Sketches on Atheism

An Incompetent Spirit, or….

tumblr_nd6spifTfj1s43ozwo1_500In weighing the actual world against the claims of a Creator of this world, the quite remarkable philosopher and historian, John Fiske (1842–1901), wrote in his Miscellaneous Writings: Outline of Cosmic Philosophy:

“A scheme which permits thousands of generations to live and die in wretchedness cannot be absolved from the charge of awkwardness or malevolence … it is impossible to call that being Good who, existing prior to the phenomenal universe, and creating it out of the plenitude of  infinite power and foreknowledge, endowed it with such properties that its material and moral development must inevitably be attended by the misery of untold millions of sentient creatures for whose existence their creator is ultimately alone responsible.”[1]       

If you are determined to believe in a Creator, and if it is impossible to call that Creator Good, as Fiske duly notes it is, then what remains by way of an explanation for this world is simple malevolence. Where the theologian is forced to rescue an incompetent spirit who has, for one inventive reason or another, lost total control of his creation, the gospel of the malevolent hand stands unchaste, uncontaminated, and inviolable. As an explanation for the world that has been, is, and will be, malevolence is complete. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are made clear without need for a cover story, creative pretext, imaginative theodicy, convenient scapegoat, or laboured advocacy.

If you, like many, are determined to believe in a Creator, which thesis is then the most likely—genuine—explanation for the world that is: the one that requires elaborate annotation and specially crafted excuses, or the one that does not?

[1] Fiske, John, 1902, Miscellaneous Writings, iv, Outline of Cosmic Philosophy, New York: Houghton, Mifflin, pp. 225

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117 thoughts on “An Incompetent Spirit, or….

  1. Yeah, even if you are one of “the Earth is only 6000 years old” idiots, you have to ask why it took God 4000 of those 6000 years to figure out he needed to send in a troubleshooter. For someone outside of space and time who knows all (past, present, and future), He seems kind of slow on the uptake.

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    • Incompetence does not even begin to cover what it would take for that to be true. Malevolence fits it very neatly. If there is a creator god he is a trickster god who either feeds on the pain of other beings or is so callous as to have no care for it.

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      • Feeding. Yes. I like that. An omnipotent, omnimalevolent parasite. The essential psychopaths who have been a plague upon humanity for many millennia now are probably its loyal minions. Pieces of a puzzle falling into place.

        “What psychopaths apparently discovered in the past is that they can make much of the world “psychopath friendly” and one way in which they did this was by inventing and promoting various religions.”

        “Religion is in reality a “psychopath machine” in that
        a) religion was created and promoted by psychopaths for the benefit of psychopaths
        b) it does create secondary psychopaths (or zombie-like people) by destroying otherwise normal human minds.”
        (source)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post John !

    As you know I have maintained that I am a Deist. It’s only because of the “Cause and Effect” thing. I don’t need to refer to my existence as a result of a god or creator, so Deism really isn’t a proper tag for me. I’m just trying to figure out how all of this happened with no cause. Hopefully some day the light bulb will come on or maybe science will discover a cause. Either way, I am quite open and am still searching for an explanation that I can wrap my tiny little brain around . 🙂

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    • Thanks Ken

      I wouldn’t though say you have a tiny head, especially considering the question you’re asking still has the biggest heads perplexed 🙂 And you’re right, the cosmological argument is compelling from our perspective. That’s precisely why i used it in the book in the first ten lines of the main body 😉

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      • Anxious to read the book, John. I ordered it as I prefer paper books than ebooks. I like to use a high lighter. Most of the books I own have lots of highlighted areas. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I write all over my books, too 🙂

        Good choice getting the paperback. The e-format is a little weird. It was professionally formatted, but the end result was a little odd. Not easy on the eye.

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    • I find it hard (okay, impossible) to believe in a ‘god’.

      I find it equally as impossible to believe in a ‘big bang’.

      Even if the BB and G were ‘proven’ to be the same … aaaah … thing? … I’d still find both unacceptable.
      But God would be more acceptable ‘cos an omnipotent god could create a BB, but I see no mechanisms whereby a BB could create an omni-everything god.

      Isn’t it nice when you find yourself trying to choose between two utterly impossibles?

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      • Impossible? The Big Bang is observed fact. We see the universe expanding, and can look farther out in space (i.e. farther back in time) and “see” the Big Bang happening. The 5.6 K cosmic background radiation is good confirmation of this.
        Also, you commit a very common fallacy. Somehow you think a god that could create a universe is SIMPLER than the universe itself, but that’s absurd. If X can create Y, then X is more complicated than Y. As strange as a “self-creating” universe is, it’s still much more easy to accept than a self-creating god that could then create its own universe.

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      • It’s an aeons old haggle: if God created the universe from nothing, then He Himself must have been created (because nothing can come from nothing) so God must Himself have been created, and by a Godier God. But who created that particular model? Answer: a more Godier God … which can of course be projected to infinity with a clear conscience (anyone who can accept God can accept this idea too, on the same grounds).

        It’s a chestnut but I still love it.

        I accept your ‘cosmic background’ notion for what it is, a cosmic background for which the most accepted explanation is the BB.
        But I still find it difficult to believe that all the matter of the entire everything (there’s lots of it) was squished down into so tiny a space it didn’t even exist and was eternal (up until then); yet inside that timeless nowhere something somehow changed and the whole thing went (silently) pop! in the biggest bang ever.

        Eeeek.

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      • I’ll bet that was written by an Islamist~?

        To make it more accurate you’d have to change the last word.
        Help yourself from this ‘starter’ list: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Mithraism, Shintoism … and then of course you can get in among “The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects” … but be warned, if you try to list ’em all you’ll be here a very long time.
        All of them (each of them? Oh well …) is of course the one, the unique, the only True Path to God.

        Take your pick (oops, you already have. Silly me …)

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    • KCCHEIF1

      This is of course is one of the big questions of our time and understand your wonder. I’ve thought a lot about it myself, so I wanted to throw a few thoughts out there.

      For one, the answer of some sort of supernatural being starting it all always requires us to ask the question who created the creator? If we are content as many theists are to say God always was and is, then why can’t we also say that all the matter in the university always was and is. In order for God to be the answer, it must lie outside of the cause and effect chain, so why is it less likely that the initial big bang lies outside the cause and effect chain?

      If we try to argue that all the physical laws of the universe seem to work wonderfully well and that there had to be some being who put it all in motion for it to work, this may also be a false observation. The physical laws of the universe may be a result of random chance, only that we are only observing the one that worked. They say there are like 6 or 7 constants in the universe that with them being any different, the universe would simply not work. Like in a lottery, there is only one set of numbers that will allow somebody to win, and how many times do those numbers have to be generated for that person who always picks the same numbers to win? Probably a lot, but the numbers will eventually come up. We have no idea how many times the “dice were rolled” before our existence was possible.

      Finally, we have a problem that I like to think of as being related to our false conception of time. When we think about things like beginning or end we are always aware that there was time before something began, and there being something after the end. Like a football game begins and ends, there are always events preceding and always events after even if there is no football game. Einstein’s theory of relativity shows us that mass warps space and time, and more importantly that space and time are intimately related in what is called space time. Theoretical physics shows us that all of space and time already exists, only the nature of it depends on where you are in the universe and thus when you are in the universe (according to general relativity). At the big bang the universe was extremely small. We know that energy and mass are related and since energy moves at the speed of light, and thus time stops all light is ageless. Time does not move for it. So at the beginning if you all you had was all the energy in the universe, time would have no meaning, because it would not be moving. Until we start to have energy converting into mass time simply does not pass. The start of the universe is the ultimate beginning, in which time itself does not exist before, so the question of what came before the universe started has no value. Another way of looking at it, is since we know large bodies of mass slow down the rate in which time passes, imagine if all the mass in the universe was condensing getting smaller and smaller. Space would be shrinking and the rate of time passing would be getting slower and slower, until eventually time would stop once the universe collapsed into a small region/point.

      I guess to me the more important question is why is there something rather than nothing? It doesn’t surprise me that as long as there is something, then it could all work. One of the things the universe teaches us, especially when we look at something like evolution is that out of simplicity arises complexity. From hydrogen in stars, nuclear fusion produces increasingly heavier and more complex elements. So at the very least it does not seem to be a requirement than a complex being needed to put everything in motion, when the universe reveals to us that we can arriving at complex results through simple beginnings.

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      • Thank you Swarn Gill for taking the time to respond to my comment. You gave me much to think about .

        “out of simplicity arises complexity” I need to keep this in mind ! 🙂

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      • You are very welcome. I was certainly at your state of deism at one time in life and wrestled with these questions, and of course still do to a certain degree but at least feel of learned enough now to actually question the questions I was asking myself as to whether they were even valid. One of the things I’ve concluded as that just because we can ask a question, doesn’t mean that there is actually answer if the question itself is faulty. At the same time, the fact that we can ask these questions makes us quite remarkable creatures and I think is something to celebrated. 🙂

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      • One of the things the universe teaches us, especially when we look at something like evolution is that out of simplicity arises complexity.

        Swarn, that is the central part of the thesis presented in my book. Be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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      • What?! I have to read a book now? lol Actually I saw the plug on Victoria’s page and thought it sounded like a very interesting read. I am about to have a week free near the end of this month where I’ll have the house all to myself and I’ll likely have some good book reading time then. Quite possibly while unshowered and in my underwear. lol

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  3. I really like this thesis. If indeed there is some all powerful thingy out there, it most certainly is a malevolent mo fo. Like you say, this explanation requires no apologetics and no annotations. I suggest you write a book on. It will frustrate and anger many who won’t read it, won’t understand it, and who won’t hesitate, in spite of that, to write you long comments attacking it and you for writing it, Just a suggestion. 🙂

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  4. Maybe God was a lawyer in a previous life-dimension, and that’s why s/he likes covenants so much; you know, get-out clauses that “require elaborate annotation and specially crafted excuses”.?

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  5. With every bit of more power, the responsibility equally grows. With extreme power the responsibility is equally extreme and with absolute power (as imagined a creator god entity to have), the responsibility is also absolute.

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      • Thanks. If we think this creator entity transferred some power to humans (and for some reason to at least dolphins) through giving us the capacity to think abstractively, could it have possibly diminished it’s own responsibility on anything? I mean the actions we take and our chosen inaction in any situation are dependant on the so called “free will” but they are equally limited by the quality and quantity of the information each and every one of us holds and by our empathetic ability and skills, that we so conviniently call our consciences.

        Or do we live in a might makes right universe – as so many of the morally most corrupt conservative Christians keep telling me – in wich this god can, is allowed and justified to do with us as this god pleases, because it owns us sentient beings, just like the slave owners of old owned their slaves just for having made us like we might make some inanimate objects?

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      • Devine Command Theory, yet another creative excuse proffered by the theologian who has to explain the world around. One thing we have to bear in mind here is that omniscience is impossible. No maximally powerful being could wield that particular power and be interested in his creation. It’s impossible. So, the creator has to suspend that power, and if he suspends that power then its possible he doesn’t know who he is, and is not, therefore, responsible for anything. I propose this in the book.

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  6. I’m here because I’m searching too. I’ve been a born again Christian for 30 years. I can’t believe that God exists with all that he allows, all in the name of “free will”
    But I have a hard time grasping there’s nothing out there and the universe just came out of nothing. Then again, if there is an intelligent designer, did he create then forget about us… And if so, what kind of being is that…. Sigh…. So much, but I want to know.
    Also, I have a hard time grasping that when we die, we exist no more.

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    • @ SecretSally, we would all like to know how did it all begin. Throughout time people have come up with the most varied and imaginative explanations for it and one of them happens to be the monotheistic creator god as worshipped by the Jews, Christians and the Muslims.

      A god is a good an explanation as any, in that it does not really explain anything, it just seems like it did, and that it has not been ever verified in any way. Even if we had some somehow verifiable revelation, that a god created everything, it would still not explain how it was achieved, nor why, or why this creation is as it is. The really big questions would still be totally open. But we have no such revelations, though some people seem to think that particular revelations to ancient and obviously superstitious people should serve as evidence and divine revelations.

      Wether any particular god as alledged to exist by people is evil, or not can only be judged by us humans. If it is a persona, we judge it by what it has alledgedly done, just like we evaluate the actions of any other persona.

      We simply do not know how it all begun, nor do we have any idea what happens after death. These issues can only be even remotely reliably researched by what we do know as objective data. At the moment all even remotely objective data we have on the origins of the universe is the material observable universe itself and it does not support any sort of gods to exist and same regrettably applies on the question of afterlife.

      There is this moment when adults such as you and I simply have to accept, that we do not know what the truth is and that taking ancient fairytales at face value as demanded in some cultural movements such as religions just does not cut it. But it does and should not stop us from seeking the answers. Every search begins by admittance of the fact that there is a need for a search in the first place. 😉

      By the way, I love your gravatar…

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    • Rationalizations and explanations of existence are what we use to make sense of the randomness of the planet. To soften the blow because the reality is harsh. Think of it this way: people are born everyday, all over the world. There are children who will live a childhood of starvation. Others will become pawns to warlords, others will be raped, forced into prostitution. Many will be infected by disease- perhaps die before their 18th birthdays.
      In the developed world the more fortunate of us like to think our lives are great because we’re ‘all that’. The thing is we’re not. We have decent lives because in the grand scheme of things our parents, and their parents and grandparents happened to be born in the right place at the right time- and so we’re educated, and we can heat our homes in winter, and we can drink wine in the evenings and have air conditioning in cars.
      Joining a religion, believing in a god- never helped anyone. Just ask the millions of people displaced by war. The vast majority of them praying for miracles that don’t happen.

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      • This passage from the book seems appropriate here:

        One and a half billion people must be fed and protected to some degree of satisfaction—a precious few even allowed to live spectacular lives in idyllic settings free from any and all concerns—so the six and half billion thirsty, starving, sick, war-torn, homeless, and displaced can recognise and appreciate their sorrowful lot.

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    • Hi Secretsally, I wish you the best on your journey. I was where you are now, not all that long ago. In the end, I found more peace in allowing that we do not have all the answers. Even with knowing absolutely what happens when we die. For me, I have come to a peace with non existence after death, but I am also intrigued by ideas such as the holographic universe and such.
      Free will failed as an explanation for me as well. Far too many get the short end of the stick. Does such a god play with rigged dice?

      (((hugs)))

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  7. First problem is applying any kind of human emotions to an infinite all knowing sentience. Emotions & morality do not apply. Morality & emotions states only make context in a finite linear reality. Any description of such a being that uses those terms is either mistaken or intends for them to be treated as allegorical or symbolic.

    Second problem is taking into account the suffering of sentient creatures without an infinite reality to “upload”/transition into means that human existence is meaningless as Hobbes stated. One can set up systems to create social balance for a very small few, but the rest of humanity will just have to suffer a short existence of misery.

    Even if the atheist’s society of no religion existed, political and economic institutions would pump out empty five year plans, products and services to guarantee human happiness & fulfilment . Our current North American Mass media society pretty much lives up to that by marketing emotions and beliefs as a way to sell everything from deodorant to political platforms.

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    • Any description of such a being that uses those terms is either mistaken or intends for them to be treated as allegorical or symbolic

      Exactly! Couldn’t agree with you more.

      I have to disagree with you, though, and the second half of your comment. A universe can be arranged as such to be thoroughly fulfilling to a maximally wicked Creator while the trinkets of His amusement and nutrition are essentially blind to the true nature of reality. We have that situation today, and it’s quite ingenious.

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  8. Fiske’s complaint against God is the usual atheist psychosis.

    That is, God doesn’t act the way the atheist thinks He should act therefore God does not exist.

    Only obstreperous tots wink things out of existence for not acting right.

    And only the great atheist mass murderers of the 20th century put their atheist psychosis into practice as a routine tool of state’s craft.

    People who didn’t act right were either exterminated outright, intentionally starved to death a million at a time, or sent to the gulag.

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    • Wonderful to see you SOM! I’m afraid to say, though, but you’ve misread the post. No one is saying here God does not exist. If you are certain he does, then he is malevolent. This, of course, is the only explanation that exists without the need for a creative cover story.

      Have you read the book, yet? I’d be tremendously interested to hear your thoughts.

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      • John,

        Your reply to my comment simply uses a variation of the atheist psychosis.

        That is, God doesn’t act the way the atheist thinks He should act, therefore God is malevolent.

        Man and creatures who act according to their respective natures are not malevolent.

        For example, when lion cubs, under the watchful eye of their mother, torture a wild, baby pig to death, they are not malevolent.

        They are simply learning how to be lions.

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      • Yes, malevolence is the explanation that exists with need for a creative cover story or inventive theodicy. Given this fact, malevolence is therefore the stronger thesis.

        That said, I really would like to hear your formal rebuttal to the argument as presented. You have a beautiful mind, and I rejoice when i see it downwind with a full spinnaker aloft 🙂

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      • John,

        The idea of a malevolent God is the result of atheist psychosis as I have already demonstrated using the tool of simple reason.

        If the atheist assigns “malevolence” to God, then the atheist must also assign “malevolence” to a lion cub.

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      • The answer to the psychosis that is christianity. From the Qur’an, The One True Book of God: 5:14: “And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection, and Allâh will inform them of what they used to do.”

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      • divine1,

        Christianity spawned the Western Civilization, the greatest, most prosperous, most just, most technically advanced civilization in human history.

        The you, the atheist think such a fertile, successful, religion is a psychosis, only proves my point about atheism being a psychosis.

        The only excellence atheism is known for is genocide.

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      • To the delusional psychosis that is christianity, the infidel proclamation of godless devils: From the Qur’an: 5:73: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no god but Allâh. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them

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      • ” … God doesn’t act the way the atheist thinks He should act, therefore God is malevolent … ”

        Could also be reworded as “God doesn’t act the way the religiosi say He does—therefore someone is badly mistaken”. No? But who could be so mistaken?

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      • Argus,

        No, your rewording is actually you, redefining my argument.

        Atheists do that as a rhetorical device to rig the argument in their favor.

        So what you are doing is redefining my argument, assigning your redefinition to me, and then demanding that I defend your redefinition of my argument.

        To be rational you must take my argument as it is stated by me and then argue against it with your own ideas.

        Rewording my ideas is redefining my ideas. And expecting me to defend your redefinition of my ideas isn’t fair or fruitful.

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      • It boils down to God’s omnipotence and omniscience, versus the concepts of ‘free will’ and God’s being all-compassionate and all merciful.

        God can never claim ignorance, ergo none of his agents can successfully likewise. So even before the Creation God knew what a nasty pain-filled mess He was (deliberately) creating, yet He went ahead anyway … which blows it for compassion and mercy. So I’d say such were the actions of a true malevolent.

        To recap:
        the religious claim that God is mercy, love, sweetness and light—I claim that He is malevolent. As evidence I offer His omni-everything beforehand against the world He subsequently (with malice aforethought?) created. If this is the best He could do He is either incompetent or malevolent.

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      • Brilliant! If the atheist psychosis is, that if there actually is a god, then it must be malevolent according to logical conclusion from reality as it does exist, then does that mean the theist psychosis is, that this god must be benevolent regardless of what the reality is like?

        Certainly, there is nothing here said to suggest, that if a god is not moral according to our human standards, then no gods exist. Just that the concept of a specific benevolent god is rather unlikely to exist according to any even remotely objective evaluation of reality.

        If the lion cub lets the “baby” biglet run away, instead of killing it after it has toyed with it first, do we consider the lion cub benevolent? If we evaluate the character of a potential god, that has not given any substantial or even remotely objective information of it even existing, by what the alledgedly created “creation” is like, should we apply to it the same method as that when we evaluate wether the actions of an animal are moral or not? Do we have some sort of animal spirit as a creator god? A god that is not a moral agent? Interresting perspective. Sounds like the creator god is also the trixter god. But is the concept of the trixter god not to be seen as a moral agent?

        Indeed Christianity spawned the western civilization as it exists, but bear in mind that the most noble achievement of that civilization is secularization of society. Yes, most noble even regardless of some crimes made by atheists. We do not judge vegetarianism according to what crimes some vegetarians have done, do we? Not unless we can actually establish it was their vegetarianism that motivated them to act criminally. Secularization is the most noble achievement of western civilization, as we all like the scientific achievement to overrule what is most likely objectively true instead of the religious traditional fairytales, or demagogues, and just as a nother example, we do value not to be trialed according to supernatural wittnesses?

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      • takyy,

        I defined the term “atheist psychosis.”

        You don’t get to redefine the term as something stupid and then assign your stupidity to me.

        Rationally, you must accept my argument for what it is and how it is stated and then argue against that.

        Atheists have the annoying habit of hallucinating absurdities and assigning them to their opposition, instead of simply meeting the opposition on common ground and then having at it.

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      • Hahaha. Silenceofmind, you mean me, Argus and John did not play with your rules?

        But I met your argument as it was stated. I did already explain why your definition of your own term “atheist psychosis” is unvalid in respect to the topic post or the conversation here, but here it is again, incase you missed it: “Certainly, there is nothing here said to suggest, that if a god is not moral according to our human standards, then no gods exist. Just that the concept of a specific benevolent god is rather unlikely to exist according to any even remotely objective evaluation of reality.” The others did not bother to explain what is obvious and moved straight to versions of it better fitted to the topic and the conversation. Did you not notice?

        That is why we all tried to re-word it to make sense to the topic. I reassigned the term to have an actual meaning in reference to the topic post, and as you proposed the term to oppose this post, the meaning I gave to it, was that of the meaning of this post. Just because you were the first to cry it out, does not mean you own it, nor even that you got it right. Or would you rather have it exist without any connection to this post as it was when you phrased it out? If you insist on the meaning you gave it, then it has no place in this conversation exept as a stupid red-herring, with no connection none what so ever to the topic post, or anything said here. But maybe you realized it was a red-herring and thought it was rather clever, when you really could not face the actual topic?

        Do you worship an indifferent a-moral animal spirit, or a specific alledgedly benevolent deity? If it is the latter, you do not get to defend it by your lion cub analogy. That analogy can only defend some obscure animal spirit creator entity, wich is pretty much pantheistic agreement, that the nature of the nature as observed is not a moral agent even if it was somehow divine. Is your particular god moral?

        You can hardly accuse atheists of any habits, as your own skill in understanding the written word fails you this badly.

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    • There is but one True Word Of God. From the Qur’an: 5:73: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no god but Allâh. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.” Only infidels and blasphemers say otherwise.

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    • If God is acting according to his nature, and his nature allows for great pain, misery, torture, etc that’s fine I won’t put him on trial, but why must I worship such a creature. Part of a scorpions nature is to sting and kill, and I do not hold it guilty of malevolence for stinging and killing, but that also means that I don’t keep them around my house. Regardless of whether I view the scorpion as having evil intent or acting according to its nature, it still becomes a very threat to my existence and there is no need for me to revere it, worship it, and make it part of my life.

      If we could all admit that God’s true nature might be that he’s an asshole I think that I could be okay with it, but let’s just all be honest. Let’s not pretend how awesome it is that some great harmony awaits the faithful but the price of that harmony is the suffering of countless innocent billions because God’s nature is to just let it all happen. I’d say existence is probably not worth it. Existence then isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Because if I am a created being and I have been given the power of love, compassion and empathy towards other creatures then God’s very design of us is nothing but a cruel act regardless of whether he’s just acting according to his nature. To allow great pain to happen and to give me the ability to sense it but be powerless to stop it makes God a psychopath. And psychopaths we know are genetically different and act according to their nature. Maybe we should stop locking them up if we are all content with things acting according to their nature.

      There is no atheist psychosis here. I think these are all valid questions to ask, and if your best answer is that God might be just acting according to its nature then you should be questioning whether God exists, but whether that God is worthy of your reverence. There are of course people who admire the psychopath, become groupees, copycat killers. What does that make those who follow God?

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      • Infected

        Ponerogenic groups are those with a statistically high number of pathological individuals, to the point that the group as a whole exercises egotistical and pathological behavior. Deviants function as leaders and ideological spellbinders, and while normal people may act as members, they have typically accumulated various psychological deficiencies. Those not susceptible to such influence are excluded from the group. These groups can either infiltrate existing governments or exert their influence from “behind the scenes.” Bribery, blackmail, murder and similar terror tactics are used to achieve these ends.(source)

        “What psychopaths apparently discovered in the past is that they can make much of the world “psychopath friendly” and one way in which they did this was by inventing and promoting various religions.”

        “Religion is in reality a “psychopath machine” in that
        a) religion was created and promoted by psychopaths for the benefit of psychopaths
        b) it does create secondary psychopaths (or zombie-like people) by destroying otherwise normal human minds.” (source)

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      • Swarn,

        First, God is not a creature.

        God, by definition is infinite.

        God’s creation by definition is finite.

        Atheists simply find it impossible to approach the concept of infinity in their mind’s eye.

        Consequently, the atheist is left assigning the finite attributes of creation to God the Creator who is infinite.

        And in the realm of logic and rational thinking, that is absurd.

        Atheist thinking is actually primitive paganism at it’s core (creating gods in image of man) and demonstrates that atheism is actually retrograde, not progressive.

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      • Actually I’ll guarantee I understand the concept of infinity at least as well as you given the amount of courses I’ve taken in advanced mathematics.

        Second can you demonstrate or price God is infinite other than what is written in books by man’s hand? I don’t need the first law of thermodynamics or Newton’s 3rd law to be written to prove they are true. Unless God’s infinite nature can be proven through inductive reasoning you cannot assume a priori for it to be true.

        You see it is actually primitive thinking to state an unprovable premise as true then make conclusions based on that premise. You see if I say I am the best tennis player in the world I can conclude that I will win Wimbledon. Now if I get everybody to believe in that, they would simply hand me the trophy. Because if my premise is true then there is no need for it to be proven. Funny thing is that won’t work. Somebody will ask me to demonstrate my prowess on the court, there are courts for me to play on and a way to demonstrate the truth of my premise. There is no such proof for God. So it’s very convenient for theists to assert the existence of an omnipotent being that nobody can observe in any measurable way, then make up even more stuff about this beings nature to try to explain why you can’t observe this being, then base a whole worldview based on this untestable assertion and then demonize and belittle those who question why your worldview is predicated upon an untestable premise. Then as a final argument say it’s a matter of faith.

        Maybe you should also question whether it isn’t also primitive thinking to need a God to explain our existence, which is actually the intellectually lazy way to explain why things are the way they are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Swarn,

        Taking classes doesn’t give the mind the ability to visualize infinity.

        If that were the case there would be not a single atheist scientist.

        And you would not be atheist yourself.

        All university classes convey these days is method. The student receives zero to none training in making connections and gaining insight.

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      • I disagree. I have taken philosophy and history classes too and read books that discuss the topic of infinity. But if you think the Bible gives such insight you would also be mistaken. When I read it, it seemed mostly concerned with a very particular region on a very particular planet. Physics and mathematics since the renaissance have done far more to reveal the nature of infinity than any religious doctrine.

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    • Also why is God not acting the way we want it to, indicative of atheist psychosis. Isn’t the whole point of prayer a way of asking God to act in a way you want it to act? I think it’s much more emotionally healthy to at least refute God’s existence based on the grounds that it doesn’t act the way Christians say it acts, than to continue ask it over and over again to act in the way you want it to act only to be disappointed 95% of the time. With the other 5% of the time when it works it’s not really because prayer worked, but rather you got the job because you were probably the most qualified person, or you won your tennis match because you actually practice and have some skill.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Relative to this post and the book, which I’m sorry to say I haven’t been able to finish yet, here’s a little something from an essay of mine from back in 2009 titled “Servants of Death”.

    If, as the cultists would have it, man is indeed the ultimate creation of this so-called god, then that god is a psychopath of immeasurably violent and destructive demeanor. If this is intelligent design, things are much worse than I thought. I must admit, it would go a long way towards explaining our actions.”

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  10. I think there’s an interested corollary to be investigated here. Perhaps someone less lazy than myself could put together some numbers to support the theory that of all people, Malevolent God particularly dislikes the religious and the poor.
    Natural disasters, wars, extreme poverty, famine and the like seem to be- by significant majority, aimed at highly religious impoverished communities.
    Even Mother Teresa understood that ‘fact’. I believe her theory was that suffering brought people closer to her god- and that’s why she rejected the use of things like pain killers by the people under her care.

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    • You’ll get all your answers in the Good Book, Pink 🙂 But the short answer is, Yes, the Creator encourages religious belief because it helps to distract man, and if his attention is misdirected then he’s never truly looking at that spot in space where the magician is slipping the ball from his sleeve.

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  11. ah John. Brilliantly worded. (as always). Love the “incompetent spirit”.
    I am reminded of Goethe’s Prometheus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQVPmi1bmW0

    And, of a friends novel, “The Science of God” http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Steve-Floit/dp/1413470750/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
    In which god turns out to be the malevolent creature, and satan the good. (it was a bit mind blowing at first, until you wrap this entire concept with one’s brain. All powerful, all knowing. As Rautakyy so well said…with great power comes great responsibility.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Holly, great to see you around, my friend! And absolutely, if you read the Jewish origin tale from a perfectly impartial position you do arrive at a flipped role: Yhwh-evil, Satan-good.

      I think you’d enjoy the book. It paints a different picture again. Nothing so simple as dualism, rather perfect malevolence.

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  12. “God, by definition is infinite.” I like how SOM defined a god into existence. Which brings up a point missed by theologians: even if there WERE a creator, why in heavens would anyone think she was INFINITE? Any two-bit David Copperfield could have done ANY of Jesus’ miracles, and any sufficiently advanced alien civilization could have created man through genetic engineering and so forth. That doesn’t imply infinity. And that doesn’t mean I have to worship them. [Although, if they were to show up and IMPROVE the world (something no god has EVER done) then I’d at least give ’em credit.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lifting the human condition by reducing actual suffering would indeed be a novelty. Hell, just divulging something genuinely new and useful would be better than what the collective boat-load of “inspired” sages have ever delivered.

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  13. Pingback: God Is Good* | Amusing Nonsense

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