Tuesday, December 09, 2008

no offence, but

i want to talk about the idea of god, the idea of heaven, and how it's all just a delusion, to steal the most appropriate word i can think of from mr. dawkins.

reading the paper today, and specifically the text message about the runner who died from cancer, saying "she's in heaven now" instead of "she's died" made me want to puke.

why do adults, seemingly intelligent adults, buy this rubbish?

it's because they (we, i'll include myself) are so scared of death, so terrified it's final and black and nothing.

i am scared of death. when i think of it, though, i push the thought away and try to live in the present and enjoy my life and be grateful. i don't comfort (delude) myself that it will be lovely, and there'll be heaven and family reunions and a pony for everyone.

likewise, the tons of messages on the triple m website for richard marsland. all this guff about god having a new comedy writer on the team, and heaven will all be laughing, and the angels had plans for richard.

IT'S RUBBISH. IT'S FAIRYTALE. WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE SEE IT?

come on. give me your best shot. what have you got to convince me?

logic and intelligence is on my side.

and i want to say, one of my fave bloggers is a religious man in the traditional sense of the word. i don't want to piss him off, but at the same time, i can't censor myself just to tip-toe around others. so, sorry dude.

52 comments:

Perseus said...

I'm with you all the way.

I also get angry at weddings and funerals.

And I find the compulsory requirement for parliament to recite the Lord's Prayer to be insulting.

Mex said...

im with you as well. try finding a christmas card that is relelvant, that a) has nothing to do with jebus and b) has nothing to do with "winter" christmas. its stupid.

Little Miss Scatterbrain said...

i'm scared of death as well, which is why i hold onto the notion of heaven or "the other side" for dear life. My logic and common sense points the other way, but...i dunno. It's burnt there.

i don't like people who claim to "talk to the dead". No. Don't do that. They're grieving people.

and i don't get the people who don't go to church their ENTIRE LIVES but get married in one. WTF?

Pepsi said...

Is there a heaven……. you'll find out the answer to that question one day - one way or another one, just like all of us.

I always thought lots of people believed in something because they are too scared to want to even consider that this, in the here and now, is it. It gives them something to cling onto (or hide behind) when things arent looking too rosy. And it actually does help some people through some of the rough patches.

I also think what when someone dies, the grief of never being able to see them ever again is pretty hard to deal with and can be overwhelming, believing that you will see them again someday in 'heaven' or your beliefs equivalent, helps alot of people get through it.

I think this applies to alot of average ordinary people, dont ask me about the zealots/fanatics though - I just dont get them, never will.

I was raised a catholic and come from a family that all the oldies are still practicing, whereas I havent stepped inside a church for anything except for a bit of sightseeing, weddings, baptisms or funerals since I left high school. I don’t really think much about the religion I was raised in or live by any of their doctrines , but I do tick the box on a census form ( I don’t really know why I do this).

I do believe in heaven but its more for selfish reasons than any pious devotion, you see my mum died when I was 12, and she believed, and I’d like to think that one day I’ll get to see her again and show her that I grew up into a strong, independent and contented woman and someone that she would of been proud of. There will be a few other people that I’d like to see again just to kick their butts for taking the easy way out but that’s not really relevant to this topic & if I stay true to the doctrine of the faith I was raised in, they wouldn’t be there anyway.

I would never call myself religious but I always visit the religious sights if I’m travelling – more for curiosities sake than anything else, people fascinate me and I love to watch how people live. And it gives me great brownie points with my grandmother – you see I’m competing against all the breeding siblings and cousins & it’s a losing battle.

Yes deep down I think its an illusion but I don’t think we know enough about science and our own brains to live without this illusion yet.

Perseus said...

Pepsi - It's hard to respond knowing that part of your belief structure involves your Mum watching over you... which is a lovely and comforting thought.

I too have lost loved ones, but I've never once imagined that they are watching over me, or are consciuous of my continued existence.

But, in return, my way of remaining connected is to presume that I walk in their steps, or that I carry a part of them with me. It is in me that they continue to exist. Not in heaven. I take comfort in that, as opposed to presuming they are elsewhere.

Maybe because I wasn't brought up in a religious family is the reason I find the concept of surviving one's own death to be so ludicrous.

I highly recommend The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. he spends much time debating the assertion that 'one day we'll find out' on the grounds that we already have found out that there is no after-life.

Pepsi said...

Hey Pers,

I’ve never really considered it as the watching over you in heaven sort of thing, that’s not really meaningful to me. I think I’ve always thought of it more like parallel universes (closets thing I can think of to explain it), with no contact except once you move from one to the other.

I agree with you wholeheartedly when you say its within you that they continue their existence, that’s incredibly useful once the raw grief starts to fade.

I am keen on the idea of surviving ones own death though, as I think I’m an explorer and I’d be so keen to find out what other “existences” there could be.

I quite like the idea of something different – being reborn into a different form of being on a new plain. Natural inbuilt curiosity and a thirst for learning / experiencing new things drives this wish.

I’d be pretty disappointed if this life was it. I want to continue the adventure.

KittyMeow said...

I too find it so incredibly insulting how in so many situations, christianity or a belief in god is the "default" by which things are done by. Like weddings, funerals, etc etc. And doing things differently gets so many questions??

And I also think that its incredibly arrogant for humans to think that some "higher power" or conscious being would ever care about the minutae of our lives!!! But I do accept that people turn to god when they can't find that strength within themselves to get through some hard times.

I believe in spirituality and a (becoming) conscious universe.... Each to their own I guess!

Another Outspoken Female said...

I don't believe in heaven but I have "seen dead people" and I have no bloody idea where they've "gone" because they sure aren't in heaven. Though paradoxically I do believe in the great nothingness too.

And do you know what. It doesn't matter. I figure we get judged in this life, by how others react to our actions and inactions. No mythical creature at pearly gates.

I think all people are allowed to have their myths and fables. But call it fact and thats defying intelligence.

Or am I just jaded being now in week 3 of having the salvationbloodyarmy playing christmas carols outside my workplace? If I hear a brass three piece play jingle bells one more time I may not be responsible for my actions!

I'm not Craig said...

Hi. I will try to comment on this properly some time soon but I can't do it now as I am going out to study Bibles for the evening.

Also, on the off chance that I might be the religious blogger you were referring to, I would be absolutely shattered if you ever felt the need to censor yourself to tip toe around me.

Melba said...

INC yes it was you I referred to, and so I didn't censor, because I trust you and I know you're ok with other people having their opinions.

Happy Bibling.

gullybogan said...

That whole god thing *is* pretty silly.

Melba said...

I want to say I respect everyone's opinions on this subject, but I guess I don't.

What I do respect is everybody's RIGHT to have an opinion that's different to mine. That's fine. It's inalienable, just like Reg said.

One thing though - I wasn't questioning whether there is a heaven. Like AOF suggested, I believe heaven and hell (for want of better terms, they do come in handy sometimes) are here on earth. We suffer, we delight in the sublime. Some have more than their fair share of each.

I'm not agnostic, I'm atheist. I'm not wondering about the existence heaven or god. I know there's no heaven. But then believers might say, well, of course there won't be for *you* you have to have faith.

Perseus mentioned Dawkin's argument, or rebuttal of the argument, re heaven's existence. We atheists know there's no heaven. But how do believers have the same conviction?

Pepsi said...

"We atheists know there's no heaven."

You believe that and theres absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you dont know that for sure do you, how can you?

Just the same as the ones who believe dont know for sure it exists either.

We cant prove it exists nor can we prove it doesnt exist.

I dont know either way, I'll find out eventually but hopefully that day is a long way away.

But to answer your question, the conviction of the believer is based on a little bit of faith and alot of hope.

Melba said...

Yes Pepsi, I agree, but my conviction as a non-believer is based on a whole lot of Logic. And the agreement of some of the greatest thinkers and philosophers in history.

I'm not just being a recalcitrant. I really do believe that's it when you die. I don't have the questions of an agnostic, and the atheist doesn't have to prove it past anything other than a logical argument. It makes sense. We aren't sentient beings before we come into existence, why should it be any different when we die? It's not logical.

Pepsi said...

If you say you 'know' there is no heaven then that to me is a belief because unless you've been dead and have a memory of it then you just cant know.

Logic to me is not proof, nor is the opinion of great thinkers and philosophers.

In an earlier age, the great thinkers and philosophers agreed that the world was flat till this was proven wrong.

Knowing requires proof and evidence and until that is provided then none of us know for sure either way do we.

"We aren't sentient beings before we come into existence" - I would question this, do you really know this is true?

Using this as your premise for your convictions with todays science and the limitations of humanities memory doesnt make any sense to me.

When something like this comes up I try to look at it as if I was someone from centuries ago - what did we believe with our limited knowledge then and how has these beliefs changed as our knowledge increases.

It would be interesting to have this conversation again in a couple of hundred years time to see how our knowledge has changed.

Perseus said...

"You believe that and theres absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you dont know that for sure do you, how can you?"

I disagree Pepsi. We know there is no Heaven. There simply isn't. The concept is as ludicrous as 'There is a place where tigers speak swahili and rain is made from a doberman's tears. You'll see it when you die.'

This place I just invented has no more or less philosophical, intellectual or scientific weight than that of heaven.

To say "we'll never know" is a dumb argument. There is no logic to it, because we'll also never know if there's not a place where tigers speak swahili etc etc. We'll never know if there's a place in the after-world where policemen are made of jelly either.

We all know there is no heaven. Just some choose to cling to it in hope.

Same goes for God.

I really do recommend the Dawkins book, as he also goes to great lengths in proving the above.

Pepsi said...

"We know there is no Heaven. There simply isn't."

Did you stamp your feet when you typed that?

You say there isnt because there simply isnt. Its not logical therefore it doesnt exist - you see that stance just really annoys me, its just so narrow minded (as is a similiar stance from the 'true believers')

I'm not arguing that there is - I just dont know. What I dont understand though is people who argue there isnt and all they can say is that it doesnt make sense or its illogical but oh they KNOW they are right.

Would you of burnt witches at the stake too because what some of them did was illogical or didnt make sense to you at the time?

I am pragmatic by nature and deep down I dont think there is, but I'm not going to get on the blower and shout to the world that there isnt a heaven and I know that for a fact, because I just dont.

Melba said...

I don't know that it's the atheist responsibility to prove the absence of something. It should be the default position. - doesn't there have to be something to fill a vacuum?

Read the God Delusion. He can do it better than me.

Melba said...

The bit about the Pascal's Wager is particularly interesting, re hedging bets.

I'm not Craig said...

I have way too much to say on this to leave in one comment so there will be a post about it over at my place any minute now.

What I will say for now is that I am baffled by the level of certainty around here. I accept that atheists don't have to prove heaven isn't there and God doesn't exist, because it's impossible to prove a negative.

At the same time, since it's impossible to prove a negative, why claim that you can?

As for why I'm a believer, that will appear on my blog as soon as I get done writing it.

Perseus said...

Pepsi - do you believe when you die you go to Jellyworld where everyone wears purple pyjamas? Why not? How can you say there's no Jellyworld? That's so narrow minded of you.

Perseus said...

Oh, and Pepsi:

Would you of burnt witches at the stake too because what some of them did was illogical or didnt make sense to you at the time?

That is a ludicrous argument. It is the very opposite to this I espouse. Remember, it was the religious that burnt the 'witches', not the secular.

Us atheists tend to rely on philosophy, science, logic, maths, psychology, psychiatry, evidence, facts, truths, experience and knowledge to make decisions.

For a 'faith' based irrational decision, you need a religious person.

Who's gonna burn an alleged witch at a stake? Someone who thinks it's God's will to do so. NOT an atheist. Dude, we don't even believe in witchcraft.

Melba said...

While watching West Wing I was giving this alot of thought.

INC, how can you be baffled by the certainty? Isn't that the argument of the believers, that there is certainty for them? If you profess to doubt, then you have no faith then your whole argument falls down.

Faith = certainty.

I have faith that there is no heaven, god etc. How can you say my faith is unacceptable, or flawed or less worth than yours?

As for proof, it's took late. And you have to talk to Dawkins. As I said, he can do it better than me.

Time for bed. Perseus and Pepsi, carry on.

I'm not Craig said...

Faith = certainty?

Are you sure?

Seriously, any person of faith who claims to never experience doubt is either kidding you or, very sincerely, kidding him or her self.

I seem to recall posting about this once before. And, if you happen to be interested, you can find it at:

http://iwanttorideit.blogspot.com/2007/05/again-with-atheism-part-2.html

Perseus said...

Religious / supernatural faith = Believing in something that's obviously not true.

Melba said...

I thought faith had to be certain, otherwise you would just talk yourself out of it quite easily.

So, moments of wavering coincide with reason and logic maybe? The little windows of "what the fuck was I thinking? This is bullshit!"

Maybe faith is the non-theatre equivalent of "suspension of disbelief"?

So, are believers actually agnostics? What differentiates the two?

My brain is about to explode. But in a good, intellectually stimulating way.

Sweet Madelaine said...

Hi Melba,
I've been reading you for a while now and often identifying, so I thought I'd say hello and thanks for the words read, and add a little to this discussion (one of my favourites).
There are moments I'd quite like to have a bit of faith but logic trips me up every time.
And I've always found John Lennon's call to imagine no heaven so inspiring. Almost a great leap of faith in itself.
'Above us only sky'.

Imagine that!

Pepsi said...

For Pers,

Rightio, you don't believe there is a heaven, that's ok I have no problem with that.

You think its pretty silly, illogical and makes no sense, that's ok too because I also have no problem with that.

Now, because to you the notion of a heaven is silly and illogical and makes no sense, you've taken the leap which says that you now no longer just believe it doesn't exist for the reasons listed above, but you also know for certain it doesn't exist.

So in summary your position is:

a belief (it doesn't exist)
+
a little logical review (it makes no sense with what you understand & your ref book agrees with you)
+
a personal opinion (heaven is a silly notion)
=
a fact.

That to me is not ok, you see Atheism, as Melba said, is just another belief. And by telling me you know that heaven doesn't exist, aren't you then implying that your belief is correct, and this would also imply that you know (or believe) everybody who disagrees with your belief is wrong including the people who believe in a heaven.

"Religious / supernatural faith = Believing in something that's obviously not true."

Obviously not true ???

Give me a bottle of Jack and let me smash you over the head with it - how the hell can you be so arrogant about that.

Are you one of those people who think that everything they believe is correct and everybody who disagrees with you is wrong?
***I am shaking my head sadly at this thought***

I welcome, understand and support different beliefs, and if you told me you didn't believe in heaven I'd happily accept that, but I cant for the life of me tolerant someone telling me they know something is true just because they think it is, and when you said 'We all know there is no heaven.' you are doing exactly that.

wrt the witches - you didn't get it, though Jellyworld has a certain appeal.

For Melba,

Faith doesn't always equal certainty, that's too simple, I think only blind faith leads to certainty.

Melba said...

But Pepsi, Perseus and I DO know there's no literal heaven. And everybody who think there is, IS wrong.

Maybe it's arrogant, but I'd rather be arrogant than deluded. Or sitting on the fence like an agnostic. You say you don't think there is heaven/god etc, but then you quantify it by statements like 'but we don't really know, all of us will find out one day.'

I don't NEED to find out. I know. So if I am without doubt, but believers are allowed to have doubt (it's a natural component of faith) or it's expected of them, as INC said over in his post, then my position is actually more sound. Arrogant or not.

And it's not a blind-type of thinking. It's very, very eyes open.

Melba said...

PS LIGHT-HEARTED '80S DIARAMA-FEST COMING UP, FOLKS.

Pepsi said...

Is wrong??

That thinking reminds me very much of another group of people - you know the ones that think their view is right and everybody elses view is wrong - extremists we call. They think their eyes are wide open too.

I'd much rather appreciate varying views and theres no way I'd tell anybody their view is right or wrong.

Nice to see more diary entries but I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole debate.

Melba said...

I know Pepsi. This is the one issue where I am like this. Where I am right and the others are wrong. Oh, and paedophilia. That's wrong too.

Of course I accept other people's views, but I can tell them they're wrong, can't I? Or do I have to soften the blow, and say "Excuse me, I don't agree, but let's agree to disagree"? Of course I tolerate other people talking about religion and I enjoy discussing it, and believe it or not, I can discuss it without ramming my opinion down people's throats, and offending them. But this is my blog, my space, and it was really the original stuff about "heaven" and "passing away" that made me start this whole thing.

I'm not trying to convert anyone, or change anyone's mind. This is not an argument. I am just saying in this one thing, I'm right. I know I'm right. And if I'm right, then the others have to be wrong. And they don't seem to be so sure about there being a literal heaven/god.

I am winding you up a little, too though. Sorry.

Should I start with the diarama now? Or should we wait for some more from Perseus, god-smiter?

Melba said...

Sorry what I meant to say was I accept other people have DIFFERING VIEWS.

Brain is melting now.

Pepsi said...

Whatever takes your pleasure, dont know if he will fire a final volley though - I think he might be a little pre-occupied - dating conundrums and all.

Its always a pleasure spending time here at your blog.

Anyhows, I'm off to my work christmas party now - my mission today is to get so drunk that I fall over.

Perseus said...

Melba, I love you.

*

Pepsi... you never answered my Jellyworld thing - seriously. Do you believe in Jellyworld? If you say 'no' with any certainty, may I then suggest smashing a bottle over your head for daring to suggest it definitely doesn't exist?

Jellyworld and Heaven have equal likelihood of existing.

I bet you a zillion dollars you will say 'There is no Jellyworld' and you will 'know' this.

Well, it's with that conviction that Melba and I know there's no heaven. It doesn't exist. It's a fairy fucking tale.

And as for your comment: Atheism.. is just another belief.

No, it's not. To use the word 'belief' implies we 'know' there's a heaven but we choose to 'believe' the opposite. This is not about something so flimsy and abstract as 'belief'.

There's no heaven. 1 + 1 = 2.

And if you try the 'prove it' argument again I'll smash a bottle against my own head, because it is the dumbest argument on Earth that every Christian uses. Prove there's no heaven? No. Prove there's no Jellyworld!

If I ask you to prove there's no Jellyworld you will not be able to do it. So why should I be able to prove there's no Heaven?

Prove there's no sxvcvhfdidnsvjcdvsghi!

Prove there is no 5787889nnnnndoig!

Go on, prove it!

Melba said...

Persey, I love you too.

SRSLY!

I'm not Craig said...

Melbs, a few comments back you wrote

I thought faith had to be certain, otherwise you would just talk yourself out of it quite easily.

So, moments of wavering coincide with reason and logic maybe? The little windows of "what the fuck was I thinking? This is bullshit!"

Maybe faith is the non-theatre equivalent of "suspension of disbelief"?

So, are believers actually agnostics? What differentiates the two?

My brain is about to explode. But in a good, intellectually stimulating way.



Being certain about matters of faith is not a bad thing, in itself. I would go so far as to suggest that it’s an ideal. Believers are not agnostics. It’s just that if you happen to be open-minded and intellectually curious, there are bound to be times when you question what you believe, and even experience doubts.

No, wavering doesn’t usually coincide with reason and logic and it hardly ever involves a what the fuck was I thinking moment. I'm actually happy to spend hours writing about the intellectual justifications for believing in God and heaven and everything that goes with it. It’s quite good fun. I just don’t see the point because I’m quietly convinced that you can’t argue someone into having faith.

Faith has nothing to do with suspension of disbelief. My faith is the thing that most defines me as a person, so to base it on suspension of disbelief would make me quite literally the stupidest person in the world.

People are, of course, welcome to draw that conclusion if they like.

Faith, for me, is about reaching a conclusion and doing your best to stick to it. It does not mean sticking to it no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. That’s not faith, that’s arrogance and narrow-mindedness and intellectual laziness. My 35 years of life experience on this planet have led me to conclude that there is a God. Agree with me, disagree with me, that’s entirely up to you. But don’t equate lack of doubt with correctness. I’ve been absolutely certain and entirely wrong far too many times in my life to make that mistake again.

To drag this back to the original question of heaven, well, if I believe in God, it would be amazingly wacky to think that it was all true except the heaven part. At the risk of making Perseus’ head explode, the existence of heaven follows, logically, from the existence of God. Feel free to question my premise on that one.


And Perseus, may I just say, briefly, seriously dude? Seriously?

I haven’t heard anyone around here say that you have to believe in heaven because you can’t prove it doesn’t exist. I certainly have heard anyone say that you have to believe in everything else that can’t be positively proven not to exist. I realise that we Christians have been guilty of such appalling bad arguments in the past but, for the purpose of this discussion, raising a stupid argument that no one else has raised and then telling us how stupid it is doesn’t really get us very far.

It’s a shame you didn’t make that Jellyworld bet with me instead of with Pepsi. I could use a zillion dollars, if you happen to have them lying around spare. For I have no idea whether there is a Jellyworld. Frankly, if there is, I want to go there, for it sounds awesome. But whether there is or not, what in the name of all that is good and true is wrong with saying “I don’t know?”

I have only the sketchiest idea of how an internal combustion engine actually works and I couldn’t build one if my life depends on it. Don’t even start me on my complete failure to comprehend quantum physics, or, frankly, to properly grasp Year 12 physics. So why on earth would I think that I understand everything that there is to know about the universe? Do parallel worlds exist? Psychic powers? Reincarnation? Heaven? Can any of it be proved either way?

No.

You’ve found endless numbers of ways of saying that heaven isn’t there because it just isn’t. So far, that seems to be your whole argument. Adding 1+1 = 2 doesn’t help much either, although it does, happily, give us something we can agree on.

And Melbs, back to you. You say that you know you’re right, and this, pedophilia aside, is the one thing where you know you are right and everyone else is wrong.

What baffles me here is that, of all the issues in the world for you to decide to be so certain on, you have chosen one that simply can not be proved either way. Why chose this one issue? And why does it upset you to the point of actually wanting to vomit when other people express a differing view?

Just wondering.

Melba said...

Hey INC I thought this was over. But not yet.

When I said that this was the only thing I knew I was right about, I was kind of being a little "large" about it. Of course there are other things I'm certain about too. But saying that was me just being flamboyant for the benefit of Pepsi. And kind of winding her up and getting a little provocative, as I indicated. It's clear to all of us I think that we have to let it lie, carry on. It was never an exercise to change anyone's minds, but to discuss.

I can't find my comment where I said it actually makes me want to spew when I hear people talking about heaven etc. But I know I said it. Again, dramatic licence. I don't really want to spew literally but it makes me sick, ie it grates on me.

And why did I choose this one thing to be absolutely certain about? Like you have argued, you didn't choose to believe, no one sat you down, explained it all for you to then say "ok, sounds good, that's for me." I just know there's no heaven, it's more than a belief. Going around in circles now, sorry Pepsi for being arrogant again.

Thanks for your ace comment here INC. I'll leave another at yours but maybe tomorrow. Brain is exploding not least because of 2 West Wings on top of wine and too much red meat. To the crossword now!

Peace out.

Melba said...

Also, INC you say don't equate lack of doubt with correctness. You're right. I've been wrong, many many times, and at times when I've been so certain. I know all about perceptions, and interpretations, misperceptions and misinterpretations. Shifting truths, all of that.

But this, I don't know. I am just sure and I really don't think I'm wrong on this one.

The funny thing is guys, if I were some hard-core religionist insisting there were a heaven, and there is a god, would you be having the same reaction to me?

Pepsi, I hope you got back home safely.

Perseus said...

"But whether there is or not, what in the name of all that is good and true is wrong with saying “I don’t know?”

Becuae it's intellectually lazy.

Perseus said...

And IMC, I contiributed to your May 24, 2007 blog.

I'm not Craig said...

Melbs
If you were some hard core religionist insisting that there was a heaven, I suspect that Perseus would have a few things to say about that. On recent form, they would possibly involve jelly.


Perseus
The phrase you are looking for is "intellectually honest".

At the start of the God Delusion documentary, Richard Dawkins speaks very eloquently and movingly about his respect for the scientific method, including how important it is to be willing to be proved wrong.

It's one of life's little ironies that he spends the next hour getting cross with anyone who suggests that he may discover one day that he is wrong.

It's another of life's little ironies that I just got called intellectually lazy by someone whose argument boils down to 1+1=2 therefore there is no heaven.

It may be possible to prove that there is no jellyworld. All I need to do is ring up Jerry O'Connell and ask to borrow that little gizmo he carried around in "Sliders" and then visit every single parallel universe there is, whilst trying not to get killed by a race of Cro-mags.

Until someone does this I stand by my "I don't know".

Thanks for your contribution to my May 2007 post. I will go and read it, right now.

Perseus said...

You've missed the point of Dawkins, INC. He's gone to great lengths to explain how we can know or not.

I stick by my 'intellectually lazy' line. To say, "Er, I dunno" to any theory is lazy.

How did the Universe start? "I dunno."

How does DNA work? "I dunno."

What happens when we die? "I dunno."

It's lazy.

And my 1 + 1 = 2 quip was not "1 + 1 = 2 and therefore there's no heaven". Dude, give me some credit.

1 + 1 = 2 is something we can test and it continues to be true... likewise, the absence of heaven, as a standing theory from which we may base further theories, is also a 'truism' that continues to be so.

The same cannot be said of the existance of heaven, which is solely a 'supernatural'/faith thing from which no testable theory can launch.

I suggest that the existence of heaven is the same as saying 1 + 1 = 3... and insisting to people that although it seems whack, faith will overcome the alternative.

Melba said...

Obviously, more comments may come in as the weekend progresses but I am wanting to move onto equally important matters, such as '80s diaries, which have been woefully negleted in this, the pursuit of truth and whackness.

But in closing, can I say to Pepsi and INC in particular, and anyone else who is interested:

Read Dawkin's The God Delusion.

I wonder, specifically, why INC you haven't read it, and why you based a post (way back) on the documentary? Read the book.

Peace out everyone. Love yas all. Keep rockin' and don't get blown over in the wind. Wear good shoes outside, don't get your feet wet or you might wake up with a sore throat the next day (like me a few days ago.) Be careful with your umbrellas. Don't eat too much red meat.

Melba said...

SORRY, DAWKINS POSSESSIVE APOSTROPHE.

DAWKINS'
DAWKINS'
DAWKINS'

did the rmit professional writing and editing course teach me nothing?

I'm not Craig said...

So, Perseus, all I have to do to avoid being labelled as lazy around here is understand how the universe began, how DNA works and all there is to know about life after death?

Meh. Screw that.

Just to correct one minor misconception, my position on life after death isn't "dunno", it's "I believe in heaven but since there is no way to scientifically prove or disporove it I have to allow some intellectual space for the possibility that I am wrong"

Believing that 1+1=3 isn't faith, it's innumeracy. And continuing to believe it after someone hands you two pies and shows you how to count them is flat out stupidity. If that's your concet of faith, no wonder you're an atheist.

If you can prove to me that heaven doesn't exist, I'll stop believing in it. Since proving it one way or the other is impossible, I'm on reasonably safe ground there, so I'll go one better and say this:

If you can mount a half way convincing argument, I'll take it seriously.

If "it's whack" is your best shot, we're done here.


Melbs
I do plan to read the God Delusion, but I have been putting it off on the basis that the documentary (or at least the half of it that I watched) was so bad that it has been hard to get excited about the book. It's kind of like telling someone who watched a Twenty-20 game and hated it that she should sit through all five days of a Test match.

Still, if I can track a copy down, I shall give it a go.

Perseus said...

INC: You left out, "Good day, sir!" And if there was an emoticon that depicted a slamming door, that would have been cool too.

If 1 + 1 = 3 is inumeracy, then 'when we die we're actually still alive and we get to meet God and our grandparents' is illogicity.

Illogicity isn't a word, is it?

I'm not Craig said...

Perseus

Let me know if you ever find such an emoticon. It could come in handy some day.

I forgot to mention it earlier, but I agree with you about the Lord's prayer in Parliament.

I have a theory that you like to get the last word every bit as much as I do.

Should we find out?

Melba said...

Go and read the diaries you two.

It's been a nice walk in the woods, now ENOUGH.

Or would you like me to get the girls together to talk about shoes? Would that help?

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