Hi there, and welcome to what is destined to become your new favourite blog. Unless, of course, you're not very cool. In which case, you probably won't like it very much.

My name is Lance.

I'm a Philosophy major using a philosopher's toolbox to investigate a variety of life's issues.

Activities that I enjoy include making bad jokes, playing chess, go, & other strategy games, solving puzzles, cooking, eating food drenched in hot sauce, exercising, reading, writing, socializing, taking long walks, and generally striving towards self-improvement and living a fulfilling, virtuous, happy life.

When a man said to Diogenes that it was a bad thing to live; "Not to live," said he, "but to live badly."

A thoughtful counter-argument is always more appealing to me than unthinking agreement.

 

deathbyaegyo:

amazingatheist:

goebel:

I am stunned by how bad this argument is. If you look at this argument closely or try to apply this argument to other questions, it plainly reveals itself as a sophism.
The key piece of logic (though it’s a stretch to call it that) in this argument is that if a question has answers that are contradictory then you can assume that all of the answers are invalid. This argument, applied to religion, as Hitchens states it: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”
Let’s say for a moment that you are taking a mathematics test back in grade school. It’s a multiple choice test, lucky you! It goes as follows:

23. 2+2=?
a. 4
b. 5
c. 8
d. all of the above
e. none of the above

Let’s brilliantly apply Hitchens’ reasoning to this problem: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that 2+2 can equal 4, 5, and 8 and not equal 4, 5, and 8, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong”
It’s lunacy!
Furthermore, if you apply the logic to the question of religion vs non-religion you’ll end up with a statement that goes like this: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that a deity created the universe and no deity created the universe, the most reasonable conclusion is that both are wrong!”
So, in conclusion, while I’m an atheist, I find this argument incredibly stupid because the assumption that you can infer that all answers to a question are wrong under the condition that they cannot possibly be conceived of in harmony is incredibly flawed due to pretty much every question conceivable containing answers that are blatantly contradictory.
Christopher, would you like a cupcake as a reward for this compelling argument? “Yes” or “no”, your answer is wrong because it’s inconceivable that “yes” and “no” are both your choice and therefore the most reasonable conclusion is to assume that both are wrong.

I actually had a similar objection for a few seconds, but then I realized the crucial difference between religion and some of the other multiple choice scenarios that could be used to dismiss this argument. Religious ideas are all generated by human beings and they are all mutually exclusive and the real correct answer is not known. Your mathematics example doesn’t meet those criteria. 2+2 is a concrete problem with an objectively correct answer that is known.
If you look at religions as attempts to answer the questions of “how did we get here and what is our purpose?” then there is an objective answer to that question too, but there is also ignorance as to the answer—and that ignorance is the key to making Hitch’s argument work. The fact that there are more possible explanations for how and why we’re here than we could ever conceive of, and only one could be right means that any one answer, chosen at random, is very nearly 100% certain to be wrong. 
The true test of Hitch’s argument is to see if it would be true under other approximate conditions. So, imagine that I have chosen a sequence of 5,000,000 numbers between 1 and 80. We’ll call this sequence “the most difficult lottery in the universe”. If everyone on earth guessed forever, and held the conviction that there guess was correct, it would be absurd. They’d all be wrong. The odds of one of them being right are some astronomical that to even give the idea credence is lunacy.
So, I think what Hitch had to say here definitely stands. It may not be a deductive argument in the strictest sense, but it’s about as strong as an inductive argument can get. 

Hitchens is saying that that the inconceivability of mutual correctness (A) is what leads to the conclusion that all religions are wrong (B). That’s not true, as demonstrated by goebel. What makes it likely that they are all wrong, according to TJ, is the tremendous number of possible answers to the questions religion is concerned with (C). 
Summary: Hitchens says A -> B. Goebel disproves it. TJ says C -> B. Hitchens is still wrong.

Taken literally, Hitchens claim is A-> B. TJ suggests that C is implied in Hitchens’ reasoning. I don’t think that Hitchens intended C to be a part of his argument, but even if he did, all it does is present a new problem.
My problem with that particular line of reasoning is that it relies on the assumption that religious beliefs are all simply guess-work.
Let’s just forget addition for a moment. What does 2+2 equal? Well, there are an infinite amount of potential correct answers. If we were plucking numbers at random, we’d most likely have it wrong. You certainly agree. But we have a method. We use logic to deduce the correct and proper answer. This is why the line of reasoning outlined by The Amazing Atheist, C, would fail if you attempted to apply it to mathematics: there is a method, you’re not plucking numbers at random.
The same goes for religion. For centuries, philosophers have debated the metaphysical questions behind religion. While you may disagree with the conclusions of the religious philosophers throughout the years, it would be difficult for you to assert that they lack method to reach their conclusions, that they are just plucking random numbers.

deathbyaegyo:

amazingatheist:

goebel:

I am stunned by how bad this argument is. If you look at this argument closely or try to apply this argument to other questions, it plainly reveals itself as a sophism.

The key piece of logic (though it’s a stretch to call it that) in this argument is that if a question has answers that are contradictory then you can assume that all of the answers are invalid. This argument, applied to religion, as Hitchens states it: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”

Let’s say for a moment that you are taking a mathematics test back in grade school. It’s a multiple choice test, lucky you! It goes as follows:

23. 2+2=?

a. 4

b. 5

c. 8

d. all of the above

e. none of the above

Let’s brilliantly apply Hitchens’ reasoning to this problem: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that 2+2 can equal 4, 5, and 8 and not equal 4, 5, and 8, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong”

It’s lunacy!

Furthermore, if you apply the logic to the question of religion vs non-religion you’ll end up with a statement that goes like this: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that a deity created the universe and no deity created the universe, the most reasonable conclusion is that both are wrong!”

So, in conclusion, while I’m an atheist, I find this argument incredibly stupid because the assumption that you can infer that all answers to a question are wrong under the condition that they cannot possibly be conceived of in harmony is incredibly flawed due to pretty much every question conceivable containing answers that are blatantly contradictory.

Christopher, would you like a cupcake as a reward for this compelling argument? “Yes” or “no”, your answer is wrong because it’s inconceivable that “yes” and “no” are both your choice and therefore the most reasonable conclusion is to assume that both are wrong.

I actually had a similar objection for a few seconds, but then I realized the crucial difference between religion and some of the other multiple choice scenarios that could be used to dismiss this argument. Religious ideas are all generated by human beings and they are all mutually exclusive and the real correct answer is not known. Your mathematics example doesn’t meet those criteria. 2+2 is a concrete problem with an objectively correct answer that is known.

If you look at religions as attempts to answer the questions of “how did we get here and what is our purpose?” then there is an objective answer to that question too, but there is also ignorance as to the answer—and that ignorance is the key to making Hitch’s argument work. The fact that there are more possible explanations for how and why we’re here than we could ever conceive of, and only one could be right means that any one answer, chosen at random, is very nearly 100% certain to be wrong. 

The true test of Hitch’s argument is to see if it would be true under other approximate conditions. So, imagine that I have chosen a sequence of 5,000,000 numbers between 1 and 80. We’ll call this sequence “the most difficult lottery in the universe”. If everyone on earth guessed forever, and held the conviction that there guess was correct, it would be absurd. They’d all be wrong. The odds of one of them being right are some astronomical that to even give the idea credence is lunacy.

So, I think what Hitch had to say here definitely stands. It may not be a deductive argument in the strictest sense, but it’s about as strong as an inductive argument can get. 

Hitchens is saying that that the inconceivability of mutual correctness (A) is what leads to the conclusion that all religions are wrong (B). That’s not true, as demonstrated by goebel. What makes it likely that they are all wrong, according to TJ, is the tremendous number of possible answers to the questions religion is concerned with (C). 

Summary: Hitchens says A -> B. Goebel disproves it. TJ says C -> B. Hitchens is still wrong.

Taken literally, Hitchens claim is A-> B. TJ suggests that C is implied in Hitchens’ reasoning. I don’t think that Hitchens intended C to be a part of his argument, but even if he did, all it does is present a new problem.

My problem with that particular line of reasoning is that it relies on the assumption that religious beliefs are all simply guess-work.

Let’s just forget addition for a moment. What does 2+2 equal? Well, there are an infinite amount of potential correct answers. If we were plucking numbers at random, we’d most likely have it wrong. You certainly agree. But we have a method. We use logic to deduce the correct and proper answer. This is why the line of reasoning outlined by The Amazing Atheist, C, would fail if you attempted to apply it to mathematics: there is a method, you’re not plucking numbers at random.

The same goes for religion. For centuries, philosophers have debated the metaphysical questions behind religion. While you may disagree with the conclusions of the religious philosophers throughout the years, it would be difficult for you to assert that they lack method to reach their conclusions, that they are just plucking random numbers.

(Source: amazingatheist)

15 day political challenge? Pfft, I don’t think so.

Day 1 - How do you identify politically? What is the name you use for your political views?

You can call me an Anarchist, you can call me a Libertarian Socialist, hell, you can even call me a council communist if you want.

Essentially, instead of using the word “freedom” in an ideological and subjective fashion where it really doesn’t have a concrete meaning, I posit a real and objective definition, that is: An equality in freedom. If my freedom is expanded at the expense of someone else’s they are not free, if the opposite is true I am not free, in either case no state of freedom exists and there is instead a state of domination. 

I think that in such a state of equal freedom people will self-manage and organize in the ways that suite them based on their own personal motives and interests. Personally, I would prefer to be involved in a communistic or gift economy; Simply because that’s how I tend to act. I like being generous and sharing with others, and in response to that people are generous back to me.

Day 2 - What three political issues are the most important to you? 

Oh jeez. That’s a tough one for me because what I take particular interest in (such as the equality of freedom stated above) are not generally considered political issues.

The first real issue that comes to mind would be election structure. In that our elections have always been set up in a way as to be an opportunity for the functionality state to be auctioned off to the elite economic class.

"Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. ” - James Madison

Elections now a days still hold true to this format, perhaps more than ever. Democrats and republicans both represent business interest (just slightly different businesses) as opposed to the interests of the people. Thomas Ferguson’s “Golden Rule” is a great book on this topic, I highly recommend it.

The second will be foreign policy, as a US citizen that pretty much needs to be in my list, for I am partially responsible, because of our foreign policy, for hundreds of thousands of deaths over the past couple years. A few people will probably jump on my back for this, but Noam Chomsky is a good source for information on this topic.

The third I will choose is inequality. This topic has been fascinating me recently, mostly racial and gender inequality. For racial inequality I’ve read a lot of Tim Wise books, some books about incarceration (due obviously to the extremely high amount of minorities in prison), and Irvin Painter’s “The History of White People”. For gender inequality I’ve read some Dworkin, Davis, and Dines but I have not quite delved into that issue enough at this point. Oh, also the anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday. 

Day 3 - Do you believe in the power of minority parties or are minority parties harmful to liberal politics?

It really depends on how you define “liberal”. When it comes to anything that I see as useful, fuck no; It’s better to start setting up alternatives to the democratic party. If you mean democrats, by liberal, then sure, it probably does hurt them, but I consider that a possible positive.

Day 4 - What do you think of Communism? Socialism?
Seeing as how capitalism is based on appropriating of capital beyond that which you can personally use and there is scarcity capitalism inevitably leads to a state of domination and thus I oppose it. So, yes, I am a socialist in the libertarian sense, as I stated earlier, and would prefer to participate in a communistic economy. 

Day 5 - What do you think of anarchy?

See answer number 1. XD

Day 6 - Do you vote? Why or why not? (if you’re too young to vote, will you vote when you are old enough?)

I haven’t had the chance to vote yet as I just recently reached the age to do so, but I will vote. If I am in a swing state at the time, I’ll vote democrat because I think the businesses that fund their party, because they tend to be more labour intensive, have more common ground with the interests of the people and are thus preferable. If I live in a state such as Illinois, my current state, that nearly always goes one way or another, I’ll participate in propping up alternatives.

Day 7 - Is war ever justified?

This is a question that always gets muddled. It’s similar to the question of whether violence and force are ever justified. The answer is, of course, yes. Force can be justified. Where most people make error is proclaiming that force all fits into one category and not bothering to look at the different possible applications. In my view, it’s best to split force into aggressive and defensive force. Aggressive force is any force that attempts to limit, limits, or holds in place an already set limit on someone else’s freedom in order to prop up the freedom of another while defensive force is force used in order to maintain or create a state of equality. In short, aggressive force leads to domination and defensive force leads to freedom. The same can be said of war, just replace force with war.
Day 8 - Can the ends justify the means if the means are morally questionable? (Ends justify means: the importance of the final goal justifies the ways you get that goal)

The simple answer seems to be that they can but it varies from case to case. I see no reason to give a definite answer to this question as there are way too many variables.

Day 9 - What do you think of political parties?

In general: I’m not quiet sure honestly.

What we have now: Total shit and a near-complete lack of representation.

Day 10 - What do you think of democracy? Can we resolve the problems that democracy has now?

When asked: How should issues be decided? Most people will say democracy, one person should make the decision, consensus, etc. I don’t think these should be used definitively. They are simply algorithms of solving problems, one is better in a certain situation while another is better in a different situation. When I get dressed in the morning, I don’t hold an election to decide which socks I should put on, but on the other hand I don’t get to decide how to change our community’s water supply system. The simple answer is that people should have a say in decisions based on how much it effects them; The name for this, I think, is self-management.

Day 11 - Who decides questions of morality and justice: individuals, states, or communities?

See previous answer.

Day 12 - Who is your favorite political figure of all time? Post a picture of him/her.

Pyotr Kropotkin. Look at that sick beard.

Day 13 - Describe your idea of utopia.

A perfect system doesn’t exist. XD

Day 14 - Which country’s political system do you admire the most?

It wasn’t really a country, per-say, but I admire the system that Catalonia had set up.

Day 15 - Shout something political.

FREE PALESTINE!

15 day atheist challenge? Pfft, I don’t think so.

1. At what point did you become an atheist? Why did you become one, what were the factors leading up to the decision, if you weren’t always one?

It was either in third or fourth grade, I can’t remember which it was. I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic school up until 6th grade. I knew about Christianity obviously, although really only one brand of it, and they also briefly taught us about what Judaism and Islam were at said school, but other religions were never mentioned. The decision to raise me Catholic was my Mother’s decision while my Father had always told me to think for myself. One day I realized that you didn’t have to believe in God, that it wasn’t required, and after thinking about whether I should believe in God I decided that I didn’t have any good reason to. I looked up the word for someone who doesn’t believe in God later that day and started calling myself an atheist. Until I started educating myself in Philosophy I had essentially come to the conclusion of logical positivism (which I now disagree with strongly for the record) and from there it’s obvious why I wouldn’t believe in the Christian God. I dismissed the other two religions that I knew of for the same reasons.

2. What religion did you grow up with? Did you have positive or negative experiences with religion?

As I said in 1, Catholicism. I had a pretty bad experience with it, thinking back, but only AFTER I had made a claim of atheism. The very first time I said I was an atheist the conversation went like this:

Me: I’m an atheist.

Jessica: What’s that?

Me: It means I do not believe in God. 

Jessica: What? You don’t believe in God? What are you stupid?

I suppose the bad experience is simply a result of most, if not all, of the religious that I had encountered being total imbeciles with minds tightly welded shut.

3. Are you more outspoken or more apathetic atheist? Why?

I like to talk about what I think, so outspoken I guess. It’s not as if I take preference in talking about atheism though, I just like talking about my thoughts in general. I like putting them out there for essentially three reasons

  1. To make good conversation
  2. To possible educate myself about new evidence and logical arguments
  3. To possible educate others about the same except from their frame of reference

So this is a bit difficult to answer because I’m not particularly outspoken about my atheism and am just outspoken in general; My attitude towards atheism specifically is in the middle of the two, it’s just another bunch of thoughts clustered in my brain.

4. Do you think religion is obsolete and should be wiped completely off the face of the earth, or do you think some good comes from it?

It is most definitely obsolete. There is no reason to stick with the naive superstitions and prejudices of our ancestors when we have access to mounds and mounds of information that they simply lacked. Given that, do I want to FORCE it to be eliminated? No. It must be something that happens on its own, which is good reason to believe that it will never happen completely.

5. Did you lose any friends because you decided to be an atheist? Did your family flip out?

I haven’t lost friends since prior to my atheism I was the shyest of kids who was incredibly lonely and had no friends. It’s perhaps the case that I’ve lost opportunities to make some new friends because of it, but it’s hard to say for sure.

I never told my family directly. I simply started talking about how Christianity was shit, essentially, and it was obvious that I had given it up. When I did that my Father agreed with me and my Mother seemed apathetic.

The only thing relatively close to a “flip out” that happened was fairly recent. My Grandmother came into my room (after I think hearing an AmazingAtheist video that I was listening to) and said “You really ought to believe in God” and I asked “why?” and she responded “Because it’s good for you!” and walked out and slammed the door.

6. How do you feel about so-called “militant atheists” like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris?

You mean the New Atheists who are essentially the third generation of Logical Positivists? I disagree very strongly with a core aspect of their philosophy, pretty much on the same grounds as Karl Popper, so it’s difficult for me to think much of them. I do appreciate some of the works of Daniel Dennett, though.

7. Except for God, do you believe in anything supernatural or pseudosceintific? (Ghosts, alien abductions, spirits, souls, demons, psychics, magic, Harry Potter, etc.)

I believe that aliens likely exist (we ourselves are evidence of that) but they’ve likely never had any sort of contact with Earth, so in the sense posed in the question I do not believe. So no, I don’t.

8. What’s your political alignment? Does your atheism influence how you vote and how you feel on issues?

I’m an anarchist. My atheism doesn’t really effect my view in politics in any substantial way. My political views kind of influence my attitudes towards religion though. For example, if the Christian God existed, I’d hate that bastard. He wants me to serve and worship him and he burns people for all of eternity if they don’t. Fuck that guy; He’s more tyrannical than any modern state.

Speaking of that, I highly recommend Bakunin’s “God & The State”, it’s much more compelling than today’s atheist thinkers in my opinion.

9. Even though you’re an atheist, have you ever experienced a moment that could be called “religious?” Like an epiphany about the world or complete peace?

By far my most compelling and articulate answer:

Uhhh, no.

10. Are you spiritual, or are your feet always on the ground?

I’m not sure I totally understand the question, but I try to think about things thoroughly and not be taken in by superstitions, so I think the latter. 

11. Do you have or plan on having a career in the sciences? Alternatively: which brand of science interests you most?

No I do not. I have some semblance of a desire to get a PhD and be a college professor or some sort of lecturer, but that will likely never happen as I do not have the funds.

12. What happens when we die? Do you fear death?

Most likely nothing. All evidence points to our consciousness being a result of our brain (if our brain is altered then so is our personality).

Actually I really don’t. I’ve likely said the opposite before but I’ve had a few near-death experiences and in the moment I’m never really afraid. We all play this game called life, we all die, no big deal.

13. Would you ever date or marry someone who follows a religion? Be honest.

I’m dating a Christian right now, so the obvious answer is of course not that’d be awful.

14. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with life at this moment, and why?

A 9. I can’t really conceive of things being better than they are right now, but they probably can so I’ll give it a bit of room to grow XD

15. Recommend a book. Doesn’t have to be relevant to atheism, just any good book.

Woops, I already kinda did this above with Bakunin’s God & The State. I’ll do another one though: William James’ “The Variety of Religious Experience”.

A change in man’s way of thinking will not automatically eliminate any of society’s problems, not even the smallest and most inconsequential ones.

If most people of influence had certain opinions that are currently only held by those with little influence then many social problems would be vastly improved upon; We have available knowledge, ingenuity, and material resources to make a far fairer world than we currently have; I desire to take a look at the obstacles which prevent us from availing ourselves to those problems and to address the difficulties that stand in the way of such a change in mind-set and how to over-come them.

The world seems to require immediate moral and economic changes that to most seem impossible to even imagine. We have new problems and adjustments to make yet no preliminary intellectual regeneration has been made. We must first create a new attitude of mind in order to cope with new conditions and utilize new knowledge, then and only then can we take advantage of these new conditions and knowledge in order to question the opinions which have been handed down to use by men from far different times with less scientific knowledge available.

In order to achieve this intellectual regeneration and attitude of mind we must first overcome inveterate natural tendencies and artificial habits of long standing. In order to put ourselves in a position to think of new ideas and question old ones which we fear examining we must first rid ourselves of our fond prejudices and open our minds. 

conservativebrew:

Abort enough babies to equal 625 Nagasaki’s, call it “choice.”

You’re such a fuckface, conservativebrew. Okay, let’s just assume for one minute here that abortion is murder, for sake of argument. Foreign policy is run on a top-down manner, the decisions are made by a select group of people and they are translated down; THOSE AT THE TOP are those being called murderers here. When it comes to abortion, however, it’s the choice of each individual person who fucking had them. You can’t trace the decision and responsibility back to a single source because the decisions were made by (roughly, probably a small percent less than) the amount of abortions that were had.
Fucking idiot.

conservativebrew:

Abort enough babies to equal 625 Nagasaki’s, call it “choice.”

You’re such a fuckface, conservativebrew. Okay, let’s just assume for one minute here that abortion is murder, for sake of argument. Foreign policy is run on a top-down manner, the decisions are made by a select group of people and they are translated down; THOSE AT THE TOP are those being called murderers here. When it comes to abortion, however, it’s the choice of each individual person who fucking had them. You can’t trace the decision and responsibility back to a single source because the decisions were made by (roughly, probably a small percent less than) the amount of abortions that were had.

Fucking idiot.

(Source: ontologies)

makingmywaytothetop:

I never liked science.

Okay, let’s go through this bit by bit. I do this to stretch my brain out a bit, but also because I hope that if I present reasonable arguments for what I believe is correct that some will change their minds or at very least present counter arguments.
Isaiah 40:22 “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in”
It is actually that biblical verse which suggests that the earth was a flat disk. If you look at the Hebrew version, the word for circle was used, the Hebrews had a word for sphere that would have been far more appropriate if they authors had known about the earth’s spherical nature. 
As for science, Aristotle accepted that the earth was spherical by empirical means at around 300 B.C. and no serious intellectuals since the Pre-Socrates believed that the earth was flat.
Jeremiah 33:22 “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.” 
At this point it’s pretty clear to me that the author of this little chart hadn’t read the bible. “the host of heaven” does not refer to stars, throughout the bible the term heavenly host is used to describe angels.
Onto science, firstly it must be pointed out that the idea that something is scientifically innumerable is absurd. Current science estimates that about 70 sextillian stars exist in the known universe. As for old science, that number came from Ptolemy, who theorized not of the total number of stars, but of the stars in a given area.
Job 26:7: “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”
Firstly, hangeth suggests that it is stationary in space, which we know to be a scientific absurdity. Secondly, the bible also says something contrary to this on two separate occasions:
Job 9:6 “Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.”
1st Samuel 2:8 “The pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.”
As for science, I have not been able to find ANY claims by an intellectual or scientist at any time that stated the earth was sitting on an animal which leads me to believe that it was fabricated just as the idea of freely floating in space was as according to science the earth is bound to the sun’s gravitational pull.
Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
So it seems to me that the more obvious interpretation of this passage is that the latter part is simply re-stating the first; Saying that things are made from God’s word. But let’s just ignore that and say that it’s proclaiming the existence of building blocks that “do not appear”. Given this interpretation, the passage is just simply wrong. Here’s a picture of some (note that they appear) atoms:

The best part is that I finally get to use something that I learned in High School. Atoms were first thought up by Democritis back before Hebrews was written.
1st Corinthians 15:41 “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.”
They differ in glory? Errrr. Okay? I’m not going to go into detail too much on this one just because the idea is patently absurd. It’s hard to believe that anyone has every believed that all stars are the same (and I can’t find anyone who has) due to some stars being of different visible sizes to us on earth.
Job 38:19-20 ”Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?”
Okay, since this is incredibly difficult to discern out of context, I’ll paste in the passages from the Easy to Read Bible:
Job 38:19-20 “Where does darkness come from? Can you take them back to where they belong? Do you know how to get there?”
This passage in no way specifies that light moves. It “dwells”, but that simply implies that it exists in a certain place.
I’m starting to get pretty fed up with their “science then” section. Where did they get the idea that light was fixed in place? They provide no sources and in many cases (such as this one) it seems that they are simply making things up.
Job 28:25 “To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure,”
Not only is it extremely difficult to construe this passage as “air has weight” but it’s unlikely that you will be able to find any scientist or philosopher that ever said air lacks weight.
Ecclesiastes 1:6 “The wind goeth toward the south and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.”
First of all this says nothing about cyclones, it is simply stating the obvious fact that the wind blows in different directions. 
Nobody has ever said that wind only blows in a straight line and it seems pretty obvious that even ancient peoples ought to have known about cyclones for tornadoes were still an occurrence back then, were they not?
Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
First of all the verse is about sacrifices and essentially states that the blood is the part of the sacrifice that atones for your misdeeds, not exactly saying that blood is the source of life and health. 
Moving onto science, blood is not the source of life and health. Sure, if you lose too much blood you die, but the same can be said for pretty much every part of your body as we are complex biological systems. The funniest part of this is that by saying “sick people must be bled” they are referencing blood letting which is based on the four humours. The basis of blood letting was that blood was the most important of the four humours as it was the cause for life! 
With “Ocean floor contains deep valleys and mountains” we have the bible being correct but it proving nothing. Once again, the science then section is completely fabricated. No claim is ever made that the floor of the ocean is flat. It’s complete hog-wash.
Job 38:16 “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?”
This one is by far the most legitimate of the entire list. Let’s just leave aside that the 38:16 seems to be incredibly metaphorical in context and say that somehow they got this one right. While it was never really said that ONLY rivers and rain fed the ocean, springs weren’t really mentioned and because of that there is a bit of a point to this. It does, however, seem perfectly reasonable that springs would not be mentioned because people back then had no means of exploring the ocean floor.
And just to give more weight to the probability that it was meant to be metaphorical, Job 38 also contains the following:
(38:4-6) "I laid the foundations of the earth … Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone?"The earth is set on foundations and does not move.
Levitivus 15:13 ”And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean,”
Okay, at this point I am getting sick of doing this so this last one will be incredibly lazy
All you really need to know is this:
Nobody ever claimed hands should be washed in still water
This chapter in Leviticus is about how to stay spiritually clean after masturbating
So anyways, the bible is an example of mythology and as such was not scientifically ahead of its time by any means. Science can be wrong and is wrong frequently, the beauty of it is that it admits when it is wrong when new evidence suggests so. What you’ve done is dug through your old mythologies and tried to find similarities with modern science; It’s bullocks and it’s simply dishonest. Why is it that all of your examples are seemingly poetic and metaphorical? You would think that if the bible was so scientifically advanced it would explain things like irrational numbers, viruses and bacteria, gravity, the speed of light, the conversation from energy to mass and vice-versa, evolution, and quantum mechanics; But no, instead it has an out-dated and dis-proven creation myth.

makingmywaytothetop:

I never liked science.

Okay, let’s go through this bit by bit. I do this to stretch my brain out a bit, but also because I hope that if I present reasonable arguments for what I believe is correct that some will change their minds or at very least present counter arguments.


Isaiah 40:22 “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in

It is actually that biblical verse which suggests that the earth was a flat disk. If you look at the Hebrew version, the word for circle was used, the Hebrews had a word for sphere that would have been far more appropriate if they authors had known about the earth’s spherical nature. 

As for science, Aristotle accepted that the earth was spherical by empirical means at around 300 B.C. and no serious intellectuals since the Pre-Socrates believed that the earth was flat.


Jeremiah 33:22 “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.” 

At this point it’s pretty clear to me that the author of this little chart hadn’t read the bible. “the host of heaven” does not refer to stars, throughout the bible the term heavenly host is used to describe angels.

Onto science, firstly it must be pointed out that the idea that something is scientifically innumerable is absurd. Current science estimates that about 70 sextillian stars exist in the known universe. As for old science, that number came from Ptolemy, who theorized not of the total number of stars, but of the stars in a given area.


Job 26:7: “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”

Firstly, hangeth suggests that it is stationary in space, which we know to be a scientific absurdity. Secondly, the bible also says something contrary to this on two separate occasions:

  1. Job 9:6 “Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.”
  2. 1st Samuel 2:8 “The pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.”

As for science, I have not been able to find ANY claims by an intellectual or scientist at any time that stated the earth was sitting on an animal which leads me to believe that it was fabricated just as the idea of freely floating in space was as according to science the earth is bound to the sun’s gravitational pull.


Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

So it seems to me that the more obvious interpretation of this passage is that the latter part is simply re-stating the first; Saying that things are made from God’s word. But let’s just ignore that and say that it’s proclaiming the existence of building blocks that “do not appear”. Given this interpretation, the passage is just simply wrong. Here’s a picture of some (note that they appear) atoms:

The best part is that I finally get to use something that I learned in High School. Atoms were first thought up by Democritis back before Hebrews was written.


1st Corinthians 15:41 “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.”

They differ in glory? Errrr. Okay? I’m not going to go into detail too much on this one just because the idea is patently absurd. It’s hard to believe that anyone has every believed that all stars are the same (and I can’t find anyone who has) due to some stars being of different visible sizes to us on earth.


Job 38:19-20 ”Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?”

Okay, since this is incredibly difficult to discern out of context, I’ll paste in the passages from the Easy to Read Bible:

Job 38:19-20 “Where does darkness come from? Can you take them back to where they belong? Do you know how to get there?”

This passage in no way specifies that light moves. It “dwells”, but that simply implies that it exists in a certain place.

I’m starting to get pretty fed up with their “science then” section. Where did they get the idea that light was fixed in place? They provide no sources and in many cases (such as this one) it seems that they are simply making things up.


Job 28:25 “To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure,”

Not only is it extremely difficult to construe this passage as “air has weight” but it’s unlikely that you will be able to find any scientist or philosopher that ever said air lacks weight.


Ecclesiastes 1:6 “The wind goeth toward the south and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.”

First of all this says nothing about cyclones, it is simply stating the obvious fact that the wind blows in different directions. 

Nobody has ever said that wind only blows in a straight line and it seems pretty obvious that even ancient peoples ought to have known about cyclones for tornadoes were still an occurrence back then, were they not?


Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

First of all the verse is about sacrifices and essentially states that the blood is the part of the sacrifice that atones for your misdeeds, not exactly saying that blood is the source of life and health. 

Moving onto science, blood is not the source of life and health. Sure, if you lose too much blood you die, but the same can be said for pretty much every part of your body as we are complex biological systems. The funniest part of this is that by saying “sick people must be bled” they are referencing blood letting which is based on the four humours. The basis of blood letting was that blood was the most important of the four humours as it was the cause for life! 


With “Ocean floor contains deep valleys and mountains” we have the bible being correct but it proving nothing. Once again, the science then section is completely fabricated. No claim is ever made that the floor of the ocean is flat. It’s complete hog-wash.


Job 38:16 “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?”

This one is by far the most legitimate of the entire list. Let’s just leave aside that the 38:16 seems to be incredibly metaphorical in context and say that somehow they got this one right. While it was never really said that ONLY rivers and rain fed the ocean, springs weren’t really mentioned and because of that there is a bit of a point to this. It does, however, seem perfectly reasonable that springs would not be mentioned because people back then had no means of exploring the ocean floor.

And just to give more weight to the probability that it was meant to be metaphorical, Job 38 also contains the following:

(38:4-6) 
"I laid the foundations of the earth … Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone?"
The earth is set on foundations and does not move.


Levitivus 15:13 ”And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean,”

Okay, at this point I am getting sick of doing this so this last one will be incredibly lazy

All you really need to know is this:

  • Nobody ever claimed hands should be washed in still water
  • This chapter in Leviticus is about how to stay spiritually clean after masturbating

So anyways, the bible is an example of mythology and as such was not scientifically ahead of its time by any means. Science can be wrong and is wrong frequently, the beauty of it is that it admits when it is wrong when new evidence suggests so. What you’ve done is dug through your old mythologies and tried to find similarities with modern science; It’s bullocks and it’s simply dishonest. Why is it that all of your examples are seemingly poetic and metaphorical? You would think that if the bible was so scientifically advanced it would explain things like irrational numbers, viruses and bacteria, gravity, the speed of light, the conversation from energy to mass and vice-versa, evolution, and quantum mechanics; But no, instead it has an out-dated and dis-proven creation myth.

Sin Argumentative Essay (Paper I wrote two years ago)

Sin Argumentative essay 

My purpose in this argumentative essay is to question the 
validity of the concept of a sin in the religious context. 


=========== 
Definitions 
=========== 


{1} Sin: 

"Sin is a term used mainly in a religious context to describe an 
act that violates a moral rule, or the state of having committed 
such a violation. Commonly, the moral code of conduct is decreed 
by a divine entity, i.e. Divine law. Sin is often used to mean an 
action that is prohibited or considered wrong; in some religions 
(notably some sects of Christianity), sin can refer to 
thoughtcrime. Colloquially, any thought, word, or act considered 
immoral, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed 
'sinful'.”[1] 

{1a} Common Ideas Surrounding Sin: 

"Punishment for sins, from other people, from God either in life 
or in afterlife, or from the Universe in general. 
The question of whether an act must be intentional to be sinful. 
The idea that one’s conscience should produce guilt for a 
conscious act of sin. 
A scheme for determining the seriousness of the sin. 
Repentance from (expressing regret for and determining not to 
commit) sin, and atonement (repayment) for past deeds. 
The possibility of forgiveness of sins, often through 
communication with a deity or intermediary; in Christianity often 
referred to as salvation. 
Crime and justice are related secular concepts.”[1] 

{2} Logically valid: 

Making logical sense, free of logical fallacy, contrast, and 
contradiction. 

{2a} Logical Fallacy: 

Incorrect or invalid reasoning 

{2b} Contrast or Contrary 

Formed when two pieces of information don’t fit together; one can 
be true, or neither can be true, but both cannot be true. I.E. I 
was born in America vs. I was born in England. 

{2c} Contradiction 

Formed when two pieces of information don’t fit together; One must 
be true, and the other false. I.E. I was born in America vs. I was 
not born in America. 


============= 
Is Sin Valid? 
============= 


Lets take a look at the validity of sin in religious 
context. Just about every religion that has ever been spawned by 
man has had some form of sin. In some religions, it is an action 
[3] and in others, a state of being[4]. However, in either case, 
the same logic must apply. We must establish that the burden of 
proof is on the side which states that sin is valid, since logic 
calls for a reasonable amount of evidence before something can be 
considered valid. 


============= 
Simple Logic 
============= 


We must establish that the burden of proof is on the side which 
states that sin is valid, since logic calls for a reasonable 
amount of evidence before something can be considered valid. 

"Some people seem to think that you can’t prove a specific sort of 
negative claim, namely that a thing does not exist. So it is 
impossible to prove that Santa Claus, unicorns, the Loch Ness 
Monster, God, pink elephants, WMD in Iraq, and Bigfoot don’t 
exist. Of course, this rather depends on what one has in mind by 
‘prove.’ Can you construct a valid deductive argument with all 
true premises that yields the conclusion that there are no 
unicorns? Sure.”[5] 

Here’s one, using the valid inference procedure of modus tollens: 

1. If unicorns had existed, then there is evidence in the fossil record. 
2. There is no evidence of unicorns in the fossil record. 
3. Therefore, unicorns never existed. 

So, using similar logic, we can say: 

1. If there was a valid sin concept, there would be evidence for it. 
2. There is no evidence for a valid sin concept. 
3. Therefore, a valid sin concept does not exist. 

From this simple logic, we can determine that the burden of proof 
does not apply to me here, but to those who claim a valid sin 
concept. So, as a skeptic, it is my job to produce a sufficient 
burden of proof that must be met by the opposition in this debate. 


=============== 
Burden of Proof 
=============== 


What must be established in order for a sin concept to be valid? 

1. The god who proclaims sin must be proven 
2. It must be proven that this god decides what is good and what 
is evil 
3. It must be proven that this god declared a certain act, 
thought, &c to be sinful 

The way the 2nd and the 3rd proof are given all depends on the 
first, so as of now, we can only look at the first burden. 

The burden of proof for a certain god can go as follows: 

1. The god must have observed and re-observable evidence 
2. The god must be logically valid and possible 
3. The god must meet scientific standards for the burden of proof 
(I.E. the existence of the god must be scientifically tested and 
confirmed) 
4. The god must meet philosophical standards for the burden of 
proof (I.E. must make sense when logic and reasoning are applied) 

So far, no god or religion (that has been brought to my attention) 
has met these standards, and therefore, the first step in 
establishing the validity of sin has not been completed. 


========== 
Conclusion 
========== 


1. If there was a valid sin concept, there would be evidence for it. 
2. The burden of proof for sin’s first step is to prove the existence of a god 
3. The existence of a god has not met the burden of proof. 
4. Therefore, the burden of proof for sin has not been met 
5. Therefore, a valid sin concept does not exist. 


======= 
Sources 
======= 


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin 
2. Webster’s Dictionary 2008 
3. The Science of God by Gerald L. Schroeder 
4. The Essence of Shinto (stating an example of a religion that considers sin to be a state of being) 
5. Thinking tools by Steven D. Hales, Page 110