v14-05 updated 9/17/2019

There either is a God or there is not a God.

There are no other possibilities.

If there is no God, and we have survived as the successful species that we are to this time, it shows that we do not need a God. If there is a God, it would end a lot of controversy and concern if he/she/it would definitively demonstrate in some concrete way that it is true. Whether or not some people believe in the existence of a God does not alter the fact as to whether or not a God exists.

There was a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017.  Twenty-six year old Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 more

comments form

 

 

Why do I care what other people believe? Why should I care? I think most people would tell me to mind my own business. That’s probably very good advice. But like all advice the level of how good it is depends on the situation.

For example it would serve no useful purpose for me to try to convince some friends of mine who like cats, that dogs make much better pets. Whether I succeed in convincing them or not doesn’t make any situation better. On the other hand it serves a very useful purpose for a parent to convince their teenager that certain activities will bring them harm.

There are two subjects that arguing about is commonly frowned upon at social or family gatherings. Those two subjects are religion and politics. Both of these subjects touch strongly held beliefs in many people. The odds are that you cannot change another person’s belief about either of these subjects but you can cause hard feelings or anger. I usually avoid discussing either of these two subjects unless I’m discussing it with someone who has beliefs the same as mine or someone who specifically wants to discuss it. Of the two I find it most difficult to refrain from voicing my opinion about religion.

I can understand how an intelligent person can be either a Democrat or Republican or a Libertarian or adherent to any other political party. I can’t understand how an intelligent person can believe the obvious collection of fairy tales that make up the old and new Testaments or any other book used by any religion to back up their claims that their faith is justified. We get back to the question of why do I care.

I care because it frightens me to realize that so many of the senior United States politicians, such as the Vice President (at the time of this writing) and senators and congressmen and the same level of officers in state governments believe that the world was created 6 to 10 thousand years ago and they literally believe that god created Adam and Eve and Noah saved two of every animal during a world wide flood in an immense wooden ship he built with the help of his wife and sons. 

 I care because those millions of people who hold the delusion that there is a God affects me adversely in many ways. Ignoring for the moment all the horrors committed in the name of religion down through history their direct effect on private individuals is quite substantial.

Everyone pays more taxes because churches, mosques and synagogues and many other religious activities are tax-free. Multitudes of laws limiting personal freedom are the result of action by religious groups.

 

gavelWhat would happen if an atheist were brought to trial and charged with Original Sin.  The best witness against him would be God who was present in the Garden of Eden when the crime was committed.  Here is an account of how that trial might go. continue reading

 

   

religious symbolsThe Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions are all based on the fact that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible (the Torah). What if Moses never existed and the whole Torah was just a fairy tale?  What if Genesis and the story of creation was just a nice story like the story of Little Red Riding Hood. What if Exodus and the story of the Jews escaping from Egypt was a story like Jack escaping from the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk and the tablets with the Ten Commandments on them were figments of a writer's imagination like the magic beans that Jack used to grow the beanstalk up into the sky. What if Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were also just made up writings like Cinderella or Goldilocks and the Three Bears?

continue reading 

 

 

The levels of belief in God.

 

  1. Needs God to get through the day. Absolute faith in the Bible (or any other religious book) as literal truth and guide to personal life style.  God created everything and takes a personal interest in everybody. Anything good or bad that happens is caused by God.  Good things show God's love and rewards for doing what God wants. Bad things demonstrate God's punishment for wrongdoing. Bad things happening to good people shows God works in mysterious ways. Prayers will be heard and responded to in some way by God. A psychological addiction as strong as would be a physical addiction to any chemical substance.
  2. Needs God to get through the week. Belief in the Bible (or any other religious book) as the word of God but tempered by living in a modern society.  Attends weekly religious services but doesn't feel the need for daily prayer. Still believes in the concept of Heaven and Hell. Believes God created the heaven and earth.
  3. Needs God to feel comfortable with life in general.  Usually attends religious services. Feels that religions other than his are cults. Thinks that maybe there is something to evolution but feels that if it is true, God must have set it in motion.
  4. Needs God at the big annual religious holidays.  Feels most comfortable in the company of his co-religionists but can mix socially with people of other religions.
  5. Needs God only for window dressing.  Does not really believe what it says in the Bible but feels that his friends and family wouldn't respect him if he didn't at least give lip service to his religion.  The kind of person who will say "God bless you".  Celebrates the big holidays.
  6. Does not need God.  Has thought about it and has come to the conclusion that there is nothing to demonstrate that a God actually exists.  Is not willing to believe on faith alone.

updated 11/07/2017

 

Question concerning the horrific church shooting in Texas.

There has been an outpouring of heartfelt sympathy for the victims and family and friends of the victims, most of which include an intention to pray. Could someone out there give me some idea of what you would be praying for in the prayers for these people.

 

 

Why do I care what other people believe? Why should I care? I think most people would tell me to mind my own business. That’s probably very good advice. But like all advice the level of how good it is depends on the situation.

For example it would serve no useful purpose for me to try to convince some friends of mine who like cats, that dogs make much better pets. Whether I succeed in convincing them or not doesn’t make any situation better. On the other hand it serves a very useful purpose for a parent to convince their teenager that certain activities will bring them harm.

There are two subjects that arguing about is commonly frowned upon at social or family gatherings. Those two subjects are religion and politics. Both of these subjects touch strongly held beliefs in many people. The odds are that you cannot change another person’s belief about either of these subjects but you can cause hard feelings or anger. I usually avoid discussing either of these two subjects unless I’m discussing it with someone who has beliefs the same as mine or someone who specifically wants to discuss it. Of the two I find it most difficult to refrain from voicing my opinion about religion.

I can understand how an intelligent person can be either a Democrat or Republican or a Libertarian or adherent to any other political party. I can’t understand how an intelligent person can believe the obvious collection of fairy tales that make up the old and new Testaments or any other book used by any religion to back up their claims that their faith is justified. We get back to the question of why do I care.

I care because it frightens me to realize that so many of the senior United States politicians, such as the Vice President (at the time of this writing) and senators and congressmen and the same level of officers in state governments believe that the world was created 6 to 10 thousand years ago and they literally believe that god created Adam and Eve and Noah saved two of every animal during a world wide flood in an immense wooden ship he built with the help of his wife and sons. 

 I care because those millions of people who hold the delusion that there is a God affects me adversely in many ways. Ignoring for the moment all the horrors committed in the name of religion down through history their direct effect on private individuals is quite substantial.

Everyone pays more taxes because churches, mosques and synagogues and many other religious activities are tax-free. Multitudes of laws limiting personal freedom are the result of action by religious groups.

 

gavelWhat would happen if an atheist were brought to trial and charged with Original Sin.  The best witness against him would be God who was present in the Garden of Eden when the crime was committed.  Here is an account of how that trial might go. continue reading

 

   

religious symbolsThe Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions are all based on the fact that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible (the Torah). What if Moses never existed and the whole Torah was just a fairy tale?  What if Genesis and the story of creation was just a nice story like the story of Little Red Riding Hood. What if Exodus and the story of the Jews escaping from Egypt was a story like Jack escaping from the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk and the tablets with the Ten Commandments on them were figments of a writer's imagination like the magic beans that Jack used to grow the beanstalk up into the sky. What if Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were also just made up writings like Cinderella or Goldilocks and the Three Bears?

continue reading 

 

 

The levels of belief in God.

 

  1. Needs God to get through the day. Absolute faith in the Bible (or any other religious book) as literal truth and guide to personal life style.  God created everything and takes a personal interest in everybody. Anything good or bad that happens is caused by God.  Good things show God's love and rewards for doing what God wants. Bad things demonstrate God's punishment for wrongdoing. Bad things happening to good people shows God works in mysterious ways. Prayers will be heard and responded to in some way by God. A psychological addiction as strong as would be a physical addiction to any chemical substance.
  2. Needs God to get through the week. Belief in the Bible (or any other religious book) as the word of God but tempered by living in a modern society.  Attends weekly religious services but doesn't feel the need for daily prayer. Still believes in the concept of Heaven and Hell. Believes God created the heaven and earth.
  3. Needs God to feel comfortable with life in general.  Usually attends religious services. Feels that religions other than his are cults. Thinks that maybe there is something to evolution but feels that if it is true, God must have set it in motion.
  4. Needs God at the big annual religious holidays.  Feels most comfortable in the company of his co-religionists but can mix socially with people of other religions.
  5. Needs God only for window dressing.  Does not really believe what it says in the Bible but feels that his friends and family wouldn't respect him if he didn't at least give lip service to his religion.  The kind of person who will say "God bless you".  Celebrates the big holidays.
  6. Does not need God.  Has thought about it and has come to the conclusion that there is nothing to demonstrate that a God actually exists.  Is not willing to believe on faith alone.

!

God Not Needed

comment threrad

Barry Stier

I remember a cartoon I saw many years ago.  The scene was two goldfish in a small round bowl.  One fish was saying to the other, "Oh yeah.  If there's no God, who changes the water?"

God Not Needed

Jason Kenner

At first I thought that your joke about the goldfish was out of place in a serious blog like one about atheism and God but then I thought that if we do not believe a God exists all of the religions become rather humerous and a joke page with religious jokes would be a nice thing to have.  So I'm going to give you my favorite religious joke and suggest that you make a separate section just for jokes.

When I went to a Christian school, I walked into the cafeteria and there on the table was a plate of fruit. Next to it was a sign that said "Take one. God is watching."

Next to the fruit was a plate of cookies, which had a sign next to it, written by a fellow student, that said "Take as many as you want. God is watching the fruit." 

 

God Not Needed

Barry Stier

Thank you Jason.  I think that's a good idea.  I will make a Religious Humor page that will accept jokes from viewers.  I will probably add a lot there myself because I love religious jokes.

God Not Needed

Sarah Feldman

You are wrong. It's not just what you said about there is a God or there isn't a God.  Different  people have different Gods.  You might say there is or there isn't a Jehova or a Jesus or a Thor.  But how do we know if the ancient Greeks weren't right or if the Vikings had the right God.  You would have to say that about every God that ever existed.

 

God Not Needed

Barry Stier

Answer to Sarah Feldman.  I was not talking about a specific god. I was talking about the possibility of there being a supernatural being existing someplace, no matter who worships him or what they name him.  If there is none, it doesn't make any difference how many different civilizations believe there is one.  If there is one, it still doesn't make any difference how many different civilizations believe there is one or what they name him or her or it.

God Not Needed

Aaron R.
To Barry Stier. You should stop talking about God at all. Since you're an atheist and don't know anything about the living God you just sound stupid. By now hurricane Irma should have proved to you the power of God's wrath.  This was the biggest hurricane in the history of the world and is clearly God showing us that gay marriage and gay rights and all that kind of stuff is an abomination.  We're lucky he didn't bring on a flood like he did with Noah and just made this one to let us know that he is watching. 

God Not Needed

Bonnie Lee
Our Pastor told us that there will be some churches that will say that this Hurricane Irma is a punishment from God for us allowing gay marriage. Our pastor is not one of your Bible thumping kind but enlightened. He says that God works in mysterious ways and we can't always know why he does things.  He might be punishing us for something we did wrong or he might be warning us about something he knows we might do.  He just wants us to think about what we do so we can follow his law.  You should keep that in mind before you go making jokes about God. 

God Not Needed

Barry Stier

I could have claimed to be a prophet if I had an internet connection during Irma.  I was thinking that there will certainly be some people who will blame this hurricane on god and  say he was causing it for some godly reason.  I would have posted a comment that I would receive posts blaming the hurricane on God.  The two previous posts probably are indicative of like opinions being expressed in hundreds if not thousands of congregations all around the country right now. 

 

 

God Not Needed

MYO Business

Why don't you just mind  your own business and stop poking fun at people of faith?

sdfds

Barry Stier

My intention is not to poke fun or even to annoy "people of faith". I am actually trying to do what I consider a good deed to help my fellow man.  I consider what I am doing the same as any adult would do when explaining to an infant that you can't depend on faith to avoid being hit by cars when you cross the street.  You have to look both ways and consider the facts as to whether there are any cars coming.

 

God Not Needed

MYO Business

It's none of your business what I teach my kids, either!!!

 

God Not Needed

No Name Please

It just might interest you to know that the politicians that you want to make fun of are some of the smartest people in the country.  That's why they're running the country.  If they say that evolution is a crock of you know what then that's good enough for me.

God Not Needed

Barry Stier

Take a look in the page titled How Old is Man.  That should explain a lot to you.  You'll also see a link to a speech made by VP Mike Pence to Congress that is an emabarrassment to any American with any kind of education.

comments form