Antitheism

Antitheism

I am an antitheist.

Not only do I believe that there is no god, and that belief in any such supernatural entity is engrained primitive superstition (cultural indoctrination), but I think the overall effect of religion on human culture has been stultifying, violent and destructive.

I know there are positive things that have come out of religion. I appreciate the beauty of much of the world’s great religious architecture from the Henges, Pyramids, Temples and Mosques to the Cathedrals. I appreciate the art, poetry and stories. I even accept the way many people need a clear moral structure and pathway for life that is provided for by religions and there is a psychological boost for believers.

That does not justify religion. It is nowhere near enough.

If it is not true it is not true.

You have to weight it against the pogroms, crusades, persecutions, holy wars, desecrations, stultifying of culture, genocides, stoning, intolerance, victimisation, burning, torture, loss of personal freedom, as well as the colossal amount of time and energy spent on what I would view as a pointless task.

If a fraction of the time and effort was put into productive tasks such as alleviating world poverty, solving our horrendous population growth and protecting our increasing ravaged ecosystems we would have solved these major problems.

As we walked round Bali last year, taking care not to fall down one of the holes in the street, looking at the poverty, population density and lack of infrastructure it appeared that the only major commerce was the construction of religious sculptures, statues and offerings. It was very quaint but not very productive.

I would prefer to follow a well thought through morality as laid out in the United Nations charter of Human Rights rather than the dubious and contradictory morality handed down from religious scripts that are thousands of years out of date. I do not agree with ‘an eye for an eye’, in the modern day these are open to interpretation and are out of date.

Religion does not have the only word on morality. I am an extremely moral atheist.

I see no evidence what so ever for the work of any god. The idea that a god created the universe is absurd to me. Where did he/she come from? Where did he/she exist? What was there before? The thinking is far too human.

I could, and have, written a book about the absurdities, contradictions and disastrous effect of religion.

79 thoughts on “Antitheism

  1. Human beings evolved as communal animals. We assisted and helped one another. We hunted as a pack. We found that we are better together than apart. That means trust and empathy. If you are hunting you have to trust. If you are let down you are dead. That’s where morality was born.
    Either everything started from nothing or everything has always been here. Neither make any sense to our tiny minds. The idea of god just puts the question back a little. Where did god come from? How did he make something from nothing? It’s a primitive way of trying to understand things that our mind cannot cope with.
    We have evolved to think there is a beginning, an end, a pattern and a meaning. There isn’t. It is merely our minds trying to make sense of things. We made it up. Stephen Hawking, polyverses, quantum and string. It fun finding out a little more.
    The point of life is to fill each moment with joy, fulfilment, education, understanding, love, awe, wonder and help us all make a better existence. Nothing more.
    We are a chemical reaction. When it stops so do we. Making the most of each second is what it is about. There is no meaning, no god, no purpose, no after-life – just a brilliant universe to be in awe of for a life-time.
    What more could you want?

  2. No meaning, no God, no purpose, no afterlife – just a brilliant universe to be in awe of for a lifetime ? What about my baby that only lived for one month ? Doesn’t he deserve more life ?Religion has given God a bad name. God desires a relationship not religion, rules or rituals. I believe with 100% certainty that God does exist. Have you ever believed in God ? What if I’m right and your wrong ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLimoqZUWgw&sns=em

  3. Hi Lonna – thanks for commenting. I’m glad you have such a strong faith in god. That must be comforting. I used to believe in god when I was younger but not anymore. If I am wrong then I am sure it won’t matter a jot. Any god who judges people in that way would not be concerned by what they believe but how they lived. I live a good positive life. If there was a god, who is as described in religion, who judged people on belief then I think that would be a capricious god. I’d have to question the sanity or fairness.
    I think you are right to separate religion from spirituality. Religion is so contrived and obviously man-made that I find it hard to understand how anyone could believe in it. But then cultural indoctrination is a strong thing. In my view religion is responsible for a great deal of the world’s problems – from stultification of culture and opposition to science to victimisation, cruelty and war. I would do away with it all.
    I’m sorry to hear about your baby. One month is a short time. That must have been dreadful. I can’t imagine.

  4. Thank you very much for response. You are a kind, compassionate and intelligent man. We all wonder why is there so much violence, pain, heartache in this world. Many people blame God. We have both good and evil in this world. Satan is actually the present ruler of this world and has completely blinded they eyes of radical Islam to make them believe their evil is in the name of God. I really liked your latest blog in regards to their genocide. How do you explain the spiritual realm ? On several occasions I have experienced things that cannot be explained in this present realm. I was fully conscious when these incidents occurred. The incidents involved angels. I’ve also experienced the dark side of the spiritual realm which is in battle with the light and the truth of God. If you experienced something in another realm that pointed to God would you believe in God ?

    Ephesians 6:12

    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  5. I do try to keep an open mind but everything I read and see concerning religion seems to be made by man. Religion is used by people and States for power, wealth and evil. If I was to experience a ‘spiritual’ event I would have to evaluate that. I see no evidence or need for God. I see a lot of reasons for opposing religion, though I do accept that it also generates good and comforts a lot of people. For me the intolerance, hatred and cruelty outweigh any advantage.
    I do not begrudge people their beliefs. I am opposed to the infliction of these beliefs on others, particularly young children.
    I would be interested to hear your spiritual experiences that are the foundation of your belief.

  6. Hi,
    I have experienced many things that confirm there is a spiritual realm but I will only mention a few. When I was married my husband and I both saw two red eyes in our apartment that would move across the room very fast. When we
    moved into our home the red eyes moved with us. I told my husband the
    red eyes were for him not me 🙂 I used to work in old house and on several occasions myself and my co workers would hear high heels walking down the stairs and many other noises of things being thrown on the ground and banging on walls when there was nobody upstairs. It turned out a woman had been murdered in the house decades ago. I mention these only because I was with other people when these things happened.

    In the past couple years I’ve had several more experiences but all point to God. I’ll just mention one. I was praying and I had incense sticks in my room
    that were not used. While I was praying I could smell the incense burning.
    I had no lighter in my room. When I finished praying the incense sticks had
    been perfectly burned and cut in half and laid out on my carpet as a cross.
    I never realized the bible talks about the prayers of the saints are like sweet
    incense to the Lord. There is no explanation for how this happened. I have more things like this that cannot be explained. What do you think ?

    Here are a few more questions for you :
    Has anyone ever proven that something can come from nothing ?
    Where does information like the DNA code come from ?
    Where is the evidence that mutations can add to the genetic information to get a new and better organism ?
    Where did our intelligence, emotions, motives, love and feelings come from ?

    http://www.reasonstobelieve.org

    • Thanks for sharing those experiences. I have no idea how those things came about. They sound very strange.
      As for your questions. I am a biologist so I can have a good go at them. One thing you have to understand is that we are only at the very beginning of science and we are only tiny organisms with limited intelligence. AJP Taylor, the famous historian was asked when the Dark Ages ended. He replied that we’re still living in them. It is quite amazing what we have discovered in such a short time – a hundred years. In another five hundreds years we will know so much more a number of our present understandings will be blown out of the water.
      We have not yet, to my knowledge, proved that nothing can come out of something though I believe that there is mathematical modelling that shows this is possible. We have however proved that something can become nothing. We have a universe made of matter and anti-matter. We have discovered anti-matter and brought it together with matter and lo and behold – nothing! When the universe began equal ammounts of matter and anti-matter were formed.
      We know that something came out of nothing if the universe is not a steady state. That either occurred by science or, if you are a believer, through god.
      Stephen Hawking, the greatest mind on the planet, says there is no need for any divine intervention in the beginning of the universe. I go along with that.
      I believe it is only a matter of time before we can create something out of nothing in the laboratory.
      The DNA code is a four base code (Cytosine, Guanine, Adenine and Thymine). The Deoxyribonucleic acids were present in the original soup that was formed from the electrical storms in the atmosphere. Proteins were also formed. The two interacted and evolved.
      The chance of this occurring is astronomically small. But given the infinite nature of the universe and the number of planets, stars and galaxies even the astronomically small are frequent. Life has probably occurred an infinite number of times in the same way. Our existence is so special it is precious but it does not require any divine intervention – just chance. Incredible though that is it is more credible than the idea of a god coming from ???
      That code would have formed randomly very simply. It’s evolution into greater complexity would have taken billions of years of chance. That is amazing.
      The adding of genetic material is well documented. DNA is stable and copiable but there are always mistakes – inversions, deletion, additions, subtractions.
      We can map from these to show relationships between organisms because they occur at a regular rate. On chromosome levels it is not unusual to find complete sets of chromosomes, genes or single chromosomes added – such as in tetraploid varieties of plants.
      We share 99% of our genes with a chimpanzee. We shared a common mother 20-30 million years ago (very recent by evolutionary terms). The biological mechanism for genetic change leading to other organisms is now very well understood. As to those organisms being better – that is down to selection. All life on this planet is equally evolved. It is just that it has evolved to fill different niches and so has different complexity and characteristics.
      The human body is poorly ‘designed’ because it has evolved. We have so many easily improved faults – our backs, joints, skull, airways, food, excretory and reproductive systems. I could design a much improved human in minutes.
      Our intelligence developed from our arboreal ancestry – the coordination needed to swing from branch to branch, the opposable thumb and binocular vision evolved to enable us to perform better – or at least the best performers were selected. The ones with bigger brains, more coordination and intelligence had better survival characteristics, survived and passed on genes. Mutations added to the skills and were selected. The bigger brains enabled better thought and tool use. The brighter ones were selected etc etc. Over millions of years you have a new species – humans – who are intelligent (Chimps use tools and have rudimentary language, emotions and social cohesion – we do some of that better, that’s all).
      Emotions are physiological responses to the environment and other animals. They are brought about by autonomic and endocrine responses. For instance ‘Love’ is a pair bonding response – the brain is flooded with neurotransmitter chemicals which create a feeling of euphoria. It can be created artificially.
      All our feelings evolved because they helped us to survive. The ‘fight-flight’ hormone, anger, love, fury, hatred – all give advantages in different circumstances. It is very scientific.
      But as I said – which we understand lot of this very well we are still at the very beginning. What seems mystical and strange will no doubt be understood better in time.

  7. Hi,

    Let me ask you a question. If you had a choice between dying or living eternally in perfect health and peace which would you choose ? I think you’re very logical. I would like
    you to read this article and give me me your critique.

    http://www.reasons.org/articles/is-evolution-making-us-less-intelligent#.VMiIJ73MdsM.mailto

    Please go to this website : http://www.reasons.org

    Check the I disbelieve button and read some of the biology articles and let me know what you think. There is more to this world than you can imagine with your senses. There are reasons to believe. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Lonna

    • Firstly the choice: The choice between living and dying is a complicated one. Eternity is a long time. I cannot conceive of anything that would stop life becoming excruciatingly boring after a few thousand years, let alone a billion, or a trillion or a zillion years. I would love to live while I felt motivated and had purpose. If I was living a life without meaning I would prefer death. I do not believe there is a meaning or god so I suppose death is the answer – which does not preclude the wish to extend this life a few hundred years more. I am sure I could usefully fill a period of that length.
      I have read the article. Evolution is not about improvement; it is about selection. If intelligence is a survival characteristic it will be selected. If it isn’t it won’t. The thousands of deleterious mutations that create a lowering of intelligence will not be selected. The few mutations that create better intelligence will – if intelligence is a survival characteristic.
      At present we have largely removed all selection pressure by eradicating disease, predators, starvation and climate extremes (through clothes, housing and heating etc). This will not last. Selection pressure will come back into force at some point. If a new virus comes along it will indiscriminately destroy without regard to intelligence (Intelligence is good against predation and climate but not a new virus).
      Evolution does not necessarily select improvements as we think of them.
      Presently the unintelligent are probably breeding at a faster rate than the intelligent. That also may have an effect on lowering intelligence.
      But intelligence is over-rated. It is only one human characteristic. There are better ones such as compassion, empathy, love and altruism that have evolved from our success in grouping together to help one another. That is how we were successful at hunting and fending off fierce predators – because we worked together and trusted one another.
      I have looked at the website you put up and will return to it. I looked at two articles. My first impressions are of a pseudoscience Christian website looking to put out propaganda to promote a creationist view – but when I find time (I am presently writing two books simultaneously) I will return a read a few more. The science in the ones I read were dubious to say the least. I will try to keep an open mind.

  8. Hi Friend,

    I agree with you that compassion, empathy, altruism and love which encompasses all and is the greatest of all is far more important than intelligence. You have a very kind heart ! God actually sees our hearts.
    He is color blind because all that matters to God is the condition of our hearts. Have you heard of King Solomon ? He was given more wisdom
    than any other human being. In the book of Ecclesiastes he ponders the meaning of life. The book of Ecclesiastes contains Proverbs, maxims, sayings, and is largely an autobiographical story. Solomon wrote it late in his life, approximately 935 B.C. He had become aware of the mistakes that he made throughout his life and began to document them. The purpose of Ecclesiastes is to spare future generations the suffering and misery of seeking after foolish, meaningless, materialistic emptiness, and to offer wisdom by discovering truth in seeking after God.

    Chapter 1-2, deal with Solomon’s personal experiences throughout his life. He describes that everything he sought was selfish pleasure and meant nothing eternally. Generally, he speaks concerning the meaning of life, “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after the wind.” (1:14). Solomon, the man whom God gave the most wisdom; sought after, researched, and tried everything in an attempt to find lasting happiness, and came to this conclusion: “All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind and there was no profit under the sun.” (2:10-11).

    In chapters 3-5, Solomon gives common explanations and observations. One in particular is 5:15, “As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return…”, speaking of everyone who dies takes nothing with him; possessions, in the end, are ultimately useless. As tough as it is, our sinful nature naturally gravitates toward materialism.

    Chapters 6-8, Solomon gives advice for having a meaningful life, “Consider the work of God, for who is able to straighten what He has bent?” (7:13).

    In chapters 9-12, Solomon writes a conclusion that clears up the entire book, everyone will eventually die and all the deeds of man are vanity (useless) without God; our obedience must be to Him.

    What do you think about King Solomon ? You have a similar conclusion about life except you don’t agree that life is useless without God. Keep an open mind. Ask, Seek, Knock and the door will be opened,

    Shalom my Friend !

    • Hi Lonna,
      Thanks for your comments. I am familiar with the wisdom of Solomon. A wise man.
      We all make mistakes in life. For me the evil done in the name of religion, the intolerance, cruelty and evangelical fervour undermine any good that it serves.
      I do not believe there is a god but I do not concern myself with those that do. I believe religious faith is a personal thing. When there is indoctrination of children or it is imposed on others as with the fanatical Islamists or Christian evangelicals then I believe it is wrong.
      I am a good person. I have spent my life as a teacher caring for others. I do not need a moral code from religion in order to do good. I do not need fear of hell or retribution. I believe the moral code comes from our evolution. We evolved by helping and caring for each other. Our synergy is our strength. We are strong because we trust each other. The selfish, greedy, vicious and violent are a minority. The empathy and compassion of humanity is its strength.
      If I am wrong and there is a god I am sure he would show understanding and compassion towards me. Any god worth his salt would judge people on their actions and the content of their heart and not their belief.

  9. Hi,

    The evil committed in the name of God is the worst possible sin and in no way
    reflects God. Stalin, Lenin, Hitler did not believe in God yet they killed more
    people by their evil ideology than all others. Kim Jong Un is another example
    of pure evil with no God. Islam today is a political ideology and does not in any way
    represent God. All of these mass murdering ideologies are following Satan who is
    the present ruler of this World. I think your argument about religion is weak.
    I told you it’s not about religion, rules or rituals. God only wants relationship.
    Please get to know him before you pass from this life to the next. God is light
    and love in this dark and hate filled world. Shalom to you !

    • Hi Lonna,
      I quite agree – many of our worst offenders have been political psychopaths. But now, with the Islamic fanatics, and in the past with crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, jihads and the Hindu/Islamic slaughter in India’s partition, it was religious psychopaths. I would separate personal faith and spirituality from organised religion.
      Kind regards
      Opher

  10. Opher, is that your real name ? Faith is very personal. It’s amazing when you realize that the God of the universe knows your name and every hair on your head. I’ve had many encounters with the spiritual realm both magnificent and evil. There are dark forces that feed the minds of these psychopaths to believe what they’re doing is right.

    I wanted to share with you the story of Akiane Kramerik. A little girl growing up in
    an atheist home who began at age 4 to have visions and dreams of a God and Heaven.
    She wanted to draw and paint what she was seeing in her dreams and visions.
    She is a self taught child prodigy but gives all the credit to God. I hope you will see a little glimmer of Heaven in her beautiful paintings. God wants us to come to him as a child in innocence and wonder. Kindest Regards, Lonna

  11. She obviously has a talent but there’s nothing there that I find at all convincing. I’ve seen others as talented without the religious overtones.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Opher (my name)

    • Hi Opher,

      I haven’t given up hope on you believing in God !

      Scientific Proof That G-d Exists via jewtube.tv/religion/scien… jewtube.tv/religion/scien…

      Lonna

      • Hi Lonna,
        You’ve as much chance of that as me convincing you to become an atheist. But then as far as I’m concerned you can believe what you like if it makes you happy or brings you comfort. I’ve no prob;lem with that. We can agree to differ. There’s no need for everyone to believe the same thing in my world.
        I will have a look at your link and get back to you.
        Best wishes
        Opher

    • Hi Lonna, Good to hear from you. My contention is that there are really three distinct species of chimps that have evolved from a common ancestor. There are the Chimpanzees, the Bonobos and Humans. We are separate species but we are as close to the Chimps as the Bonobos. We are a separate species and certainly different. We can no longer successfully mate with Chimps or Bonobos. But we are very close, closer than gorillas, and close enough to be described as a third species. It is our own arrogance, stemming from our intelligence, that refuses to see ourselves as mere animals. In many people’s minds we are elevated to something else. I’m not sure what they think we are exactly. There are the plants, the animals and us. They seem to think we are some spiritual being made in the image of god and not really an animal at all.
      I beg to differ. We are evolved animals, hugely imperfect and with a physiology, anatomy and DNA that closely resembles our relatives.
      I am happy to be a clever chimp.

  12. Hello Clever Chimp,
    Would you really prefer to be in the lineage of a chimp versus God ?
    Man was created to rule over all creeping things, livestock, wild animals
    in the image of God. There is no evidence in the fossil record that your
    speculation of the evolution from apes to humans is true ? Do you have
    actual evidence ? You contradict yourself by stating that we are separate species and certainly different but he won’t acknowledge the question that creates so much difficulty for evolutionistst because we are intellectual beings, where did intelligence come from? You cannot say it evolved because there is no genetic mechanism to account for this ability. Intelligence can only come from intelligence and since God is our Father doesn’t it make sense that we are made in His image? Where does arrogance come from? That is a trait only found in humans. Design evidence is all around us all we have to do is look, but many are fooled by the philosophies of mere humans.
    How far out in space can we go, how far into inner space before we come to an end? It’s unanswerable because infinity lies with an infinite Creator who is beyond the thing He has created in every way conceivable to the limited human mind. We have to remember that we are stuck in this time-space continuum that changes unimaginably even as you go into deep space (either outer or inner). The control of all of this is in the hand of our infinite loving Creator-God. I understand you would prefer to remain a clever chimp with absolutely no point to your existence. How terribly sad Opher !

  13. Hi lonna,
    Good to hear from you. You cover so many things that would take reams of paper to answer. I love your faith but I’m afraid I do not agree with any of your logic.
    Firstly – the evolution of man – contrary to the propaganda put out by religious bodies there is now ample fossil evidence to show the stages of evolution and migration of humans. We are not where we were in the 1950s. We have thousands of skulls and a clear picture backed up by the latest DNA and carbon dating.
    Homo sapiens did not used to be the only intelligent humans on this planet. There have been a number of other intelligent human species. The Neanderthal man – Homo neanderthalensis was one. They died out quite recently. They too were intelligent tool users, hunters, art producers and had bigger brains than us. We probably killed them. They were more intelligent; we were more ruthless. There is now DNA evidence that we successful interbred with Neanderthals and up to 10% of our DNA comes from them.
    I think it would really throw the religiously blinkered into disarray if there were two distinctly different humans living today. How would they have coped with the claim ‘made in the image of god?’ Two gods? It’s a shame we killed them off I would like to have talked to them.
    As for intelligence. Well here as a biologist I have to take you to task. Not only were the other species of humans intelligent but we have clear intelligence in our brother primates and a number of other species too – including pigs and crows. Everyone conveniently by-passes the intelligence in the cetacean. Their brains are bigger, more complex and they have language. They clearly display intelligence.
    Intelligence is not some God-given gift. It is the result of the complexity of beuronal connection in the cortex of our brains. The bigger and more complex the more intelligent. It is a survival characteristic that has evolved. The evolution of intelligence can be clearly discerned from studying fossils.
    In humans our intelligence – development of cerebral cortex, is well documented in fossils. We can even see the evolution of the folding of the cortex. It is the result of our arboreal life-style (swinging from branches) demanding extreme coordination, coupled with binocular vision and an opposable thumb that enabled tool use.
    There is ample evidence that we learn by setting up new neuronal nets.
    If the human body is made in the image of god then he is severely flawed. I could improve on at least seven areas without thinking too hard (I’ll address them briefly):
    a. Lungs – our lungs evolved from a swim bladder diverticulum in the gut of a fish – hence it is attached to the pharynx. It shares the opening with our digestiove tract. When we mis-swallow we choke. This is clearly a ‘fault’. Fortunately it is not too much of a disadvantage because it has not been selected out by evolution but people die. If it had been designed it is a design fault. It could easily be rectified by separating the opening to the lungs from the gut and having multiple apertures so that if one or two get blocked the others still function.
    b. Reproductive tract – The reproductive tract is closely associated with both the excretory and egestory tracts. This means that the sex organs, excretion and egestion are all opening at the same place. This is grossly unhygienic and causes a great number of infections, particularly in females. It is also unpleasant for sexual contact. It makes much more sense to have them opening in different places so that faeces and urine do not contaminate the sex organs. Unfortunately it was not designed; it evolved from the common cloaca of a fish where these problems did not cause contamination as they were in water. Or do we have a god with a lavatorial sense of humour who likes the idea of faeces and urine being associated with sex?
    c. Our neck. The protruberance of our head with its delicate brain out on a stalk called the neck creates a huge number of problems. Our neck is easy to break, as seen with the large number of parapledics. Our brain is highly vulnerable and easily damaged. It makes much more sense to have this delicate organ housed inside the chest where it could be fully protected. However the head is the result of the evolution of cephalisation which in primitive organism had all the senses organs and brain close together. When the brain was little it did not have a problem. Now it does and we’re saddled with the negative side.
    I could o on and on. If we are made in the image of god he is a very defective being. We are far from perfect.
    There is no contradiction in my saying we are chimps and separate species. There are three separate species of Chimp. We are one of them.
    Arrogance is not just a human trait. We see all types of emotions and character traits in many animals, including dogs and primates. I do not see design evidence all around me. Neither did Darwin. I see patterns thrown up by evolution. I see through the propaganda. I can clearly see how a complex organ like the eye evolved. It was not designed. If it was then why is it so flawed and prone to problems? Why would a god invent maggots that burrow into babies eyes?
    I quite agree that we have finite intelligence and the universe is infinite. We have discovered lots about it in a short time. That is miraculous. But the fact that infinity exists in time space and possibly inner space does not imply any superbeing. You make a big jump from the unknowable to the even more unknowable with no evidence to base it on apart from a set of primitive writings made by a small Arabic tribe in the desert who were largely illiterate.
    I’m sure none of this is what you wanted to hear. But I would suggest you keep an open mind, look at things anew and think about it.
    I will, and have read your things. I have not yet found anything convincing; but I’ll still have a look.
    I have no wish to undermine your faith – just to refute the fallacies of your arguments.
    In the end faith is personal. But faith based on faulty knowledge needs questioning.
    Best wishes
    opher

    • Well there are some amazing things around. I love them all. I love the patterns, laws and biology – the biology in particular.
      But Biology and animals are a bit of a mess really. How do you account for that? The mutations, poor body forms (through evolution and not design), parasites, cruelty. Are you telling me that God designed wasps to lay eggs inside vanother living organism and eat them alive? Imagine having huge maggots inside you slowly munching on your flesh until you died. Or other parasites that burrow into the brains of babies. Do you think God designed them too? And cancer? MS? Strokes and heart-attacks? Why would he do that?

    • Wow! Lonna – That’s an hour long! I’ve watched the first ten minutes. The guy is quite interesting. Of course Miller’s work has been greatly expanded on now. We now know that all the building blocks of life can fairly easily be created. Given a billion years or so anything can happen.
      Nothing proven and not too convincing.
      I’ll get back to it when I have a bit of time. I’m working on two books at present.
      Thanks for sending it through.
      Opher

    • Hi Lonna,
      Good to hear from you.
      In actual fact they don’t. A lot of the writing in the Dead Sea Scrolls had variation. But it would not be surprising if they were the same. They were copied from other scrolls. The Old Testament is made up of a lot of pre-Jewish Sumerian fables, tales and myths. They were cobbled together. There is some interesting writing there, some great stories and creation myths. But most cultures have similar and many even more intricate and bizarre.
      I’ve see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jordan.
      Best wishes
      Opher

  14. Hi Opher,

    I can explain God and suffering easier by believing in God versus believing that nature causes all the calamities & sickness. Short video explanation. Kind Regards, Lonna

    • Once agfain Lonna, this theory has flawed logic. We can set standards through group agreement. Nothing the guy says makes sense. He makes huge jumps and assumptions. I’m amazed he calls himself a professor. His thinking is illogical.

    • No it hasn’t. Where did you get that from? The evidence for the Big Bang was only recently confirmed by the new study of infra-red and radio that revealed the remains of the Big Bang all around us.
      I think you are reading and listening to rather dubious material from people with an agenda.
      Science does not have the answers to everything but has already disproved most of the things the creationists and church has claimed:
      The earth is not the centre of the universe (not even the centre of our solar system)
      It is not flat
      Heaven is not in the sky above us
      Hell is not in the Earth below
      The earth was not made thousands of years ago but billions

      It sounds silly today but people were actually burnt to death by religious people for disputing those things!

      • Hi Opher,

        Thank God you and I are not wicked and care about humanity ! Do you have faith in anything ? Do you know faith is ? Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of is not yet seen. What evidence would it take for you to believe in God ?

        Kind Regards, Lonna

        Sent from my iPad

        >

  15. Opher,

    Quantum physics proves there was no Big Bang theory !

    No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning phy.so/342681669 via @physorg_com

    • Hi Lonna,
      Thanks for keeping on. I enjoy it.
      Firstly – there is no proof of anything in science. Nothing is ever a fact. There are only working hypotheses.
      Secondly – The Quantum equation you refer to is one of thousands. You have selected one that suits your argument. However, even that does not. The question is what was before the Big Bang – a singularity? Nothing? A fluctuating expansion and retraction?
      There is no beginning.
      Creationists have hunted round for things to discredit science with. There are millions of things we don’t yet know and some that we probably never will. The Creationists claim that each one proves there is a God. This is nonsense. All it proves is that we don’t know yet.
      That is hardly surprising. We are in the Dark Ages at the very beginning of science.
      The religious people at the time of Christ were incredibly ignorant and largely illiterate. They lived in the desert and farmed. Civilisation was just beginning. They took their creation myths and old Sumerian religions and made new religions. Ironically these religions evolved out of old religions that are now long forgotten.
      The early church believed the earth was flat. It was the centre of the universe. The sky was a dome above in which God lived. The light of heaven shone through chinks as stars. Hell was below the ground.
      They burnt people alive for suggesting the earth was not the centre iof the universe.
      As we proved one thing after another the religious changed their tune. They adopted the new truths as if they had always believed them.
      Now the Creationists are trying to prove the earth is only a fewthousand years old.
      There are people who actually believe in the Ark! How they think the Kangaroos, redback spiders and lemurs all got there to be saved is conveniently glossed over.
      The Flood was probably real. It is in the myths from that region. There was probably an inundated caused by the breaking through of the Red Sea that caused massive floods.
      Lonna – I think it is you who are blinkered. You should keep an open mind.

  16. Hi Opher,

    Can you back up your theories with evidence ? I don’t see the evidence.
    Here is a link to a conference I went to on God, Science and the new Atheism.
    You don’t have to watch it all but listen to some of it because it’s impressive !

    • Thanks for that Lonna,
      I shall give this a listen and get back to you.
      Best wishes
      Opher

      I am now thirty minutes in. Sorry Lonna I’m not impressed. They are playing to the audience, glossing over things, misrepresenting and selectively, using innuendo, humour and ridicule. They come over as pompous and narrow-minded to me. They show clearly that they do not understand science. That’s not surprising given that the concepts are only fully understood by a handful. Their arrogance is that in not understanding it they proceed to ridicule it from a point of ignorance. They have an inability in understanding the concept that something can come from nothing. Yet that must have happened even if God made it. They don’t seem to have a problem with that.
      The fact that an event is (Neanderthal interbreeding) reported poorly and sensationally does not indicate there is a lack of scientific rigour – just poor reporting. There is ample evidence for man’s evolution and interbreeding with Neanderthals. This particular site was a place where there is evidence of coexistence.
      As a biologist I don’t have any problem with the concept of ‘mind’. They seem to think that an atheists whole argument breaks down if there is a mind and not just a brain. I’m afraid not.
      What this confirms to me is that if someone is set in a way at looking at things they twist everything to reinforce their own view and ignore or ridicule anything that questions it.
      Paul Simon summed it up ‘A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest’.
      This is not a real debate. This is pompous individuals showing off. They think they are clever but I hear no substance – all gloss.
      If you want to look at the real argument against religion then buy my book ‘The Antitheist’s Bible’. It’s a novel that really goes to the nub of the fallacy of religion. Try it Lonna.

      There is a lot of evidence as to where and how the bible was cobbled together from a variety of sources. None of it was written at the time of Jesus. None of the Gospels were written by any of the disciples. They were written generations later from oral records.
      When Constantine pulled it all together and gave it credibility for political reasons he had all the bits that didn’t fit in burnt as heresy. What was thrown out? What was put in?
      Yet this mish-mash of old mythology and contradictory rhetoric is taken as the absolute word of God. How crazy is that?

      I’m now forty minutes in.
      Just because something is incredibly improbable is not evidence of a creator – entirely the opposite. The fine tuning idea doesn’t ring true. If it’s possible it happens no matter how improbable. The universe is infinite.
      Now seemingly the Bible indicates polyverses.
      These people are pontificating on things they do not understand. I’m 54 minutes in and they are becoming very annoying.

    • HA HA!!! A send up – right? Even quoting Hitchens. Wow!! With brains the size of microbes our arrogance at thinking we can understand infinity is astounding, In an infinite universe, possibly an infinite number of universes, given an infinite amount of time, even the miraculous is bound to occur an infinite number of times. When life and consciousness formed it peered out at the universe and said I’m too incredible – some other utterly inexplicable force that has come from god knows where, god knows when, must have made me – and I’m expected to believe that makes more sense. I’m glad I’m an antitheist and know that it will probably be a mystery forever – but replacing one mystery with an even bigger mystery solves nothing. Where is this god? Where did he come from? What is he doing and why?
      HA HA – that is funny.
      Lonna – you’re going to have to do better than this. Explaing an amazing awesome mystery with something so farfetched as the concept of god simply does not make sense!

  17. All facts are subjective. Just because you believe something or someone’s theories does not make it the truth for another person. We are our own Gods, each creating our own Universes.

    That is my belief. I do not expect you to have the same beliefs as me. There are many roads to enlightment and all are valid. Including atheism. I you live your life according to your adopted belief system, you will do OK, and hopefully leave this world better than when you entered it,

    We are all multidimensional beings experiencing a physical 3-D existence in this realm we know as Planet Earth

    • What ! You’re on planet Earth! I’ve always dreamed of being on planet Earth. Here on the event horizon, existing as two dimensional beings, we find life so limiting all we can do is write. To be three dimensional is a dream we never thought possible! Oh how I envy you!

      • Opher, Only your body dies when you die! You have a soul and spirit that is eternal.
        You don’t have to envy me just believe in our creator God and have a relationship
        with him. I wish you the best ! God created you to have a relationship with him.

  18. I thought the title was interesting because it was the first time I encountered it. And then the mutual comments were interesting, too.

    Maybe one should define first what they mean by God. What is God, who is God, and where did one get their definition of God or personal belief or non-belief in a supernatural deity. Or what does “supernatural deity” or “eternity” mean, or what does “soul” or “spirit” mean, etc., and how do we know that our definitions of these words are exact and accurate.

    I think if we’ll use a common point of knowledge, we’ll understand each other better and be open-minded about differences. If there is none, at least we agree that we are all human beings who are expected to respect one another’s existence and beliefs. 🙂

    • That is quite a challenge – to define terms such as God, Soul, Spirit, Deity, Eternity. I’m not sure any two people would a. define them the same b. understand the definitions supplied by others.
      We probably exist in our own universes. But I’ll have a go at defining them soon!
      Thank you for commenting.
      Communication is always good and leads to better understanding. Tolerance and respect should be the basis for all discussions and interactions. That would make for a better world.
      I respect all people’s beliefs. I just do not agree with them or believe that religion is a good thing.
      Argument is also good. Disagreement is good. With the privo that it does not lead to hate, aggression or nastiness.
      Thanks agin – Opher.

  19. Hi Opher,
    How are you doing ? God is an invisible Holy Spirit who is omniscient and omnipresent. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions. When we die our body goes into the ground but our soul and spirit remain. We are all created in the image on God with a conscience.

    When you have a relationship with God it will be easily understood. I have experienced many things in the spiritual realm both the forces of good and evil. The spiritual realm is much more active than the material realm though the majority of people have no perception of this realm.

    God says to ask, seek, knock and the door will be opened. You have not because you ask not. God loves questions. Please consider this year seeking and asking God the questions you’ve always wanted to know. I promise you God is not dead!

    Shalom, Lonna

      • Always good to hear from you Opher. You’re my favorite moral atheist !
        I like the the way you treat people. It reminds me of Jesus.
        Peace and Hugs 🙂

      • Thank you Lonna. That is praise indeed. Jesus was a great and wise man. It is an honour to think that aspects of this old atheist remind you of such a great person.
        All the best to you – Opher

  20. Your welcome Opher… I’m going to put the good word in for you to Jesus 🙂
    Opher, how do you explain these prophecies about Jesus coming true when they were made over 700 years before his birth ? Don’t you think fulfilled prophecies point to truth ?

    Regarding Jesus’ birth—Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

    Concerning Jesus’ ministry and death—Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Psalm 22:16-18: “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

    Likely the clearest prophecy about Jesus is the entire 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah 53:3-7 is especially unmistakable: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

    The “seventy sevens” prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 predicted the precise date that Jesus, the Messiah, would be “cut off.” Isaiah 50:6 accurately describes the beating that Jesus endured. Zechariah 12:10 predicts the “piercing” of the Messiah, which occurred after Jesus died on the cross. Many more examples could be provided, but these will suffice. The Old Testament most definitely prophesies the coming of Jesus as the Messiah.

    • All too vague and ambiguous for me I’m afraid. Could apply to lots of people. I would have been more impressed if there had been a description of an internal combustion engine.
      Good to hear from you Lonna.

  21. Hey all

    I have found this discussion all very interesting to read and although at parts I have grazed over some sections I would like to say a few things on what I understand of life, the universe and some of the beliefs I have.

    So first of all I agree completely that everyone has the right to believe what they want regardless of what others believe, We were not created or we have not evolved to all be the same and think the same. I am not a religious person myself but I accept that other people are and that is their choice.

    So this brings me to my first point… Choice

    The universe as I perceive it is vast and full of chance and structure some of which we as a species cannot begin to comprehend. So we choose to believe what we can comprehend no matter how likely, unlikely, believable or unbelievable it may be to others or even to ourselves. This is in my opinion is the key to what makes us who we are and how we choose to live and what we choose to believe.

    Notice how I use the word Choose and Choice a lot because this is fundamental to our own nature its how we survive and thrive .

    My second point is existence.

    Now if i look at the world around me I see 3 key elements to everything.

    Time, Space and Content (sounds odd but I will try and explain the best I can on the knowledge I have). So it is clear to all and is a known fact that Time is a man made scale to measure and to understand our own journey and better communicate it with others. It gives Choice a spectrum on which to sit so we can better understand what choices we have. On a basic level it better helps us make choices and live our lives with structure and commitment to what we believe.

    Space, This is the area around us and we move through it (as we do in time) and again we create a space around us to fit the way we like to live and we use our senses to make life enjoyable with music, films, poetry, friends, creativity so on and so forth, and again these are all choices detrimental to ourselves. We use our imagination to add excitement and splendor to better help us understand the world around us and also to understand our own self and what makes us who we are, it helps us differentiate between fact and fiction. People have similar or entirely different ideas to what is good and bad (or you could say good and evil to those who do believe in God), There are levels of acceptability and then there are levels of unacceptability and these vary from person to person and can be based on what you believe. I feel this is partly down to imagination.

    This is where I may lose some people,

    Content, Right now when you hear the word content you think of maybe a glass with some liquid or a box full of objects, So I will explain when I say content I do not think on such a small scale. When I say content I mean the vast content of Space and Time (the content of everything). It is clear we look at the immediate space around us and we can comprehend everything in it, for example i can comprehend the keyboard and all the keys I am using to type the letters to make the words that make up sentences to communicate. The point i am trying to make is although it is not yet plausible to comprehend the entire vastness of the universe, we have at least in our age learned to comprehend some of it, more so in greater numbers than just as one person. When I look at the content of the universe I myself feel I can comprehend more than others (certain parts of it) but partly due to the fact that I studied Astronomy, I developed and if you liked programmed myself to process more data by automatically processing data from repetition once learned (just like learning to use a keyboard or play an instrument). I am sure most will agree part of evolution is embedding natural responses and making those responses automatic (without having to think about the response you make or the data your brain is processing).

    Now with all that in mind…

    Firstly, It is believed that the universe may be infinite. Now I don’t rule out this theory and no one can yet prove if this is true or not (certainly not me), However I personally believe that it is not in fact infinite and that there is an end or a point where it becomes nothingness, void of light and matter and nothing from within this universe can move beyond this point, including light that cannot travel through it. I believe this not because i cannot comprehend the vast scale but because this would make sense to what I theorize. It is because of my perspective of what is around me and what I experience in my daily life.

    Secondly. I do not believe the universe has an end (as in the end of time where it would cease to exist) and on the scale of time i believe it is infinite. I perceive all the content of the universe interacts on a scale so large that it is improbable that we can learn the entire content of the universe in the time before we could possibly become extinct, although the longer we do survive as a race and the more we begin to understand using science; that belief may change should the odds be in our favor. However I theorize based on my perception that the content will never end (That’s not to say it wont change and our race may not or most probably wont survive infinity to witness this infinite content therefore making it difficult to comprehend but none the less still plausible) I come to this conclusion because I look at how short in context I will exist based on the current knowledge that a lot of time has passed where i didn’t exist I perceive my existence is just a spec on a grand scale of infinity. It has been proven there was no big bang and if anything remotely close to a big bang happened it could have been the Content changing from a form we have yet to understand. I feel this to me answers the question of how you get something from nothing… you don’t, In fact the question is irrelevant to me believing the Content has always been there infinitely (just in a way we are yet to learn given the chance) this also backs up the possibility of many other races existing before us. The dinosaurs are proof of this.

    Thirdly. If I was to believe in God or a God i feel it would impair my perception of everything as I have witnessed in my Lifetime so far. It would create more questions than give answers because I want to experience life as me and live it learning and believing what I experience and how I choose. I want to learn and do not wish to be guided by some higher being that was said to be the creator of everything. I believe if God truly existed he or she or it would not have created us to know so very little about the universe and would have given us the understanding of the universe and the Content in it. Otherwise wouldn’t his making of us be for nothing. Not to mention to watch us all die and become extinct should our planet die or become inhabitable before we are able to colonize other worlds or moons etc. This to me seems cruel if not borderline insane to do, to create something and just sit back and watch it all die, this to me seems more unlikely than time but not space being infinite.

    So to conclude I live choosing not to believe in God for the reasons I have put before you. I do not label myself a christian or an atheist etc. as I feel that would be wrong based on my perception of the universe it feels unimportant to me to have a label based on what I believe, I understand people do choose to believe and use labels to communicate what they believe to others, don’t get me wrong I do not rule out the possibility of the universe being created by God or a God or even multiple Gods I just don’t perceive that being the case myself, thus I don’t need to label myself as anything on behalf of others.

    Life is (as I understand) about learning the [Content] using the [Time] and the [Space] in which we exist to make the [Choices] we make. Its what defines us and should we choose to share the knowledge we accrue we should not force this upon others or try and change them to our ways.

    if someone asked me what is the meaning of life I would say “Life is a man made word to sum up our Time and Choices, I do not look for meaning instead I exist in Space and Content to live my tiny part of infinity making my own choices perceiving my own beliefs of everything before I no longer exist and the question becomes irrelevant. Why should I spend my entire existence pondering the meaning of life, That would just be a waste of Time”.

    I hope I do not offend anyone with my beliefs and i do not expect others to believe what I do.

    I wish you all the a meaningful existence.

    Wayne.

    • Wayne,

      Thank you for taking the time to explain your perspective of life. We are all entitled to have our own beliefs. I don’t ponder the meaning of life because I know my life has meaning in this world and the world to come. Have you ever studied apologetics. The evidence to support the truth of scripture is overwhelming. Have you ever read C.S. Lewis books? He was an Atheist and Professsor at Oxford and became a believer when he studied the evidence. You should read Mere Christianity to start. Lee Strobel was also an atheist journalist at the Chicago tribune when he began studying the evidence. Have you watched a case for the creator? Compelling evidence.

      I know with 100% certainty that God exists and this is why I don’t ponder the meaning of life.

      Lonna

      • Hi Lonna,
        Good to hear from you again. I hope you are well.
        As for me – I do not believe anything is 100%. Even the ISIS suicide bombers will have the feeting doubt as they pull the switch in fervent belief of paradise and virgins.

    • Thank you for that Wayne. I have only had time to read through it very quickly as I am off out but I will return later to read more slowly and digest at length.
      Thank you so much for such a lengthy, detailed and interesting piece. I’ll respond at length in the near future (given time and space to produce content).
      Best wishes
      Opher

  22. Hi Opher,

    Always good to hear from you. What ISIS is doing is an abomination to God. Even these things were prophesied to happen. It says a time is coming when they kill you and believe they are doing a service to God. I have over 400 Muslims as facebook friends. I have helped many radicals see that their ideology is against God. Nothing that happens is a surprise to me because it’s all outlined in scripture what will happen. We face an enemy that beieves murdering is martyrdom. Fortunately I’ve studied Islam and I can prove to even the most intellectual Muslims that Muhammad was not a prophet of God and Allah is not God. Islam
    needs reformation and we need Muslims to help in the reformation. ISIS behaves like their false prophet.

    Best to you always 🙂

    • And always good to hear from you Lonna. I hope you are doing well.
      I thoroughly agree with you that Islam needs a reformation. It’s not alone though.

  23. What an interesting page !! The flow of comments and discussion had me riveted. I must admit I only skimmed a lot of it. One of the things I found so interesting was the relationship that you and Lonna have formed in this back and forth discussion about opposing points of view. It’s so refreshing to find such communication happening in an honest and respectful manner!
    My very subjective belief in a nutshell – I absolutely believe there is an unconditionally loving Creator. I have many very personal experiences of Him/Her.
    I moved from being immersed in formal organisational based religion to a private and deeply personal spirituality. I think your comments on religion Opher hit the mark beautifully. Much good has been done in the name of religion, but then so has much more harm and bad.
    Raili

    • Thank you for your words. They are much appreciated. I think there is a big difference between spirituality and personal belief and the dogma and arrogance of formal religion. I’m at home with a sunset, by the sea, with the beauty of rocks around me. It’s enough for me.

      • I always remember that poem Bob Dylan wrote about Woody Guthrie. It ended with a verse on god/spirit – ‘you can find it in the church of your choice or at the bottom of Grand Canyon at sundown’.
        Mine’s Grand Canyon. It gives me energy and all the awe and wonder I can handle.

      • I went to the bottom of Grand Canyon with my Dad shortly before he died. It was an experience that will live with me for ever.

  24. Ooops – meant to say I had a stroll through your art gallery and tried to leave a comment but it wouldn’t let me. Very Picasso-esque. Colourful too. I enjoyed it.

    • Glad you enjoyed the Art. I love the Picasso comparison but I know I’m not near that league. I love doing it though. Creativity is a major positive force in my life. It gives me purpose. I aim to leave this world the richer for me having spent my life here. I hope to be a positive force.

      • So important. Many souls are lost hot having found their purpose for being. Makes me wonder if that is one of the root causes of all the woes and addictions.

      • Not having a pupose is sad. It creates a vacuum that is filled by all manner of pointless rubbish. Yet there are so many creative ventures and important causes to be involved with. There’s a world out there that needs improving in a million different ways – if only people woulod get involved!

  25. Ralli, Thank you for your kind comments. Opher is absolutely awesome! I’ve put in a good word for him with God 🙂 Opher is a very moral atheist and I respect his views. I love sunsets too Opher. Warmest Regards, Lonna

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