Who wants a good laugh?

Is it so wrong of me to delight in the pleasure of reading truly terrible and infantile articles trying to “prove” the existence of God? Even though the arguments never change, I still delight in reading the faithful drone on and on about just how real God is, despite the fact they themselves readily admit to his imperviousness to falsifiability.

What I find fascinating is just how adamant religionists are in arguing the act of believing requires no proof, even when they themselves try to justify their own beliefs. Their mental gymnastics never cease to amaze me; take this hilarious article written by a well meaning Christian trying in vain to defend his belief in God:

Non-believers say they need PROOF that God exists and without it they cannot subject themselves to believing in what they call a “fictional” God. My argument for this is Love. We have no proof that love exists yet we think very highly of it. People live their entire lives looking and searching for love yet it is a feeling that cannot be proven to be concrete… There are a lot of things in life that can’t be proven but we still believe in them.

Uh, actually, we do know the emotion “love” is entirely a product of the brain; it’s not some ethereal emotion that can’t be explained by science. But wait, there’s more:

But for those people who need some sort of proof, here you go. First of all let’s look at the Bible. The Bible speaks of and passes on stories about God, his deeds, and his son. Why would a group of real people choose to make up elaborate and extensive stories of a fictional character? [Jake's notes: "Do we really need to answer this question??!!"] They have made no financial profit off their works and have no other reason to make up these stories. Not only can most of these characters in the Bible be proven and are known to be true but the most influential and important person in the Bible, Jesus, God’s son, is known to be a real person. So most of the Bible can be proven and thus agreed with…

So you don’t need proof at all to believe in God, but the Bible still proves it’s all true! Right. It rather is inconsequential he’s completely mistaken about the supposed historical reliability of the Old and New Testament; this is exactly the kind of weird “talking out of both sides of their mouths” responses that have become a stable of religious apologetics. One minute they are telling you proof is unnecessary, and the next they’re trying to convince you of the historical and even scientific accuracy of their beliefs. It’s further evidence we ALL need to have some form of proof to believe in something, even if we don’t all have the same standard for just how accurate it has to be.

Comments (14)

  • avatar

    Wendy

    “They have made no financial profit off of their works”

    Bahahha… AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dies laughing*

  • avatar

    Cintoast

    I now have a headache from reepeatedly facepalming, also isn’t the church one of the wealthiest organisations on the planet. And didn”t L. Ron Hubbard say if you want to get rich start a religion?

  • avatar

    Scion

    Oh, my absolute favourite:

    “What fun would it be for God to watch our free will at work if we were all perfect?”

    His answer to the Problem of Evil? – God thinks it’s fun!

    LMAO!

  • avatar

    Alejandro Sills

    “Love is entirely a product of the brain.”

    You are confusing the chemical signals with the thing signified. Love is not a feeling per se, but a way of living, an act of commitment to others based on kinship or personal ties. It is a choice, and a deterministic motion of atoms in one’s physiological structure does not amount to a choice. (By the way, do you believe in free will?)
    As for proofs of God’s existence, yes, the believer needs to give good reasons for his belief. I am sorry about those who told you otherwise. Here is an exhaustive essay that makes a case for God’s existence.
    http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html

  • avatar

    Alastair

    Ahahahaha!! Religious people are so funny: you dont need anything but faith, heres some “proof” though. LOL, amazing how dellusional some people get. The internal logic of the religious beliefs confuse and lock the mind in a set of rules, making the mind unable to see through the cloud of shit. No wonder they say such stupid things, its because they have a virus in their brain!

  • avatar

    Evilyna

    Well there you go. Not only are we godless, but loveless too.

    I found it funny how this was supposed to prove anything:
    “Why would a group of real people choose to make up elaborate and extensive stories of a fictional character?”

    Why would the Greeks write about Zeus? Why would the Romans about Jupiter? Why do we write books on fiction in modern age? Humans like to make up stories. Elaborate ones. Just because people have passed on a particular story, have had it interpreted, and distributed to mass amounts of people doesn’t give it any more historical weight than any ancient story.

    *sigh* I wish people would keep their nonsense to themselves.

  • avatar

    Oscar

    @Alejandro
    First: Free will can exist in determinism as long as it is based on epistemological probability. In short we have free will as long as we do not know what our own choices are going to be.

    Second: a) One could be very committed to ones slave owner and have personal ties to him. But it would not mean one loves him.
    b) Love is often not a choice but a affection that involuntarily grows over time “Like a flower/Or a mushroom/Or a guinea pig/Or a vine/Or a sponge/Or bigotry/… or a banana”
    c) Love [luhv] –noun
    1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
    2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
    3. sexual passion or desire.
    4. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
    5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?

    No mention of choice in any definition I have ever seen.

    Last: “As for proofs of God’s existence, yes, the believer needs to give good reasons for his belief. I am sorry about those who told you otherwise.” John 20:29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Hebrews 11:1″Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Religions have always used delusion (faith) to justify their beliefs.

  • avatar

    O'Leary

    @Oscar

    Not sure how controversial this is to be honest, but I strongly believe free will is illusory.

    Our minds are nothing more than impossibly complex computer programs running on the hardware of the brain. Who we are and the choices we make come from two sources; what we were born with, and what happens to us through life. Neither of these two sources are in our control.

    I also think it is very telling how little authority we have over our own bodies. We can’t stop them from storing fat we don’t need, growing hairs we don’t want, feeling pain that is often unnecessary, or even from conceiving after a rape.

    I don’t like oysters, but I didn’t “choose” not to like them, the choice was already made for me by my genetic make-up and a lifetime of experiences when I took my first mouthful. I don’t choose to be an Atheist either, I (literally) could not believe in God if my life depended on it; all I can choose to do is SAY I believe in him. More complex choices like buying a car or selecting a mate display even less evidence for free will IMO.

    Not knowing anything about determinism, I don’t know whether I’m agreeing with you, or arguing with you.

  • avatar

    Kevin

    “Why would a group of real people choose to make up elaborate and extensive stories of a fictional character?”

    Well, besides the laughably poor reason he ignores in his next sentence (monetary gain,) there are many, many other reasons.

    Power, respect, a free pass to do what you want.

    I’m reminded of Full Metal Alchemist (a really good manga) and what Father Cornello said his reason for manifesting his power was, in order to get a large group of people willing to do whatever he wants them to do, as far as to conquer the country his city was in.

  • avatar

    Oscar

    @O’Leary
    If we have a disagreement it is probably only a semantic one.

    What I mean by free will is that we are capable of approaching many options and, after comparing them against our priorities (emotional or rational or anything else), we pick the one our priorities lead us to.

    In order for something to be an option I mean there needs to be a chance or probability that I WILL pick it and a chance or probability that I WILL NOT pick it. This probability can be physical or epistemological.

    Things like Quantum Indeterminism allow for physical probabilities to have values between 1 and 0 non-inclusive (e.g. 50-50 chance). It is unclear to me whether these quantum effects occur at the level of the brain. If the brain acts deterministically then all physical probabilities (at the brain level) have to have values of exactly 1 or 0 . This would invalidate any kind of free will that is based on physical probability.

    Epistemological probability is a kind of “chance” that is based on our lack of knowledge. If you flip a coin, catch it, place your hand palm down on the table and it lands on heads then the physical probability that it landed on heads is 100% and physical probability that it landed on tails is 0%. But if you have not lifted your hand off the coin then the epistemological probability (from your POV) is 50-50 because you do not know what side it landed on. Epistemological probability is, in a sense, subjective. If a friend of yours has X-ray vision and can see the coin through your hand then the epistemological probability is 100-0 (from his POV).

    Unless you are omniscient it is likely you do not know what your actions will be until you pick an action. In this sense you have free will because there was a epistemological chance that you would do something else or change your mind. It is irrelevant that what makes you chose does not originate in “you”.

    You could say that epistemological probability is an illusory version of physical probability. And that what I call free will is what you call the illusion of free will. And that is why I think our disagreement is just semantic.

    For more on this topic I recommend Daniel Dennett’s lecture on Free Will:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKLAbWFCh1E

  • avatar

    O'Leary

    @Oscar

    Cheers, I’ll check that link out. Free will is a very interesting subject that both Theists and Atheists can be touchy about…

  • avatar

    keeyop

    so much for “good laughs”… [as the discussion broke down into a PHILOSOPHICAL DEBATE about free will vs. determinism]; “are we flippin’ switches, or are switches flippin’ us?” neither. both.
    where’s “god” in all this? as usual, in one’s head. if at all.

  • avatar

    keeyop

    P.S.- the scariest fucking thing is the fact that the referenced work of fallacious, grammatically sloppy tripe is presented by McGraw-Hill! (publishers of educational textbooks for generations!) WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT?!?!!!

  • avatar

    Zombie Jesus

    “Why would a group of real people choose to make up elaborate and extensive stories of a fictional character?”

    You know, I wrote a whole novel about a fictional character while I was in high school. If the conditions are that I’m real and I wrote an elaborate story about his adventure, does this mean that his experiences happened? I wonder where he is right now and what he’s doing…

    I wonder if people years from now will be able to conclude that The Da Vinci Code [horrible title, by the way, as he had no last name--Da Vinci referring to his birthplace] was a work of fiction. People may dig up the musty tome and then canonize it, as we did with the books of the Bible. I wonder how we would have treated the Bible when it created if it was also presented under the appropriate “Fiction” section.

    As for love: the reason why we can’t explain it is because it is far too complex. Sadly, not being able to fully comprehend something seems to be the mantra of Intelligent Design. But, love is just incredibly multi-faceted. It is a combination of biological and social circumstances which compare favourably to our own. Here, I have narrowed it down into two categories, both of which contain so many variables, that it becomes hard and confusing to ascertain the fundamental reasons as to why we love what we love.

    The writer is referring to what Immanuel Kant (fucking Kant) labeled synthetic a priori judgments. These refer to knowledge that is outside of experience, but inherently known. It is why people think they can make the assertion, “I don’t need proof that God exists, I just KNOW that God exists,” and somehow not be ridiculed.

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