Free Will

 

free will

Free Will


The Webster Dictionary defines free will as:

1: voluntary choice or decision, I do this of my own free will.

2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.

When theists are presented with a dilemma such as trying to explain why their God would allow terrible things to happen if he is all loving and all powerful, their go-to response is “free will.” This is not only a cop-out but not even an acceptable answer. A theist cannot truly believe they have free will while at the same time believing God knows their every thought and action.

If God knows what you are going to do before you do it, that would mean it is predestined. It is something that is going to happen and you have no choice in the matter. It does not matter that you have the option of changing your mind, because, in the end, God would still know what your final decision would be. Even if you were to change your mind 1000 times, God would still know what your final decision would be. If God knew yesterday that today you would eat cereal for breakfast, are you free to not eat cereal today? The problem is of course if you are free to not eat cereal today, God would have been wrong in knowing that you would eat cereal today.

If someone knows in advance what you will do, you do not have free will because it was decided ahead of time what you were going to do. Although you might have convinced yourself that you had free will in your decision, you did not because God knew before you did what you were going to decide.

Either we truly have free will and God (or anyone else) does not know what we will do tomorrow, or we do not and our future has already been decided and you are just playing out a role that had already been predetermined.

It’s A Miracle →

 

The One True Religion

 

the one true religion

The One True Religion

 

There are more than 750 established Religions in the world which are broken out into more the 3200 different sects. Christianity, for example, is one of the major religions but has more than 300 sub-sects, each with their own unique traditions and interpretations of the bible.

The actual number of religions is much higher than this even because a religion can be defined in so many different ways, so there is no way to know exactly how many religions may exist, but even with the example given, how can you be sure you have selected the “one true religion?”

If your eternal salvation relies on you not only believing in God but the “one true God” how can you be sure you have made the right choice? What if the God you believe in is the wrong God. Would you suffer the same fate as the non-believer if you did believe in God, but happened to not believe in the “one true God?”

Of course, most theists believe that they were fortunate enough to select the “one true religion” out of the many religions of the world, but also the “one true God” as well. As I said earlier, they did not pick their religion, their religion picked them. I know many will argue this point with me by saying they went through several religions before deciding on the “one true religion” they currently belong to now. That, is not impressive though. Moving from a Baptist faith to a different Christian faith is akin to saying you once thought Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream was the best, now you think Ben & Jerry’s is the best.

The truth is had you been born in for example Iran, you would be most likely a Muslim, and if you would have been born in India, you most likely would be a Hindu today. But I can say with certainty that had that been the case, you would believe one of those religions to be the “one true religion” today, just as those people who believe in one of those other religions do, instead of the one you believe is now. Of course people’s arrogance will never have them admit to this, but of course, it’s true. Geography had more of a decision in your religion than you did. I will say it again, you did not pick your religion, it picked you.

A Catholic believes they are saved because their God is the “one true God” but then so does the Muslim, the Jew, and the Hindu. They can’t all be right, but they could all be wrong. Each one of these people of faith is convinced that they were fortunate enough to be able to determine not only what the “one true religion” is, but also the “one true God” as well. But, it is not possible that all of them are right, so what about the ones who are wrong?

The Catholic is certain the Muslim is wrong, just as the Muslim is certain the Catholic is wrong, and of course, the Jew thinks they are both wrong. Even among the same faiths such as Christians, they can’t all agree either, which is why there are over 300 sects of Christianity alone.

Would picking the wrong God, be just as bad as not picking one at all?

Free Will

 

 

What is Faith?

faith

What is Faith?

 

Why is it considered a virtue to have faith? Faith by definition is believing in something for which there is no proof of.  Would it also be considered virtuous to believe in other things without proof or is faith the only thing that lacks proof that it is considered virtuous to believe in?

If someone were to claim to have an invisible friend hiding under their bed that only they can see, would this be a virtuous belief as well or would this be considered a delusional person?  What exactly is the defining factor that separates ordinary delusion, “I have an invisible man under my bed” from that of faith, “God is talking to me” and could they both be delusional?

The Webster Dictionary defines faith as:

1
a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2
a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3
: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

So if we were to combine the meanings given in the second definition it would mean faith is: a belief and loyalty to a God, which is the traditional doctrines of a religion, and a belief in something for which there is no proof, but that you have a complete trust in.

When a theist says they have ‘faith’ in God, they are really saying they have a belief and complete trust in something for which there is no proof of.  Faith by definition is a belief in something that cannot be proven, so when a theist claims to have complete faith in a God, they are admitting they believe in a fictional being.  How then could they claim to have proof of something that is not real?  Faith is just that, faith.  If it was anything else it would be called something other than faith such as a truth or a law.

When we have determined that something is a fact we call it a law, as in “The Law of Physics.”  Until then is known as a theory, as in “The Theory of Evolution.”  I would like to point out that The Theory of Evolution is widely accepted as fact now, but is still referred to as a theory. For more on this see:

Is Evolution a Theory or a Fact?

To say “you have faith” is not a law, it is not even a theory, it’s a belief.  Beliefs do not rise to the same level as do laws and theories which is why it’s called faith.  People of faith should stop trying to claim they have faith, while also trying to attach some credible basis to that faith because faith has no basis … it’s faith.

If you have faith in your God, that’s all you have as a claim, you have nothing in the rational world of laws and theories to use, so why would you insist on trying to use the laws of the rational world to try and describe your faith?  You reside in the land of faith … the belief in things for which there is no evidence or proof of, this is your world, and you accepted it.  Please don’t try to attach the world of logic and reason to this world, the two cannot coexist…

Blind Faith

 

 

What is an Atheist?

atheism

What is an Atheist?

 

Atheists are amongst some of the most hated people in the world, but why?  Many people misunderstand the term “atheist” and associate it with Devil worshiping or people that sacrifice small farm animals.  This, of course, is completely ridiculous.  Theists do not have a higher moral code than do atheists.  Indeed no one has ever killed in the name of “no God” yet many have killed in the name of a “God.”

Theists will argue that someone like Stalin was an atheist and that he killed in the name of atheism, but this is false, Stalin killed in the name of communism.  In fact, Stalin actually rejected Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.  In short, Stalin opposed Darwin’s theory in favor of Trofim Lysenko’s Lamarckianism

Atheism is not a belief system, it’s a rejection of theism … nothing more.  Atheists do not worship Satan anymore than we would any other God or demon.  Indeed an atheist rejects God and Satan as well. Because an Atheist does not believe in God, this does not mean that we do not believe in anything as some theists will claim.  A belief in nothing is known as “nihilism.”  Nihilism is a philosophy of an extreme form of skepticism: The denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth; nothingness or nonexistence.  I am not a nihilist … I know I exist.

In the discussion of theism, you either are a theist or you are an atheist, there are no other options. Think of it this way, a thing is either symmetrical or it isn’t.  If it isn’t, then we say it’s asymmetrical. Adding the “a” simply means “not.”  Since no other definition has been given to describe something that is not symmetrical in shape, other than it is asymmetrical, we cannot know what it is, only what it is not.

The same thing applies to Atheism, either you believe in the theist God or you don’t.  Just as nudity is not just another form of clothing; it’s no clothes.  Not believing in the theist God isn’t another religion; it’s not believing in the theist God … and that’s all it means.

Other than a non-belief in the theist God, atheists are free to believe in whatever they choose.  For example, you can be male or female, white, black or any other race, gay or straight, a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or an Anarchist.  You can literally have any other philosophy you like and still be an atheist.  The only thing that is required to be an atheist is the rejection of theism … period.

Atheism is not a belief, nor is it a belief in nothing.  Atheism is simply a rejection of the God of theism based on the lack of evidence. This does not mean that atheists can’t believe in a lot of other things, including things that cannot be seen like, air and gravity. Although air and gravity cannot be seen, they can both be measured and proven to exist.

Atheists do not have a special day once a week that requires they get dressed up, and then gather for meetings with their friends to compare fashion, and discuss magic, folklore, Gods, Demons and the existence of things outside the natural universe.  They do not have a handbook with special rules to obey, talk to imaginary friends or worship idols … those people are known as theists.

Atheists do not disagree on atheism.  Many will confuse what I just said to mean atheists do not ever disagree. Atheists, of course, are free to disagree on almost anything except atheism itself.  As I said in the beginning, atheism is not a belief system; it’s a rejection of theism … nothing more.  If you disagree with atheism, then you are not an atheist period.

Now let’s contrast that with theism, which is a belief system.  You can be a theist and disagree on many points about theism itself and what it means to be a theist.  A Catholic and a Baptist, for example, are both theists but disagree on exactly what that means. This is why there are so many different sects of the same religion.  With atheism, this is not a problem as all atheists agree they reject theism.  This makes our position one that is not only more definable but agreeable as well.  Just trying to define theism and what it means is hard enough, finding two theists that agree on what it actually means is next to impossible, even within the exact same sect…

Agnosticism →

 

 

A Quest for Knowledge

cavemen

A Quest for Knowledge

Since man first crawled from the cave he has been on a quest for knowledge. Not having the ability to understand the universe early man invented Gods to explain their world. There were Gods for everything, from water and fire, to Earth and the cosmos. Thunder and lightning meant that the Gods must be angry and if it rained they were sad.

This would all seem to make perfect sense for the mind of a caveman since they were not capable of conceptual and rational thought. They simply replaced one unknown for another in their world. Rain = Gods sad, Thunder and lightning = Gods angry. This ‘caveman logic’ explained everything they needed to know and because of their limited logic and reason worked fine for them.

Just as in the movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” when a native in the Kalahari Desert encounters technology for the first time–in the shape of a Coke bottle. I found this to be very amusing, but I also began to see parallels between his thought process, and that of the modern day Theist. Both are using caveman logic to explain their world. The native using caveman logic thinks, “bottle fall from the sky, must be a gift from the Gods” and the modern day theist thinks, “see that tree, that proves God.” Both of them simply have replaced one unknown for another, but still, have not answered where these things came from.

It is easy to understand how this method of replacing one unknown for another was passed down through the generations as a means by which to describe our world. It is also easy to see how someone of such limited capacity could accept this line of reasoning to define their world.

As mankind evolved, man’s logic and reason evolved as well. This ‘caveman logic’ did not seem to work as well as it once did. Science and math had now replaced ‘caveman logic’ and we demanded proof for the things we believed in. Through using logic and reason, and applying science and math we replaced caveman logic and learned that:

Rain = ‘Gods sad’, was replaced with science and we learned that rain is caused by; “Precipitation that forms when cloud droplets (or ice particles) in clouds grow and combine to become so large that their fall speed exceeds the updraft speed in the cloud; and they then fall out of the cloud. If these large water drops or ice particles do not re-evaporate as they fall farther below the cloud, they reach the ground as precipitation.”

Thunder = ‘Gods angry’, was replaced and learned to be caused by; “The sudden expansion of the air around a lightning bolt’s path. The deep rumbling and sharp cracks of thunder are produced as the air around the lightning bolts are superheated – up to about 54,000° Fahrenheit (about 33,000° Celsius) – and rapidly expands. This rapid expansion creates an acoustic shock wave that manifests itself as thunder.”

Through science and math and by using logic and reason, mankind had replaced ‘caveman logic’ and was able to explain his world in more rational and sensible ways. Man now relied on the rules of evidence to validate a claim and demanded proof for things he was willing to say he believed in … except in one area.

Where faith was concerned ‘caveman logic’ seemed to still be the method of which to explain our world. God was proven in the mind of a theist simply by pointing to a tree, flower or an insect. This ‘caveman logic’ was more than enough proof in their mind and it did not matter that all they had done was to replace one unknown for another, to them the question had been answered and it was not up for debate or challenge.

It is sad that with all of the mankind’s greatest achievements that we have still not crawled that far beyond the cave…and ‘caveman logic.’

The quest continues …

What Is An Atheist? →