Saturday, January 26, 2013

God should be measurable

If God can affect humans, then there is a context in which God and humans coexist.

If this context exists, then humans should be able to access God.

If God can be accessed, then he can be observed and measured, thus proving the existence of God.

The fact that no theist has embarked on a successful quest to find this shared context and to access God for observation and measurement admits to one or more possible explanations. They may be too lazy. They may be afraid of what they'll find (which admits to a number of possible conclusions itself). The may not be capable of doing so. It may not exist. There are probably others that I've missed, but all of this leads us to a conclusion that God is not very probable, given that the people having the vested interest in proving the existence of God haven't done so.

That also leads to another possible conclusion - that they have a vested interest in not proving the existence of God, which allows them to define God for their own mysterious purposes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Don't bring attention to your God

To my Facebook friends:

You know I love and respect each of you - except for one of you, who is a complete barking nutbag. You know who you are.

Please stop posting exhortations that there should be more "God" in the classroom,or in government, or in society. If your God needs your help, you might consider getting a new one, because that one doesn't appear to be powerful enough to shoulder his (her, its, their) way into a classroom full of six year olds, let alone set the country on a course that you have personally conceived and approved.

Also, you might reflect on how these declarations of yours draw attention to your God from the rest of us. We are now fully aware how much he/she/it/they need your help. It's not impressive.

Just a thought.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dawn of Reason

I'm a caveman with a rock in front of me. It is rock. It is not a giraffe. If I walk away and come back tomorrow, it will still be a rock.

Is this how primitive Man began to reason?

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Rationalization - aka making excuses - is something we all do. I had a conversation with my Mom on Christmas, and she asked me if I remember being taken to sit on a fake Santa's lap at Christmastime when I was a child. I told her that I didn't think she ever took me, at which news her relief was audible. She then appeared to rationalize that she must have not wanted to lie to us about imaginary characters. It sounded as if she was making it up as she spoke. That was thoughtful of her - not wanting to lie about imaginary characters - but as she approaches the ripe old age of ninety, she has become more religious. I see a conflict there. And also old age. Could be more of the latter, facing her eventual demise.

Now, ***I*** rationalize as well. I'm approaching sixty, and as I try to piece together my journey through religion into more rational ways of thinking, the internal narrative often goes something like this: I was Episcopalian, then briefly Pentecostal, during which time I fervently believed in Jesus, Heaven and Hell. The New Testament was a profoundly holy book - until I read the Old Testament. Then a few decades of vaguely deist/quasi-pagan/agnostic, "non-religious but spiritual" life followed(1), culminating in a more focused and persistent attempt at learning about the philosophy of religion, logic, and religion itself. Finally, 99.999999% atheism.

Except for that brief supermarket sweep through Pentecostalism, I've generally been unconcerned with religion except as an academic topic. RATIONALIZATION ALERT!!! Actually, the Bible freaked me out for a while. I'm not sure why, but now that I'm more mature(2), relaxed and honest, I can cite three possible reasons the Bible scared me for years. Reason One: I was afraid that it was true, and that by rejecting it, I was tempting God to smite me, or booglerize me, or whatever he's supposed to do to back-sliders. Reason Two: I was afraid of getting sucked into a cult, and thought that the Bible had enough persuasive power to lure me back in. Reason Three: Bad Acid Trip. I read the first few chapters of Revelation while having a Bad Acid Trip in my teens, and was afraid that reading the Bible again would set off a flashback. Did I mention "Bad Acid Trip"?

Summary: my rationalization is that I was generally non-religious for most of my life. The flaw in thinking that is that religion has affected me in subtle ways, and for several decades until I reached my mid-forties. I haven't raped any altar boys or participated in a crusade or jihad, so I guess it all worked out okay.
(1) Dog, I hate that phrase now!
(2) I hope!