Tag Archives: atheist

Athemyths: Without God, There is No Purpose!

A recurring myth among religious individuals is that without God, life has no meaning or purpose. There are many reasons why a theist may hold this idea, none of which are grounded in reality. This is usually a refusal to accept death as the ultimate end and an appeal to emotion, in which a person assumes that their life has a meaning or a purpose given by God or presumes that there is an objective meaning to life.

First, there is no evidence that there is any objective meaning to life and it cannot be established with any epistemic certainty. Testimonies do not hold up to scrutiny as they are subject to the myriad biases of your brain. Holy texts are riddled with contradictions, inconsistencies, and outright falsities. Until there is a reliable means of establishing an objective meaning of life that provides substantial evidence, the appropriate response is to suspend judgment. Sure, it is an uncomfortable thought to some that there might not be any objective purpose to life, but the inability to accept this does not mean that we should adopt fallacious concepts to satisfy our ego.

Second, there are many people that do not believe in your deity, or any deity, and it would be preposterous to claim that the 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, or the millions of people who claim to be nonbelievers, are not leading meaningful lives. The existence of a god is not required in order to have a meaning or purpose in life. Meaning is subjective. What you find meaningful someone else may not. There is plenty of meaning to be found in literature, music, science, and human connection, to name a few. To think that these things somehow lose their meaning if there is no god is absolutely absurd.

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Finally, this myth presupposes that the god given objective meaning or purpose in life aligns with their own. What if it doesn’t? Without evidence to support the claim, there is no way to know if your subjective meaning or purpose of life coincides with any objective meaning or purpose of life. Most Abrahamic religions hold that the purpose of life is to serve God. What good is life if you are going to spend it grovelling in fear at the feet of a celestial dictator? What good is life if your only purpose is to worship, praise, and be a subservient slave to a cosmic master? Would you accept that same purpose if it were a terrestrial dictator or master? If God is the ultimate embodiment of love why isn’t he held to a higher standard?

As an atheist, I have everything to live for and nothing to die for. The finality of life is exactly what gives life meaning. Death only appears on the surface to invalidate any meaning or purpose of life because it seems to give rise to an idea that there is no reason to do anything all, like garner knowledge or improve the self, if we are going to die anyway. However, there is a point to garnering knowledge or improving the self and that purpose is to enjoy life. The very finite nature of life prevents us from knowing and experiencing everything our world has to offer. That ephemeral epiphany allows us to relish in the moment, whether it be the laugh of an elderly loved one or the taste of your favorite food. These things matter and have value because the opportunity to experience them is finite in nature.

Suspending the real fantasy, the thing we call life, and devaluing your earthly life, the only guaranteed life that you have, is truly living without a purpose or meaning. That would make religious believers that perpetuate this myth the real nihilists.

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” Alan Watts

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5 Dumbass Comments of the Week #10 with Lee Lemon

Join Lee Lemon (@LemonLifts), the Godless Engineer (@godlessengineer), and Aeolus (@GodWorksOut) as they take on the 5 Dumbass Comments of the Week!

At 4:16, a Muslim says that we are lost and rebellious meaning Allah must send us to hell. He ends his comment on an argument from design.

At 23:51, two theists accuse us of taking a specific passage out of context and trying to destroy other people’s spirituality.

At 39:50, a theist finds it funny that we spend so much time on something we don’t believe and asks why do atheists care so much about what other people believe.

At 1:03:45, a Christian declares that Christians are discriminated against, no one discriminates against Muslims, and atheists are all idiots.

At 1:16:35, a theist says that it is stupid that science can’t figure out why cells age and you are going to die, but god has been telling you all along why you are going to die.


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dumbass

5 Dumbass Comments of the Week #6

5 Dumbass Comments of the Week #6

This week I am joined by the Godless Engineer as we take on the dumbest comments that we could find this week.

At 1:42, a theist claims that he has undeniable evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that gives 100% proof that God exists, but first he says that we must give him 1 solid reason why he should not kill us first.

At 8:05, a theist says that atheists always try to make creationists prove that god exists, but that atheists never try to disprove god first.

At 18:25, a theist says there are only three reasons why the universe is even here and that everyone must choose.

At 25:48, a theist says that the Bible is a peerless example of a book which has maintained relevance over 1,000s of years and that the main thrust of its message could not be more clear.

At 37:30, a theist says that all these theories; like the Big Bang and evolution, are theories that do not intersect with his religion and his “One Rational God.”


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Free Will is Not Biblical!

I am frequently told by Christians, usually ones that have never read their Bible, that their god has given us free will to choose. Today, I will be addressing this misconception.

There are a few reasons why Christians mistakenly believe this. One reason is to deal with the problem of evil. The problem of evil usually goes like this:

1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
2. There is evil in the world.
3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist.

The common apologetic is for the Christian to declare that their god has endowed us with free will and evil exists because we choose to do evil or we have chosen to sin. This allows them to get away with not placing the blame on their god as the author of evil (despite Isaiah 45:7).

Another reason they may say we have free will is because it is unacceptable to think that we will be held accountable for our actions unless we have free will. In other words, if everything is predestined and there is an eternal place of torture and unending agony, then God is responsible for every single person that endures that suffering.

There is one other reason that is sometimes used and that is that love demands a choice. To word it slightly differently, without free will we would all be robots who have no choice whatsoever.

Seems like this all makes sense, right? Even the Greek philosophers knew that the lack of free will led to some extremely unsettling implications, but where does this idea of free will come from? To be totally honest, it is Christian fan fiction. Free will is not taught by the scriptures. The Bible makes it very clear that predestination is a major theme and that all things happen according to God’s will. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Most Christians herald Jesus, or Yeshua, as divine, the Son of God, and the Word. It is my understanding, then, that his words must be extremely valuable and without error. In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

This verse explicitly denies that man has a free will ability to equally accept or reject the gospel. The Greek text of this passage denies, in no uncertain terms, any inherent ability to either choose Christ or reject Him. The primary reason is that the Bible teaches that man is in bondage to sin and has a natural tendency to suppress the truth or to refuse the gospel at all costs. The Bible would have us believe that when a nonbeliever hears the gospel, he will always reject it.

The Greek text says ouvdeis dunatai evlqei/n prosj me (oudeis dunatai elthein pros me). This verse literally says that no one has the ability, in and of themselves, to cause themselves to believe in Christ. This one verse alone denies free will and since Christians think that Jesus is God incarnate, this is sufficient grounds to reject this idea once and for all.

Christians believe Jesus was God, but if there is one man responsible for Christianity—it would be Paul. You would think that a man who established the very fundamentals of Christian doctrine would know exactly what he is talking about, right? Let’s take a look. In Romans 8:7-8, Paul states, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is NOT EVEN ABLE TO DO SO, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Emphasis added).”

I don’t think he could have made it any clearer than he does in this passage. It is painfully obvious that submitting to and pleasing God is directed by God himself.

In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

This verse is so straightforward that it should not need an explanation. Man, in his natural state, is unable to accept God or the things attributed to his spirit.

Let’s take a look at one more example from Romans to put the nail in the coffin. In Romans 8: 28-30, Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE. For those God FORKNEW he also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Emphasis added).”

This passage explicitly states that God calls people according to his purpose, he knew who they were from the beginning of time, and he selected them from many.

At this point, the free will argument should be totally blown out of the water, but allow me to present more verses that will demonstrate the Bible denies free will (Acts 4:27-28, Acts 16:14, Isaiah 10:5-16, Psalm 105:25, Ezra 6:22, Proverbs 21:1, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:3-6, Ephesians 2: 4-10, Romans 9: 10-15, Romans 9: 16-19, Romans 9: 20-21, 2 Timothy 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

There are even a few verses that speaks of the ones that God has not chosen and what fate he has decided for them (Revelations 13:8, Ecclesiastes 7:13, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-13).

With the verses I have supplied directly from the book that Christians believe to be the holy inspired and inerrant Word of God, we can draw the following conclusions:

1. Humans cannot believe in Christ of their own choice.
2. Humans cannot subject themselves to God’s Law of their own choice.
3. Humans cannot accept the things of the Spirit as being true of their own choice.
4. Therefore, humans do not have free will.

Theologians usually respect the early church fathers as authority figures and believe they were inspired by their god to establish church doctrine. In that case, it is worth mentioning that there are many authority figures or church fathers who were respected predeterminists and held that free will was not a biblical concept, including; St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

I have demonstrated, thoroughly, that the Bible denies free will and any element of choice in any works that we do. The Bible teaches that from the beginning of time, God has selected who will receive salvation and he will punish and reward people based on what he has predestined. Also, the Bible teaches that all things are in accordance with God’s plan. How does that make you feel? It seems unfair, immoral, and downright evil by any standards, right?

If the Christian God exists, then there is no doubt that it is the most malevolent being in the entire universe. A Good Christian God would choose that everyone be saved; however, the Bible explicitly makes the case that the Christian God has chosen for many to suffer. This plan of God, according to the Bible, has absolutely nothing to do with free will and everything to do with exercising power—without any regards for morality or free will.

This leaves us with quite the dilemma, either:

1. God is evil or immoral because he chooses that many will perish
or
2. The Bible is not the Word of God

Choose carefully.

*This post is adapted from a paper that I wrote in seminary that received a failing grade from my instructor. However, it was overturned by the Dean, who also was one of theologians who was paramount in translating the New International Version. I received a perfect score on the paper. I thought that was worth mentioning.*


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Why Are Atheists So Militant?

There is a common misconception that atheists are “militant” and extremely aggressive in their activism. Today, I will address this misconception.

It is not far-fetched to think that some religious folks distort reality to adhere to their own beliefs. For example, there are people that will happily believe that a walking, talking snake doomed all of mankind, but refuse to accept that everything on this planet changes over time. This distortion of reality is highly evident when they refer to us as “militant atheists.” Militant, when used as an adjective, means combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods.

If we were to consider that definition, we would have to concede that this actually has described the approach of the religious for centuries—and still continues to describe much of their movement today. When the media and others refer to a “militant atheist”, the object of that slander is usually an atheist who has questioned religious authority, is sharing or stating their non-belief, or has campaigned against public and enforced religious practices.
But this reflects a double standard, because it seems to apply only to atheists. Religious individuals and groups frequently declare, sometimes subtly and sometimes not, that you are a sinner and that you will suffer in hell for eternity if you do not adopt their supernatural beliefs, but they will almost never be labeled “militant” by the media or the public. Being an atheist is illegal and usually punishable by death in several countries in Africa and the Middle East, but those believers are never labeled militant.

Recently, a friend of mine complained about a “Bible Man”, a preacher that has been visiting her child’s school to teach children about the Bible. The children were not told that they did not have to attend and those that did not want to attend were “thoroughly encouraged” to attend. A further investigation uncovered that these students were often coerced into attending these sessions during school hours, a complaint was filed, and Bible Man was removed. My friend and her family began to receive death threats, including posting pictures of burning houses and sending her hate-filled messages, from Christians who were described as “loving and kind-hearted” instead of being labeled militant. I will include a link below to this story, if you are interested in learning more about the religious persecuting those that decide to opt out. Despite this unacceptable terroristic and villainous behavior, these religious individuals are called “devout” or “righteous” and churches or mosques that support this behavior are called “evangelical.”

The problem here is clear. If you’re an atheist, shut up about it. If you are open or vocal about the harms of religion, actively working against religious discrimination, or attempting to address the presence of religion in the public sphere then you are a “militant atheist.” You should be silent about what you do or don’t believe, even though that same standard does not apply to those who passionately, and sometimes violently, disagree with you.

There are no atheists armed with modern weaponry attacking Bible printing presses. There are no atheists attempting to silence your freedom of speech. There are no atheists taking away your rights by legislating against you. There are no atheists preventing you from going to church or sending you death threats. There are no atheists forcing or indoctrinating you into a lack of a belief. There are no atheists making it illegal for you to have a religious belief with the threat of death. It is impossible and will never occur.

People do not act on the lack of a belief, they act on the presence of them. Atheism has never done anything, especially not anything militant, other than doubting the claim that your god exists. If you call asking you to apply logic, reason, and rational thought to claims that have been baseless and unconfirmed for all of human history “militant”, then so be it.

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Here are a few reasons we speak out against religion
http://bit.ly/1zpYaMr

Atheist receives death threats over “Bible Man”
http://bit.ly/1IJGldi


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You Better Capitalize God’s Name!


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Apparently, when you use the word “god”, even when undefined, you better capitalize it or else false dichotomies and arguments from ignorance will occur! Ray wants to know if I am attempting to insult him and follows up with a little projection on how science requires faith, in response to a video I did on disproving a god’s existence. My response is below.

No. When I use the word “god” I am referring generally to a god. There are over 2,500 deities documented throughout human history. I don’t have time to name them all. If I were to refer to a specific god, like Zeus, JuJu, Yahweh, Allah, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then I will capitalize the name. Even then it has nothing to do with respect. Also, where did you see me mention a primordial stew? I don’t believe I did. I’m pretty sure that is my first time ever using that terminology in my life. However, if you are attempting to refer evolution by reference to abiogenesis, the Miller-Urey experiment, and especially the subsequent experiments, is a good place for you to learn about the “primordial stew.”

If we were able to reverse time, the constant expansion of the universe would become the constant inward collapse of the universe to a single point. The same is true for evolution. The constantly blooming tree of life would become a contracting tree until it shriveled down to its roots. Those roots could be the primordial stew, but we aren’t sure. We aren’t arrogant enough to claim answers that we do not have evidence for, however, a logical conclusion that can be reached is that life originated at a single point, so to speak.

Evolution is a fact. Everything on this planet evolved from a common ancestor, which means that everything that lives is a product of one ancestor—not a quantity but a generality. We haven’t totally nailed the specifics, but we have a pretty good idea of how it may have happened. Even if all we had were the Miller-Urey and subsequent experiments, we’d still have more evidence for abiogenesis than for any god ever presented.

But even this does not disprove a god’s existence. It is possible that a god could have jump-started life, so your implied false dilemma disappoints. Finally, to address your requirement of “faith,” it actually takes no faith to accept science. Faith is the belief in things without evidence. If you had evidence, you wouldn’t need faith. Science requires zero faith and nearly every field of science, including the ones that enabled you to leave this stupid ass comment, operate based on the reliability and predictive power of the scientific method. And no, that’s not ad hominem because I addressed every part of your dumb ass comment.

faith


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REASON #34: Douchebag Duggars

New Format.

New Channel.

Still Awesome.

Join God Works Out, Deterlucem, and I as we tackle a number of issues ranging from Douchebag Duggars, Ken Ham, and Deepak Chopra vs Richard Dawkins.

Check out REASON every Sunday night at 8 pm CST / 9 PM EST.