Nov 6, 2011

105 Could you be wrong about everything?

 Believer asks: Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know?

Skeptic answers: Well, if I were to answer "Yes," I would be making a truth claim. So, I could be wrong about that truth claim, too. So we start all over again! I myself, however, answer "No," because I don't see how a person could be wrong about everything.

By the way, the question itself is supposed to lead to God; you can know certain things thanks to God. But it makes grand assumptions: One) that a God told you things, and Two) that a God told you truths.

Anyway, it's really a trick question if you answer it "yes." But the believer never tells you so. If the believer doesn't know it's a trick question, he needs to learn it is. But if he knows it's a trick question, he's being disingenuous. 

Nov 5, 2011

104 Is atheism a religion

Believer says: Atheism it’s a religion because it ends with -ism.  

But skeptic says: Well, the economics of capitalism isn't a religion. And socialism isn't a religion. Artistic realism isn't classified as a religion, either. But all of them end with -ism. While I'm at it, I can mention sexism and autism. They aren't religions, either, although they end with -ism. Thus the guy who says all of the -isms are religions has misspoken himself.

Recap: An -ism isn't always some kind of religion. So it's silly to define atheism as a religion just because the word ends with -ism.

Nov 4, 2011

103 Is science a religion

Believers may say: Science cannot explain everything. 

But skeptic says: Yes, that’s completely true. But science will do fine until everything can be explained. Ha. 

Believer says: Science is just another religion.

But skeptic says: Well, it doesn't really matter what you choose to call it. The point is, church religion has never landed a rocket on the moon. But the “religion" of science has done it. Church religion hasn't given us computers or the internet. But the “religion" of science has given us those things.

A friend of mine once asked a Christian, who was down on science, would he go to a doctor or a church if he were really sick. The Christian chose the doctor--medical science. It was obvious which one the Christian would rely on although “science couldn’t explain everything” and “science was just another religion.”

Nov 3, 2011

102 When Kalam goes ka-plop

Believer says: The Kalam Cosmological Argument is a sound argument that the uncaused cause of the cosmos is God. 

But skeptic says: Well, theists may assume that they get off to a good start with the introduction to Kalam. The Kalam Argument: 

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe had a beginning. 

3. Therefore the universe has a cause. 

4. That cause is God (a popular extension to the Kalam argument).  

5. God is an uncaused cause (another popular extension to the Kalam argument).

Of course modern astronomy agrees with the Kalam premise that “the universe began to exist.” However, physicists don’t know how the cosmos came. They assume that a pre-existing energy field was the cause. Kalam doesn’t carry us very far about it, the cause of the universe. 

Kalam doesn’t talk about a creator God but theists mix Genesis (“in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”) with Kalam. They say "God did it" and make it part of Kalam. They preach in disguise, "I believe Genesis chapter 1 and take it on faith." I say theists should skip Kalam altogether (it can't help them) and should just say they believe Genesis. At least they would save time!

Nov 2, 2011

101 How others made you a god in those days

In the New Testament Book of Acts, a snake bites the apostle Paul on the island of Mata.

So the people there say that Paul must be a murderer. They say to one another, The Fates are punishing the murderer with a snake bite 

Acts 28:3 Paul gathered up a bundle of sticks and was putting them on the fire when a snake came out on account of the heat and fastened itself to his hand. 4 The natives saw the snake hanging on Paul's hand and said to one another, "This man must be a murderer, but Fate will not let him live, even though he escaped from the sea storm."  

After a long time Paul shows no ill effects. And so the natives assume that Paul is a god  

5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire without being harmed at all. 6 They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after waiting for a long time and not seeing anything unusual happening to him, they changed their minds and said, "He is a god!"  

In the Book of Acts again, Paul and his comrade, Barnabas, go to another town and heal a lame man. Seeing this, the superstitious townspeople assume that the two apostles are manifestations the gods Zeus and Hermes. In fact the locals seek to make a sacrifice to the apostles 

Acts 14:11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us!" 12 They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles.

Recap: First-century superstition held that a god could take a human form and walk among the people. The Book of Acts says Paul performed a marvel and so the people reasoned that he was a god. The inhabitants of Malta believed it and another town did, too. I say Christians believe along the same lines. They assume that Jesus was God thanks to the Gospel legend about his working miracles. They accept it although they can't check to verify if it was a fact.

Related post:
51 Was Jesus God walking on earth

Nov 1, 2011

100 Atheists believe that non-life produces life

Believer says: To be an atheist, you have to believe that non-life produces life.

But skeptic says: Well, it isn’t hard to believe that non-life might have produced life in the distant past. After all, exactly what is life that non-life couldn’t have given it a kick-start? 

Science can’t explain the origin of life yet, though. It only explains that the atmosphere of the “young” earth was different from today. Current-day theists and non-theists speculate from there, regarding abiogenesis, the origin of life on Earth.

Recap: It could be possible although it's not yet proven that non-life produced life on the primordial earth. Nobody knows yet.  

Related post:
47 Did Isaac Newton suggest the God of the gaps