Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

God is dangerous

"Pascal's Wager is Safer in Reverse: Picking a Religion is Dangerous" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

There are also some responses to this essay in the Live Journal atheist community: Click here to read them

Swimming in the sea of uncertainty and misc

(Anonymous)
Let's face it - this world is an extremely complex system, or a set of complex systems. Our human mind can only focus and process small amounts of information at a time. To get anywhere, with knowledge, people have developed the scientific framework and disciplines. In the end, anything that can be considered as knowledge must be subjected to this scientific framework or it is just speculation. In the end, people will speculate and make assumptions (i.e. beliefs) because it's a lot easier and quicker than trying to work it out within the rigours of science. Also, being certain of something is more comforting to most people than being skeptical. So to shake off their assumptions people must be both willing and capable of thinking hard without jumping to conclusions. More importantly, they must be willing to get out of the religious boat they are in (most people are born into it) and jump in the sea of uncertainty and swim by themselves. Of course, one can easily foresee getting drowned in in, since swimming is an acquired skill.

I will uneasily admit that during certain storms in my life I had a few mouthfuls of water and inflated the religious life vest to help me stay afloat and when the storm subsided I promptly deflated the vest, since my rational mind quickly took over control. Moreover, at one point I think I was getting tired of swimming so I wanted the safety and comfort of a boat but then after reading the Bible and Quran found so many things I couldn't reconcile with, namely intolerance and threats of hellfire (which wasn't actually based on logic but on my conscience). In the end, it seems that I'll be swimming for the rest of my life, however tough it gets and I am resolved not to use the life vest (although don't hold my word for it!).

Anyhow, here is the reason I do not and cannot believe in heaven or hell. I firmly hold that science be used as THE best mechanism for establishing truth (although it's never absolutely permanent). So at this point, we have the accepted laws of physics which cannot be proven to be violated by any miracles (and if you do believe in miracles please stop reading further, a waste of your time really). These laws, apart from quantum physics, work in a deterministic way. So taking quantum physics aside, in a Newtonian universe everything is already pre-destined, including all your electronic impulses in the brain which are effectively your decisions, thus rendering you of free cosmic will. I use the word cosmic, because although there isn't cosmic free will, it is fair to say that our exact actions will be never completely predictable by us, so we will always experience our decisions as free will. OK, so I thought, maybe the free will lies in quantum physics. Maybe our brain can manipulate the uncertainty. But I can immediately see two very strong arguments against it - the uncertainty at the brain level is extremely tiny and even if it was significant quantum physics would only allow it to happen if it was subject to standard random deviation. On the other hand, you can believe that it's not the brain at all which decides upon our actions but our spirit - something which science cannot measure. But that's just equivalent to a continuous miracle.

Another common argument for the existence of the Creator (I have problems with the term God since the term often relates to nothing that we can relate to in this universe) is that anything which exists must have a creator. Science tells us that energy and matter can't be created out of nothing. However, if you follow that argument, you can also claim that there might be a creator behind the Creator. And a creator behind that one. And since this universe is infinite there might actually be an infinite number of creators, each creating the one before. Wow, maybe I just discovered a new religion. Sarcasm aside, gnosticism implies there is God behind the God that created this universe (demi-urge). However, in scientific terms, this is really no different than claiming a single deity.

Enough of my rambling, I find myself quite incoherent at times. I wish I had the time and writing skills of Vexen, but hope that this might ignite some sparks somewhere.




(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
OMG!!! You have a journal! So cool!!! I saw your sites first, anyway, I totally agree. IMHO people shouldn't go around pretending they know stuff if they don't. The only thing we can really be sure of are facts, not faith...

YOU'RE CRAZY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those three reasons are incredibly stupid.

A bit like your criticism, then?

I agree in full with your reasons for rejecting theism and the theory of a god being the almighty creator, but i also do not agree with your theory of god not being moral, because, like all other things that have to do with god or whatever, how do we know what it's idea of morals are, because they do not have to be the same as ours, as we have evolved we have created our own, y'know.

Like hellbot13 said, we need to look at the facts. Instead of looking at what religions say, look at what hard evidence says about the religions. In almost all cases, religious texts ignore history and just have doctrine. It is impossible to test the reliability of such doctrine and therefore meaningless. Christianity on the other hand, is filled with history, therefore making it testable. The main point of Christianity, what defines your salvation, is testable in that it is the death and resurrection of Christ, an actual event in actual history, the only religion with this ability.

Muhammad, an uneducated Arab, received the Holy Book from archangel Gabriel, and his Immams wrote it down, recited in excellent and scholarly arabic, which Muhammad could not have known. This is Islam, founded by actual events in history.

So what do you mean, Christianity is the only religion with a testable history? No offence, but the non-Christians in the pagan world did not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and indeed, neither did Christianity itself during the first two centuries, it's only post-Constantine literalist Christianity that has believed in Jesus as a literal figure. Christianity has a more corrupt and false history than Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and other world religions.

Christian History (Anonymous) Expand

live long satanism!

(Anonymous)
I personally is a satanism in this world i like THE BAD SIDE :-)
but im still in school and liste to the gay god jesus and all those su*kers :( but but soon...

reward for intellectual honesty

(Anonymous)
You have provided an excellent analysis of this issue and your logic is flawless! Of course, the validity of a logical argument ultimately depends not only on its structural soundness, but also on the truth of its fundamental premises. Since these are metaphysical (pertaining to spiritual beings, etc.) they remain in question, therefore your caution is appropriate. You said:
"If God is just, moral or understanding it will forgive us our cautiousness!" I believe this is quite true, and that you will not only be "forgiven," but probably rewarded, for remaining intellectually honest and using your God-given intelligence as you are doing. As a Christian mystic (Episcopal), I violate your standards of caution in my communion with my God, but since He has consistently helped me to live with integrity and doing "good," I think He can be trusted. (Of course this presupposes the concept of "integrity" and "doing good" - something which you also face and is equally unfounded in your belief system as it is in mine, i.e., it remains somewhat subjective. But that cannot be helped.) If I am mistaken, I hope for the same "forgiveness" as you, as we have only done our best with what data we have been given and the faculties we have for understanding it... In any case, thank you for sharing your beliefs in such a clear, logical manner! I think Christians should read your writings so that they may more fully understand the Big Picture and the limitations of our human knowledge in this regard... I would usually say "God bless you," but I do not wish to insult you, so - I wish you all the best! Sincerely, Sister Julian - sisterjulian@netscape.net The Community of Francis and Clare

Re: reward for intellectual honesty

(Anonymous)
[i]"If God is just, moral or understanding it will forgive us our cautiousness!" I believe this is quite true, and that you will not only be "forgiven," but probably rewarded, for remaining intellectually honest and using your God-given intelligence as you are doing.[/i]

Because you are neither hot nor cold...

Disbelief in God because it is "safer" is not a good argument. You should not decide the truth of a matter based on how safe that decision is. This is the coward's way out; this is not being intellectually honest.

Out of all the arguments against the existance of God that there are this is the stupidest I have ever heard. Certainly any God that is good can forgive someone for being wrong in their ideas. But deciding to be "safe" rather than make a stand for belief, one way or another, is just not respectable. Standing by the belief that God does not exist can be a respectable stance but this reasoning is not.

Playing the odds...I call that spineless.

I'm not judging you; I'm judging your argument.

Jesus Christ

(Anonymous)
I believe there is a GOD. Everyday I thank HIM much. In return i find my life has been much easier since I started to thank HIM. I am not good at specifics when It comes to proving my point...but I'll say this: Jesus tried like all "getout" to Instill morals, ethics, goodwill, to follow GOD's covenants, the Ten Commandments, love, etc. But He was slaughtered by his fellow humans. Then...getting back to GOD...HE,Jesus Christ, reported that it just was no use to try to straighten out the human race. They are just plainly evil at heart and for GOD, HIS Father, to forget the human race except those who try to follow JESUS CHRIST. It's just that simple like how I write. In thanking GOD....I say it this way...."Thank you GOD...I say/ask this to YOU in the name of JESUS CHRIST my Lord and Savior and the HOLY SPIRIT. Thank YOU GOD....thank YOU very much".

Why do you refer to God as being male?

Re: Jesus Christ (Anonymous) Expand

You have the right to elieve what you want

(Anonymous)
I will tell you anyone who believe's in satan believes in God. ou say why do you refer to him as male to some one who comments. I tell you the truth he is a bein, just as the air is around us and we can not see so is God. The whole world have had opinions on who God is who satan is and today its everywhere. I believe in God no religion no specific way to pray or go to church. Most people go to church for socialism or their image. Church is the most evil place cause of people reason for going, not saying all people are that way but its facts. I tell you this i have seen two worlds one we see and one we don't good and evil Mortal and immortal. I tell you know one knows the answer that are all asked why,when,God, Satan ect. honestly we do not know untill we die we can only believe or not beleive what we beleive in our hearts and minds. It is a given choice. I believe. I have had experiances in my life to make my faith strong. That is my right so i will not push you to believe you are wrong that is your belief, but don't curse other's cause of their's. That makes you sinicle and rude. Evryone has a choice it called freewill without that we wouldn't exist or have the choice to pick right or wrong. So all i can tell you is i hope you see the lie Satan helps you believe because when Jesus comes back, you will remember the wordi am sure many have said. I am here to say their is a better place but not on earth it in heaven. So don't try to brain wash people causee it only hurts you heart and soul, makes you like a drug dealer slowly killing people.

God Bless and i hope you see what is always makeing you ask those questions.

Re: You have the right to elieve what you want

(Anonymous)
Iam a christian (no shame). Atheist reading this you speak of what you dont no of,you try to understand God using scientific or basic human reasoning,wich is understandable because humans have superior intelligence anything on this earth.God is not!! in this earth and has all knowledge.if God were trying to explain himself, it wuold be like explaining the internet to an ant.look up in the stars if you get the time
see all the billions and billions of planets stars, how the sun is far away enouph to keep us from melting but close enough to keep us warm; how trees produce oxygen so we can breath and gravity to keep us from flaoting
away this is proof that God exist. you need to search deep inside yourselfs and think on these things just once and you will find God if you take a leap in faith and Just beleive. I know from experience you Will hear his voice only if you go to him out of your on will.Ill be praying for anybody who considers these words.

this is completely rediculous!!

i cant believe that you are saying that god is a demon in descise!
you have nothing to prove that!...god even came to earth to show everyone that he is real...and good, he loves you all...how can you not see this!?...god loves all the poeple that even put these kind of things on the web, jesus made this earth for us all to live in...and what you are saying is just beyond anything i have ever heard of!

God Bless You

(Anonymous)
Do this on more Anti-Christianity topics.
But back yourself up like I did to sound more intelligent. Otherwise, Its just your word vs. theirs.

On the nose, sort of

(Anonymous)
While I enjoyed many of your logical constructs, I suppose they were primarily undertaken for shock/humor value. The truth is the universe is a random series of events and coincidences, and god/nature/whatever, may or may not exist, and almost certainly doesn't give a cosmic squat about us.
Although it fun to think that maybe there's some malevolent power out there that tortures us for a laugh now and then.
And your write, religion is bad, it blinds the masses to the truth, divides nations and families, makes people act irrationally, and shouldn't get tax exempt status. ALL religious leaders are con artists, all religious fools are sheep.
So, when do we start the revolution?

Danger

(Anonymous)
I found your essay on God to be quite remarkable. Your writing gives the impression of a very tender conscience. Your arguments that you should not believe in God stem from the idea that you fear to offend Him. The lack of logic arguing against God from God unique but there is another point that I would rather comment on. You ask, "what if God is a Powerful Demon?" A Demon is by definition an evil spirit who will deceive you, you find the idea of this deception appalling and wrong, as do I, as I think would anyone. logically you are then holding yourself and this demon to a standard of right. Either this standard of right is of your own invention and you have no true claim to justice or it is derived from a higher standard of good. This standard must have more authority than either party and if God did indeed create the universe it is very unlikely that he would build into us a standard of good that He would by nature violate. There may be a demon but he is below the standard and God is below none in authority by definition. For this reason If there is a God (which is the supposition you have built your argument against belief on) I submit that indeed He must be good. If He is good it does not seem that He would despise an honest search for truth.

As regards religion. You are right, much evil has been down under a religious banner, but also much good. Schools, hospitals, halfway houses, missions. I would like to point more specifically to Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Junior. These two led movements based on a teaching of Christ. "do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Their movements, though painful and abused, truly may be said to have moved mountains. I submit that, in Christianity at any rate, war was never intended to be a tenant of religion and that the abuse of men have made it such.

I submit that if God is good and man, as we have daily evidence, is not, then God has two options. He may eradicate us as evil, or strive to make us good. I submit that if He were to force us to do good without any choice in the matter we would not actually be good and having no will of consequence, it would be as good as if we were destroyed, for we would lose all we comprehend as valuable in being human beings.

Then if God seeks to make us good we must engage in the process ourselves. This is an action and as such carries risk and consequence. However a good God would strive to help us collectively and individually. Collectively we would have prophets and teachers which we have had. Individually... I do not know your story I only know my own.

I hope nothing I say now will prejudice you against the logic of my arguments. I have been a Christian for twenty years. I respect and affirm science and reason. I have known doubt both of God's existence and of His goodness. For all of this I have found God's goodness, tolerance and love constantly affirmed. In fact Faith has constantly worked to open my mind to consider new points of view and, as I do not hold my opinion to be of final authority, I can allow myself to be wrong, or to accept that I may not understand some particular thing.

I further submit that a mature belief in Heaven and Hell is not a childish desire to sit on clouds and be always content rather than to burn in fire for every mistake. But to throughout eternity grow in the way, in the path we have already begun. Either to grow in Love, power, Joy, mercy, and Grace or to eventually be consumed by hatred, greed, pride, obsession, grumblings, and discontent.

I fully agree with the statement that God is dangerous. I do not find that He is safe, but in time I have come to trust that He is good and an ally to truth. For this reason I have decided to trust that as a pursue truth with a whole heart, God will continue to guide me in life and in death.
I know you do not share this hope, but it is my hope that this will give you a somewhat more mature idea of faith to consider in your arguments. for if you do reject faith you ought at least to reject faith for an adult. Anyone can poke arguments in the ideas of children. I do not believe that inaction is the safest thing. And if you want a Bible verse for it try Matt. 25:14-30. Refusal to commit to any action is never honoured.

wow

(Anonymous)
im 16.

family is full catholic on both sides no matter how you look at it.

I'm the first to find the concept of god and religion as bullshit.

This is possibly the most ingenious analysis of this ive seen.

This is the anti-religion bible.

Thank you for putting this online this was terrific and reflected my beliefs 100%

Fact vs. Faith

(Anonymous)
All of the people who commented believe that we as a society should live through life based on what we know vs. what we believe, right? That is a great point of view....But you are a hypocrite if you can say something is a fact but you have no evidence.

So, how can you say God is dangerous if you are denying the fact that there is a God? It doesn't make sense. If I were to say that fire burns, I would show you, I would have eveidence. However, if you were to reply that fire is a figment of imagination, you would have no proof and I would win.

The Bible has been passed down from generation to generation. Of course, it took many years to write but Jesus wasn't born over night.....it took 9 months. Then he needed time to grow up, and time to do many things most people think is outrageous.

The disbelief of God, as we see in this passage was passed down from antichrists. God had warned about these antichrists. He has already prophesied your coming. He knows if you will go to heaven or hell because he counts every hair on your head.

God has stated in the Bible that I and my Christian brothers and sisters are called to be missionaries. We are supposed to preach to the Gentiles, not the Jews. I am trying to reach out to each and every Atheist that God will allow me to.

So where what is your proof that God does not exist? I have more EVIDENCE that he does exist than you have saying he doesn't exist.

No other religion states that there will be people of other religions.

The Bible has clearly stated that there will be a large diversity and those who do not know Jesus Christ will die and go to hell.

The evidence that I have shows that God is real. I have pages and pages about how we know God is real and atheism is ridiculous and depressing.

Where will you go when you die?
Atheism says when you're alive you're alive, and when you're dead, its like sleeping only you never wake up, you never have dreams, and you are just.....gone.
That is a very depressing thought.

There is a way we all got here. I know a God put us here. We didn't just make ourselves. So would you rather take a 2% chance at my religion (Christianity) with a possibility of eternal life, or have a 0% chance because you don't believe anything?

There is no religion that doesn't believe in a God or Gods, except for atheism. Atheism is against every religion.....like 1 vs. a million….Common sense tells you it is the wrong way to go.

So when it boils down to Fact vs. Faith, Fact always wins. What are facts? BELIEFS backed up with EVIDENCE.

Christianity is a BELIEF.....the BIBLE is our evidence.

Re: Fact vs. Faith

(Anonymous)
First of all, i would like to point out that the article doesn't state that God is evil, it states that God could be evil, if he existed. Secondly, the bible took thousands of years to write and it was written by a lot of people, so therefore it means nothing. Throughout the years, people have misinterpreted God, and therefore the bible can't be perfect, and if even one part of it is wrong, why should we trust any part of it? Thirdly, I would like to see your "evidence", if it really is anything. Fourthly, Jesus said that the antichrist will come in HIS name, yet no one here has claimed to be God, so how can anyone here be the antichrist? Fifthly, if those who don't believe are sent to hell, then God isn't really a loving being, is he? Jesus said that God requires forgiveness, but why would he be a hypocrite by sending those who don't believe to hell? Also, Christians aren't the only ones who go to heaven according to the bible. An example is the "Good Samaritan". The good Samaritan wasn't a Jew or a Christian, yet he is the "neighbor", the one who will go to heaven. Sixthly, Islam says there will be other religions, e.g. Christians. So you haven't showed any proof at all. In addition, I would rather just die and have no afterlife then have even a possibility to go to hell. Next, who says we have a 2% chance with your religion? There are millions of religions and belief systems, so its more like a .0000000000001% chance yours is right, and if the gods in every religion are forgiving and loving, then they would forgive those who are cautious. On top of that, for a belief system to be a religion, that belief system has to have a god or gods. Therefore atheism, buddhism, confucianism, etc aren't religions. Therefore yes there is no religion that doesn't believe in a god or gods, but atheism isn't a religion. Lastly, beliefs aren't always backed up with evidence. For example, if i believe that all of a sudden my pens and pencils will come alive and attack me, wheres the evidence to back that up? That's a belief, yet there is no evidence. So Christianity might be a belief, but that doesn't automatically give it evidence. And the bible is a load of crap. If you want to see for yourself, go compare the old testament to the new testament; so much contradiction in there.

Experience the dead-condition first

(Anonymous)
to proof if there is god or no god at all, you should try to kill your self first, not a deadly killing, but death enough to stay in unconscious condition, an apparent death for let say a day? a week? a month?

If you belief that its only brain activities which create a dreaming condition, that try it, stop analysing others, try to experience it by yourself.
Perhaps, you do not have any fear of death (because you only think of it, you only analyse other people experience), now it is the right time to feel the death, and tell us after you can survive from your apparent death.

Maybe you can woke up then scream:"There is no God, its only Nightmare."
Well, its only a near death experience, try it and you can have some evidence. If you are too afraid to dead, ask an atheist doctor for giving you the right dose of drugs, so you can feel save while lying in that apparent death. And if anything bad happen, of course you should not pray, but 'hope' that everything will be okay, as long as the doctor is by your side. For sometime, the doctor will be your protector, your angel, your god, with the task to bring back your 'life'... Life? why should bother with life if you're an atheist? You only acccidentally brought to life, being born not at your own will, go to school, study, grow up, married, working, fight with illness, getting older, and die. Your reason to live is your purpose to face death. Then try it first, try to being death, at least one of your lifetime. Wish you all the best.=)

Re: Experience the dead-condition first

(Anonymous)
Why don't you try that? Maybe you can wake up and say "There is a God, its only a nightmare." The things you say prove nothing, and it could be used as easily against you as for you.

?

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