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Made of Nothing

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By BatmanWithBunnyEars   |   Watch
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Published: May 26, 2011

Fast Foreword: A Brief Introduction



Why are people so eager to tell me when they find God, but they never mention where he was hiding?  Sorry, that's just been bugging me.  Now about my essay…I made it educational and concise, but I also tried to include some humor so it wouldn't read like an obituary column for any beliefs you may have had.  To put it bluntly, this article's as likely to erase your faith in God as the Tanya Harding sex tape.

Okay, maybe that's a bit ambitious.  Some people couldn't be convinced that God doesn't exist if God himself descended from the heavens just to announce that he doesn't exist.  Even among otherwise critical thinkers, religion seems to be more or an emotional appendage than anything else.  Trying to use reason to talk someone out of their religion seems as futile and incendiary as trying to logically convince someone they've married the wrong person.  But I was never one to give up, so here goes…

Why hasn't God suffocated to death?



You're almost certainly an atheist already, even if you don't know it yet.  Before you rush to the comments section, hear me out.  If scientists flew to a distant planet and found a huge bearded man on a throne who claimed to have created the universe, would you be surprised?  Would you hesitate to even call that God?  If I were to introduce you to my friend who is now a ghost because he died in a car wreck, and he said hello by levitating objects in the room, would you look for wires?  Of course you would.  This stuff is so far-fetched it wouldn't make viable Disney movie fodder, and they have furniture playing the violin.  The religious establishment makes it easy for us to tell ourselves we believe by keeping these ideas intentionally vague, and so far removed from real-world experience as to have no tangible meaning at all.

For example, most people accept the idea that our God (and our souls) are immaterial beings and never question it further.  (Although some parts of the bible make God seem like a giant flesh-and-blood man who sculpted us in his image.*)  However, "immaterial" is a handwave designation that needs a lot more clarification to be meaningful.  Is space containing a spirit (divine or otherwise) somehow different from a vacuum?  If so, can it be detected in a lab?  (If that sounds unthinkable to you, then perhaps deep down, you don't truly subscribe to the idea.)  If not, how could it be said to exist at all?

Without specifics, we don't even know what this "God" person/thing is supposed to be.   I'm not saying these questions couldn't have answers; I'm just calling attention to the religious establishment's penchant for preaching abstract and incomplete ideas, and letting us fill in the blanks with whatever makes us feel good.

* The problems with this version of God could fill an encyclopedia, but for the sake of brevity, I'll limit it to one question: If we were modeled in his image (Genesis 1:27), does he also have a nose and lungs that can be deprived of air?

They "soul doubt" on us!



Just because we don't quite know what a soul is doesn't mean we can't draw conclusions about it.  One well-noted problem with believing in an immaterial soul is the question of how something immaterial (the soul) can influence something material (the body).  But it turns out the issue goes much deeper than that.

Consider the common vision of life after death.  (I'm starting with the assumption that in order for this to occur, some remnant or essence of the self – something – has to leave the body after death.  I think we can agree on that.)  As the body goes limp the soul naturally emerges as a ghost, like a driver getting out of a wrecked car.  The ghost wanders the earth for some length of time before facing God for judgment or being reincarnated (depending on the religion).  During this time, the ghost can see and hear the world around him: his audience wondering if the life squad is part of the act, his family wondering what the hell possessed him to try sword swallowing in the first place, his d-bag friend hitting on his girlfriend at the funeral, etc., but he's invisible to the living and can't interact with the world because he is no longer a physical being.

Here's where we run into a contradiction: contrary to passive intuition, the abilities to see and hear also constitute participation in the realm of the physical.  Does it make sense for a slight oscillation of air molecules to impact the spirit enough to facilitate perfect hearing, and for electromagnetic radiation in the visible light frequency range to afford perfect vision, only to have that same spirit effortlessly float through solid walls?  And if the ghost is influenced by the vibration of air molecules, then shouldn't it blow away in the wind as well?  Furthermore, if the ghost can see, then we know those photons (light rays) are NOT passing through untouched, meaning the ghost couldn't be completely invisible.  But perhaps the greatest concern here should be why one would expect a disembodied mind to see or hear at all, since the eyes and ears are still on the dead body.  And if I really wanted to nitpick, I could question why the ghost continues to follow the rotation and revolution of the Earth after it's no longer subject to gravity, centripetal acceleration, or inertia.  So this picture of the afterlife is not just unsubstantiated – it's logically impossible.

In the face such stark invalidation, someone really wants to believe might be tempted to contrive alternate descriptions of an immaterial self.  For example, one might propose that ghosts appear translucent, like double-exposed photos – but then why couldn't they be seen exiting their respective bodies when they died?  (And again, the floating-through-walls problem reemerges.)  Also, some movies have portrayed ghosts as being able to influence their environments if they focus hard enough – but why would that require effort when the soul's control over the material body seems so and natural and automatic?  And wouldn't that mean they'd have to concentrate just to see and hear as well?  And why has no ghost in recorded history ever become good enough at this to repeatedly demonstrate his or her existence, or to use a pen to communicate directly with their respective loved ones?

I'm going to paraphrase the previous two paragraphs because they're important.  We have analyzed an entity that is simultaneously subject to – and not subject to – certain physical constraints.  This isn't just a scientific problem.  Even if we reject science, we're still left with a logical contradiction, meaning the entity in question couldn't possibly exist.  There's no getting around it.  (Note that angels, demons, and other interactive deities couldn't exist either for some of the same reasons.)

There is one version of a "soul" that isn't eliminated outright by this logic, but you wouldn't want it.  Everything up to this point has involved interaction with our world, leaving the hypothetical possibility of an afterlife completely divorced from all matter and energy in the known universe.  Just imagine an eternity of aimless thoughts in a spaceless void, with no way to share those thoughts with others and no experiences to think about in the first place.  (And you thought the line at the DMV was bad.)  We could make up a "heaven dimension" into which we traverse after death, throwing around abstruse terms like "worm holes" and "dark matter" to make it sound halfway plausible, but we'd still be making it up.  Luckily, we won't have to worry about that anyway because…

What's so special about being made of nothing?



Consider the reason to suspect the existence of a personal spirit in the first place: to account for the deep and complex thoughts and feelings we experience that seem to transcend the trappings of cold biology.  I say seem to because the study of neuroscience and the limbic system has revealed undeniably precise correlations between physical brain activity and subjective emotions.  Correlation doesn't always equal causation, but in this case it's hard to argue that our minds come from anything other than our brains, especially taking into account the brain's conserved energy* and Ockham's razor.**  Why would a bullet or this other bullet or a rod through the skull have any effect one one's mind, if the soul is one's true self?  Or for that matter, mental diseases like Alzheimer's, or psychoactive drugs?  Furthermore, even spiritual feelings can be explained by natural factors.

So the ginger kids aren't the only ones without souls.  It stands to reason that when the brain dies, the mind stops, so your best bet is to get the most out of life on Earth.  Believe me when I say that I share your pain of being set up with the outlandish expectation of heaven.  But if it makes you feel any better, people like Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Bob Saget don't get to live forever, either.

* Energy conservation is arguably the greatest problem with believing in an immaterial self.  If the soul were the cause of mental activity, we wouldn't expect any correlation between mind and brain activity. So to account for that, we would have to postulate (rather wishfully, I might add) that the soul is changing the levels of various neurochemicals and neural activity in corresponding parts of the brain, such that the transient state of the brain always matches the transient state of mind, therefore maintaining an illusion of a mind-brain connection. But if that were the case, we would see invisible forces pushing the chemicals and such along for no particular reason, or chemicals and electricity coming out of nowhere. It would defy mass/energy conservation on a macroscopic level, and nothing in classical or modern physics has been shown to do that (mass-energy conversions aside, which still keep the total constant), or we'd be investing in some major perpetual motion research.

** Not to be confused with the asylum of Batman villains, Ockham's razor essentially says to go with the explanation that explains the most while presuming the least.  For example, you could explain David Blain's tricks by accepting that he has magical powers (beyond the unnatural ability to stand perfectly still in a block of ice while charging admission with a straight face, that is), but why would you after you see how his tricks are done?

Dog is Godmatic



Knowing that death really is death regardless, you'd be justified in not caring whether there's a God.  But in case you're interested, I composed this section.  Although the focus is on the God of Christianity, the general ideas can be applied to many other religions as well.

I'm not going to get into a comprehensive discussion of all the reasons not to believe in God because there are books (listed below) that do a far more thorough job of that than I care to do here.  And if you don't feel like spending money to have somebody tell you you're wrong for a hundred pages, you can read Richard Dawkins' article that dispels the most common arguments for God's existence.  However I do have some thoughts to add, including why there's inherently no reason to take the bible as gospel, and why you should be glad God suffocated earlier.  (I guess Nietzsche was right.)

ETA: After writing this, I composed an elaborate response to the most prevalent and persuasive theological arguments.  The Best Case for God: Refuted

We were all told as children that God's judgment is perfect, but who told us this: (flawed) humans, or God himself?  If it's the latter, why should any being be allowed to assert its own infallibility unchallenged?  Let me put it a different way.  According to the bible, God is omniscient, but since the bible is (supposedly) God's word, that really means "according to God's judgment, God's judgment is perfect."  That's circular logic.  Even if I were to concede that the bible is the word of God (which it isn't), there would still be no reason to expect his way of thinking to be sound.  But there are plenty of reasons to doubt it, and now that questioning the bible is fair game, I'll proceed to show exactly that…

    Jesus died for our sins. Rather than mechanically point out all the ways this doesn't make sense, I'll just ask you this: If you were to enter a courtroom offering to accept the death penalty to atone for the future crimes of strangers who don't even exist yet, how do you think the judge and jury would react?  What if instead you offered the life of your first born? Women bear children in pain as punishment for Eve eating the forbidden fruit. This exhibits displaced retribution comparable to that of the previous point.  If our court system worked like Christianity, you'd be tortured mercilessly every time somebody who looked like you committed a crime. God sent a pestilence to kill 70,000 of David's people because David destroyed Israel and Judah. (Judges 11:29-40) To clarify, David's people had nothing to do with his mass murder (which God himself ordered in the first place, by the way).  Do you notice a pattern here? Free will. Generally speaking, free will is great, but consider this: There have been about 400 serial killers in America in the last century, some of whom were alarmingly prolific before they were finally brought to justice.  They used their free will to choose evil, but what about their victims?  Didn't their untimely deaths infringe on their free will? God told Lot's wife not to look back at Sodom and Gomorrah as they burned, and when she did, he turned her into a pillar of salt.  (Genesis 19:26) Remember the previous point about the serial killers?  His attitude is completely laissez faire as they slaughter one victim after another, but when somebody looks at something they aren't supposed to, that's when he puts his foot down. God is perfect, although he created imperfect beings. Many people have gone into great detail on this already, but I want to take a moment to offer my own analogy.  If a carpenter built a table that wobbles, would you call him a perfect carpenter?  What if he built billions of tables, and none of them were quite right? With God, all things are possible.  (Even the things that contradict the other things.) Contrary to popular belief, the bible is a tale of a limited God.  One can only presume this is because the concept of a perfect entity creating and overseeing an imperfect world is so absurd, the bible's authors couldn't even imagine such a state of affairs to write stories about it.  The story of Noah's Ark alone shows God: * being unable to predict the world becoming unacceptably corrupt (otherwise he would have made it differently, or not at all) * being unable to produce the Ark himself (or unwilling, for some strange reason) * telling Noah to gather two of each of the "clean" animals but forgetting to specify which animals were which until Leviticus (after the fact) * being unable to target only the people he didn't like (and not, for example, the sinless children or the "clean" animals (other than two of each on the Ark and possibly a few others, depending on which passage you read)), and * requiring 40 or 150 days to destroy the world and doing so by the roundabout means of a flood. The time to destroy the Earth was curiously much longer than the six days he took to create it; maybe he slowed down in his old age.  Although he did have to rest for a day after creation (on the seventh day), so apparently he got tired then too.  In any case, a truly unlimited God should be able to create a universe in an instant, and blink whatever he doesn't like out of existence with similar efficiency (or just not create it at all).  In this respect the big bang is more like God than God.


…And if you want more examples, Skeptics have diligently annotated the entire bible (and the Qur'an and the Book of Mormon), highlighting literally hundreds of contradictions, wanton injustices and more.  As those links will show you, the bible meanders with the discontinuity of story whose authors took turns writing each sentence.  Don't get me wrong; I can see how you could believe in some sort of God and an afterlife if that's what you've been taught your whole life and you never gave it much thought, but I don't think anybody would give credence to the bible once they've read it with a truly open mind.

The temptation is to merely dismiss the matter with a glib remark about how the bible is a tale of two devils, one of whom is more creative than the other (which might explain one contradiction*), but there's an important question that needs to be asked.  If we were created in God's image, why are our ideas of morality so different from his?

* "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18)
"The whole world is under control of the evil one." (1 John 5:19)


Let he who is without zen…



Spiritual morality is unreliable because it varies arbitrarily from one culture to the next.  Let's take the issue of marital fidelity, for example.  There are monogamist cultures, polygamist cultures, cultures in which everyone goes naked (or nearly naked) and partners interchange capriciously with no pretense of commitment, cultures in which women must be covered from head to toe and the punishment for infidelity is incredibly barbaric and harsh (by most standards)…the list goes on and on.

So is there a different "God" making the rules in every community in every country?  If a polygamist travels to a monogamist society, does he go from "okay guy" to "sinner" just by virtue of his location?  What about the days before civilization, when everybody was having sex with everybody, like monkeys at the zoo?  The Gods weren't paying attention back then?

Alternatively, it could be that when people first congregated into civilizations, each community gradually developed its own cultural norms which were passed down from one generation to the next, which would account for these varying standards.  Which seems more likely?  Either way, there couldn't be an absolute code of ethics from a supernatural authority because religious/social standards are too fickle.

Rational morality is clearly the more consistent and absolute solution.  To paraphrase Albert Einstein's viewpoint, morality can be derived rationally by considering how one's actions will affect others and conducting oneself accordingly.  And for the self-centered who aren't interested in virtue for its own sake, a fair and organized justice system is a much more sensible solution than the intangible, distant, and highly questionable threat of hell.  No mythical big brother is needed.

Expect the Unaccepted



Like everybody else who wasn't raised by wolves, I was subject to society's religious brainwashing from the time I was young enough to think somebody could steal your house (yes, the whole house) if you left it unlocked.  I made it a goal to undo this social conditioning, training my mind (somewhat ironically) to view the world like a child, so I could think of the obvious questions we've been so painstakingly trained not to ask.  I think that's what Einstein had in mind when he uttered one of my favorite quotes: "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."

I'm confident that if you consider what I've written, you'll reach the most plausible conclusions.  You could say…I have faith in you.
© 2011 - 2019 BatmanWithBunnyEars
I’d call this article a divine inspiration, if it weren’t for the whole not-believing-in-God thing. But don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself…

So I don’t have to keep repeating myself any more than I already have, I’ll respond to some common objections here:

You’re just attacking Christianity because you’re biased or have something against Christians.

This is NOT an assault/attack/whatever on Christianity.

The most important part of this writing is my logical rebuttal to the claim of any kind of an afterlife, which applies to every religion as far as I know. (If there is a religion that acknowledges the finality of death, I can't imagine what would be the appeal of following it.)

I only talk about Christianity specifically in one section, and even that section also includes links to critiques of other holy books. Just as importantly, there are no ad hominem fallacies or personal attacks anywhere in this article. I’ve been accused of having a “vendetta” against Christianity, which I don’t, but even if I did, that wouldn’t make my points any less valid.

I focused on Christianity in that one section because it's by far the most popular religion in my country, with 76% of Americans identifying themselves as Christians. Also, I grew up with Christianity, and I was intimately familiar with the particulars of it. If I targeted Islam, for example, not only would I have to learn a new religion from scratch, but I'd have to translate the article into Arabic to reach the population that worships that religion. If I targeted Wicca, I'd reach only a small segment of the population, since it's a relatively obscure religion.

You’re just biased. This article is so biased.

If anything, I'm biased in favor of religion. Some of you seem to lose sight of the fact that I'm a person with a finite lifespan, just like you. Don't you think I'd love to be wrong about this, to be watched over by a loving God, to survive my physical death and go to heaven? Like nearly everyone else, I tried to rationalize these beliefs as much as I could, but eventually I had to recognize what the facts were telling me. As an objective, rational thinker, I have to tentatively reject these ideas, however appealing they may be. Furthermore, accusing me of bias to discredit my claims without addressing the content of my argument is a form of the ad hominem fallacy.

Also, finding any minute flaw or misrepresentation, real or perceived, and throwing out the entire content of the article on that basis is often a fallacy of composition. (If it’s a key detail, perhaps not, but so far that hasn’t been the case.)

You need to show both sides! You're too one-sided!

This is similar to the previous objection. Should I contact the nearest religious publication and force them to include reasons NOT to believe? Should the publishers of the bible be required to include a footnote saying that their holy book is all wild, often self-contradictory speculation that was produced by politically motivated committees? Double standards.

You're taking religion too literally!

How else should I take it? Like I said in the section "Why hasn't God suffocated to death?":

If you can't take the religious constructs of God and the afterlife out of the context of biblical poetic abstractions, beyond some magic that happens behind a curtain, and discuss them as parts of the real world without them seeming absurd to you, perhaps deep down, you don't truly believe in them.

As far as the bible is concerned, I do acknowledge that some take it as a book of parables, which nullifies some of the scientific absurdities in it. But even then, you’re still left with some horrifically misguided ideas about morality.

Souls (and God) are metaphysical, and therefore beyond our understanding. They don't play by our rules.

I can't believe how often I get this one. Throwing the word "metaphysical" at something doesn't exempt it from logic. Note that it doesn't matter how a soul supposedly "works". You could appeal to quantum entanglement, God, or pixie dust and you still run into the same logical problems I have described. The same goes for God.

Furthermore, handwaving anything as "beyond our understanding" is a defeatist attitude, saying that you won't even try to analyze or comprehend the matter.

You're dogmatic. You're trying to make everything in a nice neat little box of "human-based science".

Science isn't in nice neat box of any kind. If you read anything by Stephen Hawking or Brian Greene, you'll see that there are plenty of things that aren't completely understood. But unlike theologians, they're diligently looking for answers, using logic and reason to sift through the possibilites, instead of filling in the gaps with miracles, magic, and fairy dust and calling it a day.

Nobody can be 100% sure of what happens after death since none of us have died.

That's like saying you have to go to the surface of the sun to be 100% sure it's hot. You don't have to rely on first hand experience; you can use logic to learn things as well, like putting together a crime scene. The lack of an afterlife is about as knowable as anything could be.

Heaven could be in another dimension or something...

I talked about this in the article, but I'll revisit it anyway.

Many charlatans today use poorly understood modern physics terms as a blank check to suppose as many wildly improbable circumstances as they want. Let’s set aside the very real problems with believing in an immaterial self for a moment and consider just how much we have to presume to get to anything resembling a "heaven".

Your mind survives your death somehow and transfers into another dimension/plane of existence (that there’s no reason to believe exists) for some reason. After that, you have to dream up something that corresponds to visible light and retinas and sound waves and ear drums in some functional way, since the eyes and ears are on the dead body (remember?) and there’s no reason to expect this other dimension to include visible light and air for sound, and even if there were air and light, there’d be no reason to expect an immaterial soul to be able to interact with them. You also have to come up with a means the soul can move, since it doesn’t have legs anymore either, and you’d have to suppose a surface and/or some other matter with which an immaterial soul could interact, otherwise your heaven would be quite boring.

You'd have to be deperately wishful to suppose this much without evidence of any kind. If you absolutely must have a scant hope for immortality, focus on telomerase research. You could even study medical science and help out yourself. The odds of immortality becoming available and affordable within our lifetimes are low, but it's still much more likely than you exiting your body as a fully functioning ghost.

Any other argument…

If you do wish to refute what I’ve presented on logical terms, please read through previous comments to see if your point has been addressed already. If it seems like I’m asking a lot, just consider that I had to scour those angry text walls and write equally long responses to them. You can at least skim over them. I reserve the right not to respond to comments that require me to copy-paste my responses to earlier arguments. My office clipboard needs a break as much as I do.


Further reading (far from an exhaustive list):

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
God: the Failed Hypothesis? by Victor J. Stenger
The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails edited by John W. Loftus
[link]

Preachers who saw the flaws of their faiths:

Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity by John W. Loftus
Godless by Dan Barker
Losing My Religion by William Lobdell
[link]

Why religion continues and why it’s detrimental:

The God Virus by Darrel Ray
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

The following books make few theological references, but they do help one to understand what is currently known about the universe and how it is known. There are a lot of books like these:

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
A User’s Guide to the Universe by Dave Goldberg and Jeff Blomquist
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Comments (222)
delphifilm's avatar
delphifilm|Professional Filmographer

This is theologically the most hair-raising of all Times. Stop abusing Einstein for your goals! Stop playing morality off against logic of nature law! Your anti-faith amok is unbearably implausible! Return if you know what you are talking about, rather than wanting to defame believers! Dont put Einstein into role of a priest! You are merging so many things into eachother, that I dont even know where to start with! Moral into plausibility of nature law strucutres.... Oh man! :O

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SkyzReign's avatar
Utilize other sensory capabilities to come closer to the truth.
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SkyzReign's avatar
I do believe in GODs and a LORD however if you pay close attention to detail read over in your mind. When you write of this non existent God repeat it in your minds thinking of the spelling. The God you write of comes off as Gaud. Therefore yes I myself exercising my constitutional rights of freedom of speech  freedom of religion. Agree there is No God/Gaud. However there is God, or God's. You can also try this when reading about the Father there is after playing closer detail to the spelling inwardly in your mind not what you see visually. The Father also other comes off as The Fauder. Also known previously as Dauds who were the slave herdsman. Which are still prevalent in this day in age. One only needs to have an open mind and look without the naked eyeutilize
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SkyzReign's avatar
I love and appreciate your article and work. I feel there same about much. I find your work study to be intriguing and inspirational to us with open minds and in search of the truth. Basic thoughts seem to stay with people of such who refuse to allow themselves any thoughts or opening of any other possibilities. Instead stay stuck in the same existence of harm ages destructive path that, which only leads to their destruction, distinction same. Thank you for sharing this.
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Jaakkotus's avatar
You overrate the role of rationality in moral affairs. Morality is derived from a synthesis of rationality and emotions. There is nothing moral in pure rationality alone. A person can be perfecly rational, but if they lack the prosocial emotions, they are by very definition a psychopath/sociopath. 
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Jaakkotus's avatar
The vacuum of space is more than nothing at all. Doesn't gravity warp space itself and photons copy their pairs quantum state instantly regardless of where they are in the universe. Also dark energy is suspected to be present everywhere in the universe. So the whole universe would have energy scattered all across it and energy is practically vibration/movement of something. And matter and energy are also the same (E=mc2). Energy for example radio waves consist of vibration. And what do different frequencies and patterns of energy waves have different? They hold different information. Like different radio signals translate to different songs in the radio. So the universe is basically full of information, and even if that information doesn't make sense to us, that doesn't necessarily mean it has no meaning at all. Reality is like a pond and everything that exists in our universe consist of ripples on the surface of that pond. I think that the "body" or "brain" of God is the fabric of reality itself. 
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DynamicSynthesism's avatar
     I'm not going to critique your specific arguments, although that would be quite easy to do. Instead, I'll just comment on what I always find so ironic about these discussions:Atheists always think they're so logical and scientific because they don't believe in God; but nothing could be further from the truth. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying theism is logical and scientific either, by any means.
    The only belief about God that is, is agnosticism: The admission that there's no way to prove it either way. Thus, the only logical and scientific assertion is the admission that we don't know.
Anything else is necessarily, by definition, based on faith.
     I would argue that this [faith in a lack of God] is as much a form of religion as [faith in God] is. Moreover, believe Atheists tend to worship at it's many alters as fervently--or more fervently actually, at least in recent times--as religious people worship at God's alter. And like religious people, once you've got the bug, you seem incapable of any rational thought outside your belief system. lol. Oh, and you evangelize just as fervently too--as your links near the end of your comments help demonstrate.
     In other words, it can't just be that religion is a valuable social institution, created by man that (on balance) has done great good by helping to keep humanity's baser nature in check... no, it's got to be that all religion, by it's very nature, is a harmful institution that has only done humanity and the world harm.
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TheHazmatSuit's avatar
TheHazmatSuit|Hobbyist General Artist
This is a superbly good essay, in my opinion. Outstanding writing and points well reasoned. The things I enjoyed most are your resoning of how something like a soul cannot exist (being a Buddhist, it's very close to my beliefs), and the way you incorporated biology into it. There's not many essays dealing with philosophical questions such as these in such a way, so a ton of kudos to you!
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doolhoofd's avatar
The Sun is God.

Simple.
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Vader999's avatar
A lot of these questions can be answered by basic reason and logic. Human limitations belong to human beings. A being who created the universe does not suffocate on it. 

You haven't played much Elder Scrolls, have you? The concept of Daedra and planes of Oblivion would easily answer your questions. In this case, a Daedric Prince each has his own universe to play around in, and in said universe, he is all-powerful and immortal. Which of course, brings us back to this world. Our universe is God's universe, although this isn't His only one, since He is omnipotent, which means that He could have an infinite number of universes somewhere else, and we may not even know of it. Heaven and hell would count as parallel universes, since they are realms unto their own. He is unassailable and immortal, as well as eternal. Before everything else existed, before even the concept of space, time, and nothingness existed, HE existed. The only way to hurt Him is if He takes a form that can be hurt and allows Himself to be hurt. As for human limitations, humans used to have next to none, but the flawed human nature changed that. But of course, God is willing to help us get over that nature for a price-loyalty. That, and God gave man the tools of wisdom and the resources of Earth to craft devices that surpass limitations. Can't carry load? Invent wheels. Can't catch meal? Invent spears. Of course, one can ask why doesn't God just make us surpass all limitations, to which I answer that humans are capable of evil, which is why He doesn't just give everything up. It's the equivalent of giving nuclear weapons to stone-age barbarians. Even if you give them knowledge, there is an off chance that they will use it for evil. Look at what we've done with the knowledge we've obtained. Imagine of God doubled that knowledge or multiplied it tenfold. We'd be having galactic wars with each other Star-Wars style. 

Also, there's many accounts of ghosts where they appear as they did in life-which scares people even more. A Japanese soldier who died in Philippines in WWII, a white lady walking the streets, not all ghosts appear as translucent beings. Some appear as solid. Moses, for example, was supposed to be dead, and yet when he appeared to the Apostles with Jesus, he was alive, along with Elijah, and the Apostles saw the need to build tents for them, since none of them looked like ghosts. Tents are to give human beings comfort. You don't build tents for translucent ghosts.

The problem with your other questions is that you lack the context and try to put things out of line.

Jesus died for our sins, because as the original humans tried to usurp God and paid for it by not being able to be one with God, Jesus bridged that and gave His Body and Blood so that we may become one with Him and therefore become one with God, and He took on the punishment for man's pathetic coup with His life. If a man was to suffer for the sake of Adam's crime, it might as well be someone who can take it. 

Women bear pain for giving birth as part of the limitations of mankind, which came because man severed its link with God when they tried to usurp Him. They tried to say that they didn't need Him, that they can live without Him, and the pain a woman feels when she gives birth is just part of that. Men fight and die against beasts and other men. Men starve. They get sick. Childbirth is just one part of that pain that exists in a world that rejects God. Also, note that countries that reject religion tend to be the most hellish, like the Soviet Union and China. And don't you say Europe, because Europe's wealth was saved up back then when it was religious. And now that it slipped from religion, it's having a cornucopia of problems, from populations shrinking, to economic failure, to problems with immigrants. In essence, the farther you are from God, the more pain you have to endure.

Free will does not get infringed upon even if someone dies. If they have free will and they die, then God takes into account what they did and what they meant to do in the future. I'm pretty sure a being who can create a universe AND WHO CREATED MINDS AND SOULS can also read minds and see into the hearts of souls to deduce what kind of person they could have been had they lived. Then again, unborn children who die by abortion are said to be in heaven, because they died before they could commit sins. I wonder why pro-aborts haven't used that yet as their tagline? Then again, abortion is murder, so I suppose you'd have to do a lot of good works personally to atone for that, not just drop a coin in a basket for some charity.

The whole pillar of salt thing isn't understood by common peons like you. Tears are filled with salt. What could be said about a person who cries out of the destruction and chaos that God's devastation of the fallen cities is that a person literally is shocked and cries themselves to death out of seeing the kind of destruction visited upon those cities. Then again God does take care of the souls of those who serve Him, so He's got that covered.

Wrong-God is perfect and he created PERFECT beings. They became imperfect (humans, demons) through trying to rebel against God. Redeemed humans in heaven and angels are still perfect. And humans can still enjoy life even if they are imperfect, and more so if they get closer to God, the source of perfection.

Except the Bible's whole message is that God can do anything. Crush superpowers by the balls, raise the dead, even suffer death and walk it off like it was a flesh wound. If the Bible was written in, say, the Star Wars universe, we'd have God send entire fleets of Star Destroyers into black holes or show both the Emperor and Yoda who the true master of the Force is. The problem is, you don't even take into account the meaning, context, and reasons for the books of the Bible, and that's why your interpretations of it is LAUGHABLY WEAK-MINDED. 

Face it, bitch, the afterlife exists. People have different ideas about it. But the fact is, you can't have many different cultures with many opposing views agree on something universally unless the concept they are all agreeing upon has some merit or value. Everyone thinks 1 plus 1 equals 2. Everyone knows that sticking a sword in someone's gut will kill him. Everyone save for rich, pompous jackasses living in the first world without a concept of true suffering and reality believes in an afterlife.

And in fact, such rich societies were created by religious people originally. And now that we've forgotten God, is there no wonder that both Europe and America's economies are tanking like the Titanic? Religious virtues teach people to deny themselves and save up for a better future-that's what made the West great in the end. The non-religious have proven themselves to be incapable of shrewdness and would rack up massive debts to fund their failed dreams of a utopia. That's the lesson that Mao's Cultural Revolution taught, and it's being repeated here in the West today, now that we've embraced the same socialism whose logical path Mao and the other Communists rode on.

That's why countries like Russia and China can have tyrannical, absolutist, divine-right egomaniacs who ruled them in the past, and they ruled better than the supposed "enlightened atheists" who came long after them. The best of the godless cannot even outdo the worst of the religious when it came to governing. Russia and China under the Emperors and Czars had rich cultures and some semblance of a good future. Russia and China under godless Communists made the Spanish Inquisition look like Enlightenment Philosophes by comparison. It's gotten so bad that Russia today is doing everything to shed their godless past, to the point where the government butters up to the Russian Orthodox Church, and China's current rulers are in chaos. Chaos is the fruit of the godless. The French Revolution taught that, and it's a lesson that will always repeat so long as there's people like you.

Then again, it's like what someone told me: there are two laws to Atheism. God doesn't exist, and yet I hate Him. Hating someone that you don't even see as existing in the real world is the pinnacle of insanity. It's like, deep down, people like you know that God exists. Which is why you hate Him. I can't even get myself to hate the Tooth Fairy or Rainbow Unicorns the way you people hate God. So it's just hilarious how atheists practically contradict themselves. If you don't think He exists, then why spend all this energy to hate Him? That's a waste of energy you could have used on something more fulfilling for yourself. 
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TheHazmatSuit's avatar
TheHazmatSuit|Hobbyist General Artist
I hope that this was intended as irony because then if it wasn't you might have read the Bible upside down. 
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Vader999's avatar
No, but people reading the Bible upside down usually ends with Christians becoming agnostics, atheists, and the like. Also, my points are clearly in line with Biblical teaching. It's quite obvious that someone like you is probably reading the Bible upside down.
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TheHazmatSuit's avatar
TheHazmatSuit|Hobbyist General Artist
Also; I am not a rich pompous jackass yet do not believe in an afterlife. Aaaand, pray tell, how can we hate God if we believe there is no God? 
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TheHazmatSuit's avatar
TheHazmatSuit|Hobbyist General Artist
Considering that never in the Bible I have read that Adam (or the devil, for that matter) tried to usurp God, I wonder what kind of Biblical teaching you had. Plus, really, ghosts? People have been debunking ghosts for centuries.
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HeraldOfOpera's avatar
The OP doesn't hate God. He hates people that expect you to believe in Him without anything resembling actual proof or logic. Much like Mulder, he wants to believe, but like Scully, he sees too many contradictions in the information presented. Personally, I believe that God is both logically impossible and logically required to exist, because so little thought was put into the concept that it actually manages to be both of those things at the same time.
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Vader999's avatar
The problem is, proof is all around us. Intelligent design. First cause. Records of miracles, deeds, and intercessions. Heck, go hunt down some exorcists and have a camera. There you go. People shit their pants when exorcists set up shop because they know some really freaky shit is about to go down. 
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HeraldOfOpera's avatar
In order: objectively wrong just due to how horrible the design obviously is to anybody who actually knows biology, not technically "proof" and could only hope to prove the existence of a creator deity rather than your creator deity, automatically suspect due to the natural distortion of incredibly old records, and doesn't actually require those apparitions to be the spirits of the dead.

That said, I'm fairly certain there is an afterlife of some kind, not due to the argumentum ad populum you used, but due to the aforementioned fact that God exists either due to being the Creator or just being omnipotent and having enough morality to realize this world needs a Big Good. In the former case, then the rest of the book probably has some truth to it as well, although that's not the case I actually believe in. In the latter, the afterlife is basically a Roko's Basilisk situation, with a different motive but the same end result.
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HeraldOfOpera's avatar
Yes, the common conception of God is nonsensical. However, you underestimate just HOW nonsensical. God is omnipotent. If he didn't exist, he'd just make himself exist. That's how nonsensical omnipotence is; it overrides basic logic so hard that it exists even if it doesn't exist.
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sin-and-love's avatar
God doesn't hide; our default human nature just cripples our ability to see.
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MishkynNightcore's avatar
MishkynNightcoreEdited |Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty good arguing ! That should convince a few religious people who're less blind than other ones (or more open to the others way of thinking). Or at least I hope so. If we've created religions in the first place it was only to explain unexplainable facts or to not be feared of the death, that's why now we need them less than before.
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star-dream's avatar
a mountain should move to proove the science that mountains can move, right? and then science should create a doomsday weapon of next generation, for our protection, right? forget about faith in god, in this world one has to be strong enough to keep faith in humanity! how the hell can one hope for miracles in a world like this? why do i see cats and dogs ran over on the street like it is a normal thing. to science, they are but flesh and bones, but there is something science doesn't see. a person that takes care of their pet and doesn't see them as flesh and bones, but another person and treats them that way. because they chose so. and i don't care if science can't explain that. that doesn't mean it is not real. perhaps our way of life is only a delusion as well. perhaps we are supposed to observe the world as machines. that is what science is. but i am not. you may have chosen to beleive that you are a product of a chain reaction and have no will of your own, according to your science, but i beleive that i am alive, so obviously, i am not a product of my flesh and bones but in fact a soul, life. if you want proof that it is so, you have to look in your own soul.
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TheHazmatSuit's avatar
TheHazmatSuit|Hobbyist General Artist
In reality, you have more free will than the Abrahamic deity allows you. Therefore, if Big Y is omnipotent, that makes his existence a logical paradox.
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PandaSennin's avatar
PandaSennin|Hobbyist Filmographer
Nicely written article. As a buddhist I ponder about some the subjects mentioned here from time to time.
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BatmanWithBunnyEars's avatar
Thanks!  I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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anonymous's avatar
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