(Which you know means I’ve been lazy today and am struggling to get something done before bed.)
I can’t find the letter of October 19th referred to in this post, perhaps because I don’t care and I haven’t really tried. But I’ve never heard anyone in the anti-theistic or irreligious crowd saying that religion is “learned only from parents” (emphasis mine). Most of us are paying enough attention to the world, I think, to have noticed that not every single individual slavishly follows the dogma of their immediate biological predecessors. Many people do indeed make leaps of faith in one direction or another, having been influenced by a variety of factors.
But come on. The culture in which a person grows up, and in particular the people who raise them, are more influential than anything else in determining what religion someone will be. If this wasn’t the case, it couldn’t be true that predominantly Christian or Muslim areas of the world even exist – at least, not for more than a generation or so. If it were a total crapshoot, or if people’s religious views were based entirely on independent thinking and grounded in the same assumptions, there wouldn’t be such obvious geographical distributions.
“If people needed evidence to believe in God, we would all be atheist” is a significantly less ridiculous statement than “there is tremendous evidence for miracles”. Anyway, isn’t the notion that evidence is antithetical to belief in God pretty much the whole point of having faith?
To say God is not real is like saying atoms are not real because early scientists who sought them couldn’t see them.
If early scientists had a notion of something called “atoms”, and expected to see them under certain conditions, but didn’t observe anything where their theoretical model predicted they should, then the correct conclusion for them to draw would be that such atoms did not exist. If we now know that atoms do exist, because of repeated experimental results in which they turn up exactly where we expect them to, then maybe our concept of “atoms” has changed since the time when they didn’t seem to be there. God is still in the former state of not seeming to be observable where it’s predicted he should be. Either that or no predictions that might test his presence are even possible.
Several sources of “evidence” are cited, and it’s promised that they’re really, really good, no honestly they’re great, he just didn’t feel like outlining any of the really, really good arguments in them here. Oh well.
I’m too busy rolling my eyes at this one to really go through it in depth. Most of it’s the usual inane bullshit – tediously misunderstanding the burden of proof, I’ll provide my evidence that God doesn’t exist when you provide concrete proof there isn’t a unicorn in your kitchen, blah blah blah – but I do want to pick up on one thing in particular:
Here we have a lowly man demanding that almighty God prove himself scientifically.
Damn fucking right he is.
The not-so-lowly men claiming to speak for your almighty God are making some pretty grand claims about him. They tell us things like, we know the blessed truth of the all-powerful creator of the universe, and seek to spread the word of a being who has the power and the judgement to condemn you to eternal, infinite suffering if you don’t follow his rules for your entire life, yes, these rules here that we’ll tell you all about.
To be that kind of god is to demand everything from us, to take ownership of our humanity. Do you think that you get to impose that kind of rule on my species? Do you call impudent and arrogant anyone who asks why this god is worthy of our utter and complete self-sacrifice?
Then listen carefully: fuck right off, you evil tyrant.
And stop mischaracterising Einstein while you’re at it.