Prayers and Jokes

 Posted by on December 15, 2011  Add comments
Dec 152011
 

Over a civilised pint this evening, people happened to mention their big fat Catholic childhood.  This was not something I personally experienced, but all my friends did, which might explain why they’re all deranged.

When I was a kid, sometimes the teachers would call for a decade of the Rosary, and that put me at a serious disadvantage, since I had no idea what the Rosary was.  Close friends have explained that at six o’clock, everyone in their home fell to their knees while their fathers gave out the Rosary, and they complied with this into their twenties in case their fathers and mothers would be upset.

All right.  Who am I to question the motivations of my close friends?  That’s their decision.

However, I can at least say that it makes no sense to me, and never did.

When I was a kid, I had to attend religious ceremonies although, in fairness to my parents, they never suggested it was anything but utter bollocks.  In that regard I suppose I was a little unusual compared to other Irish lads of my age.  At least I didn’t have parents falling to their knees to mutter the fucking Rosary every time a bell bonged on the radio, but it was still boring.  Up there on the altar, were men so obviously bored that they couldn’t possibly be believers in the horseshit they were promoting. I’ve long believed that this explains the miserable nature of Irish religious ceremonies.  Nobody believes this nonsense.  Not the priests.  Not the congregation.  Not me and not you.  And yet they all have to sit there pretending they think this shit makes any sense.

That’s religion for you.

Wouldn’t it be a great idea if we replaced the word Prayer with Joke?

How much better the Rosary ordeal would have been.  And now it’s time for the Lord’s Joke.

If you did this, the churches would be full, although admittedly the audience would be non-believers but at least somebody would be there.  Fill them up with drunken comedy-junkies while we replace liturgy with stand-up.

Did you hear the one about the fella who was a Hitler youth and became Pope?

  83 Responses to “Prayers and Jokes”

Comments (83)
  1.  

    I DID hear that joke! And I hear it still. I’m with you, the amount of boredom I hear in a priest’s voice irritates the shite out of me, especially at a funeral. Have some respect, padre – you picked this job, at least act like you mean it. I still don’t know what to choose for when I kick off. The town expects a funeral, but I’ve never been baptised and only walk in those doors for weddings and funerals – screw the confirmations, why would I want to watch someone being indoctrinated? – and apparently you can only be made into charcoal in Dublin. I’d hate to put my family to that expense.

  2.  

    Yeah. These poor men sound so ineffably bored.

  3.  

    Bock, I have non-believers, heretics and Freemasons in my church.

  4.  

    You’re not wrong on this and there has been some credible research done on the subject by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola “Preachers who are not Believers”(http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP08122150.pdf).
    In fact, a foundation has been set up to support clergy who find themselves in this position (http://www.clergyproject.org/).
    [sorry about the addresses but I don’t know how to put in a link]

  5.  

    Larry, we don’t need a project. I have told Mr Bock before that if Mrs Bock can bake cakes and if he can muster the odd strange handshake (and, if he wants high office, he has a University of Dublin tie) then the Church of Ireland would welcome him!

  6.  

    Thanks Ian. I realise that my atheism would be no obstacle to becoming a CoI priest. It’s a broad church. I suspect that there might be many closet atheists among RC priests as well.

  7.  

    I had to go to C of I and RC churches.I had a parent from each side, and I never believed in any of the religions.We never did the rosary either which I suppose I should be thankful for.Just imagine some comedy on sunday with a few pints on the side = fill church.

  8.  

    “And yet they all have to sit there pretending they think this shit makes any sense.”

    That’s why there are no catholic suicide bombers. Even the faithful don’t buy it that much!

  9.  

    Prayers in nearly all the churches I have attended have usually been jokes. Shaking with mirth is by no means unknown.

  10.  

    The Laughing Priest. That should draw them in.

  11.  

    I know that my little rant is not related directly to the topic of the post. But I think it still makes sense and is worth throwing in the ring.

    Lets fuck a little spanner into this here love fest. While ye all pass the doobie to the left hand side.
    My own background, right back to my Great Great grandparents’ has been a mixture of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths. Good combo eh? Yes and I used the word faith as opposed to religion. Because that is what it is “Faith” You know for an agnostic like myself, its hard to swallow such absolute arrogance in a belief system by individuals, be they fundamentalist atheists or Religious fundamentalist. To the point where they state categorically, that the other side is full of shit and are a bunch of morons. I mean what the fuck do ye know? A bunch of conscious beings, who will hang around the planet for 70 or 90 years at most. Yet all of ye – Religious and Atheist fundamentalists – are 100% sure of the answer to the big question. ‘ Is it at all possible that the universe had a consious creator’ Fuck me eh? I’d love to be that clever.

  12.  

    Atheism isn’t a belief. It’s a refusal to accept a proposition for which there’s no evidence. We don’t call people who refuse to believe in the tooth fairy fundamentalists.

  13.  

    Militant atheism if there is such a thing is only a reaction
    to the fervour and indoctrination of various religions and it
    is only recently that atheists have been allowed to speak out
    and that freedom to voice an opinion is not universal.
    In other words I wouldn’t be expressing my disbelief in a deity
    were it not for some cunt trying to poison my mind with the
    concept and all its attendant shite in the first place.

  14.  

    I did not mention the tooth fairy. Please compare like with like.
    Atheism is a belief. Its a belief that God does not exist. There is no definate proof that he, she, it, does not exist.

  15.  

    Sheepshagger – Atheism has been with us as long as believe in deity’s has.
    I wasn’t aware that being an Atheist was not safe and that it is only recently that Atheists feel free to speak out.
    And who’s the cunt trying to poison your mind?
    I hope your not referring to people who worship and pray to a deity that they happen to believe in.
    Being an agnostic myself I haven’t met too many believers in deity’s who refer to atheists as cunts.

  16.  

    I’m using the tooth fairy as an example. If I say that’s ridiculous, I don’t believe you, nobody will calll me a fundamentalist, which as you know is a very loaded word.

    Atheism is not a belief.

    Atheism is the refusal to hold a belief.

  17.  

    Long John Silver – “Atheism is a belief. Its a belief that God does not exist”

    No it’s not. Atheism is the lack of belief in any god. The idea of atheism is a direct result of the belief in god. Someone says “there is a god.” Some else says “Where’s your proof? Got none? Then I don’t believe you, now please leave me alone.” That’s atheism in short.
    By the way, everyone is an agnostic, unless you know of someone who “knows” god exists, in which case I’d like to see their proof. That’s why it’s called “faith”, belief without proof. However the burdon of proof fails on those making the claim.

  18.  

    Atheism is a belief. Its a firm belief in the non existance of God.
    Have you met an athiest yet who would say, yes the existance of God is a possibility. Bet you havent. That is a response you are likely to get from an agnostic.
    Being an agnostic is a refusal to hold a belief, one way or the other.

  19.  

    Sorry I dont accept that Atheism is a direct result of the belief in god.
    Some say there is a god. Some say there is not.
    Both need to prove their beliefs or theories, whatever you wish to call them. Because that is all both opinions are – a belief

  20.  

    Agnostics believe in a non-defined deity.
    Atheists are open minded and will accept a god if
    there is evidence.
    The poisoning of minds happens when a person in
    authority forces all sorts of shite into a developing mind.
    I’m sure the priests mean well,nonetheless there is no evidence
    and to beat children who question the indoctrination is coercive
    to say the least.Two hundred years ago one could be burnt alive
    for questioning “revealed truth” in Europe and can be stoned to
    death for denying the prophet today.
    Long John the assertion that atheism has always been around is false.
    Read the Golden Bough.

  21.  

    Sorry Sheep shagger, your definition of agnosticism is not correct
    An agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. That is the clear defintion of agnosticism.
    Atheism firmly believes in the Non existence of God.
    The following notes are extracts from Atheist Alliance international:

    “The assembly dealt with matters including a lawsuit filed by American Atheists against Jack Massen (individually, as the AAI founder) and AAI member societies collectively, challenging their right to form another atheist organization. (The lawsuit was eventually withdrawn, but not before Massen had paid out some US$13,300 in legal costs”

    Are we seeing a split between Atheists of different persuasions?
    It would appear that it is all about money and power like most belief systems in the world.

    “Other agenda items included: plans for producing a magazine and holding annual conventions; developing a public relations strategy and cooperative projects among member societies; and establishing an email communications system and annual dues. Dues were set at US$125 for each U.S.-based society, with the first year free for new members”

    Is there a difference between the above plans and those collections normally attributed to an organised religion?
    The following link might be of interest
    http://www.atheist.ie/world-atheist-convention-2011/

  22.  

    I don’t know anything about this organised shit. It costs me nothing to say there’s no god.

  23.  

    Not costing you anything yet, but wait until the organisation becomes stronger!

  24.  

    Having just looked at the Wiki entry for agnostic and having seen that there
    are agnostic atheists and agnostic theists I must admit that I was wrong.
    However there is a lot of wriggle room due to the greek roots of both words.
    That does not take away from the fact that people have died for saying there
    is no god. As yet no believer has been put to death by atheists and I can’t see it happening.
    My point is that “militant” atheism today is a reaction to the oppressive
    prosletysing of the believers in the past. If they had not been ramming
    their fairy tales down throats at the point of a sword there would be no
    militant atheism.
    If children are not told about Santa they would not believe in him and then
    have to endure the subsequent de-indoctrination.
    David Hume rocks.

  25.  

    I don’t know if Tibetans would agree that a believer has never been killed by an atheist. However would you accept at this stage that an Atheist is also a “believer” in the true sense of the word?

  26.  

    I’m an atheist and I’m certainly not a believer. My position is that there’s no God. WHy would I accept a proposition without evidence? I might as well believe in the Tooth Fairy. I think the idea of a creator is ludicrous.

    Tibetans are being murdered by political ideologues whose atheism is incidental to what they do.

  27.  

    Could I apply that same logic to the the plight of the falun gong in China?

    “The falun gong are being murdered by political ideologues whose atheism is incidental to what they do”

    You state that you are not a believer. Your position, as you have stated, is that “There is no god” Can you prove this fact?

  28.  

    I don’t have to prove it since I didn’t invent the idea. The responsibility is on those who claim that a god exists. Just as I don’t have to prove that the tooth fairy is an invention.

  29.  

    I believe that the logical position would be if you state that “there is no god” and you cannot provide the proof for this statement then you logically must revert to a “belief” that there is no god. Rather then stating it as a fact.

  30.  

    There is no tooth fairy.

  31.  

    Jesus If only we were enjoying a few pints having this chat, wouldn’t this be a great debate?

  32.  

    It’s a great debate anyway.

    To paraphrase your earlier statement, the logical position would be if I state that “there is no tooth fairy” and I cannot provide the proof for this statement then I logically must revert to a “belief” that there is no tooth fairy. Rather then stating it as a fact.

    Yes?

  33.  

    Yes I concur. There is no tooth fairy. But who’s discussing the tooth fairy.
    belief in a higher being, force, whatever you want to call it, has been around since the dawn of mankind. The tooth fairy has no relevance to the discussion

  34.  

    Of course it has relevance. We’re talking about belief without evidence. God or the tooth fairy. There’s no logical difference.

  35.  

    There has always been “The God question” It has always been with mankind. Why?
    This is the question we should be asking. Again I do not see the logical comparision between the god question and the tooth fairy.

  36.  

    It’s about believing in an absurd proposition.

  37.  

    I have to go for a pint now and ponder over your logic. Wherever you live, have a pint on me. Aways a joy to read and sometimes take part in the discussions on your site.

  38.  

    I thought some more about this. If I find a proposition ludicrous, why can’t I say it’s nonsense?

  39.  

    There is much more evidence for the tooth fairy than there is for any god.There is also evidence for Santa,the Loch Ness monster,alien abduction,Yeti,Lord Shiva, Zeus,Ganesh,Joseph Smith and the Mormons,the flying spaghetti monster and infinite other claims.I don’t believe in any of that shite either.How does that make me a believer?
    How can non-belief be classed as a belief?I don’t collect stamps either,does that make me a believing non-collector?

  40.  

    This seems fitting fron Carl Sagan.
    On Certainty.

    “Humans may crave absolute certainty; they may aspire to it; they may pretend, as partisans of certain religions do, to have attained it. But the history of science — by far the most successful claim to knowledge accessible to humans — teaches that the most we can hope for is successive improvement in our understanding, learning from our mistakes, an asymptotic approach to the Universe, but with the proviso that absolute certainty will always elude us.”

  41.  

    Bock, why are all my comments going into spam? Regardless of the name or email I use. Stop bamboozling me with bullshit would you and fix it if it’s not done on purpose. i.e. mark as not spam.

  42.  

    FF1 » I don’t know why your comments go into spam, but I’ll tell you this. I’m not here to take orders. I’ll retrieve people’s comments if and when I find the time.

  43.  

    All right. Thanks.
    Sorry. I’m a little impatient at times. No offence intended.
    No point in commenting I guess if this is how it’s working.

    Cheerio. Happy Christmas.

  44.  

    Mad dog please compare like with like. Then your arguement will make sense.
    I am saying as an agnostic. that Atheism is a belief. A firm believe in the non existence of god.
    Religious belief (whatever the denomination or faith) is a firm belief in the existence of god.

    Neither of the two camps can provide proof for their beliefs and until they do, they will remain what they currently are…..beliefs!

  45.  

    Long John Silver » You’re using false logic. They’re not two equivalent camps. If somebody puts a proposition to me that I consider absurd, it’s up to them to prove it. I’m under no obligation to prove anything.

  46.  

    Bock you have every right to say its nonsense.
    In as much as believers in a religion or faith, have the right to call the believers in the non existence of a creator nonsense as well.
    As an agnostic, I will continue to give equal respect to both opinions, beliefs,theories, whatever you wish to call them, because that is all they are beliefs, theories etc.
    I refuse to call a believer in a god or creator a moron, or devalue their beliefs by classifying them as shite. I also refuse to call a believer in the non existence of god a moron or devalue their beliefs by classifying them as shite.

  47.  

    Long John Silver » I don’t think I called believers morons, but leave that to one side. Are there any suggestions that can be dismissed out of hand?

  48.  

    Bock, I am not using false logic.
    Equally if you propose to someone that ‘ It is a fact that god does not exist’ Then you must provide the evidence to back up your statement. Otherwise it must be assumed that – it is your belief- that god does not exist. The point that seems to be missing here and is very relevant to this discussion, is simply that “the god question” has been with us since the beginning. It is not a recent theory. Therefore believers in a god are entitled to as much respect as non believers in a god are. Until such time as the knowledge is available that one or the other theory is incorrect, we should respect both beliefs/theories.

    Its also important to remember in this debate (in case some people think otherwise).
    Agnosticism is not a third option.
    You can be an agnostic atheist, just as you can be an agnostic theist.

  49.  

    Long John Silver » Are you saying that if I put a proposition to you that you consider utterly ludicrous, you have an obligation to take me seriously?

  50.  

    No I am not saying that. I do however have an obligation to respect your proposition, simply because they are your heart felt beliefs, however ludicrous they may appear to me.

  51.  

    Long John Silver » If I told you there was a Disney theme park on the dark side of the moon and you respected my position, you’d be patronising me.

  52.  

    Bock, If you told me that there was a disney theme park on the dark side of the moon. I would not respect your position. I would consider you to be delusional at best and most likely clinically insane. As there is clear proof that a Disney theme park does not exist on the dark side of the moon.

    A quote from the great man himself:
    “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being”

    (Albert Einstein)

  53.  

    Long John Silver » Well, you see, the example I give is only one ludicrous proposition among a multitude of possibilities. I could just as easily have said Jupiter. But now we have at least established that you’re not completely against calling people insane for holding a ludicrous belief.

  54.  

    Indeed you could have said Jupiter. My answer would have been the same though. If you were to use the quantum mechanics theory of parallel universes. Then I may have to review whether or not you are insane or are just theorizing on the possibility of there being a parallel universe where a Disney theme park could exist. We could both continue to create analogies to support our position ad infinitum.

    But you are right of course, some people are just plain nuts!

  55.  

    Long John Silver » Well, I’d have to say there’s about as much proof of a theme park on Jupiter as there is for the existence of a god. And yet, I’d never say you were an anti-Jupiter-theme-park believer fundamentalist.

  56.  

    Bock I could reverse that logic and say there’s as much proof of a theme park on jupiter as there is for the non existence of god etc, etc, I never called you a fundamentalist by the way. I just remarked that there are fundamentalist atheists out there. Just like there are religious fundamentalists

  57.  

    Long John Silver » When you invert the logic like that, you leave the debate open to all sorts of absurdities. There’s as much proof of a theme park on jupiter as there is for the non existence of god, the non-existence of the flying spaghetti monster, the non-existence of Santa Claus or the non-existence of Klingons.

    Following your earlier logic, I could quite properly be called a believer, since I state categorically that they don’t exist.

  58.  

    Let me get this right,Long John.You are claiming that my lack of belief is a belief.I still don’t believe.

  59.  

    I saw a documentary recently ‘Did God create the universe’, with opinions from Stephen Hawking.
    Here ye go if anyone wants to have a watch.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpb7NMR-XOo

    Even the description of the program states: ‘Stephen Hawking unfolds his personal, compelling vision of the biggest question of all: Who or what created the universe in which we live?’

    Are we to say it’s a ludicrous program to even consider the question?
    The question since the dawn of time.

    I think it’s a bit disingenuous to say a belief in a creator is ludicrous as I think any grown adult who’s never pondered the question is lying.. if you’ve pondered it, then it can’t be ludicrous for others to believe surely.
    It’s in no way comparable to the existence in a tooth fairy. Most people don’t ponder the existence of the tooth fairy passed the age of 8.

    By the way if you skip to the end of that program, they come to the conclusion that there is no possibility of a creator as there was ‘no time’ before the big bang for a creator to exist in. Time came into existence with the big bang. Very compelling that! There you go, there was no time hence no creator. So basically they don’t know.

    Ironically enough I find some atheists bigger preachers of their beliefs than some theists. Not much difference between the two sometimes it seems.

  60.  

    FF1 » What was there before the creator?

  61.  

    Mad dog I have made no claims for, or on your behalf.
    I am sure you can do that all by yourself.
    Please see the dictionary explanation of the meaning of the word Atheist.

    Definition of an Atheist – One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

    I will try for the last time. A person who believes in the existence of a god is a believer in god. A person who does not believe in the existence of a god is a non believer in god. Neither side can prove that their belief in the existence or non existence of god is correct. Nor can they prove that the others belief is incorrect.

    Without proof /Knowledge there is only belief/faith.

    One side of the coin believes that god cannot exist, but cannot prove it. Therefore he cannot state categorically the the other side of the coin is incorrect.
    The other side of the coin believes that a god exists, but cannot prove it. Therefore he cannot state categorically the the other side of the coin is incorrect.

    I do not have an opinion one way or the other. I just find it strange that either side can make any claims of certainty, without Knowledge or proof.
    And if you don’t get my logic then I must put it down to a case of bad articulation on my part.

  62.  

    That’s a big question Bock.
    One that I can’t answer. It has the preposition built into it that there was a ‘before’ the creator.

    By the way, they also say in that documentary that there is no time within black holes. So according to their logic, where there is no time there is no cause. Yet we know there is a cause to black holes. There was a before them, they had a cause etc.

  63.  

    FF1 » If you can accept that a deity is timeless, why can’t you accept that a universe could be timeless?

  64.  

    I don’t think the universe is timeless Bock.
    It had a beginning and they predict an ending.
    However I believe time is timeless. I don’t think time was created with the big bang.

  65.  

    My point is that you can accept the existence of something that had no beginning. Isn’t that correct?

  66.  

    Did god exist before the arrival of man? We evolved billions of years after the universe formed. Eventually we, like the dinasaurs and the minataurs before us, will disappear to be replaced by another set of creatures. Will they too ask where we came from and develop a concept called GOD to explain the unexplainable .
    When I was young the Tooth Fairy came with regular monotony (Irish teeth, you know), leaving spending money under my pillow in exchange for my fangs.
    Now that I am older I can honestly state that he never came for my children’s teeth. I taught them about the TF and they waited with whistling breath for the mornings… but were always disappointed.
    Why has he forsaken us?
    My friends told me it was, in fact, my parents who carried out the exchange but when pressed they had to admit that, No, they never actually saw my parents do the job. They couldn’t produce proof. Just believe, they said.

  67.  

    “My point is that you can accept the existence of something that had no beginning. Isn’t that correct?” Yeah Bock. Take time for instance. I don’t understand how time was created about 15 billion years ago with the big bang. What about 16 billion years ago? Or 15 billion and one second even?

    And according to that documentary if there was no time before the big bang, then there was no before the big bang for a creator to exist in. But that supposes that the creator is limited to ‘being’ within the universe and it’s four dimensions. Surely if it’s a creator it doesn’t have it origins within that what it creates. If that makes sense at all.

    To explain what I mean: If I create a painting, there was no ‘before’ the painting, grand..so therefore I don’t exist as I can’t exist prior to the painting? That’s not logical.

  68.  

    FF1 » Time is a dimension like any other, not a thing in itself. It’s something we use to measure the world around us. Are you actually talking about the beginning of existence as measured in time? You also seem to be assuming that time is linear.

  69.  

    FF1>> To talk about a “creator” of the (of a) universe is meaningless. A human or other animal (or alien being) can create something, but the notion of a creator of the “totality” of all things i.e. the universe, cannot be discussed logically.
    Statements like “There is a god” are in a sense worse than false; they are meaningless.
    Most physicists believe that the “Big Bang” theory of the universe does not in the slightest imply the existence of a “creator”.

  70.  

    “Are you actually talking about the beginning of existence as measured in time? You also seem to be assuming that time is linear.”

    Yeah, why can’t something be timeless? If the universe itself is causeless – it came into being by itself. There was no cause and effect to it. No need of a creator. Then why can’t a creator be causeless?
    Why did time only start 15 billion years ago? That seems unfathomable to me.

    And time does seems linear to me. I.e. Clocks tick in one direction – forward.
    How can it be otherwise?

  71.  

    “..but the notion of a creator of the “totality” of all things i.e. the universe, cannot be discussed logically.
    Statements like “There is a god” are in a sense worse than false; they are meaningless.” Why Bnino?

  72.  

    Ok Bnino, let me ask you in what kind of universe would the question of ‘is there a creator?’ be an acceptable, logical question?

  73.  

    FF1 » For clarification, I said linear, not unidirectional. The movement of a clock’s hands is not linear.

    When people say the beginning of time, they usually mean the beginning of existence, but these things are not the same. It’s like saying the beginning of distance. Neither time nor physical measurements have any meaning without physical existence.

    I don’t know what caused the Big Bang, but it seems to me that inventing a deity is simply a means of gaining comfort in our ignorance. That’s the God bag over there. We keep everything we don’t understand in it. Inventing a god is easier than contemplating the extreme complexity of existence.

    Magic is always attractive.

  74.  

    I agree with a lot of that. In terms of: “I don’t know what caused the Big Bang, but it seems to me that inventing a deity is simply a means of gaining comfort in our ignorance. That’s the God bag over there. We keep everything we don’t understand in it” I’m sure there isn’t much that can’t be understood scientifically, given time and technological advances. If that is sufficient for a person. What I mean is you can understand the mechanics and physics of a lot of things if that’s all you want.
    The reason the birds chirp for instance – the how of it, as someone on here explained to me before.

    To me a deity and say evolution are not mutually exclusive. Of course you could spend your life stating the obvious and contradicting the ‘god bothers’ with their notions of us being created a few thousand years ago but that’s just as non thinking as them in my opinion. You have a choice to think for yourself or to just oppose idiotic views without really finding out anything for yourself.

    RE Time. I don’t mean the moving of a clock’s hand is linear as such. It goes in a circle. I mean time itself is linear. If it was circular we’d be able to go back into the past. I can’t fathom how scientists say there is no time at the centre of a black hole or there was no time before the big bang.

    Thanks for fixing the spam thingy btw.

  75.  

    FF1 Why don’t you define what you mean by “God”?
    Is your God both “omniscient” (all knowing) and “omnipotent” (all powerful)?
    No being can simultaneously have these properties. If god is omniscient, then presumably “he” knows the future, but this means he cannot be omnipotent, as he cannot will alternative futures since he already knows what is going to happen!
    Omnipotence and omniscience are apparently the properties of the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, so such a god cannot exist.
    A “uni”-verse in the technical sense of being part of a conglomerate of universes known as the multiverse may conceivably be created by sufficiently evolved beings (not a “supreme” being). (The multiverse idea is apparently gaining ground amongst cosmologists).
    Talk of a creator of the multiverse only leads to the question of explaining the creator’s existence. Are you just going to say that such a creator (and its existence) requires no explanation? If you do, then you have just made a leap of faith and cannot discuss these issues logically.

  76.  

    My GOD is you…my GOD is me….keeps me happy

  77.  

    Quantum mechanics permits sub-atomic particles to pop in and out of existence without a cause.
    This may be counter-intuitive, but there is no reason why human intuition about cause and effect should be applicable in domains outside of everyday experience.
    What is possible is to measure the probability of such an event happening with arbitrary precision. The probability depends on the strength of various fields in the vicinity of the potential particle. The key point is that there is always a non-zero probability of something completely undetermined happening.
    The most recent theories of the origin of the universe involve such quantum fluctuations, i.e. the universe is not “caused”, it just popped into existence with a certain probability. That probability was possibly determined by a prior universe that had collapsed on itself.
    The current total energy of the universe appears to be 0, just like the conditions “before” the big bang.

  78.  

    Beliefs are fundamentally opinions. An opinion is any position taken by someone that something is true or untrue. An opinion can be either informed or uninformed. Uninformed opinions are extremely common and the dogmatic mind is amazingly uninformed. The dogmatic atheist like the dogmatic theist is obsessed with conformity and will spew a tirade of angry words against anyone who does not conform to their own particular world view. Both of these dogmatic types demand their own version of orthodoxy (literally: right opinion) be accepted as the rational norm and attack any nonconformists with as much bile as possible. Orthodoxy is not a good thing since it desires conformity and obedience to a self-elevated elite that presents itself as authoritative and informed. George Orwell wrote in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four: “Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” There is no freedom of thought in a world of orthodox views. Skepticism and orthodoxy cannot coexist. To be a skeptic is not the same as being a cynic; cynicism is merely taking a negative view to a particular issue without giving it thought, while skepticism is an approach to information.

    Understanding science is essential in order to refute the dogmatic mind. In science there are no absolute truths, no sacred cows, and no great secret to be discovered that will allow all scientists in a field to retire and go home. Instead, all hypotheses and theories are subject to modification and even replacement as new research and discoveries become available. Science is not dogmatic, and those who try to present it dogmatically are doing it a disservice. It is important to understand the basics of several scientific concepts in order to understand the nature of science and the method central to it.
    Thanks Murph,

  79.  

    longJohnSilver >> The dogmatic atheist can only be less obsessed with conformity than the dogmatic theist. Theism is borne out of fear of the unknown (particularly disease and death), childhood indoctrination, and the desire to be subservient. It has also been useful to the ruling classes for much of history.
    Quoting Orwell is disingenuous to say the least. He would have considered the idea of a supreme being to be a most unhelpful one.
    There is no more a need to be dogmatic about atheism, than there is a need to be dogmatic about aunicornism or aleprechaunism.
    It is the dogmatic theists that worry me.
    Science will never reveal the existence of a “supreme” being, because science progresses by falsifying established theories in newer domains of experience.
    The existence of god is by definition (and design by the major religions) not falsifiable, so it is pointless to appeal to the non-dogmatic nature of science when considering the existence of god.

  80.  

    This is what I have been saying from the outset.
    If an atheist states ‘ There is no creator/god’ This is an affirmative statement. Correct?
    If a theist makes the claim “There is a creator/god” affirmative statement?
    Then whoever makes the affirmative statement for or against something carries the Burden of Proof.

    Would you agree?

    The fact is there is no burden of proof for either of the above opinions.

    Carl Sagan said – “An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists”

    I am not aware of any ongoing scientific projects that are attempting to prove or disprove the existence of a creator.

  81.  

    Long John,
    The major flaw in your argument is that it is impossible to prove or disprove a negative,while a positive demands evidence/proof.If I state disbelief in any god,no proof is possible.In the same way,it is impossible to prove Leprechauns don’t exist.However ,if someone claims the tooth fairy or allah exists,the burden of proof lies with them.
    No burden of proof can possibly apply to a negative.In practical terms,non-believers cannot provide proof,and do not hold the burden of proof.
    If someone believes in a god and claims he/she/it exists it is reasonable to ask for evidence.

  82.  

    Mad dog, I do not agree that there is any flaw major or minor in my argument.
    Although “burden of proof” is technically used in legal arguement, it is also applies to scientific discovery. If I state that “there is no god” or “god does not exist” I am making an affirmative statement, therefore the burden of proof argument applies. I must provide proof for my affirmative statement.
    If I state that I do not believe that god exists, then this is a personal opinion and I am not obliged to provide any proof for my opinions or beliefs.
    Being an agnostic myself, I believe that it is at present and probably always will be impossible to prove one way or the other. I would never declare that god does, or does not exist.

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