Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page
“I hate that job, I don’t see why you don’t just quit.”
“Because I want to fit in.” – Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
This morning I watched a video from Cody Weber at Saturnine Films. Cody Weber is one of those guys, kind of like TJ TheAmazingAtheist who is a highschool dropout who has made a career out of denegrating social constructs in which they “don’t fit” like good little pegs in good little holes.
I’ve written about this before but it’s a topic that interests me because Cody’s sentiments are not unique and are more common than I would hope.
I wish these people would see through themselves and realize what they’re doing. They didn’t conclude that social constructs were bad and then abandon them. They abandoned them and they concluded that social constructs were bad. There is a huge difference between those two.
I’m sorry, but high school doesn’t even begin to constitute the “normal world” (or the “social ladder” as Cody puts it). It doesn’t even resemble it. There are a few reasons that Cody, and most people who share his jaded worldview, can justify the comparison. The similarity is not the environment, or the mechanics of teenage life. The similarity is like this “social ladder”, high school is essentially a predetermined couse laid out by “society” and all young people in the United States are exepcted to follow this course – a.ka. “climb the ladder.” Cody experienced this particular ladder and decided he didn’t want to follow that course so he dropped out.
To Cody, the “social ladder” he already stopped climbing is equivalent to any other ladder one might climb, such as the college ladder, or the corporate ladder, or the white picket fence ladder, or the fatherhood ladder, etc. You’re either “mainstream” or you aren’t. He decided at the tender age of 16 that he isn’t, so he looks at the life he believes he’s expected to live, and has concluded that he’s already abandoned it. He has spent a great deal of time since then focussing on every negative aspect of their lives and dwelling upon them.
Routine. Mundane. Boring. Greedy. Divorced. Empty.
But Cody hasn’t actually experienced these things becuase he’s not climbing the social ladder. He gave up before he even began.
It would be one thing if Cody were 45 and had spent the last two decades grinding the grist of society like a good little mill worker and found himself miserable. Many people do. But you never know until you try.
I believe that it is much harder to fit in and live “like you’re supposed to” than it is to throw up your hands, move into your car, and say, “I’m a non-conformist.”
Being a non-conformist gives you a blank check to fail at any and every aspect of life. Instead of admitting that you aren’t up to the task of living, you spend all your time criticizing it. It’s like failing a calculus test because you can’t do integrals and instead of saying, “wow, I really screwed up,” you say, “calculus is freaking stupid and useless, and here’s all the reasons why.” Most people are far too egotistical to conclude anything other than that math is stupid and they simply “don’t like it.”
Cody is doing the same thing to life as a whole. Cody failed at high school. For whatever reason, he couldn’t force himself to stick to it and get his diploma. Is a diploma actually worth anything? No, not really, but it proves that you were able to endure your own displeasure with an uncomfortable and difficult situation and finish it. The Cody response is: “I didn’t fail, high school wasn’t for me. I’m an independent learner, and high school is stupid because the diploma is arbitrary. The only reason people get it is because they are expected to, and I’m too cool for school, because I’m a nonconformist.” Do you see how it’s the exact same reasoning as failing a math test and blaming math instead of blaming yourself?
Now Cody failed at maintaining a relationship. But it wasn’t his fault – it was probably the girl’s, or they “weren’t meant to be together” (by the way, Cody is an atheist). Or, they broke up because staying together is what The Man wants them to do. It’s what society expects them to do. And we’ve already established that social prescriptions on how to do anything are all stupid and wrong. Cody knows better.
The truth is that relationships are hard. It takes a lot of work to overcome your own hangups, your own emotional ups and downs, your own natural tendency to blame your partner for everything bad that happens, your own natural tendency to get pissed off at relatively minor things that are not identical to your set of minor flaws but are probably similiar in number. All of these things are very hard and require an emotional maturity that many people will never achieve.
But no, Cody, you didn’t fail, “it just wasn’t for you.”
This attitude is a disease. It enables you to float through life never really accomplishing anything and always having an excuse for yourself whenever you can’t quite make the cut. It’s not you that’s the problem, it’s quite obviously society. Give me a break. I think we can all appreciate how ridiculous this is when it’s spelled out the way I’ve spelled it out, but most people will grasp on to it like that one little branch jutting from the wall of the precipice and try to rationalize why I’m wrong and that there really is some legitimacy to the idea that “not everyone is the same” or that “the social ladder isn’t for everyone.”
Sure, you’re right. Not everyone is the same. Some people are hard enough to make it through life. Some people aren’t. Some people succeed, and some people fail.
Cody’s new book is coming out on October 31st. Independently published of course. I think it’s called “How to Fail At Life.” At least he knows from personal experience.
When I was in college, I started TA’ing 400 level computer science classes the summer between my sophomore and junior years.
I spent a lot of time helping a girl who shall remain nameless. She was totally clueless in every regard. I had to hold her hand through basic principles and more or less do her work for her. The following semester, she called me once in tears because she had to write a basic http server in Java, but she didn’t understand terms like IP address, socket, TCP/IP, etc.
This girl was a 21 year-old comptuer science major at a top 10 nationally ranked CS program and she didn’t know what the internet was or how it works. I could have told her it was a series of tubes and she probably would have nodded and taken notes.
This girl also had a 4.0 GPA, both in CS and overall.
Shocking, I know.
When it came time to graduate and get a job, guess which bozos hired her? That’s right, Google.
Because she had a 4.0 GPA and probably interviewed well.
Everyone who actually knew this girl, and me especially, knew what a moron this girl was, but Google was apparently oblivious. Pretty typical of an elitist, know-it-all billion dollar startup company with the biggest shit-don’t-stink complex in the valley, second only to Apple Computer, but they’ve been irrelevant for 2 decades and will probably stay that way no matter how many overpriced hand-held gadgets they release.
This girl worked at Google as a product manager for two years before deciding she didn’t really like working in computers and would much rather be a Bollywood model. I wish I was making this up.
This year she’s apparently going to Stanford to get an MBA. Again, she passed admissions there on totally nothing. “Vell, I verked at Google, I had a 4 point OHHH GPA, and I really like modeling in India!” Accepted!
This girl’s Facebook “About me” section reads as follows:
Flowers, perfumes, compliments, warm tender hugs, anything in baby pink, bright and sunny days, genuine smiles, shopping, dancing to good music, tall indian guys, looking hot, dressing up, getting photographed, lots of attention... and the list goes on =)
lack of amibition in other people, unhelpfulness, double standards, poverty, corruption etc.
Wow. Just plain wow.
That’s good enough for Google, folks. That, and a 4.0 that is a mystery to everyone who knows her.
If that isn’t enough to prove first that life isn’t fair and that second: Google is a hemmerhoid, I don’t know what is.
My boss just offered me amphetamines produced in another country to help me focus on preparing for a presentation tomorrow.
I poliltely declined.
Today I stumbled on a few YouTube discussions in response to a Christian’s assertions that homosexuality is wrong.
Not surpsingly, a chorus of retards chimed in with their two cents about this assertion, and one of the recurring themes brought up by people who are in support of the gay lifestyle is, “it’s natural!”
I hate to break it to you folks, but that entire line of thinking is total bullshit.
As most atheists love to do with the Bible, they take one passage, and then begin to extrapolate about it based on other related passages that sometimes contradict the original passage. But they stop short when assessing their own positions. So, as usual, I’ll do it for you.
I’m going to replace “the Bible” with “Christian culture” here becuase I think it’s more accurate. I won’t use “Western civilization” here because this very argument hinges on Western civilization’s deviation from Christan culture.
So Christian culture says gay sex is wrong, because it is unnatural. You counter with “you can’t help who you’re born attracted to, it’s not fair to say to people who are born wanting to sex their own gender that they are not allowed to ever do what they want.” I counter by asking you: is it okay, then, for a woman to let her dog hump her if she so inclines?
You have two options here. You can go against your natural response to this for the purposes of avoiding the giant gaping trap I am asking you to step into and catch you in your own hypocrisy and say that yes, you support it, or you can say no, you don’t.
If you say yes, then I would ask why it is that you are perfectly okay with the idea of gay sex being legal but (in many states and countries) you are also okay with bestiality being illegal. If you answer is that you aren’t, then why aren’t you so loud about it? Why don’t you make pro-bestiality YouTube videos? Are you afraid your friends will see it and think that you’re a freak? Even if they are as super open-minded as you are, you wouldn’t want them to start getting suspicions about you in their heads that maybe you are more than just open minded and are actually sexing your dog. But come on, we’re all open minded folks here, right? So what? Let them think. There’s nothing to be ashamed about here, right?
If you say no, you don’t agree that bestiality should be legal, the only response I have ever heard offered in justification of this contradiction is the consent argument. This is the one that derails the trap I could have laid had I used the example of pedophilia instead (which, by the way, is an equally natural attraction but is prosecuted vigorously and unanimously loathed to the point of labeling it a disease). The consent argument could be used against Farmer Brown pegging his prize mare, but when it’s a male dog humping a willing female, where’s the consent issue? Most people have had their own legs humped by male dogs who have yet to be neutered and are not brave enough to suggest that the male dog is not willing. As long as someone isn’t literally forcing the dog to hump by holding him in place and guiding his hips, I dont’ see a consent issue here.
The reason people are able to maintain this bizarre ethical contradiction is because they constantly have to invent reasons why it’s good for the goose but not the gander. They try to create complex conditions to segregate one example from the other, for example, “oh, they have to be consenting human adults, then anything goes, but anything else is illegal.” What about consenting children?
You see how stupid this gets? You see the problem here?
I don’t have a problem with people whose positions when it comes to what they do with their own bodies are absolutely libertine, but I do have a problem with people whose positions are so arbitrary.
Since I know it’s hard to put into words your train of thought for permitting both hetero and homosexual relationships between adult humans so I’ll do it for you. Were you clever, you could argue that the only difference between Christians who believe that homo sex is a sin and people who believe homo sex is permissible is the fact that the Christians limit “what’s legal” when it comes to sex to exactly one kind of relationship (adult man + adult woman) while excluding the rest, whereas people who see homosexual sex as OK see more than one (adult man + adult woman, adult man + adult man, adult woman + adult woman). I’m not going to get into numbers because obviously there are an infinite number of possible couplings when you start including threesomes and orgies in the list. People who permit homosexual sex also exclude all other kinds, just like Christians.
That’s a pretty good argument, except that it only serves to validate the Christian’s position and the two of you simply happen to legitimately disagree. You haven’t shown why your opinion is better than theirs.
If you want to try, you might want to start talking about the pursuit of happiness and how people deserve to be allowed to screw who they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. I won’t get into how being forced to witness gay couples in public does in fact hurt people as much as listening to liberals accuse people for whom this is true as being crybabies while simultaneously suing for discrimination or pain & suffering at every possibly chance. I will just ask you a few more easy questions that derail that line of thinking too.
First, if the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed, why are highly addictive narcotics illegal? Why is suicide illegal? Why is assisting suicide illegal? Why was the public outraged when the german canniabal who could conclusively prove that his victim wanted to be killed and eaten was given only probation?
The truth is that the pursuit of happiness has limits, even for pursuits that can be conclusively shown to have no victims (except the pursuer!)
And that’s exactly the point.
I believe that the Bible outlaws homosexual sex as an abomination because that culture had experience with it and discovered, through trial and error probably spanning hundreds of years, that it is not only counterproductive for society, but it’s counterproductive to the individuals as well.
Think of the typical gay couple you know. I’m going to limit this to men here because in my experience lesbian couples seem less distinguishable from heterosexual couples than gay male couples. They probably work low paying menial jobs like waiting tables. They probably will rent apartments for their entire lives. They’ll probably abuse a lot of substances. They probably have multiple partners and are not monogamous. They are much more likely to die young of disease. They are likely to be deprived of what many heterosexual couples find to be the greatest satisfaction out of life which is having a family and parenting.
I mean, just look at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade. Does that look like balanced, normal living to you?
Yes, yes. I know. I know there are thousands of gay couples out there who don’t fit that description. I know there are thousands of gay people who can’t get any satisfaction out of life unless they live with another man/woman. I’m not talking about the exceptions, I’m talking probabilities here. We all know heterosexuals can lead worse lives and be even more miserable and die early too.
I believe homosexuality is outlawed in the Bible because that culture observed the same things I am observing watching this “blossoming” gay community embark on another doomed experiment – that even if you are sexually attracted to other men, you will get more out of your life by buckling down and marrying a woman and raising a family with her than you will out of the typical gay male lifestyle. Based on who I know and what I’ve seen, this appears to be true. Remember, people: man and woman are two very different creatures. Two halves of a whole. How can you be complete without the other?
That is, of course, unless you believe men and women are interchangeable. If you don’t already instinctively agree with me, I’ve already proven it to you.
A woman meets the man of her dreams. They fall in love. They start a family. The man of her dreams dies in a fire. Tragedy! She is now alone with small children, destitute, in dire straits.
But then, another man who has been secretly eying our fair heroine from afar decides to court the fair maid even though she is a widow and burdered with another man’s children. He is fifteen years older than she is, well past the age at which men and women marry, and he has been lonely. He is well-endowed with savings from two decades of bachelorhood, and she needs someone just like him. It’s a match made in heaven! He rides in on a white horse to save her from her condition, and they live happily ever after/
But Evan, we hear that story all the time!
Yeah, it’s been done all over the place. This is one of those timeless stories that people keep redoing, in Shakespearean plays, in 19th century feminist literature, in movies from the 1910′s until today… again, and again, and again.
The story you never hear is the one that is exactly like the one I just told except that the genders are reversed.
You know how many times that story has been told?
You know why?
Because it’s a shitty story. Not only is it far-fetched, out of touch with reality, and inherently repulsive to even the most open-minded of men and women, it illustrates a very important point, and that is this: men and women are not interchangeable when it comes to stories like these, and you know it. I don’t have to tell you what you feel about a story in which an older woman marries a younger man who is saddled with young children and can’t fend for himself. You think it’s ridiculous and you think negatively about both the woman and the man. But the other way around? You can’t get enough of it. Or at least society can’t, based on how many times it’s been shoveled down my throat.
P.S.: I bring this up because this exact story is taking place between two of my co-workers as we speak. It is not a Hollywood fairy tale. It’s real life.
I want you to think about this example the next time you start thinking about marriage rights for gays. All you need to do is change the gender roles in a situation like this and it goes from being timeless to absurd. Don’t take my word for it. Turn off your brain for a second and listen to your gut.
If your gut agrees with me, maybe your brain should too. Our instincts are almost never wrong.
I know a lot of people who believe this statement. I pity them. It is toxic.
If you ever catch yourself falling into this mental trap, step out of it immediately. No one cares what you self-claim to be able to do (whether or not you believe it yourself), have done in the past, or honestly plan on doing. The only thing that matters is what you are currently doing.
I know people whose entire existence hinges on things they honestly believe they can do and pay very little attention to what they are actually doing, if only they wanted to, if only they were a year older, if only…
Me? I can be content with what I’ve actually achieved instead of what I believe I can achieve or could have achieved.
So three 20 year-old losers who can’t get laid with real girls decide to screw a corpse of some 20 year-old girl who died the week before. I mean, talk about desperate. Haven’t they tried fat chicks from the internet?
But anyway, here’s the issue. There’s nothing in Wisconsin law that says it’s illegal. And the public is outraged!
Apparently the public is more outraged at some kids wanting to have sex with a corpse than they are about women killing their unborn babies. Who would have thought?
But anyway, let’s go on.
The lower courts correctly ruled that there is no law specifically against necrophilia, ipso facto, the kids were released (or, they were probably charged with some kind of disturbing a graveyard violation, but that’s probably a misdemeanor).
But the higher courts… no no no.
They have concluded that a dead person can’t give consent, therefore it’s rape.
Let me repeat that. The courts in Wisconsin have just ruled that a dead corpse is a person who can’t give consent. The vote was 5-2.
But an unborn baby? Nope! NOT A PERSON. It’s not murder?
I try not to use profanity here, but you can imagine what I’m thinking: are you kidding me?
A fetus is about a million times more alive than a dead corpse. A fetus, until it is aborted, consists entirely of living human cells. A corpse, when it is dug from the ground, consists entirely of living human cells. After 9 months, the fetus will be an alive, independent human being. After 9 months, the corpse will still be a corpse.
Wisconsin has just ruled that a dead corpse has more rights than a live fetus. This totally blows my mind.
I wonder. If this corpse had been under the age of 18, would the corpse’s mother have the constitutitonal right to choose to let these three 20 year-old perverts rape it? What if I rape an aborted fetus?
Any thinking person can see the total flaw in this ruling and the total problem every sane person has with Roe v. Wade. There is no constitutional protection for a woman’s right to choose. It’s an idea that became popular circa feminism so, the judges on the bench at the time, in direct response to popular opinion, and entirely motivated by “social progressivism” made a legal ruling on a moral issue and invented new rights.
And here we have Wisconsin doing exactly the same thing. The article specifically refers to public outcry. The judges got creative and invented a new law by declaring that a dead corpse has rights. In so doing, of course, they ordered every police officer to in the state to start arresting women who kill their babies. If a dead corpse is protected against rape, a live fetus sure as hell is protected against murder – with or without the mother’s consent.
I have a love-hate relationship with stories like these. On one hand, I hate how we let 7 or 9 robed lawyers legislate from the bench, but on the other, I love watching them trip over themselves and undo clearly wrong decisions (even if it takes another wrong decision to reach it).
Sorry Wisconsin, you can’t have it both ways.
I see this topic all over the atheist community, including in comments to my own blog even when I don’t mention loving gods or medical miracles.
The minute anyone says anything that would suggest atheists have character flaws or that there might be some value in the stories in the Bible and Judeo-Christian teachings, there are hordes of atheists ready with their Medical Miracle straw men.
I am not surprised by this fixation by atheists, but I am annoyed by it. I’ve briefly written about it before but I figured I might as well give it a headline topic so hopefully the trolls will stop bringing it up in posts that don’t talk about it.
The first problem with bringing up medical miracles as an attempt to disprove the Christian God is that it requires atheists, who do not believe in God, to make assumptions about God’s behavior, in other words, the very folly they claim Christians of committing when claiming they have received, and therefore know, the word of God (i.e., the Bible). This is a particularly hot button for atheists especially in light of the historical wrongs committed in the name of Christianity. When you claim to know the word of God then anything goes, right?
So how do we justify that since God does not perform medical miracles or answer prayers (despite the church’s teachings to the contrary), he must not exist? The only way to justify this is to make the claim that God would cure people dying of cancer if only someone prayed to them. In other words, it’s making the claim that you, the atheist, are certain that the Christians are right that God does in fact answer prayers by curing the sick, but you are also certain that medical prayers aren’t answered. You combine these two statements to conclude, using valid logic, that God does not exist. Am I right so far?
Now, I agree with you. If we could conclusively show that medical miracles did not happen and that medical prayers were never answered, we would have to conclude that the Christians are flat out wrong about God answering prayers to cure the sick. This would lend most skeptical people to begin asking themselves what else the Christians must be wrong about. While it’s probably premature to let the entire house of cards crumble, I believe this dilemma (among many other Christian tenets, such as young earth) is what puts people on the road to atheism. Once you believe that Christianity is wrong about one thing, you question everything.
The snag is this: why are you so sure medical miracles do not happen?
The brave commenter (whose name was aspentroll which is fitting enough) made some bizarre and invalid mental leap from “prayer doesn’t help some people” to “prayer never helps anyone.”
Here’s a very important concept for atheists. It is very important because it goes to this issue and the broader one which is much more critical. There is very litlte in the world that is appropriate to the attitude of all or nothing. If you go through life believing all or nothing, you are going to be very unhappy, not to mention almost always wrong. I believe most young people have this attitude. For example, “all christians are mentally challenged so they cling to their superstitions because they aren’t smart enough to handle logic or scientific thinking.” Easy attitude to have – many atheists have it. But what happens when you meet a guy with a Ph.D. from Harvard who lectures at you way, way above your head, puts questions on tests you swear are unsolvable, blows you away with his genius level intellect (in the fields of math and – of all things – discrete math, which heavily emphasizes logical thinking), and then you find out he converted to Christianity in his 30′s after being solidly entrenched in atheism, and he did so because he believes it is the only logical belief system? It really makes you reconsider your preconceived notions because you know you were simply flat out wrong. Every year that goes by, one of your all-or-nothing beliefs gets torn down until you learn to stop thinking that way because it exposes your naivete and immaturity.
But I digress. Let’s get back on topic. I gave you plenty of time. I hope you’ve reached the same conclusion that I have which is this: just because prayer doesn’t work sometimes doesn’t mean it never does.
Let’s say for a moment that two people who, by any metric, could be considered good men, and let’s also say for empathy’s sake that they are both fathers of small children. We’ll call them Jim and Bob. Jim and Bob are both dying of cancer. Each has a 10% survival rate. Both are receiving cancer treatments.
Jim’s wife spends all her time at church begging God to save her husband. Bob’s wife spends all her time at Bob’s side. Jim dies. Bob lives.
Are the Christians wrong? Does God exist?
I shouldn’t even have to bother saying anything more – the conclusion should be totally obvious.
That conclusion is this: this thought experiment does not answer either question at all.
However, it does raise another question: did Bob’s wife pray? She didn’t go to a church. She didn’t speak any words. She might even deny it if you asked her, but did she? The only person who knows is Bob’s wife.
Because many of these so-called enlightend atheists who are too smart to be Christian can’t get this through their thick skulls, I’ll go on. I’ll spell it out for you as clearly as I can.
The failure of God to answer all medical prayers does not mean he answers no medical prayers. It is impossble to ascertain whether or not prayers were made on behalf of those healed because prayers do not need to be a witnessed act, and people are free to lie about whether or not they prayed. I freely acknowledge that is also totally possible that every sick person whose family prayed on their behalf who was cured would have been cured anyway. But it’s impossible to know, isn’t it?
The best defense against my argument is actually the one by the GodIsImaginary people, and that is this: doesn’t it strike you as strange that God never seems to miraculously cure people who aren’t receiving treatment, or for illnesses we know are medically impossible to treat and have a 100% fatality rate?
This is a problem. If medical miracles are happening, God should divy them out without respect to their human treatability.
Now here’s an interesting one for you. Atheists constantly criticize religious folks because they like the expression “god works in mysterious ways” as an end-all, be-all answer to anything they can’t understand. They also like to look at penance in this light: “if god forgives every sin, then it gives Christians a free pass to do whatever they like because they’ll be forgiven by the only one who, in their mind, matters, a.ka. god. this is dumb and dangerous.”
But watch this. The atheist is about to do the exact same thing and not even realize it.
What happens when someone survives a disease that is otherwise thought to be 100% fatal or very very nearly?
It just means that the scientists hadn’t learned the whole picture. They hadn’t yet discovered a cure. No human had survived it yet. Once survival happens, we know the fatality is not 100% – it’s just 99.9%. We then add it to our scientific knowledge.
I’ll give you an example. In the 90′s people were certain that HIV, on a long enough time scale, had a 100% fatality rate. It would kill you.
That is, until they found that certain African hookers were strangely immune to the effects of AIDS.
Were the scientists wrong, as Christians and thus the Bible must surely be about medical miracles if they are shown not to happen, or had they just “not observed it yet”?
Science gets even more of a free pass when it comes to explaining everything with it as Christians do when they use the “the world works in mysterious ways” line of reasoning. All the scientists have to do is “refine their theory” – because as we all know, scientists never know anything, that’s why everything is a theory, except maybe gravity. When I drop something, it falls.
Let’s use AIDS, then. Wouldn’t it be a medical miracle if we found people who were impervious to AIDS? Not according to atheists, it’s just science we didn’t know yet. And if you didn’t know about those hookers in Africa you’d probably call me a moron for suggesting that such a thing were possible.
Personally, I believe that discoveries like these women who are immune to the effects of HIV is itself the miracle. In modern times God doesn’t need to just cure one person at a time – he needs to imagine a cure, lead a trained doctor to discover it, and let that doctor figure out how to share it with everyone else. Why is that any less miraculous than spontaneous limb regrowth or cancer curing? Because a human was involved as God’s mechanism? As far as not giving God credit where credit is due (like creating anti-AIDS antibodies), if God can create Adam from dust, he surely can invent some antibodies that stop AIDS, right?
Not to mention that God created AIDS in the first place. He created everything, right?
I’m honestly surprised that more atheists don’t bring that up. Some of them do – if God is loving, why does he invent war and disease? Because he works in mysterious ways. Oh, I’ve gone and done it again.
Isn’t the real truth here that you, personally, choose not to believe in medical miracles because you don’t believe in anything supernatural? You don’t believe in ghosts, or aliens, or anything else that cannot be hypothesized, experimented upon, and proven or disproven with observational data. Isn’t the real truth here that you made this decision before you looked for any evidence in support of your belief (there is none, because you can’t disprove what you don’t see), and are unwilling to consider any evidence which may go against it (there is none, because you can’t prove what you don’t see)?
I’m not saying that Christians and others who believe in medical miracles haven’t done the same exact thing. After all, you can’t prove what you can’t ever know.
The chief point in all of this is that both stances on this issue can be categorized as beliefs, and I don’t see on what ground atheists have to separate themselves from the Christians on this matter – both groups believe what they believe and both make concerted efforts to convince the other.
P.S.: 73% of doctors – doctors who went through such college courses as Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy, and have Doctorate degrees – doctors who are very certain to be much, much more educated than you – doctors who are very likely to be much, much smarter than you – believe in medical miracles. A higher percentage of doctors believe in medical miracles than the percentage of climatologists believe in global warming.
Since you trust people with doctorate degrees in every other situation, why not this one?
Of all the places to go to understand Judeo-Christian theology, the last place you’d expect to find answers would be atheist channels on YouTube.
But surprisingly, the answers are all there. I’ve been watching such dynamic and intelligent figures as TheAmazingAtheist (and all the linkers/commenters thereto), SaturnineFilms, etc. and after observing them all, I find they have one personality trait in common. Well, actually, they probably have many personality traits in common, but there is one in particular that has stood out to me.
It’s subtle, but pay close attention and you’ll see it too. Of course, these characters would probably all deny this of course because they themselves, like you, will recognize it not so much as a trait but as a flaw, and that very fact is powerful in and of itself.
The trait they share is hubris.
A specific kind of arrogance. A specific kind of conceit. Their entire worldview hinges upon the premise that there is nothing above man, and by extension, since they are men (or women), there is nothing above them. All of the world’s mysteries can be unlocked by man. All of the world’s problems, if not caused by man, at least can be solved by him. All of the world’s phenomenon can be understood by man. Everything that could be judged is judged by man.
When there is nothing above you, there is no one to look up to. When you have a question you can’t answer, there is no one left to ask. Except another man. What happens if he doesn’t know?
This fact is openly demonstrated by the internet atheists. The arrogance shines through in their voices, their demeanors, their general outlook on the world, their belief that they know for certain that God is just an imaginary skydaddy who inferior intellects invented to comfort their weaknesses.
I gotta tell ya, it’s enlightening.
For years I wondered about the idea of original sin. And it’s obvious that millions of other people struggle with it too. I watched a video from an older man – in his fifties by the look of him – who couldn’t understand how a Christian could believe that his children were born with original sin. Watching his innocent children discover the world, the last thing they had was sin. But I disagree.
If you haven’t read Ishmael by Dan Quinn, I would recommend it. It’s a good read. It gives a great background of humanity’s rise from pre-civilization to civilization. Since I may repeat some of the ideas that he put forth as I explain the conclusion I’ve reached, I want to be clear about giving due credit where credit is due.
The major story in Genesis is not how the world was created, as many evolutionist/atheists like to focus on since the young earth hypothesis is so easy to tear down with grade school science. The major story of Genesis is the Garden of Eden, of Adam and Eve. It is in this book that one of the major foundations of the Judeo religion (and Western civilization), Original Sin, is explained.
Unfortunately, it’s not explained very well. Now it’s my turn to explain.
In the Garden of Eden, God created Man and Woman to live together in happiness. They were given everything they need from the land, without effort. They were free to eat fruit of any tree, except one. They frolicked naked about, without modesty, without greed, without sin.
From a historical perspective, we know that the Jewish people were originally a hunter-gatherer people living in and around what’s called the fertile crescent, mesopotamia, known today as the Middle East. The idea of the Garden of Eden (as eloquently presented by Quinn) is in many ways an idealized depiction of hunter-gatherer life style in which the land provides all food – it is there for the taking – in contrast to the people who presumably wrote the Bible, who by that time were agrarians.
Back to Genesis. So, a serpent comes by and convinces Eve to eat from the one tree that God forbade them to eat.
Again, from a cultural perspective this time, I believe Eve was chosen as the sinner (as opposed to Adam) because the Jewish people are matrilinear. They believe Jewishness passes solely from mother to children. Thus, in preparation for the concept of inherited original sin, this fact is in keeping with a matrilineal society. I do not believe that Eve was chosen for any other reason, including misogyny. Also, it is well known by anyone who is married that Eve convincing Adam to do something is the human experience in a nut shell.
But this isn’t any tree. This is a very specific tree. The tree from which she and Adam ate was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This fact is frequently overlooked, but it’s central to understanding what Original Sin means. The Original Sin was not disobedience before God, as most people generally believe. The Original Sin is the belief by humans that they know what is good and what is evil.
Let me say that again. Original Sin is the sin all men inherit from their ancestors. The sin is to know what is good and what is evil. To know what is right and what is wrong.
Every human being believes that they are the judges of good and evil. Some might call this a conscience, but that isn’t quite right. We feel good and evil, as God intended, just as we feel pain when we are hurt. The sin is to believe that we are the masters of morality. Quite simply, our original sin is the belief that man alone can determine what is good and what is evil.
Now, how does this mesh with another major principle, this time with Christianity?
Christ’s chief purpose on the Earth was to cleanse humanity of its original sin. How can he do that? The only way he can reverse the damage done by Adam and Eve’s mistake is to take back from us our belief that we are the judges of good and evil. How does he do it? He does it by living a life of pure good. By not just preaching what is good and what is bad, but also by preaching that we must humble ourselves before the Lord – in other words, to accept that we are not above everything. To accept that there is something above us. Above us in every fathomable way. Not just above us, but judging us. Guiding us. Teaching us.
But Christ didn’t just preach. He lived a life of pure good, and faced his own death rather than betray his own teachings. I think everyone can agree that martyrdom is probably the strongest way to get your point across. If someone dies teaching and doing what they stand for, the action demands respect.
Thus, as Christians will tell you, the only way to alleviate the Original Sin is to accept Christ’s sacrifice, to accept God, and to live a Christian life.
Do you see how easily that makes sense when you understand what Original Sin really is? When you give up the idea that you know what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil, and accept Christ’s version of what is good and what is evil, you’re absolved of your mistaken belief that you, or any other man, is the judge of right and wrong.
But Evan, cries the atheist, that’s all well and good, except that human beings invented the story of Christ and wrote the bible. He didn’t really exist, and even if he did, he certainly didn’t perform any of the miracles he says he did. It’s all still just a human invention, so aren’t you self-defeating here?
Even if you don’t believe any of the specifics of Christ’s life or his teachings, simply accepting the humility asked of you by Christianity is enough of a life changer that the specifics don’t matter. You can’t ever open your mind to anyone’s teachings, including most of what you claim to already believe as an atheist (or as anything else) as long as you believe that you know best and nothing could ever know better. Once you open that door, you’ll be amazed at what’s on the other side.
I decided to call out some liberal douchebag on one of his stupid Obama-esque posts about “change.” Like most liberal douchebags, there’s a lot of talk and a lot of handwaving but absolutely zero substance. Typical. Right on the front page of his blog he claims he’s “calling out climate change denialists” which translates to, “I believe firmly in global warming!”
I really have to call him, and everyone else who believes in “global warming” out on their bullshit. If you too are skeptical about this nonsense, then read on. I’ve disarmed every global warming retard I’ve talked to with this very simple line of reasoning and I’ve yet to see any reasonable defense offered. Here it goes. I’ll post this in the form of a mock discussion between you and douchebag:
Douchebag: I bought all of my friends carbon credits for Christmas this year. This way, they can burn as much coal as they want all year long because I paid someone else not to. I know my friends deeply care about the environment and the havoc us wicked humans are wreaking upon it, but they don’t care enough not to burn the coal themselves because that would be too inconvenient to their lifestyle. Isn’t it awful how we’re ruining the climate?
You: why do you think the climate is getting ruined?
Douchebag: oh, well, you see, I watched An Inconvenient Truth and I saw footage of some icebergs cracking in half. I’ve read that the annual global temperature since 1900 is like 5 degrees warmer and that coincides with humans pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Plus, according to major media outlets, they tell me that “the majority” of “climatologists” believe in global warming, and since they have Ph.D.s, I trust them. I mean, look at Katrina! That’s obvious because of trains, planes, and automobiles. I hate humans.
You: how long has the human race been keeping accurate temperature records?
Douchebag: since about 1780, but they do this really cool thing where they can drill back through ice cores and figure out what the temperature was all over the planet earth over thousands of years and they say we have more CO2 and it’s hotter now, so, it’s like, obvi. human’s faults. Duh.
You: how many and how often does the world experience ice ages?
Douchebag: well the ice age as like 15,000 years ago, and it’s been hotter every year since, but it’s especially hotter now because we are selfish world destroyers who like to burn stuff to make electricity. I hate electricity. That’s why I pay other people not to use it so I can.
You: actually, we estimate there have been around 40 ice ages or so, happening once every 30,000 years or so for many millions of years.
Douchebag: yeah, ice ages suck, but maybe if we heat the planet up enough, we won’t have an ice age next time because it will be too hot! Humans suck! We’ll be all dead though, and we’ll deserve it.
You: isn’t it totally crazy that the global climate changes so radically, seemingly periodically, and has been doing so long before humans could have ever hoped to burn enough of anything to affect it at all?
Douchebag: yeah, it’s crazy all right!
You: Doesn’t it seem like any upward swing in temperature since 1900 is minute compared to the dramatic changes between glacial and interglacial periods?
Douchebag: yeah, but what sucks is like, a little bit goes a long way when you add it up over time. If it was 5 degrees from 1900 it might be 10 by 2100, and you know what happens then? All the ice melts, and like, New York is covered in water and human civilization will end. We really should do something about it right?
You: yeah, we should. But you know, come to think of it, if New York is under water, then all of those wicked taxis, not to mention the millions of tons of coal burned to power the city, won’t be producing anymore C02 so that’s kind of a plus, right?
Douchebag: no, because I live in a place that will be under water. But anyway when it does happen we’ll deserve it.
You: Let me ask you something.
You: Do you think that the Earth’s climate should always be exactly like it was between 1900 and 2000? It should never deviate from those temperatures?
Douchebag: well, it would be nice b/c we’re used to it, but I guess because of ice ages and stuff that’s kind of unrealistic.
You: You ever hear of the mini-ice-age?
Douchebag: no, what’s that lol?
You: in the middle ages there were reports that for something like 30 or 50 years, summer just never came to Europe. It stayed in the 50s, 60s, all summer. It really sucked ass for crops, but we managed to survive. Isn’t that nuts?
You: I wonder what those middle ages guys did to remove so much CO2 from the atmosphere to make it so much colder. Maybe it was a magic wizard. Boy, I wish Harry Potter were real, or we find Merlin’s magic book, so we can do it too! That way, we don’t need to buy carbon credits, we’ll just do what they did in the middle ages, and then we’ll cool down our rising temperatures too!
Douchebag: don’t be silly.
You: I know, rite? That is pretty silly.
Douchebag: But global warming is real.
You: I know. I mean, just think. The global temperature is rising, and that’s nuts. It’s deviating from what it was like in the 1900s, which is something we know has happened… and probably will happen again… regardless of human contributions. I mean shit, look at all those ice ages. Surely we didn’t cause them. And when it warmed up again coming out of the ice age, I don’t think it was because we were burning billions of gallons of refined petroleum in our caves with the Neanderthals right?
Douchebag: no, but this time it’s because we’re putting CO2 in the atmosphere. Sure, the temp. might change naturally but we’re also changing it unnaturally which makes it so much worse!
You: wouldn’t it be awesome if we were able to setup an experiment to test the hypothesis that our CO2 contributions is really what’s raising the temperature, and not some global force that we only barely understand? I mean, we aren’t even exactly sure what causes ice ages! We have some hypothesis but it’s pretty hard to test since we’re talking about the planet earth. It’s so huge that it’s really impossible to conduct a test. Even if we could, the stuff we’d have to do to test it – like intentionally pump trillions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere – we’re changing what we observe, and we have no controls. Only variables. So, it’s really impossible to do real science on the subject. All we can really do is make observations and then guess. But without the most critical scientific step – experimentation – we can’t really draw conclusions, huh?
Douchebag: yeah, but see, we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so obvi. if we put it in the atmosphere, it makes it hot. yeah?
You: well, maybe. How much does it heat it up though? Are we sure that the global temperature change wouldn’t have occurred anyway?
Douchebag: of course!
You: why? Couldn’t it be coincidence that our industrtial revolution happens to coincide with a natural climate change, one of the many thousands Earth naturally experiences all the time?
You: why not?
Douchebag: because it’s so unlikely?
You: You must be right. After all, wouldn’t it be a terrifying thought to imagine that we humans, the masters of the universe, are totally at the mercy of something so much bigger than ourselves that even though we see it coming there’s nothing we can do about it except move all of our major cities because the ocean is going to rise? It’s a much more comfortable, superior position to believe that since the temperature rise is our fault we have the power to do something about it.
You: yeah, I know what you mean. I would hate to think that Earth’s climate is the most complex system we’ve ever studied and we don’t even understand why any of the changes are happening much less have the knowledge of how, or the means to execute, any change on a global scale. Especially when you have countries like Russia whose climate is cold actively trying to make it warmer so St. Petersburg is a more comfortable place to live. I mean, they lose hundreds of people a year to hypothermia after passing out in a drunken stupor in the streets on New Years. Global warming would seriously help them out.
Douchebag: yeah fuck them, they need to sign the Kyoto accord.
You: yeah, it’s a horrifying thought to imagine that other countries would benefit from global warming. Who cares about them. I don’t want my cities underwater, ipso facto, its’ bad.
Douchebag: the whole world will suffer! Humanity and civilization will collapse!
You: civilization maybe, but humans and our ancestors have survived dozens of ice ages – and interglacials – without too much of a highcough or else we wouldn’t all be here. Yeah, new age civ is designed with 1900′s temperatures in mind, and it will suck to adapt. It might even suck as bad as having to drive hydrogen cars that explode like Pintos on impact or covering the entire state of Texas with solar panels and hideously ugly windmills just to recover 10% of the electricity we gain from coal and oil power in that state. Plus the windmills are dangerous to endangered species of eagles so we almost shouldn’t build them.
Douchebag: global warming is real!
You: it sure is. Have a nice day.