Did the Dinosaurs Believe in God?

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With Easter Sunday around the corner, it's time for Time and Newsweek to take a break from cutting-edge dinosaur-disaster cover stories and throw some religion at us.

Time's March 21 ish features a shot of she-who-was-assumed-body-and-soul with the crown-of-thorns-painful headline, "Hail, Mary."

Newsweek dares to ask "how did a Jewish prophet come to be seen as the Christian savior"?

But did the dinosaurs believe in God? Maybe we'll find out next Easter…

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  1. Bwa ha ha

    I knew you would come through with a funny Good Friday fun link.

    Enter the whiny, defensive poster crying about how Libertarians hate Jaaaysus:

  2. More importantly, did the Dinosaurs lay Cadbury eggs at Easter time? I sincerely hope so.

  3. “But did the dinosaurs believe in God?”

    Yes, and look where it got ’em.

  4. From the 1985 cover, am I to assume that Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard killed the dinosaurs?

  5. The dinosaurs did believe in God! I know, because they secretly went to Mass with me, every week! I can’t believe you just want to kill them!

  6. Remember Conservative P.C. says you can’t mock or criticize Christianity. πŸ™‚

  7. I think the recent “find of the century” dinasour flesh, taken in conjunction with events in Iraq and the Middle East, is the latest and strongest sign of the beginning of the End Times.

  8. “Remember Conservative P.C. says you can’t mock or criticize Christianity. :)”

    Well I was going to say something deferential and polite, but then I thought, “What would Gunnels do?”, and I let ‘er rip. πŸ™‚

    PS–I will now be marketing WWGD t-shirts, bracelets, and bumper stickers, just in time for Easter. πŸ™‚

  9. One shirt, please….

  10. Here’s my question (with a preface):

    OK, let’s assume the longshot comes come through and we actually have the genetic material required to clone a T-Rex. What would the religious crazies say about this?

    Remember, a rightouesly pissed-off God drowned the asses of ALL these fucking big lizards–that’s why they are extinct (not meteors or other “scientific” bullshit). Wouldn’t “we” be playing God–and contrary to His great big wonderful plan–by bringing them back?

    Of course, it could be argued that bringing them back is also part of God’s great big wonderful plan, since everything that occurs is a part of that plan (like the Holocaust)–the result of positing an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient Deity. Kinda does in free will, I grant you, but I have never really had a successful explanation of that concept from a fundamentalist Christian perspective any way.

    Have a rare ribeye for Good Friday, y’all!

  11. Yow! What a classy thread for a Good Friday.

    If any other church-monkeys stumble upon this thread, I suggest you just turn the other cheek and git out.

    Should we be expecting a Judaism thread when Passover begins on April 23? I know you won’t let P.C.-ness deter you.

    Carry on, kids.

  12. Stevo,

    Are you suggesting we are under some obligation to avoid speaking our minds because of the fairy tales other may hold dear? Get real.

    Also, there was just a thread the other day (on a related topic to my question, in some ways) concerning Judaism (or one branch thereof) and its idiocies.

    We can’t help it if here in the good ol’ US of A Christains so eagerly makes asses out of themselves with astonishing frequency. They could shut the fuck up and leave the rest of us alone, but that seems to be an option most no longer consider.

    Police the lunacy of your fellow believers before trying to dictate to us, OK? (mote and beam, etc.)

  13. Eh, criticism in the free market of ideas is a good thing. I guess some of the ignorance-based mocking was starting to bother me, though. It reminds me of nothing so much as when authoritarian/traditionalist Freepers “discuss” libertarianism.

    Never mind.

    Like I said: Carry on.

  14. For what it’s worth, I am not mocking any sort of believers. I am mocking whiny, annoying posters. This is no apology, btw.

    (#___)

  15. Newsweek’s title smacks of stupidity. THERE WERE NO CHRISTIANS BEFORE CHRIST. How disconnected must a major news magazine’s editors be to let this slip by them. For fuck’s sake, this headline is more self-evident than looking in a mirror and seeing one’s reflection.

  16. I know, smacky.

    OK, this is an apology:

    I’ve thought about it, and I have no clear idea why this thread started to rub me the wrong way. If I’m going to choose a moment to get all Christian on you ass, there has got to be a better way than being a bad example and appearing intolerant.

    I’m done.

    Now I feel like Forrest Gump: “Sorry t’ interrupt your Black Panther party, ever’body!”

  17. I agree with Stevo (again). There’s nothing wrong with arguing against irrational beliefs with respect. Heck, there’s nothing wrong with arguing beliefs without insults. I understand where the temptation to do so comes from, but belief in God or a religion doesn’t make you a superstitious fool (some of the smartest, most educated guys I know are quite religious). So no need to call an entire group foolish, bigoted or idiotic, unless they bring it upon themselves.

  18. Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “The last true Christian died on the cross,” so I guess there were no Christians after Christ, either… if you believe Nietzsche, I mean.

  19. PS: Agree with Richard — the Newsweek item, “How did a Jewish prophet come to be seen as the Christian savior?” is a hilariously inane gem.

  20. Richard: “Newsweek’s title smacks of stupidity. THERE WERE NO CHRISTIANS BEFORE CHRIST.”

    Perhaps it was meant to be wistfully nostalgic…

  21. Q: So, why did all the dinosaurs die?
    A: Because you touch yourself at night.

  22. A bit boring
    Reviewer: John Date: February 19, 2005 Rating:

    Is the old man going to sell?….Is he not going to sell? I never found out because it got really slow and boring in the middle. Sorry.

  23. Somemone needs to check right away to see if the T Rex soft tissue recently found contains any brain matter. Because, you know, if it does, and if T Rexes believe in God, then we need to get a feeding tube on that sucker right away before any more damage is done!!!

  24. Mocking criticism is an age old device I vow to use until the day I die. πŸ™‚

    SPD,

    The Fundies hate him.

  25. Good Friday??? I bet Jesus didn’t think there was anything good about it.

  26. To get serious here for a moment and answer Nick’s question. No, obviously the dinosaurs didn’t believe in God because they were too stupid to see Him. That is why God smited them with the Chicxulub asteroid 65 million years ago. That’s in the Bible but you wouldn’t know that because you don’t dare read God’s Word. You are all unbelievers and are going to hell.

  27. “You are all unbelievers and are going to hell.”

    Goddamn! Are you saying I won’t have to spend eternity with all the fundamentalists? Christ on His throne! That’s the best argument for atheism I’ve ever heard! πŸ™‚

  28. “So no need to call an entire group foolish, bigoted or idiotic, unless they bring it upon themselves.”

    Mo, I think that is just what Nick has done with this thread, and I back his Irish ass up.
    You want a piece of us?

    A pox on your Vobiscum!

  29. Actually, I thought Nick’s original post was inoffensive and witty.

  30. “Remember, a rightouesly pissed-off God drowned the asses of ALL these fucking big lizards–that’s why they are extinct (not meteors or other “scientific” bullshit).”

    Frighteningly, there’s now a segment of Christian fundamentalists who argue that the dinosaurs weren’t drowned in the flood – they got on the Ark with the rest of the animals: http://www.icr.org/pubs/btg-b/btg-053b.htm

    So, keep in mind, the Ark had to carry not just two of every species alive in historic times, but two of every *extinct* species as well…

  31. Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.

    And a complete whackjob.

  32. Kinda does in free will, I grant you, but I have never really had a successful explanation of that concept from a fundamentalist Christian perspective any way.

    There’s a reason for that: they don’t believe in free will, they believe in predestination mostly. After all, if by faith ye are saved, and works don’t matter, what do you need free will for anyway? So their POV is “whatever shit’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen.”

  33. Stevo,
    Aren’t inoffensive and witty mutually exclusive?

    (This is my last post for this evening. If there were no War on Drugs, I could be offensive plus witty, but thanks to Dubya, I have no choices but alkeehol. Thus I must be as he: Not witty plus offensive. So, goodnight!)

  34. Aren’t inoffensive and witty mutually exclusive?

    Not at all — see Southpark, Chapelle’s Show, Kentucky Fried Movie ….

    Later.

  35. cdunlea: That was true of 17th and 18th century Protestants, but not so much anymore. Most evagelical Prots nowadays, like the medieval Catholic Church they once opposed, believe very strongly that what you do in the here and now affects your chances for getting into heaven. Why else would they constantly reinforce their injunctions to their kids with “You’ll go to hell if you do (or don’t do) that”?

  36. Did Noah have to carry aquatic life? Seems unnecessary to me. Or did he need to carry only the fresh water species, since their habitat would become salty once seawater reached their lakes and rivers. And just how did New World species get on the ark? And the stuff from Australia? Were the insects that can survive a damp environment have to be collected? For plants, was it enough to have seeds? Or were the seeds left to fend for themselves? Were bacteria collected? Would God have been mad if Noah had “accidentally” dropped the small pox virus overboard?

    I’m beginning to think that Noah story might not be 100% accurate…

  37. Perhaps it (the inane title) was meant to be wistfully nostalgic…

    You’re giving Newsweek and/or their assessment of their readers sophistication far too much credit.

  38. Like Stevo, I have no problem with someone who calmly and politely questions my faith, since I expect others to listen when I politely question their beliefs and opinions.

    I do however have problems with those who spew hateful, profanity-ridden vitriol in my direction simply because of my faith. I would name names, but I don’t want to force y’all to scroll…

    Even if you hate the theism, love the theist.

  39. crimethink,

    Why should I have to loe you again? Dude, I don’t even know you. Now, if casual sex is what you are after… πŸ™‚

    Stevo Darkly,

    Southpark offends the religious all the time. Remember the episode where they took the Ethiopian kid to another planet? They shit all over Christians in that episoder (and did so in a rather witty manner). Then there was the episode concerning the rainforest! That must have ticked some lefty-environmentalists! πŸ™‚

    ____________________________

    The Noah story is so patently absurd that I almost blush for theists who claim that it happened. If anyone deserves to be called a moron its someone who claims that such a silly story is true.

  40. Gary, that’s what I meant. You can offend and be funny at the same time. Many’s the time I busted a gut at Southpark while simultaneously going, “Oh dear fucking Lord!” (That’s an expression of horror, by the way.)

    Another example: The interminable vomiting scene in Team America: World Police. Well, I wasn’t exactly offended so much as grossed out. (I haven’t gotten arond to watching the whole movie yet, just clips; I know there’s more offensive/hilarious stuff in there.)

  41. Stevo Darkly,

    The puppet fucking is pretty funny.

    The dicks and pussies speech probably offends a lot of people.

  42. Stevo, you are too damned good natured to snap at, even when you deserve it. As far as witnesses for Christ go, you are all right–kind of like our own Ned Flanders. In the spirit of the season, forgive me.

    However, I still want to know about those damned dinosaurs.

  43. Good Friday’s front page headline in the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “How exactly did he die?”

  44. BAD TASTE ALERT BAD TASTE ALERT BAD TASTE ALERT

    This just in…

    Easter Cancelled – They Found The Body

    (Oldie But Goodie)

  45. Gary Gunnels,

    For the last time, love <> sex! Sheesh, no wonder they won’t let you people get married! πŸ˜‰

    Oh wait, you are married…

  46. Also Gary,

    The puppet scene was a big disappointment. It was waaayyy too publicized beforehand. Of course, I don’t see how it could have been avoided, given the MPAA’s hysterical rating warning.

  47. A lot of the devout Christians where I work were EXTREMELY offended that Good Firday wasn’t a holiday, and so we all had to either come to work or else use a personal day off. But I said, “Having to work today makes perfect sense from a theological standpoint–Jesus had to suffer on Good Friday; why shouldn’t you?”

  48. Jennifer,

    Peter was crucified upside down for his Lord.

    Today, say “Happy Holidays” and many Christians have a shit hemorrhage. Such is the evolution of suffering for one’s faith.

    Oh shit, did I say “evolution”?!?

    Forgive me again, stevo…He would.

  49. Jennifer,

    I know exactly what you mean — I listened patiently to someone the other day pissing and moaning about having to work on Good Friday. “Don’t they understand that we Catholics have to fast?”

    I retorted that Good Friday has never been a HDOO, so Catholics have worked on Good Friday since time immemorial. In the early 1900s, many Catholic immigrants worked in mining or other physically demanding occupations while fasting. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask someone to sit at a desk and file papers on an empty stomach twice a year.

  50. “Easter Cancelled – They Found The Body”

    Never heard that one… ROTFLMAO! πŸ™‚

  51. And yet the stock markets are all closed on Good Friday. I’ve never quite gotten that.

  52. religion?as opposed to faith in a god or gods?be discouraged?

    1.1 Let?s rid ourselves of the pernicious tendencies of religion and get our religion dividend.

    Beyond the history of religion as a pernicious force, with its inquisitions, holy wars, and other such historical charms, and beyond its continuing ability to divide (consider President Bush?s quote, “God is on our side.” versus President Lincoln?s milder, “I hope we are on God’s side.?), religion exacts a heavy tax on the development of our civilization that can be measured in lives lost due to wasted effort. How much time, money and effort has gone into filling the coffers of Jimmy Swaggart and charlatans of his ilk, or popes and other such more mainstream religious leaders? Could not the monies for building and maintaining glorious new churches instead be donated to cure cancer? Science does work. Childhood leukemias, for example, are now highly curable, whereas a mere 50 years ago they were nearly always fatal death sentences. Or how about putting some of that wasted ?church? money into education for better schools and higher paid teachers? There are likely thousands of worthy causes struggling for cash that is otherwise wasted on religion. But wait you say! Religions do contribute to good causes. Certainly some nominal amount of church monies do go into cancer research and other good causes. But what fraction of it? Half? I doubt it. So cut out the middle man and send 100% of the cash to the good causes. Then instead of wasting time at church functions, people could put time into their communities. Again, yes I realize that some nominal amount of church time is spent on improving communities. But what fraction of it? Half. I doubt it. Cut out the middle man, and while you’re cutting out the middle man, cut out the hypocrisy as well. Why do good members of faith X, Y or Z do their good deeds and donate their coins of silver, or some of their hours, or even their very own lives? Is from out of the goodness of their own hearts, or for the reward of life after death for Christians or a harem for suicide bombers, etcetera? One can never trust that the religious do good deeds?like Christianize savages or pray to their god(s)?strictly out of the goodness of their own hearts. One must always suspect that the religious are to some degree motivated to save their own skins and, perhaps, the skins of those they care about. Although I don?t believe the phrase that there are no atheists in foxholes, I must always believe that the motives of the faithful are suspect at best, if not altogether disingenuous.

    2. What is wrong with morality based on religion?

    2.1 NO DOUBT there is trouble with religion.

    This, NO DOUBT, is what most religions are predicated on. No doubt equals faith and conversely, and having NO DOUBT is the innate trouble of most religious doctrine. I believe that history shows that Hitler could not have come into power without the support of Christian peoples, and that if he had succeeded, it has been argued that he would have pushed for a new Nazi-based religion against the traditional religions to make his views more palatable. In this way religion, by its very own construct of NO DOUBT, is innately pernicious, because only under a moral philosophy of NO DOUBT can entire hordes of religiously motivated people throughout the ages, by reason of their NO DOUBT faith, become holy warriors, KKK nuts, al Qaeda members, witch burners, lynchers, homophobes, misogynists, child molesters, and other numerous types of nefarious -obes, -ists and -ers in order to raze entire civilizations, pillage, plunder, murder, maim, destroy, burn books, imprison scholars, discriminate, rape, butcher, segregate, and slowly eviscerate other peoples. And the vast majority of these religiously motivated people committed these crimes and atrocities against humanity without a doubt in their minds for they were following the will of their god(s) NO DOUBT.

    2.2 Does lack of religion imply degeneracy?
    If there is no religion, no faith in God, then what? Can there be no morality as Immanuel Kant would insist? Why does religion have to equate to morality? How many millions of atheists are there out there following the same basic morals of the faithful? Don’t kill, steal, cheat, help others, and so forth, these kinds of ethical rules need not have anything to do with religion. These morals, which try to hem our wanton natures, make good sense if one wants to enjoy the fruits of civilization. Does the lack of religion make the enforcement of such morals impossible? Ask the millions of atheists who aren?t busy chopping tens of thousands peoples with machetes or molesting children.

    3. Can there be alternative, less dangerous moralities?

    3.1 Morality based on the scientific method is less arrogant and thus less dangerous.
    The scientific method is based on doubt up to reproducibility and error bars. Cold fusion so far has turned out to be some much bovine poop, as cannot yet be reproduced in other, independent labs. Newton’s law of (scalar) gravity, on the other hand, worked well within a large range of scales and phenomenology. Experiments and/or observations began to show cracks in Newton?s law of (scalar) gravity. The planet Mercury, with its exposure to a stronger part of the sun’s tensor (curved space-time) gravity field could not be made to jive with Newtonian gravity. Einstein’s more general theory of gravity, namely general relativity, took care of this and other discrepancies with Newtonian gravity, and we know of no experimental violations of this theory to date! Yet we doubt Einstein’s theory is complete. Of late, Gravity B probe is out and about testing general relativity as I type this essay, and though it is expected to verify general relativity, physicists fully expect that someday, with sufficient technology, the experiment will come that shows cracks in Einstein’s general relativity. Personally, at least a small part of me wouldn?t be completely surprised if, suspecting some deeper physics, the force of gravity just plum quit working one day. Still, if NASA, or a working space agency offered me a ride to Mars, I?d take my chances with Sir Newton.

    Getting back to human morality, the innate doubt of the scientific method, should, if we adopt it as a basis for our general morality, make us more humble citizens of the universe. In a world where people shunned NO DOUBT religious faith, and instead searched for demonstrable, defendable, repeatable facts both scientifically and logically, it seems likely there would be less risk of committing holy war and other such crimes. People would categorize their belief systems according to their applicability, testability, utility, reproducibility and probability over other competing models within the error bars. They would realize that there can be no ultimate theory of truth, just models with certain ranges of utility. People such as these would, hopefully, be decent people in the conventional sense of not stealing, cheating, killing, etcetera., and would, recognizing that humans also have wanton tendencies, bind themselves to secular laws designed to prevent crime and corruption for the better good of civilization. Please don?t cite the failed Soviet Union (and other such ?godless? experiments) as a case in point that godless people can be evil as well. Religion didn?t die in the Soviet Union. It went underground. I agree however that godless peoples can be as evil as god(s) fearing peoples, especially if they have substituted one kind of NO DOUBT faith for another kind?say sports?but it seems less easy to incite a bunch of doubting Thomas? to bash people?s brains in than Christians or Muslims say over a game of soccer or some holy relic.

    4. Must we believe in god(s)?

    4.1 One can’t prove existence or non-existence of God. One must have faith! Or not.
    Immanuel Kant proved that we humans can’t prove the existence of God. Still, he thought faith (if not proof) of God’s existence made sense. He used a design type argument. If a watch needs an intelligent watch maker, then our complex world too, it seems, needs an intelligent creator. He could not have been aware of modern, corrected versions of Miller?s experiments that show that within weeks or less?forget about a billion years?complex molecules required for life as we know it can form from primordial soups, or be dumped on our unwary heads from meteorites. Immanuel Kant also thought that lack of faith in god(s) would make it impossible for civilization to arise. We’d all be killing each other off like godless Native American savages, the very way the millions of today’s atheists…errr God fearing warmongers?are wont to do all the time.

    In its simplest form, Occam’s razor states that explanations should never multiply causes without necessity. When two explanations are offered for a phenomenon, the simplest full explanation is preferable. Kant, ignoring Occam?s razor for one reason or another, failed to consider the possibility that we humans inhabit only one of infinitely many universes, with this one universe allowing for the spontaneous evolution of life from a primordial soup of chemicals. Again, amino acids, which can be found in meteorites and cold, blue balls of space gas, can get ?created? in simulated, corrected primitive Earth environments. In this case (infinitely many universes), we don’t need an intelligent creator. This is not to say, however, that god(s) cannot exist. One can no more prove the existence of god(s) than their non-existence, but of this more will come down below.

    4.2 Occam’s razor, it’s not a close shave man.
    Imagining a world without religion, I would hope that its people would prefer, using Occam’s razor, to think of their existence as having no explanation, and of having no special purpose?Steve Martin?s special purpose aside?other than what they made of their own existence while they lived. They would be godless, and they would, hopefully, be driven to help each other out, not for eternal life in, say a harem, but out of the goodness of their own hearts, and/or out of some honest to goodness economic necessity so that they could enjoy the fruits of civilization over dwelling in caves. Presupposed in this imaginary world is the supposition that its ?laws? of physical nature would be as fairly ?reliable? as our physical ?laws? seem to be, else, if gravity turned itself on or off depending on the price of rice in China, I?d think it hard to imagine life evolving, let alone getting civilized.

    4.3 But what about salvation?
    Tough! When you die you D-E-A-D. Until we figure out how to cure aging and disease, and perhaps transform ourselves into more advanced types of indefinitely long lived beings, we die, and our lives will have had no meaning other than, perhaps, the quality of our children we raised and what we contributed to the better good of humanity whilst we lived. Eventually, though, as Marcus Aurelius noted, even this personal meaning to our lives would fade into time immemorial.

    4.4 God is nuts!
    The alternative to believing we are nothing special via Occam’s razor, is to believe we are something special in the eyes of some higher being, and this requires throwing logic out the window. If the higher being is simply a more scientifically and technologically developed being (or beings), then this is the least of the illogical alternatives to believing we are nothing special. Hey, humanity is little BloGorg’s 1st grade exobiology lab experiment. Maybe this is why, given little BloGorg’s inexperience and grubby hands, that vast portions of humanity’s history has and continues to suck. If, however, we chose to have faith in a perfect, eternal, omniscient, and omnipotent God, then we have real logical and egomaniacal problems! Let us consider a few:

    4.5 Can an omnipotent god make a burrito so hot even he can’t eat it?

    In many religious systems we are asked to believe that a god, who knew an eternity before creating us exactly what would happen after he/she/it created us, namely, that we would screw things up, will punish the wicked and reward the good. What? Say again! Given his/her/its omniscience, I say the wicked were condemned an eternity before they ever saw the light of day. Isn?t this predetermination? We then must conclude that the supposedly perfect creator (of ALL things) is the screw up. In light of his/her/its omniscience, how dare he/she/it punish (typically by roasting the wicked in hell) a single human being, and demand from the rest of us that we worship him lest we suffer the same fate as the wicked? Doesn’t the buck stop with HIM/HER/IT? If so, then he/she/it is the mother/father/progenitor of all masochists. Given just this first step into an infinitely illogical morass of believing in omniscient, omnipotent, eternal gods of love, how are we supposed to reconcile a perfect creator with an imperfect system that is predetermined by his/her/its omniscience without just giving up basic logic and selling our souls to some utterly indefensible bullshit faith-based scheme? Then, going down the slippery slope to my damnation, I ask myself just why would a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal being need the worship of lowly humans? To satisfy a really, really weak ego? I don?t thinks so. To me a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal being is a dead lump of nothing that would suffer zero motivation for doing anything. Create, or do anything, but what for? He/she/it knows the outcome, hence he/she/it would have zero motivation. (Have you seen the old TV commercial, “been there, done that”?) Someone, countering this line, once asked me, why should I procreate? You know what the kid will do he stated in defense of his purported god. The kid, predictably so, will breath, drink water, learn to read, and so on. I procreate?accidents aside?because I am not perfect, eternal, omnipotent nor omniscient, and ’cause sex feeeels good. It?s in my genes! And I simply don’t know whether my kids will become mass murderers or land on Mars. Their world will constantly change. Science will reveal whole new domains for exploration. Lacking omniscience allows for the possibility, if not the guarantee of motivation.

    I know that some of you who read these arguments for dropping god (or gods) will cite the “father analogy” when I will point out the misery of the human condition. ?When you were a kid,? they will say to me, ?and your father denied you ice cream as a punishment, he was doing it for your own good, to protect you, to teach a lesson, and so forth. As a child, you could not have understood his logic, and you probably thought he was being a bad guy for no good reason. He (assuming a Christian god) is our Father and we are His children.? For hours they will droll on in their brainwashed fashion. In response to this insupportable analogy, I will reply that my father was not a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal being. The god being foisted on me supposedly is. This is a FUNDAMENTAL distinction people never seem to realize when they drop their father analogy. And, counter to those who, using the father analogy, claim we are too pea-brained to understand God, I claim that we humans are sufficiently intelligent to question God. We should, as a few religious people will accede to, have the right to ask, ?If you are perfect, eternal, omnipotent and omniscient, then why X, Y and Z?? I’m not arrogantly claiming that we would have the ability to understand this kind of God’s mastery of science and mathematics beyond M theory. I’m asking basic questions and pointing out self-evident contradictions like, ?How can you condemn Hitler when YOU created him?? Finally, again, if I’m too pea-brained to ask God questions, wouldn’t I be too pea-brained to worship Him even after becoming a human adult? Perhaps a prayer in obeisance is to him/her/it what a dog/cat/rat lick is to us?

    Yet another related defensive tact on behalf of god(s) goes along the lines, without bad you can’t have good, that’s why we have bad in god’s world, so that we learn and appreciate things. What good comes of genocide? What lesson did the annihilated peoples, the children, mothers and fathers, learn? What benefit is conferred when a five year old child dies of cancer after years of misery? God had to create a child to teach his parents a lesson? To make them pray to him? To help pay for Bob the oncologist’s shiny new sports car? Or god, the omnipotent, as some say, needed little Ricky?s help in heaven? Really? I thought we humans were too pea-brained to understand him. Ricky must have been far more special than we thought. Truly I say to thee that the variations of the illogical contradictions of an omnipotent, eternal, perfect, omniscient god of love are countless.

    5. Why should religion and faith in God should die?

    5.1 Religion should die because of sections 2 thru 3, and faith in God should die because of section number 4.

    6. Does killing religion and god(s) save humanity?

    6.1 An a-religious humanity following a doubt-based morality is not guaranteed survival.

    A humongous comet may yet squash us?or a planet of atheists?like the insignificant bugs that we are?splat! We humans, because we are innately competitive, and have difficulties with basic morality (e.g., we kill, steal, cheat, and so forth, and typically in the name of god) may yet treat ourselves to nuclear winter or death by advanced viral weapons. Yet, given that the scientific method based morality can be equated with DOUBT and that religious practice can be equated with NO DOUBT, it seems reasonable to believe that an a-religious world would be a bit more stable and likely to survive than a religious world. After all, a herd mentality requires a threshold number of initiators, and if there are less initiators there is a reduced likelihood to herd. Who do you see as more likely to cause trouble, a group of like-minded fanatics with NO DOUBT in their belief system, or a tough looking group of rowdy doubting Thomas’.

    7. Is science Lily-white?

    7.1 Since I seem to be advocating scientific, doubt based morality over a religion based morality, I’m sure people will point out the dark ways of science.

    First of all, science is us just as much as religion has been a part of us. No us, no religion or science.
    Does science bring us evil? A-bombs? H-bombs? Sure it does, but when was the last time we had a full-blown world war? And how many American and Japanese lives were saved by using Fat Man and Little Boy? Or was President Truman an agent of Satan sent out to deliver the handiwork of demonic scientists? History will show that fifty-nine atomic bomb scientists signed a petition to President Truman asking him to instead demonstrate the bomb’s power to the Japanese on a remote island. Are there and have there been evil scientists? Yes. Are there are and have there been arrogant scientists? Yes. Have (and do) some scientists get tempted to play God? Yes. Are there and have there been evil priests? Yes. Are there and have there been arrogant popes? Yes. Have (and do) some people of religious faith get tempted to play God? Yes. These points, picking out individuals from a population, are not THE POINT. Scientists do not make the scientific method any more than religious leaders make up religious malpractice.
    By the way, we goody-two-shoes Americans, the plain speaking little folk, are actually doing a nice job of hurting the planet with our massive SUVs appendages requiring boots in Iraq and a simultaneous, two-faced policy towards the Saudi royal, friends of the Bush family, family. We waste and pollute while we go to church without remorse or compunction. We demand our bigger LAND ROVING SUV penises as long as gas is cheap. Now that heating gas is getting pricey, suddenly we high school flunkies of basic science are saying go nuke?a move which I support based on science. We’re also quite okay with kissing the rainforests good-bye, filling them with methane farting cows so long as hamburger patties stay cheap. We, excepting a few deranged do-gooders, generally don’t push for more reasonable uses or our resources, until, that is, it hits us in our pocket books. The bottom line is that if we?re going to make it, it?s going to take all of us. See my article on “Some thoughts concerning law…in a post-Darwinian world of conflict, crime, social inequality,… at Forums, General Discussion, ?Some thoughts concerning law, social identity?? at:
    http://www.convergingtechnologies.org/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=39

    8. Improving our chances.

    8.1 I say that if we want to improve the lot of humanity, religion must die. Some can point to all the humanitarian good religion has done and continues to do. Though I can’t prove it, I suspect the net harm done in the name of religion far outweighs the net good it has done. A body count of saved versus killed off in the name of God could be one metric amongst others. But how would one count those who have died of cancer and other diseases because decades worth of charity and time have gone into building opulent churches and funding popes and their ilk over basic research?

    8.2 But modern religion is truly enlightened and tolerant you say.

    Some might argue that modern religions are now more enlightened. Which religions? Those practiced in Bosnia? Africa? Iraq? Or by our own homophobic (or was it vote pandering) president? Did President Bush, while he was pandering to homophobic voters, conclude the American constitution needs to be modified via an intellectual path, or out of religious conviction, tantamount to NO DOUBT? I saw him claim on TV that the base of great civilizations have been the union of man and woman. America’s government is modeled after the Greek and Roman states. Does President Bush not know that those toga wearing peoples had no problem with homosexuality? Does President Bush not know that as much as 10% of humanity is genetically predisposed to homosexuality according to an increasingly growing pile of scientific evidence? No. If we are to believe in Bush’s faith in a god, Bush has no god given doubt that homosexuals, as aberrant peoples with sinning ways, do not deserve the same legal rights as heterosexuals?never mind the point that in his universe his god created those sinning gays, some of whom are good enough to fight and die in Iraq, but NOT get married. Religion, even today in an “enlightened” western power, is just as vile as it ever was, and is still preaching holy war. How many times has President Bush stated it is America’s duty to spread freedom, which is God’s gift to humanity? If I had a nickel for every time some two-bit?

    9. Putting logic aside, can religion ever be expected to die?

    9.1 Will religion die?
    Should humanity survive to evolve into post-corporeal beings, then I do believe religion will die, but I don’t expect it to do so in the near future. Not until humanity?should it survive?has transformed itself into beings with indefinitely long lives will the need for religion die. So long as we live but a handful of years, the need for religion and faith in God will continue to exist. There really could be, as some researchers believe, an advantageous ?god gene? locked into our genome passed on from god fearing caveman to god-fearing caveman. When Blogorg ?believed? there was a god out there looking out for him, he fought on, but poor, atheist Grung gave up an got eaten by the saber tooth. Thus Blogorg, who got to zug-zug Lana, passed on his genes. When we drop our carbon based bodies, however, we won?t need to pass on our god gene to zug-zug Lana, and it will be adios to the god(s).
    10. A call for atheist preaching!
    In the mean time, given that religion will be with us for some time to come, we godless people must accept and tolerate those religious people among us as they claim to accept and tolerate us?and I’m not trying to be funny. Moreover, just as religious people have a god felt need and duty to save our heathen butts so that all may enjoy some kind of holy paradise tending sheep, we godless people too must do our best to ?unsave? people so that we may all enjoy a more real (Occam’s razor based) reality in a safer, more stable world with more resources going to solve problems than building churches. We have to preach unGod and unSaving logically, as I have tried to do in this post, as well as push to get rid of religious tax exemptions, especially when child molesting priests illegally tip-toe about the law and pander for votes.

    PS?Wouldn’t it be nice if religion, like cigarette packages, came with a warning sign listing off all its completely illogical foundations and inconsistencies, and its innate tendency to do harm thanks to NO DOUBT morals. People?before having to wait until we evolve into more advanced beings?could then decide to believe or not on a more informed basis despite their potential god genes. Science, with its scientific method, does this by definition. WARNING! All theories are subject to change given new data.

    Alex Alaniz, M.S., Ph.D.
    4925 S. Sol
    Los Alamos, NM 87544

  53. Preach it, Brother Alex, preach it!

  54. Amen, Rev. Alaniz.
    I’m deseminizing what you said to my agnostic cyber-pals.
    What’s new at the Santa Fe Institute?

  55. And yet the stock markets are all closed on Good Friday. I’ve never quite gotten that.

    Phil,
    I’ve always felt the Jews, who control Wall Street, have overdone their obsequiousness…not that different from Tom Delay trying to overprotect his “base,” as he perceives it, using Schiavo.

  56. Easter Cancelled – They Found The Body

    I laughed out loud at that. See — offensive and funny!

    Re: The travails of working on Good Friday.

    What a bunch of pussies. I think that in my entire career of working full-time, I got off for Good Friday exactly once. Big deal. And I don’t know about other Christian sects, but for modern Catholics, “fasting” on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday just means not eating between the three main meals of the day. Again, big deal.

    (Although it does piss me off that the cafeteria downstairs is too clueless to offer any kind of fish dish on Lenten Fridays — so I have to get grilled cheese. Worse, they chose those Fridays to offer their Sloppy Joe special. Man, I haven’t had one of those for about 20 years. Talk about temptation…)

    It’s too late for any more debate on this thread, but Dr. Alaniz’s post looks interesting and I’ll read it sometime when I have a couple hours to kill.

  57. This Catholic had to teach optics on Good Friday. It didn’t kill me.

    While teaching I mentioned something about how the brain perceives images and explained it in terms of evolution. Then, during the break (it’s a 3 hour class, so we take 15 minutes off in the middle) I saw that one of my students was reading the Chronicles of Narnia and said “Good book!” She said “Yeah, but it goes against everything you believe in.”

    I decided to play dumb and said “What do you mean?” She said “Well, you’re a scientist who believes in evolution.” I decided to keep playing dumb and said “Well, yeah, but just because centaurs and talking lions aren’t real doesn’t mean they don’t make a good story. Most scientists enjoy Lord of the Rings, for instance, even though we know that there are no such things as dragons and elves and wizards.” She eventually pointed out that the Chronicles of Narnia have a Christian theme and expressed puzzlement that so many non-Christians like those novels. I just said that I’m a Catholic and a physicist and that it doesn’t bother me in the least to be both.

    At least she didn’t do like some people would do and claim that my mention of evolution was “oppressing” her. I’m sure there’s a right wing group that would take up her crusade against those evil secularists in academia.

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