Physeter's Blog (23)

What’s a Physeter? A post about metaphors and prophecy

This is a post about finding meaning. Also crossposted at

Why do I call myself The Physeter online? My internet moniker is the name of a beautiful and majestic creature:

The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), or cachalot, is the largest of the…


Added by Physeter on March 5, 2014 at 9:06pm — 7 Comments

How to prove God is real

So, I’ve noticed a lot of Christians use words when they debate.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a live debate, or an Internet discussion. Christians always use words. They will make logical arguments about why the world must have a Creator. They’ll talk about history, and claim the Bible is reliable and true. They’ll give personal experiences. They’ll talk about how morality must come from a divine law-giver, or claim life is meaningless without God.

They’ll draw on…


Added by Physeter on February 22, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Miracles, God, Free will

Have you ever heard Christians say that God refuses to make his existence obvious, because he doesn’t want to force you to believe? That he doesn’t want to override your free will?

Suppose you have two caramel apples that appear identical. You ask me which one I want, and since I can’t see any difference between the two, I arbitrarily choose the apple on the right because it’s slightly larger. I bite into it and—surprise!—it’s actually a caramel onion.

I can’t eat…


Added by Physeter on February 21, 2014 at 5:37pm — 7 Comments

So-called science blog gushes over “Atheist Delusions”

Ever have one of those moments where you think you’ve found something interesting and new, but it turns out to be the same old nonsense everyone else is peddling?

I found a blog on Patheos called “Science on Religion”, and I thought it sounded pretty good. It looked like either an atheist or a liberal Christian blog, based on the artwork and name. I thought it could give an interesting perspective.

It turns out it’s an excuse for Christians to crow about how real science is…


Added by Physeter on February 21, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Staying home Sunday

I skipped church today. It’s the first time I’ve done that in years, unless I was traveling on a Sunday or was sick.

Usually I go to my parents’ church, or a different church closer to where I live. Every week my parents ask me where I went to church, what they talked about, what I thought of it. I’m not out to my parents about my religious questioning, and I don’t like lying, so it’s always just been easier for me to go to a church. Plus I like church; I like the songs, I like…


Added by Physeter on February 2, 2014 at 11:25am — 4 Comments

Love for Africa

I remember during classes our African language teacher brought up homosexuals.

The moment sticks in my head, even though we made nothing of it at the time. My mission group and I were spending eight months in a very poor, rural area of Africa. A local teacher was instructing us in the language of the country.

He was an okay teacher, but sometimes it seemed like he just picked words at random to teach us, instead of those that would be most useful. One day he had us learn the…


Added by Physeter on January 11, 2014 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

It's not just the Church, it's the Bible too

If you’ve ever heard a Christian talking with an ex-Christian they don’t know who has recently lost the faith, you’ve heard the believer say something like this: “I’m sorry you had a bad experience with that church. They really weren’t showing you the love of Christ at all. I know Jesus, and he’s about love. He would never approve of (insert odious thing the church was doing).”

I’ve been surprised to realize recently that I no longer believe this. A big part of the problem I have with…


Added by Physeter on January 11, 2014 at 11:00pm — No Comments

My Journey to Atheism, Part 3: Little steps toward whatever's next

I wrote in part one a bit about my religious background. In part two I explained how, shortly after a missionary trip, I ended up praying a prayer of committal to the truth, even if it meant leaving Jesus.

After I prayed that prayer on Nov. 6, 2010, I…


Added by Physeter on January 2, 2014 at 12:08am — 2 Comments

My Journey to Atheism, Part 2: The prayer for Truth

My journey from the faith I grew up in to my current state of doubt had a clear beginning point: Nov. 5, 2010. I wrote part one of my story here, of how my questions about faith were easy to push to the side until I got to college. 

During and after college, I took a couple trips that changed my view on life in profound ways. I could fill a book, or a blog series, on my experiences…


Added by Physeter on December 28, 2013 at 2:42pm — 7 Comments

My Journey into Atheism: Part 1

It has been three years now since I began my journey into atheism.

Unlike some people, I can point to one particular time and place that was an official ‘beginning’ of my deconversion. Of course, this wasn’t the true start of my doubts. But I can point to November 5 and 6, 2010, as the days I began to take my doubts seriously for the first time.

To write exactly how I got to this point would take a book. But I’d like to share a few of the highlights, if anyone is interested to…


Added by Physeter on December 20, 2013 at 8:00pm — 6 Comments

Why God is not great: Unapologetic atheism

I was watching a Christopher Hitchens video recently, a debate he had with an atheist-turned-Christian.

This is really my first time watching Hitchens. I’ve heard about how great he is, and now I can highly recommend his videos.

He has his own distinct style, and comes across very strong. I wouldn’t have been able to handle him in the first months of my deconversion.

I couldn’t bear to pick up a book called God is Not Great, or one that called God a ‘delusion’ or…


Added by Physeter on November 29, 2013 at 12:00pm — 9 Comments

Freedom from thought crime

I’ve heard people talk about how coming free from Christianity set them free from fear. One blogger said she worried about demons; because even though her parents said Jesus would keep the demons away, that only worked if you “really” believed; and what young person wouldn’t be scared when told invisible powerful creatures that want to hurt you are real?

Then there’s the old fear of not being saved, no matter how many times you “confess” your sin and repent.

I don’t know if any…


Added by Physeter on October 8, 2013 at 9:01am — 19 Comments

Atheist Parables: The Patripresentists

Welcome to my Atheist Parables series. In the tradition of Plato, Jesus, and Aesop, I will use stories and allegory to examine issues of faith, reality and reason.

This is probably my favorite of all my parables. It's a trip to a fictional boarding school that delves into the nature of faith.

The Patripresentists

I thought I was doing the kids a favor when I taught them to believe in Santa Claus.

They didn’t have much, here at the boarding…


Added by Physeter on September 17, 2013 at 11:46pm — 4 Comments

Abraham Sacrifices Isaac: What it teaches Christians today

My previous post made an example of why the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac has so many problems. I’d like to share how this story haunted me personally while growing up Christian.

In Genesis 22, God demands that Abraham sacrifice his son, Isaac, to test Abraham’s obedience. Abraham is blessed for doing whatever God says, no matter how hard it was for him.

This surely tells us something about…


Added by Physeter on September 13, 2013 at 2:38pm — 3 Comments

Abraham Sacrifices Isaac: Not how Christian think today

Here, let me tell you two stories, and see which one you think has the better moral.

A poor man has been looking a long time for a job, and finally gets one. After a time the boss tells him he’s thinking of promoting him to a supervisory position with a big pay increase. But the poor man will have to look the other way while the boss does some cooking of the books. The poor man really needs this raise. And, he’s afraid that if he says no, the boss will find some excuse to fire him,…


Added by Physeter on September 13, 2013 at 2:30pm — 17 Comments

Does God keep speaking to me?

I hope I am allowed to say things like this on Think Atheist.

I feel like whenever I humbly ask God for a sign, or to help me with something, he answers. I don’t know what to believe, because the things I ask for are usually simple, and could be explained by coincidence easily. But it keeps happening, and this is what I was trained to recognize as God at work.

Today I sat down to eat pancakes and watch this atheist video…


Added by Physeter on September 10, 2013 at 8:30am — 14 Comments

Atheist Parables: Recognizing God's Help

There’s a parable, or joke, told by Christians about a man who was caught in a flood. He’s standing on the roof of his house, and the water’s up to his knees as he prays to God for help.

Some people come by in a boat and offer to help him. He says, “That’s all right, the Lord will save me.” Soon the water is up to his waist. A second boat comes by and tells him to hop on, and he says, “No, the Lord will save me.” Presently the water is up to his chest, when a helicopter flies overhead…


Added by Physeter on August 27, 2013 at 1:51pm — 4 Comments

Atheist Parables: The Better Playground

Welcome to my Atheist Parables series. In the tradition of Plato, Jesus, and Aesop, I will use stories and allegory to examine issues of faith, reality and reason.

Here, I'll share a thought experiment related to Pascal's Wager, and to the charge that "Atheists just want to sin." Is that a legitimate charge, or are there other ways to look at it?

We were pretty excited when our parents dropped us off at the city park.  It was not our own city, you see; we were…


Added by Physeter on August 21, 2013 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Atheist Parables: Doubting Thomas

Welcome to my Atheist Parables series. In the tradition of Plato, Jesus, and Aesop, I will use stories and allegory to examine issues of faith, reality and reason.

This is a parable based on the story of Thomas, from the Bible. Thomas didn't see Jesus the first time he appeared to the disciples, so he didn't believe at first that Jesus came back from the dead. But Jesus…


Added by Physeter on August 18, 2013 at 9:20pm — 3 Comments

Atheist Parables: The Friendly Math Teacher

Welcome to my Atheist Parables series. In the tradition of Plato, Jesus, and Aesop, I will use stories and allegory to examine issues of faith, reality and reason.

According to the common Evangelical Christian narrative, God created all of us. He loves all of us. But all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Not just a few of us have sinned; we all have. If you break even…


Added by Physeter on August 10, 2013 at 3:30pm — 13 Comments


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