Gods Are Fragile Things

“Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.” —Chapman Cohen

Romance at Mars Hill
All Cycles Come to an End
Being Agent Scully
Atheists at CPAC
  • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

    Apparently not.

  • Kathie Wilson

    Right, John – because it’s way easier to kill a ‘god’ than to eliminate it’s faithful. (Less messy, as well.)

  • Norm

    Atheism,such a fragile belief,all it takes is one spiritual experience.

    • Custador

      Bullshit. All it takes to lose your atheism is credulity and a feeble mind. The kind of feeble that can’t tell a belief from the absence of beliefs, for example.

    • Johnny

      Who said you need theism to have a spiritual experience?

      • Norm

        True Johno you dont need to recognize God to have a spiritual experience!

        • vasaroti

          And we can even tell you what part of the brain they’re originating in!

        • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

          All you need is a good magnet.

    • Mogg

      Norm, just because your comments about spiritual experiences have been refuted in another post doesn’t mean they will magically work in this one. To reiterate: many atheists have had spiritual experiences. Many non-Christian believers of other religions have also had spiritual experiences. They are indistinguishable from physical brains states as widely varying as group participation in an activity to actual brain malfunction induced by damage, oxygen deprivation or medical instruments. They are not proof of your version of god or any other.

    • Paul H.

      Norm: When a Muslim or Hindu, etc. has a spiritual experience that affirms their beliefs that validates that their belief is correct, yes? I do not await the answer it will never come.

  • Norm

    Sorry Mogg, i must have missed your refute unless of course you think i dont recognize the difference between a drugged state,brain malfunction,euphoria and a spiritual experience.Maybe you havent experienced or at least not recognized having one.And of course they are not limited to only Christians,all people have a spirit and your definitely right,not all spiritual experiences come from God.

    • Mogg

      I have had many. I was a Christian for over 25 years until the basic disagreement between the requirements of faith and reality finally became too much.

      • Norm

        What do you mean,the requirement of faith ?The only requirement i know of is to love God and others like myself.

        • Mogg

          Exactly. The trouble is, love requires an object, and attempting to love a being who doesn’t interact with humanity in any way which can’t be put down to other causes, and whose supposed holy book not only contradicts how real life works but actually contradicts itself in many places, is not good object of my or anyone else’s love. I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible to love something so nebulous. I can manage loving others, or at least some of them, but God? I’ll think about it if a god ever shows up, but if it’s the Christian god he’s got a fair bit of explaining to do first.

          • Norm

            Mogg the problem as i see it is because you dont understand the spiritual realm and deny it of course it all seems weird.Even very spiritual people have a very limited understanding of the spirit realm,but we will when we get there.What you dont understand now ,and carnt even if it was explained to you ,will be then.This is why,when you have trust in God,not just a belief, [the difference between religion and faith ]the things in the bible that you struggle with now you will understand then.Now it would be like explaining electricity to a 5yo at this point,later you will get it.

            • Custador

              What a steaming pile of mushy woo-woo horse-shit! You clearly follow the Deepak Chopra school of absolute fucking twaddle!

            • Mogg

              What Custador said. Also, I don’t much appreciate some dude on the internet telling me whether I ever trusted rather than believed in God. By any measure I was as Christian as the most spiritual Christian you know. I just couldn’t quite shut my brain off.

            • Nox

              Declaring ridiculous ideas to be beyond our understanding does not make them any less ridiculous.

            • Kodie

              There is no spirit realm, it’s just some stuff somebody made up to take your money.

            • Kodie

              Your spiritual experiences happen in your brain, and because you don’t know how your brain works, you are suggestible to believing a lot of nonsense. The worst part is that you argue your children should regard you as sane and their authority about these things. You believe childish fairy tales because someone can manipulate your reactions to them and help you “realize” them as “spiritual experiences”, and then exploit you, and you are infecting your children. They don’t want your children to go to heaven, they want their money when they grow up.

            • Elemenope

              Have you ever tried to explain electricity to a five year old? It’s actually not that hard.

            • Noelle

              The way my husband explains electricity to the kids, you’d think there was a little troll burning our money to light up the room everytime you flip a switch. The poor man fell into dad mode (turn off the light when you leave a room! money doesn’t grow on trees!) so seamlessly.

        • Kodie

          To love your invisible friend requires too much elective stupidity.

        • Theory_of_I

          “What do you mean,the requirement of faith ?The only requirement i know of is to love God and others like myself.”

          And just how do you define this “love”? I suspect it’s nothing but a feel good slogan you profess when you think you need to pat yourself on the back or impress people with your devoutness. You say it, then forget it until the next time it feels appropriate to repeat it. Meanwhile it costs you nothing because nothing changes, you just go about your life, no one is harmed but no one benefits either.

          You don’t need any religion to actually do something to help someone — give a little money to the local food shelf or mow your neighbors lawn if she’s ill because that’s just human kindness and the right thing to do. In fact, if you think prayer is the best answer to problems, you’ve not solved anything nor helped anyone, but you have failed as a compassionate human.

          As an option, you can pray and then get off your butt and really do something to help solve a problem. In that case, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.

      • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

        For me, the requirements of faith involved not loving, but hating far too many people for me to be comfortable with. This was despite having spiritual experiences and even a Near Death Experience. It is simply untrue to say that atheists do not understand or have never had a spiritual experience, it is in fact insulting for somebody like Norm to insist that they know exactly what experiences we have had because we have not come to the same conclusion as them. And if it were true, then that’s the failure of this god, showing itself to be ineffective or capricious as it plays favourites and gives evidence to some people and not others.

        Now I know my first sentence will draw a “No True Scotsman” type of argument, but please don’t bother. It is abundantly clear that the god of the bible is a being of hate. He does talk about the things he hates a heck of a lot in that book and encourages and engages in a lot of vengeful killing. Don’t waste everybody’s time pretending otherwise. The actual issue here is the claim that atheism can be destroyed by a spiritual experience: I posit this simply isn’t true, because so many non-believers used to believe and had spiritual experiences and still reached the conclusion that belief in god is unsupportable.

        • trj

          It would be quite interesting to establish the Bible’s love/hate ratio. That is, comparing how often God (or his spokespersons) talk about love and mercy, compared to how often they talk about God killing, hating, cursing, or threatening.

          I’ll leave the job to someone more dedicated than me.

  • Norm

    Ok then i guess you can all stick to your star dust science[lol]and i will stick to the vast majority world view

    • http://blog.luigiscorner.com Azel

      So Spinoza’s God ? Cause no religion has a majority, even less a vast one (The most followed religion is Christianity and it can boast a third of the world population…splintered between all of its denominations, of course). Thus the best you can do to follow a “vast majority world view” is to follow the god of the Deists: it’s the only one with a snowball chance in Hell to be compatible with Christianity, Islam and Hinduism (You wanted a “vast majority” didn’t you ? That’s roughly 65 %. ~30 % for Christianity, ~20% for Islam and ~15% for Hinduism). Of course, that means you have to let go of all trappings of religion and of all precepts for following God: the Deists’ god is notoriously inactive in the march of the world.

      • http://blog.luigiscorner.com Azel

        P.S. : When I talked about majority, I more precisely talked about absolute majority, because it is of no help to state you have a majority when most of the world thinks you are lost. If you want to talk about relative majority, Catholicism have one (circa 1.2 billion adherents last time I checked) but hardly a vast one (the second, Sunni Islam, was at circa 1.1 billion and the third, folk Hinduism, at a bit more than 900 millions adherents last time I checked) : compared to the world’s population (you wanted to follow “the world majority” no ?), that’s hardly a vast difference between first and second.

        To sum up, there is no absolute world majority and while there is a relative one, it’s hardly a vast one. Now that quantitative arguments are out, I’ll let blotonthelandscape for qualitative ones.

        P.S. : You know an argumentum ad populum is a bad idea where questions of science are concerned, right ? The majority has often been false: e.g. geocentrism where it was false against Galileo.

    • blotonthelandscape

      Hooray! Everyone agrees with me so I must be right! Fuck science!

      Except everyone doesn’t agree with you. In fact very few do, relative to the totality of the human population. I can say that with confidence because, as Azel points out, your specific beliefs, no matter how similar they may appear to other religious beliefs, are mutually exclusive; that is only one can actually be true, and hence they cannot be included amongst your “vast majority”. Even within the christian religion, you can really only claim large numbers if you’re a catholic (~1 bill last I checked), and even then those numbers are artificially inflated by traditional loyalties by large swathes of people who don’t actually believe in the catholic God (google “census christians”, although you are probably well aware of the existence of “luke-warm christians” who your chosen sect no doubt laments the existence of).

      And even of those who do share your specific version of your specific god, whilst their religious beliefs are mutually exclusive of other religious beliefs, they can, and usually do, accomodate the findings of science (eventually).

      Your vast majority, as you start to peel away the layers of artificial similarity, will start to look more and more like a majority of 1.

    • Kodie

      So you would rather let the majority tell you what to think than think for yourself. You can see no danger in that, which is all for the best according to them. Shut off your brain and become suggestible pawn, and take comfort that you have a popular belief which you are already too stupid to notice does not make it true. No, you’re never winning this argument.

    • Mogg

      Did your mother ever use the phrase “if everyone else were jumping off a cliff, would you do it too?” Real stardust beats imaginary beings any day.

    • trj

      I’ll just go completely out on a limb here and postulate you’re another creationist who knows shit-all about the science he dismisses out of hand.

      But hey, who needs science when you can have magic.

      lol indeed.

  • pagansister

    After 17 years of being told that there was a god and all the other Christian things associated with that (JC being the son of etc.) by very loving and well meaning parents, I just couldn’t believe what I was being told. Met and married a man who was of the same convictions (raised a UU) and we raised our children in the UU tradition, so they could draw their own conclusions. Both have rejected the idea that a god is running things on this planet (and others I assume :o) ) I believe myself to be a spiritual person, and that IMO doesn’t require a god of any sort—Christian or otherwise. I have 2 very special places on this planet I find, for lack of a better word, sacred. Neither has GOD associated with it. Who created me? My parents. Who created them? Their parents. How hard is that?