Saturday, January 29, 2011

In The Box #2: Jan 29, 2011

In case anyone is wondering why I've been so quiet lately, it's because I met a girl, so I'm a bit preoccupied. I don't expect to disappear entirely, but the frequency and quality of my videos might drop off just a bit for a few days, or maybe a few weeks. Either way, I'm still here, just temporarily distracted.

Before I cover the questions you guys submitted, I'd like to talk about my question #67 to "On The Box." I got a bit of dissent from a few of you. I have to tell you guys, I think it's great that you disagreed with me, because now we can have a conversation. Just to catch everyone up, I told Tony and Chad that it's obvious that they don't believe what they're preaching, that they're in it just for the money. I got two primary objections:
  • One of you guys knows Tony personally, and has observed him being just as deluded in real life as he seems to be in his show.
  • We all hate it when superstitionists tell us that we do after all believe that their god exists, and the reason we make so much noise is that we're actively rebelling because we don't like its preposterous rules. So it seems hypocritical for me to tell them that they don't really believe what they preach.
Let's do what all good scientists do when checking out a hypothesis: think about the implications one might expect if the hypothesis is true, and those that one might expect if it's false. Superstitionists tell us that we do actually believe that their god exists. They tell themselves that someone who believes in but hates that god would do exactly what many of us do: make a bunch of noise in protest. On the surface, that might seem ok, but is that a realistic implication? If I believed that Yahweh actually exists, is omnipotent, and intends to throw into hell everyone who hasn't bought its fire insurance, would I go around trying to convince people that it doesn't exist? I don't think so. I want to have a clear conscience, and I'd love to say that I'm so brave that I'll face eternal punishment rather than lick Yahweh's boots. But seriously, I don't think I'm that brave. I think I'd take the cowardly route; heaven sounds like eternal torture to me, but as bad as it is, it's still not as bad as eternal fire. Further, I hate lies, and it would be a monstrous thing to lie to others knowing that they would also burn in hell. No, if I actually believed what the superstitionists claim I believe, I would probably pray to that god to make me insane so I can convince myself that I love it, and be saved from the flames.

I conclude that the superstitionist hypothesis that we actually do believe that Yahweh exists is insupportable. In order for their hypothesis to hold water, we'd have to be not only stupid, but hideously dishonest. I might be both, but I don't think so.

Now let's consider my hypothesis that Tony, Chad, Ray, and all their pals don't really believe any of the nonsense they promulgate. First, what would we expect to see if my hypothesis is false, i.e., they really do believe all of it: Yahweh really exists and it cares deeply about truth (of course we have to forget about the lying spirit from I Kings 22:23 and the powerful delusions from II Thessalonians 2:11, but that's easy to do, given that Yahwhists seem to forget about those also). In the Gospel of Luke, 12:47, Jesus tells us, "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows." In the Gospel of Matthew, 24:45-51, Jesus goes further, saying that Yahweh will cut such people to pieces and assign them a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." If these preachers actually believed this, would they go around using deliberate deception in order to spread the Gospel? I am hard-pressed to believe that they would.

What might we expect to see if my hypothesis is true, i.e., that they really don't believe any of it? We might hope to see them behaving like most atheists, being decent people and trying to make the world a better place, or at least trying not to make it worse. But not all atheists are decent, and many, being monumentally selfish, would have no problem duping people for personal gain. Tony and Chad and Company might tell themselves somehow that they're doing a good thing, but it's easy to see how their judgment would easily be clouded by the piles of money that flow into their organizations.

Now let's consider the hypocrisy issue: I hate it when they tell me that I believe in their god, but I have no problem telling them that they don't believe. Is this really hypocrisy on my part? It depends on why I hate their claim, and on what grounds I base my claim. I hate their claim because I'm offended when people think that they know better than I do what's going on in my own mind, and I don't like being called a liar. If they were to make their claim and then support it with plausible arguments concerning my behavior, I'd have to listen. I might be irritated, because no one wants to hear that he's wrong, but I'd still have to consider their points. The only arguments ever given by superstitionists claiming that we actually do believe are (1) we make a lot of noise about their god, and (2) the bible tells them that we actually do believe. These do not constitute plausible support.

My claim that they don't actually believe is based on observing their behavior. They lie all the time, but say that their god cares about truth. I can think of no explanation other than that they don't believe. If you guys have other possible explanations, let's hear them. This is an interesting conversation.

Now I want to challenge you guys. Don't give me any breaks. If I'm way off base, I'm counting on you guys to rein me in. I've presented 67 videos to Tony and Chad, some of them with multiple questions. Consider some of the things I've said to them:
  • In Question #10, I came right out and said that Ray Comfort knows his "crocoduck" and "dead dog" arguments to be straw-men, and went on to say that William Lane Craig and William Dembski are liars.
  • In Question #13, I pointed out that the so-called miracles performed by Jesus could have been nothing more than cool technology, meaning that Jesus deliberately deceived billions of people. I make a similar point about Jesus and/or Yahweh in many of my questions.
  • In Question #64, I referred to these guys as "Creatheists," "Conarttheists," "Roman Casholics," "Crocobuckists," "Cashoduckists," and "Crocodollarists."
My challenge to you guys is this: tell me how the content of my previous scores of questions is fundamentally different from my last claim that these guys don't really believe. I really hope to hear from you guys. In my mind, this is a conversation, not a brawl or some kind of win/lose scenario. If I'm wrong, I don't want to stay wrong. So don't hold back.

Now, on to the questions. Someone wanted to know why the related videos associated with my work are often anime and Marvel comics. I have no freaking clue. Does anyone out there have a guess? A lame-ass prize for the most plausible answer, or in the absence of plausibility, the funniest.

radicalbacon

Victim radicalbacon gets the first answer yet again, because she said she wanted to be my fangirl. Yes, thanks a lot. As I mentioned, you're my first, so be gentle. You asked whether there's a Mrs. BigBore. No, there's not, although I have been building one in the basement for the past few months. Unfortunately, the fangirl app is way too expensive, so I was going to settle for a Mrs. BigBore that would refrain from kicking me in the teeth. That app was a bit cheaper. But now, it seems that I can stop construction on her, at least for a little while.

8journey8

Victim 8journey8 gets the second answer, because she suggests that she is a literally hot woman, by virtue of having hot flashes. In a male-dominated forum, we beggars can't really afford to be choosy. She asks, How would you rate the following religions according to how much damage they do to the human race, from worst to least...Catholicism, Muslim, Methodism, Pentecostalism, Buddhism, Jainism, satanism. I mean, are there degrees of dreadfulness when you think of religion and its impact on the world?

I can't claim to know a lot about any of these religions, so don't quote me on any of these. I'd have to say that Catholicism is indeed the worst, primarily because the Pope promotes lies about condoms that have led to untold suffering and death. I don't see much difference between Islam and any form of Christianity; they all lend themselves to totalitarianism, and they're all violent. Currently there seems to be less violence induced by Christianity than by Islam, but that's not because Christianity itself is any less violent. It's just a current coincidence based on religion being held largely in check for the last couple of centuries in nations where Christianity is prevalent. If western Christians got the theocracy they seem to crave, we'd see that Christianity is just as bad.

I know nothing but hearsay about Jainism, and very little hearsay at that. If it's true that they are fanatically opposed to causing death, then I'm happy that their religion seems to promote peace, but I also think it's quite unreasonable and based on an unsound, human-oriented way of thinking. Our bodies cause massive death all the time, fighting off infection. Further, we kill plants all the time, either in eating them or in discarding them when they no longer produce food for us. I can't see any grounds for drawing a line between mosquitoes and viruses.

That's #2. Thanks for watching.

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