A Unique Day at Work

This is a story about something that happened to me at work a few days ago.

 So that morning when getting ready for work, I woke up earlier than usual so I had a little time to burn.  I checked the blog.  Checked Facebook, made a few comments, and watched a few YouTube vids.  Then headed off to work.  It was really a very normal day.

Less than an hour after I arrived one of my co-workers who sits only a few cubicles from me named Mike rolled his chair over to me very discreetly and said…..  “I didn’t know you were an atheist.”

In shock I don’t even remember what I said, but it was probably along the lines of…  “Ah, huh, What?!?!?!?”

Mike had gone onto Facebook and noticed I had made a comment onto a blog page between atheist & theist.  The blog page had asked people to respond to what is their religious or non-religious belief.  And how long have they been that way.  I responded of course….Atheist, 1 Year…

(It was funny, because the majority of atheist who responded to the post said they have been an atheist all their life.  I was the only that said anything under 3 years.)

The only thing I remember mustering out of my mouth was, “I didn’t mean to leave that up.  I’m gonna take that down.”

“Yeah you might want to do that.” Replied Mike

I was wide eyed at that moment, because Mike had now discovered my secret.  Yeah I have told a few people, but I am not totally out of the atheist closet.  Another reason for alarm and anxiety at that moment was because Mike and I knew some of the same Christian Folk.  Mike goes to church on a very regular basis.  At least twice a week.  His son is an up and coming youth minister.  That is married to the pastor’s daughter.  We both know some of the same people in this area that work in Ministry.  Mike has seen me read my bible at work and talk about ministry, god, and Jesus.  We have both engaged into these type of discussions.

Then came the reply that really blew me away…..  “It’s okay, I am too.”  He said very discreetly.  “It just never really makes no logical sense.”

I went from a moment of anxiety and sweat, to a smile on my face.  (But of course, that was after I took down the post comment)

I told him nobody really knows except for a few people.  Not even SLY knows.  “Oh, yeah.  You better take it down before he sees it.  You need to do that.”  Replied Mike.   SLY is a co-worker of ours and a longtime friend of mine that I have known since college and getting saved.  He is a 5-Point Presuppositionalist Presbyterian Reformed Calvinist.  A.K.A…. He is not afraid to be confrontational to express his views of a Biblical Worldview.  I made sure to take it down before he saw it.  I do want to tell SLY one day, but not while we still work at the same job.  That would cause to much controversy and debating for a professional work environment.

All in All, It was refreshing to know there is fellow non-believer sitting a few seats from me.

After I took down the post and calmed down, I asked Mike if he doesn’t believe any of it, why does he go to church so much on a regular basis.  He answered.  “My Son, it saved his life. I don’t see nothing wrong with it, if it makes you a better person.”

Posted in atheism, atheist, emotions, life, Response, unbelief | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

What if Superman behaved like God?

Jesus saved the world just like Superman

Jesus saved the world just like Superman

When I first saw the initial picture of Jesus talking to Spiderman, Captain America and The Hulk, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself.  As to how silly this picture really makes the ideology of Jesus really look.  Even though the picture is supposed to be delivering an evangelistic message implying that Jesus is the one true superhero, who saved the world unlike these comic book characters.  To me it comes off as,  -Jesus is as real as a comic book hero.  And that the created character of Jesus, Superman and all other superheroes, are all really just fantasy.  Designed and created for the appearance that in the face of despair there is always hope and a savior figure to rescue us.  And it’s a beautiful message; but for me, all it does is reinforce the notion that God is as real as a Superhero in a comic book.

“I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman!”

—Homer Simpson

In perspective the notion of quoting the Bible as proof of God is as similar & silly as quoting a comic book as proof of Spider-Man.  As one blogger put it, it’s the Spiderman Problem:  If someone justifies a belief in part or in whole upon a religious document, then we must have some independent grounds for thinking that what the document says is true.  The fact that Issue 122 says that the Green Goblin dies while fighting Spiderman, is not sufficient to prove that there is such a being as Green Goblin or that he is, in fact, dead.  

I think however there is one unique difference between the characters of superheroes and the character of God.  The characters of superheroes are more realistic, and are typically humanely flawed.  Were as the character of god is deeply inconsistent with his internal character.  What I mean by that is that; as one blogger put it, ‘we have made god too powerful, that he no longer makes any sense’.  Flawed in that God suffers from something called the Omni-paradox.  In that god is all-perfect and can do anything and everything, but somehow still fails.  With the classic example being that is God All-powerful, and All-Good, but can’t rid the world of evil, but instead allowing it to exist.  With this Omni-complex we have created a superhero who is no longer logical nor rational.

Most importantly this leads us to the biggest paradox comparison between God, Jesus, and Superheros.  That it is blatantly obvious; that our made up fictional comic superheros are more Moral than God.  God is nowhere near as moral as Superman or the majority of superhero characters in comic books.  Just Imagine:  What if Superman had the same moral compass as God?  Could you imagine the pastor preaching the message, that we all need to go to church on Sunday and worship Superman on the Sabbath or Superman may kill us like the guy who picked up sticks last Sunday(Numbers 15:32-35).  Or Superman kills a man for reading another comic.  Or because he is angry at the world and wants to throw a temper tantrum and drown everybody(Genesis 6:6-7).  What kind of superhero would Superman be if he acted just like God?

Related Articles

Morality, Superheroes and the Case for the Right Thing (Heresy)

SuperGod: The Omni-Paradox (Igtheist Morgan)

If God is Superman, Jesus is Spiderman (Cog in the Wheel)

Superman as a “Christ-figure” (MessyFaithreverberantgrace)

The Ontological Philosophy of a Perfect God (The BitterSweet End)

Spiderman Made Me an Atheist (Hit and Miss)

Batman Vs. Jesus (Atheist Assessment)

Posted in attributes, attributes of God, character, christ, christian, Common Sense, debate, emotions, god, God-Breathed, inspiration, jesus, jesus the christ, jesus the messiah, messiah, ontology, probability of God, reasoning, Salvation, satirical, skeptic, skepticism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why are you an Atheist in 100 words or less?

Sometimes, when I think of the different ways to answer the question, “Why are you an atheist?”  or  “Why don’t you believe in God?”  I really can’t think of simple way to answer that question.  I truly fell like I am atheist by default; what else should I call myself when one comes to discover that the christian god of the bible does not exist.  (My complete answer is actually really long.)

When I think of different ways of how I would actually answer depending on who was asking or why they were asking?  Do I give the conclusion, the story, or just the end result of the why?  Are they asking about Christianity or some generic metaphysical god?  Is it the God of the Bible or a more liberal version of the Christian God?  or are they wanting to know Why I don’t believe in God or Why I am an atheist?

So I would like to here from the masses on this one.  Why are you an atheist in 100 words or less?

Related Articles

 

Posted in atheism, atheist, deconversion, Free-Thought, Musings for Life, occam's razor, reason, reasoning, religion, skeptic, skepticism, unbelief | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

200th Post

It’s another milestone for the Bittersweet End Blog.

My 200th post

I never would have thought when I first started blogging that I would have enjoyed it so much nor reaching 200 completed post (and also 60,000 views).

One thing that I have thinking about alot more since I de-converted and stopped going to church is Inspiration and Purpose.  What I mean by that, is that to a certain degree I have to relearn about what makes me tick, what makes me happy, what gives me purpose.  I have to relearn ME.

And its not too difficult of a task, because much about me has not changed.  I love being a father.  I enjoy time with the kids and the family.  I like to laugh and smile.  I like enjoying life.

But I also have to learn what motivates me and gives me inspiration.  Because previously all my inspiration moments of purpose came from religion and church.  That for me I am learning to draw inspiration from other peoples and sources.  like poetry and literature.  I am learning to draw inspirations from other peoples success.  But most importantly, I must learn to draw inspiration from my myself.  And motivate myself to keep moving forward.

And I hope that I can keep the passion, be persistent in life, persevere through all trials and tribulations and keep moving forward into success to accomplish all things that inspire me in life.

“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, Rest if you must, but don’t ever quit.”
Posted in inspiration, life, Musings for Life, occam's razor, Philosophy for Life, purpose, quote, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Faith Check

 

Posted in atheist vs christian, belief, christian faith, message, reasonable evidence, religion, unbelief, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I NEVER lost my faith; (A Fleeting Moment of Realization)

It was a weekday, and I had just got off work.  I had got into my car to drive home,  And I had made the turn out of the parking lot passing the Steak n Shake to my left.  Then the thought hit me hard; mentally and emotionally…..

‘God Probably Does Not Exist…’

I waited at the light for a moment, then made the right turn onto the main street.  And then thought to myself, If God does not exist, whats protecting me from getting into a car crash at this very moment?  Who has been watching over me and protecting all these years of my life?  Then the next thought entered into my mind.

‘…..Nobody….No-one…’

Then I quickly rejected the thought, because I did not like it.  And it scared me.

Out of all my moments in my de-conversion process this is the one that really stands out to me the most.  It was the first moment that I ever truly considered that God realistically could not exist.  That there was no supreme being looking out over me, watching me, and protecting me.  It was a very scary thought initially, because at that moment I never really considered that God could not really exist.  Yes, I doubted God, but never really considered what living in a world where God did not exist would be like.  I never really considered my life without God.

As one CNN article put it, when summarizing the feeling of God being a supreme protector & comforter.

“(I) needed hope, and (I) needed to believe that there was something bigger than (myself) that would guide and protect them and keep the whole crush of life from pressing down on them.”

And this was exactly how I felt, the idea of God not existing was not only scary but it also gave me a feeling of anxiety.  Thinking about it in hindsight, it is alot for someone to digest; that there whole way of thinking about thinks was wrong for 20-something years of my life.  And even though it was a fleeting moment, it was the first and most vital moment into me not my faith, but into gaining insight.

This takes me back to something I wrote to one of my church elders about losing faith. “… the reality of a godless world is much more truer, than you might think.  America is not becoming a godless society, we have always lived in a world without god, some of us just didn’t know it until now.”  The thing about my de-conversion and this is quote is that I NEVER lost my faith.

I did not lose faith, I lost a delusion.  How can I lose something I never had.  It wasn’t real.  It wasn’t tangible.  I lost a delusion and gained insight.  For example; if you are wearing Blue tinted glasses and you take them off, did you lose sight or did you gain sight?

P.S. I do apologize before hand for those who are offended by the word delusion, but there is no really better word to describe faith in a religious god.  
Posted in atheism, atheist, deductive reasoning, doubt faith, emotions, Free-Thought, Musings for Life, probability of God, quote, skeptic, skepticism, unbelief | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

Originally posted on Violent metaphors:

“A cousin of my mom’s survived Polio and lived the rest of his life with its effects. He was not expected to live past his teens but made it to his 40s. I am grateful that modern science can protect us from Polio and other diseases and I choose to take advantage of modern science to give my kid better odds of not dying from a preventable disease. I had heard a lot of noise from people claiming vaccines caused Autism, but never saw any clear evidence. It just seemed to me like people really wanted to point to something as the cause and they latched onto vaccines.”–Jennifer

I have been getting into a lot of discussions about whether vaccines are safe in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s because of a post going viral about a (terrible) Italian court ruling last year (In contrast, American courts

View original 2,389 more words

Posted in religion | 2 Comments

The Christian-Atheist Perspective of People

Now I usually don’t like to put up sartirical videos, but this one has a level of truth to it.

Comments by the Creator of the Video:  This video contains some insane things I’ve heard. You can see how the ridiculousness of these double standards and assumptions glare when I arrange them side by side. Whatever trait you blame on atheism or attribute to religion, I can point to an abundance of examples to the contrary – and the excuses are usually quite laughable and transparent.

Posted in atheist, atheist vs christian, christ, christian, christian faith, youtube | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Collection of Failed and Discrepant Bible Prophecy

Personally, I am not an expert in Bible prophecy nor I am studied in this topic.  So what I decided to do was put together a collection of failed biblical prophecy and general articles on failed biblical prophecy.  Just a quick note for the reader; this is dealing specifically with predictions and prophecies made in the bible.  Not general end-time prophecies made by churches or weird christians.

“A failed prophecy is one of the surest signs of a man-made Bible, for God’s prophecy cannot fail. What greater failure can we find than Jesus’ central prediction that the world would come to an end in the first century?” -(By Dave E. Matson, Common Sense Versus The Bible: Prophecy in the Bible)

Failed Predictions of Christ Return featuring distinguished early church fathers and the book of Thessalonians.

Is Failed Prophecy- Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration? with a  laundry listing  of unfulfilled prophecies in the bible.  

According to the Bible “End Time Prophecies” that should have happened! 

And another listing of unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible with explanation presented by Black Jesus

Digital Bits and Skeptics presents Bible Prophecies and Myths

Jesus’ Failed Prophecy About his Return

Bible Verses Rarely Read on the Signs of the End Times

A General listing of failed prophecies 

Nate from the Finding Truth Blog has his own personal study on several major discrepancies on Biblical Prophecy.

A Christian response to supposed failed Bible Prophecy

One of the biggest bible blunders of prophecy is when the Gospels talk about the second coming of Jesus.  Even C.S. Lewis surrenders that this context of scripture is a sore part of rational thought for the christian community.  In one part of Lewis’ writing The Last Night,  he described it as ‘certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.’

 

Posted in bible, bible contradictions, bible study, biblical difficulties, christ, christian faith, christian fraud, christian history, early christian history, fraud, inspiration, jesus, jesus the christ, jesus the messiah, messiah, miracle, occam's razor, prophecy, religion, Response, scriptural difficulties, skepticism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Atheist by Default

For me personally, when I think of my non-belief in a formal fashion and think of all the different -isms out there, I have to be honest.  I can relate to all of them, and to a degree they all define me.

I am all the above skeptic, atheist, agnostic, free-thinker. humanist.  Ignostic, non-theist, anti theist.  I am all of the above by definition, but no one defines me.

Continue reading

Posted in agnostic, atheism, atheist, confusion, emotions, Free-Thought, freedom, freethinker, occam's razor, paul the apostle, Philosophy for Life, purpose, skeptic, skepticism, unbelief | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Daniel Everett’s Deconversion

This is a very interesting de-conversion story of Daniel Everett as he tried to evangelize to an indigenous (atheist) Amazonian Tribe.  And in his attempt to convert them, he himself converted to a non-believer.

*He also has a book about this journey called Don’t Sleep there are Snakes.

I think the part that stood out to me in his story, is when the Pirahas people asked him; “Is this Jesus tall or Short?”  Is this Jesus dark-skin or fair-skin like you?”  and he had to admit to them that all this time he had been telling them about this man named Jesus that he did not actually know and never actually met.  And that he was just repeating a story someone told him about Jesus.

Daniel struggled in trying to witness to the Pirahas people because when they would ask him practical questions about his abstract faith, God and Jesus, he could not give not a practical answer back.

Related Articles:

Some Thoughts About Faith and Belief, A Life Times Two
Losing Religion in the Amazon -Daniel Everett’s Story, Skeptic Money
Missionary Deconverted by Amazon Tribe, The Friendly Atheist
Daniel Everett: Don’t Sleep there are snakes, Asylum
Daniel Everett and the Piranha Tribe, Ex Exclusive Brethren Agnostic/Atheists thoughts
Archives of Daniel Everett, WooWoo Verse

 

Posted in agnostic, atheist, belief, Book Review, christ, christian faith, christian fraud, christian history, deconversion, god, jesus, jesus the christ, jesus the messiah, laws of logic, life, messiah, reason, reasonable evidence, skepticism, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Life after Church

Last Month I turned thirty,  The Big 3-0….WOW.

And I completed two years of blogging.

I have to admit that since I no longer believe in God and lost my religion.  I find my life much more refreshing, but also at times much more mentally & emotionally challenging at times.  What I mean by that, is that I have learned to relax and enjoy life more, knowing that I only have one know.  (YOLO!!!)  To enjoy the little things in life.  However before I became a non-believer; church and prayer were used as stress reliever and a kinda placebo effect in making me feel better.  But now that placebo is gone, I have to learn with dealing with stress head on.

I sometimes wonder how does someone who is 40 or 50 handle their de-conversion.  Do they feel like they missed out on life?  Do they get the feeling that they wasted their life?  Cause I surely do feel that way sometimes.  I sometimes feel, that all that energy I have used doing countless hours of ministry work and going to church and praying.  I could’ve have actually done something with that time, that would have helped me out in my career.  That is probably the one regret I think about the most now.  That if it wasn’t for my religion & my faith, I could have been much farther in my career and developing career skillset.  That is something I constantly think of.  Well maybe I shouldn’t stress out about it too much, cause I do have my family and two beautiful kids.  So I guess I’ll mark that down in the win column.  And since de-converting, I have decided to take back control of my life and live it & enjoy it.

Last month, my wife and I we went to a special church service where they were doing a baby dedication.  It was at a friend of ours church.  This church is much more charismatic then the church we go to.  I don’t remember the fine details of the message, (I admit now whenever I go to church, I almost always tune out the message.)  But I do remember thinking to myself,  That this was crap.  The whole morning, the whole message, and the whole service.  I could’ve have been just as productive sitting on the couch watching T.V.  And my wife new I was irritated by these overly charismatic messages, cause they seem so much like group-think and a show.  That it is expected of you to scream, shout, and clap.  (And sometimes fall out)  I usually feel very uncomfortable in that environment cause I don’t mind faking it in church, as long as the only I have to do is stand, sit and clap.  But in these environment, sometimes that’s not good enough.  So on the way home, Mrs. Rodriguez asked me how was service? and what I thought of it.

And at first I tried to keep my cool, but I couldn’t.  I went off on a tangent of everything I thought of that service and every other church service.  I told her I thought it was crap, the whole thing was crap, and nothing but the crap from beginning to end.  In fact, I felt like I was wasting my time going to church.  I would be more productive looking at a wall.  And told her I no longer will be going to church.

—-So I now spend my Sundays starring at the wall.  (J/K).  No just joking.  I usually spend it grilling some food.  It is much more relaxing and productive than going to church.

Posted in atheism, atheist, atheist vs christian, church, message, Musings for Life, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Top Regrets Men Have At the End of Their Lives

I read this article awhile ago on the website Alternet.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called  Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called  The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Related Articles:

When you are dying, What will you regret? (CNN Opinion Article)

Facing Death (The BittersweetEnd Blog)

Live Everyday Like You are Dying (The BittersweetEnd Blog)

People grow alot more when they are faced with their own mortality (Portable Life Skills Daily Wisdom Guide)

Posted in death, human nature, inspiration, laws of logic, life, occam's razor, philosophy, Philosophy for Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Reflection of Self

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

"Lev Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana", 19...

“Lev Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana”, 1908, the first color photo portrait in Russia Français : « Léon Tolstoï à Iasnaïa Poliana », 1908, le premier portrait photographique en couleur en Russie. Suomi: “Leo Tolstoi Jasnaja Poljanassa”, 1908. Ensimmäinen Venäjällä otettu värimuotokuva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-Leo Tolstoy

Posted in Free-Thought, freethinker, inspiration, life, message, philosophy, Philosophy for Life, quote | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quote from Marcus Aurelius

A quote from Marcus Aurelius:

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Posted in Free-Thought, god, quote | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Religion vs. Science: How they are fundamentally incompatible?

This is the last post in my Religion vs Science Series. 

Different Worldviews of Faith and Science
I would definitely say that a christian/religious  worldview  contradicts that of a scientific world view.  For in a religious worldview morality, faith, God, and the bible are king. The christian worldview starts with the assumption of God, and all things are proved and derived from God.  For in a scientific worldview (If there is such a thing as a scientific worldview.) relies heavily on evidence, inductive reasoning, falsifiability and peer review evaluations.   For they both view the world differently.  For science looks for the natural explanation of things and religion searches for the supernatural as proof as validation for belief.

Epistemology of Searching for Truth
History has shown us that the church only accepts a new truth if it already agrees with their belief or as a last resort, because denying certain scientific or social truths, would make them endanger of being irrelevant, nonintellectual, or out of date.

“The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.” -Robert Ingersoll

For they both view the world and the search for truth differently.  For in the scientific community there is a overwhelming emphasis put on evidence.  For if a scientist were to believe something is true, they just can’t go out an publish an article and start proclaiming their own truth.  They must follow the scientific method, test it, validate it through years of data and evidence, then critique it with peer reviewed support were others evaluate their data and evidence.  And only after the evidence has withstood the critiquing of others can a new truth be declared.  There is no process like this in religion, for if a pastor feels that have a new revealed truth, all that pastor must do is stand in front of his pulpit and say whatever they want to say.  They don’t even need to provide evidence for the truth they feel they have.  Sure a few might request it, but they don’t need evidence for their message.  For they have faith.

Even the whole notion of faith and religion goes against the scientific method.  For faith is the substance of thing hoped for the evidence of things not seen.  (Hebrews 11:1)  It is the non-evidence to believe in whatever a person chooses to believe, –evidence is not the guiding factor of religion; faith is.

The Character of Science Vs The Character of Faith & Religion
In the world of Science, Religion, and Faith there are several key differences that make  the functionality of the two different.  In Science there is no one scientific authority, there no infallible scientific voice like in other religious denominations.  The only authority in science is the evidence to prove something true.  There is no democracy in religion, it does not matter if everybody or the congregation agrees with you.  All that matters is evidence and the scientific argument.  Science is progressive in thinking while religion is traditionalist in thinking.  It is only in religious communities, not scientific ones can you find dogmatic statements of faith.  Science is always fine tuning the scientific model to improve what we know about the physical and natural.  Were as religion is not fine tuning, it only accepts new truth as a last resort when it is in danger of becoming out of date or obsolete.

Philosophy of Certainty vs. Probability
In areas of certain cognitive truth both science and religion approach it differently.  For in the christian environment there is a level of certainty that their bible, and faith gives them a belief that the God they worship certainly exist.  And that they have a certain truth that everyone needs to hear -the good news; gospel.  In John 16:4, Jesus says with confidence and authority, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  This a favorite scripture by many Christians, for they feel with certainty that they hold absolute truth, and that all other religions don’t.  For this is not the feeling of all Christians, but I do know some personally who feels this way.  For in this type of certainty it can breed overconfidence, and in some cases arrogance of the christian who does feel this way.  According to David Kinnaman’s study in You Lost Me 35% of young Christians described the church is too overconfident in what they feel is certain, that they know all the answers.

“This should come as no surprise to those committed to science and rational thinking because there is a profound conflict between our human desire for certainty and the uncertainty of scientific knowledge. The reason is that the conclusions of science are always provisional. They are always subject to change based on new evidence. Although by no means the only reason, clearly this craving for certainty the human mind appears to demand is likely to be a major force that drives people into the arms of religion, even radical religions that have clearly irrational views, such as the idea that flying planes into large buildings and killing thousands of people is a one-way ticket to heaven.” -(ScienceBlogs.org, Knowledge versus certainty in skepticism, medicine, and science

In the scientific mindset, it’s the other way around there is no absolute certainty, but the assuredness that your results and belief will be critiqued with a fine comb to ensure your results serve as true.  This serves as a constant reminder to the scientist, that they are not the sole champions of truth.  Which is not something that seen in a evangelical christian viewpoint, for the more zealous the christian the more they feel that they are the sole proprietor of truth.

In religious thinking, often this is unacceptable. What is unacceptable is not a scientist that says I know, but it’s a scientist that says I don’t know, and how could you know? Based, at least in many religions, in some religions, or in some ways of being religious, an idea that there should be truth that one can hold and not be questioned….So summarizing, I think science is not about data; it’s not about the empirical content, about our vision of the world….For Science is not about certainty. Science is about finding the most reliable way of thinking, at the present level of knowledge. Science is extremely reliable; it is not [absolute] certainty.” -(Science is not about Certainty, Edge.org

Related Articles

 

Posted in bible, character, christian, christian faith, contradiction, cumulative case, debate, deductive reasoning, faith, Free-Thought, freedom, freethinker, god, life, logic, occam's razor, purpose, quote, read your bible, reason, reasonable evidence, reasoning, religion, religion vs. science, skeptic, skepticism, theology, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Religion vs. Science: The Thinking of Evidence vs. Faith

For really where they contradict is in the thinking of evidence and faith and how it applies to daily worldviews.  That you can live in a world where faith and religion don’t contradict, but you have to separate the domain of thinking for both of them.  That when you have your faith and go into church on Sundays, you must take off your hat of science and reason.  And vice and versa, when you go into the lab and into the office or courtroom, you must put back on your critical thinking hat and use logic, facts, and evidence, and disregard personal beliefs.

I would say its about more than being right or wrong. It’s about the idea of living in a religious world where faith reigns supreme and religious over facts and evidence.  That something is true based on evidence not religious faith.

The most essential conflict between science and religion is not in their conclusions — such as evolution, the heliocentric solar system, or the origin of disease — but in their ways of arriving at their conclusions. The fundamental disagreement is in how, rather than in what.

Religion relies on authority — from a person, book, or tradition — and its Truth is supposed to be universal and eternal. But in science, the authority is in the evidence and reasoning, which are always open to challenge; so science’s truth is relative and tentative.

A scientific investigation starts with a question, and tries to reach a conclusion by finding evidence and applying reason. A theological investigation, though, starts with a conclusion, and tries to wiggle around any impediments of evidence and logic in order to justify that conclusion.

To superstitious people, things not understood might be assigned to the realm of supernatural whims, which to a scientist represents a very pessimistic outlook. But as things that were once not understood become understood, this realm gets smaller and smaller. For example, most of us no longer attribute bad weather and disease to curses, mental disease to possession by devils, or earthquakes, storms, and eclipses to angry gods.

An interesting item along this line is that Isaac Newton had a small deficiency between his calculations of the motions of planets and the actual observations, so he invoked the hand of God. But a century later the great mathematician Laplace made better calculations with Newton’s own equations and showed that there was no such deficiency.

Strangely, although religious people nowadays don’t usually blame the god for illnesses and other catastrophes, they tend to credit the god for any relief from these!

It’s true that many intelligent people embrace both science and religion. They seem to compartmentalize their thinking; it’s as if they use different parts of the mind for science and religion, with hardly any interconnection between those parts. They adopt the comfortable myth that there isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a conflict between science and religion. -(Edgar Pearlstein, Professor of Physics at the University of Nebraska) 

For this is what is implied when people say that science and religion don’t contradict, cause what they really mean is that you have to separate the two worldviews in order for them to coexist.

“Science and religion are fundamentally incompatible because of their unequivocally opposed epistemologies.” -Victor Stenger

In the presentation of ideas, science starts with evidence; but religion starts with (unproven statements of) faith.  If you were to ask any Christian/Muslim did God create the heavens and earth?  Almost all would say Yes; But follow that question up with, Can you prove it? Can you provide empirical evidence for this?  And has this evidence been peer reviewed with similar conclusion by others with a high level of scientific expertise?

For this is where the difference is…In how things are evaluated and concluded.  For in a scientific world.  Things are concluded after a careful process of testing, and evaluation.  Yet, in a religious mindset, things are concluded on faith…tell me which method of conclusion would you prefer to have?

Related Articles:

Posted in apologetics, belief, christian history, evolution vs. creation, fallacious, fallacious reasoning, Free-Thought, freethinker, history, inductive reasoning, Intelligent Design, logic, probability of God, reasonable evidence, reasoning, religion, religion vs. science, scientist, skeptic, skepticism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Religion vs. Science: How and Where they Contradict?

In my previous post I talked about how among the opinion of the general populace that even though many say that there is no contradiction among religion and science.  The christian community is struggling in this area because nearly a full third recognize that church, science, religion and biblical Christianity are irreconcilable.  Even televangelist Pat Robertson recognizes the controversy.

Now for most who believe that the irreconcilable differences between religion and science are limited to just the controversy of evolution.  I beg to differ, I would say it goes much farther and deeper than that.  When I was doing some reading and studying to prepare this post, I was reading one christian article that took the stance that science and faith ‘never‘ contradict, but then when on to say “that there is nothing unbiblical about the scientific method as such. God made light, matter, water, plants, animals, and humans.”  Which I found a very obtuse statement, because science never affirms this statement.  In fact, when a scientist goes into the lab to do his or her experiments, he assumes no god.  Because that is the way science works.  Now I am not saying that a scientist can’t believe in God, what I mean is that for the scientist to do his job effectively he can’t take God into the lab.  He can’t presuppose god in his or her experiments.—-He Assumes NO God!!!

“My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.”  — J.B.S. Haldane  In Fact and Faith (1934), vi

The Contradiction between religion and science lies more in the minds and hearts of people in that most people keep the two separate, and never bring them under the same roof of thought.  For the most part they don’t overlap; however their are areas in our lives and history where the two go to battle.  As Albert Einsteen said the… “content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science.”  Meaning that the issue is not do religion and science holistically conflict, but in what areas do they conflict?  

In early history, the first major quarrel was the Trial of Galileo.  Now in our modern history the biggest conflict has been the creationism-evolution controversy.  There are other areas where religion and science have contradicted, however now I would say it has expanded to include other things such as:

Abortion-  For most this is an issue of morality, but as well an issue of science.  For scientist, say that age of life and viability is when the unborn child can survive outside the womb.  Where Christians say life begins at conception, because that is when the fetus first has their soul.

Biblical Miracles- Miracles in the bible for if they were true, they would be contradictions of natural science: 6 Day Creation in Genesis, Talking snake, WorldWide Flood, Sun Stays Still for a Day, Bats are a type of Bird, and Living in the Belly of a Whale for 3 Days

Modern Medicine vs. Faith Healing- There are some major religious organizations that prohibit their parishioners from getting medically needed services like surgery and blood transfusion.  Those religious institutions believe that with enough prayer God will you, and that you don’t need science or medicine to overcome bodily sickness, just faith.  Even though there are countless reports of children dying of preventable conditions, all because parents refused to take their to a doctor.  

Global Warming- For many right wing conservatives do not believe this is real, in spite of what the wide majority of scientist say.

Intelligent Design- That life on earth shows signs and evidence for an intelligent designer.  This is the complete opposite of evolutionary biology and the majority of the scientific community.  Astrophysics Neil deGrasse Tyson described it more as a product of a ‘bad design.

The Resurrection of Jesus-  For if this was true, it would be by definition a miracle and a suspension of the laws of natural science.  And for secular historians and scientist, there is no relevant nor sufficient evidence in the minds of most of them to support this claim. 

Condoms and Contraception- The use of condoms and contraceptives is combated not just by the catholic church but many other religious denominations. (Mormons, LDS, Laestadianism, Muslim and Christian fundamentalist).  This is more a medical issue because for some religious families they will continue not to use contraceptives even when the mother’s life is in danger against the Doctor’s orders.

Sex Education- Many (not all)of the Religious church going types believe that the only sex education course that should be taught in school is Abstinence-only, but studies have shown that abstinence only education is ineffective.  And in fact may lead to higher teen pregnancies as is evident in the religious bible belt of america.  And is still being pushed in many schools in spite of this research.

Stem Cell Research-The main barrier to Stem Cell Research has been the religious legislation, which is why many of the research & development companies, labs, and scientist focused on this research have moved many of their facilities over seas into western Europe.

Related Articles

Posted in atheism, atheist, atheist vs christian, bible, christ, confusion, contradiction, creation, creationism, evolution, evolution vs. creation, god, Intelligent Design, jesus, jesus the christ, jesus the messiah, laws of logic, messiah, miracle, quote, reasonable evidence, reasoning, religion, religion vs. science, Response, scientist, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Religion vs. Science: Are Religion and Science Compatible?

Now some of my counterparts might disagree with this post but I must confess at the core of traditional fundamental biblical Christianity it contradicts with science.  We would be disillusioned to think that religion and science are not at war with each other.

And when I say incompatible I mean this in two ways.  That at the fundamental core of biblical Christianity, one cannot accept certain sciences that contradict with the bible and Christianity.  Now this is not mainstream cultural Christianity, but the traditional church going types, that believe the bible is authoritative word of god.  For many more moderate Christians do not believe the bible to be just another book by man.  But for those Christians who believe it to be the inspired and divine word of God, I must say you cannot accept both the bible and science.

For me personally, the acceptance  of empirical science was a small tidbit in my de-conversion from Christianity.  It wasn’t the main reason, but more of the final nail in the coffin.  If not for all the things I know about modern science, I would probably be a deist.  However after learning about Cosmology, Evolution, Physics, History, and Geology, I realized deism was just God of the Gaps.

When I first became a youth leader, I decided to read this book called You Lost Me by David Kinnaman.  In his books and research he asks why are young people leaving the church and not coming back.  And he narrowed it down to 6 major reasons to why young Christians leave the church.  And believe or not the third on the list was Science.  That the Church is anti-science.

Here is the first quote from that chapter from a young man named Matt who left the faith:

“To be honest, I think that learning about science was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I knew from church that I couldn’t believe in both science and God, so that was it.  I didn’t believe in God anymore.” (You Lost Me, By David Kinnaman pg. 131)

From Kinnaman’s studies he doesn’t find this to be the majority opinion of the masses, but its’ a very significant percentage.  According to Gallups 2005 survey nearly 30% of the population agree that science and religion are in conflict.  That is nearly 1 out of 3 people agree and admit that science and religion conflict in some way.  There is an obvious problem here, when we say that there is no contradiction between faith and science, but then we turn to history and then we see the many obstacles science has had in the classroom and in the church.  According to a 2007 poll by the Pew Forum, Americans generally respect science, but often “reject science in favor of the teachings of their faith” when evidence contradicts their belief.  Just look at that the last 100 years:

      • Scopes Monkey Trial -1925
      • Epperson vs. Arkansas -1968
      • Wright vs. Houston Independent School District -1972
      • Daniel vs. Waters -1975
      • Hendren vs. Campbell -1977
      • Webster vs. New Lenox School District -1990
      • Kitzmiller vs. the Dover Area School District -2005

If science and religion don’t contradict then why are there so many cases in our court system of creationist and teachers of evolution combating each other.  And this is just the issue of evolution.  There is still stem cell research, birth control, abortion, miracles, and the all to famous trial of Galileo.  It is blantaly evident that in some meaningful form science and religion have some irreconcible differences.  Just take the education of science; the more scientifically educated you are, the less likely you are going to believe in god.  These are the words of one christian scientist as he talked about the matter in his opinion:

“Every week, I am contacted by young Christians who tell me that their faith cannot survive their interest in science.  They feel the church has forced them into an either-or-decision, that they can either stay true to the Christian faith or become an intellectually honest scientist.” (You Lost Me, By David Kinnaman pg. 132)

Remember these numbers…this is what young Christians said (You Lost Me, pg. 136-137):

  • 29% said that Churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in.
  • 25% said that the Church is Anti-Science
  • 18% said that the Church is anti-intellectual

If we are to say that religion and science can coexist equally, yes that might be true for some but not for all.  Take this as an example (You Lost Me, pg 135):

A young Christian might watch a debate between a Bible professor and an evolutionary biologist on YouTube, read a series of blog posts on ID, and then crack open her Biology textbook to study.  After which the she’ll go to a local Bible study, where the leader may go on at length about how you can’t believe in evolution and the Bible at the same time.  Then go home for dinner where the talk of the conversation is the so called “evolution-creationism” controversy.  How can this young person truly reconcile the two world views in this type of everyday environment?

Related Articles

Posted in atheism, atheist, atheist vs christian, belief, christian, christian faith, christian history, church, creation, creationism, debate, deconversion, evolution, evolution vs. creation, Free-Thought, freethinker, gallup, jerry coyne, logic, religion, religion vs. science, unbelief, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stories of Faith & De-Conversion

A Similar (Touching) Story on an Atheist Minister leading the faithful:

“Reading the Bible is what led me not to believe in God,” he said.

I came across this article awhile back. It’s an old one, but one worth repeating. It really does highlight the struggles of those who are truly engulfed in religion and the struggles and pains of deconverting.  And coming to the painstakingly conclusion that God does not exist; especially when your income is dependent upon it.

I can completely relate to what Jack states when he says, “The more I read the bible the more questions I have.

Because coming to the realization that God does not exist is very scary thought initially; and instead of finding answers in the bible, all it does is provoke more questions.  It is a very scary moment for the believer to come to the rationality that we are alone in this world and that there is no heavenly ‘god’ watching over us, protecting us, guarding us or guiding us.  Even the notion of questioning and doubting ones faith takes an emotional toll. As Adam says in the article, ” I asked God to take my life before I lost my faith.”  As this was also a prayer of mine at one point in my deconversion.

Posted in apologetics, atheist, bible, Common Sense, contradiction, deceived, doubt, doubt faith, freedom, god, unbelief, word of god | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments