Ask an Atheist Day 2014.

17 04 2014

Image

Thanks for joining me on another Ask an Atheist day. I’ll admit that I’m saving this one pretty much til last minute. But I’m sure you don’t mind.

This year I have only received two questions. I plan to tackle them both in the following order.

1- Is it necessary to label yourself that you don’t believe in any kind of religion? Or would it be easier just saying no that’s not for me?

2- How will you deal with your son with religion/god/spirituality etc when the time comes? Will you allow him to explore other concepts that differ from yours?

As usual. Any further questions, please post below, or contact me with whichever method you have available. If you know me, you have facebook, twitter or email etc. If you don’t know me, you’re pretty much limited to commenting below.

So here we go for 2014. I’ll first start off with a side note. Completely unrelated. I recently celebrated my 1 billionth second anniversary on April 13th. It was a weird yet satisfying moment. I really used it to help appreciate the number itself. The number really is a mind boggling thing to comprehend, and yet in the scheme of the universe it’s such a small thing. 1 billion seconds is close to 32 years on earth, yet in the scale of the universe that’s just a tiny fraction of a blip. Anyways, now to the heart of the matter.

Is it necessary to label yourself that you don’t believe in any kind of religion? Or would it be easier just saying no that’s not for me?

This is actually a great question. I’m really surprised I haven’t had this one yet. There are two sides to this viewpoint that may or may not answer the question right off the bat. So I’ll list the two sides and then continue.

Side A from Sam Harris: “I think this whole conversation about the conflict between faith and reason, and religion and science, has been, and will continue to be, successfully marginalized under the banner of atheism,” he said. “So, let me make my somewhat seditious proposal explicit: We should not call ourselves ‘atheists.’ We should not call ourselves ‘secularists.’ We should not call ourselves ‘humanists,’ or ‘secular humanists,’ or ‘naturalists,’ or ‘skeptics,’ or ‘anti-theists,’ or ‘rationalists,’ or ‘freethinkers,’ or ‘brights.’ We should not call ourselves anything. We should go under the radar — for the rest of our lives. And while there, we should be decent, responsible people who destroy bad ideas wherever we find them.”

Side B from Richard Dawkins: “The moment you talk about a supernatural creator, designer, or anything; you are advancing a scientific hypothesis that is either right or wrong.”

Where do I stand? I’d say I’m kind of in the middle. I know that’s an easy way out of answering, but to be fair I’d say I lean more to the Dawkins fence post than the Harris post. I love Sam Harris for his clear statements and explanations. He never fails to make his points absolutely sharp and clear with solid logic and reason. But Dawkins just seems to hit the nail on the head for me. It’s like comparing Carl Sagan to Neil Degrasse Tyson. They both are hosts of the Cosmo’s show, both science communicators extraordinaire, but they are in the same position as Harris and Dawkins on this matter. Neil is not bothered by religion so much as Carl. Neil just points out bad ideas and backs up his reasoning. Carl will do that but also explain why the religion is a bad idea in the first place.

So where is your answer!?!? Ok, here goes. Dawkins points out the fact that in making a claim you have to be either right or wrong. There is no in between in science. We either accept it as truth as best as we can know until further evidence proves otherwise, or it’s wrong. Harris makes a great point that choosing the label only makes us anti something and carries a negative connotation which may not necessarily help us in the end. I think this is where the question is really looking to go anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are wondering why bother with the negative assertion when I could just ignore it and go about my day peacefully. After all I’m not publicly announcing my anti wrestling status, or anti pineapple status and defending it or promoting it daily. So why the difference here?

As both Sagan and Dawkins have asserted time and time again, Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If I was to tell you that the sun is actually made from marble cheese, it wouldn’t affect the daily lives of most poeple. But if you were to try to figure out why that marble cheese heats the earth as it does and causes global warming effects to continue to worsen, there would be a problem. Promoting a false truth as fact is where I base my decision to be on that verge of activist atheist, or militant atheist. I may not be that forceful in my delivery, but I do like to share the fact that if you promote a false claim, there is a good chance I am going to challenge you on it to show you how wrong it is to do that, and if you can best me at that and show me how wrong I am I will concede and accept this new evidence. This is not just religion that I’m up against, it’s any supernatural or pseudoscientific claims out there that I come across. (Astrology, homeopathy, voodoo, ghosts, bigfoots, end of the world, conspiracies, etc) So you could call me a skeptic, or atheist in the same breath.

With religion in particular there is the issue of the personally structured belief system that so many people seem to flock to. While I understand the benefits of a religious belief such as being good, or trying to do things to the benefit of your fellow man etc. But the problem lies in the beliefs being based on someone who wrote a book 2 thousand years ago with the knowledge they had at that time. If we are ever to progress as a species we need to stop sticking with these old beliefs especially when we are picking and choosing which parts to believe and not believe. If we used a book from even 500 years ago to figure out how the world worked, we wouldn’t have any of the technology we have today, from vaccines, to airplanes and cars, to electric appliances etc. So why make the exception for understanding the rest of the universe based on a book about a poof there it is genie that made everything we see in the world?

For example I’ll pick on Christianity because we’re in north america and that’s the popular following of choice here. Some believe in the god of the bible and that jesus died for sins and they follow that part well. But when it comes to the ark, and Adam and Eve they look the other way and call it a story to teach us something. I have a major problem with this. How can someone pick a religion that is based on a story, and then pick and choose the parts they like and ignore the rest and then use that belief system that they personally configured to guide how they view the world. That’s like me picking and choosing which sciences to accept and saying well I don’t like chemistry or math so physics you’re out too. I like biology though so I’ll live my life to the max as long as biology says my decisions are ok. By that logic, I would be ok to jump off a building because physics isn’t any way to guide my understanding of the world, biology doesn’t tell me that jumping off a building will accelerate me towards the ground at a speed enough to splatter my insides across a 3 meter area. Science as a whole is either accepted or not accepted. You either accept the process or you don’t, there is no half way point. So don’t do it with religions claims either. The whole is true or the whole is not true. Harry Potter is real, or he isn’t real. Godzilla destroyed Tokyo or it never happened. I’m sure you see where I’m going with that.

So where am I going with the rest of this? I am dragging on I know. So people make their own religion based on their own person ideas and borrow pieces here and there, and then base their ideas on how the sciences have determined the world to be based on these old assumptions. Times have changed and so has the understanding for the worlds operations. We don’t need the ideas of gods to explain the sun moon and stars anymore. We understand the expansion of the universe and how planets and stars are formed now. We understand evolution and natural selection, DNA, and genes now. We don’t need to think that a supernatural force just made all the animals appear then get on a boat to survive some massive flood of the earth. We know Zeus isn’t throwing lightning at us for being horrible people. And on that note, if you are going to assert your belief that your god is real because their book tells you, then why not the thousands of other gods who assert the same. So many religions saviours have been based upon the same story plot line for thousands of years. Look it up. Jesus isn’t the only one with that story. He’s just one of the most recent.

This is why I am a proud atheist. I stand up to fight against the ignorance that is being spread by these beliefs. I may not be the scientist doing the studies but I can do research. I am not afraid to challenge my beliefs either and look at the evidence for new claims. If something new comes along I will change my views to adapt to the new evidence.

And last but not least, our children and future generations depend on this. You can argue that religions can help people be better people overall. But this is just not always the case. There are too many people who use beliefs in old books to be prejudiced towards cultures, sexuality, or any number of differences they can find a reason to dislike. The bible has been interpreted in so many ways that you really can use it to defend any point you wish if you want to assume it really means anything at all. And this goes for any religious text, not just the one. So if this book can be interpreted in so many vile ways, how can it be good? So to bring this all around in full circle, why bother with this negative assertion when you can just ignore it and go about your life in peace while allowing scientific discoveries to push our species beyond our wildest imaginations.

I hope that answers the question. Next question up.

How will you deal with your son with religion/god/spirituality etc when the time comes? Will you allow him to explore other concepts that differ from yours?

No! My son WILL be an atheist. LOL. No, I do have plans to introduce him to the many cultures and religions of the world. I want to make sure he understands that there are these other ways of life all over the world, and to understand just how diverse the human species can be. There is no reason for me to prevent him from whatever he chooses to believe or accept. I can only hope he decides based on the information he finds, and not because I have told him what to believe.

I want to make sure he asks questions and challenges things the best way he knows how. And if he ends up being a muslim, christian, or hindu, then that’s just what he chooses. Of all the religions or beliefs, buddhist would be probably my top pick for him, other than the obvious atheist, or humanist etc. But as long as he’s not mormon or scientologist I’m happy.

I don’t want to be that parent that chooses the life for my kid. I wanted freedom to express myself and to make decisions for myself when I was growing up and I would expect my son to have those same desires. Making decisions on your own is a very important thing in my opinion. When I see people who have grown up under the complete guidance of their parents decisions, they never seem to be truly happy with themselves, or who they are. They seem fake, and often times seem to have real psychological problems with identity. Or they are just so blind to the world around them because they’ve lived a life of “do this and don’t think about doing anything else unless you’re told to.”

This really is a simple answer compared to the first one but I don’t think there is much more to say about it. I want to make sure my son has a solid education and I that’s the most important thing to me at this point. If he has some way to justify gods and ghouls with science and math, then that’s just how it’s going to be.

Thanks again folks for participating. As always, if you ever have questions about anything, I love to write these blog posts about things. I love to research things that are interesting or start long deep discussions on random topics. So don’t ever hold back. I’ll always give you my 100% honest opinion. And if I don’t want to talk about something, I’ll still say something and then say I didn’t want to talk about it but…. LOL.

Cheers, until next time.

Advertisements




Ask an Atheist 2013 answers.

17 04 2013

So we have our first set of questions.

1- Shroud of Turin’s validity.
2- Why are there still monkeys.
3- Why does a banana fit in our hand.

So before I begin. I have to say these questions are pretty common and the 2nd is already covered in my previous posts. But I will cover it again here for something to do.

1. The shroud of Turin. For those who do not know is a sheet of fabric that was allegedly wrapped around the body of Jesus before being buried. It is supposedly soaked in blood and his bodies figure and facial features can be seen in the fabric. I will discuss the validity of its existence and other claims about it.

2. If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys and 3. Why do bananas fit perfectly in our hands? These questions I will try to cover briefly because they aren’t that deep of an issue and are fairly easy to understand without too much information. They are more of a backwards way of thinking and I should mention we didn’t come from monkeys but rather from apes, and we still are an ape for that matter.

So come along for the journey. First stop, medieval times.

The fabric that makes up the shroud has been examined in many methods and by many people. One such method was by radiocarbon dating and this was done by several people, not just one group but many well respected schools, labs and scientists who all arrived at pretty much the same result. The fabric dates back to around 1260-1390 AD.

1260-1390 AD is quite a while after the supposed time of Christ’s burial. So how can that be? The only way that could be is if the shroud is in fact a faked piece of work that has been passed off as a real artifact.

The studying of the image itself has been noted as appearing as the style of painting that was typical of that same era. When the substance that stains the fabric was closely studied, it was found to contain chemistry that was very similar to a type of paint that would have been used. However there are some stains on the shroud that have been claimed to be his blood. The only problem is that testing on this blood has revealed it to be a red ochre paint. Also, typically blood that has aged for long periods of time will not be red but almost black in color which leads even further into the fake category.

So what evidence is there that leads me to think it could possibly be real? Well unfortunately there just isn’t anything that points me in that direction, everything I’ve read on the topic leads me to the assumption that it cannot possibly be a real shroud that covered a body in the times that Jesus was supposedly buried in it.

Some other issues with the claims include no mentions of the shroud existing until the 16th century. Proportions of the figure in the image are not accurate, the head is too big, facial features are not where they should be, the arms are different lengths, there is some overlap on the front and back images, and in the original story of the wrapping of Jesus’s body, they mentioned that there was a seperate cloth covering his face, so there wouldn’t even be this image of his face on the shroud.

So in the end I’m left with a bunch of doubt that this is a real fabric from the time it is supposed to be from, leading any rational person to see it as a faked token to attempt to further the cause and increase the faith of followers and potentially recruit new ones.

I hope this bit of information is satisfactory for you, if not let me know where you find flaws or missing information and I would be glad to fill you in with more details. But for now, I will move on to the next topic at hand.

The next stop on our journey is to the jungles and plains of northern Africa where the issue of monkeys and humans will have a simple, yet somehow not so obvious answer. So let’s break these questions down into simpler parts. If we come from monkeys… Let’s stop there. We don’t come from monkeys. “Come from” is kind of a strange way to put it, but we evolved from an ape. Same thing you might say to yourself, but no there is a difference, and actually a funny comic strip titled Ape not Monkey that I frequently read online. You should check it out sometime, lots of interesting stuff and quite funny.

So monkeys have tails, apes do not, that`s the basic easy answer for the difference. There are obviously some exceptions to that, but it keeps things simple. It`s kind of like mouse vs rat, some would argue they are the same, but they just aren`t. Both however are primates and mammals etc and you can continue up the ladder to vertebrates and so on. But for our purposes we don`t need to get that detailed. We evolved from an ape that was something like a chimpanzee/bonobo, but not them specifically. If you need a further explanation of how evolution and natural selection works, I can gladly fill you in, but through small steps, that ancestor slowly changed and progressed into different habits, sexual preferences, and abilities until early humans arrived. At the same time, there were other apes that went through different preferences, and habits and abilities etc and they evolved slightly different which is how all species develop. This is why you see different types of wild cats, wolves, horses, elephants etc. Some are very similar and some are very different, but all having a similar ancestor.

So far I`ve explained the coming from monkeys, or apes rather, but the next part of the sentence is still up in the air. Why are there still monkeys/apes? Well, I actually kind of answered that. The way animals evolve isn’t always as simple as one type of animal evolves into another. They actually split, which is why we refer to a tree when talking about the tree of life. Each time a species is introduced to something that changes the way they do something, that is where the split begins. It`s not usually something big like a fish with legs per se, but a fish with stronger than normal fins. That fish can now swim into shallower waters and still get back out to the deeper water without drowning it`s lungs with oxygen. Then that fish passes the genes on for strong fins and if that has a benefit, they will continue to pass this on until there are large amounts of them and something else comes along as another change and so on, and eventually there will be two or more groups of fish with differences that are vast enough to consider them different species. So ask yourself this, if sharks come from fish, why are there still fish.

This is a very brief explanation, so I hope you get what I`m trying to say, but the problem that people have and the reason we get this question alot is because people just don`t have a decent understanding of how evolution works. I find a lot of people think that big changes happen, like an ape had a human baby one day, but that`s not how things happen at all. Again, I am able to go into more depth on anything in there that you might be stuck with, or have questions about, but I didn`t want to write you a 50 page essay, it`s already long enough, and we still have bananas to go over. 🙂

So Bananas. I`m surprised you brought this one up. I have a friend on Facebook who actually is a big part of the reason I became a more public atheist, rather than live in the closet so to speak. His name is Brian Sapient, and he debated a man named Ray Comfort, and the famous Kirk Cameron a while back, and Ray is known as the Banana man because he says proof that all life is made by god is that the banana fits perfectly into our hands, or something along those lines. There are many issues with this way of thinking. The obvious one is that rocks too fit into our hand quite well, but we don`t see a McRock happy meal taking over the world. But in all seriousness, there are issues with this question.

Bananas are actually a type of fruit that don`t exactly represent their wild form. Go ahead and google wild bananas. I`ll wait……… Ok, now that you have washed the vomit from your mouth, imagine eating that nasty looking thing. It`s slightly different in size and appeal. The bananas you buy at grocery stores are perfected by modern mans agricultural skills. We`ve learned how evolution can benefit our own needs, and we learned this skill about 50,000 years ago which is about 44,000 years before god was supposed to create everything. So yes bananas may fit into our hand, but think of how illogical that statement truely is. If that were some kind of difinitive proof that god created everything, why are watermelons so darn big, why is the ocean salted, why are coconuts so hard, and you could also argue that we fit perfectly in an anacondas mouth, so we must be made to be food, so why bother waking up. Yes these are ridiculous statements, but that is how I hear that banana question in my head when I hear it. No offense to you, you didn`t make this argument, you just brought it up.

So I hope I have answered your questions well enough. If not, comment away, or inbox me or whatever you want to do and I`ll see what i can do to fill in the blanks. But mostly, don`t take any of this as an insult or negative toned message. I only speak for myself and how I view these issues. Many atheists likely agree with me, but I am in no way representative of all atheists. An atheist by definition is just a person who does not believe in any god or deity. I just take it a little further by adding all supernatural things until they can be proven real. I`d rather live in a world that I know exists, than to have to base my world on imaginary things and dreams.

Thanks for participating in this event. I appreciate it, and if you enjoyed reading this at all, or are interested in science or things of this nature, please follow my blog and participate in it whenever you can. I`m always looking for ideas to write about. I use it as an outlet, and to teach not just myself but interest others in the things that they may not know about or have the time to research on their own.

And now for my last question. It’s the big one.

How can I be 100% certain there is no god?

You can almost never be 100% certain of anything. Everything currently understood can be adjusted as new information becomes available. The basis of certainty in atheism is a personal justification that is different for everyone of us. We all have our reasons.

For me it is due to the lack of evidence. In my opinion, and many others, it’s not up to us to disprove the existence, it’s up to those making the claim to prove it does exist. And the other problem with the question is the problem of which god are you asking about. There are and have been so many that have come and gone as popular choices. We use gods to explain things we don’t understand and to make ourselves feel better about a scary world. We use them as a guide of how to be moral and we use them as a way out of a life of temptation. Whatever your choice of god is there just isn’t enough evidence that it does exist. With that said, that’s all there is to it.

So I do not really claim a full 100% certainty that there is no god. I’m somewhere around the 99.9999999% mark. If that leaves you unsatisfied, remember that 0.0000000001% of the vast universe is still a large possibility. But possibility is not fact.

The other reason I can be quite certain of many gods not existing is that they borrow their stories from older religions that have been outdated or forgotten for whatever reason. This is a big problem for me.

So again, it’s a lack of evidence. If I could prove once and for all 100% certainty, I would likely win a Nobel prize.

I hope you enjoyed this years post. I’d love to get back into this blog but I just need the readers and activity to keep me interested. So if you are interested in science, space, atheism, or even just movies, music or want to read something random, send me a message with an idea.

Thanks for reading.





Ask an Atheist Day! The Answers Edition.

18 04 2012

Welcome back folks. Here is another edition of Ask an Atheist. I started early and have compiled my answers. Let’s get started.

Ask an Atheist.

“If we evolved from apes, then why are there still apes? And why didn’t said apes also evolve?” – From the user Synaptic Cohesion

This question was covered last year, but I’ll add on to it this year since I didn’t get many questions. Well SC, I don’t want to bore you too much but I have to cover a basic understanding of evolution first. Evolution works through a process known as natural selection where an animal will live it’s life generation by generation passing along its genes to its offspring. Natural selection doesn’t happen overnight, or within a single generation, in most cases it can take as many as 100 or 10,000 generations to really make any large variations that are noticeable. The process works because the individual animals that are best suited to live in the current environment live to pass on their genes. So for example, if said animal lives in an area that is mostly covered with a dark brown moss and other plants, and also happens to be dark brown, it will live longer than it’s fellows that may be a shade lighter in color. The offspring from that animal would likely be darker as well, and likely live to pass along those genes, and so on. If there was a point where the lineage became too dark, it would be cut off as well, and the best shade to be would be left to pass along its genes. Basically, the saying survival of the fittest, where fittest just means, best suited to survive in their current environment. You can replace colors, with almost anything like size, speed, fur coverage, tolerance to food types, etc.

The Ensatina salamander that lives in the California coastal mountains is an example of a species that has evolved and left living ancestors behind due to it migrating to new environments that changed the best suited requirements. The thing I should mention here is that the animals are not trying to change, or looking for the changes, it just simply happens slowly because the ones that are best suited tend to be the ones to actually survive to the age of mating and pass along their best suited genes. At one end of the mountain range, the salamanders are more solid in color with a slightly colored blotchy look, and as you proceed along one side of the mountains, they will continue to get more and more blotchy until you get to the other end of the range where they are spotted. Then if you were to travel along the other side of the range, you will find them more and more solid in color with less spots and blotchiness until you get to the end again where you now have 2 different salamander species that came from the same. But all around the range you will still find the ancestors left behind that did not migrate.

Again, you can apply this idea to our ancestor apes who were similar to the great apes we see today. We came from an ape that was very similar to the Chimpanzees or Bonobos of today. The Chimps and Bonobos are actually a split that happened after we split from our common ancestor. Our ancestor ape had similar habits to the Chimps and mostly lived in the trees and wooded areas. Our ancestors however began to migrate out of the trees and woods. This change in habitat allowed natural selection to really take hold of those ancestors features that best suited their new way of life. Features like less fur over the body to allow heat to escape so we wouldn’t over heat, darker skin, upright posture, and stronger muscles to allow long distance traveling. These are a few things that slowly became the best suited.

Meanwhile some ancestors stayed in the trees and never left the woods. So they began to evolve in a different direction and kept their fur, and stuck with their knuckle walking habits. This is known as a split. If you’ve ever seen a family tree, where the branches split, and each lineage goes in their own direction, it’s the same idea, but with bigger eventual differences because of the different ways of life. All it takes for a split to happen in a species is for a barrier to form between the population, such as the mountain range that split the salamanders, or even a lake overflowing and forming a river between a population that cannot cross the river, they over a long period of time will possibly adapt to new ways of life and become two species.

So why are there still apes? Because our ancestors simply made a decision to leave the forrest and didn’t turn back, while other ancestors stayed behind forming a split in our lineage. The apes that were left behind, did in fact evolve, but they did not evolve into a separate race of humans because they didn’t follow our same path in history, they stuck to the forrest way of life.

This is not to say they will never evolve further and become another species, evolution just takes a very long period of time. It’s something that people just don’t understand it seems. People think that a monkey gave birth to a human, but that’s just not how it happened. That would be a truly strange event. That would bypass millions of years of of evolution that needed to come first.

One last example before I move to another topic is something you will be able to look at first hand. I’m sure you either have or know someone who has a dog as a pet. Dogs are all descendants of wolves. Somewhere around 30,000 to 50,000 years ago, humans were settling in groups and the wolves in the area were still their enemies. As the settled groups threw out scraps of food, and left food laying around wolves would do what they do best, and scavenge for free food. If the wolf was found the passive ones would run off, while the aggressive ones would try to attack a group of people who were quite familiar with hunting practices and likely those aggressive wolves would be killed. Over the generations, as the passive wolves bred more and more and kept doing the same, the people would realize that they could harness these passive wolves as almost an ally. They would leave out scraps and know that if other groups of people tried to come attack their settlement, the wolves would likely deter them from the area, or at least cause a bit of a disturbance and alert them to the fact that someone was coming. So from there on, the passive wolves began to become what is likely the origin of the term “mans best friend”. Over more generations and by around 15,000 years ago, the domesticated dog of the time was a common occurrence. Dogs that made noise as intruders approached were likely kept as the better of the group, and the ones that didn’t do much other than eat, were likely let loose, killed off, or didn’t get to breed as it was likely cared for less by it’s owners.

Again, as generations go by, and as people learn more about breeding of animals, people begin to breed dogs for specific purposes, such as herding, hunting, or just plain old companionship. Fast forward to today, and we have thousands of dogs ranging from the giant St. Bernard’s, to the tiny Chihuahua’s, all the while, we still have wild wolves all over the globe in their natural habitat still being wild and aggressive, since it was the more passive ones that had split from their ancestors to become our best friend.

I hope this answers your question. I don’t expect you to become an atheist, if it doesn’t fit your beliefs then it doesn’t fit your beliefs. All I ask is that you understand that all of this information is well documented by biologists, archeologists, paleontologists, and many other specialists in various areas of science. I’m not trying to pull a fast one, I’m not trying to bullshit you, these are simply the facts being relayed to you. I appreciate you taking the time to ask me, and I hope you took the time to read through. Any further questions about anything here, and I’d be glad to answer. Next question…

What do you think about Darwin’s theory on black people? Does his views harm his credibility as a “Scientist?” – From user Synaptic Cohesion.

First problem I have with this question is which claim you are referring to? I’ve read and heard a few different ideas on what people think Darwin thought about black people. But in general they all kind of revolve around the idea that he thought blacks and other races were not from the same origins as the whites. Or that he thought blacks and other races were not equal to whites etc. Basically trying to say Darwin was a racist person, and that somehow him being racist would make any work he had done less credible. I guess I could say one thing before I continue. If his statements were to lead to this result, and his opinion was as listed above, his work would still not be any less credible other than the fact that he was slightly wrong about origins because of his views. For example, if the horrible monster Hitler was the person to figure out the theory of gravity, it wouldn’t make the theory of gravity any less credible. A person’s character has nothing to do with their work. I’m sure there have been many horrible people to discover great things that have changed our world. So with that said, I’ll continue to clear up a bit of the issue at hand.

The whole issue stems from Darwin’s comments about the differences between the negroes and caucasians and the other great apes. Some have taken his words to mean that he is calling negroes apes, or that they are from a different ape and couldn’t possibly be from the same ape. He refers to the blacks as less civil and other races as savages simply because of the lifestyle they lived. The African bushmen, and natives of the Galapagos Islands did live in a less civil way when compared to the caucasians in Europe who lived in large houses with markets and agriculture. In the same way a homeless white man today lives a less civil way than most of us do who have homes or apartments to call our own and often buy our food and clothes at the local market or mall, while the homeless man scavenges for food and clothing that has been discarded. That doesn’t mean they are less of a person, they just live a life that is determined less civil by the standards of the time and local people. An even further example could be if you yourself were to live in the big hollywood hills in a regular apartment or home, the celebrities would view your life as less civil because you buy your own food and clothing and don’t have a hired person to do it for you etc.

He also mentions that future generations will likely wipe out the blacks and other great apes. Some feel this is his way of saying he wants it to happen. This is merely his opinion based on the fact that the people of the time treated them so horribly as if they were a lesser person. Darwin himself was completely and 100% against slavery and the terrible treatment of another human being because of their race. He often got into fights with the captain of the ship he sailed on while traveling the Galapagos Islands because the captain had slaves, and would treat them in a horrible manner. At one point Darwin was actually told not to return to the dinner table because of his outrage toward the treatment he witnessed. In a sad way he was almost right about this speculation. Look at the way we start wars with other nations. Almost no caucasian nation is ever the target of the attacks of other caucasian nations. Often it is the nations of blacks, or other races that end up the targets.

So what do I think about Darwin’s theory on black people? As a person who is from Black and White parents, I have no problem with his views towards black people, especially considering the time he lived in. He was against the violent treatment he saw being used and protected by the people of the time. His words have been misinterpreted and smeared in an attempt to somehow discredit evolutionary theory. But like I said above, even a purely evil person can be right about other things. But fortunately for us, this is not one of those situations.

Hopefully this answered your question. If not, as always you can comment below and I’ll try to address your question better, but be specific with regards to what you are stuck on, or where I may have missed something.





Ask an Atheist Day. (April 18th, 2012)

25 03 2012

What’s up all you Ape readers.

It’s only a few weeks until Ask an Atheist day. I hope you participated in the ‘A’ Week festivities. If anybody has a question for an atheist just post it in the comments and check back on April 18th for your answer. I’m pretty open to whatever you want to ask. Unless it’s extremely complicated to which I’ll just throw an idea your way and hope you are interested enough to do some research to learn more about the topic. But I genuinely would love to get some great questions.

So treat this like a reverse survey where you ask ME the questions and I check my box by writing a response just for you. Don’t be shy. But stay on topic.

Thanks, and hope to see some questions rolling in.

-Ape





Choosing the “Hard Road”

24 05 2011

Been a while I know, but I’ve been having a bit of writers block, even though I’m not a writer. But I’m back, so buckle your seat belts.

What is the “Hard Road”?

I guess the easiest way to explain it is to say life as an Atheist is a hard road. It’s kind of strange to hear that coming from an atheist I guess, so this is today’s topic. Explaining why I find it difficult to be an atheist. First! DO NOT take my statement as a sign of weakness, or a sign of changing my stance on things. You will hopefully come to that conclusion after reading the rest, but had to put that disclaimer to avoid those comments from building in the mind in the first place. Also, please read through to the end before sending any angry comments. But please do comment. Maybe you can change my mind on something.

What is an “Atheist”?

I know you probably already know very well what an atheist is, but for those who may be a little confused, or lack the definition I will explain it anyway. By brief definition an atheist is; “a person lacking faith or belief in a god or deity”. This is what I call the easy answer, because it sums up the basis of the most common point of what atheist’s as a whole are in agreement with. We agree that there is no god or deity no matter the religion in question. The further definition can get messy and usually becomes more of a personal definition. A better way to explain this version is when you think of a new born child. They do not believe in a god or deity because they have no understanding of the concept no matter how hard the parent might try. But they are susceptible to believing in monsters or ghosts or other strange things they believe they are experiencing until they are older and able to understand things around them. However, an adult may call themselves an atheist and their definition could include things such as ghosts and other paranormal activities.

What is “My Atheist”?

My use of the word atheist is in reference to many things that I consider simply non existent, and some things that I accept as fact. Many would include a large part of these things under the category of skeptic, but I find that word just sounds negative. Even the definition sounds negative, “a person who habitually doubts or questions generally accepted conclusions.” I hope you see why I try to avoid the word skeptic, because it could be used against me to make the assumption that I just disagree with things for the sake of it. That is not me. I will admit to questioning many things at the first moment I hear of it, but not always in a negative “that’s not true” manner. I genuinely want to learn more about how that conclusion was found, how they tested it, who did it, who are they, what other studies have they done, how credible are the sources, etc. Once I accomplish the validity of the conclusion, I then try to figure out more about what they discovered, what does it mean, how does it affect other scientific conclusions and studies, etc. Many things fall under the common sense category, and I can almost certainly skip the validity stages, unless it’s a touchy subject that involves gains to a specific side in a current debate.

A perfect example of a “hidden gain post” is a person I have on my Facebook who posts very regularly, and the things they post almost always have a political undertone hidden amongst the article or video they post as well as false information. Some examples are medical marijuana, one world government control, mind control, or governments poisoning the public and their food supplies. These are the topics, but they will post things like, “New study proves air is poisoning us” or “Scientist reveals proof that Marijuana heals all diseases.” While many people would immediately see that these are likely false claims using the name of science to attempt to fool people. I actually take the time to read it anyway, see who the study is done by, research that person, look into their methods, if they actually talk about it, which in these types of cases usually shows that they either don’t exist, or are not actually scientists as they claim and many times never list any facts or results of any tests. This is why I don’t consider myself a skeptic. I try to actually think about the things I consider to be true and false. In my opinion, skeptics just assume they know and go with the assumption regardless of the source or facts.

So now that I’ve managed to swerve from my topic a bit, I will continue my atheist explanation. I have a lack of, or to be more exact, non existent belief in things like gods, ghosts, spirits, monsters, psychics, magic, astrology, mythology, afterlife, Ouija boards, paranormal activity, doomsdays, curses, voodoo, and just about any other thing that claims to be extraordinary and unexplainable. Then on the flip side, my use of atheist would mean I do believe the following to be fact, evolution, big bang, possible life elsewhere in the universe, earth age to be approx 4.5 billion years, etc. I could list everything, but I’d be here all day. Basically, I do not let a belief in a god or other spiritual and otherworldly invisibles prevent me changing what I consider as fact.  So my personal definition of atheist is a bit further than some others.

I understand that the definition of the word doesn’t actually change, but wanted to clear up the way I look at the world with a single word. I also understand that atheist is generally accepted to only refer to god and religion, but just know that when I use the word atheist, I’m referring to a larger group of things as well that I do not believe to exist and a group of things that I do accept that many religions do not.

Why is it “Hard”?

Ok, so we’ve arrived at my reason for writing. Why do I find it difficult to be an atheist. Well, it just comes down to a few things that frustrate me. Many people have no patience for atheists if they aren’t one themselves. What am I referring to? For example, let’s say I’m bored, so I watch a video about evolution that inspires me to quote it, and I post that quote onto my Facebook status. It’s very likely that I will receive at least 1 negative comment about how it’s wrong, and that humans were created. That’s fine, I accept discussion, and this isn’t my point. That comment will go on my post, and nobody will bat an eye at it, or think twice about the message it sends. But if that person was to watch a video about creation, and become inspired to quote on their Facebook, and I commented with how it’s wrong and humans evolved from apes, guaranteed, I would get negative comments about how I shouldn’t interfere with people’s beliefs and that it’s not polite or acceptable.

1- So my first issue is the double standard that exists all over. Religion is expected to receive a courtesy that atheists aren’t expected to receive. This topic is discussed in just about every book about atheism, and drives the frustrations that you may encounter when you see the two sides debating or even just discussing in private. We atheists have to tip toe around certain topics or else we are considered mean or crude. I think this one needs to change ASAP. Without this change, we cannot get anywhere with the huge debate publicly, and have to rely on the celebrities from each side to do it for us, and we all learn nothing in the exchange, and continue to wave the flag of our favorite debater regardless of the outcome of the debates. If we allow public discussion among friends, and obviously only if both parties are willing to remain civil and calm, we can both learn more about each others positions on the topics at hand.

2- A second reason being an atheist is hard is the way people who are religious will just plain deny facts. They will deny it regardless of how much evidence is there for them to see with their own eyes. They deny because it will mean that some part of what they currently believe is wrong, and they aren’t willing to change what they believe. That is actually my one of my biggest problems with religion, that it controls people so effortlessly and blindly. If a person is unwilling to change their beliefs or opinions on any topic when given the proper information to show them that it is the correct view to have on it, that person is essentially unwilling to learn. And any person who is unwilling to learn should not be taken seriously nor given a chance to have any type of position of power. Yet many countries leaders are chosen based on their faulty views of these very topics.

Any person can see that a society that has a population, let alone their leader, that is mostly religious cannot easily advance because it’s “immoral” to do the things that the religious people don’t like, even though it’s better for humans as a whole. For example, stem cell research. This allows other areas around the world that are less religious to advance while the more religious parts will start to fall behind. It also affects education. Teachers are forced to either not teach a full course and leave out the “touchy topics” to avoid the religious parents outrage, or to teach both the “touchy topics” and the false information to give the students the opportunity to decide for themselves. But students have teachers for a reason, they are there to teach the students what is correct, if the teacher isn’t allowed to express the validity between two options, that leaves the teachers powerless. Imagine a teacher telling students they can either add or subtract when they see the + sign, but they can’t tell them which is correct. That student is not going to do well in life if they choose the wrong option.

3- I find it hard to see children being affected by religion in any way. Whether it’s their education suffering a lack of information, or it’s parents forcing their child to be part of a religion because they think it’s best for them. As I mentioned earlier, all children are born atheist, and it should stay that way until the child decides for themselves. Religion shouldn’t play a part in a childs life until they are of age. They cannot make proper life decisions when it comes to most things like politics, alcohol, smoking, legal issues, yet they are expected to have a religious view by the time they can walk and mumble a few simple words.

My “Hard” Closing.

So by now, anybody who is religious is probably very upset with what they are reading. So I’ll say this. What I’m saying, is an opinion. I respect all other opinions, and am willing to accept that there are people who do believe in gods, and ghosts, and goblins. I’m not going to try to take that away from anybody, nor do I expect anybody to give up their beliefs because of a few words from a person they don’t know. This is what I do expect. I expect that same sense of acceptability when I comment or talk about subjects I consider personally accepted. If I comment about evolution, I’m fine with someone saying they don’t believe me, but I want that person to explain to me how they can deny things that are proven. And on the other side, if I comment on something about creation, call me on it and ask me to explain myself. Also what I don’t want is for anybody to continue to expect a safety zone to surround religion but not atheists. Religion preaches about fairness, do to others as you would have them do to you. So practice what you preach and let me discuss things without calling me crude or mean.

4- My last hard part of being an atheist. People assume too much about atheists. We are viewed as evil hating people. Some think we believe the things we believe as a way of being against religion. Or that we do not like to be happy and or be safe ourselves. We do have morals, and we do want the best for humanity as a whole. We want peace on earth, and we want poverty and hunger to end. We want war to be something we battle through words and reasonable compromise from both sides. We want to share the resources of the world with each other to ensure we all have what we need and aren’t being greedy at someones misfortune. We want to understand as much as we can about how the world works, and what we can do to make it better for us. We want to end diseases and we too want to live long healthy lives free of the horrors that we currently see all over the globe. We just want these things naturally because it benefits the well being of all people, not just the ones who agree with us. And lastly, we don’t need a god, book, or virgin born son of a god to tell us that this is what we want. It’s what we’ve always wanted since we were born atheists like you.





Attempting a Touchy Topic

20 04 2011

First

I want to make sure this is very clear. I am in NO WAY AGAINST what Alcoholics Anonymous does for the most part, and I support their efforts towards helping those in need of help 100%. Alcoholism is a horrible problem in society, and people suffer from it all over the world. I’m for the most part supportive of what they do, have done, and likely will continue to do into the future. So if there is only one thing you take from this post, it should be that above all else. I support their main objective of helping people who suffer from this huge problem.

Now that I have gotten that part clear, I want to try to put things into perspective of what my purpose of writing this post is all about. I’m the first to say I was completely oblivious of this until a few days ago when I saw a video on YouTube from a person who battled with alcoholism for a large part of their life, and in trying to seek help they went to AA and the rest of the story is where I jump in. I’ll post the video below for you to see for yourself, then I will continue my piece.

My discovery of an issue.

The video covers more than the topic at hand, but I felt it was a needed piece of testimony from a person who experienced what I’m referring to.

OK, so you have hopefully watched the video clip. And hopefully have figured out where I come in. The woman brings up the topic of AA and how they say to her that without accepting “God” she cannot recover and become sober. Now at first, being the skeptic I am about just about everything, I decided to learn a bit about it to see if maybe she was just unlucky and attended a local AA that might have different sets of guidelines, and views from most. So I went straight to the source. The website of AA itself. On there, I found that they try to address this issue by saying the following;

“AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution;”

With that they are almost addressing it. This would imply that they do not designate a specific religion, I continued to dig and found this sentiment repeated a few times throughout the literature available. So I tried to dig up the 12 steps and what they call the 12 traditions. They do provide somewhat of a disclaimer saying that no member NEEDS to accept them but that experience shows that recovery depends on them understanding and accepting them.

The 12 steps.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The 12 traditions

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

So by now you can see that the above first quote is almost pointless for them to make. They say they aren’t allied with any sect or religion, yet here in the very core of what they teach they make reference to God and religion repeatedly. Here lies the foundation of my issue. As mentioned above they don’t designate or necessarily suggest a specific religion, but it makes sense to accept people of different faiths, since choosing one would push others away, but they are still choosing specific religions by bringing the use of an acceptance of “God” into the equation at all. This would imply that you have to be a part of at least one to receive help, therefore pushing away anybody who doesn’t subscribe to the whole idea of a “God”. The listed set of “steps” and “traditions” almost suggest that the very fact that “a God” regardless of what one you choose must be involved in your recovery. I know I’m being repetitive, but I really feel the need to emphasize my point.

As an atheist, I almost feel like I’m being slapped in the face with this. Here is an organization that potentially could have a huge impact on my life should at some point whether it’s myself or a friend or relative who is an atheist, and I’m sure there are many atheists who do battle with this issue, and obviously the woman in the video was one of them. So saying things like “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.” is a bit too far in my honest opinion. This shouldn’t be a step that is used as a general guideline for a person looking for help if you are going to state that “God” is in fact not a requirement. To a person who does believe in god already that’s fine, but for an atheist it would seem that they are forcing a false reality that they “have to” accept this step. Otherwise it’s only 11 steps now. But that’s not the only step to bring about the God issue.

Rule or Not?

The issue of “God” is mentioned in steps 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12. So we are only left with steps 1, 4, 8, 9, 10. So the  12 steps to recovery end up only  being 5 steps, which is a huge difference and could potentially turn this person away leaving them with the problem, and possibly making things worse for them. To a person who has come to this point through a struggle with depression, it could push them further, leaving them feeling rejected by the only extended hand they may have had.

Now we turn to the 12 traditions, where you would think the issue might not pop it’s head out as much, however, of the 12 traditions, we have #2 still stating “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.” which would again imply the only person who can help you is God, and the people who are actually there are just working for him.

My Purpose

Tradition #9 also caught my attention in stating that AA should never be organized, yet the web address is www.aa.org leading me to believe it has been organized. But that is not part of the issue, just a little irrelevant observation. So what is my point for this post, what do I hope to achieve through it. I guess my only hope is that there is a person out there who sees this, and who has some kind of connection to the AA higher ups. I would beg of them to please at least think about the idea of removing the “God” role from the steps and traditions. Or even at least offer a second set of steps for someone who is not a follower of any religion.

It’s one thing to suggest it as an idea in your literature, or even in person on a person by person basis, but to include it in the very core of what your members will be required to do in order to recover is almost a form of abuse and discrimination. Even though it is expressed through small brief statements on your website and likely other literature that it IS NOT a requirement, and that the only requirement is to want to stop drinking, having “God” as a major part of the core of your method counteracts it by making it a requirement regardless of intent. Take the video testimony as proof that it is being practiced in such a way, maybe not in all locations, but in some, and likely a large majority. I think an organization such as this has a great importance in today’s society of addictions, and to remove a percentage of the population from becoming potential members at a time of need is a horrible way to go about it.

Last Disclaimer

Again, I do support helping people who have a problem with alcohol, drugs, abuse etc. There are people who really need these types of places to help them if they don’t have the support available in other forms. I do not want to bash AA in any way at all. I simply feel that they are allowing a piece of discrimination to remain in their method and I think it needs to be addressed if they are to continue helping people the way they have been for so long. As well, I want to state for the record that even though I am an atheist, I do see the benefit that religion can have in helping someone who DOES believe in a “God” of whatever religion they follow. But to enforce it as a step to recovery is leaving out so many people and forcing them to deny who they are inside for the sake of a problem that is not related to that personal belief whatsoever.

Now here is where blogging becomes great as a tool to discuss ideas of the many people. Begin the blog comments. Please at least read this before commenting, I don’t want to have to delete comments from people who obviously haven’t read more than a few words and just want to yell.

Thanks for reading. And hope I got my point across.





Q&A with an Atheist

14 04 2011

Question #1: Why do you deny any existence of a spirit or soul since it’s a fact that energy never dies?

Answer: It is true, energy is never created nor destroyed. However any type of energy can be transferred from one type of energy to another. ie: in the case of a lightning storm, the potential electric energy is transferred to thermal, light and sound. When we die, the energy forms in our body begin to transfer as it decomposes and becomes a food source for plants, animals, insects, or bacteria etc. This energy is then used to help those that ingested it to grow, and perform daily activities, which is then transferred to other types energy as it goes about it’s life, and possibly recycles again if they die as well.
Question #2: Why do you celebrate Christmas?

Answer: My choice to celebrate Christmas can best be described as wanting to be a part of the families get together. Any and all religious connections to the celebration are not there for me. I don’t pray, say grace, go to mass, etc. I am there simply as a family member taking part in group activities such as eating dinner, giving gifts, playing with the kids, chatting with family members I don’t get to see often etc.
The person who asked this question seemed to have a hard time understanding how I could still celebrate Christmas regardless of the fact that I remove all religious connections. My best way to explain it is that to me, Christmas is just about getting together, being a good citizen, helping the economy by buying gifts and food etc. Christmas is supposed to be the birthday of Jesus, but he wasn’t born on December 25, the day was chosen to coincide with earlier pagan rituals. Coincidentally, the scientist Isaac Newton’s birthday is December 25, which is a great reason to celebrate.

But another big part of it is the fact that in North America you simply cannot escape the holiday. Every store, tv show, movie, radio station, street corner, is filled with holiday related material. To an atheist, it’s not too much of a concern, because a lot of it is kind of laughable to some of us. But imagine being a muslim, or any other religion for that matter, you are being forced to live in a society that pushes it’s more common beliefs in your face for 2-2.5 months of the year, plus all the other holidays that are almost equally celebrated. Some atheists are offended and do try to remove religious decorations from their towns, but end up being labeled as rude, ignorant, inconsiderate, or heartless. But the real question is why should we all have to be subjected to the opinions and beliefs of ONE belief. It should be equally displayed for each belief, or  not at all. But that’s my opinion.

And lastly, one more big reason I do still take part in a celebration is because of the fact that I have tried to NOT celebrate. I informed family and friends that I wasn’t going to be participating, and on both occasions I was told I was being selfish, immature, or that I should just do it for the family. While some would say this is like converting, I personally don’t look at it that way. I’m just spending time with friends and family, and who wouldn’t want time off school/work for no reason other than getting to party for a few days. Besides, I would have the time off regardless since it’s an automatically paid holiday whether you’re christian or not.

In closing, I would like to propose that whether you are atheist or not, you should look into helping bring about some days for atheists to celebrate. Newton’s birthday is one, since he was a great figure in scientific history. Some other examples are Atheist week. 2011 was March 20-26. Ask an Atheist day was April 13 this year. Darwin’s B-day (Feb 12) aka Atheist Pride/Freedom from religion day. First Thursday in May National Day of Reason (also the date of the national day of prayer.) Any other suggestions, or known days that may already exist are welcome to be commented below.

————-

Note: Before this next question, it’s a big one, and the only other one I got. It sparked a good conversation so I have taken it from it’s original source, removed the names to keep things anonymous, and did some minor editing since I was typing on my phone and had to leave out words and didn’t spellcheck much as I typed. It is quite long mostly because there was a bit of a misunderstanding, but eventually we figured that out and wrapped it up. Enjoy.

Original Question #3: Could the force that drives the universe be considered God?

Answer:

A Dumb Ape:  The drive you speak of, do you mean the expansion?

Poster:  sure; Could the “expansion” of the universe be considered god?; Is the “big bang” considered god? In the sense of creating life and all the makings of the universe?; The last one is my only Question

A Dumb Ape:  Well I’m no astrophysicist but I’m pretty sure its caused by the big bangs explosion. There is still lots unknown that they are trying to figure out for certain b ut I know dark energy and dark matter play a role in there. Just haven’t brushed up on that stuff yet. been looking for a good book to explain it in easy terms and not calculus formulas lol. But the expansion continues to push the edges.

An interesting thing to think about is, we can only see 14 billion light years from where we are because that is when the light started traveling towards us, and beyond that point the light hasn’t reached us yet. But hypothetically if you were on a planet near that “edge” would they see another 14billion light years further than us? Making the universe much larger than we now know?

Yes the big bang created the universe we live in, but I wouldn’t give it the credit of it happening willingly or on purpose which the term god would imply. But yes it did create the universe and possibly all the others that may have been and gone during the process that may still be happening now. Another crazy thought to think about.

The big bang released tons of energy and the elements helium and hydrogen. The lightest elements. Gravity pulled them together to form heavier elements over time and eventually stars formed and other types of matter clumped together. The stars exploded releasing tons of new elements and this process continued over billions of years. Forming new planets and stars etc. Eventually forming our planet and sun and all the elements and matter in our bodies comes from the stars that blew up across the universe over time.

As for the life part. That’s another can of worms. Whether life started from a bacteria landing on earth from a meteorite or if the idea of the swampy goo is right it started nonetheless. But I wouldn’t give the bang the credit of intelligence.

Poster:  I understand the concept of the big bang!! 4 you 2 say there is no god is 2 say there was no big bang??

A Dumb Ape:  Not really. The big bang left evidence of it happening. And they can still observe those things today.

Poster:  If the Big bang is the reason 4 creating what we can see in the universe Then I ask you again, could the Big Bang be considered God??

Poster #2:  Maybe God created the Big Bang???

A Dumb Ape: No because the word itself ends up taking things out of context and giving the process an identity and an intelligence. Its like calling a baking soda and vinegar volcano intelligent. It happened not due to intelligence but due to the reaction that caused it.

Similar to the greeks and romans and other old civilisations, they gave everything a god because they didn’t understand it and thought it must be gods controlling it. God of thunder, goddess of love etc.

Poster:  But the Idea of god is creation

A Dumb Ape:  The idea of a god is the controller, the creator, the all knowing, all powerful. Or all of the above. Depends on the god you refer to.

Poster:  “The idea of a god is the controller, the creator, the all knowing, all powerful.” Sounds like a good description of the universe. So is the universe and all it contains considered God? ; Has science ever been wrong before?;  I don’t think god judges you or is even aware of your existence. I’m refering to the creator, the all powerful, The reason for all there is.

A Dumb Ape:  Yes science has been wrong but that’s neither here or there. It just adjusts its theory to fit the new found “right”. And to the other comment. The universe doesn’t know, or control and has no intelligence. The universe is a vast area of space filled with matter of many different sizes, densities, temperature etc. The universe is an area not an identity. In the same sense your house or apartment is an area with matter. The house doesn’t control or know anything. Its just an area.

Poster:  Well what your saying is science based? So I think it is Here & there and your not giving me a straight answer.

A Dumb Ape: But whether its been wrong doesn’t really have any point. Its been wrong because it tests things that are likely to be wrong. And when it has a theory it will continue to test it with new variables to see if there could be more to understand. So in a way they aren’t really wrong they are just learning more about it. Its not like science denies its errors. They publish them and refine the studies to explain what they missed and what they are doing or have done to fix the error or find what they missed. What straight answer would you like? Yes science has been wrong I said that. Lol. Do you believe zeus throws lightning bolts down on earth?

Poster:  Give me a yes or no answer.. COULD the big bang, being the starting point of the universe be considered God, “the creator” all powerful? Not saying gods watching or judging you! Not saying god has intelligence! Just referring to the creation of the universe and all its glory.. Big Bang= God

A Dumb Ape: It could be considered “God” to someone who wants to look at it that way yes. But in my opinion that word changes the meaning of big bang. I know you are saying your not giving it the intelligence part, but by calling the big bang a god, you automatically give it the intelligence. So the answer to your question is both yes and no. Yes to someone who is willing to turn a blind eye to the things that usually come with the term god but no to the people who bring all those characteristics with the term. Sorry, but your question is relative to the person you ask. So I say no. But others may say yes. Does that answer you?

Poster:  Has anyone told you a lie that sounded so right that it couldn’t be wrong? You’ve learned all you know from the research of other people and selectively you take what you learn and create opinions. You know that what you say can’t be right or wrong because you have no absolute way of testing. It’s all theory! So I stand by> God=Big Bang+Creation

A Dumb Ape: That’s fine. I’m not trying to change peoples minds on that. The idea of ask an atheist day is just for people to ask about the things we do believe. Too many people picture atheists as evil people who aren’t capable of being good people because we don’t believe in their god.

As for believing science. Its just a matter of trust. I look at what the majority will say, they explain how they come to those conclusions, and I go from there. If I find their methods questionable then I may look further or for another answer. I don’t put blind faith in everything I hear see or read. I try to make judgements based on the intelligence I do have. And I try not to judge others on their opinions. I am simply curious about why they believe what they do believe. So I may ask questions to learn more about that point of view as well.

Poster:  A matter of trust?? Isn’t that the basis of the belief in God? I’m in no way a religious person and not shitting on what you believe. My idea of what god is differs from most. I agree with you that a god that watch’s each and everyone of us and judges us based on performance is absurd!! If you read back I was asking, couldn’t God be considered the creator? The jump off point of the universe! The “Big Bang”

A Dumb Ape:  I meant a trust of the results of continuous testing. There is a possibility that some may alter results. Which is why I “trust” a majority of results rather than a single dude with a lab coat lol.

Poster:  I think that your so wrapped up in what you believe that your refusing to understand the question which I will not be repeating! Whats the point of ask a atheist day, if the atheist has no satisfying yes or no answers? Your just arguing that there is no intelligent god, theres no plan, and no order.. Which we are in agreement

A Dumb Ape:  I did answer. I say no to it. But that’s my opinion. Its an opinion based question. If you asked a random person there’s a 50/50 chance of them saying yes or no.

Poster:  why no is what I want to know?

A Dumb Ape:  Because we have different definitions of the word god. To me a god has all the characteristics I listed earlier. To you, it has a different meaning by the sounds of it. By me saying the big bang is god, I’m personally rejecting what I believe. By your definition I would still be partly rejecting it I think. So just to be sure I am understanding your definition, what is your definition of god?

Poster:  I already gave you my definition of God! LOL 1more time> The big bang being the only theoretical source of all the matter & anti-matter Known to make up our universe.. With out the Big bang, No universe as we know it.. Big bang being the Creator of the known universe.. Definition: Creator=God

A Dumb Ape:  So I did understand then. You only associate the characteristic of creating. So for example. A dead body is god to the flowers that grow from the decomposed material? Strange example I know, but was fresh in my mind from an earlier conversation. In that sense your big bang = god is a lot closer to me saying yes. That’s like a 60% maybe. Lol. But I still gotta side with no simply because of our two definitions being so different. And out of all the gods I’ve ever read about or heard about yours seems to be the closest thing to something I could partly accept if I “HAD” to choose one. Lol. Hopefully that makes sense.

Poster:  Good debate Ape!! It’s been a pleasure:) We should do it again sometime!!

A Dumb Ape:  Haha. I hope that’s not sarcastic. Lol. I wasn’t hoping to debate today. Just wanted to answer some questions but it was interesting to say the least. Hopfully we all learned something bahaha.

Poster:  Not sarcastic! lol

————-

I hope this Q&A has informed someone about something they may not have known or understood before. If there are any questions or comments, I’d be glad to answer or respond. And don’t let this be simply a 1 day a year thing. I love questions, and am always willing to discuss my views.

Thanks for reading, and spread the word about this blog! I need followers!