O’Reilly proves the existence of God.

February 2, 2011

I quite liked this video.
It is disturbing to my sense of rationality, that Bill O’Reilly is one of the most watched men in America. In this video, he proves the existence of God (in the illogical world of Christian America, if nowhere else) by saying the the tide goes in and out.
Just incase the American Right decide my EVIL SOCIALIST ATHEIST agenda is misleading, O’Reilly actually said:

“I’ll tell you why [religion is] not a scam, in my opinion. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.”

It is been quite some years now, since humanity first discovered why the tide goes in and out. We are pretty certain that it isn’t because of a God in a cloud somewhere using a big sea magnet. I am sure I learnt in very early school, that the tide is controlled by the Moon’s orbit.

Bill then goes on the defensive:

You’re calling me a moron.

That’d be pretty accurate.
Sadly, I’m sure there are a number of American Christians who sat up during this, and said…
“YAR! That there is one heck of a good case for Jesus, yes sir! He was all like, what about the tides going out and shit, now i’m no racist but that nigra couldn’t god-damn answer him. Fucking Atheists tryna turn my Kids into an-tie Christian, an-tie- Amerkan pro-gay commies”

Perhaps O’Reilly was suggesting that the moon is ideally placed to create a tide. I doubt he was suggesting that, because, that’s not what he actually said. But for arguments sake, let’s say he was suggesting the ideally placed moon. It is only ideally placed, because we exist. There is no design or reason behind it. It is just there. It isn’t “perfectly placed” because we invented the concept of something being perfectly placed, purely because we’re here. It is rather vain of us to decide that the chaotic universe, and the size and scale of it, exists, purely for us. There is no reason, or logic, or cause, or meaning. It stands to reason that if a Moon is at a certain location, and the planet is at a certain location relative to its star, and conditions for life exist, then life will pop into existence. It is just how it is. It does not mean it was designed that way at all.

By measuring the total mass of stars and luminosity in our galaxy alone, there are estimated to be 100 billion stars, plus another estimated 200 million Galaxies. A star is like the Sun, so for every 100 billion stars, let’s say there are roughly 5-10 planets around each one. That would produce around 500 billion planets in our Galaxy alone. Is it not reasonable to suggest that one of those 500 billion might have a Moon placed in a position that has an affect on the liquid of its planet?

How arrogant one must be, to suggest that this was all created for us.

That being said, conditions on Earth are not perfect for human existence. They are adequate to say the very least. We have natural resources that are running out, not enough food to feed the World and billions of people live in abject poverty for their entire lives, on very inhospitable land. A cyclone is currently tearing its way through Queensland in Australia, only a few weeks after Queensland suffered severe flooding on a scale unknown to locals. If the Earth is the creation of God, for the intention of housing man, then God is a little bit incompetent.

We are an insignificant, tiny race of apes, in an unimportant dot on the map of the universe. There is no grand design for this tiny little dot.
Probability is irrelevant. We are surrounded by absolutely no evidence for the existence of God. Saying “yeah, but you can’t disprove the existence of God” is meaningless. If I see a dog, I shouldn’t be expected to accept the possibility that it might be a monkey. Similarly, I have all the evidence for Natural selection, I shouldn’t be expected, when faced with such a plethora of evidence, to say “yeah, but it might be a God.”

Now, O’Reilly then uses a classic logical fallacy. If person X cannot prove their position, then person Y must be right in theirs. O’Reilly suggests that because Silverman was too stunned by O’Reilly’s intense stupidity that he didn’t answer him in the millisecond that O’Reilly allows his guests to actually speak, that he must therefore not be able to answer, and so he presumes he is correct.

O’Reilly then goes on to complain that by saying Religion is a scam and a myth (which it is), American Atheists are insulting Americans. This comes about two minutes before he calls Silverman a “loon“.

O’Reilly would insist he insults no one (except every week, when he refers to someone new, whom he disagrees with, but doesn’t give them the opportunity to argue their case, as a pinhead). Fox News spent most of 2008 attacking President Obama because Obama included non-believers in his inaugural address. The title of the piece just after the President’s speech was “Obama reaches out: addresses Muslims and Atheists in speech“. As if we’re the “other“. As if we, along with the Muslim community are a problem that needs to be addressed. The Fox host (I don’t know his name, but he looks about 12), said:

“It surprised me when I heard it, it made me do a double take.”

Why? Because some people aren’t all absolutely mad Christian Right Wingers? Mike Huckabee on that same show, said that Obama had acknowledged that some people don’t believe in anything….. “but themselves”. So, if I don’t believe in the Christian God, I must be a bit of a narcissist and nothing more. Am I unable to believe in beauty? Do Christians have a monopoly on beauty? When I see something beautiful, must I thank Christians for giving me that sense? Am I unable to believe in love? Must I thank Fox News for how I feel about Ashlee? Without Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, would I just be raping and murdering my way through life? Fox went on to ask if it was offensive to include a reference to Atheists in the speech. As if we’re non-human. We shouldn’t be recognised. But if we dare question religion……. we’re the ones being offensive. The mad World of Fox News.

Here is O’Reilly again, being insulting toward Atheism. Mocking it. Not logically, with well thought out, reasoned Philosophy; just the ramblings of a mad old hillbilly Christian, who has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, and is just appealing to his very low-IQ’d viewers. Here, he refers to a sign that was shown by Atheists at Christmas, and says “No God, No Problem; be good for goodness sake” (which is a fantastic and optimistic and not in any way offensive at all; sign) a “dopey sign“. He then says:

“What is it about Christmas they don’t like”.

What a ridiculous question. Atheists aren’t attacking Christmas. We still celebrate Christmas. We don’t celebrate it for the birth of Jesus. I’m convinced he didn’t actually exist. We celebrate it, because it is a time when all our friends and family have time off work at the same time, we share gifts, we have a family meal, and we create memories and stories for our children. It is a small break from a very rushed life. We absolutely love Christmas. O’Reilly is trying to spread fear and hate. O’Reilly then, quite brilliantly says:

“Why do they loathe the Baby Jesus”.

As if we’re all sitting around, throwing darts at a printed picture of the baby Jesus. We get angry when we see the baby Jesus. Some of us can’t control that anger, and we actually vomit.

He then ponders how Atheists sell Atheism by “running down a baby, it’s just a baby”. That’s not what any Atheist has ever done, in the history of the Catholic Church allowing Atheists to exist without being executed for it. Nor is it what the poster is actually saying, or even alludes to. I’m not sure how more manipulative one massive twat could actually be.

Some equally as vacant Fox presenter tells O’Reilly that the sign is a:

“direct and deliberate smear against Christianity”.

In other words, anything that remotely questions a socially prevailing belief system, must be an attack on it. Atheists should all keep quiet, we shouldn’t question, we shouldn’t be allowed to present an alternative. We should accept that homosexuality is a disgrace because the Bible says so, we should accept that abortion doctors deserve to be shot, we should accept that the Pope shouldn’t be brought to trial for covering up child sex abuse, we should just accept that schools in America teach Christianity as fact and evolution as theory, and just ignore it, because the Christians’ point of view is far more valid and reasonable, simply because it is based entirely on tradition; another logical fallacy.

She goes on to say:

“What comes with Christianity are traditional values”

Really? Is that so? And what are those traditional values? Burning witches? Beheading perceived “heretics”? Hanging gay people? Fucking children? For every positive value one can loosely ascribe to Christianity, it is equally as easy to ascribe a pretty direct link between Christianity and shameful violence and corruption.

O’Reilly ends the piece by suggesting that Atheists are just jealous because we have nothing, that Christians have Christmas, and we don’t. He asks “what do they have?” and concludes “nothing”. We have wonderment. We have the understanding that nature is so beautiful and creative itself, without the need for a cruel and angry dictator in the sky. We see the stars and stare in awe at how inspiring it all is. We see a slug and admire how this ugly looking thing is so beautiful because it is as evolved as we are. We have Darwin (Not even the baby Jesus is as great as Darwin). But most importantly, we have fact. To quote the brilliant Douglas Adams:

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

I do not accept what Silverman is saying in the first video. He says that he believes people in America only go to Church because their is a social pressure to announce your belief in Christianity, but most people don’t believe it. I’d say that may be true to an extent, but for the sake of O’Reilly thinking Silverman is being insulting, I can go one better and say that those people actually go to Church because they are brainwashed and deluded; uneducated and illogical; unthinking and weak minded.

If O’Reilly thinks Silverman is insulting toward Christianity….. he obviously hasn’t read my blog.

Knowing the numinous

March 3, 2010

The Latin word “Numen” presents the idea that there is an ineffable essence to the way of the World that we as humans cannot possibly understand. As if reality has a will of it’s own; that particular will, is what the Ancients referred to as “Numen“.

In 1917 Rudolf Otto wrote his best selling Theology book “The Idea of the Holy“, in which he wrote that the feeling of the numinous (the English word derived from “numen“) is a human perception that is “non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self“. I’d argue, that the very nature of the concept of the numinous, is what drives human beings to invent ideas like God, to attempt in as simple way as possible, a sort of Ockham’s razor, the reason for the feeling of the numinous. The World was far easier to understand, when human perceptions and qualities were given to it. And so nature, became personified.

I’d point to the God’s of Sumeria and Ancient Mesopotamia firstly, as reasonable evidence to prove this point. The very first Sumerians in many ways, were far more intelligent and understanding of the World in their religious ideals, than we are today. They did not worship Gods as we do today, at first. They did not believe that a God with human-like attributes, could transcend time, answer prayer, give law, and punish people for relatively meaningless “sins“. They simply gave important aspects of life, a name and a degree of respect above that accorded to each other. They were not searching for a literal understanding of universal truth, they were fully aware that their myths and legends were man made. The myths of Sumeria were a reflection of the culture and sense of wonderment of the time. Much in the same way as music and art can be viewed as a reflection of a person today. God’s were used and changed to suit the culture throughout Mesopotamia, the culture was not changed to suit the God’s. It was not until the rise of the civilisation of Akkad, with whom the Sumerians mixed culturally for years, along with other tribes around Mesopotamia, that their myths started to develop far more elaborately as they intertwined.

For example, Enlil is the Sumerian god of air. The Sumerian’s didn’t believe that an actual entity controlled the air, or was in some way responsible for the air. Enlil was just a myth. The worship of Enlil was simply the worship of the mystery of air. The Sumerian’s understood myth as a human created story with the intention of highlighting the importance of it’s subject, in this case, air. The myth surrounded the idea that Enlil was the God that gave the power to Kings to govern. If the King wasn’t right for the area, then he’d die, he couldn’t breath the air any longer. The numinous feeling was that the Sumerians knew that they were not in control of who lived, who died, and who was born to govern, and so the power of “control” in the human sense, was given to nature itself, and considering they ascribed the human notion of “power” and “control” to nature, they went the next logical step, and personified nature by giving air a human body and name, in a myth. Enlil was not viewed by Sumerian’s as a literal explanation for the purpose of air, merely a creative myth to help highlight the importance of air.

There are Ancient Mesopotamian myths surrounding the flood of around 2900bc. The earliest sources seem to come from around 1700bc, in which the Gods decide to destroy mankind, and ask Ziusudra to build a boat. The rest of the passage which is written on an ancient tablet, has been lost to history. Needless to say, Ziusudra is the hero of the flood story. The story itself, differs in places from that of the Bible story of Noah and the flood. For example, the Sumerian legend end with the boat floating up the Euphrates river, as opposed to on top of a mountain. The similarities, are striking. The legend of Gilgamesh, in one passage, reads “The gods smelled the sweet savor“, in the Bible, a passage pertaining to the flood story, reads “And the Lord smelled the sweet savor…“. The story itself, was never supposed to be taken literally. Christianity, over the centuries has dumbed down, and decided certain passages should be taken literally. Though, i’m pretty certain that the Ancient Jews never actually believed that Noah died at the age of 950.

Somewhere along the line, the worship and mythical understanding of polytheism of Mesopotamia, evolved into the monotheism of the Abrahamic traditions. The Bible uses Noah as it’s hero, sent by God to save two of every plant and animal. Similar stories came out of Sumeria long before the Torah had been collated. The stories coming out of Mesopotamia did not exist to literally suggest that a man happened to build a ship big enough to hold two of every species on the planet. The stories existed to show how nature worked, and explain it in the only way they knew how; by personifying nature into a myth. We do not understand that process, because we are no longer surrounded by mystery.

The Ancient myths, were not explanations, they were just simply myths, and that’s how they were viewed. This would lead us to suggest that the personification of nature was the primary method used to invent Gods. The Gods that came from that, did not concern themselves with the reason and method of creation. Or a transient nature of God – the ability of punish sinners, make laws, listen to prayers and perform miracles were far removed from the ancestors to our present God of the Abrahamic traditions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). It would mean then, that perhaps those who first worshiped a deity did so not for any paranoid need of salvation or acceptance, but merely as a simple explanation in a primitively unscientific age. It would mean that salvation, the link between God and Laws, prayer, and miracles are merely human add ons to an idea that preceded it all.

In an age in which we no longer need a large number of Gods to explain that which science has already explained, I wonder how long it is before we do not need the God of the Abrahamic traditions. I will simply continue my agnostic tendencies. For me, there could be ten gods, one hundred gods, one god, or absolutely no god. We as humans, limited to our senses, and our naive understanding of the Universe, can never truly know for certain. I would like to see the end of the intolerance and pure stupidity lodged deep into the genes of Organised Religion, but it would be a shame to think that science could answer every question put to it. Do we not want a sense of wonder any more? I cannot imagine how my ancestors must have felt to have looked out at a rainbow, and not understood what it was, to have no concept of the science behind a rainbow, is somehow beautiful.

Perhaps the fact that a large section of humanity still believe in a God, suggests that to an extent, we are actually still surrounded by mystery and wonder and numen.