(Ok, written in a car on the way back from NY, so forgive any incoherency!)
So here I am, sat in a car on the way back from New York visiting relatives so I apologise in advance for the potential smelling pisstakes, and general level of pap involved! Anyway, just some thoughts, and bits and bobs I was thinking about earlier. I won't have time to do anything else, so it'll be uploaded as is. I've got about 2 hours to go, so here goes.
1) Why does there have to be a God?
The first is, in my opinion, quite a simple one. Why does there have to be a God? 'm not talking about a personal God, or a deist God, but ANY God. What makes people think that SOMETHING had to have started it? We can look at the argument for causality, or whatever the buggery it is called, but that assumes that there was a finite beginning. Why do we think that way? Is it because we, as organisms on a little blue planet that will, at some point, be frazzled more then my sisters steaks at a summer BBQ? We see that in our existence we have a beginning, therefore everything else needs to have one? The entire problem with the "God did it" argument is that it doesn't actually answer anything. Instead it just transfers that question another place down. You then have to ask yourself "so what created God?" As the religious have already told us that something cannot come from nothing, I wonder if they are as quick to apply it to their own God? Of course they aren't. God lives on some other plane, or another reality. Whilst is may, to them at least, answer the question, you have to ask yourself the simple question,
"How do you know this?"
2) God doesn't actually like us, does he?
So, this one has been spouted by elderly folks and children for many, many years, and whilst it may seem like a somewhat childish argument, it does have a simplistic beauty to it. It's also very difficult for them to argue against, especially since all they do is pray for peace on earth and all that guff.
Why is there so much suffering on earth, and possibly in the rest of the universe? The list of things that are not very nice for frankly any living thing is quite extensive. Just a select few are
It's not just us humans either. Animals are horrible to each other on a regular basis. Just check out the body count in a regular nature documentary! It would make hitler blush. All the praying in all the world does fuck all to halt the onset of misery for millions, upon millions of critters, be them human, or what we would list as 'other' on the census. It is either a quick, and painful death at the jaws of another creature, or a slow painful death due to disease, or crippling. People killing each other for one reason or another, (ironically religion has it's paws in there too), either on the individual scale, or on a scale that is so big that the human mind cannot quite grasp the numbers.
The little germs, and viruses that God created in all his wisdom, that mean things suffer internal bleeding, paralysis, and all that lovely loving stuff. Where is God during all of this? Why doesn't he just click his fingers, (does he have fingers?), and just magic it away? What exactly is the point of all this suffering? We are made in Gods image... Is god really this much of a shit? Well yes, that will be covered shortly. What exactly is the point of it all? Most freethinkers, atheists, and rationalists have yet to figure out the meaning of life, if there is actually one, which I doubt. The religious think we do have a point, and I'd like to know what that point is?
3) Prayers... Talking to the wall?
So there they are... Billions, upon billions of people, staring skyward, or towards Mecca, etc, all praying, and wishing for this, or that... How much of it actually comes true? What exactly are the effects of praying? Well, I can happily accept that maybe praying, like a placebo, can give a comforting, or psychological effect upon the praying person. That is all very nice, but I don't think it has any supernatural power any more than my nieces blue Teddy bear that she HAS to take to bed with her has. Nor does prayer have any effects beyond that of sugar pills, security blankets. So is it safe to say that whilst prayer might have an effect on the individual, it has no real physical influence on what they are trying to get rid of, be it debt, cancer, or that annoying shit in the apartment upstairs.
What does perplex me somewhat is the notion that this God listens to each and every one of these people, and that for some reason they think that they are special enough to have their special requests heard. Of course, if every person on the face of the earth all prayed at exactly the same time, for the same thing, (say, for example, Dave getting the legs back that were bitten off by one of Gods creations, the crocodile), then what do you think the odds are that Dave will suddenly grow back some lovely legs, and go running off into the sunset, praising the lord type fellow? Well, I wouldn't hold your breathe. In fact, I recall an experiment done by someone, somewhere, involving patients for a certain medical condition. They were split into groups. One knew they were being prayed for, the other did not know they were being prayed for, and the third group were not prayed for at all. It made absolutely no difference what so ever to the treatment they were receiving. Thousands upon thousands of people all praying for these certain people to get better, and alas, nothing happened. Oddly enough those in the group that knew they were being prayed for had more complications post op than the rest. Weird, ain't it! Anyway, prayers... What a load of bollocks. If a child keeps their security blanket past a certain age, they get looked at funny. The religious manage to get away with it.
4) Numpties in the desert -Gods attraction to illiterate peasants.
So there you are, sat on your rump on the sparsely vegetated land somewhere in the Middle East. It was here, ladies and gentlemen, that our great Lord and savious decided he would finally reveal himself to the whorl. What better place to do it than the Middle East. not Chine, Egypt, Greece, or any of the other advanced civilizations of the day. Nope, instead, it will be to goat-herders in one of the more primitive areas of the world. They will have been illiterate, and news of this great revelation would take hundreds of years, if not thousands to reach all corners of the earth. So why do it this way? Well, I think it is quite clear that he didn't. Why would he.. Its not logical.
God could have, and should have gone to the time period in which his message could be carried quicker, and easier, and without interpretation by the people. That would clearly be at least a few thousand years after his original time. He could have taken over satellite TV, HD radio, cinemas, sports events, email, and the Internet. Instead, he told some daft goat herders. Does that really sound like the actions of a normal supreme being? That has at LEAST got to show some form of utter incompetence on his part. Of course, one must also ask yourself the question, why wait until then? Whilst it was pointless revealing himself at that point, he might as well have done it far sooner, when we were coming down from the trees, and spreading out across the African continent. That would have made things a little simpler, even if we were monkeys, (not that God made us out of monkeys).
Nope, god made a huge mistake by not utilizing the Internet, email, and tele sales. For this reason, I think he is a silly God, even if he does exist.
5) Would you let God babysit?
Not on your fucking nelly. I'd rather have Fred West, or Jack the ripper. At least they limited themselves to less than a few hundred. God just doesn't know when to stop. He also doesn't seem to have any qualms whatsoever regarding who he kills off for some petty deed that they may not even have been guilty of perpetrating. The poor kids who happened to be born first in Egypt, for simply being a bit miffed at them. He almost had Abraham kill his son, but stopped him... Which was nice. The same could not be said of poor old Jephthah and his hapless daughter. He promised to sacrifice whatever came to his door after a battle, or a night on the town, or something, and his daughter turned up. Instead of God saying "no, we were drunk, don't worry about it... Say some hail Mary's and a couple of Our Fathers and well be good. Nope, the poor girl was burned alive. He decreed that children who dishonor their parents should be killed, as well as anyone who happened to follow another god. All in all, he comes across as a bit of a petulant child. Jealous, angry, pissed off, and for some reason, he seems obsessed with attention. Does God have ADD?
Why is someone allegedly so powerful, so loving, so quick to deal out death and destruction? (cheers Gandalf) it hardly seems like the actions of a loving God, or a God that has a desire for good to come of his flock. If God was a parent, or foster parent, and these things occurred, do you think people would be praising him, or do you think that they would have their kids taken away, and they be locked up in an institute? I don't think that is a difficult question to answer. So rather than being the delightful, caring overseer, he seems he'll bent on trying to be as scary as possible. It's a bit like the school bully. If you ignore them long enough, he will go away. Is God a Hitler type character? He really is a barbaric shit.
6) The odd things...
OK, not all of the god stuff makes too much sense to me. There are some questions that to me don't make sense, (aside from the rest), and I thought I'd pile them into one section.
Ok, so apparently the universe is only 6000 years old. So taking that as truth, what was god doing before that? Assuming that God is infinite, then what, exactly was he doing prior to the creation. What was he doing for the infinite expanse before that? Is he actually a completely lazy git, and his only work is a fairly gash universe, with multitudes of dead planets, and failing stars, complete with life that suffers pain,and all that stuff.
Why do we think he would actually care in the first place? Isn't that a bit like a scientist really caring about the bacteria in a Petrie dish?
Why did he create a perfect garden, and create some nice little humans, and then put a serpent in there? Why didn't he know that the serpent was in there, or what it's plans were? Why make the tree of knowledge in the first place? Why blame them for eating the fruit when it was he that made them the way they were?
Why the difference between the old testament and the new testament? The first thing I think of when comparing is "how can a supreme, all knowing, omnipotent being change his mind?" The fact he changed his mind is, in my opinion, proof that he is in fact not omnipotent, supreme or all knowing. It doesn't make sense. Where did hell come from? It wasn't mentioned in the OT so why the sudden inclusion? Did god change his mind, or was it purely a man made notion added later? It all adds up, in my mind, to the idea that God, and all the writings were man made, and not divinely inspired.
The Devil... Isn't that a bit like a batman letting loose the Riddler, or Joker, just to give himself purpose? Why on earth would he create something that could well cause the downfall of his creation? That makes no sense at all. If it was a plot line in a recognised fictional book, we'd all be pondering what a piss poor story it was. How can a perfect being create something so clearly imperfect, or contrary to the perfect beings wishes? Maybe they are business partners? A bit of a mutually beneficial relationship. A sort of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" type scenario. What a load of piffle.
7) Things that go bump in the night
Ok, so religion pretty much relies entirely on the notion that the supernatural is an acceptable premise. The only problem with that is that, as the name suggests, it is supernatural. It is beyond what we can see, hear, touch, or detect in any way possible. It is beyond science. As such, science can say nothing about it. A lot of theists seem to get this part all horrible confuddled, and think that because science doesn't actually say anything about God, it is anti-god. It isn't. Far from it. For science to say anything on a subject, it has to have some sort of starting point with which it can formulate even a primitive or initial hypothesis. If there is absolutely no tangible, usable evidence, then that's it. There is nothing more to be said. It can search for possible evidence, but until that has been discovered, then science is utterly devoid of an opinion. Of course, if we did have even the smallest inkling of evidence, then it would not be supernatural, it would be material. Imagine if some sort of physical evidence was found. What exactly would that do for faith? Would it no longer be faith, but a science?
Now many people don't seem able, or willing to place deities in the same category as other supernatural bits and bobs. Unicorns, fairies, hobgoblins, the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. If we are to take the notion of a God seriously, as demanded by religious folks, then surely we should expect the same from everything else with zero evidence? That would, of course, open up the flood gates to reams and reams of made up, nonsensical entities, items, and events. Of course we know that this would not happen, as we already know that one believer of an invisible sky daddy will mock, dismiss, or het downright angry when another entity of equal evidence is brought forward.
So for God to be proven it would have to enter the material world. According to religious folks this happens all the time. For a miracle to occur, or for God to affect our world he MUST interact with the material world, so we should be able to detect him directly or indirectly. Until we can, God is relegated to the silly world of fairies.
8) Dear creationists...
Just want to tell you that it doesn't matter if you disprove DNA, palaeontology, chemistry, the theory of gravity, or than Ted Haggard is not a hypocrite, that does not mean God is true. You see, when you make a claim, in this case "There IS a God" then to prove it you have to actually provide evidence in it's favour. Just disproving an unrelated theory does not work for you. The sooner you realise this, then the sooner we can stop having those ridiculous circus events like the Dover trial, and all that creationist bullshit that you keep peddling. If you only put your resources into proving a God, rather than disproving something else, then maybe you would get somewhere. Oh, and why don't you endeavour to get some of your young earth theories peer reviewed. You keep saying you have evidence, but it's not really forthcoming, is it?
Bah... Home... I might add to this later, or remove it, or something. I don't really have the time to read it through. Have to be up early in the morning.. Booooo!