Tag Archive | belief in god

Addressing William’s Immanent God

I am responding to this post, by a person I consider to be a friend, William.


William, I’m going to respond to you here on my blog, because I have addressed other concepts of god besides a personal one, and I want this to be shown.

Any argument attempting to prove or disprove the existence of a personal God inherently presents a false dichotomy. God is a subjective concept and therefore cannot be reified, rendering the use of logic insufficient as a means to resolve this argument

If we are talking about existence, then we are talking about something quantifiable. Something is either real, or it is not.  And we disprove personal gods all the time.

  In any case, efforts to actually personify God are, in essence, clear examples of anthropomorphic fallacy.

See, you just made a weak case against any personal gods. But the anthropomorphic fallacy doesn’t apply unless you prove that god is inanimate. So, what does the evidence say about personal gods? There is none in favor of them. So why should we believe in any of them? We shouldn’t. Does that mean that we can universally disprove them? No, we do not have infinite knowledge. But we can disprove specific god claims.

 The ongoing debate between atheists and non-pagan theists is an exercise in futility, a complete and utter waste of time in my opinion. Both sides rely upon argumentum ad ignorantiam, meaning an argument based upon ignorance, a practice which violates the laws of logic. Most atheists would disagree with this assessment as they maintain the burden of proof resides upon the claimant; they purport to make no claim and therefore shift the burden of proof to the theist but this practice is itself a fallacy. By the act of engaging in debate and demanding proof, the vocal atheist is effectively claiming that the theist’s belief is lacking evidence and is therefore false. The non-pagan theist in comparison will always find themselves claiming that God must exist simply because the existence of God hasn’t been successfully proven false.

Actually, we have and do prove specific god claims false.  For instance, the problem of unnecessary suffering with an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god. I can give more. When we ask for proof, we are asking for proof of any claims made. By showing that their arguments do not provide evidence, we are proving those specific arguments false, and returning to the null hypothesis. We have no reason to believe in any gods.

 I do not pretend to understand atheists who challenge any public statement of religious belief with incredulity and generally seem obsessed with the need to castigate those who possess such beliefs. Albert Einstein once characterized such individuals as “slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot bear the music of the spheres.”

I’ll give you three of my reasons.

1. Self-defense. People love to try to convince me that their god exists. They won’t just let me not believe, they feel a duty to save my soul. The only way to silence them is to show them that their arguments are bunk.

2. Beliefs have consequences. Rarely does the belief in gods come without baggage attached, whether it is the Christians discriminating against me for being bisexual, the gender essentialism so common in Dianic Wicca, or the classism in certain forms of hinduism.

3. We have an ethical duty to reason. Without it, we cannot possibly tell the consequences of our actions. Religion is based on claiming something, without showing that it is real. It encourages belief on faith instead of reason. You can have all the faith you want that if someone cuts your hand off, it will grow back, but that does not change reality, no matter how comforting the thought is. If you wish to prove me wrong, I suggest we do an experiment.

If you wish to hold a valid debate on God’s existence you must provide a basic definition for God. As previously inferred atheists and non-pagan theists usually attempt to personify God in their arguments and therefore encounter a logic block before they even begin.

1. look up ignostic atheism.

2. Atheist argue against the claims made. If someone defines god as a person, then we argue against their conception of god, and return to the null hypothesis when their claims fail the burden of proof, or we disprove specific claims.

3. The reason we more often argue against a personal god is because people with this conception are usually the ones causing the most problems.

Contemporary Pagan philosophy posits that God is immanent in the universe and equivalent to all that exists. Our definition by itself provides the proof to our claim

And if you stopped there, we wouldn’t have a problem. At that point the term god is nothing more than a poetic way of describing the universe, but most of the time, pagans don’t stop there, and make additional claims about the nature of god.

We know beyond any possible doubt that God exists and indeed that consciousness itself continues after the death of the physical body although we do not claim to know in what form it continues.

See, another claim about reality. Evidence of this please. The existence of the universe doesn’t show that consciousness continues after death.

 Conscious thought must be energetic for all that exists is fundamentally comprised of energy in one form or another.

Yes, the physical, chemical and electric reactions in the nervous system. How does this show a soul?

One of the basic scientific laws maintains that energy cannot in fact be destroyed, it may only be changed in some way.

Yes. Energy is always being changed from one form to another, most of which escapes as non-usable heat. All of this occurs in the physical realm.

I have said before that in order for religion to be relevant in this modern age, it must mark its beginning where science ends while remaining in agreement with everything science has previously determined to be true.

And you claim that atheists are making an argument from ignorance?

I forgot who said this but:

“First god was on the mountain, then we climbed the mountain, and god was not there. Then god was a god of the sky, then we built airplanes and god was not there. Then god was above the sky, now we have gone into space, and god was not there.”

Yes I realize that this is not your conception of god. But the point remains: every single time we have postulated a god instead of looking at the evidence, when the science improved, the god was shown to be non-existent. Why do you think our current ignorance is any different?

I would like to conclude by returning to the words of Professor Einstein, who believed that “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Our desires do not change reality. If you wish to argue otherwise, allow me to cut off one of your fingers and see if your desire for it to be there will cause it to regrow without any medical intervention.

A person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings and aspirations to which he clings because of their super-personal value.

And once again, someone gives religion the credit for something people achieve. Applied empathy and ethics do not equal Religiously enlightened.

It seems to me that what is important is the force of this super-personal content … regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a Divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities

Religion is irrelevant to these values. Unless you wish to argue that someone like me who has no religion is incapable of empathy and applying empathy ethically. Religion carries all sorts of beliefs, and most of them are not benevolent. Sexism, homophobia, Transphobia, racism, classism, just to name a few that are prevalent in modern day religions. And yes, I know you will just say that these people are not religiously enlightened. But if the modern religions propagate this filth along with what you consider benevolent values, how can you ignore that it is part of the religion?

Accordingly a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance of those super-personal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation

You want a rational foundation? How about, “What kind of world do I want to live in?” Work outwards from there.

For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be.

Yes, but science is not the only tool. Logic. Reason. Empathy. All are needed.

At times, atheism can be very comforting.

This is something no one seems to talk about. The positive emotional effects of being an atheist. I wonder why.

I was driving home from a “friend’s” house, when I started crying thinking about, “why? Why do I have to be this way? Why can’t I just be normal? Why do I have to deal with this shit?” Then I remembered something. I am the way that I am because of natural variation in the species, and I just happened to get the short straw in life. See, there is an explanation for why I’m trans*. No god did this to me, it’s just a natural part of life.  I don’t have to beg and plead to a supernatural entity with the false hope of changing, I can just deal with the cards on the table, make a plan, and get on with life. It was very calming. Reality has that effect.

I no longer have to fear hell, or the wrath of an unjust god. Any pain, any misery this life brings me will eventually pass, so why not try to be happy? It too, will eventually pass, so I might as well make the most out of this one life that I do have.

Religion, on the other hand, never gave me comfort. When I was young, I had a pretty severe anger problem. Prayer never helped with it. In fact, prayer made it worse. Only after being taught a secular version of meditation was I able to get control over my anger. Belief in god never brought me comfort. God was judge, jury, and executioner, and no one could ever live up to his standards. I crushed my sense of self, I crushed my attraction to guys, and never had a chance of being happy because I was a true believer in Catholicism. Prayer never calmed me. I was taught that god helps those who help themselves, so I never had any hope that God would do anything for me, but that I was still supposed to rely on him anyway. Religion fucked me right up. Even after I left Catholicism, even after I left christianity all together, none of the religions I tried out ever brought me comfort. Because I was relying on something that was never there for me. Once you realise that there is nothing to rely on, the universe makes sense, and you can just get on with your life. And you don’t have to worry about all the stupid arbitrary rules.

I think the reason most atheists don’t talk about this is that they don’t want to try to sway religious people into deconverting for emotional reasons. They want people to deconvert because of a rational argument. Well, I’m not trying to deconvert anyone here. I just think that the emotional side effects of the atheist world view need to be talked about. We shouldn’t let the religious dominate this dialogue, too. To my atheist readers, what have been the positive emotional effects that you have had since becoming an atheist?

Let’s talk a little about atheism.

Atheism: lack of belief in any god or gods.

Note, That does not deny the possibility of any gods. It does not say that definitively gods do not exist. It means that I do not believe you when you say that gods exist because you have failed to provide credible evidence for them. You say specific gods exist, I say, “Bullshit, prove it.” Atheism is the null hypothesis. Without evidence, I have no reason to believe that any gods exist, and I have no clue why anyone who has ever questioned their beliefs would ever believe in something without evidence. As for faith, I have seen faith defined multiple ways.

1. Faith: belief without, or contradictory to, evidence. This is the most common way I define faith, and unless I state otherwise this is the definition I am using. I do not have faith. I think that faith is inherently harmful. I will expand this into a full post at some time in the future.

2. Faith: Trust in someone or something. How do you trust something that may not be, and by my estimation, probably isn’t, there? Isn’t that trusting something that you know is unreliable? If something or someone is unreliable, what is the point of trusting them? Why would you trust them? Isn’t that the definition of gullibility?

I don’t even like the second definition of faith. I don’t have faith in people at all. I have evidence that they consistently behave in a certain manner so I can estimate a probability of any likely action that they may take, which will either be confirmed or denied, which will then give me a better estimate for the next time a  similar situation arrises.

I am an atheist because I remain unconvinced of any credible evidence for any gods, much less any specific gods you happen to believe in.


Pretty soon I’ll probably start work on a definitions page. I’ll be staying off the internet for the next few days, so if your comment gets stuck in moderation, I apologize in advance.

Emily’s adventures in atheism 1

I have a friend. Let’s call him Tim. Tim’s a liberal Christian. Believes in evolution, science and whatnot. He knows that I’m a bisexual atheist. He doesn’t know that I’m trans* and incorrectly thinks that I’m male. Ok so that should do for background information.

So, I’m telling Tim about the Kat Williams comedy routine criticizing evolution. You know, the one going around YouTube. Just trying to lead into the statement he is about to make here. So Tim ends up saying,

“The thing that frustrates me so much about militant atheists is that everyone at some point has to take their position based on faith. Saying that you need evidence is just hypocritical.”

I quickly changed the subject because it was late at night, and I didn’t want to get into a huge argument at 2am.

But let’s deconstruct this statement shall we.

Militant Atheists

I will accept this term when vocal, strident, and anti-theist atheists start trying to ban religious people from holding office in America. I will accept this statement once religious people in the western world are fired, disenfranchised, and widely disowned by their parents for believing in God. I will accept this statement when people use lack of belief in god as a justification for terrorist acts. Don’t get me wrong. Religion does not cause terrorism. That is not my argument. Atheists can commit atrocities, just like religious people do. But they don’t say, “In the name of Dawkins, die evil religious scum,” while doing it.

Everyone, at some point, has to take their position based on faith.

Um, How much faith does it take to not believe something? “The moon is made of cheese.” I don’t believe you. Give me evidence. “You just have faith that the moon isn’t made of cheese, you don’t know, I don’t know, but we both have faith.” NO. I asked you for evidence. If you give me evidence, I will believe you. That is not a faith-based position. I am not making a positive claim.

So how the fuck am I a hypocrite for asking for evidence to back up a claim about existence? I do not have faith that no gods exist. I just want proof before I will believe in any of them.

Also the Abrahamic god does not exist. The Abrahamic god is defined as being all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present.If he is all good and all-powerful, then he cannot be all-knowing because of all the fucked up shit that happens here on earth. If he is all good and all-knowing, then he cannot be all-powerful. And if he is all-powerful and all-knowing, then he cannot be all good. So the Abrahamic god as defined, does not exist, because it is a logical contradiction. If they want to make their god more believable, they are going to have to redefine him. Not like that would make me believe he existed without having proof to back his existence up.

Now for a brief statement from a coworker:

It’s so good living for the lord.

What the fuck does that even mean? Seriously. What does that mean? To me it is just a statement to tell everyone who isn’t a Christian, that all their problems stem from not being super religious. I mean, come on. This woman has more problems than just about anyone else except for the addicts. And she seems more miserable than most of the people I work with, including the addicts. Ah random insertion of christianity into the workplace. Fun. One of my managers is even trying to recruit a couple of my coworkers to go to his church. It’s great. Yay. Fucking bullshit.

How’s about this excerpt from a coworker (who is in a supervisor position) posting on their Facebook wall:

My kids have never done anything good without the grace of the lord or their belief in God.

What? Why would you say something so demeaning about your kids, or your parenting? So, let me get this right. Your kids completely lack empathy. Your kids have never done anything out of kindness or basic human decency. Your kids have never followed your good example or teaching. Your kids would be complete fucking sociopaths if it wasn’t for Jesus. Nice to know what you think of me. (Yes I am out as an Atheist.)

This is just a very brief example of the kind of shit I see and hear every fucking day. And let’s not get into the homophobia, biphobia, sexism, and transphobia. I’m already depressed enough as it is.