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The Taboo of Questioning Religion and Irreducible Complexity

     Why is it that we are not supposed to question religion? Some one might get offended? I have personally never understood the idea of feeling offended. The most applicable definition of 'offend' from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is exactly as follows:

"a : to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury"

     Now why would honest inquiry contradicting a belief cause difficulty or discomfort? Well, I am quite certain I am about to test the boundary of offending a person. As it was discussed by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion", I contend that being offended by these questions is to be embarrassed by the answer.  These questions appeal to rationality, and highly irrational and inexplicable answers leave one feeling ignorant or unintelligent. I do not believe that of the vast majority of people I have encountered. They may be ignorant on the subject, but that isn't an insult, we are all ignorant of certain things. They aren't necessarily unintelligent though. More likely, they have never questioned these institutions and doctrines of faith because of the social stigma and negative connotation that goes with it. 

     Telling those close to me who I know to hold conflicting beliefs that I am in fact an atheist was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Being an atheist is a quick path to being laughed at and become the subject of anger and discontent. It can immediately render a person as unsuitable to enter a relationship with. You will automatically be considered a bad person to varying degrees by many people without a second thought. Family can instantly become appalled and ashamed of you. Simply because you view the universe in a rational sense. Your standing in a community and how people perceive you can change in an instant. According to the Bible you are instantly as sinful and bad as anyone on the planet for rejecting God. 

     Now, the theories proposed on the origin of life are still very simple. And they will always remain simple. Just as evolution is simple but results in complexity. The hypothesis of God requires God to be an extremely complex being, which then subjects him to the same question as life, what created it? The human consciousness is simply not capable of understanding the origin of life at this point in our evolutionary progress. Things like lower back pain are attributed to being overweight, sleeping in an odd position or lifting something incorrectly. However, we have evolved to walking upright over billions of years of walking on all fours. If we still walked on all fours, we wouldn't encounter this. These things will disappear in future phases of evolution, just the same way the appendix has become a non-essential organ that is more hazardous to us than anything. Our complexity is a product of something vastly more simple. For me it was an awe-inspiring and even life changing revelation when I began to understand evolution. Ultimately having concrete answers was very enlightening. And I find it eternally enlightening to know that even when my scientific heroes die, and even when I die that science will carry on in the quest for truth. 

     The fact that we are composed of the exact same elements that make up the universe is enlightening, and it's just further proof of these scientific theories. The problem is that it's not 'cool' to like science and math. For all of my lifetime and for quite a while before, those who take interest in these things are labeled as geeks. I certainly am a geek, and I am proud of that. Remember, without geeks you wouldn't be reading this right now. Because not only would you not have the internet, you wouldn't even have the computer you read this from if it wasn't for those with a great appreciation of science. 

     So if something can not come from nothing, what made God? More specifically what made such a complex God? Only a being even more complex could have created a being with such complexity. Shouldn't we be simplifying things as we trace it back (especially knowing all we know of how life evolves to be more complex not the other way around) rather than tracing it back to a more and more complex being? Shouldn't we avoid the infinite regress? Every thing in this world has a simpler origin, not a more complex one. There is no known exception to this rule. Creating one by inserting God as the answer to all of the universe's origin leaves you constantly scrambling to answer an infinitely more complex question with a more complex answer. This is contradicting to everything we know about how the world works and how life emerges.

     I don't ask you to change your beliefs, I ask that you think about it rationally and logically and subject every thing to criticism and questioning, and to remember that we are composed of the same elements as everything in the known universe. That isn't a hypothesis, it is proven and irrefutable fact. 

Occupy Everything!!!

    In case anyone out there hasn't noticed, our nation is reaching a potential turning point. In case you are completely blind, deaf and dumb, you should know there are thousands of people "Occupying" Wall Street in protest. And their protest is probably the worthiest of causes of any protest this nation has seen since the tea party and the Revolutionary War. By tea party I don't mean the garbage touted by Fox News as some kind of genius reform party. I mean the fucking Boston Tea Party. And just in case you've been under a rock for decades, I should inform you that 1% of the population possesses 40% of all the wealth. How much do you have? Well, if you're reading MY blog, I am guessing you have something similar to me, which is...well jack shit. That means WE are the 99%. WE are the majority, and we're are allowing a few megalomaniacal, greedy scumbags to walk on us.

   To this point our generation has remained the "rebels without a cause". We have stood for nothing while claiming to rebel against everything. Sure, we play our Rage Against the Machine records loud and proud, but for what? For entertainment, and the infinite enjoyment of being the rebel. Thousands continue to Occupy Wall Street, where they have remained since September 17, 2011. "Occupy protests" have popped up all over the nation. The internet is on fire spreading the word, and ordinary people just as us, pleading their case for change, begging for change, followed only by the words "I am the 99%". For fuck sake people, let those damn Farmville crops die, and use your voice. Give your attention to the future of this nation. How many of you have posted online, or said to a friend, soldiers have fought and died to uphold our Constitution?. Our freedom of speech, our RIGHT to peacefully assemble. If you do not exercise these rights, then they have died in vain, and it seems you have made these exclamations of passed soldiers merely for a few likes on Facebook, or to make yourself feel like a patriot. I'm not occupying Wall Street, because I can not feasibly get there and do so. But I sure as hell will use my voice. If you are watching this pass, or blindly following our "leaders" into an abyss, then I say you are "Un-American". You are un-patriotic, and fail to understand what these rights bestowed upon us by our founding fathers actually mean.

     Many protesters have fallen victim now to a handful of dirtbag law enforcement officers, who are not LEO's at all., but rather bullies with a badge and an inferiority complex. I do salute the officers on Wall Street who are carrying out their duties in a professional and peaceful manner, but the bad apples are rotten to the core. So many out there will say this is just radical talk, it quite simply is not. I assure you if drastic change does not occur, then we will crumble as a nation. What happened to "united we stand, divided we fall"? Does that go away when it gets hard? The entire financial institution of this nation is broken and corrupt. We've blown this off for decades. We have ignored this problem, and claimed to be the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. Well, America, guess what, shit just got real. It's time to deal with it. Spread the word and educate everyone you can. Converse about this every chance you get with everyone you know. The time is now. It's happening all around us. Stand up and let's make history instead of perishing in the past. We ARE the 99%, and we must accept nothing less than utter success. Failure is no longer an option.

Below I will provide several links detailing the events of Occupy Wall Street and what it stands for. I beg of you to watch these videos and read through these articles and websites. It won't make you laugh, there are no adorable kittens, but I promise you will learn something.

And for live coverage of the occupation please go to

Lack of Belief Vs. "I Don't believe in God"

I want to talk about word game that is becoming more and more common in the ongoing debate of religion. Many theists like to ask atheists, why they don't simply say I don't believe in God rather than atheists stating that they hold a lack of belief or an absence of belief. Well, the answer is quite simple. First off I want to point out this is nothing more than a word game. I see a lot of religious people would rather argue semantics then get into actual arguments.

I recently watched a video where this person argued that "lack of belief" is nonsensical because lack according to the dictionary refers to a deficiency of something, but not the absence of that. While this is true to an extent, you will also notice most dictionaries to list synonyms for words. Under lack you will find most every time the first synonym for lack to be absence. So, I think we can agree that the use of the phrase is not nonsensical. Now that we have that nonsense out of the way let's discuss why atheists choose to say "I lack belief in deities" rather than "I don't believe in God". Well, this is a product of repetitive arguments of theists. See, most theists say if you "don't believe in God' then you are making the claim "I believe God doesn't exist". This is a highly disingenuous attempt to shift the burden of proof to atheism.

The problem is Atheism does not make a claim. It does not claim that God, or any deity does not exist. The only statement we are making is that you have not provided me with sufficient evidence for the existence of any deity, let alone your specific deity. You can not prove something does not exist. No matter how many times I don't find something that is not actual proof that it does not exist. Atheists are fine with this. There is no actual agenda to prove there is no deity in universe. That is not to say that I can provide an abundance of very solid evidence to show that the dogma and structure of all the different religious systems is essentially scientifically impossible and historically it is highly inaccurate.  Because of the word games, Atheism has shifted to the wording "I lack belief in a god", rather than I don't believe in god. Firstly, religious people seem to think that disbelief and belief mean the same thing, These words are not synonyms. Stating a disbelief in god is not the same as stating I believe God doesn't exist. The other reason is, to make the statement less specific.

Christians always seem to think all the arguments are aimed at them. Many are, because they are the only ones that get upset and begin to use atheists as some sort of slur or derogatory term. But regardless, Atheism is the lack of belief in ALL deities. Not just Judeo-Christian principles and beliefs. In my world Jesus is equally as real as Allah, that is I lack any and all belief of their existence and contradictory fairy tales referred to as holy books.

So the phrase is really only meant to avoid confusion and word games. To give a clarification of the position of Atheism. It's not beating around the bush, it's making sure the position is understood, so we can move on the actual issues and arguments. I have no issue to have discussions about religion, or to defend my position and give you evidence for it. But I'm just not going to sit around and argue semantics and play word games. If you have intelligent and rational ideas or evidence to discuss, I'm game, but we aren't in elementary school anymore.

Thoughts on Objective Morality

Objective morality is one of the most common arguments for the existence of God. This topic has been covered thoroughly, but I wanted to just kind of share my personal take. The argument goes like this; objective morality can not exist without God, and we have objective morality, therefore God must exist. Simple enough, right?

Well the problem is that no one is actually quite sure we have objective reality. In fact, there are quite a lot of people who argue morality is subjective, which is the side of the fence I too fall on. Morality is not objective. Our perception of morality changes as society changes. Things that were not acceptable half a century ago, are extremely common and hardly noticed in today's society. Many aspects of sexuality is a prime example. But what about bigger things, muder, rape, pedophilia, surely every one knows these things to be immoral so it must be objective. Well, what about the people that commit these acts? Did they believe, or know, these things are immoral. In many cases, they may, but impulses may have taken over, maybe the person was intoxicated. Who knows? I think in many cases people don't see their acts as immoral because of subjective emotions, which are for each one of us our moral compass. Morality can not be objective if determined by our emotions.

What about children? Do they know what is moral and immoral? Let's say around the age 10-13, do these young minds know that murder is wrong no matter what? Wait, but murder isn't wrong no matter what. I mean even in the justice system of our "Christian nation" there is such a thing as justifiable homicide. Of course, this person was defending their life, their home and their family, surely that is not immoral. And we can't make that distinction with objective morality. If morality is objective, then murder is either wrong, or it is right. When we are talking about absolutes there can not be gray areas.  What about Hitler? A Catholic. Did he believe what he did to the Jewish people was immoral? Of course not, he thought he was doing something righteous. In his mind his actions were not immoral. Subjective morality.

Stop and think this through. Everything is subjective. We subject everything to our own judgement, to our mind's perception, to the emotions we feel. Everything. War, genocide, rape, and even disasters beyond our control. Why do people commit the most depraved acts imaginable if we KNOW it is wrong because of objective morality. Because it's God's plan? Humans have free will and evil is necessary for God to teach us virtue. Is it? If God uses evil to teach us virtue, then he is not omnibenevolent. He can not be all good, and use evils to teach us. If he can not stop those evils then he is not omnipotent. If he was unable to foresee evil to come, then God doesn't have a plan, and he his not omniscient.  Yes, the Creationist's favorite dilemma. The problem of evil. There is no objective morality, and there is no explanation for evil that upholds the Christian belief system. You can solve the problem of evil, but at the cost of destroying your belief structure.

Observations of the World and Religion

The world around us is a confusing place. There is so much that we don't understand and we can not explain. As humans, we struggle with this. It is very hard for us to come to terms with all of these concepts that we simply can not understand. We don't understand how the universe came into existence (although we have some pretty solid theories pointing in a good direction), but we don't know and certainly do not understand ALL the science behind it. We don't understand all the evils in our world, of human or natural cause. Humans need to fill that gap, most of us are not content to say "I don't know".

Everyone is looking for something to fill that gap, something greater than themselves. Many turn to religion. Fantastical fairy tales from centuries ago. Although these stories defy logic and baffle the rational mind, many are content to live with in the confines of this, because let's be honest, it makes us feel good. People are comforted to think there is someone up there looking after us. That there is a plan to what appears as chaos around us at times. I can understand that. Sure, it's wonderful to have someone looking after you, protecting, knowing that your life is planned out so you don't have to worry.

However, none of that makes these beliefs true, or correct. Like a child creates an imaginary friend when they're bored or lonely, adults have done the same thing.  Imagine though, all the time spent praying. Imagine if you took that time and applied yourself toward what you were praying for. How much could you accomplish? How many hungry people could you feed, how many diseases could be cured? On the more personal, or selfish side, how many more job interviews would have gone better? Would your raise have been bigger? Who knows, the list of things people pray for is endless. The truth is these prayers are not going to be answered. 

I always hear, "it's just God's plan", and "everything happens for a reason", and that "all prayers are answered, just not in the way you think". But these are merely subjective emotions. Your prayer was not answered, you did not feel God. The reason you did not feel God is because nearly all of our experiences are experienced internally. What I mean is, the reality we see is not reality, it is only our reality. We do not see with our eyes, hear with our ears, or feel with our skin. All of this is done with the human brain. The brain has to process and interpret every thing we experience, everything we see, touch, taste, feel, and hear. So if your brain is kind of "programmed" to apply a feeling of being "touched by God" to these "unexplainable" circumstances and experiences, then you will "feel God". 
Personal experience can not be proof of God. It simply can not. All of our experiences and the subjective emotions we feel in reaction are only our own interpretation. Now, if you are willing to admit to that, and say I admit it is only my perception and it does not mean God actually exists, but I still believe he does. Then I actually take no issue with that. As long as you are not using a claim of personal internal experience to validate or prove the existence of a god or any specific God, then that is ok. If religion helps you, if it makes you a better person and makes you feel good, then more power to you. However you must always remember this does not make your claim absolute.

We can all benefit from these realizations. Atheists alike, must admit, although there is much to suggest that a god does not exist in our universe, we can not prove it. It is not absolute. That doesn't mean the discussion should stop. It doesn't mean that the pursuit for the truth and actual cause of our splendid universe should cease. In fact, it means even more that it needs to continue. I embrace science and the natural world for all that it is and all that it is capable of. The power is vast, infinite, that is to say beyond our comprehension as humans. Evolution is something to marvel at, and yes, it is true. It is not a theory that is merely dreamt up. It is a scientific theory. The reason it remains a "theory" is because the only absolute facts are those that can be proven through mathematical equations. To be very technical, I can pick up a rock and say "this is a rock". If you say, "no it's not", I have little to really refute that with. However the overwhelming majority of people would agree that it is in fact, a rock. Therefore it is accepted as fact.  A scientific theory is accepted as fact because it can not be refuted. The theory of evolution is as much a theory as the theory of gravity.

Basically what I am saying is, it's time we all stop and think things through. I mean Christians believe that God impregnated a virgin through immaculate conception, who gave birth to him, died to rise from the dead and forgive our sins. Really? Think it through. It just doesn't make sense. It's just, well, dumb. And people base their entire lives around this belief system. This doesn't end with religion, we need to think everything through. We have the ability to change the world, but we continue to stay stuck in the same routines, because it's God's plan. It is not God's plan. We are not predestined, we are not controlled by fate. We all make our own destiny, and the sooner we realize and embrace that, the sooner we can begin to change the world for the better, for everyone.