Friday, December 13, 2013

Atheism Confirmed, Part II

     Graver still for the theistic cause, every year brings us explanations for what we observe in nature that are better than the explanations found in the Bible. We know now that epilepsy is not caused by demons; we know how to treat leprosy; we know the Earth orbits the Sun. Science has provided well-tested theories of nature that answer far more than the counterpart answers found in the Bible. Science gives us historical linguistics; mythology, the Tower of Babel. Mythology speaks of a divine column of fire and smoke at the top of a mountain; science speaks of a volcanic plume. The more one reads the Bible, the more it appears to be stuck in the Bronze Age. To credit the Bible as anything more than mythological literature produced by human beings at pre-scientific points in history would require abandoning robust explanations of natural phenomena in favor of superstition. The gaps in scientific understanding, those murky niches in which some of the faithful insist God may be hidden, are in fact already too narrow to conceal the Lord of Hosts. Like Victor Stenger, we must conclude the Biblical God is a failed hypothesis.

     Many Christians do acknowledge that the Bible should not be read as history. They prefer it as divine poetry, or sacred metaphor, the moral excellence of which establishes its supernatural truth. Until I actually began reading the Bible myself, I was prepared to accept that whatever its truth content, it might have social or political utility as a moral guide. Indeed, there seemed to me no reason to doubt that the book might even contain useful insights about human nature, which presumably hasn’t changed much in the past few thousand years. I was therefore astonished to find God allowing, endorsing, even commanding the worst behavior of which humans are capable: genocide, slavery, ritual murder, capital punishment for innocuous offenses, etc. How can believers defend Jephthah’s sacrifice of his own daughter? Or the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Joshua at God’s command? Or the casual endorsements of slavery? Or God’s breathtaking insistence on the death penalty for a man caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath? Moreover, I began to see the full moral implications of concepts like Hell or the flood of Noah. A God that could preside over such enormities is morally unworthy of worship. In my view, there are no sufficient answers to these objections. Clearly, the God of the Bible does not exist except as a creature of fiction. For that fact, having now assimilated the horror of Biblical immorality, I am grateful.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Technical Difficulties

     Not sure what Blogger has done with the pictures.  Will attempt to reload them if necessary.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Atheism Confirmed, Part I

     About two years ago, I began a review of Christianity to see whether my late-teen rejection of the faith remained justified. Having concluded the inquiry, it is time to report what I found. Briefly, I have found God. I know Him now, who He is and where He came from. It is undeniable that He is nothing more than a human creation. Ingersoll was right. Russell was right. Mencken was right. Hitchens was right. Dawkins and Harris and Stenger and Dennett—all are right. The God of the Bible is a contradiction, a monstrosity, an impossibility, and He is so to a far greater degree than I perceived at 19 years of age.

     Four main lines of objection militate against the existance of the Biblical God. They apply with similar force to all the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, and the like. They are objections from logic, from history, from science, and from morals.

     At the outset, even brief reflection discloses that the God concept is self-contradictory. More fully: Logic, such as the arguments apologists use to prove a First Cause, reveals that an omnipotent being is a contradiction in terms. For example, consider whether God could create an object so massive even He could not change its velocity. Any possible answer contradicts the definition of omnipotence. Adding omniscience to omnipotence only heightens the contradictions (e.g., could God keep a secret from himself?). Innumerable such contradictions arise from any logical analysis of the qualities theists claim are essential to the God of the Bible, and so the very system of logic they wish to use to establish a First Cause defeats their own notions of the Being they posit as that First Cause. Whatever the First Cause may be, logic tells us it cannot be the Biblical God.