Science, Evidence, and Faith

As I connect with other Atheists, I have noticed that many base their non-belief on science or a lack of evidence that God exists.

 

Does one need to state that there is no scientific evidence to justify not believing in God? To quote many climate deniers, “I’m no scientist.” I also believe that science is not necessarily a requisite of Atheism.
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The Journey from Discovery to Action: My Thoughts on Reason Con 2015

As I flew back from the most recent adventure, I felt the need to record my thoughts, feelings, excitement, and loss. If you did not know, Jonathan and I went to ReasonCon in North Carolina this weekend. We were able to meet each other for the first time, were able to meet some of our supporters and fans, and were able to lay out plans for future episodes and events. The event itself was an amazing experience and could not have been done without the help of some donors and fellow patreons. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to be able to grow as individuals, while bringing together many individuals in the secular community. Many thanks go out to Robert and Lisa Burrows, Shane, Wes, and Robert plus the many patreon supporters on our network.

 

What The Hell is ReasonCon?

 

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For those of you that have never been to an atheist convention, do yourself a favor and find one that is in your area and attend. I can attest this is a very rewarding experience and one that I hope everyone gets a chance to experience. The stories and lives of every individual that goes are so amazing and unique that there is no way you will be able to just go to one, nor to meet everyone who has come. The days are filled with companionship, camaraderie, food, love and experiencing others’ lives through stories. These two days were amazing and I heard many peoples’ stories that are so unique but similar at the same time that you almost feel like you are living their lives while they tell their stories. ReasonCon provides the outlet for many individuals who do not have an easy life as secularists living in a mainly religious environment. Yet, we saw many individuals reaching out to help others while at the conference. The love spilled over their cup, if I may steal a christian reference. This conference focused on many different avenues within the secular movement, but most of all offered an opportunity to allow fellow secularists to engage each other, develop new ways of interacting within our communities, and helped us see that there is still more work to be done to help everyone safely come out if they feel the desire to do so.
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If God Falls Like a Tree In the Forest and No One Hears, Does God Exist?

At the beginning of every semester, I tell my students: there is a world of difference between hearing music and listening to it.  Emphatically despite the fact that “hear” and “listen” are often used interchangeably in casual speech, as though they were exact synonyms. In fact, they mean two completely different – although not entirely unrelated – things.

 

I’ve spent a goodly portion of my life thinking about language and trying to understand its expressive range, the better to express myself. I’ve noticed that transitive verbs do not carry the same weight – are not charged with the same energy – as intransitive verbs. Did any of your English teachers ever tell you that? Mine didn’t: I had to discover it for myself.

 

Let me illustrate: We regularly hear music, but we also occasionally listen to music. The transitive verb requires a direct object to complete its meaning; the intransitive verb is complete in itself (hence its greater potency), and the prepositional phrase that follows adds no weight to the verb: it simply brings the verb’s activity to a focus.

 

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The difference in energy between transitive and intransitive verbs is faithfully reflected in our daily experience. Taking the illustrative case I’ve offered above, consider the fact that hearing is an altogether passive experience which might actually be described as a condition, often ignored and therefore mostly registered unconsciously; every animal with ears has pretty much the same experience of hearing, assuming similar auditory capacities. (There are interesting differences, of course: dogs can hear at least an octave higher than humans, and humpback whales and elephants can communicate in wavelengths much longer than those available to us.) The capacity – the sense – known as hearing is our ability to register physical phenomena in a way that’s available only to an exquisitely fine-tuned nervous system, by means of equipment (eardrums, etc.) that can respond to (resonate with) disturbances in some fluid medium such as air or water. The old conundrum, “if a tree falls in a completely unpopulated forest, does it make a sound?” is thus answered: sound is the name we give to that nervous-system registering, that experience of a disturbance in air or water. Where there is no experience, i.e. no experiencer, there is no sound.
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This Court is Now in Session: Christianity Does Daytime Court TV

Case Number 6.6-6: Christianity vs. Objective Reasoning

Plaintiff – Christianity

Defendant – Objective Reasoning

Presiding Judge – Judge Sye Entific Methud

This is a non-jury trial

Plaintiff is required to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The defendant will defend against this supernatural claim.

Judge: Plaintiff, you may proceed.

Christianity: Your honor, we claim that the biblical Jesus was crucified, died, and then rose from the dead 3 days later as stated in the bible.

Judge: What is your evidence to prove this claim?

Christianity: The bible, your honor.

Judge: How so?

Christianity: It is written in the bible that Jesus died, rose from the dead, and that there were witnesses to this account.

Judge: Who were these witnesses?

Christianity: A few women, one named Mary, the apostles, and some others. Also, the Apostle Paul claims a higher number, I believe it was 500.

Judge: Could you provide their full names and their sworn written testimonies to this account?

Christianity: No, we don’t have any full names or sworn testimonies, but later on a man named Paul was knocked off his horse by a vision of God and God told him that this account is true.

Judge: Hold on a minute. These eye witnesses, how do you know that they are not lying or were have been tricked in some way?

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“I’m Offended” An Overused and Useless Statement

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No topic, when handled correctly, is above mockery and ridicule. For some reason there are a lot of people in society today that believe “I’m offended by that” is a valid point, as if the other person should immediately stop what they are doing or saying based on disagreement alone. Being offended does not mean that one is right nor does it mean that others should stop what they are doing.  It is the last line of defense that people tend to use when they are unable to come up with valid reasons for their argument. It’s similar to people using faith as an argument for mythology. As comedian Louis C.K. said, “Offending people is a necessary and healthy act. Every time you say something that’s offensive to another person, you just caused a discussion. You just forced them to have to think.” Discussions are good for humanity; it’s how progress takes place. Sometimes people are going to be offended, but life goes on.

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Are Atheists Angry at God? If Not, Why Are Some of Them Angry?

It is a common criticism leveled at atheists that somehow, somewhere, atheists are angry at God. Some Christians think that because something may have gone wrong in an ex-believer’s life, which caused them to question, that they hate God. As many atheists know, this accusation is flat out false, even for people who have stopped believing due to negative events in their life. This is because if we actually were angry at God or hated him, we would need to acknowledge that he exists, which we do not by definition. So even if people are disaffected by experiences had in the Christian religion and become atheists as a result, we do not hate God because then we would not be atheists.

Children Holding Signs Like this Angers Atheists
The Fact that Some Children Have to Hold Signs Like This Angers Atheists

Clearly, atheists are not some monolithic group. We do not think the same. I have sharp disagreements with other atheists on some subjects, even those related to religion. Some atheists are not angry at all. They are apathetic on the subject of religion and their lack of belief in God. On the other hand, some atheists are angry. Some are angry for the same reasons that everyone else is angry. Others appear angry at religion, which seems to be the group that gives credence to the theory that atheists are angry at God. However, being angry at religion is not the same as being angry at God because being angry at a belief system, especially a perceived false one, is not the same as being angry at a deity that we supposedly “know” exists.

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The incredulous Matt Walsh: A Response to his Robin Williams Did not Die of a Disease Blog

Over the past 24 hours we have had Depression and Suicide brought to the public’s attention. I have read many blogs over the last few hours as I am dealing with the feelings of losing something that brings back feelings from my teenage years, something I may have never dealt with. These feelings are valid in the sense that they are a part of me and I probably should acknowledge with them.

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What has started as a desire to hash out my feelings, figure out where they lay, and become determined to confront them, I have found a new inspiration that has spun from my desire for confrontation. You can read my first blog here. Depression and Suicide are topics that are simply not talked about or only begrudgingly. Death is not something people like to analyze and neither is unhappiness both of which result from the aforementioned concepts. What I have found to be incredibly angering are some of the responses I have gotten from my interactions with my previous blog. Though those only pale in comparison to a recent blog post I read by Matt Walsh, who appears to be a blogger and online news personality. Personally I have seen his name come up from the conservative christians on my page re-posting his blogs. Normally I do not read these as I know that I would disagree with most of what he posits. But today is different. Today he “clarified” his twitter response to Robin Williams death. His comments where this, “When we talk about depression we shouldn’t pawn the whole thing off on “chemical imbalances.” It’s not just clinical. It’s spiritual.”

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