Monday, March 28, 2011

Taxing “Christians” as an act of compassion

Let’s tax the “hell” out of “Christians!” We’d be doing them a favor – because doing so would literally tax the “Christians” out of “hell.” Here’s the lowdown on “hell” and “Christians” – according to their very own favorite book most of them are going to burn in “hell” for eternity. And who can stand idly by while that happens? Seems the “inerrant word of God” in their favorite book is quite insistent upon poverty being the way to “heaven.” It is a recurring theme with the following words of “Jesus” himself reiterated no less than three times. “And again I say to thee, a camel may more easily pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man through the gates of heaven.” This theme shows up repeatedly. In another passage a comparison is made with a merchant who finds a pearl of great value. The merchant then trades all his worldly goods for that single pearl of great value. Of course the pearl isn’t actually a pearl. The pearl instead represents everlasting life in “heaven.”
Unfortunately modern “Christians” have become extremely confused about this and have this bizarre idea that “God” is rewarding people for acts of charity and the like in this lifetime. The “inerrant word of God” promises rewards only in an alleged afterlife. But we could easily take care of the problem for all those confused “Christians.” We could tax the confused “Christians” into poverty. Being as poverty apparently removes a barrier to “Heaven” we’d be doing the “Christians” a huge favor. Plus we could then use the tax revenue to do all those good things suggested by the example of “Christ.” All that tax money would surely go a long way toward feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted, and healing the sick. Who knows, “God” might even count the resulting good deeds in favor of the “Christians” on “Judgment Day” – although I imagine it would count for more if the “Christians” did it of their own free will.
Let’s tax the “hell” out of “Christians” because it looks like a win-win solution for everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

There is no god

There is no god and one may be quite secure in the knowledge of that fact. “Christians” and others infected with the evolving thought contagions of religion may say that it is impossible to disprove god. They are correct – to exactly the same extent and for exactly the same reasons that it is not possible to disprove that we are living like the people enslaved in the movie The Matrix.
If I assert that we are enslaved in pod towers to generate electricity for a machine society – just as is portrayed in the movie The Matrix, then it is impossible to disprove my assertion. This is because the machine society proposed in The Matrix is presumed to want to hide itself and is presumed to have the means to mask its existence. The gods proposed by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are similarly presumed to want to hide themselves and are presumed to have the means to mask their existence. Because the gods proposed are presumed to have the will and the means to mask their existence then it impossible to disprove their existence.
Adherents of Abrahamic gods aren’t usually too keen on competition – most likely because their religions have evolved toward those most likely to win in the competition for control of minds. Consequently adherents of Abrahamic gods are likely to try to disprove or at least discredit The Matrix assertion. Their attempts would be very instructive.
The most obvious line of attack is to discredit The Matrix assertion by pointing out the provenance of the mythology. Modern technology makes it simple to learn the provenance of The Matrix. We know The Matrix was written by Andy and Lana Wachowski. We know the story was not widely known before 1999. This line of attack is instructive because it is applies equally to religion. The historical and archaeological records reveal the evolution of religions. We know the approximate dates when certain stories first appear and when particular features were added to those stories.
A marginally more sophisticated line of attack might employ “Occam's razor.” There are several interpretations of “Occam's razor.” It is variously stated as “the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one” or “entities must not be multiplied without necessity.” Let’s see how it might be applied to discredit The Matrix assertion.
In The Matrix each person experienced the world just as we believe we do. They had jobs, homes, families and friends. But it was all just a virtual reality world piped into their heads through a cable connected near their cervical vertebrae. They each believed they moved through and interacted with a real world but in reality they lay motionless in a pod plugged into a worldwide virtual reality game. From the perspective of a denizen of The Matrix there is no evidence or need for the pods, the enslaving machine society, or the worldwide virtual reality game.  For denizens of The Matrix, the proposition of an elaborate pod structure and enslaving machine society is a multiplication of entities and immediately fails the test of “Occam's razor.”
But the assertion fails beyond that. What physics would make it worthwhile for the enslaving machine society to construct and maintain all those pods and all that inefficient human respiration? Why wouldn’t they just employ their energy source directly? There are any number of questions which might be asked regarding the illogical motives of the proposed enslaving machine society.
The gods proposed by religion fail the test of “Occam's razor” for similar reasons. The laws of evolution and physics are sufficient to explain the world around us. Therefore adding an additional layer with undetectable gods, undetectable angels, undetectable demons, and undetectable souls is simply multiplying entities without necessity.
But the proposition of god fails beyond that. Why would a perfect god capable of creating perfect creatures instead choose to create flawed (sinful) creatures which can never live up to his expectations? Why would he fashion irresistible temptations right into our bodies and then get all uppity when we give in to the temptations? After doing this how could this god imagine himself to be just and loving? If the proposed gods are so perfect then why do they have this need to be constantly told how great they are? That need would seem to reveal deep-seated problems with self esteem.
Conclusion: there is no god and we do not live in a world such as portrayed in The Matrix. A rational mind must be equally certain of the inveracity of god and the inveracity of the enslaving machines of The Matrix.

Monday, March 7, 2011

American Atheists Convention

This has been a rewarding and informative experience in the past. I've purchased my tickets and reserved a room. You should do the same!