See, God

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Transcript follows: So this guy asked me-

Do you believe in God?

No I don’t. That was easy. I mean, I can’t disprove the existence of Poseidon, but I find all the stories of his miracles and feats to lack credibility. Yes, I know that an entire civilization held the existence of Poseidon to be true, and that his visage is found in numerous works on art and there are ruins of his temple in Greece. But so many of the exploits of Poseidon not only go against our rational observations-

Whoa! Poseidon? I’m talking about God. “God” god. The Christian God. You know, the real one.

Oh. No, I don’t believe in him either.

But let me go back to my case against the existence of Poseidon.

First, a belief in Poseidon leads to a belief in the entire Greek pantheon. Poseidon was the brother of Zeus, the king of the gods, and he conceived a child with his goddess sister after she transformed into a mare. You have to believe in the existence of Atlantis, the island that Poseidon created. You have to believe in cyclopses and that the Odyssey is based on historical truth. I mean, if you believe it literally, you have to believe that there was at one time a talking horse.

Okay, so moderates might not believe in the story with the talking horse and say it’s just allegory. A really weird allegory. But, they say, the idea of Poseidon who provides for the safe voyages of ships and acts as the patron of horse-racing is a sincere spirtual belief that many people can hold, not just the Greecian extremists.

But how do we tell the difference? The divinity of Poseidon doesn’t tell us which parts are simply metaphysical legends and which parts are physical truth. We can’t rely on what is “obviously” true or false, because our idea of obviousness is relative to our own culture. And so much of the folklore of Poseidon seems to almost willingly escape scientific verification or refutation.

And Poseidonists don’t see any problem with that. When I ask what evidence they have for their sea god, they say, “I just have faith.” Or they mention some personal experience they had. Like every time they win at the horse track, they thank Poseidon. But when they lose, they don’t think anything of it. It’s as if there’s no such thing as coincidence.

And why is it that the legends of Poseidon are filled with these fantastic stories, but we don’t see any of these miracles today. In an age of cheap and available telecommunication and video recording, we never capture these miracles on tape. Well, there was that cheese sandwich thing that one time. We’re only left with some historical documents from thousands of years ago. Sure, some people say he still protects ships at sea, and some of the nuttier people say he caused the 2005 tsunami as punishment against the faithless. But what about the very obviously improbable events: there are no reports of him seducing mortal women today. He doesn’t make deals to build walls around modern cities as he did with Troy. He had children that included mermaids, winged horses, cyclopses, and giants; we don’t see creatures like this today. Why is it that all these supernatural events were recorded frequently back then, but not now?

Lots of people tell me that I’m just close-minded to the idea that Poseidon exists, that the evidence is there, I just chose to ignore it. But that’s not true. If I could see compelling evidence that Poseidon existed, this would the most awesome truth imaginable. But I just think that their godly attributions are conveniently selective and their personal experiences always seem to have this component of wishful thinking. They take a sea voyage and a storm doesn’t sink the ship, suddenly it’s all because of Poseidon.

They tell me to look with my heart and search my soul. And I sincerely do that, but I don’t feel different. Then they’ll say, “Poseidon speaks to those who listen.” or something vague like that. It’s almost as if I have to believe in Poseidon before he’ll communicate with me and reaffirm my belief in him. But at that point, I already believe in him, so no matter what I’ll say he exists. You can call that faith, but it seems more like a self-inducing prophecy to me. I mean, I could do that with any belief. But if I did that with the Christian God, the Poseidonists which just call me a heathen.

And then there’s all the reasoning against his existence on top of it. Let’s compare it with any other form of knowledge; if you took a scientist of any field today and sent them back in time to a scientist of that field a thousand years ago, the future scientist could teach the past scientist something new. But if you took a Poseidonist of today and had them talk to a Poseidonist of a thousand years ago, they’d just have an interesting theological argument.

It just doesn’t make any sense-

Ha ha, Al, very funny. You’re trying to make a comparison between Greek mythology and Christianity. But be honest, the fact that Poseidon is a laughable fairy tale doesn’t mean Jesus Christ isn’t the Lord and Saviour of mankind.

That’s technically true. But that’s not the point I want to make.

First, I’ve seen a number of Christians complain that atheists specifically target Christianity over other religions. But this isn’t because atheists are just anti-Christian and give all other belief systems a free ride, but because Christians make up the majority of theists in the English-speaking world. It’s less relevant to attack the claims of Hindus, Jains, and Poseidonists because they’re a small part of the religious makeup. And there aren’t that many Zorastrians trying to impose their religious beliefs into legislation.

Second, sure, you could say I’m being a smartass by comparing Christianity to a belief system that is obviously superstitious hogwash. But what makes our ancient holy books correct and their ancient holy books wrong? Isn’t it suspicious that we can so readily believe in the religion of the culture we happened to grow up in, and so readily discredit the religion of some other culture? Are we somehow smarter or more spiritual as a people today? How can we accept divine virgin births and walking on water as valid miracles, but snake-hair and three-headed dogs as myth? What separates dignified spirtuality from bogus heathen fairy tales?

We can’t say, “Well everyone believes in the Judeo-Christian God.” There are three billion people today that have beliefs outside of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. That isn’t some fringe minority.

Or maybe this shows us that human nature has a propensity for religious beliefs, especially from a time when humans lacked knowledge of their physical world.

When you think of God and religion as being the source of humans, all these jarring questions come up because there are so many sincere but mutually exclusive spiritual beliefs, all of them requiring faith because they lack proof. But if you consider humans as being the source of religion and God, the nature of religious beliefs and customs makes much more sense.

Just something to think about. Have a safe voyage, or good luck playing the ponies, and thanks for watching.

37 Responses to “See, God”

  1. MB Says:

    I just found your site via PZ Myer’s blog. Your videos are very intelligent and entertaining.

    Keep up the good work. And may Poseidon bless you next time you take a ship or bet on the ponies.

  2. MS Says:

    You’re back! Please don’t leave us all hanging again like that for so long. ;)

    You have a great way of stating things in a humorous and good-natured way. While I certainly don’t blame any atheist for feeling/displaying rage or frustration, I know that it can just add to the speed of the downward spiral of defensiveness in any discussion or debate with “Believers” (and by using a capital “B”, I mean overbearing believers). I’ve been very impressed by the way you have replied to commenters and have found myself trying to emulate your patience and kindness when I find myself in potentially tense situations with people who try to impose their beliefs.

    Thanks!

  3. Kevin Z Says:

    Hi, I also came across your video from PZ Myers blog. I love the metaphor. I’ve used several other metaphors before but this one is great. I may steal from it in future discussions with my religious family.

    Like MS said, I appreciate your tenor in this video. I have been a “believer” in confronting the issue with goodwill and not resort to bashing and name-calling. I will go now and peruse the rest of your blog and see what you got here!

  4. Fatpie42 Says:

    You are becoming quite a celebrity now. Have you ever thought of writing a book about atheism and putting it on the market? Or would that be selling out?

    You seem to be a lot more even-handed in your arguments than the writers currently making the best-sellers lists. With the publicity you get from the website, who knows?

  5. Zipi Says:

    Sir, I just found out your site via Pharyngula. Will you marry me?

  6. Libbie Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I totally love you and what you’re doing, Al. Please keep on rockin’ in the free world.

  7. kylie Says:
  8. A person Says:

    Good video. You should create more content.

  9. IASGATG Says:

    Mmm.. Al is back.. time to watch his video another few times taking screenshots each time, then printing them off and sticking them to my bedroom wall.. for later.. ;)

  10. Leaning Towards the Dark Side » Blog Archive » All hail Poseidon! Says:

    [...] For some reason, Al is skeptical about the existence of Poseidon, and probably won’t find the survival of a few of these structures (there were 152 of them) convincing evidence of his existence. [...]

  11. hyrcan Says:

    Yay! Good to see a new vid! Excellent message as always!

  12. quickdrawmaster Says:

    Thank you for your videos, they give me great insight about truth and illusions, your a very brave person and wish that you continue with your work ..

  13. Socrates Johnson Says:

    Fun video, but as always I am here to piss off the locals.

    “Or maybe this shows us that human nature has a propensity for religious beliefs, especially from a time when humans lacked knowledge of their physical world”

    sociobiological and bulveristic thinking blended beautifully.

    That aside, I am very glad that you have pointed out an important distinction here: only some theists are of the Abrahamic traditions (Jewish, Christian, Islam.) Further though, as food for thought, there are theists who do not appeal to logically inconsistent “gods”. I of course agree that poseidon manages some logical problems.

    However, at face value the “God of Abraham” does too. So, as a preemptive move, let me say, some theists (especially those of us bizarre enough to be philosophers) manage to say “yes, your gods are silly” without just being begging the question like your hypothetical/exemplary commentator and saying “my god is the real REAL god” without qualifying what makes one god more real than others (outside of cultural preference).

  14. D. Black Says:

    Ok…dude…u are stinkin’ hillareous..I think it’s all hogwash…besides the shower idea…but as far as atheism and all of that… =) But I think u should continue to do videos and all of this… =)
    As for me, you cannot explain away the supernatural…even by science…on the mission field I have seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears hear, tumors shrink to absolutley nothing…not only the miraculous, but the mystical experiences I have had as well…and u may say well, maybe u are insane, and perhaps I am, and well, perhaps the mind is a powerful thing, and perhaps it is, but I just can’t write off supernatural experience because science cannot explain it, or someone doesn’t believe in it…ultimatley, don’t like arguing about such things…I think it’s a waste of time…the real reason I am writing is because I just see awesome talent in you…tho sometimes u are boring to listen to jabber on about none-sense, you are entertaining at the same time, and very funny! =) Pursue on!!! =) Have a great one bro!!!
    -D-

  15. David Says:

    D. Black, if you saw a tumor shrink to nothing, it was due to chemotherapy. If you saw a blind man see, it was somebody who wasn’t really blind to begin with. If you saw a deaf man hear, it was somebody who wasn’t really deaf to begin with, or who had medical treatment (surgery) to correct his condition. Sure, there are some faith-healing charlatans out there, who hire people to fake blindness or deafness or lameness, to fool gullible wanna-believes like you, who don’t take the time to think that all they have is someone’s claim that they are blind, etc., and that they’d have no way of knowing if it was fake or not. Have you ever seen an amputee cured by supernatural means? No, and you never will. You’ve been duped.

  16. Lover Says:

    What better way to think of consolidating your rule than to make a religion to scare everyone into submission! The Egyptians and Greek did it before us, then why is it not surprising that they would’ve done it 2 thousand years ago, if humans did it more than 6 thousand years ago!

    Religion scares the crap out of its subjects to force them into doing what it tells you to do. Before religion, lying and stealing as well as rape were morally wrong. Religion did not introduce this concept for us, it was already there. What religion does though, is scare you into becoming moral. Whereas non-believers are moral because that is what is right – even though they are not rewarded for it.

    A great philosopher once asked a religious man whether he is religious to avoid hell or to get into heaven. The religious man quiet predictably said both. When asked the same question back, he said he was moral because it is the right thing to do. The philosopher went on to claim that the biggest type of moral corruption is to avoid being immoral in fear of punishment and being moral in return for something.

    Why does religion have to force people into being moral when the abscence of religion quiet rightly portrays that one could be moral and perform moral deeds for no prize what so ever.

    In fact, a study in South America (home of the far-right and Christianity – home of racism too) showed that there were more crimes in South American cities than their more Liberal counter-parts in less religios cities.

    Indeed, holy wars and Bushs crusade which, he claims, had been ordered to him by God himself (in a dream ofcourse) have been morally contradictive and disrupting and distructive than any other crimes any Athiest and non-believing leader or certainly individuals could have commited.

    Muslims blowing up the Twin Towers in America and civilians in Iraq, Christian leaders in western countries killing millions of civilians throughout time, Nazi Cult bringing about the deat

  17. Lover Says:

    God, Yehwa, Allah. These are the common names attributed to the mighty and higher being. He is believed to be the perfect of all perfects. The ultimate power. The ultimate mercy. The ultimate goodness.

    What you don’t hear from religious croonies about God is the rest of the equation of perfection. If God is the perfect form of anything and everything – such as goodness, forgiveness, glamour and beauty – why is he not the ultimate evil as well?

    This may sound weird or confusing. The theory goes that everything that exists in this world must have a perfect form in order to be compared to. This is like saying Person A is a good person, but Person B is better. The measurement metre that anything is to be compared with must have an ultimate. Ofcourse, this gap is filled with ‘God’. So, if this is the case then the following is also true; If i haven’t had a shower for many days and reak of a great bio-stink, then there must be an ultimate stinker to compare to – that ultimate stinker – according to the theory presented to us by religious apologists – God should be that ultimate and perfect stink. He must also be the ultimate evil. The ultimate selfishness.

    Hardly something inspiring in that.

    Signed: The Perfect Contradiction

  18. Lover Says:

    Al, even though i’m a new commentator (and will try to keep commenting on new stuff as much as I can) I think it would be interesting if you took the psycological/philosophical angle of religion.

    This includes how every gap in science is filled with god. Systematically. As this gap narrows down, religion tries to widen it by limiting religion (i.e. the best example of religion limiting and censoring education is by calling anyone a hathen or infidel if they so much as think to study a subject that encourages critical thinking – what was the begining of god.) Religious apologists claim that the human mind can not understand this or that.

    That is the cheapest way of bailing out. Also, try explaining what I said in my past two comments – the perfection of god and the way religion could have been used to consolidate power – like the greeks, chinese and egyptians did. Also, the incident of the three Abrahamic religions being sourced out from the Middle-east (one in egypt one in palestine and one in Saudi arabia – could the distance traveled b religions between one location to another be the answer to why Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions are strikingly similar – maybe a process of reform had taken place throughout time and geographical movement).

    These are all worth exploring. I’m sure you have your own ponts to make. It just seems that religious apologists are too blind and arrogant to realise scientific fact over religion.

  19. Socrates Johnson Says:

    “Religion scares the crap out of its subjects to force them into doing what it tells you to do. ”

    “Before religion, lying and stealing as well as rape were morally wrong.”

    sources?

    “A great philosopher once asked a religious man whether he is religious to avoid hell or to get into heaven. The religious man quiet predictably said both. When asked the same question back, he said he was moral because it is the right thing to do. The philosopher went on to claim that the biggest type of moral corruption is to avoid being immoral in fear of punishment and being moral in return for something.”

    Right… that guy *a great philosopher*, I love his work.

    “In fact, a study in South America (home of the far-right and Christianity – home of racism too)”

    I am tempted to quote the president of Columbia University and point out that you are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.

    “Nazi Cult”

    About time you mentioned the nazis, all *good* arguments do.

    “If God is the perfect form of anything and everything – such as goodness, forgiveness, glamour and beauty – why is he not the ultimate evil as well?”

    Because evil is not a perfection? Or maybe logic just doesn’t work that way.

    “the best example of religion limiting and censoring education is by calling anyone a hathen or infidel if they so much as think to study a subject that encourages critical thinking – what was the begining of god”

    Columbia University again.

    After that it gets fuzzy and I can’t tell what you are even trying to say.

    Assertions are not arguments(itself a beautiful assertion, but I don’t have room here). Speaking of blind and arrogant, gotta love the ad hominem, when all else fails just call the other guy dumb, or otherwise abuse him, quote “facts” that are so general and sweeping as to make you seem at least prone to essentializing if not outright bigotry, etc.

    Flame on little buddy, flame on.

  20. Socrates Johnson Says:

    on a side note, you remind me of that guy from another thread on here that said something to the effect of “monkeys throw sticks at the sky when there is thunder [...] that’s a religion”

    I paraphrase because I don’t want to bother hunting the actual sillyness down.

  21. Cael Says:

    That was another excellent production Al, and I’d just like to take a moment to thank you for it.

  22. Jolly Sapper Says:

    Ahh.. finally made it back to the website and lo’ there was goodness to be found!

    As far as the “supernatural healing” stuff that D. Black spoke of, there’s no way of knowing if GOD, God, god or some other invisible superfriend did the healing. There’s also no way of knowing (in those particular instances where some one may witness a “miraculous” healing whether it was the body’s immune system kicking in, the natural recovery of damaged organs, etc.

    It may have happened one way or it may have happened the other way.

    Heck, I could just as easily given some god credit for making some artillery shells fall about 25 feet to the right of where I was sitting. Or I could remember that some jackass in a tank had parked himself on top of a sand dune behind me and the tank was back lit by the setting sun, so the Iraqi 155′s were walking their rounds to the jackass and not me who was sitting several hundred meters to the front of said jackass.

    Maybe there was a god that intervened but since I have no way to prove it, I’ll stick with hoping that said jackass’s toilet seats are perpetually cold and moldy.

    On the other hand, I could give credit to some god when I watched a squad of medics debate whether to amputate the rotting arm of a kid (barely in his teens) or just give him some pain killers and send him on his way. Maybe it was god that let that kid get shot in the arm, not be able to get to a working hospital (which was god’s fault not the fault of mankind for waging war), not be healthy enough to fight off the infection, and suddenly find himself living in unsanitary conditions which probably did a great job of getting the bullet wound in his arm infected.

    *shrugs* Maybe this atheism thing is bullshit after all, who knew?

  23. Aaron Says:

    Christianity is different from religion. Religion (including Atheism) is about how you can work to become like God (or good). Christianity is about the work the God does to make us more like him. If you think you can be a good person without God, then you have no reason to believe in Jesus.

    God is love. The kind of love that is self sacrificing and unselfish. He has given you a choice. You can either accept his death on the cross as payment for your sin, or you can say he doesn’t even exist. You’re still alive, because God is giving you time to turn around. When your time is up, you will have no excuse.

  24. 1 Says:

    “Christianity is different from religion.”

    HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAA!

  25. 6Thanatos66 Says:

    Make videos faster, I need my intelligence fix.

  26. Beccs Says:

    “christianity is different from religion”

    Hate to burst your little bubble, but Christianity IS a religion, no matter which way you put it.

    Atheism is also a lack of belief in a supreme being, hence it isn’t a religion.

    Let me know if these things aren’t clear enough for you . . .

  27. Socrates Johnson Says:

    Beccs,

    I think that belief in a supreme being is perhaps a misleading definition for religion. Most people agree that Buddhism is a religion despite the lack of a supreme being (Some Japanese variants do have “gods” or “devas” but they are in no way “supreme”

    If that isn’t a good example as some people would argue that Buddhism is not in fact what is meant when people say “religion” in English maybe Hinduism is a better choice.

    Hinduism in the vedic traditions is arguably either polytheistic or henotheistic (many gods exist but one is a personal, tribal, or just a ‘better’ god, and thus worshipped.) The tradition expressed in later works like the Bhagavad Gita has a theistic conception whereby even the gods are part of a larger ultimate divine existence, though not a supreme being per se. The upanishadic traditions carry this idea further and end up similar to Buddhism in that even the ‘gods’ end up as deluded and that there is certainly no “supreme being” and arguably there is nothing that is “real”

    Do these count as religions? Well under your definition they do not. I am willing to bet that most believers in Hinduism would balk at your categorizing their belief system in with atheism because it lacks faith in a “supreme being.”

    So yeah, maybe you were clear. But I don’t think that your definitions are adequate.

  28. Jolly Sapper Says:

    First, to Aaron’s comment that “God is love.” That depends on who you talk to, the crazy “preacher” who comes to the college campus where I go to school tells us that God hates us all because we wear poly-cotton blends, have hair that is not the right length for our gender, men wearing pink shirts, treating women as individuals instead of subservient beings who do not deserve the right to be considered individuals, being or tolerating “gays and homosexuals,” etc. etc.

    Second, its my belief that religion is a system of structured traditions and rituals enforced by hierarchy and passed down through the generations of “followers” while belief is what you do when you make a decision without having all of the facts.

    My beliefs can change as I learn more, see more, do more and while it may be hard for me to do so, my main obstacle is myself. Beliefs are internal, possibly influenced by external factors but ultimately it is the decision of the individual to embrace any particular belief(s).

    Religions are harder to change as the traditions and rituals come from outside of individual. When an individual decides that some part of their religion no longer fits into their belief system, individuals lacking the ability to change the entire religion (which would be almost everybody who isn’t high up in the hierarchy of the religion) to fit their new beliefs are left with two options: Abandon the religion or suppress their beliefs to keep in conformity with the religion.

    Many who follow a religion have a strong social bonds with others who follow the same religion, making the choice so much more difficult. My belief, ;) , is that many decide to stick with religion at the expense of their own beliefs instead of abandoning the religion and loosing the social bonds they have become accustomed to or dealing with the fallout of being a pariah amongst those who they once called friends.

  29. Socrates Johnson Says:

    Might as well chime in since there’s been no fire and brimstone from either side recently on here. While your beliefs regarding religion are certainly interesting, there is a sort of standard conflation of rejection of religion because of its followers going on at the start there. I had lots of arguments to show that science has bad ideas but we don’t throw it out etc, but it’s not like anyone will read this before writing the next posts or just saying I am some sort of crazy religious zealot for saying what I am about to, but here goes :P

    Bulverism is bad. Bulverism is when you say “You believe in X, but you have a personal reason or gain in believeing X, therefore your beliefs are false.”

    A perfect example is I could say “You believe you are a real person, but that serves your purposes better than your just being a figment of my imagination, therefore you are a figment of my imatination.”

    Without further evidence it doesn’t follow that that actually IS the case.

    When positing a new hypothesis as to why people believe religion you need to give a good reason that your hypothesis is better. Saying that people are scared of being labled an outsider and heretic is all well and good, but it doesn’t really given an explanation as to why a large percentage of the world’s population believes in some sort of religious experience, just says that they have personal reasons to believe it.

    I’m not sure this is your position and if it isn’t feel free to correct me, but getting rid of god in a hypothesis does not patently or magically equal a better hypothes. While it is the current trend of the sciences etc. And I am a personal believer that evidence cannot lead to proof of god etc. This does not mean that any hypothesis other than god(s) is true simply in virtue of the fact that it is not supernatural.

    Flame on lil’ buddies, flame on.

  30. Rob Says:

    Dear god post some new Videos soon!

  31. Jolly Sapper Says:

    Socrates Johnson, would there even be a way to create a scientific experiment that would allow for the testing of the hypothesis that god existed? Could there even be a way of testing the hypothesis that god didn’t exist?

    If we can’t answer yes to those questions then “god” can’t be a theory can it? So science seems to fail us in determining whether god exists. We’re left totally alone in the dark wandering aimlessly amid a sea of those who have total faith and those with a total lack of faith in any one particular interpretation of what god may be, in fact, existing in the universe.

  32. Fyurien Says:

    Hey numbnut…

    Wait no, thats immature and personal. Hey Al, you are wrong. Being an atheist you’ve managed to insult those among us that actually take critical thinking seriously. For all your YouTubing you’ve managed to shoot your self in the foot and in a great way null your argument.

    Think for even the slightest moment critically and you will understand one fundamental truth.

    Atheists are Believers and Believers are Atheists.

    You are no more open minded then religious believers, nor they any less atheist than you are.

    Consider for a second that as an atheist you do not believe in god. Actually you “believe” in not god. Believers believe in their own god but are atheist to other gods. Zeus and so on.

    People like you “Atheists”, Dawkins included are serious numbnuts and your condescending attitude towards believers at best pisses people off, at worst does more harm to your goals than good.

    Get off your YouTube labeled soap box and try out a real critical debate for once. Or at the very least, real critical thinking. Maybe its time to brush up on some Greek love of knowledge.

    Sheeeshhhh…

  33. Socrates Johnson Says:

    To be fair to my attempt at something like objective observation of the debate and maintenance of argumentative integrity I must comment in Al’s defense (though I doubt he needs it, what the hell, might as well make sure I play both sides.)

    To Fyurien:

    While I do not agree with Al on very many points, saying something as brazen as “Atheists are Believers and Believers are Atheists.” doesn’t *actually* make it true. The form and content of your arguments are what make or break them. While I do agree that there is an epistemic gap and a sort of “leap of faith” involved in the positive assertion “There is no god.” I cannot simply assert that the conclusion is wrong, but rather question the methods used to reach that conclusion.

    Come on though, calling names and engaging in the same self-righteous abuses that you accuse Al of is at best lowering yourself to what you think is his level as though this would somehow teach him a lesson. I think his, and Dawkin’s, mistakes are far more clever than simple disagreement to you, and an unfamiliarity with your idea of critical debate.

    However, I am reminded of Neil deGrasse Tyson chastising Dawkins for his “sharpness of teeth” in his presentation of arguments against god etc. At some level I just have to agree with Tyson, education is an act of persuasion. If you want to pull a Dawkins and try and convince Al through the rhetorical “f&*k off” (like Dawkins uses in the quite famous clip) don’t be surprised when people laugh at you, but end up thinking the other guy was probably right, or at least is more likely someone worth listening to.

    With love.

    Jolly Sapper…
    No offense intended, but what exactly are you trying to say?

  34. Jolly Sapper Says:

    Mr. Johnson,

    Well, the point I was trying to make is that how can you even attempt to prove something in a rational scientific way (through testing) to take a hypothesis of something existing and with enough evidence promote the hypothesis to a theory when the “something” you are trying to prove doesn’t have any attributes that we as a species can objectivily (or even quasi objectively) measure?

    Belief in some higher power or supernatural diety is based on faith more than actually seeing that higher power or supernatural diety in action (and knowing for sure that what you have witnessed is attributable to the higher power or supernatual diety that you believe in), correct? That’s why belief in a god, or gods, or supernatural watchmakers is called faith, because nobody can really give enough proof that any one individual’s hypothesis about the existance of their god or supernatural diety to convince everybody that this one particular “belief” in one particular god or supernatural deity is the correct one.

    I’m pretty sure that goes a long way in explaining why there are so many different religions that have lots of strong differences as well as the fragmenting of a particular religion into verious sects and cults, who may share some tradition and doctrine with other’s of the same “religion” but add their own interpretation and rituals. ex. Catholics and Southern Babtists, Christians and Muslims, Taoists and New Age Wiccan’s.

  35. Socrates Johnson Says:

    Not to be too disrespectful, but to take a mild Dawkinsian stance here, if a “supernatural” entity performs ANY act within the empirically measurable universe said entity has put itself in the position to be studied, hypothesized about, etc. I just don’t buy that the ultimate nature of some cosmic super-entity is such that we are forced to just throw our hands up in a hyper-inclusivist and relativist fashion when confronted with questions regarding it.

    To be fair Kant said that questions regarding god might not have accessible answers, but his point wasn’t that we can’t possibly apprehend such facts because of some limitation on us. It might be that your reasoning is more firmly based than it seems, so I invite you to show why we have good reason to believe that we cannot understand these things.

  36. Bill Brown Says:

    Hi Al,
    Fellow cat-loving atheist here. I haven’t viewed all your videos yet, so I’m still hoping I come upon one espousing the merits of vegetarianism. If you are not already a vegetarian have you ever considered it?

    When you use close-ups it’s a visually effective means of keeping the viewer’s attention and creating a comic, not too serious attitude, but it becomes apparent you’re reading which is not apparent otherwise. No big deal though.

    I’m looking forward to viewing all of your videos. Good work!

  37. Jakob Says:

    This, like most of your videos, deserves a longer response, but I don’t feel like writing just now, so let me sum it up in a few words:

    This is AWESOME.

    You are RIGHT.

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