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There ain’t no God — and that’s the glorious truth

28 June 2014

3:00 PM

28 June 2014

3:00 PM

According to my colleague Melanie McDonagh (Spectator 21st June), religion makes you happy and churchgoing is good for you. Crikey, you could have fooled me.

For sure, an ancient church or cathedral is a peaceful and moving place to visit. Religious music can also be very affecting — I love Haydn’s many masses and adore Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle — as can be its art. But, as the man said when looking at some vast triptych of the Crucifixion, ‘Great story, shame it ain’t true.’

I was confirmed into the Church of England when I was seventeen. I had agonised about this for ages and was a good three or four years older than my fellow confirmands.

To mark the occasion, my godmother gave me a beautiful Omega Seamaster watch engraved with the date – 20th November 1977 – which I wear to this day. My father wrote me a postcard.

‘Dear boy,’ it ran. ‘Your mother is surprised and pleased to hear that you are getting confirmed. I am surprised. Yours ever, Pa.’
My dad was the grandson of a rabbi and had become a convinced atheist at an early age. My ma, on the other hand, is a proud daughter of a rural dean and, without being showy, remains a keen if irregular churchgoer.

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All this made for some spirited discussions at home with me, an anxious, parent-pleasing only child caught in the crossfire.
My father explained that since he considered all religions to be ‘complete and utter mumbo-jumbo’ I would understand why he couldn’t come to my confirmation. To his eternal credit, however, he stood outside the school chapel for the duration of the service and presented me with a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a bear hug when it was all over.

I had been prepared for confirmation by the Rev Roger Royle, a great man who listened patiently to my doubts and concerns. He was a warm and wise tutor. He also told great jokes, my favourite one concerning Moses’s lengthy negotiations with God over the Commandments. The joke ends with Moses telling the Children of Israel: ‘Guys, I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that I beat Him down to ten. The bad news is adultery’s still in.’

Thanks to Rog’s good offices, I eventually was confirmed and tried to live a Godly life thereafter, saying my prayers and being a good boy. I was perpetually beset by guilt, though, and anxiety that I wasn’t measuring up.

The beginning of the end for me as a good Christian occurred in Ireland on a visit to my then girlfriend’s parents. Much to my parents’ delight, my girlfriend and I had moved in together. Her parents, though, were far from delighted when they found out (my girlfriend had tried to keep it secret from them), and her father wrote to me a fire and brimstone letter after our visit.

‘It pains me to say this, Johnny, since you are a nice guy, but it’s a fact that you are going to die a long and painful death in hell fire. And worse than that, you are leading my daughter to the same fate. I must ask you to desist.’

That set the cat amongst the pigeons.

A year or so later, my father died and I was struck how brave and defiant an atheist he was to the bitter end. ‘Get that bloody thing out of here,’ he said to the well-meaning nurse who sought to comfort him by bringing a Bible to his death bed.
Both these events had a great effect on me and I had whatever is the reverse of a Damascene Conversion. It had become blindingly clear: there is no God. We are alone and just blooming well have to get on with it.

I felt a vast weight lift off my shoulders. Suddenly I was free of the ghastly guilt and anxiety that I had felt for years. My old man had been right all along. I had never felt happier or freer. Life looked rosy again.

But, back to that Omega watch I mentioned, given to me by my adored and adoring godmother. It’s the damnedest thing and absolutely true (and provokes much merriment amongst my Christian friends), but the only time the watch has ever stopped in almost forty years was the day that I decided there was no God.

Jonathan Ray is The Spectator’s Wine columnist

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Show comments
  • Benjamin O’Donnell

    Regarding “as the man said when looking at some vast triptych of the Crucifixion, ‘Great story, shame it ain’t true,’” while I agree it ain’t true, I also don’t think it’s a good story. In fact, when you really think about the idea of “substitutionary atonement” – of the God character making a human sacrificing of his mystical Son/Self by arranging for him to be tortured to death on a cross, all in order to enable the God character to forgive humanity for the original sin of the earlier Adam character – it’s actually a rather nasty and squalid story of divine psychopathy…

  • Damon

    Let’s see. According to you and your mates, Jonathan, when my mum (for example) dies, she’ll be nothing but a rotting, putrefying corpse, devoid of life, thought, love, hope and feeling – forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

    If that is indeed a truth, it’s scarcely a ‘glorious’ one.

    It’s not the atheists’ case per se that irritates me. It’s the ludicrous idea that it’s somehow good news.

  • westerby1

    Riddle of Epicurus

    I don’t remember when I first read this, but it makes sense to me:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      That assumes that evil is an aberration, and that by rights, we should all be wandering around in a state of complete joy.

      But then, if crap didn’t happen from time to time, how would we appreciate the joy? How would you appreciate company if you’d never known what it’s like to be lonely? How would you appreciate a sunny day if you’d never seen a rainy one? How would you live a righteous, God-fearing life if you were never inclined to do anything else?

      Have you considered another possibility? That evil is fundamentally a part of God’s purposes, and that people exist specifically so that they CAN encounter evil? After all, who is whose servant? Is God there to serve the people, or are the people there to serve God? If people are to serve God, why does God have any duty to make everybody’s life lovely?

      Before you jump to conclusions, no, I would consider myself agnostic.

      • Asemodeus

        “But then, if crap didn’t happen from time to time, how would we
        appreciate the joy? How would you appreciate company if you’d never
        known what it’s like to be lonely?”

        Congrats, you just disproved heaven.

      • westerby1

        I do not agree that one has to experience evil (or crap!) to appreciate joy, happiness. Just because one is not happy does not mean one is unhappy, there is a middle of the road, plodding on, ok state of being as well. For example when a child is born, or one is in love one would say “I am happy” that does not mean that one is unhappy when this type of event is not taking place.

        Perhaps evil is too strong a word to use, most human sorrow comes from disease, loneliness,persecution, poverty, war, natural disasters, man made disasters, people hurting, mistreating and abusing each other, accidents, and, in my opinion one of the greatest causes of a lot of the aforementioned is religion. The majority of these things are created by man, so is man evil?

        The idea that if a god exists (lower case intentional) our purpose is to serve him, so he has no duty to make us all happy, is one of the reasons I do not want to believe, because that makes me think that we are just an experiment he has created, that he watches, just to pass the time, and for his entertainment, not a loving being who died for our (sins?)

        If I was to encounter something, or someone, which proved, beyond all doubt, that god existed, I am not so pig headed that I would still deny his existence, so, I suppose, I, like you, am an agnostic. If this event were to happen, I would believe in god. I would, however, have a lot of questions to ask, and would have to tell him I thought the way he had been running things sucked, and that he was an evil bastar*!

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

        Why on Earth would a self-sufficient being need to be served? How on Earth is that divine? Or in any other place? God is an incoherent concept.

  • Saikourufu

    There ain’t no Jonathan Ray — and that’s the glorious truth

    Jonathan Ray is a fictional character that is featured on the Spectator to provoque its readers.

  • tolpuddle1

    “There ain’t no God – and that’s the glorious truth.”

    Yeehaw ! Alleluia ! Amen !

    Like most militant atheists, the writer of the article is a worse fruitcake than any Kansas bible-basher.

  • Liam Gilmartin

    Atheists may well be right, but they are the most tedious people it is possible to meet.

    • ADW

      You’ve met all of them, then?

      • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

        So if you found one gracious, courteous, tolerant atheist (like my Dad), that excuses all the arrogant tw@ts acting like utter w@nkers, does it?

        • ADW

          That’s like saying all Muslims are terrorists and all Catholics paediphiles. Most of the many millions of atheists have no public profile amd don’t want one

    • Cyril Sneer

      I don’t think we’ve ever met.

  • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

    I don’t really see the point of this blog. We all have our reasons for believing or not. While the article is well written, and more nuanced than its headline suggested it would be, I don’t see how my world view is any more informed now than it was before I read it. So I now know the reasons that somebody I’ve never heard of doesn’t believe in God. With due respect, so what?

  • mightymark

    “I felt a vast weight lift off my shoulders. ”

    Having tried both belief and disbelief the only relief I can find is in eternal doubt – mine beeing a judicious mix of happy (and especially Mozart/Haydn Mass appreciating) agnosticism mixed with a good tad of Pascal’s wager.!

    • ADW

      Pascal’s wager is utterly ridiculous. 1. it applies to an infinite number of possible, and mutually exclusive, god or gods (limited only by your imagination). 2. What kind of god would be impressed by someone who only believed in something as a hedge?

      • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

        Fair point!

      • mightymark

        Answer to “2” – one who appreciated that s/he had made things difficult for his creatures by giving them access to knowledge that could make them doubt him/her.

        • ADW

          A very very strange one, in other words. Eg one who apparently did nothing for the first 98,000 years of human existence before making himself known to a tiny handful in the Middle East (why not China? They had a more advanced civilisation at the time). He must have known millions could never hear of him for centuries afterwards eg Australian aborigines.

          Or one prepared to sit back and watch people kill each other over arguments as to his precise identity, when he could settle the argument in a day and end the misery.

          • mightymark

            Not at all strange if you accept that being human is about making moral (and other) choices and religion is largely about what it is to be human and what makes humans unique.

            The short answer to your point about concentration on the middle east is to see most of the stories as a mix of history and myth. Cultures elsewhere have their own religions based on their own myths that might for them be equally valid and instructive – though it is clear that there must be something especially compelling about those that emerged from the ME for them to have spread so wide.

            Your final point is an old and much discussed one to which the usual answer on which I can not really improve is that most wars supposedly about religion were actually about something else (dynastic power etc) with religion as a thin veneer.

            • ADW

              In other words, religion is invented by man, as a myth. I quite agree. Which is what the original article said too.

              There is an enormous amount of misery in the world today that is due to religion – people being killed over cartoons, or book burning, Christians being exterminated in the Middle East, etc etc. “God” could settle all these by turning up again and letting everyone know he is real and is of X identity. Job done. Instead he seems content to observe the misery. It is not a moral choice to choose between two imaginary friends, either.

  • swatnan

    Praise the Lord! and all that incence and wafers nonsense..

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      And that’s what it’s all about, is it? Incence and wafers? Incence and wafers. Incence and wafers. Give us this day our daily incence and wafers. There is no god but incence, and wafers is its prophet.

      In the profundity of your insight, you don’t know how to spell incense.

      • swatnan

        I’m pretty incensed at that!
        There was a ScFi story once The incredible Shrinking Man, who shrank to the size of atoms. The fact is there are other Universes out there and micro universes we simply know nothing about. You could have a complete Universe in a thimble. But the way Physics works theres no way you’ll be able to pass from one Universe into another and live to tell the tale. Same with Resurrection and Reincarnation.

        • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

          Christianity, which is what you appear to be referring to, doesn’t believe in reincarnation. As for resurrection, that there is no scientific explanation for it is the point.

          What bothers me most about your original post is the implicit assumption that only you understand the truth, and that any other opinion must be invalid. There does seem to be this widespread truism that Christianity and science are a dichotomy, and that to follow both is a logical impossibility, encompassed by the platitude, “I believe in science, not religion.”

          You write of science. Are you a scientist? I’m a Master of Science. The thing is that, if you were a scientist, you must surely acknowledge that what is generally called “truth” is simply an interpretation of facts, and of course, any interpretation is based upon a metaphysical concept. Yours is that there is no god, and therefore, when you seek to explain any sort of experience, you automatically exclude the divine from the list of potential explanations. Someone who does believe in god, will include them.

          But fundamentally, your argument, convincing though it may sound to you, is a biased one. As of course is theirs. But to ignore the metaphysical foundation of any opinion, and declare that opinion that disagrees with yours is “nonsense”, is hubris, and uninformed, at best.

          • swatnan

            I’m a bona fide scientist BSc and a member of the ASE, interested in science education and in the public understanding of Science. I do accept your view that many scientists can hold both religious and scientific explanations of the Universe and don’t find them incompatible. But I’m not one of them.I cannot believe in the myths and fables built around the 5 great religions; I would go along with Marx and say that religion is the opium of the people; its one way in which the priestly class/caste can have a hold over the rest of humanity and keep them subjugated. The worst offenders in my eyes are the fundamentalists that take the holy scriptures literally word for word.

  • Daidragon

    Ridding yourself of superstition and ignorance is always a good thing. Of there is no God. He/she/it is a product of the human imagination.

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      I’ve encountered some very intelligent, educated people who believed in God. I can’t help thinking that to dismiss it so blithely as “superstition and ignorance” tells us little except that you don’t know very much about it.

      I’ve noticed this about very many atheists, particularly in the last twenty years or so, when an especially distasteful, bellicose variety seems to have become fashionable. Ordinarily educated, scientifically minded people who would never judge another topic based on almost total incomprehension, seem to assume that conventional wisdom, and a handful of distant memories of events that were little comprehended at the time, is all that’s necessary to jump to the most-sweeping, generalised conclusions about religion.

      • Daidragon

        ‘It’. Which religion am I wrong about? Is there one God as muslims and christians believe or are there many like Hindu’s and Buddhists believe? Give me a satisfactory answer to that and we can take the next step to readdressing my incomprehension. Bottom line is you won’t be able to produce anything more substantial than doctrine, mysticism and superstition.

        • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

          I’m not interested in addressing your incomprehension. Why don’t you address it yourself? I just think that summarily dismissing anybody who disagrees with you is stupid and arrogant.

  • mandelson

    “Jonathan Ray is the Spectator’s Wine columnist” – that explains this narcissistic drivel, probably on his third bottle when he wrote it.

  • flexdream

    An honest account which I suspect chimes with many people. I am religious, but I enjoyed reading this simple account. Who knows though how it will end.

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      He changed his mind once already. Is there any reason to suppose another change of mind is out incomceivable

  • Augustus

    Without the recognition of God’s sovereignty, there can be no true vision of the power to guide human life, to set the heart right and to renew the springs of action upon the road of peace, strength and blessing.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    Interesting about the stopping of the watch. Of course the only thing to do would be to tell the times without it. Quite a profound thing to happen really, I would have thought.

    Jesus tells us to watch, but he doesn’t tell us to use one.. all he commands of his true followers is “Love one another”. It is indeed a blooming hard thing to follow, these days.

  • artemis in france

    It seems that a large percentage of the population need to believe in something other than themselves in order to feel that life has some meaning. Perhaps it means that when life becomes too absurd – as it does increasingly because of the poor behaviour of politicians and those who would lead us in some way or another – the thought that at the very end there will be a happier life albeit in a different form makes this existence more bearable. If one doesn’t have this need or is simply unable to believe (like me), we shouldn’t criticise those who do, as long as their particularly faith causes no pain or harm to others. Chrisitanity in the past has been pretty awful in this regard, but compared to other faiths now seems mild and benign. We should not therefore ridicule those who follow it but encourage children to learn about it, albeit objectively. If we don’t encourage Christianity we know what will fill the vacuum.

  • Augustus

    “It had become blindingly clear: there is no God. We are alone and just blooming well have to get on with it.”

    One need only consider the way countless millions of people from all corners of the world have based their lives on the belief that there is a God, and haven’t been disappointed to do so, to see how full of childish self-importance this article is.

  • Augustus

    “There ain’t no God…”

    Well, whatever else He is, He isn’t nobody. Because countless millions of people have based their lives on the belief that there is a God and have not been disappointed.

  • Augustus

    “There ain’t no God…”

    Well, whatever else He is, He isn’t nobody. Because countless millions of people have based their lives on the belief that there is a God and have not been disappointed.

    • ADW

      Countless people used to think the earth was flat too. That doesn’t tell you much. Countless people believe and used to believe in other gods too. They can’t all be right.

  • IllOmens

    What a petulant and self-indulgent article.

  • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

    So some random personal experiences, of no deep significance other than your father’s attitude at the time of his death, now means you have greater insight than a whole host of theologians, philosophers, artists, saints and mystics, and other enquiring types, and you can assert categorically: there is no God.
    All your memoir shows is that you don’t want God; no more no less. At least when I was an atheist I could be that honest: I didn’t want a god telling me how to run my life. So raise a glass and give a hurrah, because morality is dead, we don’t have to feel guilty about anything ever again, because there is no right and wrong, only the choice of ‘will I do this or that’ and not have someone tut-tutting about it. John Stuart Mill claims another scalp.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      No, his account shows more than that he doesn’t ‘want God’: it reveals why God ‘exists’ to people in the first place: because they do want God. I think that’s highly significant! In short, the argument about whether a god exists is beside the point, since what’s really at stake is whether people ‘want’ him/it or not.

      • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

        Failure number 1: why would people want a god when a god does not exist? Please answer without resorting to a priori reasoning that isn’t actually a posteriori positivist rationalization.
        Failure number 2. I didn’t want a god. i was an atheist, and at the time I became a Christian was quite happy with my lot; no internal issues, no external deprivations; I wasn’t evangelised, I knew no Christians at that time, and had only met two i considered something remotely like a Christian should be.
        The standard arguments against religion are modern scientistic rationalizations from people who have already decided they don’t like religion, building on Comte and Nietzsche’s genealogical approach. We might be impressed with atheists if they did some original research in this area, instead of spouting sound bites they learned from the Idiot Bluffers Guide to Being An annoying Atheist Without Really Trying

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

          In that case you are highly unusual to the point of being an oddity, I’d say. Most people are born/coerced into religious belief or seek refuge in it when unhappy, fearful, or simply as a way of ‘hedging their bets’ (I know someone that was baptized precisely and only for the latter reason: as soon as it happened, his fog evaporated — I can hardly even call it ‘foggy faith’).

          As for your question 1: people want lots of things that don’t exist or at any rate things they can’t have. I think the desire for gods/goddesses is/was an emotional need for the sort of guidance and security and moral direction we were given by our parents as children. It’s a response to being alone in the universe. It’s also, in more advanced societies where we progress to God singular, a way of giving authority and sanction to morality that otherwise would just be the say-so of men, and that’s not good enough in political society.

  • Bruxellois

    Unfortunately for you, it is impossible to fully appreciate a Crucifixion painting or a Haydn or even Mozart Mass without having a faith in God. As an atheist you miss the very meaning of the works themselves. Christianity is not about ‘happiness’ which in your case seems to mean shacking up with your girl-friend but about responding in faith to the truth that God has revealed to us. In fact, this faith response might involve dying to your own selfish desires. Melanie is right.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      This is a risibly self-regarding and incoherent post. But if your thoughts make you happy, let nothing interfere….

      • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

        Based on your other comments here, I’d say the hearer. With respect, I don’t think you really understand much about it (and no, Christianity does not teach that selfish desires “were put in us by God”), or of the reasons that people believe.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

          I take your point about selfishness, but human desire has to come from somewhere, selfish or not.

          • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

            A very good point. Try reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S.Lewis (yes, he who wrote the Narnia novels), where he considers precisely that question at considerable length.

      • Bruxellois

        Christian faith is about doing God’s will. Happiness or, rather, joy comes as result of doing this. Christians do not seek suffering but when it comes, as it inevitably will, we accept what we cannot change but fight to change what we can. As the prayer says, wisdom is knowing the difference between these two attitudes.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

          And a wonderful prayer it is, too, or rather an attitude that — significantly — requires no religious belief.

          Even armed with a Bible, I do wonder how a believer can be sure at all times that he is ‘doing God’s will’. I also wonder why such an august being truly needs his will to be done. Sounds more like a petty tyrant than something sublime.

  • Hamish Redux

    You don’t seem to have produced any good arguments against the existence of God, let alone rebutted the many arguments that lead people to believe in God. In fact this whole piece is about you, not God.

    • Dan Grover

      Well, he doesn’t believe in God, does he? What other things that he doesn’t think are real should the article be able? Odin? Thor? Cthulu?

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

        Giggle.

      • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

        Yes, but it’s basically pointless. Having read the article, how has your understanding of the universe progressed? How is knowing the reasons the Speccie’s wine correspondent doesn’t believe in God going to affect your life?

        There’s nothing wrong with writing an autobiographical piece, or the story of somebody’s progression from one mode of belief to another. I’m just surprised the Speccie’s blogs editor felt it was worthy of inclusion, rather than referring him to a more relevant publisher.

        • Dan Grover

          Did you post the same comment under Melanie McDonagh’s piece to which this is a response? It’s one man’s view on how his life was negative impacted by religion, a counter argument to a previous argument suggesting the opposite to be the case. It’s part of an on-going discussion in our society on the role that religion has in our lives. It might not be your cup of tea, but it’s not like it was jammed between Jonathan’s reminder to himself to fix the wonky shelf and a note that he really fancies this girl in Chemistry called Rachel. It’s not a diary – it’s a counterpoint to another previous article.

          • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

            No, I haven’t read that piece.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

          Oh, get over yourself! It’s caused some thought and interesting discussion among the readers. Some of them don’t believe in a rewarding and punishing god. Tough!

          • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

            Huh? We could have some interesting discussion over a Barbara Cartland romance. That doesn’t mean it belongs in the Spectator.

            • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

              I don’t understand why you think The Speccie has to rule out certain subjects. It’s a smorgasbord of a (generally, overall) free press. I never know what to expect next — and I like it that way.

  • Thursdaythe12th

    Well, I know that I’m convinced!

  • Michael Rees-Evans

    Sad story. Sorry to read it.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      Why?

  • kevinlynch1005

    Out of curiousity, was your Irish girlfriend’s old man a bitter old bible-bashing Nordie fundamentalist (in the Paisley tradition) or an equally objectionable intolerant Catholic theocrat?!

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      If he was such a devout Christian, one has to question just why he was living with her in the first place. It would suggest that, confirmed Anglican or not, religious belief did not, in fact, especially influence his life.

  • http://europa-antiqua-arca.blogspot.com/ clavdivs

    “ain’t no”?

  • Paddy S

    None of the great atheists like Nietzsche celebrated the death of God – even he feared the consequences of it. Only people who really cannot see the results of such a belief would rejoice in it. As for me the thought was that once mankind was freed from the shackles and bondage of religion that this would produce a sort of humanistic utopia. And instead I think what we’ve come to see is the fruit of the naturalistic world view is that mankind is reduced to meaninglessness, valuelessness, and purposelessness and that therefore the question of God’s existence has become all the more poignant in our age because we’re beginning to question, I think, the fruit of modernity and questioning scientific naturalism.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    This article raises the interesting question of why people believe in the first place. Do they believe because they think God is good, and they approve of him, and do they cease to believe when they think God is not good and they don’tapprove of him? But surely God knows what goodness is, and anyway one’s belief in him ought not to be contingent on whether one likes him or not. However, believing in a God you don’t think is good is a savage thing, and leads to savage behaviour, as many humans on this planet have shown…. Many people in history seem to have believed in God primarily because they worried about what he would do to them not only in this life but especially after death (‘I fear the pangs of h=ll’ wrote one rich medieval woman that bequeathed her wealth to a monastery). In which case, it would seem that they assumed that in some way at least, God was not good, since he was unkind — surely a key component of goodness.

    In the end, it seems that believers award goodness to god in their minds, rather than the other way around. And that being the case, it’s easy to see why disappointment in life leads to atheism.

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      Rather than guessing, why don’t you try to educate yourself? See what it really is that makes people believe in god?

      There’s plenty of churches that offer The Alpha Course. Why don’t you sign up for one? At worst, you’ll come out of it with the answers to your question — why people believe in god. At best, it might lead you to a whole new perspective that makes you feel more content and fulfilled.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

        Oh, I’m fine, thanks. Philosophy, eh?

        You’re clearly not familiar with philosophizing, which involves probing human life by questioning. A philosophic person does not get the answers he seeks by having someone fill him up with their ‘answers’. Ever heard of Plato’s Cave?

        • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

          No, but he does research his subject. “Philosophizing” (as you put it) about something that you know practically nothing of is what’s generally known as “talking bollocks”.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

            I’m afraid you’re wrong, since I’m not opinionating or holding forth on tenets of Christianity or any other religion. I’m investigating the fascinating question of what disposes human beings to believe. That’s perfectly valid; no bollocks involved.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    This article raises the interesting question of why people believe in the first place. Do they believe because they think God is good, and they approve of him, and do they cease to believe when they think God is not good and they don’t approve of him? But surely God knows what goodness is, and one’s belief in him ought not to be contingent on whether one likes him or not. However, believing in a God you don’t think is good is a savage thing, and leads to savage behaviour, as many humans on this planet have shown….

    In the end, it seems that believers award goodness to god in their minds, rather than the other way around. And that being the case, it’s easy to see why disappointment in life leads to atheism.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Next week the Pope’s view on screwtops versus cork.

  • Paddy S

    I dont mean to be crude but this guy is just the Spectators wine expert, I hear monks make the best stuff their theology is better too

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      Good point!

  • My_old_mans_a_dustman

    The Prophets Equation:

    P = Wp × (Cr + Mi) × Tk × fo × f1 × Dt × Aw = 126,000.

    where…

    P = Number of people we hear about who report having experienced a Religious or supernatural phenomena,

    Wp = World population (7,000,000,000),

    Cr = Fraction of people who imagine a Religious experience because they’re crazy or want to feel special (1/10,000),

    Mi = Fraction of people who misinterpret a physical or physiological experience as a Religious experience (1/10,000),

    Tk = Probability that they’ll tell someone (1/10),

    fo = Average number of people they tell (10),

    f1 = Average number of people each friend tells this ‘firsthand’ account (10),

    Dt = Probability that any of the details that do not fit will be revised or forgotten in retelling (9/10), and

    Aw = Fraction of people with the means and motivation to share the story with a wider audience (Blogs, forums, reporters) (1/100).

    Even with conservative guesses for the values of the variables, this suggests
    there must be a HUGE number of credible-sounding Religious experiences
    out there, available to anybody who wants to believe.

    In the year 0 AD: Number of Prophets = 540. According to the UN.

    Respect is due to the creators of the Flake eqn..

    • jack

      0.6% of the world population have schizophrenic tendencies- rather a large number to account as a variable in your equation?

      • My_old_mans_a_dustman

        The Prevalance Rate for schizophrenia is approximately 1.1% of the population over the age of 18 (source: NIMH).

        Schizophrenia is a severe form of mental illness affecting about 7 per thousand of the adult population, http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/schizophrenia/en/

        • jack

          Understood, but CR is only 1/10,000 when the number of schizophrenics is only 1/100? Apart from this there are other incidences of temporary mental incapacity such as drugs etc that skew perceptions and figures.

          • My_old_mans_a_dustman

            The equation uses very conservative figures and therefore it gives a lower bound to the number of credible-sounding Religious experiences out there, available to anybody who wants to believe.

            The actual number must be significantly larger.

    • Bonkim

      Isn’t there a Universal faith constant in the equation?

      • My_old_mans_a_dustman

        No. The human tendancy to see the supernatural in inanimate objects goes into a constant in the Gullibility Equation, along with the human tendency to attribute emotions to teddy bears.

  • jack

    More people now live on Earth than have ever died, yet not one has made a nostalgic visit to let us know about the ‘other’ side.This seems to suggest a one way ticket out of existence, unless you irrationally believe in a creator who has a creator who has a creator………

    • Ron Todd

      Agree with general point but ‘more people now live on earth than have ever died’ is wrong.

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      Many people have claimed to have experienced visitations from dead relatives. I even met one such person myself, and I’ve never seen anyone more sincere in my life. What’s more, her husband, a total atheist, took her seriously, too. It’s not like she was some loopy spiritualist.

      Unless you’re suggesting that one of YOUR dead relatives should pay you a visit. But have you asked yourself what you have ever done to deserve such a visitation? If I were God, sitting up there in heaven, I think I’d be asking myself, “Why should I send his granny back to him, when there are so many faithful who have never received any visitations at all?”

      Let me emphasize that I consider myself agnostic.

      As for your last line, you have no idea just how close you came to hitting the nail on the head! :-)

  • MG

    “I felt a vast weight lift off my shoulders. Suddenly I was free of the ghastly guilt and anxiety that I had felt for years.” Thank you, Mr Ray, for expressing my own experience so perfectly! Delightful article

  • HookesLaw

    It seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable speculation to say there is no God… and I speak as somebody who happened to shake the hand of the Archbishop of Canterbury today.

    But of course the alternative is even more breathtaking… the fact that life the universe and everything exists without the help of God.
    There is no getting away from the utter impossibility of it all.

    • My_old_mans_a_dustman

      A hundred Billion Galaxies, each galaxy with a hundred billion stars, each star with an average of at least 5 planets, each planet with more than a million billion seconds for any one of the Billion Billion Billion atoms of Carbon Oxygen and Hydrogen to react and turn into an organic molecule.
      The balance of probability is in favour of spontaneous life forming.

      In fact if you look up into the night sky, you find the characteristic signal of organic molecules throughout the cosmos. Anywhere you find liquid water, you’ll find life.

      • HookesLaw

        Its awsome. How did it all begin and what was there before that?

      • Ron Todd

        That is not known. We know there is life here no more than that.

        • My_old_mans_a_dustman

          As far as you know.

          • Ron Todd

            As far as anybody knows.

            • My_old_mans_a_dustman

              When you say ‘anybody’, who do you mean?

    • Alexsandr

      I agree that to think there is life without a deity is pretty stark. And I can understand why some get comfort be believing in some sort of afterlife.
      but as there is no evidence for a deity I think this is something we all have to confront.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

        Your first line: Why? The deity might be a monster with dire things in store. Life is what it is, whatever created it, surely.

        I also don’t understand the attraction of many to the idea of an afterlife. The benefit of death is that it cancels all the hurt and pain that life accumulates.

  • eclair

    And now, Dear Readers, 10 minutes of ranting, self-justifying argument, better held after the pub closes on a warm summer teenage night, better the wear for a few beers….Oh God!

  • Roger Hudson

    First, what do you mean by God?, according to my reading of scriptures God can have no gender, no matter, be outside our spacetime and other attributes that should lead us to think more about cosmology than anything else, unless God exists as moral/ethical abstractions in human consciousness and is just ‘internal’.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      What scriptures did you/do you read? God is a moral entity according to all scriptures. He would hardly be any use if he weren’t (the ‘he’ is according to them, not to me).

    • Ron Todd

      What about Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestled with god? Or Exodus 24:9-11 “Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel

  • Brentfordian

    You stopped believing because a “fire and brimstone” preacher was rude to you?

    What, in God’s name, has the idiot’s opinions to do with God?

    • Ron Todd

      Can we judge a religion by the people that believe it?

      • Shane Sang-Froid Beaumont

        If the religious people are missionaries, then they might merit our contempt. Allowing whippersnappers to tell us that we’re living incorrectly and must reform for salvation is obnoxious and droll.

      • eclair

        If you are an atheist, then a religion IS the people who believe in it. How can it be anything else. Try any ism or ology you like, we are it!

        • Ian Walker

          Indeed – as an atheist it’s perfectly possible to see e.g. socialism as a religion. It has all the hallmarks – zealous followers who denounce opposing views; an applicability to the real world that requires interpretation and metaphor that only ‘believers’ can truly understand; constant reinterpretation of original texts when the standard view is erased by technology or scientific evidence.

          Children find it hard to understand the concept of objects just existing without purpose – if you show a child a film of an animal scratching itself on a sharp rock and then ask them why the rock is sharp, they very rarely come up with the correct answer, i.e. “it just is”

          This childish need to ascribe a purpose and pattern to the random universe is the basis of faith. Of course, after that it becomes a tool for the powerful to manipulate the masses, and then it’s a religion.

          • tolpuddle1

            The religion of modern Britain is Capitalism, complete with its sacred texts (e.g. Adam Smith), great saints (the late Mrs T) and zealous believers, who do so dislike its being criticised, however mildly.

            • pearlsandoysters

              The funny point is that Adam Smith was a moral philosopher & spilled quite a lot of ink on the pressing question as to how ammeliorate the negative consequences of “the commercial society”.

      • Gregory Mason

        Yes.

      • Cyril Sneer

        We should.

    • JoeDM

      Which god?

      Us humans have invented so many down the ages.

      • tolpuddle1

        But only one has survived – the one true God first clearly revealed to Abraham.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Hindu’s may be inclined to disagree with you there.

  • Believer

    I find it interesting that this topic is always raised by the unbelievers. I can’t help feeling that they protest too much. if they were sure of their views, they would leave the issue alone.

    • eclair

      But you dont. All religions carry the good word forward to try and convince the rest of us. Of what? That you are right?

      • Bonkim

        No – my God is better and stronger than yours.

        • eclair

          Because my lack of god has the moral and intellectual high ground I will concede that this is so while I back away to somewhere safe and hope you done have access to weapons

          • Bonkim

            How do you define intellectual and moral high ground? My God does not need weapons – he makes them as he goes depending on the victim. Projecting his power needs no transmitting medium or material object.

      • My_old_mans_a_dustman

        Yep. Of all the ideas that have burst into life over the course of history, only those that are successful in getting people to share them with other people are able to survive and stay with us. Religion is an idea and that idea has a life of its own: it behaves like a virus.

  • Bonkim

    Good analysis – yes many have similar views and experience. God has been made in man’s image through history and hence the many variations. Good luck if you are a believer – everyone has a right to religion and no religion.

    • eclair

      Shame.. It must be an exhausting way to carry on. Will the power of $ influence you? No? Oh I know..Fission! Thats a great way to put a stop to any argument..or god!

      • Bonkim

        Don’t let me put you off your belief in God.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    There is a god. Marc Marquez = god of two wheels.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    Enjoyed the article. The comments below it display the usual confusion between a) the idea that there is some organizing principle or Unmoved Mover of the universe as we perceive it, and b) the belief that there is a rewarding and punishing personified god, a figure with opinions and passions that can be known to humans (preferably by means of a conveniently legible scripture and by those claiming to be his — it’s always his — prophets).

    I can assent to the possibility of the first without in the least subscribing to the second. Why people can’t see the obvious difference between the two is beyond me.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      “b) there is a rewarding and punishing personified god, a figure with opinions and passions that can be known to humans (preferably by means of a conveniently legible scripture and by those claiming to be his — it’s always his — prophets).”

      God’s passion is the Truth, therefore He does the best He can to inform man of the Truth, otherwise if God weren’t with passion, He would be encouraging error, and this is something God, by His very nature, can’t do. Truth is love.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

        Well, that’s coherent enough on its own terms.

      • Chris Morriss

        I fear that there really is some (nearly) all-powerful supernatural entity in charge of this planet. The trouble is that it does not seem to be the caring god of Christianity, but rather the capricious, vengeful, and above all jealous tribal god of the Jews and Muslims. Whether you call it Allah, YHWH, El or Adonai doesn’t matter, it is a destructive power that needs to be resisted, however ineffectual our resistance might seem to be.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

          Was the ‘caring’ god of Christianity ever in charge, at any point? I appreciate the ‘do unto others’ ethos, but it seems that Leftists/’progressives’ don’t really get it, and the people responsible for our religious wars (Protestant v. Catholic) certainly didn’t.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “I fear that there really is some (nearly) all-powerful supernatural entity in charge of this planet.”

          God gave humans free will, so don’t blame God for humans refusing God’s Truth.

          “The trouble is that it does not seem to be the caring god of Christianity, but rather the capricious, vengeful, and above all jealous tribal god of the Jews and Muslims.”

          Why do you think Jesus came to Earth to die for the sins of man? Then witness how Christianity (1) in the early years were very un-Christian towards their Roman contemporaries, where Rome is bending over backwards to get Christians on the Pax Romana train; and (2) once Christianity becomes the major player in Roman politics (after the Edit of Milan in 313 AD), Christians do all they can to not follow Jesus’ example.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

            Why do you think Jesus came to Earth to die for the sins of man?

            Dean: Has no one told you that to non-believers that’s a meaningless question? Not only because they don’t believe in Jesus (he’s not even a historical rabbi or other historical figure) but more importantly, because they can’t discern how it’s possible for someone to ‘come to Earth’ and then die for someone else. You cannot die ‘for someone else’: it doesn’t make sense. There seems to be a disconnect between cause and effect, number one; and since God presumably set the whole thing up just so that Jesus could come to Earth and do this dying, it’s hard to see how He can complain about it.

            • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

              “Dean: Has no one told you that to non-believers, that’s a meaningless question?”

              “Dean: Has no one told you that to non-believers, that’s a meaningless question?”

              As I’ve proven, there is no such thing as non-believers, merely persons who don’t think critically on the subject.

              • Bonkim

                Is this a repeat of your earlier proof? Do you believe in your proofs or trying to convince yourself and coming unstuck?

              • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

                To begin with, Dean, you are imposing your idea of what I am far too much on me: someone that doesn’t think critically on the subject. I assure you I do; and I am a non-believer.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “Dean, you are imposing your idea of what I am far too much on me: someone that doesn’t think critically on the subject.”

                  Nothing against you and unbelievers, which is what you share even with those who are “believers”. You see, the question isn’t “belief”, it’s KNOWING.

                  Now, I already proved that the narratives underlying Christianity were accepted by Roman citizens/subjects because the narratives were KNOWN true, otherwise what would have been known as a forged narrative (Romans not immediately executing Jesus, then protecting His disciples after Jesus leaves the scene, where the apostles are still attracting large crowds and claiming to perform miracles–all prohibited actions by Rome, which Rome called rebellion/inciting unrest) would have been laughed at by any illiterate Roman subject who knew from personnel experience that Roman governors didn’t play games with charismatic figures that created civil unrest.

                  We also have the following proof I discovered back in the mid 1990s…

                  Law of Beginning:

                  “Since all things in our Universe, including our Universe, had a beginning (the Universe had a beginning; space had a beginning; time had a beginning; matter had a beginning; gravity had a beginning; stars had beginnings, life had a beginning, etc.), therefore there must have been an ultimate beginning to all things (“all things” meaning the physical realm that, if it exists, includes our Universe), otherwise the Universe’s and its constituent parts’ beginnings were arbitrary, but the Universe and its constituent parts can’t operate arbitrarily.

                  Therefore, since inanimate matter itself cannot bring about the ultimate beginning of the physical realm, only a conscious entity could do this, we therefore have proof that a God exists outside of space and time who created the physical realm that our Universe resides in.” — Dean Michael Jackson

            • Chris Morriss

              There is a conceivable (if somewhat reeking of sophistry) reason for the suffering of Jesus, if he really was “the son of God”.
              Assume that God really cared for his creation (big assumption to be honest!) But God is omniscient, and there is one thing that by definition, an omniscient being cannot know, and that is what it is to be ignorant.
              So God, who perhaps was wanting to know what it was to be human and ignorant, deliberately creates a being who is not omniscient, but contains a part of God. He then causes this man to live on earth, suffer and die, so that after his death, he can be re-absorbed back into God, who can then learn what it is to be human.
              (And no, I’m not attempting to start a new gnostic cult)

              • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

                Hey! Hey hey…. : ) Interesting comment. The question is whether the God of the Bible is indeed omniscient in a pure sense (the Christian idea of ‘all-knowing’ may be rather casual and not strict). Does the Bible show him as all-knowing or all-but-all-knowing? The difference is important. Even more crucial is the idea of omnipotence. I’m no Bible scholar but it would seem pretty clear from Genesis that God is not omnipotent, either.

                An interesting further question for a believer of any sort is whether there are laws of nature or natural laws. Strictly speaking, I would expect a believer to say that there aren’t any, since a natural law would be above God’s ability to suspend any rule (hence the possibility of miracles), rather than be bound by them. In short, if it’s natural law that gives us gravity, the rotation of the Earth and the orbit of the moon, etc., and not God’s will each moment that such things exist and such motions happen, then God is a lesser divinity even in his own creation!

              • Bonkim

                Was God married to have a Son – or was Jesus cloned?

        • global city

          The fickle and inconsistent one!

        • Bonkim

          Going by what you see around the Supreme entity is a pretty inefficient and ineffective manager. No wonder his subjects are abandoning him.

      • Bonkim

        Sounds too good to be true!

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      re the concepts of organised religion ,politics based on mysticism. and the existence at some point in time of a Deity…

      Even that prize twerp Dickie Dorkins fails to distinguish between the two.

      ie he criticises the contradictions of established religions and then extrapolates to conclude a Deity never existed.
      Feeble illogical and unscientific.

    • HookesLaw

      Yes a fair point. But what where did the unmoved mover come from? Existence. Strange thing existence. What do we use it for?

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

        I don’t know. Have absolutely no idea why we’re here. But if I did, I’d probably have the answer of how we got here, too.

  • Fergus Pickering

    How old are you?

  • Kitty MLB

    Please explain how the living Matter that is the universe came
    from nothing, everything has a beginning so therefore something
    created the big bang.
    Or maybe you’d prefer to believe, that the human soul is not a source of energy and when we are dead that is it.
    Or dear Jonathan, are you a supporter of that baboon Darwin and
    were we swinging trees…even he returned to faith in God before
    he died. Or do you believe in a different type of spirituality,
    better then cold, empty nothing and unless you have died and returned how can you say there is no God.You see the thing about
    faith is that it brings hope.
    And dont confuse religion with spirituality and you don’t need to
    attend church to find faith.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      “Please explain how the living Matter that is the universe came

      from nothing, everything has a beginning so therefore something

      created the big bang.”

      • Ron Todd

        As the universe in its initial state would be a simpler entity that a god capable of creating the universe is it not more likely that the universe somehow just came into being than a creator god did?

      • monty61

        This is your argument? Seriously?

        It reads like a parody of some ill-educated bible basher somewhere in the mid West.

        I think I’m with Carl Sagan on this one. Unfortunately I don’t think he would have gone for your simplistic thesis. He was certainly someone who acknowledged evolution as a mechanism in nature.

      • Bonkim

        If you have faith you don’t need logic to convince there is a God regardless of his function in his creation.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “If you have faith you don’t need logic to convince there is a God regardless of his function in his creation.”

          Faith is based on knowledge. When Jesus came to Earth belief in God was no linger necessary, because then we KNEW God exists.

          • Roger Hudson

            Faith is belief in things that do not agree with the laws of nature.

            • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

              Arguing as you do about the ‘laws of nature’ reveals immediately that you have given the matter ie what science is and does, very little thought.

              Science does NOT explain it describes.
              The so called laws have been constructed in such a way as to attempt to formalise and clarify clarify what is present in nature.

              The unthinking then conclude that nature behaves as it does because man made laws are being obeyed when In fact the converse is true.
              The laws are as they are because of the way nature is.

              As far as materialist science is concerned there can be no rational explanation for the first cause.
              It follows that only a philosophical approach can be applied.

              The universe itself is evidence, yes evidence, that a deity of a sort outside the capacity of humans to explain existed at some point in time.
              That is about as much as can be said.but if you or open to the mystery of it it is rather a lot.

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “As far as materialist science is concerned there can be no rational explanation for the first cause.
                It follows that only a philosophical approach can be applied.”

                The Law of Beginning, in fact, proves the existence of God otherwise other wise the universe is arbitrary, and the universe can’t be arbitrary.

                • Bonkim

                  The Universe is a mystery and Christians believe in mysteries = explanation for all that man cannot comprehend such as the Universe and why it is there, how it came about and where it is headed. Strange as it may sound the Ancient Hindus had answers for all these deep questions.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “The Universe is a mystery and Christians believe in mysteries…”

                  Yes I know, and the Law of Beginning doesn’t discuss the mysteries of the Universe or if we exist in a multi-universe. Just take the Law of Beginning for what it is (the proof for the existence of God, nothing more), not what it isn’t.

                  “Strange as it may sound the Ancient Hindus had answers for all these deep questions.”

                  True, even describing a Big Bang of our Universe! Hindus used reason to come to that conclusion.

                • tolpuddle1

                  Are you a Hindu then ?

                  If memory serves, Hindus believe in eternal recurrence and a long succession of universes.

                  Thanks, but no thanks. God makes more sense, even leaving aside religious faith.

                • Bonkim

                  Jumping to conclusions – the lifecycle theory is a recurring theme in all religions. Look up Revelations in the Bible and the Kingdom of God on earth and resurrection (only for those that have faith in the one and only true God..

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  No it doesn’t.

            • Bonkim

              But Christians believe in miracles.

            • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

              “Faith is belief in things that do not agree with the laws of nature.”

              You have my proof backwards. My law of nature proves the existence of God, not vice versa.

          • Bonkim

            Most people on earth were illiterate when (if) Jesus came to Earth, and believing in Gods of nature – they would have believed anything if given the right incentive like Greenshield stamps or 5p off petrol.

            • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

              “Most people on earth were illiterate when (if) Jesus came to Earth, and believing in Gods of nature – they would have believed anything if given the right incentive like Greenshield stamps or 5p off petrol.”

              Literacy has no bearing on this issue, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought it up! Every Roman citizen/subject knew what immediately happened to charismatic figures who attracted large crowds, which I already mentioned in the Spectator link I provided…the one you obviously didn’t read! They would have known immediately that the Jesus narrative was concocted by someone who obviously forgot to fine tune the Jesus narrative for Roman consumption, regardless of the literacy level of the Roman subject.

          • Daidragon

            Who is ‘we’?

      • davidofkent

        Sheer silliness.

      • My_old_mans_a_dustman

        If you have to ask the question then you won’t understand the answer.

        If you actually do want to know the answer, do an Astrophysics course and find out.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “If you have to ask the question then you won’t understand the answer.”

          I’m not asking questions. I gave a basic tutorial on the impossibility of Natural Selection/Neo-Natural Selection on both the macro and micro levels. The theory implodes because it (1) never considered the hostile environment a species encounters when it first enters that new environment; because (2) the species in that new environment needs all of the traits it is said to acquire slowly over a period of time.

          “If you actually do want to know the answer, do an Astrophysics course and find out.”

          I already talked to a physicist and he was stumped when I pointed out to him that if GPE is 0 (zero) at infinity, then there can be no GKE.

          • My_old_mans_a_dustman

            Clearly you know it all.

      • arnoldo87

        Without natural selection at the micro level, how do you think that antibiotic resistant superbugs like MRSA have come into being?

        if you believe that there is no natural selection at the micro level, promise us that you will carry on taking just the old antibiotics in the future and let the rest of us use the newly developed ones – this way there will be more of those to go around for us atheists, and you will be able to take your place in heaven at an earlier stage.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “Without natural selection at the micro level, how do you think that antibiotic resistant superbugs like MRSA have come into being?”

          That’s not Natural Selection, that’s an organism’s immune system developing resistance.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            No you are still talking utter crap.

    • Bonkim

      Who made God and why did he bother this unbelieving lot?

      • McRobbie

        Isn’t this the fundamental question, who made god?..it seems that believers believe that god just appeared in a puff of enlightenment and knew everything about everything immediately. They never ask how long ago he must have appeared as that would make them realise that infinity is a very very very (ad infinitum) long time ago and to go to paradise for ever is also a very very very (ad infinitum) long time to go, and seems more a punishment than a pleasure to me.

        • Bonkim

          Doubt only for those with limited intellect – the supreme being does not have to prove anything to lesser mortals.

          Regards infinite heaven – yes it will be a dreary/boring existence with Champagne on tap and frolicking maidens looking after your every need every moment. But some like it that way and won’t worry about God’s existence.

        • tolpuddle1

          God has always existed and is the only Reality (everything else, ourselves included, is nothingness, held in being only by God’s will). It’s His universe, we just live in it.

          Eternal bliss won’t be a bore; it’s not infected by the weariness of our life here below. In any case, the only alternative is eternal torment – not recommended.

    • southerner

      I disagree with you on politics (I am a conservative) but as a Christian I agree with you entirely on this.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Actually, she is a conservative as well.

        • southerner

          Nope she sticks up for Dave and the rest of the Camerloons so is not a conservative at all but this is not the thread for a political discourse. I am agreeing entirely with Kitty re her point on religion.

    • Englishoak

      What’s hopeful about worrying over hellfire and brimstone? Read your bible – it’s a wonderful piece of literature, but totally insane to believe that God desired purple on his alter amongst the slaughtered and burnt animals and that he took the care to tell you not to mix your fibres, but didn’t bother to tell priests not to rape children, but does tell them to take young virgin girls are slaves and we’re talking 9 or 10 years old here.
      Read your bible. It’s a dreadful moral guide.

    • JoeDM

      Usual anti-science creationist tosh.

      • Martin Peirce

        …followed by the usual unbelieving, God-hating tosh

    • My_old_mans_a_dustman

      It usually takes several years of education to explain the chemistry and physics behind the occurrence of organic molecules throughout the universe.

      We really could not do the subject justice in a few short lines. However, if you want to know more than please do take a university course in Astrochemistry.

    • Daidragon

      Darwin lost his belief in religion. He did not ‘return to faith’. That’s just a myth.

    • Dan Grover

      I’ve never understood this line of argument. Do you really believe that, unless you can explain literally everything, the answer must necessarily be “God did it”? Before we had the technical know how, one could not prove that we lived in a helio-centric solar system. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t.

      I’m an atheist. I can’t explain what caused the big bang, though there are a number of theories out there which may or may not be true. But I also know that if I were born 1,000 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to explain why lightning occured, or why the sky was blue. I can now. To belive in God, I’d need evidence. You don’t need evidence to prove a lack of something.

      Furthermore, you genuinely don’t believe in evolution? I didn’t think such people actually existed anymore. The fact you say “and were we swining in trees” suggests to me that a) your grasp of evolutionary understanding is limited and b) your grasp of the English language is limited.

  • Philip James Collinson

    Even Richard Dawkins & Polly Toynbee, archeacons of atheism, had to change their advert on the London buses from: ‘There is no God so enjoy yourself’ to ‘There is probably no God …’ They knew that their former assertion could not be proved. A Christian group also had an advert on these buses: ‘The fool says in his heart there is no God.’ Psalm 14 verse 1. Due to some mix up this advert stayed on the buses for weeks!

    • Bonkim

      Divine intervention no doubt.

  • Paddy S

    Sounds more like Psalm 14 and a classic attention seeking atheist. Just one question – since atheism/ agnositicism are dominant faith in Europe – what has happened to morals, ethics, art, literature, music, architecture, conservatism, patriotism…. Just saying….

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      On atheism, Carl Sagan commented in 1981:

      “An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed.”

      See my comment below for the relatively newly discovered “compelling” Law of Beginning (I discovered the Law back in the mid 1990s)…

      • Roger Hudson

        I thought humankind always wanted to explore ‘ultimate causes’ ?

      • Englishoak

        An atheists simply doesn’t believe in God. None of them have been proved. That’s all.
        To prove something doesn’t exist is very odd. When someone shows us how to prove invisible unicorns don’t exist, we will then have an example of how to provide proof that Thor or any other Gods don’t exist either. Until then, God botherers must assume that they too are atheists where invisible unicorns are concerned and that they have the burden of proving they don’t exist before making such a statement. Otherwise they will spend eternity impaled on unicorn horns and in agony for disbelieving in them.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “To prove something doesn’t exist is very odd.”

          It would be if the something didn’t exist!

          Once more, the Law of Beginning proves the existence of God otherwise the physical realm within which we exist is arbitrary, but the physical realm can’t be arbitrary. The Law of Beginning is an indirect proof.

          • Englishoak

            Nonsense. Evidence is more weighty than words. Your God has never even written a book and the religious don’t even agree amongst themselves. A real God would tell you what he wanted, especially when some believe it involves eternity or cutting off bits of babies bodies. Grow up.

            • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

              “Nonsense. Evidence is more weighty than words.”

              I just gave you the evidence!

              What evidence do we have for gravity? Evidence can be indirect evidence, not merely directly observing a phenomena.

              • Englishoak

                Gravity is demonostrable.. God is not. No one ever won a prize for proving God. Not ever. Your sentence does not prove a God. God did not make man. Man made God. That’s why the bible focuses on men’s penises, war and enslaving women. Grow up.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “Gravity is demonostrable.. God is not.”

                  Just as gravity is demonstrable, but not seen, so too God is demonstrable via the Law of Beginning, but not seen.

                • tolpuddle1

                  What made the human brain, with its capacity to “make” (i.e. perceive) God ?

                  Nature.

                  Who created Nature ? – God.

                • pearlsandoysters

                  Newton somehow was of opinion that “the laws of attraction” (gravity) spoke in favour of God’s existence.

            • HenryWood

              As against many non-believers who consider cutting babies’ bodies into pieces prior to removing them from their mothers is OK?

              • Englishoak

                Why is that okay? Yes, I know the bible says God commanded that his people cut the babies out of pregnant women and kill them, before taking the virgin female children as slaves, but it doesn’t make it okay.

                • Martin Peirce

                  Where exactly did God command this? Do you even know – or are you simply making it up out of your own head and your own hatred for God?

                • Englishoak

                  You’re kidding, right? You’ve surely read the bible? And it is impossible to hate something that doesn’t exist and you don’t believe in. An accusation like that shows lack of knowledge and bigotry for those who do not share your superstitions. At least accuse people of something factual. Lack of belief and more knowledge of your religion than you have is not an insult.

                • John Byde

                  Hi again, Englishoak. You’re talking a great deal about someone you don’t believe in. As Ronnie Reagan would have said: “There you go again!”

          • Duke_Bouvier

            There is no “law of beginning”. We hhave no coherent framework to discuss beginning and ending of stuff like universes and gravity that bears any relationship to conventional uses of the term.

            Why must gravitiy/universes/gods whatever have a beginning and an end ? What actually do you even mean by that? Reflecting on quantum gravity while you do. You just assert it as if it were clever because all the conventional objects you have experienced seem to do so.

        • John Byde

          Englishoak, I would add something to your first line: “An athiest simply doesn’t believe in God..but spends an enormous amount of time talking about him.” You can’t read a newspaper anymore without being bombarded with articles by athiests telling you what they think about God. Very Freudian!

      • Duke_Bouvier

        1) To which one replies: “Russell’s Teapot” or in its modern incarnation “Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster”.

        2) If God as defined by some or other believer is found to be logically contradictory then we have proven that that version of God does not exist.

      • pearlsandoysters

        According to Thomas Aquinas, one can not produce proof of either God’s existence or non-existence.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “According to Thomas Aquinas, one can not produce proof of either God’s existence or non-existence.”

          Famous last words! I see you failed to read the Law of Beginning before you replied!

          • pearlsandoysters

            I have not read the Law of Beginning (where it can be read actually?). I’ve reached for an argument that seems to pacify atheists, once they become too voiceferous. John Milbank’s words on neuroscience might be of interest in this debate: “According to neuroscience, the reason is an anomaly, which can not be a satisfactory explanation.”

            • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

              “According to neuroscience, the reason is an anomaly, which can not be a satisfactory explanation.”

              Reason based empirical observation will work, if one can find the empirical signs that indirectly, but conclusively, prove the existence of a cognitive essence outside the physical realm that created the physical realm.

              Law of Beginning…

              “Since all things in our Universe, including our Universe, had a beginning (the Universe had a beginning; space had a beginning; time had a beginning; matter had a beginning; gravity had a beginning; stars had beginnings, life had a beginning, etc.), therefore there must have been an ultimate beginning to all things (“all things” meaning the physical realm that, if it exists, includes our Universe), otherwise the Universe’s and its constituent parts’ beginnings were arbitrary, but the Universe and its constituent parts can’t operate arbitrarily.

              Therefore, since inanimate matter itself cannot bring about the ultimate beginning of the physical realm, only a conscious entity could do this, we therefore have proof that a God exists outside of space and time who created the physical realm that our Universe resides in.” — Dean Michael Jackson

              Now, interestingly, as it would happen, the physics community posits that universes can create themselves via the Law of Gravity, but guess what? I disproved that [ludicrous] claim, and it was quite easy to do so…

              The Physics Community gives the constant 0 (zero) to Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE).

              http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mechanics/gravpe.html#c1

              The Physics community says that the constant is an arbitrary value (any value will do, they say), yet:

              (1) this value of 0 (zero) for GPE is necessarily 1, since the POTENTIAL of anything at its maximum is always 100%; and

              (2) a GPE of 0 (zero) is necessary for Stephen Hawking and others who use that value in order to prove that our universe popped up from nothing: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” – ‘God did not create the universe, says Hawking’, Reuters, By Michael Holden, LONDON | Thu Sep 2, 2010 9:08am EDT.

              http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/02/us-britain-hawking-idUSTRE6811FN20100902

              For example, if the universe consisted of only the Earth and the Moon, and the Moon is catapulted so far away from the Earth that its gravitational energy no longer affects the Earth, the gravitational energy doesn’t disappear. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, the gravitational energy becomes POTENTIAL energy (GPE). This GPE Stephen Hawking (and the Physics community) assigns the constant 0 (zero) to. Now, when we return the Moon back to Earth’s orbit, GPE is said to be -1, according to the Physics community.

              Here’s the math for Stephen Hawking and the Physics community and my correction:

              Earth’s mass [1] + Moon’s GPE when back in Earth’s orbit [-1] = 0, so universes are for free,

              however if we use correct constants for what we are describing, the equation reads like this:

              Earth’s mass [1] + Moon’s GPE when back in Earth’s orbit [0] = 1, so universes are not for free.

              Let’s further examine the above:

              When the Moon’s GPE ceases when back in Earth’s orbit, that is when ACTUAL Gravitational Kinetic Energy (GKE) is 100%, which would have a constant of 1. Now GKE is simply the CONVERSE of GPE, so now let’s move the Moon away from the Earth again. KGE declines as the Moon moves further away from the Earth (.9, .8, .7, .6 and so on), and conversely GPE increases (.1, .2, .3, .4, .5 and so on until the Moon has reached infinity distance from the Earth, in which case, logically, GPE would be 1, not 0).

              GKE and GPE are the same phenomena, just separated by space, not unlike the duel sides of a coin. This converse relationship between GKE and GPE is also the discovery of what I call the Gravitational Converse Principle.

              Stephen Hawking’s (and the Physics Community) assignment of the constant zero to GPE at infinity is inexplicable.

              Proofs:

              1. If GPE is 0 (zero) at infinity, then there can be no GKE; and

              2. ask yourself how could Stephen Hawking and the Physics Community not know what “potential” means by assigning 0 (zero) to something (in this particular case, Gravitation POTENTIAL Energy) that is 100% potential? Obviously, if something is 100%, the constant one would use to quantify it is 1, and such a constant wouldn’t be an arbitrary assignment (as the Physics Community says the assignment of the constant zero to GPE is, it could be any number, they say), it would be a NECESSARY assignment.

              • pearlsandoysters

                Thanks a lot for posting such an elaborate account. It may take me a while to grasp it, once I am not very good at physics. As for the consciousness, my take is that modern explanations are not satisfactory.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “It may take me a while to grasp it, once I am not very good at physics.”

                  I never took physics myself, however, as fortune would have it, the concepts being explained for GPE/GKE only use simple math, where the only values used range between -1 to 1! After a few re-reads you’ll get what I’m trying to communicate.

                  By the way, when I presented my one-page paper on this subject to a physics professor, telling him that GPE at infinity must be 1 (not zero) because if GPE at infinity is zero then there can’t be GKE (because the potential of GKE is zero), I stumped him; his face made an introspective expression and he went silent!

                  As for the Law of Beginning, the key word there is “arbitrary”. Can the universe operate in an arbitrary fashion, is the question.

                  As for the third item (involving the “truth” of anything before man discovers that truth), the question you only need to ask yourself to understand what I’m talking about is: Before man discovers anything in the physical realm, such as the Big Bang, was the Big Bang also true before man discovered it? Of course it was true even then. Well, when something is true, what is required? It requires that someone exists that knows it’s true, because the truth of anything requires consciousness!

    • Shinsei1967

      Some of the greatest “religious” C20th composers have been atheists – Faure, Vaughan Wiliams & Finzi just three that spring to mind.

      • Paddy S

        I didnt say there were none. But one cannot escape the fact that in list above the greatest contributions to our society were made by believers and compared to nowadays – there is little good mae in each of these fields….

        • Ian Walker

          Base Rate Fallacy.

          The vast majority of our cultural heritage comes from the post-Renaissance European tradition, which for a long time was almost exclusively populated by those who would identify themselves as ‘believers’ – if fact it could be a severe social disadvantage not to be.

          You might as well argue that because almost all published classical composers are white-skinned men, then only white-skinned men are capable of making good music, whereas of course the truth is that only white males had access to the education, funding and opportunities to become celebrated and published composers.

          • Paddy S

            no fallacy just a fact. The greatest art, literature, architecture, sculpture, and music was written to the glory of God. A post-modern atheistic and agnostic civilisation cannot even graspe such beauty nor come close to copying it.

            • Ian Walker

              Quite a lot of it was written to the glory of gods that no-one believes in any more. Is the Parthenon ugly? Do the Pyramids not inspire awe?

              Your second sentence is just insulting and arrogant.

              • tolpuddle1

                Our civilisation was built on Christian Faith.

                Inevitably, now that it has renounced the Faith and exhausted its heritage, it’s collapsing demographically and socially, with even its politics showing signs of collapse.

                Soon even the West’s money will disappear and its secular populations will wake up with a bump.

                • Paddy S

                  or with the words: convert or die infidel.

              • Paddy S

                no its true – thats why your offended by it. It amazes me you guys can give it out to believers but when they criticise the legacy of atheism you have a fit. Look around at modern UK and Ireland are we really better off without God. I dont think so.

            • pearlsandoysters

              Right. However, these postmodern guys want to cram thier views down the public’s throats with amazing vigour & brainwash the so-called educated people that it’s highly laudable to admire whatever mundane object has taken thier fancy.

            • pearlsandoysters

              The real problem that the guys you mention are bent on proclaiming all beautiful & glorious irrelevant and supplanting the great things with utter trash.

      • tolpuddle1

        Faure was an agnostic, whose last words were: “And now my God -judge.”

        Vaughan Williams wrote quite a large number of beautiful hymn tunes.

        So perhaps not Militant atheists, then ?

    • Cyril Sneer

      You’re incorrectly assuming that morals originate from Religion.

      • Paddy S

        No morals come from God.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    “My old man had been right all along. I had never felt happier or freer. Life looked rosy again.”

    For people who don’t think…

    Law of Beginning:

    “Since all things in our Universe, including our Universe, had a beginning (the Universe had a beginning; space had a beginning; time had a beginning; matter had a beginning; gravity had a beginning; stars had beginnings, life had a beginning, etc.), therefore there must have been an ultimate beginning to all things (“all things” meaning the physical realm that, if it exists, includes our Universe), otherwise the Universe’s and its constituent parts’ beginnings were arbitrary, but the Universe and its constituent parts can’t operate arbitrarily.

    Therefore, since inanimate matter itself cannot bring about the ultimate beginning of the physical realm, only a conscious entity could do this, we therefore have proof that a God exists outside of space and time who created the physical realm that our Universe resides in.” — Dean Michael Jackson

    And don’t reply with, “Then who created God”, because the two main attributes of God are (1) omniscience; and (2) omnipotence; and a created God would be neither since (1) He didn’t know He was going to be created; and (2) since He was created by another, He can’t be omnipotent.

    • Stereotomy

      GPE is 1 what? Joule? Electron-volt?

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “GPE is 1 what? Joule? Electron-volt?”

        Simply a value assigned to GPE at infinity.

        • Stereotomy

          Yes, but in what units? You understand that physical quantities have units, right? Like distance has metres, time has seconds, and so on. Saying “GPE is 1” is like saying I’m standing 1 away from you. 1 WHAT?

          Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg of your nonsensical misunderstood physics. You say things like “Obviously, if something is 100%, the constant one would use to quantify it is 1,” That’s like if I gave you a jug of water and asked you how much water there was, and you said “Well it’s 100% water so the answer must be 1!” “1 what? kg?” “Just 1! 1 water”.

          If you had bothered studying physics at even a secondary school level, or could take the time to sit down and work through the most basic equations without you making these bizarre leaps of illogic, you could test for yourself and see that setting the zero point for GPE for e.g. an object falling to earth, is indeed arbitrary. The equations of motion will work out no matter what you set it. But I doubt you’d be able to get through that 14-year-old level maths because you’d be too busy coming up with insane nonsense like adding the arbitrarily chosen GPE to a mass for some reason and deciding that the outcome has anything to do with whether or not the big bang could have happened.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Yes, but in what units? You understand that physical quantities have units, right?”

            Quantities have no bearing on this subject. The physics community isn’t trying to quantify GPE, it merely is attempting a mathematical proof. That’s all. That’s why they
            assign (arbitrarily they say) the constant 0 (zero) to GPE at infinity. It’s not, GPE has to be 1 at infinity, otherwise there can be no KGE.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              No. You offer no proof at all just a lot of claptrap that suits your deluded vision of creation. Sorry laddie, there is no god. Thank goodness!

    • Ron Todd

      Yeah so where did god come from?

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “Yeah so where did god come from?”

        I initially also posted the following (but removed it, waiting for the inevitable mantra you provided me!)…

        “And don’t reply with, “Then who created God”, because the two main attributes of God are (1) omniscience; and (2) omnipotence; and a created God would be neither since (1) He didn’t know He was going to be created, so can’t be omniscient; and (2) since He was created by another, He can’t be omnipotent.”

        • Chris Morriss

          We have the classic conundrum of your supreme entity.
          Either he can destroy wickedness, but choses not to, hence your god is evil.
          Or he wishes to destroy wickedness but is unable to do so. Therefore he is not omnipotent.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “We have the classic conundrum of your supreme entity.

            Either he can destroy wickedness, but choses not to, hence your god is evil.”

            Humans have free choice, and God doesn’t abuse His children, contrary to what we read in the Old Testament. Recall Jesus giving the thumbs down to stoning, meaning the Old Testament punishment of stoning was not ordained by God, otherwise Jesus would have thrown the first stone at the adulteress! Jesus also said that men could no longer divorce their wives at will, but only for adultery. Jesus said in that instance God compromised with the Jews, but Jesus said that pact was now moot.

            • Bonkim

              Were women allowed many husbands and did they stone their husbands for adultery?

            • Duke_Bouvier

              For pity sake, if we are going to recycle all this stuff, lets do it competently.

          • Bonkim

            He is just testing whether you are his true son or not – He leaves you to choose him without any compulsion.

        • Ron Todd

          logically he cannot be omniscient and omnipotent but I was not intending to go down that road and you did the politicians trick of not actually answering the question asked.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “logically he cannot be omniscient and omnipotent but I was”

            Huh?

            “and you did the politicians trick of not actually answering the question asked.”

            I directly answered your question. You’re obviously suffering from cognitive dissonance, as proved when you say God isn’t omniscient nor omnipotent!

            • Bonkim

              If he is God he can be anything – not what man wants him to be – now is God a He or She or it?

            • Ron Todd

              previous answer not displayed I used a word starting with H and ending with LL .omniscient and omnipotent; not omniscient nor omnipotent. You gave a reply that assumed a created god was omniscient and omnipotent even assumed omniscience before creation since you were arguing against a created god and since it has long been known that with omniscience and omnipotence if you have one you cannot logically have the other then at best you gave a half answer that does not explain gods existence.

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “You gave a reply that assumed a created god was omniscient and omnipotent…”

                I never said/assumed any such thing! A created God? Where did I make such a statement? You misread my comment.

                • Ron Todd

                  Huh? As God, He cannot be anything less!

                • Ron Todd

                  If not created where did he come from.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “If not created where did he come from.”

                  That question was already asked yesterday on this thread. My reply…

                  Because the two main attributes of God are (1) omniscience; and (2) omnipotence; and a created God would be neither since (1) He didn’t know He was going to be created, so He can’t be omniscient; and (2) since He was created by another, He can’t be omnipotent.

                  Hence, God always existed.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              So why did he take 7 days to knock up Heaven and Earth and I presume a few planets etc? Why didn’t he just knock them up in say 10 minutes? Where did he live before creating Heaven? Why did he bother to put a snake in the Garden of Eden let alone a talking one? You religious nutters really are and endless source of ridicule.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Great. So where did God come from?

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Great. So where did God come from?”

            That question was already asked yesterday on this thread. My reply…

            Because the two main attributes of God are (1) omniscience; and (2) omnipotence; and a created God would be neither since (1) He didn’t know He was going to be created, so He can’t be omniscient; and (2) since He was created by another, He can’t be omnipotent.

            Hence, God always existed.

            • Ron Todd

              If god always existed did the universe also always exist? If not where did god exist before there was a universe?

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “If god always existed did the universe also always exist?”

                How can anything associated with the physical realm always exist? All things within the physical realm must have a beginning.

                “If not where did god exist before there was a universe?”

                God exists outside of space & time, hence why He created space & time.

                • Ron Todd

                  First I apologise for going over what is a very old argument. If god is omniscient he must know everything that is going to happen in the future. He therefore is limited in his ability to change the future and so not omnipotent. How did he create the pyhsical realm without being associated with it?

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “If god is omniscient he must know everything that is going to happen in the future. He therefore is limited in his ability to change the future and so not omnipotent.”

                  God never alters what he commands.

                • Ron Todd

                  If the physical realm was already created when was it created. If god is omnipotent he can change the future at a whim thus he cannot be omniscient or he would be limited to making changes he had already foreseen.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “If the physical realm was already created when was it created.”

                  Huh?

                  “If god is omnipotent he can change the future at a whim thus he cannot be omniscient or he would be limited to making changes he had already foreseen.”

                  Why would He change anything when He doesn’t have to according to His Omniscience? Your proposition is moot, due to your failure to comprehend what God’s Omniscience entails.

                • Ron Todd

                  Omnipotence is being able to do anything not just being able to do what he needs to do.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “Omnipotence is being able to do anything not just being able to do what he needs to do.”

                  God is both Omnipotent AND Omniscient, meaning He can do anything within the parameters of His Omniscience, meaning contradicting Himself is a moot proposition in His case; being Omniscient, there is no call for the concept of contradiction.

                • Ron Todd

                  Omnipotence is being able to do anything wither you need to do it or not . And if god cannot create an other god who is omnipotent then god is not omnipotent

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “And if god cannot create an other god who is omnipotent then god is not omnipotent.”

                  There can only be one Omnipotent entity, the concept that there could be two Omnipotent entities is a moot concept.

                • Ron Todd

                  You keep giving limits of what is possible for your omnipotent god. Omnipotence is being able to do anything without limit.

                  So we have a god who just happens to have always been there ; has no interaction with the physical world except he made it

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “You keep giving limits of what is possible for your omnipotent god.”

                  There are no limits for God, but there are humans who don’t know what “moot” means.

                • Ron Todd

                  If a god created the universe that god would be a more complex entity that the universe it created. If that god can just always have existed is it not likely that the less complex universe can also just have existed removing the need of a more complex entity to explain the existence of a simpler entity?

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Thanks for giving me such a good laugh. Utter crap and no proof for your ludicrous assertions but you have entertained us all royally.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Therefore God doesn’t exist.

        • Duke_Bouvier

          A poorly expressed version of the of the ontological argument to try to buttress the cosmological argument.

          Rule of thumb: anyone on the internet who thinks they have diagnosed a fundamental flaw in physics and is inventing new lots of new stuff is barking mad.

          I think you didn’t “stump” your Professor – he just had nothing polite to say, so did the decent thing and kept quiet. Did he move away shortly after or has he become a pen pal?

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “A poorly expressed version of the of the ontological argument to try to buttress the cosmological argument.”

            In fact, an ontological proceeds by first assuming a supreme deity already exists, and proceeding to affirm why this existence must be so…

            http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/

            My proof starts with “observation of the world”, and proceeds to the logical conclusion that a supreme deity exists otherwise the physical realm is arbitrary.

            • Duke_Bouvier

              Leveraging asserted properties of ‘god’ and arguing that something with these properties would exist/bed a ‘supreme being’ is basically the ontological argument.

              Asserting that the universe needs a creator which we will call god for the want of another name is basically the cosmological argument.

      • Bonkim

        Now you are being difficult.

    • Chris Morriss

      That is an viewpoint put forward many times in the past few centuries. Even CS Lewis came to realise that it is a non-argument.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “That is an veiwpoint put forward many times is the past few centuries. Even CS Lewis came to realise that it is a non-argument.”

        I assume you’re referring to ontological arguments for the existence for God, which begin with the assumption that God exists! As you can see, my argument doesn’t make that obvious mistake. God is observed at the end of my logical deterministic proof.

        • The original Mr. X

          “I assume you’re referring to ontological arguments for the existence for God, which begin with the assumption that God exists!”
          Correction: it begins with the assumption that God exists *in the intellect*, but deduces that He must therefore exist in reality as well.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Correction: it begins with the assumption that God exists *in the intellect*, but deduces that He must therefore exist in reality as well.”

            No, ontological arguments assume a real Deity exists, which is out of the mind, but uses the mind (via a priori reasoning) to prove God’s existence…

            http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/

            My proof uses “observation of the world” to conclude the necessity for the existence of God.

            • The original Mr. X

              Could you perhaps lay out what you understand as the ontological argument? Feel free to say no, I just think that it might be better for avoiding the whole “The argument says x”-“No it says y” thing that these discussions often degenerate into.

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “Could you perhaps lay out what you understand as the ontological argument?”

                Precisely what the Stanford link said, the argument must be based on observation of the physical, which means the premise of the argument can’t assume that God exists.

                • The original Mr. X

                  No it doesn’t, it merely assumes that the *concept* of God exists. Also, why does any argument not based on physical observation have to assume that God exists? Pythagoras’ Theorem isn’t proved from physical observations, but nor does the proof assume that Pythagoras’ Theorem is correct.

        • Bonkim

          Logic, and deterministic proof? I can only believe God if you present a mathematical function of his existence and integrate it across space time.

          • eclair

            Just a mo…can we go back a step to when you said you had a better and stronger god than mine? You mean you werent serious? What shall I tell the followers who are waiting anxiously for your next utterances?

            • eclair

              Bu99er… I was looking forward to being your prophet too…:/

            • Bonkim

              Different question different answer.

              In any case every answer raises two questions – to be or not to be. Yes my God is stronger than yours because any number divided by zero the answer is one. Tell that to your followers.

              • eclair

                Actually Sir, (abases self) they’re your followers..I am not worthy, besides, Im still admiring the view below from up here while you’re carrying on your godly stuff….But I’ll tell them anyway. Im sure they’ll be delighted to hear it. I’ll start making a few notes for them in this spare notebook from The Works. You’ll know all about them having planned a few yourself no doubt. Good ones we hope ha ha.
                By the way, Ive got some nice damask curtains spare if they’ll help…………….jus’sayin’

                • Bonkim

                  God does not need a notebook to call each of his creation by name and look after all. Plenty of Damask curtains where I come from. Thanks.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

            That’s not really fair, B. You no doubt believe in love, truth, and justice, or one of the three, and yet there is no mathematical proof of any of ’em.

            • Bonkim

              You don’t need proof of what you want to do or believe in – it is called personal preferences or faith. You only need proof if someone else is trying to convince you something you don’t believe in.

              • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

                Thanks for stating the relativist position so well. I don’t share it.

                • Bonkim

                  Why should anyone agree with comments from others.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Did God invent arrogance? If yes, you really were given more than your fair share.

    • Bonkim

      From when do you start counting time? Did they have stop-watches at the time and who invented them?

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “From when do you start counting time? Did they have stop-watches at the time and who invented them?”

        Huh?

  • The Masked Marvel

    How very brave. Not. If you want to impress with your integrity and courage and defiance, submit this to a Muslim publication.

    • In2minds

      Indeed, and so why does the state fund faith schools?

      • Paddy S

        Probably because there were no schools until they made them for the poor. Other reason could be because they are better than the secular comprehensive liberal indoctrination schools.

        • Gregory Mason

          There were schools set up by charities and other philanthropists. The funny thing I find is that since the state stepped into the arena of education overall literacy has actually fallen.

        • JoeDM

          Secular schools are not necessarly “liberal indoctrination schools”

          • Paddy S

            No they are not, thats true. But many of them are now.

      • Chris Morriss

        Why indeed?

        • Ron Todd

          The state funds faith schools because politicians want the votes of the religious.

          • In2minds

            But not the agnostics?

      • Bonkim

        At one time all were faith-schools.

        • JoeDM

          At one time we burned heretics at the stake.

          • Bonkim

            Going by the growth of religions – we may return to burning heretics – already going on in many parts of the world.

      • la catholic state

        The State funds nothing. Tax-payers do. And we want Church schools.

        • Roger Hudson

          Can we have our ‘daily assembly of a generally Christian character’ with Hymns (A&M) back as well.

        • The Masked Marvel

          Can’t have those without also allowing Mosque schools.

        • In2minds

          ‘We’?

          • Bonkim

            Catholics want the state to fund their religion like in some parts of Europe.

      • kevinlynch1005

        Religious people pay their taxes too!

    • Bonkim

      Muslims don’t need proof of God’s existence. They have a chip in-built at birth.

      • The Masked Marvel

        All the more reason that this post is far more cowardly than it claims to be.

      • Chris Morriss

        On which shoulder is it implanted?

        • Bonkim

          That is God’s trade secret.

  • DaveTheRave

    I’m a secularist so I can’t comment.
    Any spiritual beliefs I have are my own, I will not burden them on anyone else, nor try to proselytise.
    Sothlice.

    • GnosticBrian

      So why did you?

  • Ron Todd

    I nearly gave up religion before I started then twice more since then the second time has held for 40 years so I am not likely to go back. I was not happy when I was religious I am not happy now but I do have some more self respect than I did.

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