(I’m posting a few things today, so be sure to scroll down and take a look at my other posts today: Religion and deteriorating societies, and Steampunk magazine.)
A couple of recent posts on The Friendly Atheist are rather good–and both are content from other people, so this is like 3rd level hearsay. 🙂
As a moral atheist you have a number of rights and responsibilities. These include (but are not limited to):
1. Have no gods. 2. Don’t worship stuff. 3. Be polite. 4. Take a day off once in a while. 5. Be nice to folks. 6. Don’t kill people. 7. Don’t cheat on your significant other. 8. Don’t steal stuff. 9. Don’t lie about stuff. 10. Don’t be greedy.
Remember, theists may condemn you for living by this code because you are doing it of your own free will instead of because you’re afraid that if you don’t a supreme being will set you on fire.
The other post is <>The Evidence Available in Our Universe Shows That God Really Does Not Exist. In it, he reprints the chair of the First Amendment Task Force for the Council for Secular Humanism’s Eddie Tabash’s evidence for there being no (Christian) god. They’re a summary of the various points that are brought up to Christian apologists to answer, as is their burden of proof–but none ever do satisfactorily. I myself would love to hear some convincing answers to these questions; I know so long as these questions remain unanswered, “belief” in the Christian myth is impossible:
The Evidence Available in Our Universe Shows That God Really Does Not Exist
The Supernatural Does Not Exist.
Itâ€™s not just that cows donâ€™t jump over skyscrapers, itâ€™s that they physically canâ€™t. Many believers say that science does not rule out the supernatural. Science applies an empirical method of looking at the evidence in our physical world. Upon examination, the scientific method results in rejecting the supernatural claims of religion the same as it results in ruling out all other paranormal claims. The supposed miracles of the Bible do not have any greater claim on reality than do the claims of UFO abductions. In fact, claims of UFO abductions may be more believable than the supernatural assertions of religion, because a visitation from another planet may not require violation of the laws of nature as do supposed Biblical miracles.
Miracles Didnâ€™t Happen Then and Donâ€™t Happen Now.
If miracles occurred in Biblical times, why donâ€™t they occur now? It is highly suspect to claim that all the shock and awe stuff was only performed for the benefit of ancient primitive people, but denied to us modern folk today. Miracle claims initially bear witness against themselves, as they claim to violate the very laws of nature that should not be violated.
Dependence of Consciousness on the Physical Brain Makes Life After Death Unlikely.
If even Alzheimerâ€™s Disease or an anesthetic can totally eclipse consciousness, how much more will self awareness be annihilated by death? Everything we know, all expansions of our field of awareness, come about by sensory input into a physical brain. How can this persist when there is no longer a physical body and brain?
Existence of Evil in the World, Both Human-Created and Natural, is More Likely in a Godless World.
An all powerful God would be able to get points across and teach lessons and improve our character without placing us in a world of such tremendous suffering. What benefit is there to the Ebola virus that eats away at peopleâ€™s flesh? Why did we need Auschwitz? Couldnâ€™t something less horrendous have gotten whatever point across that God was trying to make? For Godâ€™s existence to be compatible with the evil in the world, there would have to be no occurrence of evil that is gratuitous and beyond justification.
Evolution is More Likely in a Godless World.
While one can simultaneously believe in Darwinian evolution and in God, evolution is more likely in a Godless world. Evolution by natural selection is sloppy and wasteful. More than 99% of all species that ever existed on Earth are now extinct. Matches of DNA sequences show that humans and gorillas shared a common ancestor.
Divine Hiddenness: A Personal God That Wanted Loving Relationships with Human Beings Wouldnâ€™t Be So Hidden.
Why is God so stingy with direct evidence? Again, the supposed miracles that attest to a supernatural power all happened in ancient pre-scientific times, in which there existed no means of reliable verification. These supposed miracles are not being duplicated today so that we could see that such things are possible. Scientific errors in the Bible and its other flaws, including the commanding of atrocities, all make Scripture much harder to believe. A loving God would not erect such high barriers to belief and then further compound the difficulty in believing by providing us with such strong evidential circumstances against the supernatural, such as the inviolability of the laws of nature.
The Religious Confusion in the World is Incompatible with a God That Wants Us To Get It Right.
If God wants us to choose the best mode of worship or communion, why is there so much reasonable confusion in the world regarding religions? Why do the yogis of India and the Dalai Lama bring back from their meditations a sense of some all-loving cosmic soup, and yet many Christians believe that anyone who tries to approach God, other than through Jesus, will burn in hell eternally? Biblical contradictions also exacerbate the problem of confusion. A loving God should have commissioned a clearer and less confusing Bible.
Godâ€™s Existence Cannot Be Rescued By Claiming the Need for a First Cause.
As best as we can determine, time and space began with the Big Bang. Prior to the Big Bang, there was no time or space in which sequential causation could have occurred. So we cannot speak of the universeâ€™s coming into existence as needing a â€œcauseâ€ in the same sense that a tall building in the middle of a city needed a cause.
Godâ€™s Existence Cannot Be Rescued By Claiming That Life is so Improbable That It Could Only Come About if the Universe Were Fine Tuned by a Supernatural Force.
Believers claim that the constants in the universe that made it possible for life to emerge are so unlikely that the stage could not have been set by [anyone] other than a divine being. However, we have nothing to compare our universe to. We cannot point to a million universes and note that they are lifeless and thus affirm that the appearance of life in our universe was so unlikely that a supernatural force had to jump start it.
Godâ€™s Existence Cannot Be Rescued By Claiming That the Emergence of Life on Earth Demonstrates an Underlying Intelligent Design.
The claim that some biological organisms are irreducibly complex fails to account for the redundant gene, a duplication of an existing gene that can experiment with a new function while the old otherwise identical one continues to do its standard work. The claim that the existence of specifiably complex organisms demonstrates the need for an intelligent designer fails because these can be accounted for by the mutations of natural selection.