During my deconversion process, I had given up the idea that the Bible was without error. There was contradictions, not just within the text itself, but within the content, as well. Claiming the Bible was inerrant, became increasingly difficult for me to accept. I came to the decision that God did not pass along a perfect document, but maybe there was still truth that you can get from it. The Bible seemed more like it was a collection of various thoughts and interactions with God. And, if that w
Why does anything exist? I remember asking that question at a very young age. Of course, I was given the answer that God made everything. I remember sitting there thinking diligently, "What if God didn't exist?" Then nothing would have ever been made. That means for all eternity, there would just be nothing. The idea of non-existence was something that I wasn't ready to handle at the time. I was able to suppress any fears that I might have had about not existing, because, let's face it. I do exi
I've had some difficult times in my life. People that I was close with have died. That's never easy. I've also had doubts about my career, or life choices. It's hard sometimes. Everyone deals with this. There's always times in someone's life when they feel hopeless and afraid. It's inevitable. What will happen then? Will we, even as atheists, fall down on our knees and beg for a God, if one could hear us, to come and help us? Death bed conversions are somewhat common stories. What does that say
There is no greater testimony for the existence of a Creator than the creation. That we exist, that anything exists, at all, cries out that God is real and that he made this world for us. If there were even the slightest difference in this universe we wouldn't exist, couldn't exist. This universe has been "fine tuned" for us to live in. This is the argument from design as I have heard it presented to me countless times. Is this true? Could the forces of our universe be any different than they ar
In the media, and in life, I often hear the claims that the scientific institutions refuse to allow evidence that contradicts the standing theories about our universe. The argument is that contradictory views are simply not allowed. What ideas? In these conversations the ideas that I'm presented with are about the fine tuning of the universe, criticisms to evolution, like irreducible complexity, or the origin of the universe. There are PhD's that have written works on these topics and scientific
Is scientific testimony equivalent to the testimony of someone’s religious experience? Am I being cynical for trusting a scientist that describes the results of their experiment and the conclusions they draw from those results, but questioning the testimony of someone who is telling me about their religious experience? Am I being unfairly biased between these two types of testimony?
I don’t trust scientists because of their reputation or distrust a religious testimony because of the characte
Atheists often get portrayed as cynics, not necessarily without some merit, to be fair. I imagine what Christians describe as the average atheist is someone with their arms folded, scowling, and muttering something under their breath. I keep this in mind when I'm responding to Christians that engage me, or, at least, I try to. I feel I have to try extra hard not to live up to the caricature of the "angry atheist". That being said, atheists are angry.
Many people are familiar with the Pew Pol
All things end. It's true. You will die. Your kids will die. Their kids will die. All life, eventually dies. Even our Earth will die, and our solar system, and even, one day, our universe. As they say, all good things, eventually, will come to an end. I don't know if anything exists beyond our universe, or if anything will continue to exist after our universe ends. Maybe, it doesn't. Maybe, this is the only time life will ever come into existence, and after this, there will be no more.
One of the more frustrating times in my discussions, is when I'm expected to defend a position of non-belief. I have been accused (several times) that the atheist position does need to defend itself, and claiming it doesn't because atheism is a response to a truth claim, not a truth claim in itself, is disingenuous. It doesn't seem at all contradictory to my religious friends that there's no need to defend against not believing in unicorns, mermaids, or fairies. The reason why there's no need to
This question is usually posed to me after an ongoing discussion has come to a complete standstill and both parties are ready to call it a day. That's when someone will ask me, "What evidence would convince you in a God?" This is the question I get after spending countless hours interacting with someone about the problems with subjective testimony and the need for verifiable objective evidence.
What is the problem with subjective testimony? Ordinarily, there isn't a problem with subjective t
When I was 13 or 14, there was a television show on one of the networks. There was a guy on, I don't remember who now, but he claimed that we all have powers of the mind. If we think hard enough, if we focus our energy, we can unlock these powers, he did various demonstrations. He talked to audience members and told them about their personal lives. He claimed to have read their minds. He also performed other stunts. About midway through the show he said, "I'm going to demonstrate to everyone out
What if I'm wrong for not believing in a God? I get this one a lot. Philosophically, it's the same question that Pascal is posing in "Pascal's Wager". If you live your whole life believing in a God, and it turns out there is no God, you've lost nothing. If you live your whole life not believing in God and it turns out there is a God, you've lost everything. This is the way the argument is framed when discussing it with friends. The argument in itself is deeply flawed.
The first flaw is in th
For me, the first logical argument of morality seems to extend from the golden rule. We act morally towards others because we would prefer to receive those same actions. Quick examples would be stealing, lying, or physical abuse. We can recognize that it is better to live in a society where those actions are discouraged, so that those actions aren't perpetrated against us. I believe it was C. S. Lewis that made the claim that the first form of morality that kids understand is fairness. I see the
I was warned by everyone that you really wouldn't get anywhere trying to talk to any of your "Christian" friends about losing your religion. I have to admit, everyone here was right. So, I'm throwing in the towel. I realize now that everyone else is too deep seated in their own beliefs. I suppose because I saw all these issues with religion, I thought that I could explain it to others, but after months of talking about these issues, I get responses like ... "I don't know if I can prove there is
I guess I feel like I'm losing heart. It sucks, you know. i try to talk to my Christian friends, even my former pastor, about skepticism, and we always hit a brick wall. The thing is, i really do care about them. But, in the end they look at my as some sinner ... the guy that just doesn't get it. Really, I don't get it! I feel like I'm the only one that was paying attention. Holy, crap! Why is it that the subjective, non-demonstrable BS is so much more convincing for you guys? No, I get it I was
This example is taken from The Atheist Experience #814, the bag of dice example of possibilities: Let's say I have a bag. You can't see what I have in the bag. There's nothing uncommon about this bag. I ask you if I can roll a 21 with the dice that I have in my bag. You say, "It's possible". I then open my bag to reveal that I have one normal, six sided die,which has one number on each side, numbering 1 through 6. Is it possible to roll a 21 with this die? No. So, it was not possible to roll a
Recently, my two year old daughter downloaded a song to my Kindle Fire off of Amazon's recommeded artists list. $2 down the drain, I thought. Oh, well. I decided to password protect my Kindle so that I could make sure this sort of thing wouldn't happend again. I had to at least listen to the song, I mean, I own it, right? To my suprise, I really liked it. In fact the more I played it the more I realized it sort of resonates my feelings of discovering the skeptical community. I now listen to it f
Answers in Genesis Part 2:
After reading through several Answers in Genesis articles, the one I wanted to respond to is:
First and foremost, I'm not an evolution defender. I've read several books on evolution, and I think at this point I understand the basic mechanisms much better than I would have even a few years ago. I also think that I can explain these mechanisms in very simplistic terms, although, not being a profe
Objective - Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Subjective - Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
Evidence - The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
Objective evidence is the available body of facts or information that has been collected which are not influenced by personal feelings or opinions. Subjective evidence is the avail
As a Christian, it never bothered me that much that there wasn't evidence of anything spiritual. When anyone would challenge me and and ask for evidence of a soul, angels demons, or even God himself. I'd argue back that all those things exist in spirit, not in the physical world. So, of course, you can't have physical evidence of something spiritual. The problem of this line of reasoning is that it leaves anything "spirit" in a category of being unable to effect the physical world. If that is tr
"Knowledge - Acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation (Def. 1)" - Dictionary.com
"Belief - Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof. (Def. 2)" - Dictionary.com
What you claim to KNOW and what you claim to BELIEVE are two separate questions. You can have a different answer for one question than you would have for the other. These questions are not dependent on each other, they are independent from
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding in my interactions with people when I discuss my position on God. It seems that most people see two categories For/Against, Pro/Con, Yes/No ... The misunderstanding seems to stem from the idea that if you don't choose one category that must mean you have chosen the other. Although, a situation may be one case or another, for example, is someone guilty or innocent, you don't need to accept either position. Not accepting either position is the Null posit
Does a personal bias discredit someone's opinion or scientific work? Maybe not. Not if good scientific methods are used, at least. I don't think that someone's bias is necessarily a problem.
First off, what is a bias? Ultimately it is an inclination to choose one side over an other. So, lets say someone tells me that they own a unicorn. Well, my bias is to not accept that statement as true. My bias is that unicorns are fictitious creatures. For me to change my bias, I'd have to see proof of
A year ago I sent my wife an email telling her that I no longer believed in God. I had been in hiding my atheism for about two years, at that time. We have two children. When I stopped believing in God my biggest fear was that my wife would leave me and that we would have to raise our kids in a split family. Not only that, I love my wife. I absolutely do, but I didn't know how she would react. I've heard story after story of marriages ending when one person loses their faith. And, I was raised i
Recently I've begun discussing Christianity vs. Atheism with a friend of mine. I've contended that any belief system should be supported by evidence otherwise it is not rational to accept that belief system as being reality. He contends that evidence exists that supports a Christian worldview, but is being ignored, or disregarded. This is due to a presupposition that miraculous claims are false, therefore any evidence that supports miraculous claims are not given an honest examination in the sci