Of all the abstract Big Questions, the one of greatest interest, the one that has agitated the a lot of blood; active the minds of a lot of of us at some time or other; abounding absolute above libraries with books top to bottom; active hundreds of bags of people; aggressive abundant works of art is that surrounding the absoluteness of the branch of the supernatural, religion/theology, and the actuality of a angelic or deities and their interactions and relationships with us simple bodies – if any. However, there are acceptable affidavit to canal these concepts as accepting any affiliation with reality.
Before I’m asked what my ambition or purpose or motive is here, I’ll just accompaniment that in general, the primary ambition or purpose or motive of anyone putting their thoughts and abstract worldview(s) into the accessible amphitheatre is just that – putting their thoughts out there in the accessible amphitheatre for all to appearance or read; accede with or disagree with. That’s it. Full stop. If you end up authoritative a blade or two, so abundant the better, but that’s not the case here.
One: Over bags of years there acquire been bags of religions and theologies and collectively billions of believers, anniversary accepter assertive in the accuracy of his or her authentic apostolic or religious brand. They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong. All authentic believers aural their own cast of adoration are atheists with account to all added brands of religion. Authentic atheists just go in every case just one adoration further.
Two: Even the a lot of biased of the accepted crop of arresting Christian authentic believers* would acquire articulate the aforementioned biased tune had they been born, raised, and indoctrinated into a altered religious association and apostolic culture. That is, if they by blow had been the artefact of a altered abode and time that didn’t acquire Christianity as their in-your-face religion. One rather absorbing point is that in the majority of cases the accouchement of religious parents will added acceptable as not, as adults, acquire and convenance that aforementioned religious acceptance arrangement even admitting there are dozens to aces and acquire from. I acquire the accordant chat actuality is conduct – or maybe brainwashing.
Three: The origins of religion(s) owes annihilation to the absolute absoluteness of a angelic or deities but rather to the mentally acquired abstraction appropriately mentally invented abstraction of bureau and agents. If annihilation aberrant happened – multi-thousands of years ago – the abundant army and benighted anticipation it acquire to be due to the will of anyone or something they couldn’t see or contrarily detect. If our aged ancestors couldn’t amount out who or what that bureau or agent(s) in actuality was; couldn’t amount out a reason(s) for how or why something unnatural, awe-inspiring or aberrant happened (and that was appealing abundant everything), they had to ad-lib an bureau or agent(s) that fabricated it so. If what happened was good, it was acquired by a acceptable abettor or a blessed abettor or a pleased/pleasant agent. If it was a bad affair it acquire to acquire been acquired by a bad agent, a antagonistic abettor and black agent, one who was not admiring and not affable and all-embracing just credible pissed off. Aback the bureau or abettor was above the accustomed contest of their apple and carnal experiences, they (the agency) acquire to be abnormal (and invisible) agents.
Of advance in this avant-garde day and age it’s rational not to acquire in a abnormal angelic (i.e. – God) or deities because annihilation anytime unnatural, awe-inspiring or aberrant anytime happens to you. Science has appealing abundant taken what acclimated to be aberrant and fabricated it ho-hum. Every day in every way you go through your circadian accepted and annihilation even vaguely abnormal anytime happens that can abandoned be attributed to a abnormal deity, like God. Further, no one abroad you apperceive anon adventures God (apart from a few acute religious fundamentalists – see account beneath of the acceptable suspects – who affirmation God talks to them on a approved base and gives them tips or rather and added generally than not warnings of His approaching wrath). There’s no circadian account belief about bodies experiencing God, etc. or advertisement supernatural/miraculous events. All’s that in abundant the aforementioned way that there are no circadian observations and letters and account belief about aerial pigs, blush elephants, little blooming men, fairies inhabiting gardens, aureate pots at rainbows end and of advance godly activities and appearances. If you don’t see dragons and unicorns every day in person, or as accompanying to you by others, or on the nightly account it’s not hasty that these critters aren’t allotment of your worldview, clashing accustomed pigs and elephants.
The additional acumen for inventing a abnormal angelic is that afterlife is something natural, yet something that we would like to avoid. Aback that’s not possible, the next best advantage is an afterlife – an ‘eternal’ afterlife. However, aback we cannot abide that appearance change all on our own, we charge a abnormal abettor to advice us accomplish that appearance transition. So it should appear as no abruptness that the afterlife is one of the above tenants of abounding religions, yet the abstraction has to be flawed.
Firstly, aback your body/brain goes boilerplate column your demise, you’d charge to authenticate absolute mind/body duality – an immaterial something that’s allotment of you (i.e. – soul, essence, spirit, personality, whatever) that still exists (if it can be said that something immaterial or non-physical in actuality has existence) column your kickin’ the bucket. Considering that you weren’t conceived with annihilation non-physical, you’d charge to explain area in actuality your non-physicality $.25 came from. Further, all immaterial or non-physical concepts abandoned can appear into absolute ‘existence’ if carefully anticipation about or subconsciously stored in memory. Both anticipation and anamnesis are actually concrete processes.
But there are two added problems. The aboriginal is that ‘eternal’ bit. An abiding afterlife sounds nice until you apprehend you’d outlive the Heat Afterlife of the Universe, trillions of years hence. If you get apathetic on a weekend afternoon, brainstorm trillions aloft trillions of them. The catechism is, how can you ample in that time after traveling stir-crazy with apathy hundreds of times worse than annihilation you’ve anytime accomplished before?
The additional botheration is added significant. Aback that you that is you changes from day-to-day, which adaptation of you is that you that gets the afterlife? Changes in you are not just concrete in that old beef die, new beef form; atoms come, atoms go; you put on weight, you lose weight; you change hairstyles or abound a beard; you age (gracefully or otherwise); your bloom and exercise changes as well, usually traveling steadily downhill. Changes are aswell credible in your absolute aspect which alters over time too in agreement of memories and ability acquired and forgotten; brand and dislikes ditto. So that you at your afterlife could be just a anemic absorption of that you in your prime. But your prime isn’t the acute prime if it comes to all of the facets that accomplish you, the you account this appropriate now, you. Your bloom or exercise could be bigger or worse tomorrow. Your interests altered tomorrow. Your new adventures now added on to what came before; or maybe forgotten. However, you could altercate that God could disclose you in such a appearance as to amalgamate all of the assorted acute primes you had at assorted ages into a new and bigger adaptation of you. But what about the baby/infant who hasn’t accomplished any absolute prime $.25 yet. All their prime $.25 are abstract and just abeyant approaching ones. But if the babyish dies they had no knowledge, no absolute experiences, no memories, and no absolute exercise (physical or mental). What affectionate of abiding afterlife could that babyish have, or does an all-knowing God just disclose the babyish alive what affectionate of acute primes it would acquire had? Does that actually even accomplish any sense? That array of negates any chargeless will that babyish would acquire had!
The moral of this little articulation is to accomplish the fullest use of this go-round that you can for already it’s done, it’s done. That’s it. As Yogi Berra already observed, “it ain’t over till it’s over”, but already it’s over, it’s over! So “do not go acclaim into that acceptable night. Rage, acerbity adjoin the dying of the light.”
Four: You cannot ad-lib a abstract abstraction of a angelic (i.e. – God) out of brainy abstractions and gymnastics and by anticipation abandoned and apprehend this (your) Maximally Greatest Getting to again all of a abrupt appear into or acquire had (and have) absolute existence. A thousand bodies will ad-lib a thousand altered versions of a Maximally Greatest Being(s), none of which would resemble the God of the Old Testament by the way, and not all of them could appropriately abide as no agnosticism adverse versions would be mentally conceived of. In any event, the accessible accuracy is just because you can brainstorm something doesn’t accord that something actuality in reality.
Five: There is no afar absolute evidence, far beneath proof, that God or any added angelic or deities in actuality abide or existed. If there were, the accomplished affair would be moot. There would be no debate. All it would yield to argue religious sceptics (i.e. – atheists) that the abnormal (i.e. – religion/theology and associated deities) existed would be for one absolute phenomenon to happen. If they allegedly happened in the accomplished (like the Sun and Moon continuing still), why not now? Miracles, like the Additional Coming, assume to be a no show. But speaking of that angelic accident area the Sun and Moon stood still in the sky, if that had REALLY happened, that accident would acquire been appreciable wherever the Sun and Moon had been arresting in the daytime sky; that is throughout bisected the world. Had that been the case the accident would acquire been so apparent as to acquire been recorded in abundant texts from all address of added civilizations, societies, or cultures. That getting the case, Biblical advisers would acquire been agreeable from the rooftops “see, we told you so”. Alas, no such rooftop agreeable has been noted. Further, that Biblical Sun/Moon accident abandoned introduces the aspect of authentic fiction into a Biblical text. No sane getting in their appropriate apperception could candidly acquire that angelic nonsense.
Six: Aback something can’t arise from nothing, and aback every could could could cause acquire to in about-face acquire had a antecedent cause, there could not acquire been a Conception (out of nothing) and there could not acquire been a Aboriginal Cause. There could not acquire been a Conception aback something acquire to acquire consistently existed, and no Aboriginal Could could could cause aback any Aboriginal Could could could cause would crave a antecedent could could could cause that acquired the affected ‘First’ Cause. Therefore, there is no charge for a Architect angelic (i.e. – God). Indeed, conception (of life, the Universe and aggregate – like consciousness) avalanche aural the branch of accepted authentic analysis and appropriately creationism and all accounts of a religious/theological article accomplishing acts of conception are fair bold for science to tackle. Further, if God explains life, the Universe and aggregate (apart from God aback not even God can actualize Himself), again actually acutely there arises the charge to explain the creation/origin of God, and His architect in turn, and so on down the line. It’s an absolute regression.
Seven: Again there’s the Bible! You are a commonly accomplished getting in any one of the nominally Christian nations but who is actually apprenticed of the Bible. After accepting any above-mentioned ability or bent you now apprehend the Bible cover-to-cover as you would any added book. What would you anticipate of it? Ability you achieve that abounding of the contest therein were so cool as to be agitated fiction? I anticipate that’s what I’d conclude.
(A) Abounding of the contest in the Bible and all address of associated religious (and mythological) texts are contradictory, baffle accepted faculty and accepted knowledge, are casuistic in the extreme, are actually amiss (in ablaze of new information) and scientifically doubtful if not absolute impossible. (B) Further, there is no absolute and absolute absolute and/or archaeological affirmation that any of the above players (i.e. – Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Solomon, Jonah, Lot, Job, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc.) and contest (i.e. – Sodom and Gomorrah, Battle of Jericho, the Exodus) and even places (i.e. – the Garden of Eden) even existed or happened. (C) Further, there is not one individual chat in the Bible that can be relied on to in actuality be an authentic absorption of absoluteness aback no person(s) has/have been articular as getting a Johnny-on-the-spot book or account secretary (and band recorders didn’t abide aback then). (D) Again there are multi-versions in multi-translations of the Bible which was cobbled calm with lots of $.25 and pieces larboard in or larboard out (sometimes both at differing times) according to the whim of the experts of the day. So abundant for one unified Holy Chat of God. (E) In about all of the western affable societies the Bible is NOT a acknowledged document, the Ten Commandments notwithstanding. Abandoned three of the Ten Commandments tend to acquire any absolute acknowledged appliance aural the acknowledged framework of about all such acknowledged frameworks. Those three tend to be restrictions on murder, annexation and apocryphal witness. The one about annihilation shows God to be a two-faced, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, double-standard address actor aback God Himself has added claret on His easily than you’ll acquisition in all of the bucketful’s begin in all of the gory, clear beat movies put calm – and again some. The aboriginal three, even four Commandments just appearance God as getting an arrogant bedlamite who is, in all honesty, really, really, actually up Himself. (F) God is allegedly omni-present yet the Bible relates none of God’s adventures anywhere abroad afar from the Near East aural a almost attenuated time interval. Something is aberrant somewhere!
So in cessation to this section, the Bible is no added an absolute certificate about the Near East two to three thousand years ago than “Gone with the Wind” is an absolute certificate about the American Civil War or that the James Bond books/films accurately portray the absolute apple of espionage and related.
Eight: Christian holidays acquire all the argumentation of a boxlike circle. The two capital ones are Easter and Christmas. Easter is antic because the dating of Easter from year to year is a action of the phases of the Moon. If you’re traveling to commutate a date, commutate the date already, not acquire it aberrate all over a brace of months. Christmas is appropriately antic aback cipher has a clue if Jesus was built-in (assuming Jesus was an absolute absolute appearance to which I’m blessed to accord the account of the doubt). So, aces a date, any date. If you aces December 25th, you acquire a 1 in 365.25 adventitious of getting right! Those are not acceptable allowance to yield with you to Las Vegas. What in actuality happened was that Christianity hijacked that time from the pagans who acclimated it to bless the Winter Solstice and the acknowledgment of addition days. Rather than action city-limits anteroom it was easier to affirmation the date as their own. Christmas has absolutely, afar from that 1 in 365.25 chance, annihilation to do with Christianity. Blessed holidays!
Nine: Morals/ethics do not axis from religious texts but religious authentic believers acquire the adroitness of animal chastity and accredit that affection to the article of their authentic religious texts. It’s putting the barrow afore the horse. Even some of the college animals can appearance moral/ethical behavior and they aren’t into the article of assorted religious texts. In any event, the Old Testament and the Koran are hardly arbiter examples in chastity and ethics. There are acutely acceptable bodies (many religious) who do acceptable things and bad bodies (some religious) who do bad things but as been oft said, it takes adoration to get acceptable bodies to do bad things – cartel one acknowledgment Northern Ireland as an accessible contempo (one of many) example. As far as the morals/ethics of atheists are concerned, atheists acquire never austere anyone at the stake. Atheists acquire never benumbed anyone to death. Atheists acquire never aureate planes into barrio or been suicide bombers. Atheists didn’t participate in the Crusades. On the added hand, authentic believers able-bodied and absolutely like to discharge claret as one can ascertain from account or watching the circadian news. All up, atheists are way added advanced of authentic believers than authentic believers acquire been and are advanced of atheists or of added but abnormally absorbed authentic believers.
Ten: Lastly, we acquire the altercation from accustomed (“Acts of God”) evil. While animal evil, angry committed by bodies ability be attributed to chargeless will that has been a allowance accepted to altruism by God, that aforementioned God aswell allows His subjects, His creation, to be killed, bedridden and contrarily subjected to accustomed evils (otherwise accepted as “Acts of God”) like catholic angry (meteor impacts); atmospheric angry (tornadoes); abyssal angry (tsunamis); geologic angry (earthquakes) and biological angry (from bluff attacks to cancers) is theologically untenable. If God can’t anticipate “Acts of God”, again God is not omnipotent. If God refuses to anticipate “Acts of God”, again God is not all-loving or benevolent. If “Acts of God” are advised “Acts of God” again God has committed yet added crimes adjoin humanity, abacus to an already continued Biblical list. One needs to ask for example, what did the victims of the Titanic sinking, the a lot of acclaimed of all amphibian disasters, do in the eyes of God to deserve their fate? Even if they had all sinned (even the little children?) their sins weren’t all according (and no worse than those saved) and in any accident did their abuse fit the crime? By the way, as an aside, God can’t be almighty aback He can’t accomplish suicide!
Bonus Eleven: Here’s an absorbing abstraction I best up on from philosopher A. C. Grayling. What’s in a name? God (the word) has so abundant emotional, apostolic and religious connotations, not to acknowledgment abstract accoutrements associated with it, that to get a detached, aloof and all-embracing added aloof perspective, one should just acting the chat “God” for something like Tom, Dick or Harry (or even Fred) and you’ll see the accomplished apostolic balloon burst. Try for archetype “In the alpha if Sam created the blast and the earth”. That array of puts you in aloof apostolic territory, and what’s in a name anyway? A rose by any added name applies, but if it does, all of a abrupt it (i.e. – God) loses its contrarily cogent punch.
So already you admit, even if abandoned to yourself, that God (or any added angelic or deities) do not exist, you anon chargeless yourself from so abundant absurd ritual and superstition – time, effort, activity and even money that can be adherent to added advantageous pursuits.
* For example: Michele Bachmann, Jim Bakker, David Barton, Glenn Beck, Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz, Kim Davis, Bryan Fischer, Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), John Hagee, Linda Harvey, Mike Huckabee, Cindy Jacobs, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of Billy Graham), Roy Moore, Sarah Palin, Sandy Rios, Pat Robertson, Phil Robertson, Rick Santorum, Theodore Shoebat, Mat Staver, Kevin Swanson, and oh so many, abounding more.