What the world is coming to… Part 1

I’m starting a new series called “What the World Is Coming To”.  Once a week, I will explore various ways modern humankind has effectively fucked itself, and what I think is necessary to correct the problem, or at least minimize the damage being done.

Nothing is off limits.  I’ll be talking about American politics a lot, mostly because the U.S. is my home, and a LOT needs to be done if America ever wants to “lead the world” in anything ever again, military industrial complexes and black ops areas like Guantanamo excluded.  There will be essays on the staggering evidence that “american exceptionalism” is a tired and dangerously narcissistic idea, as the evidence overwhelmingly shows our short-falls — and they are jaw-droppingly short.

The Middle East is a mess.  ISIS is growing in strength, and tactical nuclear weapons are in play, allegedly launched by Israel at ISIS targets.  How far will it go?  Israel has every right to defend itself.  Yet Israel’s treatment of the West Bank is deplorable, a war crime, and no one has held Israel accountable.  Nor can the U.S., what with Guantanamo still running and the Bush / Cheney regime remaining unprosecuted for war crimes they committed.

I’ll also explore human rights, including women’s rights, religious freedom — and how far will it go? –, LGBTQ+ rights, including where they conflict with religious freedom rights, and the rights of children.  I may even delve into universal rights and what it really means to be human and free.

These things take time to consider and compose.  I look forward to the challenge and the subsequent discussions I hope to engender.

My journey from lay pastor to atheist…

The religion I used to preach about relied upon a singular book, the bible.  I spent almost nine years as a lay pastor, and only in the last three did I read the bible critically.  As I did, more and more contradictions within it created more and more questions.  I became ever more curious how that could be, so I researched the history of the bible, and in so doing I found it to be completely unreliable for anything more than kindling.  It contradicted itself, its authorship was shrouded in mystery and ongoing debate, its origin at the Council of Nicaea under Charlamagne, and its obvious theft of older regional myths all pointed to an obvious conclusion for me:  it was, in short, not the inspired word of God, but a complete and utter fraud.

 

I left the church and Christianity, annoyed I had not only wasted so much of my young life, but had also led so many others to believe such utter nonsense.

 

I read philosophy, finding fascination with the Tao Te Ching, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Frankl, and the like.  I studied other mythologies, so as to fully grasp the true origins of the bible I once held dear.  I studied biology, cosmology, agnosticism, and atheistic thought.  And I came to the solid conclusion that there is no deity.  Science informed me that “god” is a “god of the gaps”, and those gaps have closed.  The people who claim to follow God are a mixed bag.  Many are on a spiritual path in their belief; others are dogmatically religious.  Whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, I’ve encountered those who walk their faith with humility and those whose hubris is stunning.  

 

I admit that my coming out as gay had much to do with my questioning, but not my methodology.  As the evidence for there NOT being a god mounted, I simultaneously encountered those who freely expressed their religious disdain for my sexuality, which I did not trumpet, but I am what some might call open and apparent, if not obvious.  As I consider how those same religions claim to “change the hearts and minds” of their followers, I can’t help but notice how they also FAIL a good 99% of the time.  Christians are especially quick to invoke hell and damnation upon non-believers, gays, and liberated women.  It made my decision to leave the church much easier, and that decision came long before I ceased believing in God.

 

What is the difference between atheism and religion?  Religion requires the suspension of critical thought, the ignoring of proven facts, and devotion to a maladroit deity.  Atheism, on the other hand, is the born-this-way default position, requiring only curiosity about the world around us, in all its amazing glory — no god or faith required.  

 

And, to be totally frank, the world would be so much better without religion.

Science red flags

Science red flags.

The ‘scientifically proven’ subterfuge.Scammers and deniers use two forms of  this tactic:

  • they claim that their idea/discovery/product is valid because it has been ‘scientifically proven’
  • they refuse to accept someone else’s claim unless it can be ‘scientifically proven’

Persecuted prophets and maligned mavericks: The Galileo Gambit. Users of this tactic will try to persuade you that they belong to a tradition of maverick scientists who have been responsible for great advances despite being persecuted by mainstream science. Empty edicts – absence of empirical evidence This tactic shows up when people make claims in the form of bald statements – “this is the way it is” or “this is true” or “I know/believe this” or “everybody knows this” – without any reference to supporting evidence.Anecdotes, testimonials and urban legends Those who use this tactic try to present stories about specific cases or events as supporting evidence. The stories range from personal testimonials, to anecdotes about acquaintances, to tales about unidentifiable subjects.
Charges of conspiracy, collusion and connivance Conspiracy theorists usually start by targeting weaknesses in an accepted model, then propose a conspiracy that explains why their ‘better’ model has been suppressed. Although there can be overwhelming evidence favouring the accepted model, they claim that this simply means the conspiracy has been successful.
Stressing status and appealing to authorityPeople who use this tactic try to convince you by quoting some ‘authority’ who agrees with their claims and pointing to that person’s status, position or qualifications, instead of producing real-world evidence. The tactic is known as the argument from authority.
Devious deception in displaying data: Cherry pickingIn cherry-picking, people use legitimate evidence, but not all of the evidence. They select segments of evidence that appear to support their argument and hide or ignore the rest of the evidence which tends to refute it.
Repetition of discredited arguments – parroting PRATTIn this tactic, people persist in repeating claims that have been shown over and over to have no foundation. Look for slogans, sweeping statements or claims that look as though they could easily be refuted.
Duplicity and distraction – false dichotomyIn this tactic, people assert that there are only two possible (and usually opposite) positions to choose from, when in fact there are more. They try to argue that if one position is shown to be false, then the other must be correct.
Wishful thinking – favouring fantasy over factWe all fall victim to this tactic because we use it on ourselves. We like to believe things that conform with our wishes or desires, even to the extent of ignoring evidence to the contrary.
Appeals to ancient wisdom – trusting traditional trickeryPeople who use this tactic try to persuade you that a certain explanation, treatment or model must be correct because it’s been around for a long time.
Technobabble and tenuous terminology: the use of pseudo scientific languageIn this tactic, people use invented terms that sound “sciencey” or co-opt real science terms and apply them incorrectly.
Confusing correlation with causation: rooster syndromeThis is the natural human tendency to assume that, if two events or phenomena consistently occur at about the same time, then one is the cause of the other. Hence “rooster syndrome”, from the rooster who believed that his crowing caused the sun to rise.
Straw man: crushing concocted canardsWhen this tactic is used, it’s always in response to an argument put up by an opponent. Unable to come up with a reasoned response, the perpetrator constructs a distorted, incorrect version (the “straw man”) of the opponent’s argument, and then proceeds to tear it to shreds.
Indelible initial impressions: the anchoring effectAnchoring is the human tendency to rely almost entirely on one piece of evidence or study, usually one that we encountered early, when making a decision.
Perceiving phoney patterns: apopheniaThis happens when you convince yourself, or someone tries to convince you, that some data reveal a significant pattern when really the data are random or meaningless.
Esoteric energy and fanciful forces.This tactic is easy to pick because people who use it try to convince you that some kind of elusive energy or power or force is responsible for whatever effect they are promoting.
Banishing boundaries and pushing panaceas – applying models where they don’t belongThose who use this tactic take a model that works under certain conditions and try to apply it more widely to circumstances beyond its scope, where it does not work. Look for jargon, sweeping statements and vague, rambling “explanations” that try to sound scientific.
Averting anxiety with cosmic connectivity: magical thinkingMagical thinking is present when anyone argues that everything is connected: thoughts, symbols and rituals can have distant physical and mental effects; inanimate objects can have intentions and mystical influences. Often, the connectivity is supposedly mediated by some mysterious energy, force or vibration and there is much talk of holism, resonance, balance, essences and higher states.
Single study syndrome – clutching at convenient confirmationThis tactic shows up when a person who has a vested interest in a particular point of view pounces on some new finding which seems to either support or threaten that point of view. It’s usually used in a context where the weight of evidence is against the perpetrator’s view.
Appeal to nature – the authenticity axiomYou are expected to accept without question that anything ‘natural’ is good, and anything ‘artificial’, ‘synthetic’ or ‘man-made’ is bad.
The reversed responsibility response – switching the burden of proofThis tactic is usually used by someone who’s made a claim and then been asked for evidence to support it. Their response is to demand that you show that the claim is wrong and if you can’t, to insist that this means their claim is true.
The scary science scenario – science portrayed as evil.The perpetrators try to convince you that scientific knowledge has resulted in overwhelmingly more harm than good. They identify environmental disasters, accidents, human tragedies, hazards, weapons and uncomfortable ideas that have some link to scientific discoveries and claim that science must be blamed for the any damage they cause. They may even go so far as claiming that scientists themselves are generally cold, unfeeling people who enjoy causing harm.
False balance – cultivating counterfeit controversy to create confusion This tactic is promoted by peddlers of bad science and pseudoscience and is often taken up by journalists and politicians. In discussing an issue, they insist that “both sides” be presented.  Many journalists routinely look for a representative of each “side” to include in their stories, even though it might be inappropriate. Groups or individuals who are pushing nonsense or marginal ideas like to exploit this tendency so that their point of view gains undeserved publicity.Confirmation bias – ferreting favourable findings while overlooking opposing observations This is a cognitive bias that we all use. We go out of our way to look for evidence that confirms our ideas and avoid evidence that would contradict them..

 

 

It’s all about love.

Yet so many people don’t “get” that.  All utopias rely on it, though.  Being human, we have chosen over the millennia to fear each other and hate each other rather than acknowledge how much better the world would be if we only allowed love for one another to rule our hearts and minds.  

 

Most religions lay claim to leading followers to a path of enlightenment, presumably one of love for others in the form of basic human caring.  Why, then, are religious people so bent on hating those who disagree with them?  Seriously, how much sense does it make for a religion to claim the likeness of an all-loving god while making non-believers conform to their beliefs with no regard for free-will?  Without free-will, what’s the point of being human?  

 

Ah, the questions no one dares to ask!

 

The other dilemma is that many religions believe it is the absolute and only right path to eternal life.  The problem is that too many people are so busy looking to their next life that they’re totally missing the point of this life.

 

What are we really here for?  To wage wars against one another?  To put despots into power over us for the sake of feeling protected from “the enemy”?  Why have we given up our sovereign right to rule ourselves?  Have we forgotten what “government of, by, and for the people” means?

 

We the human race have such tremendous potential if only we could stop fighting ourselves.

 

Ask yourself basic questions, and all of this ranting makes sense.  Why would anyone treat a stranger differently from a loved family member?  Can you think of anything positive with which that question can be answered?  We are so quick to be suspicious and distrustful when given no reason other than fear.  Love cannot be born out of fear.  Approaching all people with an open mind and an open heart is how we begin to heal the human race.  We are ultimately all reliant on one another for survival.  It is only the predators among us, within our own species, which keep us from realizing our full potential as a species and a race.  It is those who divide us with words and actions designed to prey upon our fear of dangers and death, which only cause irrational reactions to threats we permit to exist because we allow our “leaders” to create them.

 

Anything that divides us is inherently a false idea.  A false idea is one which relies upon the perpetuation of certain myths.  Racism, sexism, nationalism, and – to be honest – many religions are examples of things we humans allow to divide us, and are themselves false ideas.  

 

I know this notion will offend many people, and I can only plead that I am being open and honest, and am sincerely in pursuit of such dialogue as I type this.  If my calling out of false ideas offends you, I encourage you, as a member of your tribe, to take some time to reflect on why you’re offended.  Dig deep.  Keep in mind, most responses will probably come from religious people or someone coming to their defense.  I respect this.  I encourage it.  Also remember, dear reader, that I am also a former lay pastor in both the Seventh Day Adventist Church and an Independent Baptist Church in conservative small-town New England.

 

Human history has entered a cyclical pattern.  It wasn’t always so.  Before “civilization”, we humans lived in tribes.  Tribal living requires a different approach to life.  It is communal because the tribe relies upon each other and cares for one another as a huge extended family.  As agriculture took hold some 7500 -10000 years ago, tribes gave way to smaller familial units at the same time that the idea of local commerce took shape.  Agriculture is required for shopping in a town market, otherwise there is no market.  That said, agriculture allowed for such mass food production that people who didn’t farm had time to develop specialty work, such as jewelry making, art creation. and musical instruments.  Such specialization was the spark that started a market economy, not entirely different from capitalism today at its roots.

 

This market economy represents the force which would create the social stratification we live with even today.  Some will say that the free-market economy that started 10,000 years ago works just fine.  Tell that to the millions of people starving to death.  The idea that there are not enough resources to feed every last person has been thoroughly debunked:

 

“Earth produces enough food for the nearly 6 billion people alive today. In fact, if everyone adopted a vegetarian diet and no food were wasted, current production would theoretically feed 10 billion people, more than the projected population for the year 2050.” (Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC. Copyright 1997.)

 

We can produce enough everything for the world.  Electricity through Tesla Coils.  Tesla wanted to give the human race electricity for free.  Instead, his ideas were squashed for a model that could make money for investors, something Tesla wasn’t interested in.  Capitalism kicked in, and we’re paying for it.

 

Without Tesla’s free electricity, people around the globe continue to go without the very technology that would bring them rapidly into first-world status.  Without free electricity, water pumps don’t turn on for people in remote places around the globe — because there’s no profit to be had in bringing electricity to them — and so irrigation for many such places is an impossibility.

The myth of scarcity is what drives the world financial markets, and companies and corporations know this.  The more scarce or rare an item is, the more it is monetarily worth.  That is why diamonds supposedly cost so much – they’re mythologically rare.  That’s why people shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars for “the” diamond for whatever occasion.  But then there are the facts:

 

How large is the diamond industry?

Diamonds are one of the world’s, and specifically Africa’s, major natural resources. An estimated US$13 billion worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, of which approximately US$8.5 billion are from Africa (approximately 65%). The diamond industry employs approximately ten million people around the world, both directly and indirectly, across a wide spectrum of roles from mining to retail. Global diamond jewellery sales continue to grow, increasing three-fold in the past 25 years, and are currently worth in excess of US$72 billion every year.  (World Diamond Council, “The Diamond Industry Fact Sheet”, diamondfacts.org)

 

This myth of scarcity applied to everything.  And rest assured, it is a carefully crafted and cared-for myth foisted upon the human race through historical reiteration after reiteration and constant indoctrination that “this is just the way it is”.  Yes, it is that way.  And we are a race divided against itself because of it.  Of course, there are plenty of other things that divide us, and those myths — those false ideas — need to be exposed and replaced with the reality we can have if we just love each other as one tribe — the tribe of humanity —  and one race — human race.  

 

And we still don’t see the vicious circle.  We humans must be remarkably stupid.  How disappointing for us!  We can create the most destructive devices our race has ever seen – blow up entire countries! – but we cannot seem to lift ourselves out of the madness of fighting amongst ourselves when there truly is no reason for any of it.  What is ultimately the motivator that keeps us divided?  Religion– something no one can prove, yet so many people have died for. 

 

Is it any wonder, then, why Karl Marx suggested a world without religion would be a better world from a purely pragmatic standpoint?  What he failed to recognize is the good that can come with religion so long as no one religion dictates to everyone else.  It is religion’s too-frequent need to dominate that creates upheavals.

 

It makes sense why the American Constitution promises freedom of religion.  Only by making all religions equal could any one religion be kept from dominating the politics of America.  By so enshrining the “wall of separation between Church and State” — as Thomas Jefferson called it –, the Constitution encourages Americans to remember why so many of our ancestors came to the U.S.  They didn’t come to suffer the torments of a divided nation.  They came to make a stronger, united people who shared the value of basic human dignity.  That dignity can be achieved if we stop expecting others to believe as we believe, and instead move wholly (and, for many believers “Holy”) in the direction of love as most paths of belief call for.  

 

That means we must mature as a species.  We must, for our own sake, mature to meet the demands our changing environments thrust upon us in response to our growing population, impacting the biodiversity of our ecosystems, dumping pollution as if it doesn’t matter…  The denials must end, and we must grow up to meet the demands our new environments thrust upon is, abandoning all myths to meet the technological and natural changes we face.

 

Just posted to my Facebook:

It is not my intention to “offend” anyone, but I had this frank and strong thought as I replied to an op-ed comment, and I’m going to post it here. If you’re “offended” by this, take a breath and be honest about the real reason for why you’re “offended”:

As a former lay pastor and now atheist, I will submit that the Bible is bulls**t, and that anyone who reads it with frank skepticism, cannot help but walk away with the same conclusion. It requires a special kind of delusion for millions of people to buy into an obvious and often ridiculous bronze-age myths that were re-packaged stories from even older, stone-age myths.
When one considers that there have been over 300,000 documented deities in human history, the notion that their particular deity is “the right one, and even the ONLY ‘true’ god” is simply devoid of any critical thinking.

And yes, I am a vocal anti-theist.

Occam’s Razor — There is no “soul”

Occam’s Razor Soul

Here’s a rhetorical question for you:

On which side of Occam’s Razor does your notion of ‘Soul’ fall?

think about it for a couple of seconds.

Let me clarify:

The purpose of this little thought experiment is simple, yet shocking, to some, at its conclusion. I know it was to me.

1. Let ‘soul’, ‘consciousness’, ‘mind’, ‘self’, etc. be defined as any nonphysical phenomena containing the essence of one’s personality. (I used the first two terms interchangeably here.)

2. According to Occam’s Razor, “among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” This is really just human common sense simplified: sure, it is definitely possible that every time an apple drops to the ground, pink unicorns from Mars shoot invisible laser beams to push the apple down; then again, it’s much likelier that Earth’s mass simply bends the space-time continuum around Earth, thus exerting a force we call gravity.

3. Take the following situation; somebody snaps their fingers; the air gets compressed in waves until it reaches your outer ear; those compressed waves pass through your ear canal, and then hit the eardrum. These vibrations, via the Malleus, Incus, and Cochlea (in a perfectly understood physiological-mechanical-electrical process which we can easily emulate nowadays – look for “cochlear implants”) are in turn translated into electrical pulses.

Electrical.

Pulses.

From here on, there is nothing but electricity and chemistry.

These electrical pulses travel to the brain via the auditory nerve.

Now. The brain is a quiet place; it doesn’t have any pictures, nor any sounds or smells.

All that we are are pattern processing machines that have learned, through extensive trial and error – mostly during our formative years – to interpret external stimuli, in this case, particular electrical pulses as somebody snapping their fingers.

If you don’t believe me, simply look at a six month old baby trying to reach a toy right in front of him. look at how he twitches every muscle in his body and face. The child simply does not know yet to associate specific external stimuli (sight, pressure on specific patches of skin, causing a specific set of exquisitely timed electrical pulses, etc.) with specific desirable results (flexing the proper muscles in a series of actions that will result in him grabbing the toy).

4. Increase the level of “white noise” in the physical brain via simple chemicals (e.g. Propofol), and you will induce lack of consciousness, i.e. anesthesia. Use a specific “deep brain stimulation” probe you can also increase the noise so as to drown out Parkinson’s.

Eliminate pin-sized regions in the brain associated with short term memory processing and attention span, and you will be faced with a mere shell of a man.

If such simple physical, chemical, electrical, measures can have such a profound – even negating – effect on our so-called consciousness, what makes anyone think that consciousness is anything but the product of a physical, chemical, electrical brain is beyond me.

We don’t need anything more than the physical brain in order to generate consciousness.

The conclusion: you are a bio chemical electrical machine!

There is no nonphysical soul, nor consciousness.

I am a complete, proud atheist, but to my atheist friends who disagree with me, I should mention that being a critical thinker requires that you stop believing in fairies of all kinds – inside and out – God especially, but also your ethereal, out of body consciousness.

The mind is merely a mechanism designed by blind evolutionary forces to increase the likelihood of survival. If you can interpret patterns, you would know, for example, that that rustle in the grass is indicative of a beast ready to pounce; you would know that next year, 2 moon cycles after the days have stopped shortening, there should be enough rain to sustain your newly sown seeds.

Isn’t it time we all grew up?

There is no need for the added complication stemming from the existence of an ethereal soul; the concept of Soul falls on the side of superfluous assumptions, and thus should not be selected. Thus, according to Occam’s Razor, indeed, according to human common sense, there is no soul.

— Yaniv Chen

Originally posted in the Facebook Group “Atheists Unite”

Vestigial anomalies – Evidence of common descent

No More Mythology:

What an interesting and informative piece.

keepvid

Originally posted on aperi mentis:

Recently, I read one of the funniest articles I’ve ever read in my life about vestigial organs and why they don’t exist according to a creationist. It was funny, not because of the author’s intention, but because of the blatant ignorance that kept repeating itself over and over again in its paragraphs.

But, what are vestigeal organs, and why do they show evidence of evolution? Does the vestigeality of an organ mean that it cannot have been “roped in” to serve another function?

For centuries we have had questions about strange things on our bodies:

  • Why do we have appendices?
  • Why do we have wisdom teeth?
  • What is that tiny pink spot in the inside corner of our eye?
  • Why are there muscles in our ears that don’t move?
  • Why do we get goosebumps when we’re cold?
  • Why do babies grab anything that their tiny hands touch?
  • Why do men…

View original 1,741 more words

Ending the debate with the Muslim

  • Mus:  And when we say that Quran said this 1400 years back, you cal it a fairy tales book.. Why?

    Doesnt this make more sense that whatever lawrence is saying today, is written in a book that is 1400 years old. Does that not make you think that HOW??

  • Me:

    Why do I call the Quran a book of mythology? Let me take a moment to pull that thought together into a cogent explanation.

    Firstly, the foundational claim is that God spoke to Mohammed, is itself an unsupportable claim.

    isn’t it odd that God hasn’t said boo since then? With all this new advancement, it is reasonable to conclude that God would once more reveal himself with some fresh advice.
    after all, God revealed himself to the Jews 6000 – 4000 years ago; through jesus 2000 years ago, and then Mohammed 1400 years ago. Seems He’s overdue for a conference

    What do we do today with people who say “God told me to do it. I heard him!”?

    Besides, no matter how you cut it, I take severe issue with the claim that “god” spoke to anyone. In mental health circles, that’s referred to as delusion. and no one, not John the Revelator, not Jesus, and not even Mohammed get a pass on that.

    And then, no reply.  :-P

Debating a Muslim creationist

I’m up for a conversation. I’ll let you open it.
John, If you have time & if you are interested in knowing what i have to say, plzz tell me… ThanksTake care..

Let’s dig in. Where would you like to begin?
Sure.. Thanks for taking interest & taking out time..I would like to start by asking you a question..

If someday, a man with a knife & tatoos on his hand knocks at your door & asks you to let him in, he is the meter reader, what will you do?

Ask for ID.
Though I’m not sure what tattoos on his has to do with it.
so, you used reasoning & commonsense to answer this question… Now using reasoning & commonsense lets talk…How was the universe created?

It began with a singularity, or possibly several singularities, which were so condensed of mass that they were forced to expand, creating the big bang. While that is not the whole picture, that is the concept in a nutshell, and has been proven through study of the expanding universe and being able to see the past due to the rate of light travelling through the cosmos, through cosmic radiation study, and through quantum mechanics.
ok, so it means that the universe began to exist and everything that has a beginning has a cause. Now, if you think of the possibilities of how the universe was created, there can be 3 possibilities, i. Created out of nothing. ii. Created itself or iii. Has been created and has a creator. Can you think of any more?
Physicist Steven Hawkin has explained this through quantum mechanics. In short, the universe came out of “nothing”. Through scientific research and direct observation, we know that particle matter does pop into and out of existence regularly in the universe, and therefore is perfectly capable of “creating” itself without the need of any kind of intervention. Here’s an article to help: http://www.space.com/20710-stephen-hawking-god-big-bang.html

Are you still with me?
hmm, john, the purpose of asking the question was that we will reason by using our own brains & commonsense.
Reason is led by observation; science IS observation. Where’s the problem?
Knowing science is using one’s brain.
Lawrence Krauss in his book talks about the quantum vacuum & he gives this the label as nothing. But inside that quantum vacuum in His own words, There Is A Boiling Bubbling Energy.And energy sounds like something..

And in his one chapter, he actually says: Nothing isn’t nothing anymore, it is NOTHING..

So he is misleading or he has written an absolute blunder.. And a person like Lawrence cannot make such a blunder so it means he is trying to mislead the masses..

Coz, nothing refers to NOTHING meaning completely nothing..

We know you love the guy & we know you hate religion (Islam is a way of life more than a religion), but put things in perspective & lets be honest with ourselves in terms of knowledge…. Does this make sense?

Isnt, He clearly misleading.

the problem is that we are not idots to just believe in everything anyone tells us.. We should ask ourselves that does this make sense.. If it doesnt than it means there is some problem…
No, he’s not misleading. He’s quite right. And nothing he says contradicts what we know about the origin of the universe. I’m quite familiar with Kraus
‘s work
is energy nothing?
As for your claim that Islam is not a religion, that is just erroneous. That is like saying christianity isn’t a religion. Bill O’Reilly caught hell (pun intended) for claiming as much.
When islam calls for the death of all who do not believe in allah, that is religion.
i meant its a way of life..
When islam claims miracles, that is religion.
Religion is a way of life, but that doesn’t cause it to cease being a religion
ok, ok.. lets put islam aside & only use reasoning & commonsense…
So if we’re going to be reasonable, let’s not delude ourselves and let’s call a spade a spade.
If we are to do that, then let’s reason about the existence of god, or more specifically, your version of god.
Energy is not nothing, this is a fact which cannot be changed just like 1+1 will always equal 2..
It would seem, after all, that proving the existence of deity – and specifically, your notion of deity – is a good place to begin.
no there are no versions of God. There is only One god & every major religions scriptures talk about only one God…
yes i agree..
That itself is a fallacy.
There have been over 300,000 “gods’ throughout history. What makes your god special from the others?
The abrahamic god is not even the newest god to appear in history.
he’s just the most popular.
Ok, john.. i will use my brain & you use yours..tell me, If i murder someone & than i say, it wasnt me, it was someone like me, who popped into existence out of nothing, killed the guy & than popped out f existence.. Will you agree?

Let’s stick with reality. no one has ever simply “popped” into or out of existence.
If you murder someone, today we have forensic science that will most likely catch you.
so it means universe cannot come into existence out of nothing…
No, it doesn’t. I’ve already provided proof to that.
The universe is not a human being, an organism.
we are using our reasoning… And i can post many artiles that prove that the above is wrong..
Matter makes up an organism.
So, lets not paste artilcles & lets stick to reasoning..
Are they scientific and peer-reviewed and widely accepted in scientific circles
?
but universe is something that has a beginning…The big bang according to cosmologist is space, time & energy, the whole of space time was actually created & their are various models of the big bang, this is almost a concensus amongst the cosmologists, amongst the scientists. This is why alexander willinkan one of a good cosmologist on the planet , he says: this is proof now, the cosmologist cannot run away with this fact that the universe began to exist, it had a beginning in time & we also know that the universe must begin to exist….

i.e., evolution as a scientific theory is no longer debated in the scientific community; it is proven through germ theory and the use of antibiotics against evolving bacteria and inoculation against viruses.
And the universe DID begin to exist, not by any word spoken by any deity, but by laws of physics, specifically provable and observerable quantum mechanics
ok, we can talk about evolution after the existenc of God…So saying that universe came out of nothing is not logical….

Evolution is proof of the non-necessity of god.
The god you seem to be going after is what we atheists call “the god of gaps”.
Just because we do not yet have an absolutely complete understanding of the origin of the universe does not mean “god” did it; it means we are still learning and discovering. It does not, by any means, necessitate a deity,
if “god” can exist eternally, so can the universe – without god.
Look, john, i am not talking about God right now.. We are just looking at the possibilities that are logical… As you used your comonsense & reaosning for answering the first question, use it to think about the example i gave…
No the universe cannot, coz universe is needy, it has a beginning.. And big bang is proven fact & saying so also rejects the cause & effect principal..
Quantum mechanics doesn’t reject any of that.
Like I said, just because we don’t have ALL the answers does not necessitate a “god did it” conclusion.
OK. I can see this will take a few minutes. I’ll let you know when I’m done.
Oh, my. OK, I’ve heard this before. I’m VERY familiar with it. Did you know we’ve found over 1,000 planets in our galaxy alone with planets in that lovely “goldilocks” zone with the absolute potential for carbon-based life? In terms of sheer probability (mathematically speaking), the odds are 15% of those actually have life. That’s 150 in just that category. In terms of planetary masses around red dwarf stars (our sun is a red dwarf) which fall into the potentially inhabitable zone, the estimate is 4.5 BILLION. If only 1% are truly life-supporting, that’s still 4 million life-capable planets. It therefore — logically – is sheer hubris to think we’re “special”.
Further, the claim that a variation in earth’s orbit of more than several thousand km would fry or freeze us to death is just factually wrong. The earth’s distance from the sun varies by 5 million km due to the elliptical orbit.
LMK when you’re back.
I know you saw that last eleven minutes ago. Are you still up for this, or is the science bothering you?
John, can you explain me briefly, what has quantam mechanics to do with the creation of the universe??Lol! first lemme clear you this, islam is not against science neither we muslims are against it.. Please check the link below..

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200435817751098&set=o.103266689766171&type=1&theater

There are many other muslims who have done a lot in the fileds of science & technology…
Quantum mechanics explains in large part how the universe operates in terms of physics. String theory is its cousin. Hawkins has produced a unified theory that marries quantum and string theory into a full picture.
But it has nothing to do with the creation of the universe, ???
I am well versed in history, including the many scientific, mathematic, and architectural contributions of Muslim society in southern Europe.
It has EVERYTHING to do with the origin of the universe. That is why the unification of the two theories has been so important to our understanding of the universe.
thats good. So john, if we think logically, using commonsense & reasoning, the only conclusion we get is that the universe cannot come out of nothing…
Which, by unification theory, is totally acceptable
Even by stand-alone quantum theory, that is acceptable.
but it is not nothing, it is something… Without question, no atheist “scientist” is more popular than Lawrence Krauss (author of “A Universe from Nothing”) when it comes to calling something nothing in the name of science. But, Just because lawrence says it doesnt make it nothing..
2:57am
It’s not just Mr. Kraus who says this. They’ve reproduced this “something from nothing” quantum particle “popping” via the Large Hadron Collider many times over. It was what led physicists to the Higgs-Boson discovery.

Mus:
But they say that it has bubbling energy & energy is not nothing… They are misleading.. And we are not stupid

5:46am

Me:
No one is misleading; you are misunderstanding.

5:46am

Mus:
If we think & reason & think of examples, like i gave, it is impossible for a human mind to comprehend

5:47am

Me:
Energy is not nothing, I agree; but neither is it matter, and it is matter which physicists call “something”.

5:47am

Mus:
Physicists say, we dont know & WE WILL NEVER KNOW…

5:47am

Me:
no, they don’t
That is a fallacy
Physicists say “We don’t know everything, but we’re working on it.”

5:47am

Mus:
If you have seen the video, yo must know that they say so

5:47am

Me:
As I said earlier, not knowing does not equal “god did it”

5:48am

Mus:
Thats another story…

5:48am

Me:
I saw the video, and it’s factually wrong on many levels, which I pointed out already
Why is that another story?

5:48am

Mus:
ok so you are saying that the great physicists all are wrong?

5:49am

Me:
No, I am saying you are misrepresenting their intention and meaning.
or else you do not understand the basics of scientific inquiry.

5:50am

Mus:
i do but i also have a brain… I am not a fool to believe in what anyone says

5:50am

Me:
But you believe the Qu’ran without question?

5:51am

Mus:
We should think & reasonn
In Islam there is no room for blind belief. Not even for muslims

5:52am

Me:
What do you call supporting a theology that stones women for not covering themselves, daring to speak out of turn, preaching, and kills non-believers? I call it blind belief. What do you call it?

5:53am

Mus:
And where does Quran say all this…?
Only media tells you this & this is a LIE…

5:53am

Me:
Or do we need to talk about honor killing and genital mutilation in the name of Islam?
It is in the practice of Islam as seen throughout the Middle East.

5:53am

Mus:
hmm, john, muhammad maried a child, women treated as dogs, kill disbelievers
THESE ARE ALL WHICH ARE AVAIALABLE ON MEDIA BUT THEY ARE without context

5:54am

Me:
A religion is the behavior of its adherents. Just as Christianity is defined in part by its cruelty throughout history.

5:54am

Mus:
Islam is not what muslims do, islam is what muslims are supposed to do..
So dont judge it by looking at people…

5:55am

Me:
Context is irrelevant when a crime against humanity is committed. It is like saying that the slaughter of Jews at the hands of Nazis is taken out of the context.
I don’t judge by looking at people; I observe what is done and remark that it is done.
People ARE their religion via their actions.

5:56am

Mus:
No its not.. i can clearify you that later, but first lets talk about the existence of God??

5:56am

Me:
You cannot separate a religion from its followers.
Sure, let’s talk about the existence of God.
What proof is there that God exists?

5:57am

Mus:
Thats not the correct approach.If you want to know Islam, study Quran & authentic Hadith else you will never know the truth..
ok thanks …
So, by reasoning & logic we can conclude that the universe cannot come out of nothing…

5:57am

Me:
Are you saying it is untrue that Mohamed married a six-year-old and was a pedophile?

5:58am

Mus:
Can we discuss this later? after God..?

5:58am

Me:
Sure

5:59am

Mus:
Thanks…
So, by reasoning & logic we can conclude that the universe cannot come out of nothing…

6:00am

Me:
I have already shown through Unification Theory — backed by leading physicists the world over – that such a claim is false.
are we going to revisit that again?
You know, the LHC, the higgs-boson particle, quantum mechanics, etc…

6:01am

Mus:
Physicists say we dont know & we will never know…

6:01am

Me:
no they don’t
Repeating a false claim does not making it true

6:02am

Mus:
Plz watch the video again…

6:02am

Me:
Physicists say we don’t know absolutely, but we have a working model that fits the physical universe.
Further, if we assume we don’t know or are incapable of knowing for certain, that in no way requires a sentient god to fill the void.

6:03am

Mus:
watch 1:40 secs

6:03am

Me:
I did. And yet the claims made are false, and I have established that previously.

6:04am

Mus:
so, you say you dont know..!!

6:04am

Me:
We need to move past this circular reasoning you keep attempting.

6:04am

Mus:
you are saying that all the physicists are saying wrong just because you want to prove your point right

6:04am

Me:
I say I don’t know for certain, but that not knowing is not an excuse to jump to the god conclusion.

6:04am

Mus:
but how can we, when you are insisting on something that is totally unacceptable & illogical…

6:05am

Me:
But let’s go on. Let’s say, for sake of argument, you have a possible point.

6:05am

Mus:
ok.. dont jump to conclusion, REASON…..

6:05am

Me:
Which part is illogical?

6:05am

Mus:
Second possibility is that it created itself…

6:05am

Me:
That there is energy without matter? That something CAN come of nothing thanks to quantum mechanics?
OK, let’s say you’re right, that something cannot come of nothing, even though science has proven that notion false.

6:06am

Mus:
If there is energy, it is not nothing… & all the physicits cannot be wrong…

6:06am

Me:
For sake of argument…

6:06am

Mus:
ok, created itself, is this possible?

6:07am

Me:
Yes. Quantum theory has proven this possibility through reproduced experiments at the LHC in Europe.
Particles popping into and out of observable space has been recorded as fact and quantified repeatedly.

6:09am

Mus:
ok, This is crazy because, think about these points, firstly for something to self create it means it was in a existence & not in existence at the same time. For example, Can your mother give birth to herself? obv no, so saying that universe created itself is like saying, your mother gave birth to herself.

6:10am

Mus:
using reasoning & commonsense we cannot accept this….

6:10am

Me:
Birth is not the same as particle physics. Don’t confuse scientific disciplines.
The entire mammalian birthing process is the result of eons of evolution, not particle mechanics.

6:11am

Mus:
how?

6:12am

Me:
Matter and anti-matter. That is what the discovery of the higgs-boson proves.

6:18am

Mus:
Higgs bosson doesnt deny the existence of God..

6:19am

Me:
neither does it prove god

6:19am

Mus:
so its irrelevant to the topic we r discussing…
6:19am

Me:
true

6:19am

Mus:
So, the universe created itself cannot be a possibility than…

6:20am

Me:
How do you reach that conclusion?

6:20am

Mus:
as i said, firstly for something to self create it means it was in a existence & not in existence at the same time. For example, Can your mother give birth to herself? obv no, so saying that unverse created itself is like saying, your mother gave birth to herself.
universe was in a existence & non existence at the same time… This is illogical..

6:21am

Me:
again, you’re confusing biology with quantum mechanics

6:22am

Mus:
ok leave the example… still its illogical.

6:22am

Me:
It sound illogical; but so did heliocentrism.

6:23am

Mus:
what does heliocentrism has to do with God..

6:25am

Me:
We were talking about what’s logical. Heliocentric theory was considered counter-logical for thousands of years.

6:26am

Mus:
we are talking about the possibilities of the creation of the universe & existence of God..

self creation is also not logical…

6:26am

Me:
Yes. Let’s get back to that.
\
6:27am

Mus:
Thanks..

6:27am

Me:
go on

6:27am

Mus:
ok, so lets look at the third possibility..
As we now know that the universe is needy than this cause should be self sufficient else creation is not possible.

Therefore, we can conclude, that there is a being that is infinite, self sufficient, free of space & time, intelligent, that has will & has power.

6:29am

Me:
That is quite a leap of logic.
but let’s roll with it
go on

6:30am

Mus:
no i am not jumping, you tell me know, is this logical?

6:32am

Me:
I will suspend my conclusion for now. Please continue.

6:33am

Mus:
continue with what…This is the last possibility…

6:35am

Me:
OK. Are you therefore saying that the universe is the product of intelligent design?

Mus:
No i am asking you that is the above logical?

6:37am

Me:
No. Because the founding premise – that the universe is “needy” – is itself unfounded.

6:38am

Mus:
and what about the big bang?

6:38am

Me:
What about it? We have tons of evidence

6:38am

Mus:
And if it cannot create itself, neither it can come out of nothing than whats left??
I DONT KNOW//
yes thats what i am saying, big bang proves that the universe has a beginning & everything that has a beginning has a cause…
so this proves that universe is needy…

6:41am

Me:
http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/

The Big Bang – NASA Science
science.nasa.govThe night sky presents the viewer with a picture of a calm and unchanging Universe. So the 1929 discovery by Edwin Hubble that the Universe is in fact expanding at enormous speed was revolutionary. Hubble noted that galaxies outside our own Milky Way were all moving away from us, each at a speed pro…


6:42am

Mus:
what does this prove?

6:43am

Me:
That god is unnecessary to the existanceof the universe

6:44am

Mus:
where does this article proves that?

6:47am

Me:
Do you see anywhere in there the need for a deity in the explanation provided? Where’s deity in this scientifically accepted model?

6:48am

Mus:
its irrelevant than.. tell me is the 3rd possibility logical?
I am not talking with you to win or lose, i am just trying to share knowledge & encouraging you to think & reason…
Please tale it positively & think & after reasoning be honest & answer,,

6:51am

Me:
No, it is not logical. It requires a deity that is intelligent, yet removed; creative, yet bad at engineering (why does a created universe need quasars, for example); and sloppy (what was the purpose of this supposed creator when he put dinosaurs on earth long before man emerged?)
I suspect it may be time to move to another topic that may yield a more productive discussion. While cosmology has answered many questions, it is too easy to slip into “the god of gaps” mode.

6:52am

Me:
What say you we take a different approach. Let’s take a look at man from a created, designed point of view. Do you agree to this shift of focus?

6:52am

Mus:
dinosaurs, bad enginering they are also irrelevant to my question..
Physicists say that the universe is so finely tuned that it cannot be by an accident..
or by chance…
\
6:55am

Me:
Irrelevant how? You are essentially making the claim that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being created the universe. Dinosaurs and bad engineering are therefore extremely relevant.

6:55am

Mus:
It is accurately designed & a designed universe requires a designer..

6:55am

Me:
And no respectable physicist makes the claim you purport.

6:56am

Mus:
I think you havent seen the video. Coz all are respectable physicists.. But it seems like you are not willing to reason…

7:03am

Me:
Accretion – the formation of planets – is explained plainly in cosmology. That our piece of cosmic dust we call home is in the right area for life is not proof of any god; as I pointed out a few hours ago, there are thousands of planets in the same zone orbiting distant stars, and it is a statistical guarantee we’re not the only intelligent life in the cosmos.

7:05am

Mus:
Physicists comments prove: It seemed that hidden in the laws of nature was a value so precise that it was impossible to deny that our universe was designed, but a designed universe requires the existence of designer..
Most physicists said nothing about the the meaning of this discovery. The scientists own discoveries were pointing them to an intelligent designer.
And if you see the vid, richard dawkins in the video, he admitted that he made a mistake of using Weinberg’s name in the explanation… Again misleading masses…

7:05am

Me:
Precise? Remember that extreme difference in distance from the sun our planet moves through every year I mentioned some time ago? That’s hardly “precise”
Wait, what? You want to drag Dawkins into this? Are you sure?
Because if we’re going to talk about Dawkins, we’re going to talk about evolution.

7:07am

Mus:
i am not dragging him, you must watch the video, he is in conversation with weinberg…
I a not taking abt him, i am just telling you that he himself admitted… John,plz watch the video again. It will clearify you a lot of things.. What the physicists say, how dawking misinterpret it…

7:08am

Me:
I am revisiting the video now.

7:09am

Mus:
Yes thanks

7:31am

Me:
OK. That video takes an awful lot out of context. Here’s why:

“One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.”
― Steven Weinberg

7:31am

Me:
http://youtu.be/rDgzRIiQ4b8

7:38am

Mus:
The point in the video is that dawkins is misleading masses..

7:40am

Me:
Ad-hominem fallacies don’t go far, and from what I just showed you, I don’t see him misleading anyone. the video I just watched (from you) DID mislead, as I just illustrated.

Mus:
And you ignored the set of numbers that the universe is designed of…. And winberg clearly said that in the end we would not be able to explain the world…

7:47am

Me:
I didn’t ignore the “constants”; that “set of numbers” is arbitrary to make the mathematical models work; changing any two of them carefully will produce the same results. This is the mathematical law of reciprocity. Ergo, those constants prove nothing of design from intelligence.

7:48am

Mus:
As for leonard.. He says it was an accident & that sounds very illogical after knowing the accurate & fine tuning of the universe..
Let’s take another example of something most of us have and use
on a regular basis: a mobile phone. Your mobile phone is composed
of a few basic elements. Plastic, glass, silicon for the chip, and some
precious metals. Plastic comes from oil, and glass and silicon from
sand. So basically, what you are holding in your hand is oil and sand.
Now, what if I told you that I was walking along in the desert of
Arabia (where there is lots of oil and sand) and picked up a mobile
phone which I found just lying there… a product of billions of years
of random events? The wind blew, the sun shone, the rain fell, lightning struck, the oil bubbled, the camel trod and after millions and
millions of years the mobile phone formed itself. And naturally I
pick it up, push the call button.
Is there a chance that this could have randomly formed itself
through natural processes?

7:49am

Me:
Ah, the watchmaker argument
This is just a reconstruction of the irreducible complexity logical fallacy.

7:51am

Me:
If we say that life is designed, again, with what are we making the comparison? All that is non-life? OK, but then we would still have to say that all non-life is not designed. But suppose we say that the entire universe is designed. Well, we don’t have another universe to compare ours to, and as Hume points out, that’s exactly the problem. We only have experience with one universe, and unless we have the opportunity to examine other universes (if they exist, of course), we cannot say with any degree of certainty that our universe is designed, nor do we have any reason to believe it is in the first place.

7:57am

Me:
“I don’t need to argue here that the evil in the world proves that the universe is not designed, but only that there are no signs of benevolence that might have shown the hand of a designer.”
― Steven Weinberg

High School Sophomore Schools His Teacher

Video

Sophomore Schools His History Teacher

Jeff Bliss, a sophomore in Duncanville, TX, reached his boiling point with his history teacher, who remains unidentified. Mr. Bliss expressed in an outburst his desire to actually learn something if only his teacher would quit handing them packets (“packies,” he calls them) and get up and engage them.

What makes Mr. Bliss compelling is that he dropped out of high school his freshman year, and then came back with what he calls a passion for learning.

His outburst, recorded by a friend and posted on YouTube, went viral. The video linked here shows that video and the continuing story.

I can only applaud this young man.  See, I was blessed with nearly entirely gifted teachers, and in history I was even more fortunate.  I understand Mr. Bliss’ craving for learning; even in my AP History classes I thirsted to learn all I could, and my wonderful teachers all were happy to indulge me.

What frustration he must have, desiring to quench a thirst for knowledge, coming to the fountain of learning (his school), and finding the fountain dry!