Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


DEALING WITH GOD AS CONTROL BELIEF

A control belief controls and co-ordinates how you look at the evidence and how you interpret it.

Believers in God always start with who they believe God to be and then they interpret the evidence to fit their belief.

A control belief can be conscious or unconscious. You may not be aware of how you treat something as probably true.

To avoid and minimise the damage and risks of control beliefs you need to know what the default beliefs are.

Take God faith.

The default position is atheism. Agnosticism is not an option as the default position. Why? God means all-perfect being. A God who hides is not perfect for if he is really perfect he will be all-attractive and emulating him will be all-attractive. Agnostics might say that an imperfect God exists or one who does not have all power. True but this would not be God. It would just be a superior being. We might as well consider David Copperfield to be divine if we consider it to be divine.

Believers may have the burden of proof to show that God exists. Or it may be that the burden of proof is on the atheist to show that God does not exist. Or it may simply be the case that neither has the burden of proof. Somebody must have so it could be the person who hasn't decided if God exists or not. In that case, the burden of proof is to show that ignorance/scepticism is the correct stance.

The most extraordinary view is the one that demands the burden of proof the most. If the three positions demand it then faith in God needs it most. If atheism is rational and if belief in God is also rational that does not mean they are equally sane. If you do not need the God theory then it is more rational to be an atheist.

For atheists this view is God. For believers this view is atheism. They find it ridiculous and mad for one to say there is no God. But the concept of God is incoherent and silly and even if atheism is absurd it is worse. It surpasses atheism in being insane.

Some say that as most are believers and atheists are a minority the burden of proof is on atheism. No. Numbers are irrelevant. A doctrine can be sensible or absurd no matter how many people believe in it.

If a person said they saw a brick that sprouted wings and flew over the Atlantic that claim is so strange that it is up to the witness to prove its true. He or she is being unfair if he or she should ask somebody else to believe his or her claim. We reject the opinion that to say God exists is different from saying that. We reject the idea that God makes more sense than bricks sprouting wings to fly. If there is a God then it follows that he can make bricks do that. He can make egg yolks turn to gold. He can make virgins have babies without a man. He can do strange things ad infinitum. And maybe he does! Therefore to say God exists is WORSE than to say that a brick grew wings and flew. Its infinitely worse. If a flying brick is strange then the concept of God is pure insanity. So the burden of proof is on the believers. It is an extremely heavy burden of proof. They are the wackos. They need to do the proving.

What if you decide that, "Just because something looks supernatural doesn't mean it is and it could be a miracle?"

if a miracle is done as a sign, it doesn't matter if it looks sensible or not. God can tell you to announce a miracle for him and then he will do it

The answer that God does not make bricks that fly is irrelevant. The idea of God who can make bricks fly but doesn't is as crazy as the idea of a God who can and does. Isn't the man who asserts his grandmother is a Witch but never does magic saying she has absurd powers and saying it just as much as the man who says she does do magic? Anyway, at most the God believer can say they don't know if their God makes flying bricks or intelligent fried eggs.

To say God can change nature so that women in future will have babies without men and sex shows you need to be sectioned. Saying this is easier than a miracle happening

They have no right to say God doesn't do it.

If they do, they end up with a new burden of proof. They have to try and prove a negative which is impossible. You can never prove: "There are no such things as unicorns."

The idea that miracles can't happen (which means there can be no God) is a better one. There is no burden of proof on anybody who says that because the alternative is worse.

We must remember that the question of the burden of proof is not just about reason or logic or being sensible but respect. The person who makes a very serious claim and who does not give you proof or evidence to help justify that claim is cheating you and asking you to demean your rationality. That is what they are doing whether they mean to or not and you must not stand for it.

Ordinary believers cannot give you adequate evidence for God or the resurrection of Jesus Christ or any other religious piece of twaddle. They have been turned into cheats against themselves and those who they proclaim the faith to. They are led to break the commandment against dishonesty.

PROBLEM OF EVIL AND SUFFERING

If God exists, the problem of evil arises. How can an all-good God create temptation and evil and useless evils like depression? Yet the Bible says there is no evil in God and he never tempts anybody to do wrong. The Christians say evil is a problem. They say if they take that problem as evidence that atheism is true then they have a new problem: if there is no God there can be no objective morality. So they conclude that it is necessary to deny that evil refutes God because they want to believe in an objective morality.

If Christians really trust that God uses evil to do greater good they would say, "O I would be so happy to die horribly of motor neurone disease if God willed it!" They would say, "Those babies tortured to death in X were so lucky!" And so on.

Christians are being flippant when they say that God lets us have free will because unless we are free to do great evil we cannot love. Thus they excuse God letting people like Hitler rise to power. They are flippant because nobody has the right to give anybody freedom unless they can use it responsibly and wisely. Getting the freedom to make mistakes is fine up to a point. You can let your daughter brave out life on her own if she will make a lot of mistakes as long as none of the mistakes will kill her or cause her permanent or grave damage.

The God of Christianity and Islam and Judaism supposedly makes laws that seem bad to us for we only have a limited view of the picture while he sees it all and understands it all. So he knows best. This is the kind of God who says, "Do X because I say so!" That is no way to ingrain a sense of responsibility into people. It treats them as children.

Our tendency to see something as good when it is grey is a scary one. If we are good, we are good because we want to be and not because it is good. It is only luck that what we choose happens to be good. That is the problem with people judging things as good and then saying that good shows God exists for it reflects God. They go as far as to say that the problem of good, how can good exist if there is no good God? is the only answer you need to the problem of evil. It turns man's flawed goodness into a revelation from God and that is a dangerous road to go down.

EXISTENCE

Why is there something rather than nothing? Instead of having the humility to say, "I don't know", religion says the answer is God. But God is a non-explanation. The supernatural by definition cannot be understood. God is supernatural so when religion says it can't understand how God can make all things from nothing it should admit that it doesn't know what it is talking about.

The default answer is, "I don't know." Anything else leaves you with the duty of dealing with the burden of proof. If you say the answer is God, you have to prove it.

If you don't know then surely you are admitting that God is a possible answer? Not necessarily. It is better to say some natural cause is responsible and we don't understand it or don't have the intelligence or the knowledge to do it. You should always prefer to posit natural causes than supernatural. Eg, you get a hard boiled egg. You assume it was boiled in water. You don't assume some angel appeared and snapped its fingers to produce a boiled egg.

God according to the Churches did not make the universe from anything. He just told it to exist and it did. That is not creation but magic. It is not making but magic. Once you bring magic into the problem you can say that nothing did magic and became something! The possibilities are endless.