Followers

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Review of The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements by Henry J

Review of The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements  
by Henry J 5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com
Essential Reading for Revolutionaries - a masterpiece.
August 30, 2018 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Revolutions and other mass movements all have commonalities, chief among them are the people who start and promulgate them. This short, concise book breaks down and organizes the characteristics of these people: The True Believers - and the movements they promote. This is a book of genius, comparable to ‘The Prince’ or ‘Rules for Radicals,’ in its simplicity and insights into human nature and organized political action. Hoffer wrote this book after the Second World War while the memories and realities of Fascism and Communism were very present. 

If you’ve ever been part of a mass movement, or ever contemplated participating in one, this book will open your eyes to what you can expect as a mass movement gets underway and develops through its active phase. It’ll provide you with an understanding of the motivations and designs of the movement’s leaders, and insight into your own and your fellow believers’ psychology. If you have the ambition to be the next Christ or Hitler to lead a mass movement, this is your blueprint. 

In summary: 

I. THE APPEAL OF MASS MOVEMENTS The desire for change starts and lives in the hearts of frustrated people. Attached to this frustration these individuals possess a sense of power to accomplish great change. Faith in the future and the ability to project hope makes for receptivity to change. High hopes and dark endings incongruently go together. Belonging to a mass movement substitutes for deficiencies in the individual. Mass Movements compete with one another, and often are interchangeable. No movement is whole of a singular nature. 

II. THE POTENTIAL CONVERTS The best and worst of society often determine the course of history - over the heads of the great middle. A society without the dregs may be peaceful and complacent, but lacking in the seeds for change. Here are the ranks of mass movement fodder: 

New Poor: Memory of better times puts fire in their bellies. 

Abject Poor: Too occupied with survival to organize. Discontent is high, however, when misery is still bearable. 

Free Poor: Freedom creates and alleviates frustration. Fanatics fear freedom more than persecution. Equality and fraternity are preferred over freedom. 

Creative Poor: The ability to create mitigates frustration; however, those whose creativity is fading, or those who didn’t quite achieve creative satisfaction, may seek escape in mass movements. 

Unified Poor: Compact or tribal groups are relatively free of frustration. Mass movements often try to break down family units to feed the movement. Compact structures, like families in decline are, however, fertile ground for mass movements. 

Temporary Misfits: Adolescents, unemployed, veterans, and new immigrants are unreliable supporters of mass movements; their frustrations abate once circumstances improve. 

Permanent Misfits: The incurably frustrated can never have enough of what they really do not want anyway. They are likely to become the most violent true believers. 

Inordinately Selfish: Those who have lost faith in themselves, look to attach to a holy cause; In compensation, they become champions of selflessness.

Ambitious with Unlimited Opportunity: Current actions are never enough; they possess excessive readiness for self-sacrifice. 

Minorities Intent On Preserving Their Identity: These persons act as tribal groups and lack frustration. 

Minorities Bent On Assimilation: These frustrated cannot get in the door of the established order. 

Bored: These people are required in quantity for a successful mass movement; they’re looking for fulfillment in a meaningless existence. 

Sinners: For the irredeemable, salvation can be found in losing oneself in a holy cause; they are willing to go to extremes. 

Mass movements attract and hold followers by offering refuge from anxiety. Mass movements aim to infect people with a malady, then offer a cure. Hope comes in two forms: one immediate and one distant. 

III. UNITED ACTION AND SELF-SACRIFICE The chief preoccupation of mass movements is to foster united action and self-sacrifice. For the individual to commit to self-sacrifice he must be stripped of his individual identity, and by ritual be associated with the movement. 

To engage in dying or killing, the individual must suffer under the illusion of being a participant in a grand undertaking, or a solemn performance. Glory is theatrical. 

The present must be deprecated, pushed off the stage, depicted as mean and miserable and held in utter contempt. In replacement, hope is assured for a better future. The frustrated individual is ready to die for what he wishes to have and wishes to be. 

Mass movements strive to interpose a fact-proof screen between the movement’s faithful and the realities of the world, in a word: doctrine. The effectiveness of a doctrine is judged not on its validity or profundity, but on how well it insulates the individual from his self and the world. 

The individual’s estrangement proceeds with intense passion and fanaticism. Mass movements prevent the achievement of internal balance for the fanatic individual, but perpetuate insecurity and incompleteness. 

Unified individuals in a compact collective of a mass movement body are no longer frustrated. Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. Mass movements can rise without a belief in God, but never without a belief in evil. 

Unreasonable hatreds emerge as an expression of the frustrated individual’s effort to suppress his own shortcomings and self-contempt. Self hate emanates from feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, and cowardice, rather than justified grievances. The object of hate is often those other than the ones who committed the perceived wrongs. Committing grave injustices upon the object of hate re-enforces and fuels hate. A guilty conscience lies behind such acts, which demands even greater effort to demonize the hated to suppress this guilty conscience. 

Estrangement of the self is required for selflessness and assimilation into the whole of a compact group. The True Believer sees himself as one of ‘the chosen.’ Self-denial and group membership confers the right on them to be harsh upon others, and by which to be rid of personal responsibility. Violence is not the product of leadership, but of a unification of the whole. 

Propaganda succeeds not with unwilling minds, but with frustrated individuals. Propaganda operates most effectively in conjunction with coercion. The mass movement requires the ability to make people believe, and by force as a last resort. 

Leadership cannot create a mass movement out of thin air. There has to be grievances with intense dissatisfactions and an eagerness of the True Believers to follow and obey. Once the stage is set, however, an outstanding leader is indispensable. The leader personifies the certitude of the movement, as well as defiance and power. He must be able to steer the faithful and maintain its cohesion. To a large degree, charlatanism is required for effective leadership. 

Action is a unifier of mass movements. Marching, for instance, kills thought and hastens the end of individuality. An inability to act breeds frustration with the movement, while successful action drains energy and commitment from the movement. 

The mass movement must perpetuate the individual’s incompleteness and insecurity. 

IV. BEGINNING AND END Men of Words: Mass movements usually rise when a prevailing order has been discredited. This is the work of men of words with a grievance. They set the groundwork for the movement by undermining existing institutions, promoting the idea of change, and creating a new faith. Men of words may champion the downtrodden, but the grievance that animates them is personal. Their vanity is greater than their ambitions; recognition and the appearance of power is preferred over power itself. Often it’s the men of words who are the tragic figures of the mass movement, as at a certain point, the movement is hijacked by a power hungry clique which usually cheats the masses of the freedoms they seek. 

Fanatics: A genuine mass movement is hatched by the fanatic. Men of words shrink before the outbreak of anarchy, they forget the troubled masses they set out to help, and run to the protection of strong ‘men of action.’ For the fanatic, chaos is his element. Fanatics come from the ranks of the non-creative men of words; unfulfilled, they can never be reconciled with their self, and they desire not a finality or a fixed order of things. Hatred becomes a habit, and when the outsiders are vanquished, the fanatics then turn on themselves and threaten to destroy what they have achieved. 

Man of Action: The movement begins with men of words, materializes by fanatics, and consolidated by men of action. With a balanced faith in humanity, men of action save the movement from the fanatics, marking the end of the dynamic phase of the movement. Men of action fix and perpetuate the movement’s unity and readiness for self-sacrifice. The new order is founded on the ‘necks of the people, rather than in their hearts.’ The man of action is a man of the law. The movement now becomes a means of self-realization for the ambitious. Concern for the frustrated is still there, not to harness their discontent, but to reconcile them with it; to turn them meek and patient with visions of distance hopes and dreams. 

Good and Bad Mass Movements: No matter what good intentions a mass movement starts off with, or what benefit may result, it is hard not to see the active phase as unpleasant, if not outright evil. On the other hand, mass movements are a miraculous instrument for raising societies and nations from the dead.

Recommended complementary reading: ‘The Anatomy of Revolution’ by Crane Brinton; compares the four greatest revolutions, providing much historical background that Hoffer refers to in ‘The True Believer.’

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Human Redux @HumanRedux Schools Ray Comfort




Sunday, December 16, 2018

Excerpt from Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith


Excerpt from Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith (page 169)

"The biblical portrait of Christian faith is far removed from the approach of modern liberals who represent Christianity as a reasonable, benevolent philosophy of life interested in the pursuit of truth. There is nothing reasonable about intellectual blackmail, nor is there anything benevolent about threats of violence. As for Christianity's alleged concern with truth, Christian faith is to free inquiry what the Mafia is to free enterprise. Christianity may be represented as a competitor in the realm of ideas to be considered on the basis of its merits, but this is mere disguise. Like the Mafia, if Christianity fails to defeat its competition by legitimate means (which is a foregone conclusion), it resorts to strong arm tactics. Have faith or be damned-this biblical doctrine alone is enough to exclude Christianity from the domain of reason".

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Definition of Primates by Aron Ra


"Primates are collectively defined as any gill-less, organic RNA/DNA protein-based... ... metabolic, metazoic, nucleic, diploid, bilaterally symmetrical, endothermic, digestive, triploblast, opisthokont, deuterostome coelomate with a spinal cord and 12 cranial nerves connecting to a limbic system in an enlarged cerebral cortex with a reduced olfactory region inside a jawed skull with specialized teeth including canines and premolars, forward-oriented fully enclosed optical orbits, and a single temporal fenestra, -attached to a vertebrate hind-leg dominant tetrapodal skeleton with sacral pelvis, clavicle, and wrist and ankle bones; and having lungs, tear ducts, body-wide hair follicles, lactal mammaries, opposable thumbs, and keratinized dermis with chitinous nails on all five digits on all four extremities in addition to an embryonic development in amniotic fluid, leading to a placental birth and highly social lifestyle." -Aron Ra


Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Three Laws Of Logic


Thoughts On Theology by George H. Smith and Walter Kaufmann


Reason- According To George H. Smith

Reason is the faculty by which man acquires knowledge...

Random Thoughts by Apetivist

I will use this area as my thinking out loud.  I am not sure all of my thoughts will be correct or will jive with logic.  I hope so!  But if you find me in error please let me know.  You can leave a comment below or you can DM me on @apetivist or email me at apetivist@gmail.com
⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺
Come to think of it man has been trying to save god(s) since the dawn of civilization but the more we learn the more we see god(s) shrink proportionally to our increased understanding of the Universe.  How long will theologians and apologists pretend that they have anything of substance to hang their claim that a god(s) exists?  -Apetivist ⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺
What is a god?  Seriously.  Has one ever showed up for verification?  What qualities or characteristics does a god even have?  Does having any characteristics limit a god then if so aren't theists putting their faith in something that can't even be specified?  If a god is beyond human understanding then why do any theists think they have anything correct at all about any god?  If something is beyond description then isn't it indistinguishable from that which does not exists?  -Apetivist ⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺
Yahweh is supposedly omniscient.  This implies that he is not capable of learning.  It also means he is not capable of thinking as thought would imply that he has to think and since he knows everything that ever could possibly be known then God can't even be considered to be intelligent and even more so can't be considered a superintelligence.  Intelligent design is therefore a misnomer as Yahweh can't adapt, learn, or change and thus he isn't even intelligent.  Yahweh might as well be a non-being as it can't possibly have any personage nor can it be anything but a script running immaterial non-thingamabob.  As an atheist I am left with no other choice than call Yahweh a defeated and contradictory concept.  -Apetivist ⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺⸺

Thoughts On The Pettiness Of The Christian God by Apetivist

Thoughts On The Pettiness Of The Christian God by Apetivist

Assuming for the sake of argument that the god of Christianity (Yahweh) exists it is indeed a very petty deity.

He demands faith not only in him but also a itinerant preacher/messiah that supposedly existed over 2,000 years ago and yet he offers no evidence of his existence. 

If you don't accept him on faith coming from hearing or reading dubious accounts from many second hand sources in a book that was translated and copied by the hands of infallible men then he will send you to Hell. 

Worse you must also not just believe in him but get the right type of faith and process in spite of conflicting methods of salvation found in the Bible. 

Choose the wrong Christianity and you are doomed!  Not choosing Christianity and you are doomed!

Being told the Gospel and not accepting it because you find it an absurd story then you are doomed!

In addition to all this the Bible isn't clear as to the fate of the unevangelized.  If we are to take the Bible on its silence on the matter then we are left with little choice but to also see that the unevangelized are also doomed! 

Jesus never spoke about the age of accountability and so we are left wondering whether babies, adolescents, and (pre?)teenagers are also doomed if they don't become the right kind of Christian with the right kind of faith based on sheer luck of hearing it and recognizing it as something that is true even though they wouldn't even have the background knowledge as to what would constitute a justified belief in light of evidence or lack thereof to begin with.

Stack on top of all this that no self proclaimed Christian has any true knowledge of whether they themselves are actually saved.  In fact it could very well be the case that most people that claim a faith in Jesus Christ could very well be doomed!





Tuesday, December 11, 2018

GonnaGoForIt Extracts An Honest Answer From A Christian on Slavery




Monday, December 10, 2018

My Personal Library as of 12/10/2018



My Personal Library as of 12/10/2018
A list of my books (collection of printed books, pdf books, ebooks, and audio books).



Books I personally own: Paper books, Audiobooks, & Ebooks:

Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason -Seth Andrews


Foundational Falsehoods Of Creationism -AronRa


Faith vs Fact -Jerry Coyne


Why Evolution Is True -Jerry Coyne


God and the Folly of Faith -Victor J. Stenger


Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief -David Madison


The Rise and Fall of the Bible -Timothy Beal


Jesus Interrupted -Bart D. Ehrman


Freethought Resource Guide- Mark Vandebrake


The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read-Time C. Leedom


god is not Great -Christopher Hitchens


50 Simple Questions For Every Christian -Guy P. Harrison


Unapologetic -John W. Loftus


Why I Became An Atheist -John W. Loftus


Thunder Of The Fall -Blair A. T. Mullins


The Mythmaker -Hyam Maccoby


A Manual For Creating Atheists -Peter Boghossian


Why There Is No God -Armin Navabi


The Moral Landscape -Sam Harris


Fuck Jesus -Judas H. Peters


World Of Their Own -Robert J. Schadewald


Climbing Mount Improbable -Richard Dawkins


Imagine There's No Heaven -Michael Stephens


The Demon-Haunted World (Science As A Candle In The Dark) -Carl Sagan


Good Book -David Plotz


Evolution Slam Dunk -James Downard


Idiot America -Charles P. Pierce


Kingdom Coming (The Rise Of Christian Nationalism) -Michelle Goldberg


American Fascists (The Christian Right And The War On America) -Chris Hedges


Sapiens: A Brief History Of Mankind -Yuval Noah Harari


The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins


Letter To A Christian Nation -Sam Harris


The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll And American Freethought -Susan Jacoby


How To Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist -John W. Loftus


The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself -Sean Carroll


Sophie's World: A Novel About The History of Philosophy -Jostein Gardner


Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America -Nancy MacLean


Evidence Considered: A Response to Evidence for God -Glenton Jelbert


On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt -Richard Carrier


Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith -Richard Carrier

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress -Steven Pinker (Note:  I added this book 01/01/2019) 

Rationalism -George Jacob Holyoake


The Book Of The New Moral World -Robert Owen


Dogmas Discarded -Guy A. Aldred


The Cambridge Companion to Atheism by Michael Martin


Superstition In All Ages -Jean Meslier


The Trial Of Theism -George Jacob Holyoake



Books I've Read Or I have On A Waiting List from https://openlibrary.org (my username is apetivist101):

Bertrand Russell on God and Religion -Bertrand Russell


In Defense Of Atheism -Michel Onfray


The Faith of a Heretic -Walter Arnold Kaufmann


Why I Am Not A Christian -Bertrand Russell


Natural Atheism -David Eller


Critiques of God: Making the Case Against Belief in God by Peter Adam Angeles


Letters To A Young Contrarian -Christopher Hitchens


Atheism: A Philosophical Justification -Michael Martin


Atheism -Joseph McCabe


Atheism: The Case Against God -George H Smith


The Six Ways Of Atheism -Geoffrey Berg


An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism -Daniel Harbour


Freedom Under Siege -Madalyn Murray O'Hair


The Homemade Atheist -Betty Brogaard


Disbelief 101 -S.C. Hitchcock


A Question Of Faith -William E. Kaufman


God The Problem -Gordon D. Kaufman


Does God Exist? -James Porter Moreland


Away With All Gods! -Bob Avakian


The System Of Nature -Paul Henri Thiry baron d'Holbach


The Bible Handbook For Freethinkers And Inquiring Christians -George William Foote


A Plea For Atheism -Charles Bradlaugh


Imagine No Superstition -Stephen Frederick Uhl







Sunday, December 9, 2018

Apetivist Quote "Religion is like looking..."

"Religion is like looking at the Universe with a microscope and thinking that one has seen it all. Science is looking at the Universe with all tools and means available and never assumes it has seen it all." - @apetivist

We Know We Don’t Know And Neither Do You!

“We may say to the Theist, You do not know the mystery of things, we do not know. Yet some advantage is ours. We know that you do not know ; we also know that we do not know, whereas you do not know that you do not know”.
– (Excerpt The Trial of Theism page 16 by George Jacob Holyoake)
The Trial of Theism is a Free Book on Google! I highly suggest it.

Christian Eschatology and The Problem of Evil by @apetivist

Christian Eschatology and The Problem of Evil by @apetivist



Note: When I refer to Yahweh I do not mean to suggest that he actually exists but for the purpose of thinking these problems through I assume he exists for the sake of argument.

According to Christian Eschatology there will be a New Heavens and New Earth.

Revelation 21:1;4: "Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea...'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away"

The question is if Yahweh could make such a world then why did he make the former world where there was suffering/evil? Why not avoid all the unnecessary suffering and jump to the perfect situation in the New Heavens and New Earth? If Yahweh were omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnisapient then he clearly would have done so.

What was there to gain in not doing so? It is illogical and inhumane of Yahweh to not have done so in the first place. If Yahweh does exist then I am left with no other conclusion that it is a malevolent deity and unworthy of adoration.

Apetivist on YouTube Interviews and Podcasts

My interviews found on YouTube and Podcasts:

GonnaGoForIt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kACOjmoydA

The Godless Iowan:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYAYw4RrOdc

Wonder Lady:

Atheist Inquisition 1- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNs25YxW7-I

Atheist Inquisition 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNs25YxW7-I

HeathensLMC:

https://audioboom.com/posts/7045324-heathens-destroying-society-through-religious-intolerance

Sunday, November 25, 2018

"The Early History Of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel"

An excerpt from a review of the book "The Early History Of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel" by Mark S. Smith Review from Goodreads user known as Elias Vasilis Kontaxakis

Chris Hedges - The American Empire Will Collapse Within a Decade, Two at Most

The Problem of Evil or Suffering by Apetivist


The Problem of Evil or Suffering by Apetivist


Is it not possible for Yahweh to have created us all with a sense to do the right thing and also give us the idea of what constitutes wrong things? If Yahweh created the Universe as it is then he intended the world to have evil in light of his omniscience. Free Will Defense is not a good excuse either. Alvin Plantinga's argument states that "It is possible that God, even being omnipotent, could not create a world with free creatures who never choose evil. Furthermore, it is possible that God, even being omnibenevolent, would desire to create a world which contains evil if moral goodness requires free moral creatures." With advances in neuroscience and physics we are beginning to see indications that free will might be illusory and that indeterminism actually means that we are not as in control of the electrochemical reactions in our brain as we may think. This will make for another discussion later.

But that means that Yahweh is not omnipotent and it even calls into question his omnisapience. Surely even I can imagine a world where humans could think of doing evil but any attempt to carry it out would be thwarted by some measure. They have the free will to act as they may but there would be no ill effect on themselves or another if they so choose to do so.

Take an example regarding moral evil. I decide I want to stab a person with a knife. But the moment I try to do so the knife would dematerialize. Imagine that I try to push a person down a flight of stairs and the moment I touch them my arm passes right through them with no effect whatsoever. Evil could be considered but not carried out with any effect. Eventually people would realize how pointless evil would be. Free will should not be so important that it takes away the free will of another person.

Equally I can imagine a world with no moral evil or natural evil. Can’t we all learn the importance of life without pain and suffering? We can challenge our character without experiencing physical pain. There could always be challenges but they need not involve suffering.

Why in the Garden was Adam and Eve created ignorant of good and evil? Why couldn’t Yahweh have placed that within them? Could he not of trusted his own creations to do what was right? Especially if they knew what was right? Surely, they could think of doing otherwise but as I said before they could be physically prevented from ever carrying it out. In fact, they could have knowledge of doing every act of evil imaginable but it would only serve as a way to appreciate the good life that they had.

If I can imagine this can’t an omnisapient and omniscient deity be able to do so? It seems that Yahweh is more concerned with the free will of a rapist in our world than the free will of the raped. In our world the toll and consequences of moral and natural evil is beyond measure. Even if we get a heaven later does that mean that we are properly compensated? Even if compensation seems fair would that in and of itself rectify the justification for evil in the first place?

If Yahweh knew all along that there would be no evil or sin in the New Heavens and New Earth then why didn’t he just make it that way to begin with? Skip to the end. Why even create people that are destined for Hell? Why even create a Hell? It is all so senseless especially given the so-called omnisapience of Yahweh. It also paints Yahweh as being evil. Only an evil deity would create a Universe where there is evil. An omnibenevolent deity would never create a Universe whereby evil would exist.

For those that say I’m being idealistic then you forget that Yahweh is being idealistic with the New Heavens and New Earth. It makes no sense whatsoever to put trillions of animals through suffering if it never was necessary to begin with. That is why I say that if Yahweh exists as described in the Bible then he is a malevolent deity. We could imagine a Deistic god though that is either unaware or apathetic of our existence. This Deistic god could have just set things into motion and left it all to play out perhaps to a desired end or to no ends whatsoever.

However, until we have any evidence of a god of any sort then we are left with no other choice than to withhold belief in such a being and go with what is available to us through naturalistic observation and measurement. Science (hard and soft and in-between such as psychology) and most of useful philosophy helps us better understand the world around us in such a way that religion could never have. It tells us that we live in a naturalistic universe and there are physical causes for what happens. If a person chooses or carries out involuntarily a moral evil against another person it isn’t because of some demon compelled or influenced them to do it is because that person is either intentionally violent, mentally unstable, or mentally deficient to do otherwise. What caused them to do it can be complex thus we have all different fields of study that can help shed light on such reasons if there are any to be discovered. It goes without saying that some events happen for no apparent reason but that just means that presently we don’t understand it and perhaps soon by asking the right questions, research, and testing we may eventually know.

An omniscient and omnipotent deity could well have created the Universe but without evidence of such we are left with more questions. Why would this deity or deities place us in a Universe where there would be suffering? If this deity is omnibenevolent then what has it to gain in such a creation? The less absurd hypothesis based on available evidence proposes we live in a naturalistic universe. It may not be comforting for the religious to entertain this but it does make more sense than the more complex creator hypothesis. Occam’s Razor.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Yahweh and The Law of Noncontradiction


If Yahweh exists and he has all the omni-properties associated with him as ascribed in the Bible then it is unavoidable that he wanted us to live in a universe whereby suffering would exist. Of all the possible universes that we found ourselves we found ourselves in this one. If Yahweh is truly omnipotent then he could have chosen for us a universe without suffering. However, since we find ourselves in this universe then it must have been Yahweh's plan for suffering to exist. If Yahweh is truly omnibenevolent then this would not be the case. We are left with no other logical conclusion than this all indicates that Yahweh is a malevolent deity.

There can be no good reason for an omnibenevolent deity to create a universe where suffering exists. I've heard all the excuses laid out by apologists and none of them address the obvious and all contradict the Law of Non Contradiction. A is A. A is not B. These two propositions are mutually exclusive. Yahweh can't be omnibenevolent and omnipotent and also create a universe where there is suffering. Given this proof it follows:

a. Yahweh is not omnipotent
b. Yahweh is not omnibenevolent
c. Yahweh may be omnipotent but he is malevolent

To argue that Yahweh is omnibenevolent but created a universe where there would be suffering or has some hidden reason why he allows suffering are also invalid arguments. Additionally to claim that there is suffering because we have free will is also an invalid argument. If Yahweh is omnipotent he could have created us with no desire to do wrong by equipping us with logical minds and he could also make it where no natural evil happens and the world we live on is free from such disasters as earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, etc. Additionally we could obtain all the energy we needed from sunlight or be born with an energy source already within us. There would be no need to consume the cells of other living things to live. If I can think of this clearly an omniscient, omnisapient creator deity can also think of this and perhaps even better scenarios whereby suffering, natural evil, death, pain, and disease would not exist.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Critical Thinking


Evolution vs Creationism


Impartial Research


Knock Knock... Who's There?

Religion is how old?

Ask An Atheist: Why do you pose ‘annoyingly hard’ questions to Christians?

Ask An Atheist: Why do you pose ‘annoyingly hard’ questions to Christians?: What do you want to ask an Atheist?  Fill out the form below or submit your question online.  By Jim

Ask An Atheist: Stranger in Strange Land

Ask An Atheist: Stranger in Strange Land: What do you want to ask an Atheist?  Fill out the form below or submit your question online.  By Jim

Sunday, October 7, 2018




Apologists Know They Are Wrong On Some Level by Lilith




On Christian Apologist SJ Thomason

On Christian Apologist

The Truth About Apologetics


Sunday, September 30, 2018

BULLSHIT by Meta Christianity

Hold onto your hats as this will be a whirlwind of MetaChristianity displaying obfuscation, quote-mining, misrepresentation, and scholarly disregard for citing his sources as well as committing fallacious reasoning in the form of appeal to authority.

Note: My words/replies (apetivist) will be in purple and his/her (Meta Christianity) words will be in red.  Later my commentary will appear below the purple text and red text and will appear in white text.
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Apetivist
What does any of that have to do with my questions?

My Commentary: I am correct in asking this question.  As he did not state what was wrong with my question or added commentary but all he did was refer to two links.  



MetaChristianity
‏Only addressing your claim of “...technically evil...”
More and more Non-Theists such as Carroll, Hume, Ruse, and Rosenberg give arguments to the contrary.

Again- he/she doesn't state any specifics but loosely points authorities saying something to the contrary.  I really appreciate the vagueness of his/her replies.   He/she is real busy sounding like he/she knows what he is talking about without pointing out specifically anything at all.  

Apetivist
You have to give me examples and provide the context. Citing where they said these things would also be quite helpful.

I am asking for him/her to do more than provide what he/she has and in particular show specifically what he/she is trying to say in response to my questions and statements and in particular the context of these responses by said authorities.  


MetaChristianity
‏No I don’t. They’ve robust and honest arguments and of late the younger, braver Non-Theists are eager to deconstruct, to get to the bottom line. Silliness like Harris’ “I choose but I do not choose what I choose” quickly shines and twice as quickly fades. Why? Well for reasons.πŸ‘

I am not surprised that he/she will not provide what I am asking for.  Then he/she goes off into a diatribe about Sam Harris in an attempt to further distract from my requests.  


Apetivist
‏So you won't cite where these claims are made? Telling.

Need I say much more?  If he/she really had the goods he/she would happily provide it.  



MetaChristianity
1. The quotes were given earlier ➡️
http://disq.us/p/1titjw1
2. I’m satisfied if you’d like to claim that they’re not actual quotes.
3. πŸ‘

Apetivist
‏Do you have the source from where these quotes are derived?


MetaChristianity
‏Yep.
The last one was linked.
The first 4 weren’t.
You’re still avoiding the actual topic. Perhaps they’re all fake quotes, yes?

Apetivist
‏Give me all the links to all the sources of the quotes.

Apetivist
‏guess he won't so I've done research on my own and have come across some level of quote mining and also some appeals to authority. I will address all of this with proper address of the quotes, context, and other implications regarding morality. When complete I will post it to my blog and provide a link in this tweet thread as well as a new tweet. This is all an example of Brandolini’s Law – “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.” Alberto Brandolini @ziobrando

MetaChristianity
General segue:
—Prediction:
https://twitter.com/m_christianity/status/1045367816868761600?s=12 …
Demonstration:
Present premises and arguments with respect to Knowledge, Mind, Reason, Perception, and Being as such relates to:
1. the Christian Metaphysic and
2. http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/07/road-from-atheism.html … and
3. http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/08/five-proofs-is-out.html …
Then debunk them....

I’ve clearly stated my goal of demonstrating that critics either avoid Christian premises or dive in and tweak until a Christian X becomes a Non-Christian X, and when called on it they level F-bombs & insults.

If you ever present one of these debunk-ing-Thingamajiggers........


Note that all of this is MetaChristianity's attempt to flood me with research over non-specific material in an attempt to not specifically respond to my questions, statements, and also by appealing to authority he feels no need to actually articulate his points.  He fails to do anything but obfuscate.  I will breakdown the following so to show that MetaChristianity is misrepresenting the quotes, taking them out of context or not even being interested in the context, and making appeal to authority that doesn't even address the questions or statements that I have made.





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    Well.... hold on’there’fella....
    Ministries of T_u_h? What’s t_u_h?
    5 letters... so 5 here....
    [1] “The lack of an ultimate objective scientific grounding for morality can be worrisome. It implies that people with whom we have moral disagreements—whether it’s […insert any evil here…] or schoolyard bullies who beat up smaller children—aren’t wrong in the same sense that it’s wrong to deny Darwinian evolution or the expansion of the universe….But that’s how the world is.” (Sean Carroll)
    I had to buy the book that this quote derives from- "The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself" by Sean Carroll.  *As I type this I must read the entire book.  In particular the chapter and paragraphs from which this quote is derived. This is all an example of Brandolini’s Law – “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.” - Alberto Brandolini @ziobrando
    This is the advantage of dishonest people that can pump out material at breakneck speeds while those interested in honesty and scholarly debate must invest large amounts of time and effort to present their counter argument (example the 'Gish Gallop").  It makes the dishonest person seem more presentable but only to the misinformed mind and gives them only a momentary victory that will eventually be upended by the honest individual that wants nothing but the truth to prevail no matter where it will land.

    I must go at great length to present what Sean Carroll is talking about and how he further addresses the topic of morality in his book.  Even for those that can't or haven't bought the book there is information available in Amazon's "Look Inside" feature for the book that will present my case that MetaChristianity is not being forthright with his quote nor is he presenting the full case of Sean Carroll regarding the matter.

    Here is the 'look Inside" using a key search function: The lack of an ultimate objective scientific grounding for morality  In it you will clearly read that MetaChristianity left out some key text.  This is preferential quote mining to make it look like Sean Carroll is making a cold statement about morality.  Upon closer inspection one will see that Carroll is making a logical analysis about morality and the difficulty about doing experiments or syllogisms to support morality one way or another.  He elaborates earlier by discussing the usage of instrumental rationality as a way to arrive at "ought issues" that aren't addressed in experimental science.  He does admit that we must have a way of determining what it is that we want and providing logical reasons as to why we want those things (p. 401).  Carroll goes on in chapter 39 to elaborate how we go about determining what is the kind of morality we should choose.  This is largely based on Deontological and Consequentialist  arguments.  Deontology has to do with our ethical impulses and Consequentialism is concerned with systematic utilization of ethics.  Most of our moral choices are based on either one or both of these ethical considerations. 

    Sean Carroll is not advocating for immorality or chaos or cold reckoning of materialism.  He is advocating for a rational and useful morality that allows mankind to advance in a future of well being and social flourishing.  Unlike religion that promotes rigid systems of rules and behavior- secular morality advocates a morality that maximizes the well being of others while protecting the rights of others to not be violated and if they are then there are laws to deal with the offenders.  In the Bible we have a deity handing down rules that can't be questioned often to one person which can't be verified but secular morality is a consensus of a society about how they want themselves and others to be treated.  The Bible doesn't give us the tools or philosophy with dealing with moral dilemmas nor does it provide the complex questions about why a person does what they do.  These types of questions belong to science, philosophy, and psychology.  Pretending that there are easy answers to every moral situation is fooling ourselves.  If you don't know about it take the time to research the Trolly Problem.  Rarely would we be faced with such extreme moral problems but every moral problem has its own degree of complexity and sometimes there are no easy answers.  
    [2] “Hume was right. We have no objective guidance on how to distinguish right from wrong: not from God, not from nature, not from the pure force of reason itself….Morality exists only insofar as we make it so, and other people might not pass judgments in the same way we do.” (Sean Carroll)
    Once again this is quote mining.  See here at Hume was right. We have no objective guidance   Why do some theists feel compelled to misrepresent what others say?  If they had the truth on their side they wouldn't have to do this.  It is underhanded to say the least.  Additionally in Chapter 48 Carroll explains how we go about constructing rational moral arguments and systems.  I wonder why MetaChristianity failed to use any quotes from this chapter?  What I find hilarious is by quote mining and ignoring data that doesn't support his argument MetaChristianity actually embarrasses himself and equally strengthens the argument of the opposition.  In the Age of Information a lie and disinformation may spread for a while but sooner or later somebody is going to pick it apart.  
    [3] “– Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. -Tis not contrary to reason for me to choose my total ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me. -Tis as little contrary to reason to prefer even my own acknowledg’d lesser good to my greater, and have a more ardent affection for the former than for the latter.” (Hume, Treatise of Human Nature 2.3.3.6)
    Here MetaChristianity is isolating a quote to make it seem that Hume is some moral nihilist.  When in reality Hume isn't speaking of morality but the distinction between passion and reason.  If you don't believe me then check this free online file of Treatise of Human Nature and use keys Ctrl-F (find) on your keyboard and type in the words "Tis not contrary to reason" and it will take you to the actual quote and the surrounding context regarding the quote.  
    [4] “Morality is just a matter of emotions, like liking ice cream and sex and hating toothache and marking student papers. But it is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down. Before long, we would find ourselves saying something like: “Well, morality is a jolly good thing from a personal point of view. When I am hungry or sick, I can rely on my fellow humans to help me. But really it is all bull___t, so when they need help I can and should avoid putting myself out. There is nothing there for me.” The trouble is that everyone would start saying this, and so very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer. So morality has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective. “Why should I be good? Why should you be good? Because that is what morality demands of us. It is bigger than the both of us. It is laid on us and we must accept it, just like we must accept that 2 + 2 = 4.” I am not saying that we always are moral, but that we always know that we should be moral. Am I now giving the game away? Now you know that morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what’s to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman? Well, nothing in an objective sense.” (Michael Ruse)
    Once again, MetaChristianity is isolating a quote free from its context and surrounding words. MetaChristianity so wants to paint atheists as moral nihilists or immoral people incapable of making sound and ethical judgments. He really seems committed to grinding a non-existent axe. Feel free to read Michael Ruse's full article in The Guardian entitled God Is Dead. Long Live Morality. Ruse speaks of the reasons why morality is a natural part of our social interaction and that it is independent of a person's belief in a god. Ruse also refers to Hume in the article saying- "Am I now giving the game away? Now you know that morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what's to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman? Well, nothing in an objective sense. But you are still a human with your gene-based psychology working flat out to make you think you should be moral. It has been said that the truth will set you free. Don't believe it. David Hume knew the score. It doesn't matter how much philosophical reflection can show that your beliefs and behaviour have no rational foundation, your psychology will make sure you go on living in a normal, happy manner."

    [5] “Pressing on through Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, we come to Rosenberg’s treatment of morality. Followed out consistently, Rosenberg says, scientism entails nihilism. As Rosenberg is keen to emphasize, this is not the same as moral relativism or moral skepticism. It is not the claim that moral truth is relative, or that it is real but unknowable. Nor is it the claim that everything is morally permitted. It is a far more radical and disturbing claim than any of these views. Nihilism, as Rosenberg understands it, is the view that there is no such thing as being “morally permitted” or “morally prohibited” in the first place. For there is, given Rosenberg’s scientism, no intrinsic value in the world of the sort that is necessary for morality to be intelligible. Morality — not just commonsense or traditional morality, not just religious morality, but all morality, morality as such, including any purported secular, liberal, permissive morality — is therefore an illusion.” (…from http://edwardfeser.blogspot...etc…)  
    And perhaps: https://www.thinkingchristi... (...this comment http://disq.us/p/1titjw1 ...) 
    I could not follow the link as my Webroot Antivirus warned me of possible malicious activity on the site linked as edwardfeser.blogspot.  See jpeg below as evidence:
       
    The remaining two links seem useless.  One opens up to a strange defense of Christianity (see for yourself) and the other is a copy/paste of these same 5 points.
    However, I looked into Alex Rosenburg's position on scientism and nihilism and deferring to an expert in the field that does a far better job than I, Jeffrey Jay Lowder, explains what is wrong and/or weak about Rosenburg's argument.  See link: Rosenberg's 2012 Argument for Nihilism Lowder points out that Rosenberg makes several statements that aren't true particularly toward what other atheists believe.

    I think MetaChristianity should re-exam his/her "war" against atheism or atheists.  Why must we be painted as some immoral "other"?  I suspect it because he/she has bought into the idea that without his deity belief one can't be moral.  This goes against almost everything we know about morality, psychology, science, and history.  If this is not his/her grind against atheist/atheists then what would cause him to post such things?  
    I think this is about as exhaustive I will be regarding these quotes.  If you have anything to add feel free to do so in the comments below.

    The End?  πŸ˜‘

Atheist Alliance of America

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ungodly Thoughts

If Yahweh exists and is omnipotent then we can extrapolate that he actually wanted a Universe whereby suffering and evil was inevitable. This puts the blame squarely on Yahweh not humans or any other beings.
Fact: Christianity is in decline throughout the world. Fact: Islam will exceed Christianity by 2060Fact: Atheists have their work cut out for them.Keep fighting for Reason! Do not falter. Do not give up.
Not even Jewish scholars can deny that Yahweh demanded child sacrifices in the Bible. Let the Christian apologetics begin.
I know people that have told me that they are willingly never going to try to think critically about their beliefs. They outright refuse to have any kind of conversation regarding the beliefs.
Not believing in macroevolution is like saying a person can walk the measurement of a foot but that successive accumulation of doing so over a period of time can never add up to a mile.