A friend of mine is a pretty die-hard Christian (shock horror, both of his parents are missionaries/vicars) and he often posts little sayings of some kind or another on Facebook, which I usually ignore. However, today he posted something that really irritated me for some reason:
"The more I look at science, the more in awe of God I become."
And just to make that worse, one of his Christian friends commented "Boom" as if he had made some kind of infallible argument. Somehow, I feel as though nothing I say will make any difference because they must be incredibly deluded already to believe that God just "invented" science. Basically, this is the guy who thinks he's a "modern and intelligent" Christian by saying that things like Noah's Ark are "just stories and aren't meant to be taken seriously by Christians". But if that is true, then why take ANY of the Bible seriously and where does he draw the line between stories and (what he believes is) the truth?
In the past I asked him and his friend where the evidence was. He claimed science (yes, seriously) helped prove Christianity and that Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God" or whatever. How do you argue with someone like that??
What do you all say to religious people (not necessarily just Christians) who claim that science is just an invention of God? Is there a specific way to argue with someone who twists everything to awkwardly suit modern day thinking?
I disagree. Facebook, and everywhere else in the virtual cyber social media world is exactly the right place to engage these ideas. The Internet is a vast arena where ideas come to do battle. These primitive, misogynistic, hateful, self-loathing ideas must be countered as often as possible. We must all do what we can to make sure that they don't go unchallenged. Young people need to see that it's OK to speak up, when Grandma says "God Hates Fags" on facebook. Join the War on Ignorance
One thing that is known because of information theory is that it takes energy to manipulate information. Where is the power to come from for a disembodied spirit (or a soul if you will) if there is such a thing? Anyone who makes such a claim should answer this objection and show where the power is coming from. The fact is that it takes power (energy) to manipulate information. A mind existing outside of and away from the body can't exist for the same reason perpetual motion machines can't exist. Either would take a power source that can’t be explained in terms of modern physics. It isn't because we don't understand what powers a perpetual motion machine that makes its existence untenable it is the fact that it takes energy to power a machine. Just so the human mind which gets its energy from the human body. When the body stops working so does the mind. No mind, no soul, spirit or afterlife. It seems like a simple concept to me, can anyone refute this idea?
As a follow up to the my main question; If this is as obvious as the reason why a perpetual motion machine can’t work, why don’t more people understand this? I know there are still people who strive to make and explain perpetual motion machines, but they are few and far between. Is this a good argument to take to those who would believe in life after death?
Is the human mind limited to information? What exactly is imagination? A computer manipulates information but does it have primordial-fired dreams based on it's evolution from the intel 8086 or have imagination?
There are also other sources of information not pertaining to the brain at all such as DNA. That's A LOT of info in them genes. Also If you provided a brain with a proper physical environmental and nourishing inputs (chemistry) why couldn't it live and think? Just don't use the one marked Ab Normal.
And i finally, If I write a thought down and someone reads it after I die..Do I exist?
You think what I thought, therefore I Am?
The human mind may not be limited to information, but it is in essence information. Can you even think without manipulating information? Certainly the information in DNA can live on, but even that is problematic in the long run as entropy will wipe it out. Anyway, you might have a problem showing that DNA has a soul Ab Normal or not :) Your ideas certainly can live on if they are recorded but your mind, brain, soul or spirit will no longer exist. Like someone here said, dead is dead. My assertion here is that showing people that there is no afterlife should show that religion or even spirituality is unfounded.
My point about a soul was than if we don’t have and can’t have a soul that exists outside of the human body then there can be no afterlife. Information theory explains that it takes energy to manipulate information, for a person to think or have any brain activity. The energy that powers the brain dies with the body, no 15 watts or more to power the biological computer we call the brain. Just because someone is apt at expounding on bullshit doesn’t make that bullshit true. The only way we can know that something is true is if it is constant with the evidence and the laws of the natural world. Perpetual motion machines are not and neither is a disembodied spirit.
I suspect, X, that what sustains this premise of a "soul" existing outside the living body, is the idea of magic, which of course, as any Harry Potter fan knows, defies all natural laws.
Merlins Beard! Can we leave Potter out of this? Hasnt he been through enough?
The sharpest tool in the human toolkit is (Christopher) Hitchens' Razor: that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. The whole of religion falls, promptly, once you allow yourself to wield this simple tool.
Your friends are unlikely to find this compelling, however, because it does not resonate with their dogma. That should not stop you from picking up this tool anytime it's appropriate.
You might share this link with him, and to better sharpen your toolkit, read the Sam Harris book, Letter to a Christian Nation. Sam Harris on the problem of religious moderation
I'd say be glad he's doing that. The more christians that get that way the more it shows that they are in mass retreat to science. It's a last ditch effort to justify beliefs that become more absurd every day. First comes 'well the flood story isn't real' to more and more backpedaling. The more absurdity is pointed out, they either go to lala land like this friend, or they snap out of it. Or do the first and then finally the second. Also, some people just cannot be reasoned with, the psychological benefit is too strong. As evolved as we have become currently, people still do irrational things on a day to day and minute to minute basis. A really inane example is identify faces in inanimate objects like clouds and rocks.
"A really inane example is identify faces in inanimate objects like clouds and rocks."
Hay I resemble this remark. We have a bathroom rug near the toilet, that has a nice heavy shag. I have 'found' some rather nice female faces in the shag a few times. I think that was a pun, sorry...
My wife has said something similar I think....LOL
"I was just about to spread the butter when I noticed a small hole in the middle of the bread surrounded by a burnt black ring," said Chapman. "Then I saw the direction and splatter patterns of the crumbs - they were flowing outward from the center of a black hole, changing shades as their distance from the center grew. A perfect match to the chaotic-dynamic non-linear patterns that followed the Big-Bang. It's the beginning of the world - right there in my breakfast!"
This was a satirical site mocking the Jesus toast reports, that Gallup's Mirror linked us to on another thread. I think we should promulgate the perspective!
I saw the face of Cthulhu in the door to my hotel room's bathroom when I went to the reason rally.
I wish I had photographed it before the rally as someone was mock-counterprotesting there in the name of Cthulhu.
I think I have seen this also on a few doors, but also, counter tops. My mother has a weird floor in her small bathroom, where I have seen 'something' a little off color.
I keep finding faces in a fluffy rug of ours, some times they are rather cute. So far our puppies show no interests in eating us, or disemboling the cats!
Does Cthulhu do house calls?
It's called, "The Thatcher Effect", named after a UK Prime Minister whose face was used by a photographer as the subject for illustration of the effect, and yes, it's weird as a weird thing can be..