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Sorry Theists, but it’s an inalienable, unarguable truth

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77 thoughts on “Sorry Theists, but it’s an inalienable, unarguable truth

    • Well, I’m glad this meme inspired you to fatten the coffers of Apple Inc.! How, precisely, i won’t venture to say, but the lord does work in mysterious ways… so i’ve been told 😉

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      • If I may pose the alternate view and show, what I believe to be, the error in your premise.

        1. God does not “work in mysterious ways”. Every believer knows how He works. The correct phrase is “God moves in mysterious ways”. This is from Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

        Consider an ant, or a fly. They have no idea how we work, they don’t understand boundaries imposed by us spraying areas that we don’t want them in. To them, our will is mysterious. It is often, to lower species, that the workings of the mind of a higher species is mysterious and ineffable.

        2. Theism is unnatural.

        Humans have an internal drive to find their ultimate concern, their purpose, their actualized self. Most people, now and in history, find that this is integrally linked with re-connecting (re-ligio) with an existential reality that pervades, underlies, and transcends the natural world we can access with our senses. The materialist notion that this is all there is, is often accompanied by the feeling of angst because the search for the ultimate concern has reached a dead end. Some then lash out in evil hateful ways to those that have what they do not.

        The atheists and agnostics I know for whom this does not ring true are those who choose the meaning of their lives and maintain actualization by will power. There are very few people who can maintain that for very long, in my experience.

        Paul Tillich argued fairly robustly that this sensation of angst and absurdity is what humans get when disconnected from the Ground of their Being from which they come. He presents Christianity as the antidote. I wouldn’t be so bold, but I think he does have a point when he says we all need an ultimate concern and that next to the last concerns will never fill that void for very long.

        3. A single religion centered on a single Deity would arise naturally wherever humans are found

        This is not how Christianity came to the world. Just because the one who revealed Himself to us through the Chosen People, Scripture, and finally the Messiah, doesn’t reveal Himself in the manner you request does not make it untrue. There is one God, one chosen people to receive and record Gods Word, and one Saving Grace.

        To explain this and for the sake of the argument, place yourself in Gods “reason”. You see a fallen world, full of false gods, no ultimate morality, and false beliefs. Would it not make sense to reveal yourself to one culture already primed for Theism, free them from bondage, and establish them as the chosen. Then from the same tribe, and as prophesied, come in the flesh and blood form of your creation four hundred years latter, teach a handful of believers to spread the Word throughout the land, and then give the ultimate sacrifice so that Saving Grace is established and your spirit power is unleashed. From this point it then becomes up to you. There is no one holding a gun to your head saying believe, or not believe, well, not anymore.

        I see the events as being the most efficient way to reveal yourself. Do it one time, have it recorded, and have a mechanism to spread the Word and to save the lost and fallen.

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      • Roy, it appears you’re simply ignoring that anthropomorphic theism is a relatively new phenomena. Animism and ancestor cults are tens of thousands of years older. These are not strict expressions theism.

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      • Oh, for goodness sake.
        You argue from the perspective that your god is real, for any given value of real, and immediately you posit this into any sentence the structure of your argument can NEVER be open and unbiased. Your inculcation lead the way.

        Where did the notion of ‘god’ come’ from?

        Once you can identify this without any theological bias then and only then you can tackle the other issues fairly.
        Until then you are behaving like a religious automaton.
        Silly person.

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      • Why cant my use of inculcation be any less worthy as yours Ark? Do you have an exclusive on the persistence of conveying ideas, thoughts, and beliefs?

        Wiki has good research pertained to the Jewish/Christian Bible.

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_history

        The great thing about Wiki is the abundance of links to research many aspects of the subject, for example, the “Historical accuracy of biblical stories” contains about 24 links to specific events and tries to tie the whole of ancient history together.

        Archaeology is only good to a certain point. Data is missing and holes in the archaeological record have to be filled in with ancient manuscripts, theory and educated guess work.

        Consider, about 3500 years ago, at a time when some thought the Earth was carried on the back of a turtle or supported by two elephants, that the Bible stated with extraordinary clarity that the earth is hanging “upon nothing.” (Job 26:7)

        Job knew somehow that the earth wasn’t supported by anything, but hung on nothing, and to those who say it doesn’t hang at all, that’s what this verse is saying, it doesn’t hang on the back of a turtle or two elephants, but nothing. How did Job know that? He wasn’t a poet, he wasn’t a scientist of any kind, he was just a shepherd. Who told him it was so?

        The Bible has many instances like this, where somehow there is knowledge of Astronomy, Meteorology, Biology, Anthropology, Hydrology, Geology, Physics, and Paleontology. The Bible is consistent with all these modern scientific disciplines,

        The Bible is the only ancient book that contains scientific knowledge so foreign to the beliefs of the times, and only thousands of years later are scientist confirming these truths.

        ****

        In regards to anthropomorphic theism being a relatively new phenomena John, so what. Anthropomorphism comes from two Greek words: anthropos (man) and morphe (form). Therefore, an anthropomorphism is when God appears to us or manifests Himself to us in human form or even attributes to Himself human characteristics. We see this all over the Bible — and rightly so. After all, we cannot ascend to where God is, but He can descend to where we are.

        God works with us in our time frame. He has endured not only eternity, but also human history as He moves through it and through and with people to bring about His sovereign will and purpose. God will do what He will do, when He decides to do it. Because he moves as He chooses and we have a problem with it, or don’t understand the logic behind it, doesn’t make His existence unreal.

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      • So what? So everything! If theism was natural (particularly your type of anthropomorphic theism) then anthropomorphic theism would’ve been in existence since the get-go. It wasn’t. It was first invented by men about 5,000 years ago. Animism and ancestor cults were being practiced for anywhere between 50,000 to 200,000 years before. By longevity alone this makes them closer to the natural than any magical sky being.

        Do remember, Roy, you’re trying to argue that your god is eternal and permanent. The evidence simply doesn’t support that claim.

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      • Does your belief system require routine maintenance?
        If you begin to doubt … do you go online looking for the latest scientific discoveries or read the bible?
        Do look at a picture of a beaten child or of a sunset?

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      • A natural belief would not require routine maintenance. I think this is often overlooked.

        We don’t need a specific routine to stay skeptical. It becomes the natural state once exposed to enough contradictions in life. Belief in god is first built on ignorance … and it is supported with ignore-ance.

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      • “So what? So everything! If theism was natural (particularly your type of anthropomorphic theism) then anthropomorphic theism would’ve been in existence since the get-go.”

        Explain your statement. Why does this have to be true exactly?

        And, “It wasn’t. It was first invented by men about 5,000 years ago.”

        Explain the scientific knowledge present in the Bible that was wholly lacking in all other cultures.

        And, “Animism and ancestor cults were being practiced for anywhere between 50,000 to 200,000 years before.

        Show references that do not rely on fossil record misinterpretations.

        And, “By longevity alone this makes them closer to the natural than any magical sky being.”

        God is not a magical sky being. I wonder…ignorance, mockery, or fear.

        Do remember, John, you’re trying to argue that my God is not eternal, permanent, or natural. Yet the evidence I have present over the past weeks, in numerous posts, and taken as a whole are overwhelming. It is your God given right to reject it all if that is your choice.

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      • “God is not a magical sky being”….. If creating the universe, adam and eve, talking snakes and donkeys is NOT magic then what is? Your big guy in the sky is Harry Potter on steroids.

        Evidence is the first paleolithic burial sites with grave goods. The earliest (to-date) is 90,000 BCE, but i believe there’s even earlier sites who’s ages have not yet been agreed upon. Grave goods signify the first notions of a belief in a life existing outside the physical body. The ancestors lived on and honouring them through ritual became central to paleolithic bands.

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      • Everyone will eventually experience times of sorrow and sadness in life Chris. That is, unfortunately, just a fact of life. If you are suffering, you may feel lost and alone. Connecting with God may help you in your time of need. You may need to feel God’s presence in your life to understand the pain you are going through. God is always there for those who seek him and you can connect with him again and feel his presence in your life.

        “Be still and know that I am God!” is the first part of Psalm 46:10. Here, the word still comes from a Hebrew word meaning to “let go” or “release.” The meaning would be best understood to say “cause yourself to become restrained or to let go.” In other words, we need to come to a place where we are willing to submit ourselves to God and acknowledging that He is in sovereign control.

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      • I like you, Roy. I didn’t at first. But, habit, routine & distance have allowed me to appreciate who you are. If we had to work together, I’m sure we would both have some quirks which would drive each other insane. If I didn’t keep reading your posts and if you’re weren’t so stubborn, I would still have that initial negative opinion of you.

        You seem like a sensitive, intelligent and passionate person … but your belief system is working against you in these discussions and preventing you from using your intelligence. If you are applying the same type of decision making in other areas of your life as you are to god … then, I should say, you are incredibly lucky to be alive or not in jail.

        The type of credulity which you are displaying is what gets people into shitty, destructive relationships and dangerous situations. If you believe that god puts people in your life for a reason … or that god is taking care of you … you are in for a world of pain, unless you get incredibly lucky.

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      • A make believe sky daddy does not feature in my thought processes.
        You fail to respond in a sensible non BS manner to Johns post and the first opportunity you get it is, ”jump up to the pulpit” and bombard us all with religious diatribe. Every reborn, evangelist ,fundamentalist has a sorry tale to tell, no doubt yours includes one or more of the usual suspects. Booze, drugs, fallen women, dirty pictures,etc etc. and you have a modicum of sympathy. I was going to say it is about time to grow up a little.
        However, Roy,after reading your last response, the only sensible reply is, Your are a Plonker.

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      • Wow, Ark … you are not disappointing lately. Writing scenes I enjoy … and now teaching me a new word. “Plonker”.

        Let’s be nice to Roy, though. He’s outnumbered here. What do you think, Roy? Is that the ex-christian in me looking out for ya?

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      • Sorry, Chris, but this bloke needs his god to give him a ding around the ear.
        People like him shouldn’t be allowed into the gene pool…even in the shallow end.

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      • A don’t know Chris, in my mind a sensible attitude is to accept the fact people have far stranger habits and beliefs than I. What I believe makes perfect sense to me, it’s saved my life and put me on a path that has been good for me. I own a nice house, upper middle class income, no debt, stocks and enough cash to live very comfortably. My wife is my most precious blessing and we spend a lot of time together. I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren. Life is good for me and I pray everyone could be where I’m at, but heartrendingly it isn’t so yet. My perspective is that an Atheist view of life is very strange, yet I respect you anyway. You can line 10 people up and get a different answer about all this God stuff.

        But isn’t the variety of human experience a good thing? How would it be if we were clones in our customs and beliefs? Did you know there are about 2,000 known species of Starfish. an estimated 25,000 species of fish, and over 10,000 species of birds. Variety is all around us. Why then are we questioning why man has invented the variety of gods they have over time? My point-of-view is the Bible I read and try to live by is pretty unique, it’s what I choose to believe.

        You guys are right. The type of evidence you seek is non-existent and the evidence that does you reject, so why does that make me credulous Chris? I have my own proof how God has moved in my life. For me it is very real. Perhaps your disposition to believe too readily that there is no God makes you credulous.

        This forum and all your comments have been a blessing to me, even the hate speech showed me that even after all this time tolerance is hard to master for some. I’ve had to search deep within to pull out the thoughts I’ve conveyed. I’ve had to research Scripture and read source work of others much smarter than I. My faith has grown stronger and that’s a good thing. God and Scripture does not need a defender that changes minds, only an advocate to speak the truth and the Spirit then works in those that seek.

        I’m afraid I must move on. I get the feeling I’ve said all I can say. You must agree that at a certain point we start repeating the same arguments. What purpose and worth is that? Why post the same old thoughts time after time unless it makes you happy, right? And then why would I reply time after time. I feel the worth of all I said will be judged be each person who reads it in their own accord, and that’s all I could hope for. I will leave you to it. Thanks again. Roy

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  1. This quote is quite profound.
    But upon reading the word ”inalienable” my mind went straight to The Life of Brian:
    ”It is the inalienable right of every man…”
    “Or woman.”
    🙂
    Couldn’t help it.
    Great Post. Definitely worth nicking.

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  2. Now, if we were to take all the money wasted in building edifices to the various gods, squandered playing god-politics, even just that being hoarded by the Catholic Church, and apply to something worthwile, say education, why that would be heaven on Earth! ;o)

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  3. So John, there is no universal impulse in the form of the vertical question “why me?” that goes up to the heavens when things go horribly bad?
    I always thought the question was universal….. but I suppose inventing god is an attempt at an answer….which in turns needs to be taught. See you don’t even have to add anything. Little grasshopper got it.

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    • It’s a point i think i’m going to keep hitting. All a theist would have to do to prove me wrong is present a single person who discovered Christianity (for example) without ever having any contact with it. Never happened. Theism is unnatural, aberrant, abnormal and deviant.

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  4. I’ve got it! I know how we could definitely prove that a religions God is true. If two groups on opposite ends of the Earth who never communicated and both had the same religion, then that would make me consider the religion was true.

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    • Round of applause! Robert, that is the correct answer!!! As this has never happened we must assume theism is abnormal. Of course, we already know that, but now we actually have a testable experiment.

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  5. I really enjoy some of the comments here. Especially those that points out the “historical facts” in the bible… 🙂
    Theists, read your own book. Compare it to what we actually know and start using your brains.
    Read your holy books, it’s the fastest way to becoming an atheist.
    I bet that is what scares you the most. 🙂

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    • It’s the case that we atheists know their “holy” works better than 99.9% of theists. The 0.1% are apologists and have already thrown reason, logic and rationalism out the door.

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  6. I am having so much fun with your blog, enjoying the posts…comments…
    I hope you don’t mind but I put your meme up on a discussion board. With the question,
    “What if identical religions emerged in two different isolated geographical locations which had never had contact with each other in any way? Would an atheist accept this as proof?”

    Read more: http://letusreasontogether.freeforums.net/index.cgi?action=display&board=religion&thread=1155&page=1#31302#ixzz2NB3I7ypF

    if you are interested in some of the replies…

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  7. Good point. But although you’re perfectly correct that religion emerged and persisted for a long time with polytheistic beliefs, nobody knows that some groups or even individuals did not in fact believe in one ultimate creation being. The palaeontological evidence from ancient humans is sparse to say the least. We only have bits and pieces of their spiritual beliefs; a lot is filled in by the anthropologists.

    Further, theists could argue that belief in a single God dominates the world now, and so it likely emerged naturally from polytheistic origins. I’ve always thought the world’s various religions (Buddhism is one exception) mostly follow the same theme, in terms of their single creator as well as their moral teachings (the Golden Rule is just one example).

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    • Thanks for that. Yeah, the golden rule was around long before the Hebrews plagiarized it. Actually, any 5 year old would come up with it if ever asked “how should you behave?”

      Polytheism is older than monotheism, but animism and totemism are older still. These are quite terrestrial belief systems so i don’t think you can package them in with anthropomorphic deism. Older still is ancestor cults, and that’s where this whole supernatural roller coaster ride begins. We wanted our authority figures to live on… and we found the way: we invented the spirit.

      I guess the driving point was simply that if theism was natural (as theists would strongly argue) then it should be observable in isolated communities. This here is the outlines of an empirical experiment: show us where the same religion/deity has emerged twice. Do that and theists would have the beginnings of a case. Without any evidence of it happening then we have to say theism is unnatural, and the gods merely the invention of men.

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      • Why does it have to be the same religion/deity? That would imply that the deity actually exists, not that religion itself is natural. The fact that nearly every culture that’s existed on earth has had some form of religion seems proof to me that there is a natural inclination toward it.

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      • Ah, but there we come to the awkward definition of religion. Is it organised worship of a deity? Animism didn’t have deities. Ancestor cults are ritual-based, but the dead spirits aren’t supreme beings, rather statesmen who can guide and, sometimes, punish.

        I would say arriving at a supernatural explanation for things was inevitable, but not religion itself. That’s few more rungs up the ladder.

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      • True, religion is hard to define, and most people only subscribe to one aspect, whichever one serves them best. It’s really more of a combination of alot of different things that we didn’t have names for back in the day, so we lumped them all together.

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  8. Pingback: principal culprit | violetwisp

  9. Why invest such importance in the “natural” nature of anthropotheism? Didn’t man have to spend eons (meant as a notional term) coming to know or believe or even be cognizant of every profound truth? Including that of his own humanity? Aren’t all men still born wholly ignorant? Are self-taught truths necessarily truer than those taught by others?

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    • You make a good point, Paul. The focus is there primarily because this blog is Sketches on Atheism, so that’s where the material naturally heads, or falls, or trips over… whatever the case may be

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  10. Pingback: “What has any religion ever revealed that was true? ” | love and heretics

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