12.6.07

five things

recently i've been yammering a fair amount with a creationist; to my utter disappointment, this man proved entirely unable to give me a reason for faith. like James Randi, for several years i've been waiting for someone to give me a good reason for faith, and none of the believers i've talked to ever can.

thus today's thing. here are five things that i just can't make gel with creationism, and not even the young-earth version: the simple "god done it" excuse.

1. "purpose". one of the canards i always get from christians is that if god didn't make the human race, and it's (unthinkably) just an unusually introspective and intelligent species, then obviously we have no purpose. my response is always this: if god did make sapiens sapiens, then according to you guys' magic book our sole purpose is to worship it. what kind of life is that? you only exist to serve the whims of a callous, capricious deity, who created you to be played with and manipulated at its discretion?

2. fossils. either they're wrong or the bible's bull: which is it?

3. evolutionary residuals, like the rudimentary hipbones on a snake or the tail of a human. if we didn't evolve, why the fuck would a god put those there to make it look like we did?

4. the idea that god is needed for the big bang ("because something can't come from nothing"). for one, science has moved on from the bang, and there are several world models that don't require a singularity at that point, the best of which was derived by Hawking. for another thing, if something can't come from nothing, where the fuck did your magical deity come from?

5. nasty organisms. there are parasites that turn crabs into "zombies" to look after the parasites' own young. there are spiders that nest inside human legs. there is the ebola virus, there are cancer cells, there is alzheimer's disease. why the fuck would a just god create these things? what possible sense is there in that?

i open the debate with this: occam's razor disagrees with theism.

Lepht

20 comments:

Ian said...

oh, didn't you know, fossils and vestigial organs were planted by satan to test our faith...the nasty organisms are the result of the Fall...and, of course, the magic pixie-fairies didn't have to be created, because they always existed, and, what's more, exist outside of time and space (despite the fact that we know of no way that it is possible for sentience to exist outside of time). ah, creationist "logic..."

~Ian

Lepht said...

you gotta love it. i've actually never heard the "it's the Fall" thing before; i usually get "it's a test", which is also flawed, because it's still disgusting to put people through something like the symptoms of Ebola no matter what your purpose in doing so is.

then, too, there's the idea of testing faith. why does their god need that? why can't it reveal itself to them? why do they need to blindly believe instead of being rational, and why were we given the ability to be rational at all if their god doesn't want that? it's a mess.

lastly there is the fact that Satan is not actually a Biblical concept. ha-Satan, 'the accuser', is a title, and refers to various entities in the Old Testament who were sent by YHWH as "prosecutor"-type characters to test the faith of humans. there is no reference in the Bible to a fallen angel who rules Hell, just as there's no reference to Hell either... they're all derived concepts. the Devil, for instance, derives from Isaiah 14:12, where there's a vague reference to a "son of the dawn".

all that pain, all that fucking dogma they've shoved down people's throats and tortured in the name of and murdered for, and it's not even in their magic book. it makes me sick.

L

Ian said...

i believe that Galileo can back us up on that here--"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

yeah, plenty of people have given me the Fall as an excuse...a popular youtube user named venomfangx (who has been kicked off for a year) has even said that we deserve suffering because of the Fall (so now we deserve to be punished because of something our remote ancestors did? what a warped concept of justice).

actually, there are references to satan as we know him in the bible, but only in the book of revelation. in 12:9 it describes him as a seven-headed dragon with ten horns, with the False Prophet riding upon him, in 20:2 is hinted as being the serpent that caused the Fall, and in 20:10 is cast into the "lake of fire" along with everyone else not in the "Book of Life."

besides, at least half of christian dogma was not obtained through the bible, but through a "revelation," which makes just as much sense...

~Ian

Ian said...

that and, of course, the fact that we are "risen apes, not fallen angels," as James Anderson Thomson has pointed out.

Lepht said...

i have run into VenomFangX before; he is barely worth the air he consumes in those little video rants of his, in my opinion, but alas: no sapient has the right to kill another sapient. if you're aware of the context his ED article is sometimes lulzy. the idea that people deserve punishment for a sin their ancestors are alleged to have committed is truly fucked up, and i'm not surprised it came from him.

you and i seem to have read Revelation differently. there's nothing in the book to suggest that those three verses actually refer to the same guy other than the KJV's translation of them as "satan", and again, this is a misunderstanding of the Hebrew term ha-Satan via the Greek. if you were only looking at the English New version or the KJV, obviously, that's forgivable, since the modern versions have entirely ignored old Jim's fuckups and just updated his language.

it's this same shit that gave us "young woman Mary" in the Hebrew and "Virgin Mary" in the English. *sigh*

but yes, you and i are on the same page with regard to the idiocy of "revealed" dogma, and i assume any other dogma for that matter. the old book is really quite interestingly foul when not taken as holy from the get-go, no?

L

Ian said...

wow, that ED page was rather lulzy. i actually didn't know pcs was a geocentrist (although i know that another youtube user, nephillimfree, is. he also thinks the craters on the moon were caused by noah's flood, which thunderf00t debunked here in a rather embarrasing way--by using science and logic).

you're right, there's nothing to suggest that those verses all refer to the same person; i was just pointing out that i can see how that could have developed in christian thought.

speaking of mistranslations, a rather interesting one is found in the koran. some have argued that, in the promise of 72 virgins to a martyr, the word "virgins" is a mistranslation of "white raisins" (now how many victims of suicide missions might have been saved if only that had been more widely known?).

yes, any dogma that is taken as "sacred" is utter bullshit. if a statement is able to stand on its merits, then you don't need to take it as dogma; it will stand on its own merits. i think, however, that "revealed" dogma is especially stupid, because much of what is revealed is in direct contradiction with a book that they also take as "sacred" (that copernicus and gallileo turned out to be right is just one example)!

~Ian

Ian said...

by the way, you've so far only done two posts on creationism. you should do another, if only for the lulz.

Lepht said...

someone's gone and shitposted on it a bit though; i seem to remember its general levels of grammar and funny being higher than that. it needs a cleanup, if i could be arsed to EDit.

yeah, i knew about the raisins thing. i don't wanna ever pick up a copy of the Qur'an again, though; vilest book i ever laid eyes on, filled with hate and spite and zealotry. i was under the impression that it actually said 72 houri, which aren't really women at all, but sort of idealised perfect companions to fuck and ignore like all women should be according to that fucking pervert Mohammed.

L

Ian said...

ok, i just found what might be the worst creationist argument ever:

"The Bible says that people will disagree with it, so whenever you argue against the Bible, you're just proving it right."

...

~Ian

Lepht said...

... well, Sapiens Anonym says the Bible will disagree with it, so every time a Christian opens its ill-educated mouth, it's just proving Lepht correct.

(Lepht refers to Lepht in the third person here for comic effect, rather than out of schizophrenia.)

L

Ian said...

That's the entire problem with this argument. If the Koran said something like this, would they believe that too?

Oh wait, it does (Surah 84:22-23--Nay, but those who disbelieve will deny;and Allah knoweth best what they are hiding)! Yah, right.

Really, that's some prediction--someone's going to disagree with you? That's never happened before! If I predicted that the sun would rise tomorrow, would they think I'm the next Nostradamus?

Seriously, if I put a similar argument to anyone in favor of atheism, they'd think that I was a goddamn moron--and rightfully so!

~Ian

Lepht said...

yeah, i'm pretty sure that that little piece of illogic has been used in every religion ever. it reminds me of the teenager's "You're just attacking me because I'm right and you know it!".

you would think that people would see straight through it - i personally see "defences" like that as covert admittances that the document they occur in is utter bullshit - but no. believers see what they want to see, as always.

it saddens me that people take their comfort from such disgustingly barbaric texts instead of something with real comforting properties, like, say, our humanity.

L

Ian said...

i fully agree. i'm rather surprised that anyone could possibly make an argument like that without immediately dying of embarrasment. it's even worse than most arguments for creationism--which, as i'm sure you're aware, is saying something. i nominate the next person who makes this argument to win the Golden Crocoduck award.

and if you think i'm wrong, that just means i'm right ;-)

~Ian

PS: and i know i've said this before, but you should write another entry on creationism, just for the yuks and lulz on the part of us viewers.

Lepht said...

i might do that. it's been rather a neglected subject of mine, possibly because Equus Pallidus abandoned his attempts to convince me of "intelligent creationism" and left the blog when i put my Scarlet Letter up.

the problem is, it's so vastly wrong, in so many different fields. i wouldn't know where to start.

L

Ian said...

eh, you haven't yet said anything on the age of the Earth, so you could say something on that...

failing that, you could stick to refuting the batshit claims of the convicted fraudster Hyperlink to Kent Hovind .

~Ian

Lepht said...

urgh, i remember Hovind. my strongest memory of him before he was outed as the world's greatest hypocrite is of a film Professor Dawkins made: at one point he agrees to talk to the professor, but all he does is talk over Dawkins, interrupting everything he tries to say with "Don't be arrogant. Just don't be arrogant," in that smarmy oily voice of his. he disgusts me.

disgust, of course, is not really enough content for an essay, but creationist hypocrisy is perfect.

L

Max said...

Ship ho! People still sail these forsaken waters? I guess that means I'll have to scour the archives again...

I demand my anti-creationist post.

Lepht said...

they do, apparently, and i watch over them like a zombie Poseidon.

nergh. keep poking me and i will do it, honest. i give you all permission to poke me ruthlessly until i comply. (apart from you, Hans. you can fuck off.)

L

Adam said...

Just found your blog, and in love with all of it so far!

And, this post in particular. I don't understand why people argue that their belief system is right, solely because they have faith.

My favorite argument? Russel's Teapot. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. People are free to make whatever extraordinary claims they would like, but the burden of proof is theirs alone. And "faith" is no more proof than the spectral evidence used in the witch trials.

<3 ~ A

Ian said...

^ Just to correct you slightly, absence of evidence is evidence of absence if and only if the evidence should be there, but isn't.