Monday, October 18, 2010

Lack of belief in gods

by QualiaSoup


  1. This is good stuff. I love QualiaSoup.

  2. This was one of the best things posted on this site. Great job!

  3. <span>very accurate. thanks!</span>

  4. Wow.  Awesome.

  5. I knew there was a reason for which I had subscribed to his channel.
    Very well presented.

  6. All brilliantly stated. How could anyone who has not been brainwashed by religion not agree with that.

  7. Great stuff,

    I have one complaint. When it talks about the Biblical God needing worship -
    I take it by biblical God he means either Jewish or Christian.

    As an ex-cathlolic, it is not a catholc belief that God needs worship. When God made humans, he wanted what was best for his creation. To love and revere the highest that is worth loving and revering is best for humanity.

    For example: revering love, as opposed to hate is a good thing for humans to do.

    Since God is the greatest good, the summum bonum, we are commanded to worship him not because god needs worship - god is sufficent unto himself - but because man needs to worship him, it is our summum bonum to worship God, not god's summum bonum to be worshiped.

    A niggly point, but one that jumped out at me immediatey.

  8. Isn't worship a profound waste of time. May as well pee into the wind.

  9. Hi Robster,

    Hope I do not sound like a catholic apologist here - please remember I am an atheist. just mentioning this because... well simply because.

    For a catholic who is educated n their faith a statement like
    "<span>Isn't worship a profound waste of time," i</span><span>s interpreted as saying "Isn't human beings seeking the best a profound waste of time."</span>
    <span>They will simply shug their shoulders, assume the person talking does not really understand Christianity, which is why I was disappointed with Quailia Soup's example of why the Christian God cannot exist because of the conflict between the idea of God being sufficent unto himself and man being commanded to worship him.</span>
    <span>A better one to use - which may get thinking catholics questioning because there is no quick answer in catholic theology - would be the classic contradiction between the concept of an omnipotent God and a Benevolent one. There are all kind of trite answers, but no convincing ones.</span>

  10. Fair point. I didn't know that. Cathlolics seem to have the most sophisticated rationalizations, as far as Christians go.

    To be snarky though, what does Catholic theology have to do with the Bible? =P

  11. Shep has a point. Qualia Soup did talk about the Biblical God, and he does demand worship. That Catholics has made up a slightly different god that doesn't need it, only supports QS's point that there are thousands of god concepts that we can reject as irresolvable, or demonstratively false, and so on. Why does it matter the least if catholics think this and that? A video like this has no room for actually addressing all god concepts there are, to reach all different magically thinking groups. It brought up a few examples to demonstrate the thinking in itself. 

  12. M.

    It like asking how many angels can dance on the head of pin? A completely pointless and meaningless question.

    However, the Biblical God's demand for worship, does not equate to God needs worship. It is the why of the command?

    Parents demand obediance of small children - and if they are good parents, then the demand is not born from the parents need to be obeyed, but fromt the child's need to be parented.

    Agree it is a small point, but best to pick the best argument one has, then one that theists will perceive to be weak.

  13. Good but not great. The distinction between "belief" and "knowledge" is ill-defined.

    It's far better to use just the word "belief" and understand that every statement induces a  belief associated with it, except that the distribution may be very narrow (certain, low-variance) or very wide (high-variance).

    It's one thing to ascribe even odds to a coin toss because you know it is fair, or to ascribe even odds because you have no idea if it is fair or not, but know no better.

    I had a good link explaining this but cannot find it at this moment....

  14. <p><span><span>It is indeed like discussing angels on a pin... </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>I'd say that analogy is not really valid. A good parent might demand obedience only because it is the best for the child (though I'd say that in many cases it IS a power thing, because humans are not perfect, and the fictional God of the bible clearly isn’t either). But the god of the bible clearly demanded to be worshipped in ways that was in no way for the best of his people, in ways that were often cruel, sadistic and reeked of jealousy and hunger for power. I'd say the interpretation that he needed to be worshipped is much more plausible than that he was a sort of heavenly perfect parent who only demanded worship - not because he needed it - but for the good of his people who needed to be parented. What good parenting involves sacrificing your own children to prove that you love you parent? That's a mighty abusive father, and if a real father had behaved like that, I bet you wouldn't have claimed he was doing any sort of good parenting, or didn’t need worshipping in the most extreme way! </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>Be that as it may! My point was that QS point was that there are thousands of god concepts which can be rejected in different ways. That was ONE god concept (that DO exist) that could easily be rejected by the way of pointing out its contradictory nature. His point would have been exactly the same no matter which god concept he had chosen to reject in the same manner. Why do you think a specific Catholic one would have been better? Why not a Muslim claim then? Wouldn’t there be equal good reasons to think that refuting a muslin god claim would have been “the best argument” here? </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    <span>What I’m trying to say is that in some circumstances this small point might have relevance, but that I think that in this particular case it is totally irrelevant! In fact, I don’t think it would have mattered which contradictory god concept he would have used as an example – to ANY concept he could have used, it’s likely there will be some theist out there saying “That’s not what I believe, so I find that a weak argument, and can easily dismiss this whole video!” If they understand the actual point he was making (which was that contradictory god concepts do exist and are easily dismissed on that ground alone) it doesn’t matter what concept he used. And if they didn’t… it doesn’t matter either. </span></p>

  15. Hi M,

    A well educated catholic would not say the parent analogy applies to God, but rather the parent analogy shows that the demand for obedience does not necessarily come from a 'need' to be obeyed. Just as God's command to be worshipped does not come from God's need to be worshipped.

    Agree with you about the God of the Bible, if one approaches the Bible as in and of itself inerrent. The catholic approach is a little different. It's meaning as it develops is inerrent, but not every single word - which is a later protestent belief - many reformers were not  biblical inerrentists.

    A catholic approach to the OT is that it reveals God's character as the history of revelation develops, not tat you can take a snap shot of any part of it and say 'This is God,' for that cathholics believe you have to wait until the incarnation. A favorite Bible quote for many catholics is "You search the scriptures daily, for in them you think you have eternal life." Eternal life as understod by a catholic is God's life, being, nature - if you search the scrptures thinking you will find that in the written word, you are mistaken.

    So many of the OT stories are revealing what god's nature is not, rather than what it is. For example, Abraham came from a culture where child sacrifice was far from being unusual. By being told to offer his son, and then commanded not to, is not God revealing his need for child sacrifice, but driving home that such sacrifice is not needed. The story shows that ones devotion can be proved without having to sacrifice ones chidlren.

    I suppose for two atheists to go on about this is fairly pointless. Of course they are many god concepts, but if one is talking about the jewish/christian/islamic god, then there are other contradictions which are far more valid and not easily dismissed by the theist - such as the cotradiction between omnipotent and omnibenevolent, or between free-will and omniscience/omnipotent.

    A very small point which I acknowledge, but speaking for myself the contradiction mentioned in the video is fairly weak and one many christians, not just catholics, would not see as valid.