Archive for the 'God' Category

The falsity of atheistic belief, expressed by Prof. Richard Dawkins


The falsity of atheistic belief, expressed by Prof. Richard Dawkins (Note Prof. Peter Atkins often repeats similar and bogus ‘lazy’ accusations”

Dawkins: in reply to a quote from hos own book, “The God Delusion”
Book p126 says “One of the truly bad effects of religion, is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding”

Dawkins reply[00:18:00]

“Science uses evidence to discover the truth about the universe. It’s been getting better at it over the centuries, in the teeth of opposition from religion, although it has t be admitted that of course science grew out of a religions tradition. Religion teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding.I think that when you consider the beauty of the world, and you wonder how it came to be what it is, you’re naturally overwhelmed with a feeling of awe, a feeling of admiration and you almost feel a desire to worship something. I feel this, I recognise that other scientists such as as Carl Sagan feel this, Einstein felt it. We all of us us share a kind of religious reverence for the beauties of the universe, for the complexity of life, for the sheer magnitude of the cosmos, the sheer magnitude of geological time.And it’s tempting to translate that feeling of awe and worship into a desire to worship some particular thing, a person, an agent. You want to attribute it to a maker, to a creator.What science has now achieved, is an emancipation from that impulse to attribute these things to a creator, and it’s a MAJOR emancipation, because humans an almost overwhelming desire to think that they’ve explained something by attributing it to a maker. We’re so used to explaining things in our own world, like these television cameras, like the lights, like everything we make, the clothes we wear, the chairs we sit on, everything we see around us is a manufactured object, and so it’s so tempting to believe that living things or that the stars or mountains or rivers have all been made by something. It was a supreme achievement of the humam intellect, to realise that there is a better explanation for these things. That these things can come about by purely natural causes.

When science began, the aim to achieve it was there was there, but we didn’t know enough. Nowadays at the end of the 20th Century, beginning of the 21st century, we still don’t know everything, but we’ve achieved an enormous amount in the way of understanding, we now understand essentially how life came into being. We KNOW that we are all cousins of all animals and plants. We know that we’re descended from a  common ancestor what might have been something like bacteria, we know the process by which that came about. We don’t know the details but we understand essentially how it came about. There are still gaps in our understanding, we don’t understand how the cosmos came into existence in the first place, but we’re working on that. The scientific enterprise is an active seeking, an active seeking out of gaps in our knowledge, seeking of ignorance so we can work to plug that ignorance, but religion teaches us to be satisfied with not really understanding.

Every one of these difficult questions that comes up, science says ‘right, lets roll up our sleeves and work on it”, religion says “oh God did it. We don’t need to work on it, God did it.” It’s as simple as that. We have no thrusting force  pushing us on to try to understand. Religion stultifies the impulse to understand because religion provides a facile easy apparent explanation and it prevents the further work on the problem.”

I will comment on this in due time.

Withdrawl – closer than ever before

At what point should one withdraw from a decaying world? Islamically, when society appears on the point of collapse or beyond rescue, one is advised to detach/flee from that society .

I have fulfilled some of my responsibility by speaking out against what I believe are (some of) the GREAT EVILS of this world. I had the aim that of showing this to others and encouraging them to do so similarly against this grand tyranny.

But lets take a reality check here: The sheeple are NOT waking up (in anywhere near enough quantities). The masses are going along with the slide into despotism, and I suspect they are doing so with various levels of deliberate decision making.

Those who can and have seen the evil core of society spreading and infecting just about anything it can are massively ineffectual (yes, including me).

I think it may be time to stop shouting and time to withdraw. I must have spent years of my life reading and researching. Sadly I have almost nothing to show from it, other than an inner satisfaction that I have not succumbed to that evils and its withering touch (or so I believe!). I think a lot of my use of ‘life force’ has not been fruitful.

I am increasingly of the mindset that its just about time to ‘call time’, and begin to prepare seriously for the collapse, but I suspect any such preparation other than relocation to the isolated countryside to live a detached simple life, relatively free of technology, would be doomed.

That is surely what should occupy my time now.

Islam and monotheism has all but gone, and some miserable deceptive imitation has been hoisted up in its place. I simply can’t see any way to bring back the kind of God fearing (fear of the unquestionably justice that we will one day have to account for) and God loving based society that we need and offers salvation.

I’m not a Christian in the commonly understood sense of the word, but there is something in the concept of humans; may I call it: perpetual sin, which does indeed show the need for man to have an absolver and guiding ‘father’ figure.

I think it’s time to be a bit more “selfish” and prepare.

Question is…. am I able to?

The atheists and anti-theists poor performance.

I’ve been feverish of late trying to expand my familiarization (and re-visitation) of the church of atheism. I am shocked at what I’m turning up. The theists, mostly Christians, are (generally) positing a scientific line in defence of their world view (and very powerfully I must say) and the hijackers of ‘science’, those who are seeking to covet science, i.e. the atheists,  simply side-step the issues, instead trying to ‘sell’ their world-view by simply bashing the sins of a minority of people of people professing religiosity but who do great crimes. Any attempt to talk about the science issues are pathetically in the atheistic camp.

From the last time I looked at this, it seemed mostly the opposite way around. Now the atheists are loitering in the realm of sociology and social science and are getting trampled upon.

Yes, as a theist I look at things from a theistic viewpoint, but as I’ve said elsewhere, I think this is balanced by the atheists viewing things from their standpoint. But I have tried to be sincere to looking at the atheistic arguments sympathetically.

Here’s some things that the atheists get stumped on.

1) Atheists are at a total loss to explain how the first life form came about. Instead they beguile their audience with micro-evolution of pre-existing life forms and fool you into accepting micro evolution as actually macro-evolution – not that they will point out the difference.

2) The question of how the Universe began.

3) The fine tuning of the Universe, the anthropic principle.

4) The Dawkinite “high probability” of aliens seeding life is TOTALLY lacking evidence.

5) The Multiverse theory does not and CANNOT have any evidence for it.

6) The attempt to set up science as the new religion air-brushes the large number of theistic and deists who engage fully in science.

7) Science – th study of the physical simply CANNOT explain that which is proposed to he beyond physicaliy.

The moral and conscious/mind/information/language/geological/palaeontologically/historical and economic arguments against the atheists are also pushing the atheists into a corner.

I’m seeing that it’s game set and match! It seems its never been a better time to argue for the existence of God.

Alhamdulillah, and these are Christians who are doing it, the Muslims are proportionately deadly silent on the matter.

Anyway, this post is triggered by me uncovering what I think is a lie by Christopher Hitchens in his ‘never’ having had a Christian debate his standpoint from a scriptural stance.

So watch these two videos:

1) Does God Exist? (Frank Turek vs Christopher Hitchens)
September 9, 2008

2) The God Debate: Hitchens vs. D’Souza
April 7, 2010

Science of the gaps – Richard Dawkins debating John Lennox

a) Personal prologue
b) Main post

 

Personal prologue

I believe in God. I never used to. Being raised in ‘a kind of’ Christian environment, there was usually a latent background of God, e.g. walking home I’d pass a few churches or the Christmas TV programs etc. Somhow, probably because of the story of Adam, who in my mind, was a declaration that a ‘modern man’ was the first man – very much like we are today, hence, if man came from ape-like ancestors, then that would disqualify the notion of God.

Looking back, all things considered, I’m ashamed that I came to such an ultimate conclusion so hastily, on something which has the most enormous implications for us as a species, and deserves deep study in many fields. Really, I was armed with only a minuscule level of knowledge, and sadly I was far too accepting of the information that was coming my way; I didn’t scrutinise it, I didn’t look for alternative explanations. Because of that I must have been a simple level “darwinian atheist” from the ages of about 14 to 21.

Perhaps my personal shame is a bit harsh given my youthful years, but I was “convinced” it was true and naturally I would promote such a stance when in discussion/debate about it.

Since then, I came across the Qur’an, which tells of how Isa (Jesus) a.s. was raised up from the eyes of man. The utter confidence of that statement {please read it for yourself in the Qur’an – or if you can’t read Arabic, even an English translation retains much of its power} rocked me and it just seemed that what I was reading was the truth,
so how could I deny it?

Atheists may say I was simply swapping my simple level “Darwinian atheist” mindset for a similarly simple level “God exists” mindset instead, and other atheists may also say my personally amazing experience and feelings on reading the Qur’an are   laughable. I would appeal to those who may be rofl right now to try and recall something from their own lives that fundamentally changed their perspectives. I’m sure many could recall such a thing and hence I’m sure you will better appreciate my experience on
reading the Qur’an.

I have since invested much time in gaining a much greater understanding of the God question and
try to familiarise myself on the near endless debate about whether God exists or not. Yes, I have a bias
towards God, but atheists has a bias against God, so I guess that’s fair and square.

All this means I have come across the works of Richard Dawkins.

Main post

I’m referring to this: Lennox Vs. Dawkins Debate – Has Science Buried God

21:03 – 31:29

[P.S. Dawkins made an error in the debate saying no to ‘things going from simple to complex’, it’s obvious he wanted to to say no to things starting from complex (i.e. God)]
In my pursuit of the Gods existence debate, I was watching Lennox Vs. Dawkins Debate – Has Science Buried God.

I’m quite familiar with Dawkins’s arguments now. Dawkins puts scorn on religious people who, Dawkins says(!), say ‘we don’t know what that phenomenon is’ therefore God did it, i.e. God fills the gaps of our ignorance. Like much of what Dawkins says, it’s very sweeping and unfair in that it doesn’t acknowledge the great number of God believing scientists who do undertake the challenge at revealing aspects of what we don’t understand. Such as the Mathematician Lennox. I am what they would call a ‘scientist’ so I know this – I see it. But Lennox did a very interesting thing. He took Dawkins up on this issue (and Lennox knows perfectly well that Dawkins is very experienced in discussing) but he turned it around.
Dawkins was saying things have to go from simple to complex and that simplicity, in his eyes, negates the need for a complex God. Dawkins protests a complex God needs explanation, and an explanation as to where that God came from.

Typical Dawkins. He attaches onto God the very thing that would nullify God. A good definition of God is ‘that which has not been created’. It’s probably his greatest trick and is self-negating. The trouble is the closer you get to the ‘instant’ of the bog bang, which I think it’s fair to say almost everyone is (currently) at ease with about being how the physical Universe came into being, then it actually gets more and more complex.

Dawkins’ second trick is to simply call it simple. Well I’m sorry, I don’t buy that. I think Dawkins is actually saying the SIMPLIFIED COMPUTER MODELS used to try and simulate the EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE at some time when the universal physical constants stabilised may be regarded as simple, but even then, they surely cannot be simple in physical actuality due to anti matter and dark matter, the latter of which is said by many scientists that Dawkins would be happy to stand along side himself to account for most of the mass and therefore energy of the universe, and these are very poorly understood indeed, hence any simple model is surely wholly inaccurate, causing another major stumbling block to Dawkins on this issue.

Anyway, He says natural, blind unthinking natural selection caused the biological complexity we have today, so things went from simple (Dawkins’s ‘simple’ remember!) to complex, hence God doesn’t need explaining. But Lennox correctly drew reference to two utterly complex issues, the “pre-Dawkinist simple” beginning of the universe [my words not Lennox’s] and the origin of biological life.

It is at this point when Dawkins impales himself completely on his own sword. He says We don’t know these things yet, but we know there will be a Darwinian explanation to it. What Dawkins has done is to use a ‘Science of the gaps’ approach to it. He has blind faith that there will be a simple [it HAS to be simple – that’s a main theme for Dawkins] explanation. But any fair minded person will surely agree, from primordial soup to life today or from a ‘rugby ball’ sized ‘thing’ (from which the Universe too shape) is of course utterly complicated.

Sadly Lennox doesn’t quite navigate as well to expose this as I have tried to do above, but of course, a face to face debate is completely different from a prose based composition like this.

I also liked Lennox’s previous point about consciousness, which Dawkins took up to talk about avoiding a rock or not jumping off a cliff. Lennox is saying reductionism cannot explain consciousness (at least as far as best we know today). there is no rational way in which the reduced set of atoms and molecules can have consciousness. There has to be a way in which the structure of those atoms and molecules can store information and be able to interpret that information.
This is what separates the living (in a bio-physological sense) from the non-living*. That requires a consciousness which surely cannot be explained by step-wise selection or even by the instantaneous crossing of a hugely significant feature (which would in any case require quite a lot of genetic information to encode and endow inheritance).
Lennox called this a ‘language‘ which indicates the pre-existence of a ‘mind‘. Dawkins quickly went away from this point.

It is interesting that when Lennox rather traps himself and puts himself on the back-foot having to explain the mind of God. Dawkins rightly gets a stronger line of argument, but this is an unfair advantage to Dawkins because if there was a God, it’ is inescapably impossible to explain the word of God. Even on a human level success at explaining the means and motives of other humans often fails. How can we with a lifespan of about 80 years, a mind the size of a honeydew melon and primarily only input/output/process information one ‘channel’ at any one instance ultimately explain anything?

* non-living – actually Islam mentions rocks, which are considered non-living, as talking in some future event. This I would say, should encourage you to think there is a very different kind of ‘living’which the ‘non-living’ have access. If that’s a struggle for you, just remember djinn and Angels. Of course, the realm of God is beyond us. Dawkins protests he would/could not do science if this ‘magic’ as he pejoratively calls it interfered with science, as if God is likely to say intermittently hide then re-reveal a chromosome for example – He’s trying to cast God in a dark light. And if Dawkins was to ‘give up’ what happened to his accusations of ‘cop out’ and ‘mental lazyness’ etc

The mind consciousness/meaning part resurfaces at 49:57

At the end, I find it interesting, perhaps telling, that Lennox thanks Dawkins; “Thanks Richard” says Lennox, yet all Dawkins does is acknowledge it with a ‘mouth open and close to smile’ kind of thing. Interesting having just heard what the human moral behavioural aspect of the debate.

I believe I’m so familiar with Dawkins’s stuff that I see many many holes in it.

It’s interesting that I can’t find Dawkins debating an intelligent Muslim scholar experienced/familiar with the ‘Western’ style of this debate.
Next up (additions to this post outstanding) is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx0CXmagQu0 (which I notive Atkins also attributes a derogatory term of lazyness to the ‘design’ issue)

 

Women and Islam

I came across this:

First of all I am surprised the BBZ broadcasted this. Perhaps they felt forced to give a morsel against the countless hours of pro-Zionism propaganda they stream out. Anyway, the short clip was quite interesting.

Often on western media, coincidence strikes with great regularity when speakers with ‘Islamic connections’ talk about it in a negative light (e.g. Tarek Fatah, Asra Nomani, Irshad Manji, Hirsi Ali), usually offering ‘media portrayals of Muslims’ or the bad non-Islamic acts of Muslims as ‘evidence’.

Here, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (YAB) seems to take on the part, but the refreshing thing is to see Kristiane Backer actually talk FIRST HAND (and not via third party – a la YAB – who is supposedly relaying some very peculiar things people have said to her in their written communications to her) about the inner peace that Islam has brought, i.e. talking about it in a positive sense.

It’s amusing to see the female journo ask Kristiane that surely “she [KB] misses some of the freedoms” showing she is utterly clueless as to what Islam is or means to people.

YAB totally miss the point, quelle surprize, e.g. apparently believing women only come to Islam because they want rules. e.g. she focuses on women asking about LOLing and clapping after a show. I would say these women are asking this question because they have accepted Islam and THEREFORE they want to follow (if any) the correct way, or best way of behaving. YAB is making it appear that women just want rules and THEREFORE came to Islam for that. YAB’s view suggests a dead or certainly soundly sleeping heart. She also is portraying women who embrace Islam simply because of some temporary feeling. Dear oh dear. Kristiane Backer does very well to correct YAB’s incorrect portrayal of it as being an ‘escape’. Islam OFFERS the escape once Islam is accepted. A-B is getting the order of it wrong. Backer does look at it from a heart prospective but YAB from a negative ‘strictness’ regime. I find it extremely hard to believe an actual Muslim convert would soon after his conversion trumpeting, as YAB cast it, about chastising his wife.

Also, YAB opens up another flank raising the yet another negativism about the Hijab and make-up, when nobody had made any mention of it thus far.

In short, we have a demonstration of someone who seems to genuinely love Islam and someone who we actually puts Islam in a bad light. The latter was expected, the former welcomed.

Actually Revery is a better word than convert as we are Muslims before we are born. ‘Convrts’ are just getting back to their roots.

P.S. I think Gita Sahgal (the atheist from a Hindu background) is another Irshad Manji type. In just a few seconds she goes from talking about Muslim coverts to Islam and then to repression then to repression of women and then to the Taliban in just 20 seconds!!!! PHEW! She honestly believes there is a link to converts and those falling into the clutches of the Taliban. Dear Lord! Incredible and what rally takes the cake is she attributes most of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan to the Taliban.

Bet her chances of future western media appearance paint a bright and rosy financial future.

Dear oh dear.

Christmas in Hedonia – Reflections of a Muslim

Over Christmas, I’m spending some time in Hedonia. Hedonia is the capital of Hedonism – the place where desires are fulfilled. Actually to be more accurate, there are a few Hendonias, I just happen to be staying in one of them.

Well today is Christmas and someone I know treated me to a buffet meal of excellent cuisine (an eat all you want type affair).

There were some signs of Christmas around the place, some party poppers (a relatively new phenomenon of which the marketing men must be most proud), some Christmassy decorations, a few ‘Seasons Greetings’ type thingies stuck on the walls, and some dude dressed up as Santa, handing out some toys (Made in China) and there was the usual ‘leisure facility’ band singing some Christmas type songs.

While I was eating – admittedly pretty far beyond my means, the band started singing some Christmas song containing a repeated line saying something like ‘let us remember his [Jesus’] name’. Consciously thinking bout the environment, I don’t think a single person was remembering his name let alone his message/ the meaning of his life. Jesus was relegated to an amateur entertainment act; background music which that nobody was really listening to.

And it was mighty sad indeed.

The VERY last of the prophets to come (on this earth) which will mark an unprecedented and most tumultuous period of man, is being treated as an irrelevance where even the tanned Santa had more of peoples life-force attention devoted to him.

Well I was in Hedonia. What did I expect !?

This particular Hedonia is in a Muslim County, where it seems not only were the White foreign, presumed Christian tourist contingent ignoring Jesus, but the Muslims ignored him even more! I’ve written an article on Muslims attitudes to Jesus before, so I won’t repeat it, but it is very sad indeed to see the meaning of Christmas ‘doubly’ ignored.

But even in the UK branch of Hedonia, The ‘new agers’ and ‘agnostic spiritualists’ seemed to have muscled their way into Christmas too, once more elbowing out Jesus and the whole meaning of his life (and meaning of his life to come once he returns), replacing it with the ‘Good will to man’ and New Years salutations, you know, those greetings about which any thoughts/practicality/actions in that direction expire the moment the end of the catchphrase is uttered.

Earlier in the day, the ‘body beautifuls’ were parading around, leaving very little to the imagination. I am sure some of them were deliberately showing off, their impossible glossy magazine figures which surely were an advert about them that their body is their temple and that their body shape defined/provided them with their lifestyle. Yip, when I saw these Nefertiti’s I did averting my eyes, which was pretty tricky, not just because the female of the species is my strongest kind of allure, but seemingly, it was impossible to establish a new line-of-sight without some other body beautiful being in the way! – well, a bit like that anyway. Before I head off on a tangent, I was just looking at all those people and saw them standing virtually completely isolated from the purpose of their lives (i.e. to worship God). There were hundreds of them just focusing on ‘having a good time’, people for whom their holiday was an opportunity to achieve their pinnacle of joy. It was of course a joy firmly routed in the dhunya (this world) and I guessed their thought could never possibly hope to conceive of anything other than this world – or rather, that’s how I thought of them at the time anyway.

And please don’t write in saying Jesus wasn’t born on 25th December so Christmas is phoney anyway, because that’s utterly irrelevant to what I am talking about i.e. Christmas (as I have already alluded to) is about the actual significance and meaning of Jesus’ life.

I am in Hedonia(major) for a purpose and will shortly leave and head back to Hedonia(minor)

It’s been a interesting and sad day, and I know as part of Hedonia I am contributing to it in some kind of indefinable way.

Good day, and have a religious Christmas.

lwtc247

Who wants to live forever?

I’ve recently had some discussion of this question.

Yes, it’s an age old question and one that you yourself have probably had a number of past discussions on. Personally, I sometimes revisit these kinds of questions, because as I advance in years, I gain different perspectives as do the generally ageing people around me which opens up a new avenues for stimulating contemplation.

Well, either that or I’ve simply forgotten!

Re: older minds giving more productive discussions: It does take some time to get ‘clued up’ on such matters hence youthful thinking can, in the main, appear as ‘has been‘ or unproductive thinking, reinventing the wheel if you like, so perhaps older more seasoned and experienced minds are becoming more valuable to me. Yet at the same time, as the video below will point out, a conversation between a) Aubrey de Grey (formerly of Cambridge) with and Sherwin B. Nuland of Yale b) Aubrey de Grey with Martin Raff of UCL, seems ‘devoid of any possible intellectual divide based on youth’, but that’s because I’m talking about people from all different walks of life and not within scientific specialisation.

The main point of this post is to ask you if you would want to live forever and if yes or no, your reasons why, but that question rapidly diverts onto the question of can death be cheated, within which I make some assumptions:

1) The vast majority of those who believe in God accept (or will one day accept) death

2) Those who do not believe in God will seek ways to cheat death.
http://w   ww.youtube.com/watch?v=pxYTiAbEASo


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