неделя, 23 юни 2019 г.

Bible Arguments 5

By DeYtH Banger

"When it comes to defending his faith, all Randal can do is revert to special pleading, arguing from ignorance, and repeatedly punting to mere possibilities even though probabilities are all that.
We either start with the brute fact that something has always existed or the brute fact that something popped into existence out of nothing. So the simpler our brute fact is then the more probable it is, per Ockham’s razor. All that scientists have to assume is an equilibrium of positive and negative energy and the laws of physics. This is as close to nothing as science can get. But grant it and physicist Victor Stenger argues, “The probability for there being something rather than nothing can actually be calculated; it is over 60 percent.” As such, “only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe, such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God."

- John W. Loftus

"My claim is that the raw, uninterpreted historical data is simply not enough to believe God raised Jesus from the dead because there can be no relevant background knowledge or “priors” prior to concluding he did. The main reason Christians think the historical evidence for the resurrection is conclusive is because they have already come to believe in a God who did this particular miracle, and that’s pretty much it. Overwhelming numbers of Jews in the days of Jesus did not believe it, along with millions of other people even after being confronted with this so-called evidence."

- John W. Loftus

"We do not think there is sufficient evidence to believe in supernatural forces or beings. Since this is the case, religionists must determine among themselves who is their best contender to face off against us. That process did not happen here precisely because they cannot agree among themselves who should be in the finals."

- John W. Loftus

"All that believers must do is apply the same level of skepticism to their own religion as they do to the religions of others that they reject. This is what I call the outsider test for faith. When believers understand why they dismiss all other religions, they will understand why I dismiss theirs. If they refuse to do this, I merely ask them why the double standard? Why treat other religions differently than you do your own? Believers should be skeptical of what they were taught to accept given the proliferation of so many other religions.

and sects separated into distinct regions on the planet who learned their religion in the same way—on their mama’s knee.

    Be well"
    - John W. Loftus

"Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful

      without having to believe that there are

      fairies at the bottom of it too?"

- Richard Dawkins

"If you think that, you might enjoy Chapter 3 on ‘Arguments for God’s existence’ – the arguments turn out to be spectacularly weak. Maybe you think it is obvious that God must exist, for how else could the world have come into being? How else could there be life, in all its rich diversity, with every species looking uncannily as though it had been ‘designed’? If your thoughts run along those lines, I hope you will gain enlightenment from Chapter 4 on ‘Why there almost certainly is no God’. Far from pointing to a designer, the illusion of design in the living world is explained with far greater economy and with devastating elegance by Darwinian natural selection."

- Richard Dawkins

"If you feel trapped in the religion of your upbringing, it would be worth asking yourself how this came about. The answer is usually some form of childhood indoctrination. If you are religious at all it is overwhelmingly probable that your religion is that of your parents. If you were born in Arkansas and you think Christianity is true and Islam false, knowing full well that you would think the opposite if you had been born in Afghanistan, you are the victim of childhood indoctrination. Mutatis mutandis if you were born in Afghanistan.

    The whole matter of religion and childhood is the subject of Chapter 9, which also includes my third consciousness-raiser. Just as feminists wince when they hear ‘he’ rather than ‘he or she’, or ‘man’ rather than ‘human’, I want everybody to flinch whenever we hear a phrase such as ‘Catholic child’ or ‘Muslim child’. Speak of a ‘child of Catholic parents’ if you like; but if you hear anybody speak of a ‘Catholic child’, stop them and politely point out that children are too young to know where they stand on such issues, just as they are too young to know where they stand on economics or politics. Precisely because my purpose is consciousness-raising, I shall not apologize for mentioning it here in the Preface as well as in Chapter 9. You can’t say it too often. I’ll say it again. That is not a Muslim child, but a child of Muslim parents. That child is too young to know whether it is a Muslim or not. There is no such thing as a Muslim child. There is no such thing as a Christian child.

    Chapters 1 and 10 top and tail the book by explaining, in their different ways, how a proper understanding of the magnificence of the real world, while never becoming a religion, can fill the inspirational role that religion has historically – and inadequately – usurped My fourth consciousness-raiser is atheist pride. Being an atheist is nothing to be apologetic about. On the contrary, it is something to be proud of, standing tall to face the far horizon, for atheism nearly always indicates a healthy independence of mind and, indeed, a healthy mind. There are many people who know, in their heart of hearts, that they are atheists, but dare not admit it to their families or even, in some cases, to themselves. Partly, this is because the very word ‘atheist’ has been assiduously built up as a terrible and frightening label. Chapter 9 quotes the comedian Julia Sweeney’s tragi-comic story of her parents’ discovery, through reading a newspaper, that she had become an atheist. Not believing in God they could just about take, but an atheist! An ATHEIST? (The mother’s voice rose to a scream."

- Richard Dawkins

"I don’t try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it."






    The boy lay prone in the grass, his chin resting on his hands. He suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a heightened awareness of the tangled stems and roots, a forest in microcosm, a transfigured world of ants and beetles and even – though he wouldn’t have
known the details at the time – of soil bacteria by the billions, silently and invisibly shoring up the economy of the micro-world. Suddenly the micro-forest of the turf seemed to swell and become one with the universe, and with the rapt mind of the boy contemplating it. He interpreted the experience in religious terms and it led him eventually to the priesthood. He was ordained an Anglican priest and became a chaplain at my school, a teacher of whom I was fond. It is thanks to decent liberal clergymen like him that nobody could ever claim that I had religion forced down my throat.*

    In another time and place, that boy could have been me under the stars, dazzled by Orion, Cassiopeia and Ursa Major, tearful with the unheard music of the Milky Way, heady with the night scents of frangipani and trumpet flowers in an African garden. Why the same emotion should have led my chaplain in one direction and me in the…"

- Richard Dawkins

"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant’? Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.’ A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths."

- Richard Dawkins

"To me, that is religion!’ But is ‘religion’ the right word? I don’t think so. The Nobel Prize-winning physicist (and atheist) Steven Weinberg made the point as well as anybody, in Dreams of a Final Theory:


            Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God wherever they look for him. One hears it said that ‘God is the ultimate’ or ‘God is our better nature’ or ‘God is the universe.’ Of course, like any other word, the word ‘God’ can be given any meaning we like. If you want to say that God is energy,’ then you can find God in a lump of coal."

- Richard Dawkins

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