Monthly Archives: January 2008

A Fool and Their Money

Who was it that said “A fool and their money are soon parted”? Well obviously the Church of Scientology (CoS) knows. Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson has just handed over $11.2 million to the CoS – Bart’s $11m scientology d’oh-nation | NEWS.com.au Entertainment. No wonder they’ve got so much money to harass and sue people.

The money is supposed to help the CoS rid the world of ‘psychological ills’. Hmmm, does anyone else see the irony in that?

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The Thinker Award

Well it seems that nothing would convince some people that God exists/doesn’t exist, but at least you provided reasons why.

The aim of the original discussion was to make you think what might convince you.

The Thinker AwardSo I have created ‘The Thinker Award’, to be given to the person who, IMHO, thought about it the most. You all provided some good input. AV provided the shortest scenario, and, as usual, some excellent discussion points(perhaps AV should get a permament thinker award). Several people questioned how would you know its God, not some other supernatural or alien being? WM‘s story was heart-warming, though I thought the punch line was going to be her dad gave money to all the poor people in case one of them was God.  😉

However, there can be only one winner, and the award goes to:
***  Saved Sinner 2.  ***
SS2 provided a couple of scenarios that might convince them, and also was honest enough to realise that sometimes no matter what is said:

… no evidence will make a difference to believers [or] non-believers…

The award is purely my arbitrary opinion, no correspondence will be entered into. 🙂
Thank you all for your input.

If anyone want’s to use the thinker award on their blog feel free, the award should be given to the person who you thought has thought the most, or, made you think the hardest.

The thread is still open, so if you want to add a hypothetical scenario which would make you believe/disbelieve in God, feel free.

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What Would Convince You?

What would convince you that God is real?

This post is purely a mind game, a hypothetical, a ‘what if’. For this post I am not interested in why you believe in god or not, I’m not trying to convert anyone either way. What I’m asking is for you to think what would convince you that God is real. Use your imagination, be as scientific and logical or as wild and bizarre as you like, but remember ultimately your scenario should be able to prove God exists to you, and the rest of the world. The scenario could be something like mine below, or a day-in-the-life-of like I spotted recently, but now can’t find again (if the writer reads this please provide a link).

For my readers who already believe God exists you can get involved in this little thought experiment as well. You can either:

  1. Tell us a scenario which would unequivocally make you dis-believe in God (what might be the one thing that would make a Christian disbelieve in God?), or
  2. Give us a scenario that would convince you that the person standing in front of you was God and/or Jesus (ie. imagine someone walks up to you in the street and says “Hi, I’m Jesus”).

For 2 above you might think “but I’d just know, it would be obvious by his presence” (or something similar). But would you really? There have been many ‘false prophets’ over the years, and many people who were convinced they were Jesus, some of these have even managed to get a following. Some people are amazingly coercive and persuasive. I’ve been to a Billy Graham meeting and “I BELIEVED”, I’ve been to Amway meetings and wanted to buy and sell all their products. It doesn’t necessarily mean either of these are true, it could just be excellent selling skills? I’m not talking about Jesus returning for the Rapture, as per Revelation, but just turning up. Imagine trying to convince your friends you actually physically met him.

For a while now I have read many blogs and forums frequented by religious and non-religious people. Both sides are often trying to convert the other, generally with little success. It always comes down to a belief or disbelief in God.

For atheists the general consensus is that they would need some unequivocal evidence to believe in God. Here’s an example I dreamt up several months ago:

God appears, in human form, near the summit of Mount Everest in front of some climbers. God would be wearing just the usual robes and sandals and be showing no evidence of altitude sickness or cold. He would provide the climbers some time to obtain video footage and then request they leave the mountain and inform the world God is about to move Mount Everest to Australia. Once all the climbers have left the mountain, God would remove the top 1km or so of the mountain and fly it to out-back Australia, say near Uluhru (the transit could quite easily be visually verified by many people). He would then give scientists time to verify the piece of mountain in front of them is actually part of Mount Everest. (I’m sure this would be easy by verifying composition of the rock, dirt and ice; and verifying that the outlines match). Perhaps God would sit at the top for a few weeks and those of us who were able could go and have a look? Afterwards, just to be nice, God would then put Mount Everest back together (additionally I imagine that if a large chunk of Mount Everest suddenly disappeared for a few weeks it could mess up the environment and weather, so God would also put in some provision to prevent this).

If I saw this and had credible scientists state unequivocally that it was not faked, then I would seriously consider that God exists (as I’m sure just about everyone else in the world exposed to this would). One point to consider though, which god would this be? I guess he’d tell us?

An added bonus with my scenario is that those of us who make the trip to see this ‘miracle’ could visit Sean on the way. Those with a few spare dollars might even want to stay here whilst visiting Uluru, possibly the most expensive tent in the world?

Please note that, IMHO, to-date no totally unequivocal evidence, like this, has been provided that any god exists.

On the other hand, I have read many articles that explain why God couldn’t or doesn’t exist, all of which to me seem perfectly logical and provide credence to me that God doesn’t exist. However very few, if any, religious people accept these arguments.

So to sum up:

Believers – 1. Tell us what might make you disbelieve, or 2. Give us a scenario in which you, and hopefully the rest of the world, would know God and/or Jesus was standing in front of you.

Non-Believers – Give us a scenario which would prove to you, and hopefully the rest of the world, that God and/or Jesus exists beyond a shadow of a doubt.

One Last Thing

Now I’d like to keep this nice and civil, no attacking others scenarios or beliefs, this is purely an exercise in thinking “What If”. None of you will be held responsible for the thoughts expressed here (at least not by me).

We have a long weekend here in Australia, for Australia Day, so I’m going to be busy – watching cricket, going to barbecues, parties, doing some DIY, etc. – so I won’t be making any new posts till Tuesday.
So; Play Fair, No Arguing (save that for another post), No Biting, or else I’ll have to send you all to bed without dessert, and have fun.

Oh, and one very last thing: There may be an award for the best scenario.

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naughty naughty

Before my main post for the day, if you are not easily offended, you might want to check out these two pictures:

Science Textbook

Oh Lord…

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I love presents too!

 

WineyMomma has very graciously bestowed an award on me:

Candy Hearts Award

I sometimes wonder if what I’m doing here has any worth. Then I get an award like this, and some very nice comments to go with it, and it makes my day.

update 25 Jan 08

I figured I should pass on this award to other deserving blogs, of which I like to get a ‘Daily Dose’ of, so here goes:

AV at Five Public Opinoins, he’s always happy to provide feedback on my blog and his was one of the first blogs I started reading regularly.

Sean, of course, at Sean the Blogonaut, and

Exterminator at No More Hornets, apart from inciteful commentary, he often provides a good laugh as well.
and his bid for presidency really is no sillier than many others 😆

This award originated at Heart of Service as a way to recognize blogs you frequently read that make you laugh, cry, think and feel. There are many blogs I try and regularly read because I get something out of them, but I’ve limited myself to awarding just three. Feel free to pass on this award, Xandra just asks to leave your URL on her site.


I’ve added a new Religious Blogroll on the sidebar, this is for blogs written by religious people who I think have something worthwhile and interesting to say. It’s just beneath the Atheist Blogroll which lists blogs written by non-religious people who I think have got something worthwhile and interesting to say.

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Some light reading

I’m all out of original thoughts today, so here’s a few trackbacks to some blogs I read today:

Daylight AtheismOn the Limits of Knowledge

Not A BlogBad Atheist Responses to Christianity

No More Hornets‘ rather silly Presidential campaign

I also got around to reading the rest of comments on Sean the Blogonaut‘s – Doesn’t Atheism require as much faith as belief in god?

and, the excellent comments by Richard explaining evolution (quite well IMHO) at Fiery‘s Chicken or the Egg post.

One last one, a funny church sign at The Frame Problem.

Which brought me to a thought, that there are so many good blogs out there it’s hard to keep up with reading them all.

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Ultimate Atheist Conference

At the recent meeting of atheist organisations, Margaret Downey, president of Atheist Alliance International (AAI) suggested holding a conference featuring all of the American atheist organisations. Hemant at Friendly Atheist has an edited transcript of Margaret’s call for a “Unity Conference in 2010”, and has posted his thoughts and called for suggestions.

I think this is a great idea, it would certainly show America, and some of the rest of the world, that atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, brights, humanists, secularists and other non-theists are a significant portion of the population. It would be a great way for all these organisations and interested parties to get together, network and spread the message. Ron at ‘The Frame Problem’ also thinks it’s a good idea, he’d like to see the ‘ultimate atheist conference’ with

Thousands and thousands and thousands of people marching on Washington; every known major secularist and atheist personality in attendance …

What do you think, should we organise a giant atheist convention? Perhaps after America’s one, selected delegates could come to Australia, combine with all the Australian atheist, secular, humanist organisations and hold a big conference at Sydney Convention Centre. I’d be there, how about you?

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