Sunday, October 18, 2015

Atheism is not a worldview!

worldview : the way someone thinks about the world

In a recent discussion with a theist I was told that atheism is a negative worldview. My immediate thoughts went to the actual meaning of atheism or the word atheist. What does it mean when someone states that they are an atheist?

 atheist (n.) Look up atheist at Dictionary.com1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see theo-).

atheista person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

As you can see from the above definition taken from the Online Etomology Dictionary adding an "a" to the word theist simply states the opposite of what a thiest claims to believe; that God or gods exists. I myself as an atheist do not consider my atheism a worldview for the simple fact that one has nothing to do with the other. I see the word atheist as nothing more than a label that generally states what I don't believe in. Atheist like the word theist is nothing more than a general descriptive label and nothing more. Not all theists or atheists hold the same beliefs or worldviews as can be easily proven by randomly asking theists or atheists specific questions and comparing their answers to their fellow believers or nonbelievers. 

Stating that one is a theist does not automatically make that person a Christian, Muslim, or Jew but rather generally states that they believe in supernatural entities such as gods, demons, demigods etc. What they as individuals believe on other matters beyond their theism has nothing to do with the label although it may be influenced by the ideology itself. 

As an atheist I hold a more naturalistic view of the world and tht is the result of my rejection of the beliefs in the supernatural and the many beings others claim exists in that invisible unknown realm of existence. In my view there are only two alternatives: either you believe that gods exists and are behind everything in nature or you believe that gods do not exists and have nothing to do with nature. I choose to believe the latter position. I personally have no need for a belief in the Christian God or any gods for that matter. I don't need God to be happy since I am convinced that we can be happy on our own by seeking it and making up our minds to find it. 

I find happiness in this life now by living in wonder of our universe and the greatest feeling of all which is that which is felt upon discovery and learning new things about the world and universe we inhabit. I find life itself awe inspiring and much more interesting than religion and gods which I classify as ancient beliefs based on myths and superstitions of the past. 

My life without god beliefs may be influenced by my atheism but atheism itself is not my worldview. I don't see the divine in nature. I find nature to be amazing in and of itself and nothing fascinates me more than looking up at the night sky on a clear night with the knowledge that I am staring out millions and maybe billions of years into the past! The idea that the elements found on earth and that compose our bodies is found in stars (that we are star stuff) is simply mind blowing. It sure beats the hell out of believing that some invisible man in the sky made a man out of mud and blew the breath of life into him. Just writing that screams myth to me! 

In conclusion: Just remember that atheism is not a worldview. It is a label and nothing more that refers to your lack in belief in gods and or supernatural realms and beings. That's it! Nothing more and nothing less. It may influence your other beliefs but it does not define them or who you are as a person.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I always try to blog in a non-combative tone when it comes to religious beliefs and Christianity specifically. It was not always this way but if you read some of my earlier posts to those I have written lately you can see a definite maturation as you progress. I started this blog mostly as a means to share my knowledge and experience as a former believer with theists and atheists alike. I have been at times angry and emotional and have been dragged into personal attacks and verbal confrontations with those theists that opposed my views. But that is usually what happens when one has a lot of emotional baggage. I have since let go of all that baggage and have decided to critique religious beliefs from a more logical standpoint. I hope to continue doing so as this blog continues to grow.

I have often stated that in order to be a good Christian one had to also be one hell of a hypocrite. Although I admit that this statement does come off as offensive and seems quite combative I hope that I can make clear my position in this post. Let's start with a biblical citation and then we can go from there.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35

Oftentimes the bible admonishes that one should love their enemies and basically overcome evil by doing good. Yet, this is not what we are seeing out of today's believers. I personally think that calling us enemies because we do not share your religious views and opinions is ludicrous since I personally have nothing against a Christian or what he or she chooses to believe in. I lost an online friend today because she took offense to the saying: "Prayer: how to do nothing and still think you're helping." From this she stated that if I didn't like Christians that I didn't like her and unfriended me and blocked me so that I was unable to respond. 

I treat all people equally and everyone as an individual regardless or race, creed, or color. I don't care really what you believe but I also feel that you have the right to believe and express those beliefs openly. My question to theists is why don't you allow others to do the same? Why do you insist that as nonbelievers whether it be as an atheist agnostic or some other religious group do you demand that we keep those beliefs to ourselves? 

I feel that I have the same rights as you to express my non-belief in those same tenets you hold dear. The difference is that I don't go knocking on peoples doors, stand on corners condemning society and everyone to hell who does not believe as I do. I don't hand out tracts on the street and claim that what I am presenting is the only and absolute truth and salvation of mankind as we know it. Theists believe wrongly of course, that they have know what knowledge, truth, and facts really are. The amazing thing is that they don't have a shred of credible evidence to support their extraordinary claims! 

While the bible say's that you should love your enemies it basically classifies enemies as those that don't believe as you do. Basically, as an atheist I am an enemy of Christianity, Christians, and the church in general. No wonder theists are so sensitive and combative when their beliefs are brought to question and are scrutinized by nonbelievers. 

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.  Psalm 14:1

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
  James 4:4

It is verses like these that in my opinion causes theists to view the world as against them. Anyone who doesn't share in their beliefs is considered by theistic and bible standards as the enemy. By telling everyone how to live, think, and feel you are basically acting in an unreasonable and dictatorial manner. This is where the hypocrisy comes in. You condemn the many for basically those same things you do. There are many Christians living in adultery, fornication, who masturbate and even engage in secret gay relationships. They think bad thoughts about others and even wish the worst for those that they view as an enemy. 

The good news is that in doing those and many other acts that are not harmful to society you are just being human. Contrary to what your bible says looking at a woman or vice versa and desiring them in a sexual way is not a crime nor is it a moral offense because these are just thoughts and secret fantasies you keep to yourself. When you act on those thoughts in a harmful manner such as rape or sexual harassment then it becomes a problem that can easily lead to criminal behavior. 

I call you a hypocrite not as an offense but rather as a statement of fact. You present this image of being holier than thou and point the finger at others as if they were inferior because of their lack of belief. But in doing so you are the ones who are doing the persecuting and not the other way around. I for instance don't care about gay marriage nor even see it as an issue. I believe that people should live their lives as they see fit and find whatever it is that makes them happy. If that means having a loving and meaningful relationship with someone of the same sex then so be it. I don't see stem cell research as a problem, Nor view the practice of religion as a problem either. I have a very strict live and let live policy. As long as your actions are not harming anyone then it's all good for me. 

But don't tell me that you love me in Jesus name or that you want to save my soul and then come back and reject my friendship because I reject your faith. If that is not a hypocrite then I don't know what is.

1.a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 
2.a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements. 
Note: All biblical citations are taken from the NIV version of the scriptures. The definitions of the word hypocrite are derived from

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fear the Lord

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,        Deuteronomy 10:12

"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.      Deuteronomy 32:39

From my former position as a leader in one of the most fundamentalist Pentecostal churches of our day I can attest to the power of fear in a religious context. As a believer I interpreted the many feelings and emotions that I experienced as the working of the Holy Spirit within me. It was these experiences that served as evidence and confirmation to me that my god was real, alive, and all powerful. I saw the world in black and white: on the one hand there was God the representative of all that was good and Satan the representative of all that was evil in the world. We were just caught in the struggle.

From 1990-1994 I ran a ministry that consisted of preaching on the streets on Saturdays and Sundays and preaching at church and revivals by invitation. I even got the chance once to preach on a Hispanic Christian radio station. My specialty was what was known as liberation or exorcism. I dealt often with so called demon possessed individuals and often found myself casting those demons out in Jesus name. I did not realize nor had any doubts at the time that there were actual explanations for these so called manifestations of demonic possession: deep indoctrination, mental illness, and high suggestibility just to name a few.

It was this power that I thought I possessed and had that convinced me beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Christian god was the one and only true god. It was this same power that built in me a deep and palpable fear that I could no so easily describe. I loved the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul and had committed myself entirely to his service and what I believed at the time to be his will; to save and liberate as many souls from damnation and bring them into God's saving grace. 

It was this same fear that kept me bound to those superstitions and prevented me from secretly or even openly questioning those beliefs. When I first began to have doubts I simply saw it as one of Satan's many attempts to lead me astray. You see, like the title of Carl Sagan's famous book states I truly was living in a demon haunted world. When I did confide to my pastor and some elders of the church my feelings of doubt I was given ominous warnings about the consequences of leaving the faith.

20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
 2 Peter 2:20-21

My idea of hell in those day was a fiery place of eternal torment and because of my fear of hell I also developed an intense fear of death. I was always burdened with thoughts of my life as a believer being good enough to warrant the rewards of heaven. I was always concerned with pleasing God and living in a way I believed that he approved both in my private and public life. Like a child trying to please his dad I was always looking for ways to stand out and make the good Lord proud of how I used his gifts and sought to fulfill what I thought was his will and mission for my life.

In the end it took me six years to overcome those deeply ingrained fears that I carried. I was an emotional wreck for most of those years and as paranoid as anyone wondering when Satan would pounce on me and steal my life and eternal salvation. I had very realistic nightmares of demonic attacks known as hallucinatory sleep paralysis where I would find myself frozen in fear and felt a presence holding me down to my bed. I heard menacing voices threatening me as I struggled to break free. My mind could not distinguish this nightmare from reality and so I woke up breathless and with my heart pounding out of my chest.

I have come to the conclusion that the deeper the indoctrination the harder it will be to break free from the clutches of the many irrational fears and superstitious baggage that religious beliefs brings. It is my hope that by sharing my experiences and knowledge on how I broke free that I can continue to help others to do the same.

Note: All biblical citations used in this post are from the New International Version of the scriptures.

Friday, August 14, 2015

God is irrelevant

Today I recieved an email from a follower of my blog on prophesying and how it is done. This letter made me reflect on my own experiences in the ministry. It is hard for me to believe that it has been 21 years since I have escaped the mental prison of my former beliefs. It has been 21 years since I finally overcame the fear of a nonexistent tyrannical God and his imaginary hell. I can honestly say today that the greatest burden in this life that I have had to bear was the burden of ignorance  that I once believed with all my heart and mind.

I gave my life and entire being to Jesus and lived to the best of my ability what I taught and preached about. My biggest struggle as a believer was dealing with being a 21 year old evangelist for four years and never having a girlfriend or engaging in sexual activity. I had done so previously before I was a believer, but upon accepting Jesus in my life I became aware that fornication (sex out of wed lock) was a sin. For four years I struggled with my desire to have a God fearing wife and a family but also my desires of the flesh for sex was high on the list as well.

I tried to live my life according to a literal interpretation of what the N.T. said. I walked in awe and revered the Lord and loved him to the fullest. I feared him because of how great I believed him to be and how powerful he was. I believed that I was alive and chosen only by his grace to carry out the mission of bringing the "lost" to Christ. I studied and read my bible daily and carried it around with me at all times; even to work! I meditated on the Lord and his word day and night and often mentally talked (prayed) with him.

When I first began to have doubts about my beliefs I suffered great emotional distress because I thought I was being manipulated or mislead by Satan and his cohorts. He was in my mind the first one to blame for my initial doubts. But then as I read the scriptures more and more I began to notice many inconsistencies with how the church should be run and how it was run. I began to first question the order of the church and then the use of the gifts of the Spirit.

Those initial doubts were the hardest to overcome. but nothing was harder than overcoming the fear itself. I was terrified when I began to doubt and I can't even begin to recall how often I had to ask God for forgiveness for having a certain thought cross my mind. It took me six years to overcome that fear, but the one thing that helped me was the seeking of knowledge.

When I got my nerve up I began to study the process of how our bible came to be. It was a very enlightening process and it led me to believe that there was no divine author or guidance needed; it was entirely the work of several authors who for the most part were anonymous. I then began to question doctrine and to research how I was able to do or demonstrate the power of God in the form of apparent miraculous acts. I found an explanation for every last one of them. Once I broke free from the fear. I felt the chains of ignorance fall from my mind and I saw a whole new world upen up before me.

I will never ever go back to any religion. Especially, any religion that requires that I give up my mind and reason and my ability to logically think and analyze all things. I refuse to bow down to celestial tyrants that in my view are no better than the worst of men. I refuse to believe without question or live a life that is radically opposed to human nature. I hope that I may be able to continue to help others that are facing what I once faced. Stay tuned to this blog because I intend to resume writing on this and many other important matters.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Beyond reason

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8

One of the many features of faith is that no matter how ridiculous a story or an idea may be, it is possible through faith and therefore doesn't require a rational explanation. As a believer I often came across nonbelievers who posed the question "if God made man then who made God?" I would often refer to the above texts or others that were similar to it. My defense was that God was not created that he just is. I could not think beyond God nor did it ever occur to me delve into the origins of God's existence.  

At the time I knew nothing of logical reasoning or philosophy and was completely unaware that by using the Bible and its contents as evidence was nothing more than circular reasoning. It never occurred to me to question the origins of the Bible, who wrote it, how was it composed, compiled, and edited etc. I simply believed that it was the inerrant and wholly inspired word of God. The Bible itself was a witness of itself and the many claims made within its pages. 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

When people questioned the Bible I thought of their lack of understanding as being due to the influence of demons clouding their minds making them incapable of grasping what I thought then was 'the truth.' The bible says that they desired the things of this world and of the flesh more than the things that are of God. 

A true fundamentalist as I once was is not moved by logic or reason and sees these things as inferior to the things of the Lord. 

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

The Bible had an answer for philosophy and other such things that were put in place by the devil to lead mankind astray and keep them from ever obtaining knowledge of the truth that would lead to their eternal salvation. 

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

I was amazed as a believer when I saw these texts and thought to myself back then that God through his word had an answer for everything. This combined with my "supernatural" subjective experiences were enough to confirm my beliefs and the surety of my faith. It never occurred to me at the time that the authors of the Bible were promoting an ideology and that the scriptures themselves were nothing more than propagandist writings used to propound yet another ridiculous mythical set of beliefs. 

Even apologists who claim to be using logic and reason to confirm their beliefs are completely unaware of their utter and complete condition of confirmation bias. Unlike the scientific method they never try to falsify their beliefs. They begin with the presupposition that what they believe is true; and then they look for "evidence" to support what they already have convinced themselves is true ( circular reasoning). 

A theist does not reason beyond his/her faith. They go to the edge of enquiry and when they reach that point they turn around. I remember how when I was stuck and did not have an answer to certain questions made to me I would refer to the scriptures and remind myself that there are mysteries that the Lord in all his wisdom has chosen to remain hidden from us. 

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 

As Christian apologist William Lane Craig once pointed out:
"Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa." Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Revised ed.). Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 1994. ISBN 0-89107-764-2.

Note: All biblical citations comes from the New International Version of the scriptures. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

God's eternal grudge

grudge: a strong feeling of anger toward someone that lasts for a long time

 5The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.Genesis 6:5-6

According to the Christian church as humans we are all born with an imaginary affliction called a sinful nature. The verse quoted above comes from just before the Lord decided to flood the earth and destroy mankind. It states that mans heart is always inclined towards evil.

What is sin?

:  transgression of the law of God
:  an offense against religious or moral law 

Both definitions cited above apply equally, but for our purpose here it is the first one that I'm most interested in. Because the second follows from the first. According to believers our morals come from God. Sin in its simplest definition is nothing more than living against the laws of god as outlined in the scriptures and dictated by the church. 

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned-- Romans 5:12

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

The man that is being referred to is Adam; and it was his disobedience of God's direct command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that brought sin (disobedience) into the world. Because of Adam's sin we have all inherited the propensity to sin and rebel against the dictatorial guy in the sky who wants nothing more than your total submission to his will. 

Basically, if someone offends me I have the choice to either forgive them or to remain angry at them for the rest of my life. But anyone who knows anything about life will know that holding grudges is not a healthy thing to do. There are people in my life that have done things that have been cause for me to hate and despise them to the death. But I believe that life is too short to bother with holding grudges. You can forgive and remember those offences for future reference but it is not healthy to hold on to the feelings associated with those offences when they first occurred. 

For instance my older brother is what we have termed the black sheep of the family. He is always mixed up in something negative like heavy addictions to alcohol and illegal drugs. Because of his chosen lifestyle he has been banned from the entire family. They do not accept him in their homes nor is he trusted by my other siblings. He has stolen from me personally on numerous occasions and yet I still talk to him from time to time, but I keep him at arms length. I don't hate or despise him but I am wary around him and don't trust him. I have forgiven him for all the things he has done to me personally but I keep a close watch on him and when he visits me (rarely) I keep him on a very short leash. 

Unlike the all powerful guy in the sky I can choose to forgive those that offend me. I don't require torture and a blood sacrifice ending with the death of the offering. I guess this is one of those many things that the omnipotent deity of the Bible can't do. He had to become flesh, dwell amongst us, suffer torment and torture at the hands of the Romans, and finally be crucified and die so that he could find it in his heart to forgive me for the sins of Adam. 

Unlike God I don't hold grudges, I just separate myself from the poisonous influences in my life. I have a live and let live policy and unlike the biblical deity I could care less what anyone does with their lives as long as it doesn't affect me or harm anyone in any way. God demands that you believe in his son (himself) and his sacrifice in order to be saved from his wrath which includes eternal separation from him and the tormenting of your soul which is yet another unproven religious concept. 

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. John 3:18

I don't believe in him (Jesus) or his so called message, nor do I believe without evidence in the existence of the biblical deity or any god for that matter. I guess God's grudge towards my person as well as other atheists, agnostics, and other believers in other deities is bound to last forever. 

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version and the word definitions are from the Merriam Webster online dictionary which I have linked to throughout the text itself.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The confirmation bias fallacy

As we all know we each have certain biases that influence how we think and feel about certain matters we encounter in our lives. This is nowhere more prominent and clearly demonstrated than it is in religious belief. Many refer to their religion of choice and it doctrines as the absolute "truth" about mans origins, life, and his purpose in general. Some go as far as stating that there are mysteries which science can never hope to discover but that are only explainable through the acceptance and belief in faith based religious explanations.

That being said, I would like to focus on the informal logical fallacy known as confirmation bias and how it is used and expressed in the lives of fundamentalist believers. As a former fundamentalist Pentecostal evangelist myself; I can attest to the power of faith and its ability to stifle the search for knowledge and it's rejection of reason over the acceptance of unprovable and irrational beliefs.

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: The tendency to look for information that confirms our existing preconceptions, making it more likely to ignore or neglect data that disconfirms our beliefs. For example, when we compare ourselves with others we are more likely to remember other people's mistakes and less likely to think of our own.

The Bible has many examples where the knowledge of men and faith in God are compared and defined. Of course the knowledge of men is often represented as imperfect and of course inferior to the knowledge of God who according to the scriptures is the giver of said knowledge.

 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 1 Timothy 6:20

As you can see it is not prudent to question what one has received by faith. It is referred to as evil and an evil snare to lead believers into a rejection of belief. Ever since I can remember I was and still am today a very inquisitive individual. When I was an evangelist I often questioned to myself the many what at the time I believed to be divine spiritual experiences I had. I "felt" the presence of God every minute of every day and it often gave me goose bumps and was accompanied by a warm tingling sensation all around me. The air felt electric and I felt like I walked inside a shield of divine protection. I often held entire conversations in my head with the Lord which were usually one way but I liked telling him how grateful I was to have found his grace and have been saved by his sacrifice of himself. 

It was these subjective feelings coupled with other everyday experiences that at one time held me captive to the faith. There was no way back then that you could convince me that my God wasn't real. I would reply that I knew he was real because I felt his presence and believed he guided my every action. I spoke in tongues, prophesied, cast out devils, others claimed to have been healed through my ministry. I often cried like a baby when I was overcome with the presence of God and felt what I believed to be his love for me. I had recurring dreams where I often saw myself floating in the air and every dream brought me higher and closer to God. I would often wake up from these dreams and find myself speaking in tongues and overcome by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

As a believer I looked for signs everywhere. If I was about to preach and had a bad experience on the way to the church I took that as a sign that the devils minions were out to stop me from winning souls for Christ or hinder his powers from using me as a vessel through disrupting my focus on the Lord himself. If thing went well I thanked God for the blessings being bestowed upon me although I thought I was never deserving of such favor. I aspired to be a modern day apostle like Peter or even Paul. I wanted God to use me to the fullest potential. I wanted to do greater things than even He did in my ministry as he promised I would. 

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12  

Confirmation bias became my friend and at the same time my worse enemy. I didn't care what so called arguments or evidence  you may have have that refuted my claims about the inerrancy of the Bible. My experiences told me otherwise. The only evidence I cared about was the testimony of a fellow believer who claimed to have been benefited in some way by my ministry. My evidence for my beliefs was the Bible and any and everything else were snares of Satan to deceive and lead me astray. If you did not believe in the scriptures as I did that was your problem and I could only help you if you humbled yourself and let Jesus into your heart to reveal to you as he did to me the truth of his gospel. 

Confirmation bias is the culprit in Christianity or Islam or any other religious beliefs that makes it seem like you are talking to the wall when dealing with believers. Their faith and subjective experiences trump whatever evidence you may have to the contrary. Prominent apologist William Lane Craig said it best: 

"Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa."

It takes determination and an open mind to break free from this cycle of ignorance that one succumbs to in the name of faith. It took me six years to completely overcome the effects that my faith and deep indoctrination had on me. But I can say that it felt like a great weight had been literally lifted off of my shoulders.

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.

 Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Revised ed.). Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 1994. ISBN 0-89107-764-2.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The hiddeness of God problem

21By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

As an atheist one of the second biggest problems I have with belief in the Judaeo-Christian deity is the fact that his existence lies beyond the realm of objective or empirical proofs. The first problem for me is the problem of evil. In this post I would like to address the issue of the hiddeness of God and why outside of faith one cannot otherwise "know him."

Right out of the gate I would like to state that I personally do not consider faith in any form as a reliable source of information or evidence. Religious faith in and of itself is an entirely subjective matter accompanied by so called experiences that are equally irrelevant when it comes to providing evidence for the existence of the biblical god.

I also do not consider the Bible the word of God. In my opinion it is neither authored, inspired, or even a work of said invisible guy in the sky. Therefore, the Bible itself is not a reliable source of information nor a valid proof for God's existence. But since it is the foundational document of belief for Christians the world over we will use it here for illustrative purposes only.

First as you can see from the biblical text I used to open this post with God apparently had no problems with revealing himself to mankind. In this case in particular to the ancient Hebrews as he liberated them from 400 years of slavery in the land of Egypt. Wow! Talk about the wheels turning slowly! But according to this text God led them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Both physical proofs of his existence.

16And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled. 17And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. Exodus 19:16-17

Apparently not only did God give visual evidences of his existence and presence amongst the ancient Hebrews, but he also gave them audible proofs as well. Unfortunately today the good Lord doesn't like to speak anymore. That is unless you count hearing either your own voice or other voices in your head the voice of God. Most likely it is the product of a very deluded individual or the symptoms of schizophrenia.

In the O.T. the Lord even took challenges from other competing religions and gods and true to his form came through with flying colors.

36At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” 1 Kings 18:36-39

After challenging the prophets of the god Baal Elijah received a proof of God to his people and all present that he alone was god. Of course Baal did not respond to the prayers and supplications of the prophets and thus lost the challenge altogether. 

Anyone who reads the Old Testament in its entirety gets to see a God who was not only a tyrant but a moral monster in my view. He instilled fear in his people and demanded their worship and respect. According to many of the mythological tall tales found within its pages God often took a personal interest in disciplining and even executing his people who challenged or disobeyed his laws. The funny thing about it all is that even with all these proofs of his existence we constantly read that the Hebrews would often stray from his laws and at times even worship other gods from some of the foreign cultures they encountered.

This brings us to my current views on the demand for faith which is really believing without evidence. I see the idea of faith as a  rationalization for God as to why he doesn't personally deal with people anymore. The world is filled with evil people committing evil acts and the Lord remains silent to the suffering of a humanity that he allegedly created and loves! Children are raped, kidnapped, and murdered on a daily basis in this world and God does nothing to save or protect them. I often refer to man as the most brutal animal to walk the earth. We do things to each other that makes even the wildest carnivores in nature look tame and moral from a human perspective. 

People call out to God all the time from the most dire circumstances or even when in peril of death and he does nothing to save them. The biblical deity has become nothing more than a useless and abstract idea. There is no credible evidence for his existence today nor do I think in my opinion that there ever was. I see the stories in the bible as nothing more than a collection of ancient myths and superstitions with no basis in historical fact whatsoever. The world without gods makes so much more sense and requires no justification when bad things happen to otherwise good people. 

You would think that if this message of God's were so vital and important that he would go out of his way to make his presence and existence known to all those that request it. He would make it so that everyone who did request it all had accounts of their experiences that can be proven and are consistent with those of others. He would make it so that his existence could be proven both objectively and empirically by showing himself in times of need as he allegedly did in the Old Testament. For instance when the ancient Hebrews were fleeing from Pharaohs army and found themselves trapped between the army and the see he opened the see and led them across on dry land! He then drowned Pharaoh and his army when they attempted pursuit. Where my dear Christian, Jew, or Muslim is this god? 

The biblical deity has taken his place in my view in the make believe realm of mythology from whence all of mans imaginations have run wild creating and believing all sorts of insane and irrational beliefs without evidence. Fear has been and continues to be the driving force of all religions that bow down and pledge allegiance to some imaginary being or beings. As a nonbeliever in fairy tales and myths I refuse to bow down. Instead, I pledge my loyalty to logical reasoning and critical thinking. 

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.