Tag Archives: god

Fuck you Pell

I could almost agree with the first six paragraphs of this article written by Cardinal Pell, but the next two paragraphs are …. words fail me; but feel free to insert you own.

“The many excellent government agencies are religiously neutral, secular and not anti-God, paid for largely by the taxes of the Christian majority,” Cardinal Pell said.

“But we find no community services sponsored by the atheists.”

WFT? WTF? Pell please get your head out of your arse!

How can two sentences contain so much wrong? It’s beyond me. OK, bit by bit.

The many excellent government agencies are religiously neutral

Not strictly true, bordering on outright false. Parliament, and even some councils, start with prayer sessions, Christian based ones mostly. Governments have awarded various (again, as far as I’m aware, all Christian) religious organisations all sorts of government contracts, including a family planning one!

secular and not anti-God

Secular, barely. Not anti-God definitely because of all the god-botherers in senior positions!

paid for largely by the taxes of the Christian majority

Oh , fuck right off Pell you ignoramus! Every worker, religious or not, pays taxes to keep this country and it’s government agencies running; not just your “Christian majority”. On top of that all us non-religious people, about 1/3 of the populace by the way Pell you ignorant fool, pays taxes for your tax free, and tax break, status that religions get. That nice company car you drive Mr Pell is partly paid for by my non-religious taxes.

“But we find no community services sponsored by the atheists.”

That’s partly because we don’t get tax breaks for doing so! Additionally there are quite a few non-religious charitable organisations that do an awful lot of good in the community, and the world, but unlike you religious people we don’t generally shout from the rafters what wonderful people we are for doing what should come naturally to people anyway (which is helping your fellow beings). There are also many non-religious community services which probably are sponsored by atheists however their non-religiosity is not advertised. PS. yes I do donate to charity each year, but only non-religious ones.

</rant>

I am normally fairly civil in my blog posts, but in this instance I’m not holding back.

Written late at night after a few glasses of wine and whilst just a tad upset (at Pell’s article) so apologies it it’s a little incoherent and without much factual basis (though I’m sure I could back up most of my claims with a little time and effort), and thankfully spell check works. 🙂

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I don’t reject your god.

I simply don’t think your god exists.

This is a subtle but very important difference, which a lot of theists either don’t understand or refuse to understand.

There is a third option why some theists insist that atheists are “rejecting god” it is that they can not comprehend that not everyone believes in their god. They think that everyone believes there is a god but are just lying to themselves when they say they don’t. The reason for this I surmise is that the theist is worried that the atheist might be right (which we are by the way 🙂 ) and therefore their whole belief system, and for some their whole way of life, is a fabrication and a lie (which it is by the way 🙂 ).

So why discuss this topic, again?

Well I came across this site yesterday and posted a reply to the post Is Atheism a Crutch? , in which I thought I had clearly spelt out the definition of an atheist and thus the reason why the whole concept of their post was wrong (my comment is near the end). The author of the post stated this:

Perhaps atheists are rejecting God because they’ve had a bad relationship with their father.

Which is a Straw Man of the highest order. Atheists don’t reject god they just don’t think god(s) exists (hard to reject something that doesn’t exist), secondly the author’s reason for the rejection is just wrong on so many levels.

Well it seemed that my simple explanation for disagreeing (my comment starts “What utter tosh…”) with the author’s post, and particularly with the authors definition of atheism, wasn’t simple or logical enough.

A person by the name of MrSprinkleFingers replied to my comment with, well this:

@OzAtheist

One red chip. One green chip. One blue chip. None of which have an inscribed value. The poker players in Game A decide to assign $1 to the red, $2 to the green, and $5 to the blue. The poker players in Game B decide to assign $10 to the red, $20 to the green, and $50 to the blue. Which group of poker players has assigned the correct value to the poker chips? The question is non-sensical because it assumes a “correct” value exists when none, in fact, does. What matters is that when the poker players of Game A and Game B decide play together that they come to a common agreement on what the value of each color chip will be. Likewise with the word “atheist.”

There exists no innate or “correct” meaning to the token “atheist.” There only exists the meanings which groups of people have assigned to the word. Hence, it makes no sense to speak of atheist as having a “correct” or “incorrect” meaning.

To go a step further, because Koukl’s definition of atheist as being one who rejects god(s) is indeed the common usage, it stands to reason that the popular definition of atheism being propagated by atheists on the Internet stands outside the norm. Thus, for practical reasons, it makes more sense to employ the common definition rather than some convenient definition created and defended with a horrendous etymological argument to avoid the responsibility assigned to all participants of a conversation via the Cooperative Principle.

I tried posting the following reply but the site wouldn’t take my comment, I suspect it may be too long? So I decide to post my reply here.


Lot’s of nice big words there @MrSprinkleFingers but I will still have to disagree with you.

For a start Greg Koukl, who I’d never heard of until I read you comment, is a Christian apologist, therefore HIS definition of atheist does NOT constitute the common use of the term. As is often the case with religious apologetics they create there own definitions for words in order to either demonise others, or to try and rationalise their own beliefs. This does not make their definition correct or the one that is in common use, unless you are talking about in common use amongst religious apologetics who are attempting to win arguments by changing the definitions of words?

I would believe a dictionary or wikipedia before I would believe any religious apologetic when it comes to defining a word.

a·the·ism [ey-thee-iz-uhm]
-noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheism

see, nothing about “rejecting” in those definitions. This is by far the more common usage for the term atheism, particularly amongst atheists.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia, of which not surprisingly I’m a member, uses this to define atheism:

“ATHEISM

is the acceptance that there is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of a god, gods or the supernatural.”

The problem with religious apologetics using the definition of the word atheism as meaning “one who rejects god(s)” is that it implies that atheists actually believe god(s) exist, which is not the case.

Oh, and your whole first paragraph is irrelevant nonsense. There is a vast difference between assigning values to something (poker chips) and defining a word. A poker chip is still a poker chip, no matter what dollar value you assign to it everyone will still know what a poker chip is. Equally with any other word, it has a standard definition which is commonly accepted. In the case of the term ‘atheism’ it is generally held to mean “the absence of belief that any deities exist” (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism ), or similar as shown above, NOT “rejecting god(s)”.

It should be noted that the word “reject” is used on the wikipedia page, however unlike Koukl’s totally incorrect definition “one who rejects god(s)”, the term is used as follows: “the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.” Note the difference, which is subtle (perhaps too subtle for some) but important, Koukl’s definition is implying that god(s) exist (and that atheists know this), whereas wikipedia’s definition does not.

Like a lot of words, their meaning and definitions can change slightly over the years, dictionaries will regularly update accordingly, currently atheism is defined around the concept that atheists consider that there are no gods.

Oh, and don’t start on the term belief it doesn’t mean what you probably think it means when used in the contexts above.

MrSprinkleFingers your “logic” (using the term very loosely) is rather bad. You state that “it makes no sense to speak of atheist as having a “correct” or “incorrect” meaning.” but then state “Koukl’s definition … is indeed the common usage” on who’s authority is Koukl’s definition the correct one? Certainly not any atheist’s that I know of. Then you state the following “it stands to reason that the popular definition of atheism being propagated by atheists on the Internet stands outside the norm.” erm how? If a popular definition of a word is being propagated by it’s adherents (and backed up by dictionary definitions!) wouldn’t that make it the norm rather than some obscure religious apologetic’s definition? Your logic MrSprinkleFingers fails again. Your last sentence is utter semantic nonsense, lots of big words but all you are trying to say is “use my definition not yours” – despite Koukl’s definition being wrong and not in common use like you (alone) assert.

If you want to cooperate try using the correct definition of the terms atheist and atheism (ie. acceptance that there are no gods) NOT your incorrect demonising definition that implies atheists know that god exists but are ‘rejecting’ him because of whatever reason (we hate him, or he did something bad to us, or whatever ridiculous argument you come up with to try and rationalise in your head that ‘atheists reject god’, because you can’t accept that, unlike yourself, not all of us are deluded into the belief that god exists).

All these words and I just realised that’s basically what I wrote in my first post! MrSprinkleFingers I think you will find that this comment only further backs up my original assertion: “If an atheist has confidence [and I do] that god(s) do not exists, or confidence that the likelihood of god(s) existing is so remote as to make them non-existent, then how is it possible for an atheist to be worried about “the frightening implications of God’s existence”?”

So, can you answer my original question?

One last thing, please stop propagating your incorrect definition of the term atheism.

I think you will find that the correct term for atheism is something along the lines of number 2 of the online dictionary “disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings”, and yes it does make sense to use the term “correct” as that is the definition in various dictionaries and internet reference sites which adheres to what atheists actually think and which is most commonly used (except for some religious apologetics who are using an incorrect definition for their own nefarious reasons).


I attempted to post a link to this page on the ‘Stand to Reason‘ blog, but that wasn’t accepted either,  perhaps there is a fault on that blog at the moment. I got the following in an error dialogue box:

We’re sorry, we cannot accept this data

Please let me know if you think I have incorrectly defined the terms atheist and atheism, or if any of my logic is wrong. But be prepared to back up your claims with evidence.

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Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Do fish ride bicycles?

Well I’ve never seen a fish on a bicycle so all the fish must have gone to heaven.

Or so the crazy logic of Jeremy Howard goes. An article in Transworld News cites Jeremy Howard as saying during a recent “Inside LifeWay” podcast:

“One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” said Howard, arguing that the best explanation is that Jesus in fact rose from the dead.

The best explanation? Really?

For a start the story of Jesus is still debatable. There is very little to no evidence for Jesus actually existing in the first place. Non-biblical mentions of Jesus amount to (as far as I’ve been able to determine in my limited research) two accounts, one of which, even by some biblical scholars, is considered a fake. The one possibly reliable non-biblical source does not indicate in any way that Jesus was anything more than just another one of the many “prophets” wandering around at the time. There is no non-biblical evidence for Jesus being crucified, being entombed, rising from the dead and ascending to heaven as some of the New Testament gospels would try and have us believe. Even the gospels can not agree on what actually occurred during these events.

So Howard’s first premise “One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” is incorrect. Not everyone agrees on this, in part because not everyone agrees that Jesus even existed.

But Howard’s conclusion is just mind bogglingly ridiculous and totally illogical. Let’s for one moment accept that Jesus did exist, that he was crucified and then entombed. There are several explanations as to why the tomb was empty.

  1. Jesus wasn’t actually dead when he was entombed. Supporters knowing this came and assisted Jesus from the tomb and then aided his departure to some other country.
  2. Jesus was dead but his followers wanted him buried elsewhere so removed his body from the tomb.
  3. Jesus was dead but, for whatever nefarious reasons, someone unrelated removed him from the tomb and hid/buried the body somewhere else. (perhaps the greatest practical joke of all time)

The above are just three ideas I came up with off the top of my head, all are pure conjecture, but all are far more likely than a person spontaneously rising from the dead, rather zombie like in my opinion, as Howard contends.

In the article it even mentions the possibility someone came and took the body, but Howard still says:

the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is solid.

I haven’t listened to the podcast and perhaps Howard comes up with some very good explanation for his logic, but I seriously doubt there is solid evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. There isn’t even any solid evidence for his existence.

The final paragraph sheds light on why Jeremy Howard has come to this illogical conclusion.

“The resurrection matters,” said Howard. “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is untrue, …”

Which is the crux of the matter, Howard is so frightened of the idea that his whole belief system may be built on a lie that he is prepared to come to any conclusion, despite it being wrong or illogical, as long as it supports his view of Christianity.

So Jeremy Howard perhaps, just perhaps, Christianity is untrue. What do you think readers?

Hat Tip to BibleAlsoSays for highlighting the article on twitter. Delusional was the word @BibleAlsoSays used about Jeremy Howard.

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Respect my Right to Believe

From twitter

though i do not an believe in atheism i will respect the rights of those who do. But in return i expect you to respect my right to believe

I respect all believers (religions of all varieties) rights to believe whatever they wish.

What I don’t respect is what those believers do in the name of their beliefs, especially if it impacts negatively on the rest of the population that doesn’t happen to believe in their particular brand of belief. What I don’t respect is believers trying to force their beliefs on others, particularly when those beliefs are not backed by any evidence whatsoever. I don’t respect believers who indoctrinate their children into their beliefs. I don’t respect believers who prevent condom use, prevent abortions or euthanasia purely on religious grounds not any logical or scientific grounds. I don’t respect beliefs that encourage people to harm others purely because they don’t have the same beliefs. I don’t respect beliefs that subjugate women or children and that discourage scientific investigation and research. I certainly don’t respect that governments hand out billions of tax dollars to religions purely because they promote religion. Just because it’s “religion” should not automatically mean it gets respect.

As Richard Dawkins said recently about Muslims [paraphrased] “… it’s because I fear you, don’t ever think it’s because I respect you”.

In other words, I respect your right to believe but don’t expect that I’ll respect you simply because you believe in some form of religion and/or god(s).

How can you not believe in atheism? It’s like saying you don’t believe in non-stamp collecting. You don’t have to like the idea that there are millions, if not billions, of people on this planet who are atheists, but you can’t not believe that such an idea exists. Whilst ever there is a principle called theism there will be a principle called atheism.

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atheos and the contra gentiles

Finished reading the book “atheos: Without God, Down Under” self published by the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA).

A small book, 132 pages, containing essays, short stories and a few poems written by members of the Atheist Foundation of Australia.

A bit ‘hit and miss’, a few good articles and a few not so good. Worth reading for $10 (I’m assuming the proceeds goes to the AFA) but which unfortunately cost me $20 by the time postage and $AUS – $USD was taken into account. If they have it for sale at #atheistcon then I’d recommend people buy it, if for no other reason than you are supporting the AFA, but for $20 I found it too light and not really worth the money.

I did learn a couple of things, including finding out about the book: “the The Summa Contra Gentiles” of Saint Thomas Aquinas from which John Warren quoted this excellent piece:

Custom, especially that which dates from childhood, takes on the force of nature and as a result the things with which the mind has been imbued from childhood take such firm root that it is as if they were naturally known of themselves.

And people have a go at Richard Dawkins for him saying that children should not be indoctrinated from birth in the religion of their parents. Aquinas obviously understood how powerful this could be.

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50 Reasons – A Review

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison – A Review by OzAtheist

Finished reading the above book on my Kindle today, did I mention I have a Kindle? 🙂

This is an excellent book for atheists and theists alike. For theists it gives them some questions to answer as to why they may believe in a god. For atheists it provides 50 reasons why believing in a god has no basis in reality, but it does it in a very nice way.

Unlike many other atheist tracts (Dawkins, Hitchens take note) this book is rather polite and not condescending (well not much) to believers. The book has certainly given me some positive ideas on how I should better interact with believers. Harrison makes some very good points about how non-believers might persuade believers to think about their position when it comes to believing in a god.

A fair few of the observations made in this book have been said many times before by many people. However, I think Harrison has done a very good job of putting them all together in the one book, and in a polite and thought provoking (particularly to theists) manner.

Here is the list of 50 reasons why people believe in a god:

  1. My god is obvious
  2. Almost everybody on Earth is religious
  3. Faith is a good thing
  4. Archaeological discoveries prove that my god exists
  5. Only my god can make me feel significant
  6. Atheism is just another religion
  7. Evolution is bad
  8. Our world is too beautiful to be an accident
  9. My god created the universe
  10. Believing in my god makes me happy
  11. Better safe than sorry
  12. A sacred book proves my god is real
  13. Divine justice proves my god is real
  14. My god answers prayers
  15. I would rather worship my god than the devil
  16. My god heals sick people
  17. Anything is better than being an atheist
  18. My god made the human body
  19. My god sacrificed his only son for me
  20. Atheists are jerks who think they know everything
  21. I don’t lose anything by believing in my god
  22. I didn’t come from a monkey
  23. I don’t want to go to hell
  24. I feel my god when I pray
  25. I need my god to protect me
  26. I want an eternal life
  27. Without my god we would have no sense of right and wrong
  28. My god makes me feel like I am part of something bigger than myself
  29. My religion makes more sense than all the others
  30. My god changes lives
  31. Intelligent design proves my god is real
  32. Millions of people can’t be wrong about my religion
  33. Miracles prove my god is real
  34. Religion is beautiful
  35. Some very smart people believe in my god
  36. Ancient prophecies prove my god exists
  37. No one has ever disproved the existence of my god
  38. People have gone to heaven and returned
  39. Religion brings people together
  40. My god inspires people
  41. Science can’t explain everything
  42. Society would fall apart without religion
  43. My religion is so old it must be true
  44. Someone I trust told me that my god is real
  45. Atheism is a negative and empty philosphy
  46. Believing in a god doesn’t hurt anyone
  47. The earth is perfectly tuned to support life
  48. Believing is natural so my god must be real
  49. The end is near
  50. I am afraid of not beleiving

By all accounts all of the above 50 reasons have been told to Harrison, I think I’ve heard most of them myself. Harrison does repeat himself a few times, but I have to forgive him this faux pas as so do most theists!

Overall, a good read, another book that should be compulsory reading by everyone on the planet.

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Agent of Satan

Many believers think that non believers believe in Satan, which is clearly ludicrous as we don’t believe in any gods, good or bad. Some even believe non-believers are Satanists, which is even more ludicrous.

In the book “50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God”, Guy P. Harrison discusses the topic of believers linking non-believers with Satan. He counters most of the arguments but this one:

… you [atheists] are an “unwitting” agent of Satan.

Harrison has this to say about the suggestion put to him:

How do you reassure someone that you are not consciously serving Satan? If you were, you wouldn’t know it. Of course you will deny it because the devil is controlling you without your knowledge.

Harrison states that he finds this argument difficult to respond to.

Whilst I (and I’m sure Harrison does as well) know the “unwitting agent of Satan” argument is ridiculous, how do you respond to it?

I would greatly appreciate if anyone can come up with a good argument to counter the “unwitting agent of Satan” accusation.

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