James Randi is basically just some skeptic––some guy who finds inspiration, meaning, and validation, in sustaining feelings of self-control. When you believe the universe is merciless, indifferent and, in fact unmindful, you also understand that Earth is like some spherical sweet spot of sustainable safety, at least when one is a human, but you also understand that feelings of self control on the earth, please the soul like opium, though they do seem to be safe like Tylenol. Maybe modafinil? Maybe. Randi is sometimes seen both caped and capped with a wand in his hand; he is a card-tucking, rabbit obsessing, psychic hating, fake magician by trade; he is a student of illusions, in which he scores Bs for his pedestrian aplomb; he can’t do shit like David Blaine; Randi is not at all that good, but he is famous, though, regardless, because he is religiously rational; he is one of many poster boys for the pro-sanity movement; he has dedicated his career to fighting beliefs in the supernatural. Basically, of course this means he’s kind of a douchebag, (which means he exploits the grain or that he does something inhuman,) which could be fine, but he seems to be in denial, which is not cool. In this way, Randi is a cultural crusader in denial about being a cultural crusader; he is fighter of the pen with a hard-on for human supremacy who got possessed by a pipe dream which he can only hope may ever evince for posterity.
But the good news is that Randi is very rational, especially in his own opinion. If secularization is a mirage that we shall never close in on despite we shall continue to traverse upon this plane called time, one wonders if Randi can see it that way. Me thinks secularism is ostensible wet cement curing upon a safe assumption, but the problem is that the cement is already dry. If secularization is gonna work one day, man’s gonna have to replace God with something new because for all modern people God still serves a clear and definite function. For the pious, God challenges people to be better than yesterday and to always be moral. For the atheist, God challenges man to disprove him. The atheist is lorded over by God, way much more than the atheist really knows. “How come God could not?” That is the atheist’s “What would Jesus do?” God is constantly on the atheist’s mind, especially if one is an atheist blogger; if you are so, God is clearly constantly on your mind. If post humanism shall be secular, nobody on Earth yet handles God in any way that should suggest that it could happen; atheists think about God just as often as the pious if not more. I do not believe you, James Randis of the world. I do not believe in your secular dreamland of the future. I do not believe.
So, you ask, what does all of this CRAP amount to, and what does it all safely tell us about James Randi? It all tells me that Randi probably unconsciously links religious dream walkers to bad ants in the mound who stand to tear the tunnels down, somehow, someway, despite that the tunnels were always founded by ants who believed in higher insects; essentially Randi wishes to fix something that isn’t broken, which might be foolish, especially when we realize that this is what he wishes to do. Basically, Randi misplaces mistakes of the past inside vessels of contempt, and then he sails them out into the seas, like they are phone numbers stuffed into bottles; every now and then he gets a call. It seems indeed that because the human condition improves of course with time and progress, somehow this computation, fucking history––it just confuses him; Randi studies the past to validate the present, which would be fine if Randi didn’t assume the present is exemptible from a certain fate once time expands, which is of course to become history, whereupon present errors shall turn visible at last, if we learn anything.
This is how Randi openly deconstructs the religious person without feeling guilt despite claiming most of the world is naive: no one can prove him wrong; you can’t put ghosts in test tubes. But Randi sucks because he doesn’t believe in magic. He believes in magical thinking, but he suppresses his own. Magic, actual fucking magic, is basically just any product of divine technology, but Randi says magic is stuffing silk scarves into rubber thumbs. To be respected, in Randi’s universe, you must be rational, which is apparently only defined by disbelief in God. Disbelief in God is an evolved form of scapegoating exploited by people who wish for men to be foolish but who wish as well to not be one of them. All these atheists believe in a wise man’s burden; it’s to service humanity with the grace of your existence, whereas others bring nothing for you. That is what haunts Randi’s soul: diffused guilt; it possesses his formidable will, which seems legit, but the secret is, he’s on autopilot; it’s a carrot cake disorder where you see darkness in light, because you can’t stop feeding your mind with something decadent and metaphotonic: human supremacy, and enlightenment. But enlightenment gets confused with malevolutional thinking. If one posits God exists, atheism is the belief in something false both about the self and the environment, which is therefore a maladaptation, even textbook delusional. That is if one posits God exists. After all, ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking it; if God indeed exists, atheists believe in a false reality and therefore atheists are delusional. It follows in this logic, that if God exists, and mankind falls to secularization as a species, the move by man is maladaptive. If God doesn’t exist, then atheism might seem like an adaptive move, but it’s really not if you think about it. Disbelief in God is a negative adaptation because it tightens the scope of consciousness when the mind is clearly built to handle a looser belt. Atheism might seem like sharpening one’s cognitive razor, but that’s a mistake, for supernatural inquiry utilizes the same razor and it shaves a broader hide––whether God exists or not. Randi’s consciousness is a charcoal filter removing trust; faith is a voice that cannot sing. Randi sees the pious on the internet and he tricks himself into belief that he can’t know why or even how they even try to hold onto faith in this modern world of the noble monkey who invented fire but forgot who he was and has yet to discover he invented light: what Randi thinks. Randi sees religion and he sees invisible rules of life that bring shape and make our outcomes, but he notices that despite this filter world of alleged truth that holds earth within its hands, the glove world seems on the earth at least to be absent in substance, providing no evidence, despite it’s supposed touch. The pious just say, that’s God’s work; all things are possible under God is the idea. The enlightened have had exposure to Heaven on Earth and they will tell you accordingly. Randi doesn’t buy it. He believes in bad biology. He also suspects liars. The brain is a mighty, mysterious functional thought machine made of neurons, neurotransmitters, bioelectricity, glial cells, and brain meat, surrounded in brain soup, contained in skull case, but this powerful organic marvel of mammalian biology thinks sometimes in logics that are counterintuitive: what Randi will tell you. His problem: he doesn’t realize that Earth is the glove, and Heaven is the hand. Heaven is the filter––this is because the soul is the mind, and the brain is a software: the soul is the hand inside the glove; outside the glove, the soul is formless––it needs a vessel––it needs a glove––it needs a suit, it needs an armor––it must incarnate into something; even in Heaven, the soul incarnates into matryoshka doll of several bodies which correspond to different planes; depending on the plane of occupation, Heavenite souls will be found in different bodies. The Heavenite soul sheds one body per plane of ascension; with each plane of descension, the new plane’s corresponding body, which once was shed, returns to prominence; all Heavenite souls have a different body for every plane. There are 7 planes and 7 bodies. Randi just doesn’t get it: what it is about him.
Different strokes by the same old folks. Just like some friend-voted village idiot in Fishville Alaska who sweepingly concludes illegal immigration in Texas, is the biggest issue that he can possibly think of, the only difference between James Randi and openly hateful people who hunt for golden fleeces, is that Randi likes all people––black, gay, Japanese, whatever––IF––yes, IF––said people are willing to shit on God and the supernatural. Fuck James Randi. Fuck his B-magic––his respect for classic stunts; it bothers him he sucks; it’s why he says it sucks and then, performs it anyway. And fuck his inability to understand the supernatural comes from the supernatural––not from blindness to fantasy. Fuck James Randi in his rational dick hole; science is hung like an airplane; Randi is loose like a 6 year old baby tooth; Randi’s G-spot is the moon of his pride; Randi’s safeword is “Oh, Jesus Christ!” A slave to the moon, as if he doesn’t know why she comes every night, Randi cums everyday like the swallowing tide. Guess it’s like they say, daily Bukaki from Nietzsche and Freud will blind your third eye. Abused by his heroes, but he still eats his own pie; he identifies with Hitchens because he seems like a simple enough guy who just might be right. Let it be known Randi doesn’t spit; he tends to swallow, and he does so without choking, but then he regurgitates––every time, all over the bed––Ramen noodle strings of cum––and then he shits rabbit pellets into his crack space in tight whites, and then he cuddles up with science, who smokes parliament cigarettes and wonders what’s really on his ho’s mind. Randi is a sex slave of something bigger than himself. Who never knew why. It was God the whole time.
26 thoughts on “Life is a piñata: a hate post on James Randi: part II”
“For the atheist, God challenges man to disprove him.”
He doesn’t, friend. The burden of proof is not on atheists, and the majority of them know quite well that you cannot prove a negative.
you’ll never get your way unless you prove that God does not exist. This is of course impossible. My point being: you’ll never get your way, even though you’ll whine your life away dismissing God the whole way through, until you die, whereupon you shall wake up in heaven and feel like a Yutz for being so small minded about reality. The burden of proof is on you pal, because I’m not buying your lame argument that humans once believed in a made up God with such hardcore vigor that they forgot they made him up. Assuming that is your argument. It nearly always seems to be the atheist’s go-to explanation for God. Seems pretty mindless, but that is what you believe, no?
What do you see as ‘my way’? I can achieve my goals in life perfectly well without proving God wrong, happily.
Theists are the ones making the claim. That is how the burden of proof works. If I claimed leprechauns existed, you would not be under obligation to believe me until I proved that belief was rational and justified. Same goes for God/s.
So, you don’t believe humans believed in a made up God? There are an estimated 3000 religions currently being practiced in the world, representing thousands of different Gods, by followers who believe with absolute certainty. At most only one (or one set of Gods) is the ‘correct’ one, making all the rest fiction. This necessarily means people believe in made up Gods, no matter what the truth is. Would you agree with that logic?
I don’t agree with that logic, no. More compelling is this logic: people without exception all over the world in disconnected cultures of ancient times all discovered God in every single human society. What does that tell me? It tells me god exists.
Not sure why I wasn’t logged in for that comment..
You’ve said you don’t agree with the logic but failed to explain how you could come to a different conclusion. How can billions of people all believe in different Gods when the vast majority of those Gods preclude any other Gods existing, and yet all the billions are still correct?
Yes, me and psychologists and anthropologists all find that question very fascinating: How did the isolated peoples of the world all come to the notion of God/s existing?
My wife actually comes to the same conclusion you do. I mentioned to her that if we hypothetically discovered an alien race and they, too, had a God (vastly different from our own, of course), that would prove that the creation and worship of Gods is a sham in my mind, because it shows that humans (or sentient beings of sufficient intelligence) all evolved relatively the same and came to the same conclusions, yet wildly different Gods, just as our societies have done. She thinks it would prove God true because it would show that God is ubiquitous. I’ll try and explain to you what I did her.
We all came to the same conclusions because of evolution and psychology.
Hear a deafening sound and our primitive ancestors are scared, and psychologically, they are wired to ascribe that scary sound to some conscious agent, even if one isn’t there. Everything good or bad that happens that we didn’t directly cause ourselves or an animal becomes the result of a God who’s pissed off or grateful about something. If our crops fail, we think the God is pissed, and so we stone someone to death, for instance. But as our intellect grows, we understand more and more, and we don’t need to fill in these gaps in our knowledge with the “God did it” answer. We can give real answers instead.
This is the God of the Gaps, and theists still spout it off even today. It is ingrained in our psychology and it’s difficult for our brains to get past. But they are running out of things to claim is Gods fault. The tides used to be caused by God, storms, tornadoes and other natural disasters, famine, plague, and the list goes on. Now, no God need be involved in any of those things to be fully explained. The origin of life is the last popular one, and I think it’s time is running out, with things like the Miller-Urey experiment.
if the universe is digital––all things––and I mean all things––are products of God, designed in congruence with his will. It’s very possible. But even if it’s not the case, humans on earth can still be God’s creation.
They could be, sure. It’s about what we have most justification for believing, though, and we have no justification for believing that there is a God at this time. Perhaps that will change in the future if a new experiment is done that shows it a likely possibility. We’ve not yet seen anything of that sort.
God cannot not be empiricalized or even detected by using present human technologies. Perhaps God intends for man to one day find him via human hands if science can one day suit the homo sapien, (or its evolved successor,) with garbs of holy-like wisdom. It is true that before 1895, radio waves did not exist as far as any human was aware; before 1939ish, (unless I’m wrong,) nuclear fission was unimaginable and thusly considered impossible to every mind, even the greatest ones of that time. Who knows what the future holds in store for the benefit of man’s ever-expanding wisdom. Even so, whether or not man shall ever learn how to read the presently invisible energies of Heaven, mankind might find out that God exists sometime before that happens as a bonafide fact which must be ruled into the modern canon of worldly science; I’m talking about the individual chances of a ton of different future prospects, all foretold to one day arrive, including the return of Jesus Christ, (something that was promised by Jesus to one day happen,) the return of the OG Buddha, the emergence of the 3 horseman of the apocalypse, (which no one is praying for,) and other things that I could list here if I cared enough to ponder longer. Imagine one day in the future a video hits Youtube of a young man in say, Australia, and he walks on water––straight across a pool in black nikes––for record setting view count of 3 billion souls who had to see it happen. That man would be Jesus Christ my friend, and should it happen, your little atheist’s sub culture will implode instantly, never to return. Another scenario: aliens attack the earth, but God arrives on the scene to crush them because the aliens encroached upon human providence. In such a situation, God is revealed to all, he becomes the hero of all heros who cannot be overlauded in any way, and your little atheist’s subculture says bye-bye to all––never to return. Also possible in maybe a more or less likely scenario, depending on your personal takes on reality and your convictions on how it all works: a ghost, yes, a humble ghost, could with God’s blessing of course, invade a televised, live taping of some event, to be witnessed first by millions, and then by billions via replays. This ghost would be unexplainable by pitiful human science, of course, but since he will be captured on tape, his existence will be undeniable. Almost all humans will rightly say the ghost had come from Heaven or that he was on his way to getting there. Some of the conspiratially inclined among us will claim it was a hoax by aliens who have nothing to do us but pose a realistic threat to us regardless: what I predict would happen in regards one unpopular opinion that would surface amidst the chaos, the bliss, and the completeness we all shall feel in the non-hypothetical air of God’s long prayed for Gift to Earth––that being his mere affirmation. In any case, this ghost will thereby compel millions of doubters, including maybe yourself, (I say because you seem so rational despite so entirely wrong about God,) into buying in on the paradigm for reality that now 5 or 6 out of 7 Earthlings already do buy into. Why do so many people believe in God? I could answer for hours, but at the greatest reduction I have only this to tell you: most people understand an inner voice of wordless wisdom that resides within us all: something in the gut that you discourage and banish to the claustrophobic recesses of your soul. Why do you do this? Probably because you like the idea that you are somehow more rational, progressive, and even more existentially brave, though most importantly, less sheeplike, than the majority of your brothers and sisters who believe the human world owes itself with every iota of its being, its presence, its substance, and its essense, to the big man who lives infallibly, yes, infallibly, “upstairs.” You might not believe in God, and you might think there is no good reason for the free world to do so. But you are God’s creation, and though I trust God in all his glory does not find the need to disown you for your ingratitude, all I’ll say is this: people like you want God to be real more than anyone else, at least in my opinion. You want him to be real. You would love to go to Heaven when you die. You would love to be an immortal soul who can always draw from the epic bank of God’s divine wisdom to ascertain your own beliefs about this crazy gig called life. But you feel so betrayed by God’s lack of “presence,” that instead of working on your 3rd eye to sharpen your higher vision or, less so yet, to enculture your own higher wisdom by practicing some humble prayer, you praise people like James Randi for doing dick for anyone––whilst––just blaming religion for his own crummy skills or, lack thereof, in fielding proper magic or, aka, as he makes it known at the cost of great hubris and self-alienation, the sacred causality of mind control, homophobia, hugely fatal wars, perceptions of humanity’s slothfulness, and the threat of new dark ages yet to come, etcetera. It’s all a bunch of misplaced inner confession brought on by the ethosic principles of certain sciences like anthropology and psychiatry––which have since circa the 19th century, explicitly vowed to always exclude God from reality’s fine print––in my opinion. In my opinion that’s what it is. It’s just a force of influence that transcends its own source of power because the nexus between cause and effect is marred by scientists who demand for the wisdom of science to be treated by all as if infallible.that being fields of speculation that dive into the blackest waters to shamelessly construct in mandatory blindness, ephemeral theories of proposed visions that cannot last in lieu of immutable substance that never
“–straight across a pool in black nikes––for record setting view count of 3 billion souls who had to see it happen. That man would be Jesus Christ my friend, and should it happen, your little atheist’s sub culture will implode instantly, never to return.”
I get what you’re saying, though I don’t think them the best examples. Youtube is known for its hoax videos, so I would need more than this to believe someone walked on water. Same with the ghost on live TV – tv networks can be hacked, and so on.
But let’s say something happens which is undeniable. Where God has unequivocally proven himself. You’re absolutely right that the atheist subculture would die immediately. We knew this risk going in: That we could be proven wrong at any point. That is something no religion carries – they can always simply claim ‘God works in mysterious ways’.
BUT, my point is that even if this circumstance were to happen, we would still, even then, not have been incorrect to believe as he had believed. It would still NOT have been wrong of us to deny God. Why? Because you should believe the most likely scenario at any given point in time. At the moment, it is not likely that God exists. But new experiments can be thought up. New ways to measure what was once thought unquantifiable. Just like you were saying, we may eventually find ways to accomplish detection of God or heaven. Only at that point would we be justified in changing our view. Not before.
As I said previously, you’re behaving as a gambler does, claiming with certainty that you will roll a 6. Even if you actually DO roll a 6, you still weren’t justified to believe it before you did and we weren’t wrong to disbelieve you before you did. Does that make sense? That’s the way I’m seeing it.
The philosophical definition of ‘knowledge’ is “true, justified, belief”. You certainly have belief, but I don’t see your justification to believe that what you espouse IS the truth. Even if it is the truth, you lack justification in my eyes.
“Why do so many people believe in God?”
Many people believe in God. Many people believe in Gods. Almost all of the religions representing these Gods cannot coexist. Logically, this means that at best, 99.99+% of all Gods aren’t real, aka fiction.
Given this, I find it more interesting and applicable to instead ask “Why do so many humans have a motivation to create and believe in fictional Gods?” Obviously, since essentially all religions have followers who believe they can hear an ‘inner voice’ in relation to their God/s, we can conclude that this voice is not to be trusted in the slightest.
I a little about this recently, actually, in my “Things Atheists Should Stop Saying” essay.
“certain sciences like anthropology and psychiatry––which have since circa the 19th century, explicitly vowed to always exclude God from reality’s fine print––in my opinion.”
I find that you are doing something very common for theists to do – demonizing science. I think you and most theists see an enemy where there is none. Science does not claim that God does not exist. It offers no opinion on God, because the claim of God is not testable (at this time). Science and its advocates know full well that it is not the purview of science to make any claims on what is not testable. Things that are testable, such as the age of the Earth, evolution, percentage of homosexuality in a population of mammals, etc, God has no claim over. Science takes only the data available to it and tests it. If it comes to a conclusion that you do not like, that is your problem – not science. Just as I said before, we ought to believe only what we have the best evidence for at any given time. If new information comes to us, we can update our beliefs to fit what is observed. That is the only rational position to take.
The problem with science is that the scientific method is not a perfect screen job and science fields atrocities all the time that get swept under the rug by science obeyant western culture yes men atheists who seek comfort in light but lose hope in the darkness: My opinion.
Indeed – science is not perfect, nor has it claimed to be. This is the main advantage of science: it admits it’s not perfect and is fully cognizant of that fact, unlike other methods people typically use like instinct and faith, and it therefore puts up extra measures to guard against human bias and other potential problems with science. It does this through peer review. Only after multiple studies corroborate the original claim is that claim taken seriously, and even then science does not call it ‘fact’. Surely you would agree that this is a great system for discovering truth?
It’s only the best that humans can do: what is science. I studied science in college––paleoanthropology. I got a BA in 4 years and I graduated with honors, all just for studying fossilized monkey bones under the dangerous assumption that these monkey bones had only everything to offer us at the cost of nothing to waste. (This was when I was an atheist.) My senior thesis was on what was in 2009 still considered a recent discovery, an African primordial hominid, an apparent “bridge” species that walked the Earth before the dawn of man, an animal that lived both in trees and on flat turf, named now Ardipthicus Ramidus. I once wrote a 60 page paper on the dawn of man, which included a 20 page long speculative hypothesis on the possible paleodemography of the presumed bands of homo erectus that had committed the first waves of the great exodus from Africa roughly 2 million years ago. I wrote this novella’s worth of idealistic institutional friendly bushwa for my esteemed professor at Kent State U who, was none other than Owen C Lovejoy, the man in the flesh who had once spearheaded the small team of experts in Africa that reconstructed Lucy’s skeleton to the results of claiming international fame and a permanent spot in history; it was a true honor and a privilege to learn from Owen C LoveJoy for the 3 years that I did––TBH. Very intelligent man with a certain spark in his eyes at all times that could make you buy into his anti-Christophic dogma and trust him all the way––and to even follow him to Hell; some people are like that––they just have the gift of magnetism. Own C Lovejoy conquered the ladder so to speak with hiss intangibles––IMO. I only say this because I knew the man well; he was my advisor, and his letter of recommendation got me into a law school I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten into. My father was a neurologist. He also had a Phd in biology that he had obtained at U of Pen. In undergrad he studied biology also but it was at Columbia U. In highschool he won a NY State science fair with 2 other students for demonstrating something about DNA that at the time was considered the domain of worry for only top experts and doctors. He was a very ambitious man. Far more industrious than myself. He died in a plane crash over the pacific the with my mother when I was in college. They were flying to Japan for leisure. It brings me great peace––my belief that they both live on. Anyway––My point is––Science is, needless to say, not something that I have steered clear from in life due to some childish fear of real progress––if that is what you are thinking. I was born into a family that celebrated the sciences, including all the great scientists in all of the fields to boot. I believe science is the only validation of the entire western mission. But I also believe science will fool the wise and betray the modern alchemists who wish to answer what we presently suck at knowing. Psychiatry for example is a travesty. These head shrinks should be far more humble considering all they do is “treat” millions of souls, charging each one thousands of dollars all the while, yet never once has a head shrink produced a “cure.” For anything ever. That’s the tip of the iceberg. My beef with science entails great segregation and discrimination on my part. I must admit. But shame claims me not. I attack only discernible bad science. If you look around, and you hype up your cynicism just a tad, bad science will expose before you, and it will appaul you, I assure you. Humans choose to be labrats for the good of posterity is a lie; humans want results right now; that’s why they submit to science––they want the change to happen now and save the day. Fuck tomorrows children––we got kids right now: how people really feel. But isn’t it funny? Self righteous claims that we all know are only correct by proxy of the less inspiring far more selfish true reasons that command us all into perpetual mass confusion, ignorance, arrogance, and denial. You might think I should go easy on science. Or that I should shut up and be thankful. But I say it’s people like me who make science better. It’s people like you who make scientists complacent and over faithful in the wrong ideas. Lots of time, money, and life, gets wasted because people assume entire consensuses can never be wrong. Indeed the past shall disagree, and yet, here we are pinning medals of freedom on choke masters like Bill Nye who have inspired millions of political memes by liberal gangsters of Facebook who wish to equate intelligence to the color blue. But probably zero careers in science have manifested in response to Bill Nye if we are honest with ourselves. For all these reasons and more, hence spells why I do what I do and shall remain who I am. Science is not infallible.
Alright, so I am going to try and steelman what I think you believe my motivations to be.
I think you believe that I DO think science infallible – or at least, very close to it. I assure you that this is not the case.
Picture this conversation from my perspective for a moment. You and I now know more about one another, but from the beginning of the conversation, you had nothing good to say of science. I can’t say for sure if you internalize a certain demonization of science, but it certainly seemed that way at the beginning, and you still sound at least a bit biased against it, even if its better than before.
I’ve never said or implied science was infallible, but I was pushing back against my assumption that you were one of the many who do demonize science and essentially think it all bad. I am glad to hear my assumption was ostensibly wrong.
However, yes. Science has messed up very badly before – especially in the past where the standards to limit bias weren’t as high. Andrew Wakefield is the first to come to mind.
But Andrew’s bad science also showed why we *can* generally trust science. It was self-correcting. He put out a bad, biased, flawed study, and then no peer review could corroborate his claims, which were subsequently rejected and unpublished.
I’m guessing that you would think I’d be the type of person to believe Andrew’s study before the peer reviews came out. I would not.
So, for now, assume that I have only the correct amount of reverence for science. Don’t assume I will simply believe something if it seemed to follow the scientific method.
With that aside, am I not correct in my assertion that believing only what you have evidence for is the most rational position to take? Again, there are likely many truths that do not yet have evidence to prove them, but there are infinite possibilities. So, to assume that you know one of those possibilities is reality when you haven’t sufficient evidence, to me, seems self righteous. Conceited.
And hearsay, subjective experience – what we think we hear, see, feel, etc – must not be trusted. Everyone who relies on senses for their beliefs believe contradictory claims, thus most of those people, necessarily, believe an untruth because of their reliance on senses and subjective experience. Using those things as adequate evidence necessarily lead people away from truth more than towards it, whereas using better evidence, such as that employed by science, demonstrably leads more often towards verifiable truth than away from it – even if it sometimes, indeed, messes up. It is about probabilities; Science = much greater chance of having your beliefs be true, compared to Intuition/wishes/subjective senses = much lower chance.
Do you disagree with my use of reason, there? My assertions I’ve made in my essay’s I’ve told you about that we should act as the noble weatherman does? Is there a hole in it that I’ve neglected?
Compared to what you have described of yourself before you became a theist, you seemed to have lost exactly this belief somewhere between then and now: That you are only justified to believe what you have good evidence for. Why do you think you lost that belief, and why do you think it justified to lose that belief?
And as an aside: I know that many people have gotten into science because of Bill Nye, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, etc. I believe after Nye’s new TV show came out – or perhaps it was the reboot of Cosmos – there was like a documentary or something that interviewed such people. I’m no scientist but Nye certainly was a part of the spark that led me to be interested in science.
I can believe in anything that I can perceive. If I see a ghost, I am righted to believe in the ghost even if I can’t put the ghost in a test tube and prove it right with science. That’s perfectly fine. Doubters might say I hallucinated, but that theory is no better than my own which says it was a ghost. Were it some other way, then this argument could not exist; the case would be closed if ghost hallucinations were provable. But ghost hallucinations are not provable. Ghost hallucinations are just skeptical theories about what ghosts are. Everyone who sees a ghosts moves on with zero doubt in what they saw: fact. Everyone. Everyone. Everyone. Ghosts are a huge reason why people believe in God. They have a knack for making believers by merely showing themselves on earth. They certainly made a believer out of me.
I think you’re inadvertently engaging in a bit of fallacy, there.
“Anyone who sees a ghost” assumes the conclusion in the premise. Not everyone who have thought they’ve seen a ghost believe in ghosts. Or UFO’s, or thought they felt a God’s presence, etc. I’ve thought I’d seen all of those things at one time or another – at least for a split second. In the case of ghosts, something vaguely represented a humanoid form in my periphery, before I shot a glance over and saw it was merely a reflection or shadow or a jacket on a hanger, and so forth. Even that which isn’t immediately obvious why my senses told me what they did, I’d be incorrect to ascribe to something without further evidence.
“Doubters might say I hallucinated, but that theory is no better than my own which says it was a ghost.”
You are absolutely incorrect on this one, mate. Do you know why? Because supernatural claims have literally never been proven, as you’ve pointed out. But hallucinations, sensory mistakes, assumptions, etc, have all provably led to incorrect conclusions millions of times. Of course, that doesn’t mean every unprovable supernatural claim has been wrong, but we have literally zero evidence that they have ever been correct, and millions of examples of them being wrong. We know for a fact that people make mistakes all the time. We humans just have this tendency to think that we’re somehow different. ‘WE are confident in what we saw,’ we tell ourselves. ‘Those billions of people who confidently believe things different from me – THEY all feel something that isn’t there. What I feel is the truth.” Nobody has justification in that confidence. It’s self-centered.
This is the point I was trying to make. It is a hypothetical imperative: IF your goal is to find the actual truth, you literally *ought not* rely only on what your senses tell you, what you feel is the truth, etc, because we have no evidence it leads toward the truth, and MUCH evidence it leads away from it. You are more likely to believe truths when you rely instead on better evidence.
Hallucination, or more likely, ascribing a conscious agent to incorrect perceptions of your senses as humans have been doing for 100,000+ years, is unbelievably more likely than any supernatural claim – God included.
If someone doubts they’ve seen a ghost, then clearly they have not seen a ghost. A ghost is not a vague obstruction in your peripheral that you can chalk up to textbook science. A ghost is a translucent etheric human being who can touch you physically, read your mind telepathically, speak to you, float through walls, and do other shit as well. If you see a ghost you will know it without room for doubt––I guarantee it with all of my soul. And so I stick by my claim––ghosts make believers everytime. Absolutely every time. Now––Tell me once more why I am wrong.
You have engaged only one small point I had made – and again, it is one that isn’t falsifiable. That should mean something to you, having come from a science background.
Disregarding this, could you speak to the logic I have given regarding having literally zero substantial evidence for any supernatural claim, while having millions of examples of perceptions gone wrong? Being demonstrably false? How are claims of supernatural origin of equal value, epistemologically, to claims made based on scientific evidence?
Science has been wrong before, as we’ve both acknowledged. But surely you would agree its record is orders of magnitude more likely to lead to truth than those based on feelings and instinct, right?
It’s like Einstein said. “A world without science is blind; A world without God is lame.” Or whatever he said. It was something like that. Point is epistemology demands more than science than can accommodate. Science can only answer so much at this time. Religions ostensibly claim to have it all figured out, but religions really only proclaim but some explanation, or recap, or briefing, on the God-human relationship, and everything that encompasses, which is a lot. In fact––more than science as of yet can answer. Religion is for the lucky, and for the wise––basically for people who can believe. It’s OK to believe––in both––science and religion. What I do personally.
What you misunderstand is the genesis of religions. You assume the anthropological approach to religions must be correct because anthropology is science. But religion was not started from feelings and instincts. Religions were started by divine revelations by God to chosen people, also by God’s incarnating into people and performing miracles, also by ghosts just being ghosts. Religions are basically just belief systems in ghosts and nothing more––if you did not know. All religions say we are spirits. Spirits roam the earth. Some people see them. Many people believe. How it works.
I don’t assume an anthropological approach for the genesis of religion is ‘correct because it is science’. I believe it the most likely theory to be correct because it is the only theory we have evidence for. We can not corroborate your theory that nobody believed in God before God actually manifested. Therefore, we should not, at this time, entertain belief in that theory (in my opinion).
Anthropological evidence also tells us that the Abrahamic God that you (more or less) believe in was NOT the first God that was believed in. Sumerians, Akkadians, etc, believed in Gods you think don’t exist before anybody believed in the God you think exists. How does that square with your theory?
Einstein was also basically an atheist. He is on record pushing back against claims that he was a theist. He did not mean the same thing you do when he mentioned ‘God’ and he made that clear.
For the record, I would have no problem with religions if they 1) stayed out of other peoples lives and 2), more important in this discussion: weren’t dogmatic. If they recognized their shaky epistemological foundation, I’d be fine with it. They, however, claim certainty without justification. That is unacceptable to me. They are spreading the behavior of believing without evidence, which I believe is actually quite harmful to humanity (and which we DO have evidence for). The least they could do is recognize they don’t have justification.
Your contention that Einstein was an atheist must be wrong according to at least dozens of thorough statements by Einstein. The man stated in plain English on many occasions that he was not an atheist. He was a pantheist. Pantheism is a bonafide religion. Many atheists wish Einstein was an atheist, and because so many people misunderstand pantheism, some atheists assume it’s a fancy word for a soft-hearted atheist. Not at all the case. Pantheists literally believe spacetime is God. It’s a wild belief, but it is not at all equatable to atheism. Read this post I wrote on Einstein’s religious beliefs entitled PANSUS, Einstein’s Pantheism, and a Dawkinsian Discount. Here is a link to the article: https://lukeymeyer.com/2019/12/13/pansus-einsteins-pantheism-and-a-dawkinsian-discount/
As for your Sumerians point it means nothing to me. I’m well aware of common knowledge such as this, and it does not conflict with my belief system. All conceptions of God derive from the same OG in the sky. That is what it is. That’s what I believe.
It sounds like your point of beef is with religious institutions like the church. My advice is that if these institutions bother you, you should simply ignore them. It’s not like the church has any legal authority. But if you wish to speak out against them, find solace in that no one will stop you.
I will admit I was generalizing a bit on Einstein. But when he says the universe is God – and not a being – that is basically atheism. He does not believe a conscious agent is God, nor does he ascribe anything supernatural to what he called ‘God’. He uses God as a metaphor for the universe, and nothing more. For all intents and purposes, he was, indeed, atheist.
But, sure. I’ve heard him called pantheist as well. The way you initially spoke of him implied he was a deist, though. He was not, and I think you knew that what you said gave an inaccurate representation of his beliefs. Me calling him an atheist does not give an inaccurate representation.
It doesn’t really matter, I suppose. Believe what you wish on that.
Yes, the unified God theory – the belief that all experiences of the thousands of Gods people have claimed to have seen/heard/felt/etc were all actually the same God with different names.
That does not account for the wildly different personalities of all these Gods. One is explicitly non-violent in all circumstances, one is violent in mundane circumstances, one tells followers to murder non-believers, another says to leave them be, some talk of reincarnation, while others talk of eternal heaven/hell, etc.
Do you believe your God susceptible to the worst case of schizophrenia the world has ever known? Because that is what would be required for your theory to be correct.
You responded to a major problem with your view with an answer that presents a new major problem with your view. You have to make assumption after assumption just for your beliefs to still not be rational. You should recognize that as a problem.
Religious institutions are certainly what I have the largest problem with, typically. However, churches do have legal authority – both explicitly with the Pope, and implicitly in this country through the lack of actual separation of church and state.
Anti LGBT laws in America have religion exclusively to thank for them. The aids epidemic was wholly the church’s fault. Slavery was justified by the south largely through the citing of the Bible. Creationists keep wanting to teach children apologetics in science class. Abortion, which isn’t even against the Bible’s wishes, only has mainstream opponents because of religion. These things affect me, those I care about, and lower the overall wellbeing of human society.
Since the ‘just ignore it’ plea is a common point atheists hear, I wrote about why secularists have every justification to speak up against religion in this post:
You think Einstein used Pantheism as a metaphor for naturalism? There is such a thing as naturalistic pantheism, but like I said, although at least some atheists have assumed Einstein was a naturalistic pantheist, there’s no reason to believe so. Einstein believed in Spinoza’s God but nobody knows if Spinoza was a naturalistic pantheist or not. Some think he was, some think he wasn’t; there long has been a controversy, and many great philosophers have long tried to prove Spionoza felt one way or the other, but nobody yet has been able to do it, and probably nobody ever will. But even if Spinoza believed in naturalistic pantheism, that doesn’t have to mean Einstein did, too, just because Einstein said he believed in Spinoza’s God––he, like everyone else, did not know what Spinoza truly believed. Plus Einstein never claimed to be a naturalistic pantheist, and he could have done that especially had he felt that way. My guess is he didn’t. You think he was, though. If he was one, he only spoke of God in metaphor, just like you said he must have done. To that I would agree. But that’s not what it was in my honest best guess. Like Spinoza, though, Einstein is debatable. At least, it’s debated somewhat often. It really should not be, though.
Metaphor––definition: any figure of speech in which a word or a phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. Atheist––definition: someone who denies the existence of deities. (Einstein: “I am not an atheist.” What he said. Like 12 published times. Just saying.) Pantheism––definition: the belief that the universe is the complete, or even the partial, manifestation of God or a Deity. What is God? God is the supreme deity of all existence. What is a deity? Any superhuman being of supernatural power.
Your hang up is that spacetime can’t be considered as an entity in your opinion––is my estimation. You cannot think of spacetime as a deity. But Einstein disagreed with you in my judgment. And so do I, at least on this question. You assume Einstein couldn’t actually possibly really consider God as spacetime, and that’s very ugly of you. You should take Einstein for his word. Read his quotes. The man basically said repeatedly that God was literally spacetime in his opinion. He even took the time to clarify that although he believed that God existed, he did not believe in a personal God. I think that kind of conclusion, which seems almost too wise, (he’s wrong in my opinion,) required a lot of introspection––a lot of sincere entertainment for God’s implications, plus lots of wonder about God’s nature, aka what was science. It’s very unlikely Einstein was lying about his belief in pantheism, or that he was using it as a metaphor for all those years of repeated mention without any explanation that it was a metaphor, despite many moments of clarification about his religious views. If it was a metaphor in Einstein’s opinion, what would it be in your own?
I really am not very interested in this Einstein debate. But your definition of atheism is one atheist have rejected for a century. We *deny* nothing. We lack belief in*. I don’t know how many times in this conversation I’ve granted that God could be real – we just have no justification to believe it at this time. That is the most common type of atheist. Agnostic. Not gnostic, as denial would imply.
I have read Einsteins words. I’ve never heard him invoke the supernatural. If you replace every time he said ‘God’ with ‘universe’, he’d be a typical atheist. That is the only difference. If I’ve missed an Einstein quote where he does so, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll be content with thinking of him as more of an atheist than a theist, as I’ve never heard a theist have any belief system that didn’t rely on at least some supernatural claims. And people who don’t rely on any supernatural claims are considered, by definition, naturalists.
All of this aside, I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but the conversation has been deflected completely from what we were talking about.
IM a Buddhist. i got to say at one point i had no problem with Atheists. But the truth is most of them have no compassion or tolerance for what they do not understand. some become belligerent and hateful. that is when i say i have enough. I may be a Buddhist but i side with the polytheists (non abrahamics though Jesus has no meaning to me) James is dead but i cringe at the people that will be just as cruel and hateful. But they teach me not to be like them i will defend myself if needed. words are just that. But actions can tell a lot about a person and acting like everyone else is wrong is hardly reasonable or mature. But people see what they want to see and not everyone will think as i do. But people have to decide for themselves whether or not someone is decent or just a loud mouthed arrogant jerk that takes pleasure in the misery of others.
yet all the billions are still correct? Quantum physics says multiple possibilities. thats why there are many beliefs