Sunday, July 31, 2011

Religion, Part Three: Pantheism

Pantheism can be a tricky subject. There are no obvious logical fallacies with the idea of it, and being that the god believed in is not personal and not necessarily omnipotent. Pantheism means that God is a part of all of the universe, and dualistic pantheism implies that there is a spiritual world hidden beneath our physical world.

While there are no logical fallacies within the idea itself, the entire belief of it is unfounded and, to a degree, dangerous to scientific advances. There is no evidence that any part of pantheism could be true. I look at it as a sort of "god-of-the-gaps", living between the gaps of humanity's knowledge about our minds and the universe. At this stage in humanity, the gaps are small and the only reasonable form of a god is pantheism. But that is not how science and logic work. It is illogical to fill in gaps with such an idea. Pantheism is not a theory, it is a hypothesis at best; the result of an undying need for humans to believe in a higher deity. I will not pretend to understand this need, but I see that it is very common.

Filling in the gaps with this dualistic kind of god gives us an easy excuse to just give up on the difficult problems in science. If you take a look at the history of religions, God is used to explain a lot of phenomena that we now understand perfectly through science; things such as lightning, the sun, and disease were explained for a very long time as "spirits" and "gods". We should recognize this pattern and see that blaming a god on anything is eventually proven to be wrong.

What scientific problems am I speaking of when I say that pantheism could be used to cover the gaps in science? There are a few problems in physics that it could explain, but the biggest one is the human consciousness. The human consciousness is a very difficult problem indeed; one that is almost impossible for us to mentally conceive. It is very easy to just explain it as a spiritual entity and ignore it, but that gets us no where. The duality in pantheism suggests that somewhere in our brain is a link to the "spiritual" side of our universe, and that this is where all decisions come from. Free will is a very messy subject in science, and if we just say that it comes from magic then our brain suddenly makes a lot of sense. The brain just inputs its senses to the part of God that is in your brain, and God tells you what to do about it. Although the problem of consciousness is a large one, this is not the way to go about it. We cannot recreate this dualistic consciousness in a machine. Technology in this department ends here if this is where we stand, but the technology that could come from programmed consciousness is nearly infinite.

So while pantheism does not contradict with our science (yet) and is logically sound, it is still not a good replacement for the personal god. It is just as dangerous to science as any other kind of magical thinking. Comment and let me know what you think about all of this.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Religion, Part Two: Monotheism

With monotheism, we have two main assumptions about a personal god. First of all, he must be omnipotent. He must be able to control everything, all the time, and be able to break the laws of physics whenever he wants. This is important for him to be "personal" and be a part of everyone's lives and enact his "plan". He also needs omnipotence in order to create the universe. The second assumption is that he cares about humanity and controls its destiny in a non-malevolent fashion. This one is more obvious, being that he is the personal god depicted in Christianity.

The logical contradictions here should be obvious now that I have laid out these two features of a personal god, but allow me to point them out more thoroughly. First of all, omnipotence itself is self-contradicting. In the classic example of "what would happen if an unstoppable force met and immovable object?", omnipotence is logically impossible. What if this omnipotent god used its magical powers to create a rock so strong that even he could not break it? If there was some rock that this god could not break, would that not mean that it is not omnipotent?

Furthermore, there is the fact that our world is obviously not controlled by an omnipotent, non-malevolent god. An omnipotent god that truly cared about his people would not even allow evil to happen. Assuming that, in Christianity, all of the acts on the ten commandments are "evil", how could such a mighty god even allow these acts to exist? Does he see people murdering each other and stealing from each other and just shake his fist at them from the sky? That does not sound like something an omnipotent being would do.

Some might say that he does not interfere for the sake of free will. In the example of Christianity, this excuse is hardly worth noting. It is a sin in the religion of Christianity to disbelieve in their god. Once again, the god does nothing to prevent the terrible evil of other religions existing and of atheism existing. You cannot say that your god gives you free will without sacrificing either his good will, or his omnipotence. And you cannot say you believe in a personal god without sacrificing logic.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Religion, Part One: Introduction

Being raised in a highly religious family, I have fairly strong religious views. Instead of piety, however, I am strong in my disbelief in a deity. I became an atheist around the age of 12 when I started seeing that what my church told me and what my science teacher told me conflicted. The scientific arguments made a lot more sense to me.

In my next two posts, I will be explaining my disbelief in two different "theories" of a god existing. I understand that there are many different possibilities here, but I think the two that I have chosen are the most popular and the most compelling. I also understand that my arguments will most likely useless to those of you who have been religious their entire lives. I only hope that my arguments will be a good read for atheists, and a good foundation for people who are questioning their religious beliefs.

The types of gods that I will be arguing against in my next two posts will be: the personal, singular god of Christianity; and, the impersonal, abstract god of Spinoza's philosophies. Monotheism seems to be the most highly accepted concept among the sheep, and I could not cover polytheism without being redundant anyways.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anders Breivik

Anders Breivik seems to be a very popular topic for recent internet conversation. He has been overlooked by many due to the fact that he massacred a bunch of kids, but beneath all of the violence, he is still a sane man with a message. He had a purpose to kill all of those people. Through his hatred of Muslims and "cultural Marxism", he decided that the children of the Labour Party members would grow up to continue the spread of liberalism through Europe, and therefore flood the continent with Muslims to the point that Sharia law is enacted. That is amazing that he could predict that far into the future. He must have some superhuman qualities. Or maybe he is just an extremist fundamentalist of his own philosophy.

Or is it his own philosophy? After reading a small amount of his 1500 page manifesto, he sounds like a Christian fundamentalist, minus the religious aspect. He claims that homosexuality and pornography are immoral, that women need to stay home and care for the children, and that men should provide for the family. It sounds like the same bullshit that I was fed in church as a child. I do not see how any of those things could be good for a society in any way, unless that society's goal is to make its citizens as sheepish and unhappy as possible.

He seems very inconsistent in his works. From the very beginning, he says that all ideologies must be rejected: "One of conservatism’s most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, 'This system must be true.' Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points. But the ideology, by its nature, cannot adjust to reality; to do so would be to abandon the system." Correct me if I'm wrong, but his entire manifesto is based on an ideology. In general, the more objective morals in an ideological system, the more it "suppresses reality", and Breivik's system is full of them.

There is a small amount of humor in his manifesto. The first few pages contain details on how to convert his manifesto into different formats, how to spread it around, and how to use torrents to upload and download it. This is a common pattern of philosophers, so this feature added quite a bit of credibility to his work.

The good news is that his ideology is very unlikely to spread too much. Mostly due to the fact that he killed 68 people, but also because not many people are going to read a 1500 page manifesto and defend 2000+ year old moral systems.


Welcome to my first ever blog. I apologize in advance if I make any mistakes on this first blog of mine; I am not sure if there are standards for bloggers, and I don't really care.

The name of Clarke Jones is quite possibly a fake name. I created this blog so that I may share my thoughts with the world anonymously, and not be judged by those close to me who may not understand me. I may possibly write about technology, politics, morality, and philosophy, but there is no specific topic for this blog, and I do not claim to be an expert on anything. If you have any disagreements with my thoughts, please do not hesitate to comment angrily.