded but obviously at some point ideas were shared as well and so Christianity adopted a belief in an afterlife that was incredibly Greek in nature.

hell

Most of Our Ideas of Hell Come From Dante

Once again borrowing from the Greeks, as well as the Romans, Dante came into the picture and fleshed out our idea of hell. In his “Divine Comedy” there is a section called Inferno, where he talks of hell and adds details to the various layers that one can find themselves in. Gluttons might be forced to eat for the rest of eternity, constantly throwing up their food and being forced to chew it back down again. A Murderer might find himself being constantly murdered throughout eternity in one way or another. However, his ideas of hell have almost no biblical backing whatsoever and were a work of fiction meant to describe the journey from and evil sinner to being within god’s graces. It was never meant to be taken as fact and yet throughout time the church has borrowed from Dante’s vision in order to add even more fear to the believers mind and keep them steadfastly in the good graces of the church.

Hell Would Be Really Boring

boring

Now I know what you are thinking, what do you mean Hell would be really boring? It’s a place of eternal punishment where all manner of torture can be executed on the non-believer. How on earth could that be boring?

Well, it’s really simple actually. We experience pain in an attempt to keep us from doing things that cause us pain. The positives of pain being that if we know something could hurt us, we are less likely to do it, and more likely to survive. Ask anyone with congenital analgesia if they wished they could experience pain and I doubt that a single one of these people would say no. Pain heightens the senses and often initiates the instinctual fight or flight response, it is integral to life here on Earth.

So why would this lead to hell being boring?

A person existing in a world where there is no ability to prevent pain, where death is not a possible outcome of that pain, would have absolutely no need to experience pain nor could they. Since those in hell are eternal beings just like those in heaven, they would no longer have any concept of not being in pain and regardless of how much you turned up the pain meter it would mean no difference. You can test this out today, though please do not test this out… If you were to place your hand on a burner set to medium-high heat and were somehow able to keep it there, you would feel no difference in the pain were you to turn the heat up to high. Pain is relative to not experiencing pain, so once you have burned your hand, turning up the heat will do nothing to the pain level you experience. (Once again, please do not actually perform this experiment)

So, if you are in a state of torment and you couldn’t die, eventually you would realize this fact and go about your business as usual. Just like in heaven, an eternity in hell would eventually be incredibly boring, though at least there would be some fear which would probably prolong the boredom from appearing for a bit longer than it would in heaven.

PulpFiction_Gimp

Hell Would Get Really Kinky

Let’s use a common example that we see occurring all the time here in the physical world.

Sam was spanked as a child fairly often. He grows into an adult and gets married. One day while making love to his partner he asks if they will spank him and when they agree he is given extreme pleasure by the thing that he feared as a child. Lots of folks enjoy a good spanking and in a lot of ways it is due to some strange form of nostalgia. Not only this but both pain and pleasure are relative emotions and are based around one another. Between each spank you experience a moment of calm which increases the pleasure.

Another effect that many adults enjoy is the power of controlled poisoning. Alcohol, Nicotine, and narcotics used in the correct amounts bring about an extreme form of pleasure, even though they are in fact a form of poisoning. The more you use the poison the more your tolerance increases and what might kill a beginner might only provide the experienced junkie with a slight high.

So how does this equate to hell?

Well, lets say on Tuesdays you get a hot poker shoved up your ass and it’s slightly less painful than the acid bath that you have on Wednesday. Well over time, the slightly less painful nature of the hot poker up the ass would convert to pleasure and you would patiently wait for the demon with the hot poker.  On top of this over time any torture would eventually become tolerable and it would require a higher dose of torture to even have any effect. By the time you get through a hundred thousand years or so you’d be walking around with thirty hot pokers in your ass, your eyes gouged out, and a demons dong down your throat to even realize that you were still alive. Even then you’d be bored.

indoctrination

Hell Is Simply A Fear Tactic

People don’t like sitting in church, they don’t like giving their money each and every Sunday because god demands it, they don’t like being forced to live a dogmatic life that for the most part makes no sense whatsoever. Know what people also do not like? Being afraid.

Hell has consistently been used to keep believers in place. While you might not like any of the things your church forces you to do you definitely don’t want to risk even the possibility of hell and so you continue to faithfully do all those things you hate.  When I first started having my doubts countless people would ask, Aren’t you afraid of hell? The truth of this matter might be both shocking and sad. I do fear hell but not because I think it is an actual place.

I fear hell because I was told to fear hell. I was told in Sunday school as a 3 or 4-year-old that if you don’t believe in Jesus, you will go to hell. I was indoctrinated into a belief that there is an unseen place of eternal punishment where the vast majority of humanity would end up. I was told that even a single sin could send you to hell and that even sins that you didn’t realize that you had committed could send you to hell. Nightly, before going to bed I would ask forgiveness from god just in case I had done something that might send me to hell.

And so…

As illogical as it might seem, in the back of my mind that early trauma to my mind still exists. It prods at me and pops up at the strangest of moments. Maybe I’m watching a movie or reading a book and the thought, “This will send you to hell” pops into my mind. It’s something that I think will constantly be with me but at the same time I know that hell is nothing to truly fear. It’s a made up place meant to do nothing more than exactly what it does to my mind, instill fear. I refuse to let this fear bother me, I will not let it control my life as I did for many years and I will continue to say,

To hell with hell.