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What's the Purpose of the Apetivist Website?

My reply to Catholics Against Atheists and Cultists regarding this "God Question"


Apetivist Speaks About Christians Randomly Proselytizing To Him At the V...

39 Failed Theistic Arguments- Wonderful Memes from Common Sense Atheism

Thank you to www.commonsenseatheism for providing these wonderful and whimsical memes via Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial.  The site is no longer updated but you can further enjoy the incredible mind and work of Luke Muelhausser at http://lukemuehlhauser.com.  Thank you, Luke!  

 

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From www.commosenseatheism.com

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Everything I write for this site is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license, meaning you can share it and modify it any way you like, as long as you (1) link back to my site, and (2) don’t charge money for derivative works.

John W. Loftus - Naked Diner Ep 158

John W. Loftus - Naked Diner Ep 158

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS John Loftus is an Atheist and author of several books on leaving religion including The Christian Delusion, The End of Christianity, Why I Became an Atheist, The Outsider Test of Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True, and Christianity Is Not Great.

A Link To My Flickr Photo Album and Group Regarding Apetivist and Related Subjects

There are 448 photos in all.  This isn't even close to my collection of notable sayings and of others.  If you have something you wish to share that is in common with these subjects or just funny stuff feel free to submit to me via apetivist@gmail.com Please keep it is good taste.  :D 

Apetivist


https://www.flickr.com/groups/apetivist/

The Outsider Test for Faith by John W. Loftus. You must read this if you haven't yet.

The Outsider Test For Faith Challenge

Questioning The Resurrection- Part 1 by Robert Conners from Debunking Christianity Blog

Questioning the Resurrection, Part 1 (of 3)

Bible, Christianity, Faith, Evangelical Christian, atheism, atheist, Creation, Hector Avalos, Apologetics, John Loftus, David Madison, David Chumney

What do I really think about the way we should conduct ourselves and what we should base our thoughts and beliefs upon?

Yes, you all know I am an atheist but what do I really think about how the way we should conduct ourselves and what we should base our thoughts and beliefs upon? This isn't a complete description of my views but it does encompass most of them. I can't for the life of me see how anybody thinks following ancient holy books can be better than subscribing to Secular Humanism. If they actually knew what Secular Humanism promotes I think more people would get on board.

A Secular Humanist Declaration | Free Inquiry

Issued In 1980 By The Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism (now the Council for Secular Humanism) Introduction Secular humanism is a vital force in the contemporary world. It is now under unwarranted and intemperate attack from various quarters. This declaration defends only that form of ...

John E. Remsburg On The Absurdity Of Christianity

“An unlettered and credulous enthusiast, named Jones, imagines that he has had a revelation, and proceeds to found a new religious sect. He gathers about him a band of "disciples” as ignorant and credulous as himself. He soon gets into trouble and is killed. But the Jonesists increase-increase in numbers and in meanness--until at length they become sufficiently notorious to receive a paragraph from an annalist who, after holding them up to ridicule and scorn, accounts for their origin by stating that they take their name from one Jones who, during the administration of President Roosevelt, was hanged as a criminal. The world contains two billions of inhabitants-mostly fools, as Carlyle would say--and as the religion of this sect is a little more foolish than that of any other sect, it continues to spread until at the end of two thousand years it covers the globe. Then think of the adherents of this religion citing the uncomplimentary allusion of this annalist to prove that Jones was a god!”

The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence By John E. Remsburg (1909) p. 49

You can read the book for free at: https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23286419M/The_Christ
*This is an open source library that allows 14 day reading of books with an account (free).

Truth requires Opposition by Jeff Tadlock (Stairway To Reason)

Aron Ra on Religious Values

On Beliefs And Why They Should Not Be Free Of Criticism by George H. Smith



“To express a cognitive belief, as we have seen, is also to affirm (at least implicitly) that the content of one's belief is true. And since to affirm the truth of a proposition is to judge its cognitive value, all such beliefs can reflect on our competency to judge.

There is an absurd but popular notion that one's fundamental beliefs are sacrosanct and therefore immune to criticism Religious beliefs in particular are often spoken of in hushed and reverential tones, as if their lofty content automatically confers upon them the special privilege of unearned respect. A person is said to be admirable because he is a "deeply religious" person with strong convictions."A person who has profound beliefs about God deserves our profound respect, however profoundly we may disagree with him.

All such claims are sheer balderdash. There is nothing admirable about a belief per se, whatever its object may be. To say that beliefs are a dime a dozen would be to overestimate their true value. A belief, subjectively considered, has no more cognitive value than a feeling, viz., none at all. We are overstocked with beliefs; everyone has more than he needs, and everyone tends to think that his beliefs are especially important simply because they are his.

"I believe in a God of love"; "I believe that life has a divine purpose and that everything happens for a reason"; "I believe in a life after death"; "I believe ... etc." Fill in the blanks any way you wish, but your belief does not command respect merely because you happen to believe it. What is relevant to others is not the fact that you believe this, or that you believe this, or that you believe this, or that you believe this-but rather why you believe as you do”. -George H. Smith (Why Atheism? 2000 Prometheus Books pp. 47-48)

The Problem of Religious Plurality by Apetivist



The Problem of Religious Plurality by Apetivist

"If there is a god or gods and they want us to believe in them then it is upon them to present convincing evidence of their existence as well as presenting their plan for us and why we should care to follow such a plan. Making it a guessing game, a matter of faith, and poisoning the well by allowing 4,200+ religions throughout the world seems an odd way to go about establishing your existence as a fact. How can this god or gods expect anyone to make the correct choice regarding all these claims as well as the discordance between practically every version of each sect.

If this god or gods make claim that they are omniscient, omnipotent, omnisapient, and omnibenevolent then they have a very strange way both literally and figuratively of NOT showing it." 

The Triple Tragedy of a Human Sacrifice | Linda LaScola

The Triple Tragedy of a Human Sacrifice | Linda LaScola

Things We Wish Jesus Hadn't Said, Episode 2 by David Madison PhD

Matt Dillahunty opens up about the toxic words from his own parents

The Honest Atheist Podcast

The Honest Atheist Podcast

Mark Twain said that the best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible. The focus of this podcast is studying the Bible without faith bias. Your host, David Madison, has a PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University, and demonstrates through extensive analysis that the Bible is sufficient for the falsification of Christianity.

Remembering Christopher Hitchens - BBC Radio 4

Archive on 4 - Remembering Christopher Hitchens - BBC Sounds

Catch up on your favourite BBC radio show from your favourite DJ right here, whenever you like. Listen without limits with BBC Sounds.

The following diagram came from this article (https://new.exchristian.net/2014/01/go-to-hell-god.html). 


I think it is a wonderful depiction that Christian Soteriology isn't as simple as most Christians think it is...in fact it is rather impossible to know if you are ever saved and even if somehow you did there is no guarantee that you can keep it as the Bible shows multiple ways this can happen while other verses contradict it and say that salvation is eternal. This is a total mind f**k. This all goes with never once providing evidence that the claims are even true or that there is such a thing as a god much less the Christian god.

Some Reasons Why Humanists Reject The Bible - American Humanist Association

Some Reasons Why Humanists Reject The Bible - American Humanist Association: By Joseph C. Sommer Introduction Humanists reject the claim that the Bible is the word of God. They are convinced the book was written solely by humans in an ignorant, superstitious, and cruel age. They believe that because the writers of the Bible lived in an unenlightened era, the book contains many errors and harmful …

Comic Book Fantasy in the New Testament By David Madison PhD Biblical Studies

Comic Book Fantasy in the New Testament

It's no wonder there are thousands of different Christian brands. The New Testament itself has fueled so much heated debate, diluting the One True Faith and provoking endless irreconcilable interpretations. So pity the poor laypeople. Largely isolated from theological wrangling, they have to figure out the essence of the faith from what they've learned in Sunday school.

Skeptic Presents: What is a Skeptic?

David Madison PhD Biblical Studies Discusses His Book "Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief: A Minister-Turned-Atheist Shows You Why You Should Ditch the Faith- Naked Diner Podcast Ep 14

The interview begins at 9:20 in the podcast. I can attest that Dr Madison's book is a seminal work and should be read by believers and unbelievers alike.

David Madison - Naked Diner Ep 142

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS David Madison has a PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University and is the author of Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief: A Minister-Turned-Atheist Shows You Why You Should Ditch the Faith.

Shock and Awe: A Former Christian Ponders the Cosmos by Fibbs1701

An Overview of Logical Fallacies by Skeptic's Guide To The Universe

Logical Fallacies

Introduction to Argument Structure of a Logical Argument Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, our arguments all follow a certain basic structure. They begin with one or more premises, which are facts that the argument takes for granted as the starting point.

Wisdom



Wisdom

"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." - Bertrand Russell

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge." - Charles Darwin

"A little learning is a dangerous thing." - Alexander Pope

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies." - Friedrich Nietzsche



The Free Will Argument Is Riddled With Insurmountable Problems

The Free Will Argument Is Riddled With Insurmountable Problems.

If the Christian god was truly good he wouldn't risk our salvation upon faith amidst a world rife with conflicting religious claims and sects. He would provide an irrefutable and personal revelation via a direct message to each of us and the message would never conflict. A truly loving god would not leave it up to an accident of birth, geography, or what family you're born into to determine whether you will ever believe the right things.

Saying that the Christian god revealing himself would be infringing on our free will is ridiculous. Not only did he reveal himself to various people during the OT he even did so in the NT. If the Christian god is supposed to not favor one over another then it would be unreasonable and unfair for the Christian god to expect anyone to take another person's word for it much less an account told my someone that lives millennia ago and in whom we have no verifiable details about their life much less their motives or honesty in telling these stories.

The Free Will Defense also exonerates the Christian god from answering for the very problems he started. If the Christian god is omniscient, omnipotent, omnisapient, and omnibenevolent then he could very well have placed us in a universe where there would be no sin, evil, or suffering. In fact, an omnibenevolent god wouldn't be able to live with himself unless he did exactly that. If I had a way to prevent or solve suffering I would do it. That means that, I, a mere mortal has more compassion than the Christian god. If I had both the ability and desire to prevent evil and suffering and I didn't do so then I am not a loving or compassionate person.

What Happened To Us Ex-Minsters?




The Outsider Test For Faith featuring John W. Loftus

Quiz Show (Bible Contradictions) by NonStampCollector

Why Would God Make Me a Lesbian? Featuring Paulogia and Christy Santiago

What is Christianity? Ehrman-Harris Podcast

Measuring Morality by Grey Skeptic

The Hypocrisy of the Clergy by Elpidio Valdes

The Hypocrisy of the Clergy

Are there clergy men who don't believe in "God"? The answer is Yes! ...and they're the subject of a new study by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola from Tufts University, "Preachers who are not Believers". Imagine being forced to go to work every day and, as part of the job, profess something that you absolutely...


There Is No Such Thing As A True Christian! by Elpidio Valdes

There Is No Such Thing As A Christian!

Let's be honest, there is no such thing as a "true" Christian. It's common to observe Christians advertising the virtues of their faith and how they live their lives to honor and praise their God. Many Christians are fond of saying that "true" Christians are role models for the rest of the world which is...

What Is Atheism?



Addendum:

If there is a god or gods and he/they/she/it wants me to believe in it then it has done a really poor job of convincing me that it exists. It is hilarious that Christians and Muslims threaten unbelievers with Hell or tell us that there is no justice. We make our own justice and we always have. It may be finite in its scope and isn't by any means perfect but it does a good enough job to deter a lot of chaos. Sometimes there is no justice and that is a hard fact to swallow but to wishfully think that there is some divine afterlife justice such as Hell is ludicrous. Infinite punishment for finite crimes is beyond barbaric. If for some reason I discovered that the Bible god was real I would certainly not worship it nor would I respect it. If there is such thing as a god or gods I think its quite clear that they are disinterested with human affairs and human and animal suffering. In such a case I wouldn't care and have no respect for them either. 

The existence of evil/suffering is to me a strong indicator that there is no such thing as an omnibenevolent god or gods. Spend a day in a children's cancer ward and tell me just how wonderful your god is. Consider the massive loss of innocent life daily and the extreme suffering from diseases and injuries. Senseless suffering serves zero purpose and only adds misery and great pain. There is nothing good about it. We can all learn good lessons in life without suffering. If there will be a New Heavens and Earth as spoken of in the Bible then that means that it wasn't impossible for the Christian god to know how to make a Universe where there will be no suffering and where beings can freely choose to be loyal and loving toward this god. Why would an omnibenevolent god chose the mid experience of suffering and evil leading to lost souls going to eternal torment when he could have skipped to the end and only had the elect exist? It makes zero sense why an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omnisapient god would plan to do otherwise. The Christian god (and by extension by the same principles) is an illogical being (if it exists) and is unworthy of an ounce of my respect much less adoration.


Treatise On Morality by Scott Clifton

My Thoughts On The Problem of Evil by Apetivist


My Thoughts On The Problem of Evil 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 nor Transworld Depravity is not a good excuse either and in the following paragraphs I think I will make it clear why this is the case.

Apologist, Alvin Plantinga, puts forth the his famous apologetic argument:
"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." (God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga, 1974)

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 dematerializes. 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. 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 is less complex than the Creator Hypothesis. I personally am left to no other course of thought than to side with the postulates of Occam’s Razor.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)




On Antiprocess



Antiprocess

Antiprocess is the preemptive recognition and marginalization of undesired information by the interplay of mental defense mechanisms: the subconscious compromises information that would cause cognitive dissonance. It is often used to describe a difficulty encountered when people with sharply contrasting viewpoints are attempting (and failing) to discuss a topic. In other words, when one is debating with another, there may be a baffling disconnect despite his apparent understanding of the argument. Despite the apparently sufficient understanding to formulate counter-arguments, the mind of the debater does not allow him to be swayed by that knowledge.

There are many instances on the Internet where antiprocess can be observed, but the prime location to see it is in Usenet discussion groups, where discussions tend to be highly polarized. In such debates, both sides appear to have a highly sophisticated understanding of the other position, yet neither side is swayed. As a result, the debate can continue for years without any progress being made.

Antiprocess occurs because:
The mind is capable of multitasking;
The mind has the innate capability to evaluate and select information at a pre-conscious level so that we are not overwhelmed with the processing requirements;
It is not feasible to maintain two contradictory beliefs at the same time;
It is not possible for people to be aware of every factor leading up to decisions they make;
People learn argumentatively effective but logically invalid defensive strategies (such as rhetorical fallacies);
People tend to favor strategies of thinking that have served them well in the past; and
The truth is just too unpalatable to the mind to accept.

The ramifications of these factors are that people can be engaged in a debate sincerely, yet the appearances suggests that they are not. This can lead to acrimony if neither party is aware of antiprocess and does not adjust his or her debating style accordingly.

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Street Epistemology on The Thinking Atheist Podcast

Listen to "TheThinkingAtheist" on Spreaker.

Lisa For Truth Starts Video Series on Judaism

Humans Are Animals And Apes




If God Exist Then Everything Is Permitted by DarkMatter2525

Christianity is UnAmerican by Dan Courtney

Please Stop Calling Religious People Stupid



Please Stop Calling Religious People Stupid

I’ve heard or read it many times. Theists calling atheists stupid or atheists calling theists stupid. I wish this would stop. It isn’t only a poor debate tactic but it is also insensitive, rude, and in most cases, factually incorrect. In most cases it is just hateful language. The truth is that all atheists and theists are intelligent. The hallmark of intelligence is the ability to attain and use knowledge and skills. It doesn’t mean that one is always correct. If one person is more knowledgeable in one area than another person, with most factors being equal, it is usually because of additional experience or talent in that specific area.

We are all ignorant of something. Ignorance can be remedied with education. As long as a person is open to learning (and has no significant learning disability to prevent them) they can establish themselves with a previously unknown subject given enough time and effort. So where do people get off on calling each other names?

When we think that others should clearly know what we know, as if it is common knowledge, we can often resort to thinking that such people that don’t hold that knowledge are stupid. Rather than considering the reasons why people do not, at least in the present, hold such knowledge we can often be quick to judge them. This is in part because we feel a satisfaction thinking we are intellectually superior or far more insightful than another person (particularly our opponent in a argument or debate) but, by doing so we are often mistaken.

Theists and atheists can all be misinformed or wrong on any number of subjects. Often times we may believe things purely for emotional reasons. Those reasons could be good or bad, provable or unprovable. Sometimes we think we are justified intellectually to hold a position but we could be mistaken and our knowledge may be insufficient in the subject to rightfully make such a claim.
When I was a believer I was capable of using reason in almost every other area of my life except my religious beliefs. Not only is it discouraged in Christianity to have doubt or question but it is often judged to be a sign of some moral indiscretion. So I cordoned off my Christian beliefs from analysis. This is called compartmentalization (psychology) and people of many different beliefs do it, not just for religious reasons but also for political reasons, nationalistic reasons, superstitions, etc. When we call people stupid we are forgetting that we are also susceptible to such psychological defense mechanisms. These mechanisms stem from our evolutionary past and without them we would not have survived.

Trusting authority figures and going with the tribe often led to increased probability of survival.
Superstition and religion came on the scene earlier than the advent of science and as such it was the only game in town when it came to explaining the world around us. This eventually led to the development of philosophy which in turn led to natural philosophy (what we now call science). People raised in religion or in a religious culture often don’t give a second thought as to its veracity and even when they do they still subscribe to it because they feel included in a group that provides support as long as they continue to fit in. This really isn’t stupid. If it is all you have known and becoming an outsider means losing support then it is a wise strategy to stay within the in-group. It becomes even more intelligent to stay when becoming an outsider means losing family, friends, jobs, homes, and in some cases your life! This is why I tell fellow atheists that it is one thing to help deconvert a believer it is another thing to provide them an alternative support system. A lot of people don’t have it in them to rough it and start anew especially at such a heavy cost. So, do consider this and realize that even when you may feel superior to a theist, if you were in their shoes, you may very well be doing the same thing!

Analysis: So You Say, "Atheism Is A Religion".




Examining William Lane Craig

The Evolution of Religion by Lisa For Truth

Do You Really Have A Better Explanation Than Evolution?




On Theists Killing Atheists

"At the heart of atheism is an acceptance of the reality that we are here on this planet, alone together, and no magic will save us: no gods, no avatars, no angels, no mantras, no prayers, no prophets, no deities. Just us. We can and will save ourselves. This fact is so terrifying to some, that they wield machetes to try and murder it." -Phil Zuckerman Ph.D.

Excerpt from Phil Zuckerman's article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secular-life/201606/killing-atheists

E Pluribus Unum or In Gods We Trust?




Why Can't Christians Understand the Word Atheist?

The Correct Definition of a Fool.




Meet Abraham


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