Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vile anti-abortion lobby

I was sickened when I saw this article:-

Last Abortion Clinic in South Dakota Closes after Law Requires Patients be Informed of Possible Side Effects

July 24, 2008 - On Monday, July 21, eight women arrived at the Planned Parenthood office in Sioux Falls in South Dakota for abortions, but were instead met with locked doors and a hand-written note indicating the only abortion clinic in South Dakota was closed.

Planned Parenthood closed its doors after their abortionists, who are flown in from other states, refused to work under the new law that went into effect last Friday. The law orders abortionists to inform patients of the humanity of their babies and that the procedure could affect their mental health two hours before the abortion is set to be performed. The law also provides that abortionists can be sued if they do not comply.

This is typical of theists, they use laws to impose their own moral standing on other people. These laws are an affront to common sense. After all, legal abortions in the United States (pursuant to the decision in Roe v Wade) are permitted while the embryo is in very early development, ie before the 20th week of the pregnancy. A foetus (shown below) does not have potassium ions present in its brain - thus it cannot think.

There is no actual cruelty in the abortion of that foetus. Recent studies show that thalamcortical connections (ie the circuits that allow for neural reaction to physical pain) do not form in the feotus until the 26th week of gestation (Lee, Susan (August 24/31, 2005). "Fetal Pain A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence". The Journal of the American Medical Association 294 (8): 947. the American Medical Association. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.947).

Accordingly, the laws in South Dakota that require abortionists to state that the foetus has "humanity" rely on gross untruths. Clearly this law is designed to evade the decision in Roe v Wade which allows a female the right to terminate a pregnancy.

But what about the costs? Readers may not be aware that there is significant evidence that societies that do not allow for termination of unwanted pregnancy experience higher levels of crime ( The work of Donahue and Levitt in the study showed that there was a significant decrease in crime rates 18 years after the decriminalisation of abortion in the United States in 1973. They postulated that the only cause which could be identified for the decrease in crime rates was the earlier decriminalistion of abortion.

Why are theists so eager to see more unhappiness, poverty and pain in the world? Do they not realise the forseeable outcome of preventing abortion is going to be unwanted children living in poor conditions?

I would argue that theists impose this moral rule in order to make people avoid sex out of wedlock. Clearly pregnancy is a potential outcome from sexual relations and that, by restricting a methods of controlling that potential outcome, theists are actually attempting to control the sex lives of other people. Why theists can't just stay out of other people's business is unclear - but it is clear that they have not given up on their fairy tales and that we have much work to do before humans are truly free.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why do people laugh at creationist?

In the days of Moses (if he existed), Jesus and Mohammed, there was so little knowledge about the universe that it was believable that life was made by a personal God who looked over the affairs of men - and that the world was made for men. The tale neccesarily imported the belief that the universe, earth and man was new and which can be found in Genesis.

That was then and this is now. In the time since men first bowed down to illusory and vague deities we have learned much about the universe and life. We have incorporated our methods of discovering the nature of the world around us into science and through science we have found that the universe, our world and life itself is not consistent with the stories of old.

So, why is it that some people do not throw off the shackles of ancient stories in the light of modern science? The answer to this is not simple - but there are some rational explanations, the first and foremost of this is ignorance.

CASE has recently been engaged in battle against a group called operation 513. Their creationist creed stipulates that the earth is only 6,000 years old as presumed from the Bible. Thus, they do not believe there is any truth to the theory of evolution. Operation 513 recently wrote an article from a "scientist" in which they sought to show that the recent Lenski experiment regarding the mutation of E.Coli bacteria was false. The mutation was that the bacteria could digest citrate in an oxic (high oxygen) state. The article written by Operation 513 stated that CASE and Lenski's conclusions regarding mutation were wrong because E.Coli can digest citrate in an anaerobic state (low/no oxygen). This clearly missed the point of the Lenski experiment and the mutation observed in that experiment. So why did they write the article - clearly the writer had not undertaken the basic research into what Lenski had observed, probably not even reading the paper given by Lenski. Nothing less than sheer ignorance.

Science is about research - without political or religious motives. Scientists are not seeking to prove God does not exist, they are just trying to carry out research into the world around them. Yet, sceintists are constantly being derided by theists because their conclusions are that there is no God (or at least the God described in Holy Books). Those criticisms, like the one from Operation 513 are usually based on ignorance. But look at the acerbic tone of the conclusion:-

Are you possibly just clinging to another poor excuse of a support for a dying theory? Have you perhaps overstretched your assumption that the world is all chance and no design? Are you betraying just a little of your unrighteous and unjustified bias that there is no God by forcing science to be your unwilling ally? Are you not merely running from what you know? (That you are responsible to God who made you, the absolute law giver who determines absolute right and wrong).

Don't you a mortal man stand this very moment on a flimsy perch over the fiery judgement for your rebellious unbelief and sins? That said though, aren't you and all atheist offered freely the gift of eternal life and peace with God if you will abandon your sin and trust in Jesus; in His work of atoning death and glorious resurrection?

Well that's all my questions for now, I would love to know your thoughts. Please be honest and consider carefully your response, I would hate to see you make a monkey of yourself.

Im sorry my friend - all that you've done is make yourself look silly. There is no judgement day, no afterlife that we have observed. Although we will all die, I am confident that the presuppositions that you have relied upon to reach the conclusion of an afterlife are a sham, unreal and a lie. Nevertheless, we atheists and scientists everywhere encourage you to step into the enlightenment and throw away your dogmas and ignorance.

Why do people laugh at creationists.

Only creationists don't know why.

Asking Jesus a question or two.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The logically inconsistent God

The concept of a personal God is logically inconsistent in many ways. Perhaps the most inconsistent is the concept of afterlife punishment. Think about it from God's perspective, you create the universe and set these little beings on a planet with the whole point of judging them after they die - when you created these being, you already knew what the results would be because you are omnipotent. So, whats the point of the exercise? To show how powerful you are to the little beings? Surely God could have done that by simply appearing directly to the little beings.

The fact is that the punishment philosophy only appears to be logical from the perspective of the little beings - and not God. For God, the answers are already worked out - why bother with the process?

Furthermore, by engaging in the process, it means that God forces himself into letting people go to Hell? If God can forsee this, then doesn't that mean that God voluntarily chose to cause some beings to go to Hell? From his point of view, that seems a bit "ungodlike".

Theists will generally argue that its all about us "little beings" - but isnt that a bit anthropocentric? Furthermore, the concept that God may have morally sufficient reasons for sending people to Hell necessarily requires that he is prepared to expend some human life for other human life. Doesn't that negate the oft-held view that God loves everyone? He knows that he must sacrifice that life before he created the universe - surely an all-loving God could get it to work out without having to sacrifice anyone to Hell. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Of course, this point of view doesn't enter the mind of a person that thinks that they are going to be saved - which is just selfishness really.

At the end of the day, the punishment point of view only makes sense only if God was the product of a human mind. Since most religions (Christianity, Islam etc) make the punishment concept a fundamental principle of their faith - doesn't this lead to the conclusion that those religions are the product of the human mind as well.

Religion should stay out of politics

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Life is complex

In recent weeks I have raised the issue of Cit+ E.Coli in the Lenski experiment that proves positive mutation. In rebuttal to this, theists have made the statement: "That doesn't prove anything, you started off with E.Coli and ended up with E.Coli". This is, of course, a result of the theists lack of biological training. Its the equivalent of saying that a housecat that gives birth to a lynx is not a mutation because they are both cats:-

(Felis Catus) --> (Felis Lynx canadensis)

So, what is the difference between the common house cat Felis Catus and a lynx such as Felis Lynx canadensis? Well, its simply that one organism has genetic code that gives it smaller body mass, decreased aggression, no black tips on the ends of its ears etc. On the other hand, a significant amount of the housecats genome is the same or similar to that of a lynx (including for instance the colourings of its coat as seen above).

So, how do we determine these two species are different? In the past biologists have had to rely on the physical characteristics of the species. Their size, colourings, behaviour etc. But does that work out when we compare individuals within all species? What about man's best friend:-

Above: A St Bernard eyes of some lunch

Both the St Bernard and the Chihuahuas shown above are part of the same species Canis Lupis Familiaris and yet they have significantly different characteristics, or do they? The chemical structure of the St Bernard is the same as that of the Chihuahua, rather, the proportions of those chemical structures vary between the two individuals. They are effectively the same organism, but in the St Bernard certain genes are enhanced (Such as hair, body mass, slobbering etc). This, does however show that mutation alone does not cause significant changes in biology - those changes can also be a result of activity within an existing genome.

This is totally different to the Cit+ E.Coli which mutated in the Lenski experiment. Those E.Coli have a different chemical structure which allows them to digest Citrate. Thus, should Cit+ E.Coli be called E.Coli at all? Well, there is no problem with labelling them as E.Coli as that definition covers a variety of different microbes with different characteristics:-

A strain of E. coli is a sub-group within the species that has unique characteristics that distinguish it from other E. coli strains. These differences are often detectable only on the molecular level; however, they may result in changes to the physiology or lifecycle of the bacterium. For example, a strain may gain pathogenic capacity, the ability to use a unique carbon source, the ability to inhabit a particular ecological niche or the ability to resist antimicrobial agents. Different strains of E. coli are often host-specific, making it possible to determine the source of fecal contamination in environmental samples.

This is just a result of taxonomy, being the study of classifying living things. It is an interesting question, if the Lenski experiment is the first time we have observed a mutation from one species into a new species under controlled conditions - how will taxonomy react? Surely the old rules (which require species to be differentiated) will not apply when a new species comes from an existing one. Nevertheless, this is only a distraction from the main point.

Some theists argue that this is not evidence for evolution because the microbe did not evolve into a dog (or some other complex animal). I would respond by asking what the difference is between the microbe and a dog. Both have genetic codes which determine their chemical constructions - its just the construction that is different. E.Coli are asexual, bacteria (as opposed to eukaryotic), directly take food in through their cell walls, anaerobic replicators. Dogs are sexual, eukaryotic, with developed food processing tracts, aerobic replicators.
If we now know that mutations can result in additional characteristics then how many mutations would be required for a bacteria to become a dog. There could be thousands of mutations occuring at distant intervals of time - nonetheless, we are not dealing with a 20 year time period. In fact, fossils indicate that the first "big mutation" that would be necessary, being the transition from single cell (bacteria) to multi-cell (eukaryotic) organisms happened about 2.1 billion years ago. Over that time frame, the incredulity of theists does seem a little petty.

But, lets do the maths, the Lenski experiment showed a mutation happen in 25,000 generations - on average, E.Coli reproduce every 233 minutes. There have been about 1077300000000000 minutes since Bacteria first became Eukaryotic. Thus we could expect about 4623605150214 generations in that time, which, with a uniform mutation rate would be around 184944206 mutations. Do you think that 184944206 additions to the genes of a microbe could result in a dog? (Of course, this maths is flawed because the reproduction rate between microbes is shorter than later mutations, such as dogs - nonetheless, we should expect a significantly large number of mutations, or additions to genetic code, to be available to bring the genetic code from 500,000 base pairs in bacteria to 300,000,000 base pairs in humans).

But, perhaps the biggest problem for theists is not mutation and change in characteristics between bacteria and dogs. Their incredulity comes from the fact that they cannot accept this line of mutations and changes:-

--> --> -->
Apes --> Australopithecus --> Homo Antecessor --> Homo Sapien

But if you want some real evidence that life can take strange twists and turns, take a look at these squid (try to count the legs):-

Back on the CASE

Sorry I havent been round.

I'm ill, overworked, underpaid and outsmarted by my girlfriend. It appears my usual statement "all absolute statements could be wrong (including this one)" is in fact wrong, there is one absolute truth: "My girlfriend is always right".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A day on YouTube

Bad to spend a whole day watching YouTube - but at least George Carlin understands.

I don't believe

Beware - God is doing online marketing now. PS, I cant wait for this movie to come out

Campaign for the Caveat

CASE considers it is vital to public health and safety for any marketing tool to be subject to the usual safety information, for instance, we see "Smoking causes emphesyma" labels on packets of cigarettes. CASE believes this same level of public warning should come with all religion, thus CASE is starting the "campaign for the caveat". As part of this campaign, all religious figures should include in their prosetylizations a warning that "they could be wrong".

CASE had its first campaign for the caveat discussion with Ryan Hamelaar of Operation 513 over the weekend. Mr Hamelaar admitted to CASE that he could be wrong the "the Bible was inspired by God". Mr Hamelaar also stated that he did not believe it was wrong, but at least he has the humility to admit he is not infallible.

CASE asked Mr Hamelaar if he would state what he had stated privately to the whole crowd next time he preaches. Mr Hamelaar noted that he would not. Nonetheless, CASE will continue to prosecute public admission of uncertainty from Mr Hamelaar and other Operation 513 members. Why? Well, partly because its fun but mostly because it serves the public interest to allow people hearing the marketing message of Operation 513 to know that allegations about the existence of God are just as fallible as all other hypothesis made without factual evidence.

Mr Hamelaar again stated that CASE officer Alex Stewart was an agnostic and not an atheist, ironically, in light of Mr Hamelaars admission we could say that so is he.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Knock one down, another will get up

It is ironic that theists consider knocking one atheist commentator down means that all of atheism is defeated. I have often knocked down the Pope on various issues but am told that does not defeat christianity. Why the hypocrisy?

(Above): Cult leader reflects on poor choice of career

The fact is that, in accordance with the holy statements of Brian, "You are all individuals". This is a statement that cannot be more true of atheism. The reason is that atheists are bound together by a single characteristic - lack of faith in a personal God. Thus, all the other characteristics of a person can manifest in complete variation to another atheist standing next to him. For instance, take Christopher Hitchens following statement regarding the war in Iraq:-

Coexistence with aggressive regimes or expansionist, theocratic, and totalitarian ideologies is not in fact possible. One should welcome this conclusion for the additional reason that such coexistence is not desirable, either. If the great effort to remake Iraq as a demilitarized federal and secular democracy should fail or be defeated, I shall lose sleep for the rest of my life in reproaching myself for doing too little.

(left) Chris Hitchens - fat and loving it!!!

Personally, I consider the war in Iraq to be an abhorent act based on personal prejudices from a regime in the United States that won power through deception and not democracy. I am not within the atheist community to differ from Hitchens, Richard Dawkins consider the following:-

Whatever anyone may say about weapons of mass destruction, or about Saddam's savage brutality to his own people, the reason Bush can now get away with his war is that a sufficient number of Americans, including, apparently, Bush himself, see it as revenge for 9/11. This is worse than bizarre. It is pure racism and/or religious prejudice. Nobody has made even a faintly plausible case that Iraq had anything to do with the atrocity. It was Arabs that hit the World Trade Centre, right? So let's go and kick Arab ass. Those 9/11 terrorists were Muslims, right?And Eye-raqis are Muslims, right? That does it. We're gonna go in there and show them some hardware. Shock and awe? You bet.

Wait a second, if they are both atheists - they why do they have different points of view? Simple, atheists are individuals. We are sufficiently capable of making our own decisions and accordingly, we can come to different conclusions on different issues, except by definition, on whether we believe in God.

The road that we take to atheism is also different (although this should be returning to atheism, after all, no-one is born a theist). Some arrive here because evolutionary biology is inconsistent with the Garden of Eden, some can see the traditional use (and misuse) of power, some dispute the historical origin while others dispute the results. Most of us, though, can see that it is just a scam.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Poll confirms Christians not persecuted enough

A recent CASE poll on the persecution of Christians in modern Australia reveals that over 70% of the population consider that Christians should be persecuted more. These results are stunning in light of the fact that at least 40% of the Australian population classify themselves as Christians. CASE can only conclude that either:-

1. Some christians are actually atheists on the inside
2. Even christians think christians should be persecuted more

CASE is responding to the public demand for christian persecution and has promised that members of the CASE covert and overt warfare department will commence church bombings and public crucifictions of church leaders by the end of the month.

For our next poll, CASE is concerned about the level of education regarding the theory of evolution and is testing your knowledge about the theory of evolution and natural selection. This is in response to various theist demagogues that believe that evolution states a species will mutate into a whole new species in a single generation.

This, and other observations like the following from Fundies say the darndest things, are just examples of how difficult some people find the theory of evolution to understand:-

How can anyone beleive we evolved from monkeys heres a few questions for people who beleive that

1.If we did evolve from monkeys then how come babies arent born monkeys

2.Even Darwin said his theories were wrong before he died so why do you still believe them you really not believe the bible it says we were created in seven days not millions of years come we cant speak monkey

Just for a fact ape like creatures are monkeys Just in case certain people get on this thread

coolstylinstud, Christian Forums

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Growing Atheism

Found this on Youtube today, nice video on positive correlation between atheism and healthy societies:-

Fundies are people too

For those of you that do not know, "Fundie" is a (derogatory) term that atheists level at "fundamentalist" theists, usually christians. A fundamentalist is a person that holds their faith as the fundamental underpinning of their worldview. It does not matter what evidence or experience that you provide to Fundies - they will always hold to their faith.

CASE psychological warfare division has been busily preparing the manual on helping friends that are fundies on the road to recovery. Entitled "Fundies are people too", the book should be available for the low price of $19.95 (incl GST) by Christmas.

During our research we ran across a terrible culture of poking fun at fundamentalists. Just look at the disgusting use of fundamentalists own words to deride their worldview at the Fundies say the darndest things website.

Of course, we atheists can't help at enjoying this guilty pleasure - watching the depserately irrational responses of those with "absolute knowledge" and where that can lead them.

I think the best example would be either this one from Heartbrokenbrad:-

actually (evolution) was darwins mean of destroying God because at seminnary he was a loser who got made fun of so he just got mad at God and didn't want to believe in him.

or this from Kimby:-

There is a Gay Agenda to force GLBT sexuality on every Christian, anywhere they dare exist out in the open. That is not myth, paranoia or urban legend. It is a fact

or see if you can spot the logical problem in this analysis of twentieth century global politics:-

I mean, hell, every US president since we've had the bomb has been an avowed Christian of some denomination or other, and we never deployed nuclear weapons against the Soviets or the Chinese on the grounds that we'd be welcomed into Heaven by Jesus for opposing communism. Likewise, despite their atheistic disregard for life and human freedom, the Soviets never deployed their own nukes in their unstoppable quest for world domination

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here trolly (or, why absolute knowledge is doubtful)

Fellow atheists will probably groan as we hear another theist arguing that there is such thing as absolute knowledge. Theists usually advance the notion because it is necesary to justify their faith in the face of doubt, that is, if we cannot know something to be absolutely certain then faith in that thing *may* be misplaced. Of course, this offers an 'out' to any atheist (or theist for that matter) in accepting the theists arguments that God exists.

Recently, the brisbane atheist meetup group was attacked by rather nasty troll who called himself Proofthatgodexists ('the troll') whose website is full of the usual theist word games.

The troll proceeded to make various statements such as

"God, as He has revealed to us, is universal, abstract, and invariant"
The atheists online made several points to the troll that he is actually assuming, in that statement and in others, that he has absolute certainty about logic. When we put this issue to him, he repeatedly noted that his worldview was correct because it was. Now, for someone that claimed to have absolute knowledge about logic, this arguments seemed a little light on the ground.

Not satisfied with our critique of the worldview that he advanced (which he asked for mind you), he then set about attacking the world view of other members of the group. For instance,

Problem is, science is dependent on the unifromity of nature, another concept
which does not comport with any atheistic worldview. The only reason science can
be done is because we proceed on the assumption that nature is uniform, or 'the
future is like the past.' Without that assumption, science would be impossible.
I account for the uniformity of nature in the promises of God. On what basis do
YOU believe that the sceintific method is valid?
We tried to explain to the troll that science had worked in the past and accordingly we considered it was reliable, but that we could not be absolutely certain the method would always work. Thus, the method - like everything, was imperfect knowledge such that it was very probable that it could be true but we did not discount the possibility of it being wrong.

Of course, it probably didnt help matters that we had made fun of the trolls website by quoting some of the statement there, like the following Q & A:

Why should I become a Christian?
You should become a Christian because Christianity is true.

Could God have used fallible people to write an infallible book?
Of course, He is God after all.

Why must the God proven on this site be the God of Christianity?
The God proven on this site must be the God of Christianity because He is the only God that HAS been proved here. No other version of God is logically defensible. The God of Christianity is the only God who makes sense out of human experience.

So you can probably empathise with what sort of nutjob we are talking about here, as well as why he seemed to become so upset that we did not accept what he said. I pointed out that the foundation of his belief in God was the Bible, so I asked him:-

Of course, seeing as you are merely a human brain it is necesary for us to recognise that it is your interpretation of those words [the Bible] that you have faith in - could you be wrong?

If yes, then you cannot be sure that you know God.
If no, then you are infallible and equal to God.

So, which one is it?

His response was not to answer, but rather to ask a nonsensical question (this would continue for a couple of days - at least):-
Again, this begs the question in that it assumes that God COULD not reveal some
things to us in such a way that we can know them for certain.
We asked him repeatedly for some evidence that God HAD revealed something to him in such a way that we can know them for certain. Such evidence was not given. Furthermore, as we continued to show that all knowledge could be doubtful (even that statement) because it came from imperfect minds (ie humans and trolls) we found our friend getting further and further from his intial statement to:-
expectation that the future will even probably be like the past. THAT my friend
is proceeding on the expectation that nature is uniform, and is inconsistent
with any atheistic view of the universe.

Actually, it was an expections that nature will probably act in a certain way. Not certainty that it would act in a certain way - our troll, however, was beginning to fully depart from his position. Interestingly, it happened on another thread of the same website where we were discussing morality. The troll, who continued to complain about consistency and was getting increasingly agitated (posting 6 times in one day) made the generous statement that:-

Well, I never claimed to have absolute knowledge, but if I did, you really can't be certain that I haven't provided any evidence now can you?
Oh, we can be pretty sure Mr troll. We can be pretty sure.

So, where does this all get us?

The truth is a really difficult nut to crack. When you get a glimmer of something that seems true it usually only takes a second peak to realise there is something wrong with it. Why? Well, in order to know something absolutely you would have to have:-

1. Observed the same event; and,
2. That event must happen the same way
3. Everytime
4. Ever

Otherwise we cannot discount the possibility of the event happening a different way in some other place in the universe. Humans cant really do that, we are limited mortal creatures that have not, and cannot, observe the entire universe. Thus, as Bertrand Russell pointed out, can a human brain hold absolute truth?

This position requires us to acknowledge that we could be wrong about anything (including this statement). Conversely, a person that believes they have absolute truth must think a human brain is infallible, their own. Through all the rants and raves though - I think I have found a response that may settle our troll, both in relation to his continuing agression towards the Brisbane Atheist Meetup group members as well as in relation to his claims of absolute proof. I offer Proverbs 29:22-23
An angry man stirs up strife and a furious man abounds in transgression. A
man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain
I again quote the trolls statements:-

You accept the validity of your ability to reason on faith (blind faith at that), whereas I accept the validity of my reasoning as I know that it is a gift from God. Of the two of us, you are the one offering the faith-based argument.
You could be wrong about that too ;)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pollster doesnt understand sarcasm

This recent poll indicates more about pollsters than the poll:-

Just another example of how buggered up America is (To self: Does that blog title say church??).

CASE gagged

CASE officers pursuing rival terrorist group operation 513 were gagged today after proving there is no such thing as objective morality.

The Operation 513 argument, advanced by mind slave Ryan Hemelaar ("msrh"), was that:-

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.

2. Objective moral values do exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

In support of this silly argument - msrh quotes from Michael Ruse as follows:-

The first premise is acknowledged by many atheist philosophers as being plausibly true, even the prominent philosopher of science Michael Ruse explains,

"Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory."

CASE made various points asking where this objective morality resides - to which there was no response. Accordingly, CASE returned to the initial silliness and noted that:-

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist

This is inductive logic and can only be shown where you have knowledge of everything in the universe - thus the argument fails on point 1. I do not even have to put forward a second suggestion because it relies on a. evidence for God (of which there is none) and b. evidence of objective morality (of which there is none).

Of course, I will show below with respect to his commentary that what he has termed objective morals are actually a false description.

2. Objective moral values do exist

Not proven - definition insufficient for testing. Point 2 fails.

3. Therefore, God exists

Again, based on an unproven assumption.

So, why has ryan made a mistake

Firstly, he has made a massive leap into the inductive world. We know that such arguments are prone to failure and should not be relied upon.

Secondly, he has put in a definition of 'objective morality' which is not technically objective. Such that his evidence for objective morality given in part based on the statement of Michael Ruse does not fit in with his point 1.

Point 1. would only work if God is the one that created the "objective morality" and yet in the definition given by Michael Ruse, a completely different cause is given:-

Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth.

So did God give us this "objective morality" or was it a response to the environment?

Furthermore, Michael Ruse accepts that the morality sourced in this way is a response to the individual's needs for survival:-

Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory

Because each individual has a different survival pressure put upon them, they will neccesarily develop a morality that is "subject" to their own circumstances -accordingly, Michael Ruse is saying that morality is subjective based on identifiable causes.

Is this what Ryan meant in line 1:-

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist

No, it isnt. Why? Because those survival pressures exist independent of God. Thus morality is independent of God, based on the very evidence that Ryan brings to this argument.

It was after outlining these arguments that msrh blocked further comments on the article and stated, inter alia:-

The Michael Ruse quote was not supporting that objective morality exists, but rather to show that if God does not exist then no objective morality should exist. But objective morals do exist, so thus God must exist.

This seems a little at odds with his initial introduction that:-

The first premise is acknowledged by many atheist philosophers as being plausibly true, even the prominent philosopher of science Michael Ruse explains,

Michael Ruse's quote is just a description of how we (possibly) determine right and wrong for ourselves. It has nothing to do with objective morality, nor does it give any credence to the notion that objective morality requires God. Rather, it is evidence that morality is subjective. In which case, msrh is required to show where this 'objective morality' comes from? Could it be that a Christian did not understand his own argument?

Despite open requests and several opportunities - msrh has not provided a single shred of evidence for objective morality, rather he has stated:-

But objective morals do exist, so thus [sic] God must exist.

He wants it to be true so much that he puts in the equals sign twice. Perhaps CASE should, for the sake of msrh provide a short statement on what makes a logical argument.

1. A logical argument is based on several related points

2. The connection between each of the related points must be established

3. Each point or statement must be substantiated with evidence

4. Any terms that are used must be defined sufficiently

5. Statements that are not supported by evidence cannot be relied upon to connect otherwise unrelated points.

So, msrh has committed the grevious error of failing to define 'objective morality' (4), making statements that God is required for there to be 'objective morality' without any connection (2), failing to provide any evidence for 'objective morality (3), relying on unproven points to conclude that God exists (5). Thus, his argument is not logical (1).

Of course, gagging CASE while being torn to shreds is an example of morality in itself, after all:-

Morality is just an aid to survival

Now you decide, was that right or was it wrong? (or is that too obvious for you?)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Heaven does not exist

Atheists will usually debate the problem of evil with theists because it is proof that God does not exist. On the flip side however, theists retain a notion of life after death and there being a reward for being good called Heaven. Of course, this is in spite of the fact that God created evil in the first place (Isaiah 45:7).

So, how will God judge our good deeds from our bad? Theists are forced to say there is some objective morality outside of humans - a standard of good and evil. This is clearly bupkis as I have repeatedly asked for theists to produce a copy of this objective morality and they have repeatedly failed. CASE considers the reason for this is simple - morality is determined by the individual and is not beamed into humans from some outside source.

But if there is no objective morality then how would God judge us? Wouldn't it be an arbitary decision from God to promote certain people into Heaven and turn others away? Of course, the clear unfai and arbitrary nature of such a decision is the reason why theists seek to establish 'objective moral' standards in the first place.

Furthermore, if Heaven were a real place within existence then surely is must border on something (in existence) that is not perfect. Thus, in order for heaven not to be contaminated by the surrounding imperfection it would have to be:-
  1. Bordered by something that is impermeable
  2. Bordered by something that causes all passing objects to become perfect.

Neither of those situations have ever been observed within our universe and furthermore, they both infringe upon the laws of thermodynamics. More importantly, in the first case - if nothing can get in - then neither can departed souls. Furthermore, in the second case by passing through the barrier, any soul would automatically be changed from what it was beforehand including sinners. So, even an evil person would be perfect in Heaven - why can't evil people go there then?

This brings us to the big problem with Heaven - free will. Free will immediately allows the person with free will to do evil acts. Thus a soul in heaven with free will could make that place imperfect by their presence. Would they then be kicked out of Heaven? or would their free will be stripped from them? Any other response would make heaven imperfect.

Another thing about Heaven that annoys me is that the Jewish faith is without any real doctrine of Heaven and yet the Christians who steal their religion do? WTF is that about? Most likely, its the evolution of the meme - a new mutation to coincide with Hell.

Finally, if Heaven did exist and there are souls there - why havent any of them returned to see us? Surely a mother's love is stronger than all the happiness in the world, why havent they come back for their kids?

There are lots of better reasons for Heaven not to exist - but there is no reason to say that it actually exist. That is, except for fear.