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Thought Zone – May 2008

August 3, 2009

Thought ZoneMay 2008

Top Ten Reasons I Don’t Believe In God.

May 5th 2008 11:40


10.MIRACLES

The Bible is full of them. So is the Koran. Moses parting the Red Sea, Lazarus coming back from the dead, Jesus walking on water, Jonah surviving a stint in the belly of a whale, Lot’s wife turning ]into a pillar of salt, illiterate Mohammed suddenly being able to read. It seems like those ancient desert folk could barely breathe without tripping over a miracle. Where are our miracles? Why has God gotten so shy all of a sudden? Now that his three “great” monotheistic religions have permeated into every corner of the globe, now that the human race has made a right mess of everything, now that we need him more than ever, why has he gotten the worst case of stage fright ever known to man?

Come on God, just one. Just one miracle is all I ask. It doesn’t have to be a big one like getting pregnant despite the fact I haven’t had sex since Kevin Rudd won the election, but an teency, weency, little one would do. Like not getting fat even though I’ve eaten white bread every day for two weeks. By the way, I am typing this with my right hand only as I fondle my own newly arrived love handles with my left.

9. OVERWHELMING LACK OF EVIDENCE.

Jews believe the Old Testament is the word of God because the OT says it is the word of God.

Christians weren’t happy with the OT on its own so they added the New Testament and believe that is the final word of God because the NT says it is the final word of God.

Mohammed was rather pissed off that Arabs were left out of the equation so he came up with the Koran and Muslims believe that is the final, final word of God because the Koran says it is the final, final word of God.

But you know, if we could find just a tiny shred, a scrap, a wee little crumb of evidence anywhere that any of the events in those books happened the way they say it happened, they will have me. I will be sold. I will believe.

Anyone? Anywhere? Anything?

8. REASON FORCES ME NOT TO.

Sorry Winston, but I did tell I was going to steal that line one day didn’t I? For Winston’s excellent post on atheism click on this Really Long Link

How can I, an adult, educated and, I would like to believe, reasonably intelligent woman believe that a perfect deity created me from the rib of another human being? For no reason other than he felt like it? How am I to believe that this happened only a few thousand years ago? And that I, as a woman am still paying the price for the sins of another woman that was supposedly committed all those years ago?

And how am I to believe that this deity is watching me. Everyday. Every little thing I do. Watching, keeping track so that one day He may judge me and cast me into the eternal pit of hell and damnation for committing the very sins which he created me to commit.

I can’t. And that’s all there is to it. I just can’t. Because it makes absolutely no sense at all. It requires more than faith or suspension of disbelief- it requires self-delusion.

7. HE CONTRADICTS HIMSELF

How can Mary be “ever-virgin” when the Bible says Jesus had four brothers as well as an undisclosed amount of sisters (Matthew 13:55-57)?

If Jesus was so loving and forgiving then why did he rudely tell a Caananite woman who pleaded with him for an exorcism that he would not waste his time helping a non-Jew (Matthew 15 21-28)?

Is he a “God of peace” (Romans 15:33) or a “God of war” (Exodus 15:3)?

Is Joseph the son of Jacob (Matthew 1:16) or the son of Heli (Luke 3:23)?

Is God “good to all: his tender mercies are over all his works. (Psalms 145:1) or does He “dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them”. (Jer 13:14)?

Is Jesus the equal of God as in “I and my Father are one (John 10:30) or does Jesus “go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I”. (John 14:28).

Yes, there are many, many more, but quite frankly I don’t think I have the time and patience to list them nor, I suspect, do you to read them.

6. CAIN AND ABEL

The Bible and Koran both say that all humankind is directly delineated from Adam and Eve. Upon being booted out of Eden, Eve bore many children, her two eldest being Cain and Abel. According to these books, after killing his brother Abel in a fit of jealous rage, Cain wandered into the wilderness and magically found himself a wife. But where did she come from? She is not one of Adam and Eve’s children. SO WHERE DID SHE COME FROM?

This is not a trivial point ladies and gentlemen. If Cain’s wife was not the offspring of Adam and Eve, then it means that not all humans are descendents of Adam and Eve which means the whole concept of the Garden of Eden, the fall from grace, the inheritance of original sin is a total crock. The idea that the human race are all natural born sinners, the notion that all our suffering is born out of the fact that Adam and Eve betrayed God is complete and utter rubbish. IT NEVER HAPPENED.

5. BERTRAND RUSSELL’S CELESTIAL TEAPOT AND THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER

Theists often seem to be of the opinion that they hold some sort of trump card when they gloat, “Well you can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, so nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah”. Whilst my first reaction to this infantile argument is an overwhelming desire to punch them in their smug little mouths, I do try to retain some sort of decorum and tell them, “Well we can’t really prove that anything doesn’t exist can we?”

One of my favourite atheists, the British philosopher Bertrand Russell. came up with the Teapot Hypothesis, which like the God Hypothesis, cannot actually be disproved:


“If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time”.


In the same vein, The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a present day deity first brought to our attention by American student Bobby Henderson in 2005. Bobby was alarmed that the Kansas School Board was considering approving the teaching Intelligent Design alongside evolution and wrote them an open letter requesting the teaching of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, as it was the basis of his own belief system. Bobby concludes:


“I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence”

.

The Kansas School Board nixed the teaching of Intelligent Design. Thank the FSM’s noodly appendage for Bobby Henderson everybody!

For a good read on The Flying Spaghetti Monster visit Morgan Bell’s blog via this Really Long Link

4. SMARTER PEOPLE THAN I

Here is a selection of quotes regarding God and religion from some of the most brilliant minds that ever were:

Albert Einstein: “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it”.

“The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve”

Thomas Jefferson: “The Bible is not my book. Nor Christianity my religion”.

Bertrand Russell: “I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its Churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world”.

“So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence”.

Frederich Nietzsche: “Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders?”

“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.”

Pierre Simon LaPlace: I have no need of that hypothesis”.

Seneca the Younger: “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful”.

Marie Curie: “Pierre belonged to no religion and I did not practice any”.

3. THE ENCYCLPAEDIA BRITANNICA

When I was growing up we, like every self-respecting wog family in the country, had the full 28 volume set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Plus the atlas and two(!) volume dictionary. It was proudly displayed in the living room wall unit, much to my mother’s consternation, as it meant she had to relegate her collection of non-stick, Margaret Fulton-approved, Bessemer pots and pans to the much smaller and decidedly less impressive cabinet in the un-renovated kitchen.

I grew up in a fairly religious Muslim family. My father tried to instil in us a good knowledge not only of Islam but also Christianity and Judaism (ah those intolerant Muslims huh?). One way in which he chose to do this was to gather the family around the telly every year when Cecile B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments would be polluting, I mean gracing, the airwaves. Growing up, I accepted the story as fact. But that was before the Encyclopaedia Britannica entered our lives. After watching the movie one particular year, I decided to see what it had to say on the matter of the parting of the Red Sea.

Well, according to this tome, Moses did not lead the Israelites to safety by parting the Red Sea, but by ushering them through the much more hospitable marshes known as The Sea of Reeds. Of course, this conflicts with the Biblical and Koranic versions. I read both, many times. I scratched my head. I lay awake in bed at night. I thought. I pondered. I wondered.

At the end of the day, I just decided that The Encyclopaedia made more sense.

I was 12 years old.

2. DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION BY NATURAL SELECTION

Now I’m not going to bore you all with any kind of analysis of one of the most enlightening essays and theories in the history of mankind. I’m pretty sure most of you, and hope that all of you, are familiar with Darwin’s amazing discovery. Suffice it say, it is not “just a theory”, it has been observed and no more thorough explanation for the origin of the human race has ever, ever, EVER been out forward. Now, it may well be that Darwin and pretty much every scientist worth their salt since, was wrong about evolution. But until someone comes up with a more reasonable, logical and observable explanation, I’m holding onto this one thanks.

1. HE HATES WOMEN

But don’t take my word for it. Let the man, sorry ‘God’, speak for himself:

From the Bible:

“No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman…..Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24).

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner”
(I Timothy 2:11-14).

“The birth of a daughter is a loss” (Ecclesiasticus 22:3).

“Keep a headstrong daughter under firm control, or she will abuse any indulgence she receives. Keep a strict watch on her shameless eye, do not be surprised if she disgraces you” (Ecclesiasticus 26:10-11).

“As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

“When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening” (Lev. 15:19-23).

“If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her saying, ‘I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,’ …and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of the town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

“A bad wife brings humiliation, downcast looks, and a wounded heart. Slack of hand and weak of knee is the man whose wife fails to make him happy. Woman is the origin of sin, and it is through her that we all die. Do not leave a leaky cistern to drip or allow a bad wife to say what she likes. If she does not accept your control, divorce her and send her away” (Ecclesiasticus 25:25).

“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God…A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head” (I Corinthians 11:3-10).

From the Koran:

4:11 Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females,

4:15 As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation).

4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them.

24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands.

2:222 They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.

Ruby

p.s Did anyone else notice that the Bible is actually way more misogynistic than the Koran?

Ten_Commandments_JPEG[Digik] U_204205

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