What Xtians really hear when you ask…

#atheist #atheism

One of the more frustrating things about dialogue with Christians is they never seem to listen to your questions. For example, if you ask


"What evidence do you have that substantiates your claim that god exists?"

they seem to hear

"let’s spend lot’s of time in debating what evidence really means so I can take whatever answers you provide and try to misrepresent them until I think I can spot a tiny gap. At which point allow me to throw a truckload of bullshit at that gap- over your objections of dishonesty- asserting that this meets the standards of evidence.”

If I’m asking for evidence, that’s what I want.  Not a prolonged, agonising exercise in wordplay until you think the opportunity to drop a whole bunch of assertions that aren’t evidence, into the debate as evidence, is created.

There are simple standards of evidence that are used in scientific or legal settings that stress the elements of corroboration and objectivity. That’s the standard you need to reach to make a god-claim credible.

- #atheist #atheism -friendlyatheist:

9-11

Thankyou religion, for your crusades and jihads, your oppression of women and other minorities, your terrorising the minds of children with threats of eternal hell and torture, your inquisitions and witchtrials, your promotion of bronzeage fables as true and scientiic facts as false, your persecution of heretics, apostates and blasphemers.
Where would human civilisation be without you.

- #atheist #atheism -
friendlyatheist
:

9-11

Thankyou religion, for your crusades and jihads, your oppression of women and other minorities, your terrorising the minds of children with threats of eternal hell and torture, your inquisitions and witchtrials, your promotion of bronzeage fables as true and scientiic facts as false, your persecution of heretics, apostates and blasphemers.

Where would human civilisation be without you.

Pascal’s Wager- are you kidding?

#atheist #atheism
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A number of things can be guaranteed in life. One is that a Christian will employ ‘Pascal’s Wager’ on you if you’re an atheist. This wager acknowledges the lack of evidence for a god, but so turns faith into a gamble instead. If Christianity is right, they avoid an eternity of torture. Which is such a big deal, it’s worth wasting your current life as a drone to the deathcult just in case.

It doesn’t work for three main reasons

  • There are thousands of gods known in human cultures. The odds Christianity is right as a ‘gamble’ are thousands to one against. On that basis, the odds I’m going to end up in the Maori underworld are pretty much identical to you. So it fails as a ‘good bet’.
  • It’s insufficient to generate belief. This is actually the big one. The wager doesn’t generate any evidence (this formed one of the earliest critiques of Pascal’s wager). It doesn’t matter if hell is true or not. If you don’t have an evidence, then a rational person can’t choose to believe.
    Consider this analogy: Using Alien technology I have mounted giant lasers on the moon. They’re undetectable. I have targeted your family for destruction at a random time in the future. Unless you send me money now, these lasers will destroy everything you hold dear later.
    This is identical to Pascal’s Wager. I provide no evidence, I just promise a horrible fate in the future if you don’t believe me. By the logic of the wager, you should believe me because you can’t afford not to.
    One suspects you don’t believe me for one simple reason. There’s still no evidence to back up the threat. The lack of evidence in Pascal’s wager is why it has no validity.
  • It’s a coward’s argument. I find it repellent because it is based on fear of consequences, not reason or evidence.

The vacuous world of Xtian debate

#atheist #atheism

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Trying to debate Christians often means entering a Kafkaesque world. Theists are big on grandiose claims, bad at follow-through. For example, we have the standard form for the historicity of Jesus.

Xtian- “The historical evidence for Jesus is compelling”

  • Me- …but there is not a single contemporaneous historian who mentions him. There are no archaeological artifacts that can be attributed to his existence. You have no evidence that can corroborate the gospel accounts.

Xtian- “Silly, of course there’s lot of corroborative evidence”

  • Me …ok, name one contemporaneous source that corroborates it.

Xtian- “No, I’m not going to do your research for you

  • Me …what? You made the claim, you’re the one that’s obliged to substantiate it!

Xtian- hey, being an asshat with no intellectual honesty is my right as a Christian. If you wanted to talk to someone with integrity, you picked the wrong cult.

Ok, I may have made up the last retort, but the fact is simple. If you make a claim about something, you are under an obligation to try to substantiate that claim. Avoiding that obligation is a kind of deceit that does your religion’s standing no good.

A cheat-sheet for Christians

#atheist #atheism

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Often some devil-dodger will make a whole lot of claims or assumptions about my values and beliefs. It gets tiresome responding to them all, so here’s the quick ‘cheat-sheet’ version

  1. I don’t believe there is no God. I lack belief in Gods because nobody has provided sufficient evidence to believe in one.  No rational person can choose to believe in something for which no evidence is provided (cf. my burden of proof post). This is also true of other atheists like Dawkins. I don’t care what you’ve been told or what some dictionary says. If your definition rules out someone like Dawkins as an atheist, your definition is wrong.
  2. As a qualification to point 1, I don’t believe in the Abrahamic God. The evidence from human suffering rules it out. The Abrahamic God of the bible is a nasty piece of shit who engineers the murder of babies, punishes people for the actions of others, and promises infinite punishment for finite transgressions. Biology has shown there was no garden of eden, hence no Adam & Eve, hence no original sin. Which kind of eliminates the whole raison d’etre for Jesus getting nailed to a cross. Face it, at best, Jesus was nothing more than a failed Jewish insurrectionist.
  3. I don’t respect your beliefs. I’m not going to defer to them. As far as I’m concerned, they’re completely bullshit. 
  4. Your beliefs don’t come with a charisma upgrade or friendship app. You don’t become automatically likable if you’re a Christian. I might be polite to you, but that isn’t a sign of rapport. Similarly, I’m not going to assume that you’re honest because you’re a Christian. I’m more likely to assume you’re a promiscuous, shameless liar.
  5. Don’t quote bible-verses. You know the bit where in bible-class they tell you that the word has power? They lied. The bible isn’t a book of magic spells- chanting verses at me just makes you look like a fuckwit.
  6. Personal testimony isn’t evidence. Yeah, yeah, you get told you have to witness to people to get them to join your death cult. But it has no credibility as evidence goes. All it tells me you’re a gullible idiot who needs an imaginary friend.
  7. Don’t appeal to authority. Just because you believe all kinds of bullshit because someone told you, doesn’t mean I do. I make my mind up based on evidence.
  8. I’m not angry. Just because I don’t act deferentially & give your claims respect, doesn’t make me angry. It just means I think you’re full of shit & I’m prepared to tell you so.
  9. Don’t threaten me with hell. First, it doesn’t have any impact as I don’t have any belief in such a place (yawns). Second, it tells me you’re a piece of human garbage whose willing to use fear rather than reason to make your point.

Just so you know, that conversation floating around of Einstein one-upping a professor on the existence of god is fake—it never really happened.

lonelystarstuff:

that conversation didn’t start circulating until around 2004, and it was going around before that without Einstein’s name attached. 

Also, Einstein was a self-described agnostic, not believing in any sort of personal god.

Also, specious logic abounds in the entry; something an amazing thinker like Einstein would not have used. 

source: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/religion/a/einstein_god.htm

(Some versions of this story even make out that Einstein claimed to be Christian- an astonishing detail given his Jewish heritage. There’s a reason the Nazi’s weren’t his biggest fan)

People give ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon… Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but the sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, not the earth.

Martin Luther (arguing against heliocentric solar system proposed by Copernicus)

Nope, the gospels are unconvincing

Christians like to toss the Gospels out as evidence that Jesus existed and his claims to divinity are supported. And further, the historical record for Jesus is just as good as, if not better, than say, Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great.

It is absolute nonsense.

Rather than being decent biographies of Jesus, the gospels are stunningly sparse on personal details. There is no equivalent to the tales of Julius Caesar being captured by Cilician pirates or Alexander taming bucephalus. Rather the gosepls present largely a collection of parables and religious anecdotes.

The damning bit is simply the character of Jesus. This is made obvious by the contrast between the Jesus described in Mark versus John. The Jesus in Mark is completely at odds with the Jesus of John. Mark’s version of Jesus describes a human-like being who feels emotions. John’s Jesus is a serene character who floats through the story feeling nothing.

Unlike Julius Caesar, there are no independent corroborating accounts from other ancient writers. Julius Caesar has his Cicero, Jesus no one. There is no archaeological evidence to support the Gospel accounts. There is no earthquake damage such as that described in Matthew. No Jewish, Hellenistic or Roman author recorded the dead that rose from their graves after the resurrection.

In contrast Caesar left a detailed account of his activities. Gallic battle sites (e.g. Alesia) were excavated under the guidance of Napoleon III. Hundreds of artifacts were discovered that corroborates Caesar’s accounts. The Romanisation of Gaul supports the notion that Caesar conquered Gaul.

Even the divine claim by Jesus is unremarkable for the time. Caesar was a descendant of the Roman goddess Venus. Alexander was a descendant of the demi-god Hercules.

The gospels in short, are unreliable pieces of evidence to support the claims of Christianity, and it is only by the intellectual dishonest gambit of ignoring the archaeological evidence that any equivalence with Caesar can be maintained.