Conversations with Atheists, 26 APR 21

Them: “How many people have you personally met, who attempt to force Atheism on anyone?

Notice the immediate restriction: my opinion is somehow only valid if I have personally met an offender. Knowledge of world history, access to verifiable stories, documentary evidence; all are somehow meant to be made irrelevant by this sentence. I originally assumed it was simply poor wording, but no–the other party is deliberately trying to invalidate my points by pretending that empirical evidence does not apply.

Me: “None, they rarely do it in person in the U.S. (yet). But there are any numbers of Congressmen and judges in the United States who devote their careers to it. And certainly dozens of people who have interacted with me online.

And that’s just in this country. If we look at declared atheist nations–the USSR, China, etc., you get tortured until you become an atheist, and murdered if you don’t. Or often, they skip straight to the murder.

Them: “Congratulations! Your lightning-quick word-salad response has won this week’s highly-esteemed GOBBLEDEGOOK Award. In so few words, you managed to include delusion, unwarranted conclusion, confusion, wordplay, incorrect definitions, improper referral, unproven claims, misdirection, smoke and mirrors, and, I believe, even some strawman arguments.

I anxiously await your demonstrating each of those categories within my preceding statement.


Them: “Being charitable, I will not assume that you presented it as an intentional lie, but rather, as the parroted repetition of claims which you have innocently, if gullibly, accepted.”

If you were being charitable, you would not have written the previous two obviously false sentences. And no, I did not “gullibly parrot” the claim that dozens of people online have tried to force me to become an atheist. Which is all the more pathetic considering that I make no secret of having previously been an atheist, and intellectually outgrown it.


Them: “First, if the USSR and China are declared atheist nations – It was not by them.”

The Soviet Union not only declared itself explicitly atheist, it’s official policy was the extermination of religion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Soviet_Union#Policy_toward_religions_in_practice

Here is a first-hand account of a man tortured repeatedly by the Soviet government for refusing to renounce his religion:

The Communist Party of China, which is synonymous with the State, is explicitly atheist:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_China#:~:text=China%20has%20the%20world’s%20greatest,protected%20under%20the%20Chinese%20constitution

The Chinese Constitution “says” that it protects religious freedom, but we can see how that works out here: https://bitterwinter.org/tag/christian-faith-in-china/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwyZmEBhCpARIsALIzmnI9NoluCA_LRi5PA24VRGPWeuho2WNwD9mayYteAD-wUvbwuu0nmmYaAjwNEALw_wcB

and here:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-christians-tortured-in-brainwashing-camps-report.html

Churches destroyed for practicing Christianity instead of spreading atheism; graves desecrated; brainwashing and torture.

Them: “The USSR dissolved and has not existed since 1991 – 30 years. There are still thousands of Russian Orthodox Catholic churches doing fine within the country of Russia today. The majority of the population is quietly Christian.”

All of those statements are true, but they do not lead where you want them to go. Modern Russia–and all of the former Soviet client-states–embrace Orthodox Christianity in spite of the horrible treatment that Christians received under their Soviet torturers–not because the USSR was accepting of any religion.


Them: “The majority of Chinese citizens also claim some religious affiliation, mostly Buddhist or Confucianist. Those who are harshly dealt with are usually members of aggressive sects who attempt to harass the secular government, and force their beliefs on others…. like many American Evangelical Christians.”

Your second statement is not only false, but disturbing. First, the only people in China “forcing their beliefs on others” are the atheists–and maybe some Muslims on the border, but that’s really a separate issue. What you are trying to justify are camps where women are raped multiple times every day, because they belonged to a Church that refused to destroy the crucifix they used in their services.


Them: “While arrest, punishment and death can influence societal actions and attitudes, no-one can be forced to become an Atheist.”

I appreciate your acknowledgement of free will. Unfortunately, not everyone has the fortitude to withstand potentially endless years of systematic brainwashing and torture. And when an individual is subjected to such overwhelming evil until they break and embrace the lies, there is no description other than “being forced to become an atheist.”

Them: “If that were true, then the stories of the Apostles dying as martyrs would be false.”

No, it simply demonstrates how powerful and true their experiences were.


Them: “To first make the claim that some countries force citizens to become atheists is already disingenuous.”

It is a well-documented historical fact.

Them: “To then claim that the same is happening in the United States, approaches an outright lie.”

For those following along, this is what a “straw man argument” (something the author accused me of above) looks like. In fact, what I said was “They don’t do that in the United States (yet).” I then went on to state that there were, however, any number of judges and Congressmen who had devoted their careers to getting us to that point. If you don’t believe me, try to refusing making an item for the explicit purpose of sacrilege against your own religion. Or try offering shelter to homeless people in a Church. Or saying, “Merry Christmas” in a public school.

Them: “What the elected and appointed representatives of the secular Federal Government are doing, is ensuring that the wishes of the Founding Fathers, through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, are carried out.”

Denying people freedom of religious expression and freedom of association is exactly the opposite of the intention of the Founding Fathers–most of whom were Christian ministers–and both the content and intent of the Constitution.


Them: “No-one is being forced to become an Atheist!”

Unless you count all of the people being tortured into it around the world. And in the U. S., the ongoing campaign of lies about theism and atheism which force people into atheism by presenting false images of the two ideas.

Them: “But intolerant Religionists are being forced to accept their existence and their rights, as established by the law of the land.

And here endeth the lesson, such that anyone who actually understands the word “religion” and what “the law of the land” actually is, can see how nonsensical this entire rant has been.

Update: The only reference I can currently find to legal issues surrounding the use of the term “Merry Christmas” in public schools is an obvious hoax article. Therefore, that comment is withdrawn unless valid corroboration is forthcoming. I leave it in the post because I don’t hide from my mistakes.

Life After Goog-a-zon

This will be an updating post as I begin migrating from the various social media sites and other “tech giants” who have chosen overtly destroy the right to free speech of their members–as well as censoring the sitting President of the United States. So far, I have deleted my Twitter account with no intended replacement, and closed down all paid services from Amazon (but not my free account, since I have literally hundreds of books on Kindle and Audible which cannot be migrated).

Instagram, YouTube, all of my gmail accounts, and Google Calendar should come down on my next day off; I’ll update this post if I find suitable replacements.

Facebook will be the last to go, because I have so many friends and so much content there. I have a MeWe account already established, but I’m going to see if GAB or something else looks more usable.

Warming, Viruses, and Conspiracies

People seem disappointed that I’m not immediately jumping on the bandwagon with Dr. Li-Meng Yan’s claim that SARS-COV-2 is a man-made Chinese bioweapon.  There seems to have been some sort of belief that because I oppose the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis and all policies based on it, I must be a fellow conspiracy theorist.

So, to clarify, I am not.  I have no deep emotional urge to disbelieve “the official story” or pluck at straws to undermine the claims of people I dislike.  I oppose AGW because there is no legitimate science support it, and much which disproves it.  If Dr. Li can support her claims with real evidence, I will re-evaluate my position.  I currently see significant evidence to doubt her claim, including the virus’ total inadequacy as bioweapon and my lack of knowledge of any nation having the capacity to produce viruses ex nihilo.

I understand that this puts me in opposition with many of my Trump-supporting friends, but frankly, that is why I left the Republican party after his nomination.

Tenets of Modern “Skepticism”

1. All human thought is either ‘science-based’ or ‘fantasy-based’. These are mutually exclusive, and there are no other possibilities.

2. Everything I like is ‘science-based’.

3. Because it is ‘science-based’, it has value in all situations. People who believe it are smart and good.

4. Everything I don’t like is ‘fantasy-based’.

5. Because it is ‘fantasy-based’, it cannot have value. People who believe it are stupid and bad.

A Thought as Orwell Spins…

The political party currently telling you that the police are racist brutes who cannot be trusted, is the same political party which says that you should forfeit your Constitutionally-affirmed right to self-defense, because police are the only ones which should be trusted with guns.

We Forget the Lessons of Vietnam

I was going to do a political cartoon about our abandonment of the Kurds turning allies against us… But it’s already happened. The whole area aligning with Syria and RUSSIA. And hundreds of ISIS prisoners have already escaped from the facilities we left behind with forces about to be wiped out by Turkey.

The response from the White House? ‘The Kurds are probably releasing the ISIS fighters (who killed 11,000 Kurds) on purpose.’

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/turkey-syria-incursion-kurds-isis-detainees-escape-sdf-alliance-bashar-assad-russia-today-2019-10-14/

Conversations

Me (in response to a Facebook meme):

Atheism is fundamentally incompatible with science.

Atheist A: “I would like you to explain that. I would never say general creationism is fundamentally incompatible with science. As the existence of a God can not be proven or dis proven. I would say young earth creationism is incompatible with science. What is your reasoning?”

Me: Young earth creation is BAD science, because it is an attempt to validate a premise, rather than falsify an hypothesis. But it is not “incompatible” with science–in fact, it is worse science to say “you’re not allowed to ask those questions.”
As for atheism and science:
Science is based on repeatable observation. For the same circumstances to give rise to the same objectively-observable phenomenon repeatedly, the universe must behave in a rational manner.
If the universe does not have a rational organizing principle, then there is no reason–including previous observations of what appear to be rational behavior–to expect future rational behavior. In other words, without a rational organizing principle, the universe is by definition irrational. Further, as subsets of the universe, if it is irrational then so are we. It is not possible for irrational beings to undertake a rational study of an irrational system.
Thus, without a rational organizing principle, “science” is a meaningless term applied to an impossible event.
A “rational organizing principle of the universe”–minus the mythological baggage of any particular religion–is the definition of God. Therefore, no God, no science.
Atheism is fundamentally incompatible with science because it posits an irrational universe, which negates both the function and the method of scientific inquiry.

Atheist B:  http://www.positiveatheism.org/faq/firstcause.htm

Me (rebutting various points in the article he linked): “The first axiom is very doubtful indeed. Quantum mechanics works with events in nature that are, or at least seem to be, completely random. I do not know how the author has managed to conflate “being random” with “being uncaused”, but he has. They are not the same, and this is a nonsense objection.”

B: “Hume showed that humans cannot perceive ’cause’ and ‘effect’, but construct these notions from past experiences.”

Me: Hume’s arguments about causation are questionable, and irrelevant regardless. This discussion is not based on perception of causation, but on deduction of causation.

B: “Even if we agree that everything we see has a cause (which for quantum reasons I won’t) how can we infer from that that everything has a cause? This is mere speculation, it is not knowledge we can ever have.”

This illustrates my original point quite clearly: the author goes directly to an irrational universe. If the law of cause-and-effect does not apply, then science is impossible. Moreover, it is not “mere speculation”–it is an axiom of science, a fundamental law of logic, and the most-validated repeatable observation possible.

B: “And just suppose that every thing has a cause, then the argument is still invalid, for the Universe is not a thing, it is the set of all things. And a set cannot be a member of itself, so a conclusion about things in the Universe is not necessarily valid for the Universe itself.”

While it is true in some mathematical practices that sets cannot contain themselves, this is because sets are defined as not containing sets. If the author wishes to make the rather absurd claim that universe is a set (which is actually just a metaphysical collection), then he must accept the consequence: there are NO sets, because all other sets would exist within the universe. Since all numbers are a set, that means that mathematics is invalidated, and once again we have an irrational universe.

B: “Then, I’m afraid, we have to say that God had a cause too, and that that cause had a cause too, ad infinitum.”

And this is where language is important. The argument is not that “everything has a cause”. It is “all things WHICH BEGIN are caused”. All physical objects have beginnings, and all physical objects have causes (note that there is more than one type of cause; cf. Aristotle). The universe began, therefore the universe is caused.
To then attempt to apply this argument to God would require that God began. Since this is contrary to the definition of God, it may be dismissed as nonsense.