Sat, 04th Jun, 2016

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PostHeaderIconTrue Faith Opens Door to Happiness

I've just read this:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10619800&p...

The guys from the No God Ads campaign are organising an official letter (/article) to the papers but I'm bored so here's my half-assed debunking:

I questioned the first sentence, suggesting that it was inconsistent with what we know about our fine-tuned physical and biological world.

The Strong Anthropic Argument (a form of the teleological argument) has been dealt with pretty thoroughly elsewhere.

Basically the argument is "The universe is fine-tuned to produce life (/us) therefore Goddit"

The arguments range from the complex and quantum (many worlds / brane theory) to the blindingly-obvious-once-its-been-pointed-out-to-you. I.e. the universe is not fine-tuned for life. 99.999999% of it (or whatever) is hostile to life. (Even most of the planet earth is hostile to human / mammalian life.)

Some years back our Government introduced a volunteer programme in prisons. It turns out that 86 per cent of the volunteers are motivated by belief in God.

The question here is "Motivated to do what?" Help people? Or convert them to your sect?

A word you'll hear a lot in any church environment is "outreach", which is used to describe any programme where members will have an opportunity to 'witness' or preach to unbelievers. Even in situations where they don't openly preach or aggressively try to convert the unsaved, the underlying expectation is that the sinners will be so impressed by 'our' kind-heartedness and charity that they'll (eventually) want to "give their lives to Christ".

How many of the non-religious charities and atheist philanthropists are trying to convert people to atheism?

(Wow - that's a huge generalisation... I don't mean that this is the case in all situations, just many.)

Jeff Tallon also quotes the bible here - plenty of verses in the bible about giving money to people and helping the sick and poor and so forth...

My next argument here would normally be to point out some biblical teachings that are, in any sense of the word, morally repugnant.

What's amazing however is that, unlike most cherry-picking xian trubees, Jeff actually let one of these slip past his I-don't-want-to-read-anything-bad-in-the-bible filters:

On a regular cycle, slaves were to be set free, lands returned to original owners and debts released.

That's right boys and girls... JT actually offers the bible's explicit acceptance and endorsement of slavery as an example of xian charity and "compassion".

Next time you see JT on the street (or any xian arguing that the bible should be used as any sort of guide to moral or ethical behaviour) ask them what the penalty should be for a child who talks back to a parent, what the procedure is for a woman who gets raped by a man, or what price he thinks you'd get if you were to sell your daughter into slavery.

I can't be bothered to research all his crazy claims here (for example: I'd be very surprised if Einstein said anything along the lines of "In the teachings of Christ and the prophets, one has a pedagogy which is capable of healing all the ills of humankind" giving his well-documented disdain for organised religion) but the comment I found the most surprising (and most exciting) was this claim:

And the primary claim that "there's probably no God" is demonstrably incorrect in the light of what we know about the world.

Wow. This physicist (presumably intelligent and well-educated, although you wouldn't necessarily know it from this article) is claiming to be able to demonstrate the existence of God.

He can demonstrate that the statement "There's probably no God" is, in his words, incorrect.

I am excited.

Given that this demonstration is presumably going to involve some sort of supernatural element, I've forwarded this to the JREF as a potential candidate for the million dollar challenge (I've also left a comment on the article - I hope he sees it!!!)