Remedy to a shitty mood

Nothing cures a shitty mood like taking the time to respond to a believer.

A while back somebody posted my talk from the Madison Freethought Festival to reddit.  A Christian left a comment on it inane enough to make a billy goat gag.  And since I’m in a crummy mood today, I’m going to talk about it.

First of all the whole “science and religion” go together thing. Many christians like myself do NOT beleive that they have to use science to explain events. We use God.

Except that god is not an explanation.

Use god to predict when a hurricane will strike and where, and thereby saving the lives of millions.  Humans can do it with the aid of science.  Humans with god have the same success rate as humans with smurfs.

If god were a suitable explanation for anything (and this commenter seems to think god is an explanation for everything), then we’d have no need of science and human ingenuity.  We’d not be repeatedly making new discoveries.  But we do need those things, and we are continually discovering how the universe works.

There is a very palpable difference between “explanations” and bullshit with no explanatory power pulled out of thin air.  In fact, by taking what you don’t understand and branding it “god,” you’ve created a scenario where you love and worship your ignorance.  That’s a shitty way to treat yourself.

It’s that easy. Of course that sounds dumb to Atheist.

Because it is dumb.  That is doesn’t sound dumb to Christians says a lot about what faith can do to an otherwise healthy mind.

And of course faith is easy.  Knowledge is hard.  Our most brilliant minds are the ones unmasking the universe’s mysteries.  Any yahoo can be a Christian.

But i only brought this up so i could lead into my next point.

Oh joy.

The reason that it IS that easy for us…..

Thanks for the ellipse.  The suspense makes this only slightly less intriguing than doing laundry.

FAITH! we have faith. This is what religion is based upon. I personally do not look for facts to prove Gods existence because i just believe it.

You’re trying to justify your belief in god by asserting that you don’t look for facts?  Oh no, how will I ever refute that?

First, and I made this point in the talk, is there any belief so irretrievably stupid, so flagrantly at odds with reality, that it cannot be defended in this way?  If your reasoning is sufficient, that all that matters for something to be true is whether or not you believe it, then there’s no such thing as a dumb idea.  2+2 = fruit?  Hey man, I don’t look for facts, I just believe it.

But there are dumb ideas.  They are determined by how egregiously somebody’s position conflicts with the facts.  If you don’t give a damn about the facts, you are committing yourself to having a mind filled with dumb ideas.  You should expect better for yourself, but Christianity has suppressed that instinct.

The bleeding and obvious truth is that you would be a better person without your religion.

As far as “Explain the difference between faith and gullibility” well this is a tricky one for me.

That should tell you something (hint: because they’re the same thing).  Well, maybe not quite the same thing.  A gullible person doesn’t know they’re being gullible and doesn’t want to be gullible.  Those keen on faith actively pursue their gullibility.

 the difference, I would say, is that Gullibility is the willingness to quickly and easily accept something. To have faith is to ponder over time the credibility of ones belief. And also that your acceptance of faith within that belief cannot yet be proved.

If you don’t give a damn about the facts, you’re not pondering the credibility of your beliefs (unless you’ve determined them to be idiotic).

And that’s horseshit anyway.  Lots of people ponder the reliability of their beliefs over time.  The ones who give a shit about the accuracy of their beliefs incorporate facts and reason to make sure they’re not buying into bullshit (like gullible people do).  According to your own assertion, people of faith don’t do that.

The guy was a great speaker and, once again, made many valid points. But one thing that really bugged me is the “But one day we might find evidence for God!” slide. He says “Yes it is possible, and at that point we will change our minds, but not a second sooner.” This means you have no Faith. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE BASED ON!

Caps lock key.  Find it.  Press it.  Fix your life.

If faith means believing something without evidence then faith is a stupid ass thing to have.  You know what stupid people do?  They believe in things for no reasons.  The guy who thinks the moon is really made of green cheese?  He’s a blinkering idiot.  It doesn’t matter how strongly he believes the moon is a gargantuan dairy product (in fact, one could argue that the more fervently he believes it the bigger dunce he is).  He’s the very definition of an idiot because he concluded something without any facts.

How can you preen with such indignation in the same breath that you boast of drawing your conclusions in the same way?  Are you listening to yourself?

When you point your disgruntled finger at me to chastise my lack of faith, it’s like taunting me for not having herpes.  All I can say is, “good” and “you should get rid of yours.”

if you want to relate to us and try to “trash our arguments” you have to tell me why my faith is stupid and overall non credible.

Am I allowed to use facts?

This is what I think cannot be done and is why Christianity is still large and overwhelming idea, belief, and lifestyle within todays society, government, economy, etc.

I gave a whole talk explaining why a lot of your ideas are stupid and overall not credible.  You commented on a link containing that talk.  You presumably watched it.  Did you forget it?

And Christianity is large because it was spread under the sword for centuries and because Christians are willing to indoctrinate children.  If Christianity were widespread because it’s such a great idea, there would be scientific papers published on god’s existence, god would be part of economic models, etc.  Instead god is just believed by some humans who partake in these things but leave him out of all their figures.

God is not a part of those things at all.  Human beings who believe in him are.  But when it comes to doing well at those things, those people use facts and reason, the very things you eschew for faith.

As a christian, you must be able to breakdown our faith and use that to “trash our arguments”. I believe it cannot be done.

Breaking down faith is as trivially easy as scratching your nose.  In your case, all I need to do is hold up a mirror.  As soon as you accuse me of using facts, you’ve conceded.

Just wanted to thank everybody that had a nice conversation with me and im glad we are able to respect each others beliefs.

I do not respect your beliefs.  You don’t even respect them, at least not enough to place more value on the reliability of the methods you used to achieve your beliefs than in the beliefs themselves.

Frankly, I don’t respect you either.  You’ve displayed an immense lack of introspection and forethought before charging in to lecture other people, and you don’t even have the self-awareness to be ashamed.

For the record i do not try to push my religion onto those that have no interest in it

If you believe hell is in the balance, then you’re bragging about not caring too much if people burn there.

and i do not think atheist are bad people.

Congratulations on your growing mastery of the obvious.

I have tons of atheist friends that can accept my beliefs and vice versa.

Bully for them.  I don’t.  Your beliefs are silly.  You can, and should, do better.

They are great people. Tons of great christians too, and also tons of bad ones, bad atheist too. Doing good deeds for whatever the reason, be it religion, or morals, or some of that good ‘ole Southern Hospitality is ultimately what will make the world a better place.

If all we need is a concern for what will make the world a better place, we don’t need faith.  We don’t need bad reasons to be good.  You must’ve seen my argument for this in the talk, ut you did nothing to rebut it.

A few times per year you can bet that a child will fall sick with a preventable illness.  Rather than take that child to the doctor, the parents will pray and pray (and will recruit others to pray).  They will do this for weeks as their child’s condition worsens.  Their child’s pulse will slow, their skin will lose its color, their breathing will evaporate, they will weep in pain and at no time will the parents summon an ambulance.  They will watch and pray until their child dies.

If the word “bad” is to have any meaningful definition, parents who watch as their child slowly and painfully dies are bad.  They are monsters.  But there is an important thing to note: these parents loved their child.  They loved their child as much as you love yours (or would love yours).  They wanted their child to get well as much as any loving parents would.  The evil of these parents did not spring from the womb of malcontent.  Their intentions were pure.  The fault was that the parents failed to be reasonable.  They failed to incorporate facts just as proudly as you.  They had bad ideas about how the universe worked that twisted their love into the murder of their offspring.

And so it is with so many who do harm to others, whether it is the Catholic church hastening the spread of AIDS or Muslims carving away at their daughters’ genitals, irrationality corrupts good intentions.  This is why, if you have good intentions, you have a moral obligation not only to yourself, but to those around you who are affected by your actions (which are an extension of your beliefs), to try and figure out reality to the best of your ability.  To fail to do so is to take the chance that your good intentions will not be borne out in reality.

The response will come back: so criticize the people who are monsters, leave the charitable believers alone.  But that’s simply not possible.  When I criticize the monsters of faith, from the parents who lovingly watch their children die to the mobs who love the sinner enough to vote away their rights, I must criticize their primary failing which is not a lack of compassion or good intent.  Most of the people on this planet have good intentions.  The problem with virtually every person who has contributed to human suffering is that they failed to be reasonable.  That is their sin.  It was the difference-maker, the thing that makes monsters of otherwise good people.

It is a sin, I will argue, that is shared by each and every Christian.  And it is a poison spread by every single proud believer who marches into a thread to tell others they need faith, not facts.

Don’t tell me about the good intentions of the Christians you know.  Tell me about the reliability of their beliefs and, if you can’t adequately do that, then you are only bragging to me of their moral failing.

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