Is god losing his power?

God creates the universe. He sees that it is good and rests on the seventh day. He notices that humans have gotten disorderly and he drowns them all, or almost all. The next time, he has mellowed down a bit, he goes down as his son to send humans a message. Lately, he’s tired, all he can muster is to appear on toast now and then.

Why have all the incredible things god has done happened in the distant past, without any evidence? It seems that god is OK with wildly visible demonstrations. Why no more?

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Why pain? Why not a flashing light?

Bob burns his hand on the stove. The pain makes him jerk his hand away. Luckily for him, if his hand had stayed on the heat, it would have been deeply burned. The next day, Bob is still in pain, but there is no jerking away left to do. That first jolt was enough.

A thief tries to steal Joe’s car. The alarm goes off and the thief runs away. The alarm stops blaring. Why keep sounding all night when the purpose is passed?

The difference between these two alarm systems is simple. The first evolved over thousands of years. Pain as an alarm system evolved because those that didn’t have it (or didn’t react to it) didn’t survive. The main gain is not getting killed, there is no immediate advantage in turning down the volume.

The second alarm system was intelligently designed. We thought ahead to get it to work better.

Why the pain? If we had been designed by a perfect all-knowing being, couldn’t he have done better?

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Is he sending someone else to heaven in your place?

Free will explains why people do bad things. God gave us free will so that we could prove ourselves. When we pass judgment, we are rewarded with heaven for all eternity.

We strongly feel that « we » actually means what it usually means: we are the same person, with our memories, our character. Our power of decision, our free will.

If this is correct, basically god created a place where we have free will but there is only good. There is no violence, fear, hatred.
So what’s the point of our life on earth? Why couldn’t he have given us free will and a perfect society to start with? It’s not incompatible since that’s what heaven is.
Is it just to test us, just to be able to send some of us to hell for all eternity? Seems incredibly not cool, with emphasis on « incredibly ».

The other option is that when we go to heaven, we are no longer “we”. We are no longer the same person. Someone else is going to heaven in our place.

Heaven cannot make any sense. Either we are no longer « us » or it cannot be perfect.

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How can we define god?

What is god?

Let’s agree on a definition: “omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, benevolent and personal”. With that in mind, what is he really like?

Omnipotent means all-powerful. By definition, there is nothing he cannot do. God can do anything. « Can » is important, we are talking about potential. « Anything » is important, it really means anything! Even if you take out simple contradictions such as a square circle, infinitely powerful is hard to swallow. You pray for your team, another fan prays for his. Can he answer your prayers?

Omniscient means all-knowing. God knows everything, everything that has happened, everything that will happen. There is no « can happen », since he knows what will happen. Didn’t we just say that he can do anything?

How can he judge you for what you do, if he set up everything, knowing you would do exactly that? Everything is predetermined, since he knows what will happen. An all-knowing god can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him? An all-knowing god knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does god create people who he knows will end up in hell? How can he answer your prayers, if he knows what will happen, no matter what?

Omnipresent means being everywhere at once. Not just here, next to you, everywhere. Can that mean anything else but that god is everything? God is every particle of matter, anywhere in the universe. God is us too. God is the devil, god is everything evil.

Benevolent means is good, does good things. That seems easy enough. But how do you define good? Is letting people go to hell, good? If you are god, knowing everything that will happen, at that level, is there a simple definition of good?

It’s even more interesting when we try to combine these characteristics.

Omnipotent and omniscient. If you know everything, including what you are going to do next, how can you be able to do anything? You can only do what you are going to do.

Omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent. Why does evil exist?

God knows how to get rid of evil and suffering, god has the power to do it and does what is good. Yet there is evil and suffering. Either god does not know how, cannot, chooses not to or doesn’t care (or doesn’t exist).

If he doesn’t know how, he is not omniscient. If he cannot, he is not omnipotent. If he chooses not to or doesn’t care, he is not benevolent.

« Either god can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely. » Sam Harris

So how do we define god?

This isn’t a trick question. It is fundamental. How can you believe in something so important, the most important thing in the world, if you can’t even come up with a coherent picture in your mind? If your cop out is “he works in mysterious ways”, you are just in denial.

God does not fit with either logic or reality.

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Where do all the virgins come from?

Islam promises men the reward of 72 virgins in heaven. This is revolting and absurd on so many levels.

Women are promised nothing, heaven is a men’s club where women are mere objects for men’s pleasure. Is that what men dream of? Is that a reward?

Where do these virgins come from? How do you find 72 times more virgins than all the men? Is god stocking up on them in heaven? Where do the women go after death if they were not virgins? Do they go to heaven too? What do they do there?

If a women dies a virgin, does she get added to the hoard? Don’t die a virgin, you will become a prize!

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Jesus, the cruel joke

Jesus is central to christian belief. Without him you go to heaven. And to hell with everyone else. Basically, it seems you go to heaven if you personally, explicitly accept Jesus as your savior.

What about the billions of pre-christ people living since prehistoric times? Even if you believe the earth is only a few thousand years old, that still adds up to a lot of people. Do they all go to hell? Or do they get a free « get out of jail » card because Jesus had not appeared yet? If they get to go to heaven « for free », why did Jesus come at all? If he hadn’t everyone would go to heaven…

So, just people who have lived and who live since Jesus. What about the vast majority of people who are not christians? Do they all go to hell? That is close to 70% of the world population that is condemned.

What is Jesus doing to save them? Why is Jesus not coming back every week to show off his miracles and give these people a chance to be saved? He came once, so it must be allowed.

It is the same problem with every « unique, true religion » excluding everyone else. That’s a lot of people to exclude…

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BBC News – UK Suicide Bombers go on Strike (anyone know the original source?)

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a  three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement.

The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death would be cut by 25% this February from 72 to 54. A spokesman said increases in recent years in the number of suicide bombings has resulted in a shortage of virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bombers’ union, the British Organization of Occupational Martyrs (or B.O.O.M.) responded with a statement saying the move was unacceptable to its members and called for a strike vote.

General Secretary Abdullah  Amir told the press, “Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of Jihad. We don’t ask for much in return but to be treated like this is like a kick in the teeth” Speaking from his shed in Tipton in the West Midlands, Al Qaeda chief executive Haisheet Mapants explained, “I sympathize with our workers concerns but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands.

They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad in a competitive marketplace. Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. It’s a straight choice between reducing expenditures or laying people off. I don’t like cutting benefits but I’d hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won’t be able to blow themselves up.

Spokespersons for the union in the North East of England, Ireland, Wales and the entire Australian continent stated that the change would not hurt their membership as there are so few virgins in their areas anyway.

According to some industry sources, the recent drop in the number of suicide bombings has been attributed to the emergence of Scottish singing star, Susan Boyle. Many Muslim Jihadists now know what a virgin looks like and have reconsidered their benefit packages. This is true, so watch it !

Virgin birth, mhhh, could there be another explanation?

Jennifer has been fooling around with her boyfriend and gets pregnant. She proclaims that she is a virgin and the pregnancy must be a miracle. Do you believe her?

How many virgin births have been proven in all of history? None. How many young girls have lied after having gotten in trouble? Quite a few.

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Which religion?

Olaf worships Odin. Just like everyone else in eleventh century Sweden. Bob worships Jesus. Just like everyone else in 20th century Alabama.

There is no doubt in your mind that your god, the one taught to you by your parents and worshipped by all your neighbours, is the one and only.

Out of hundreds or thousands of religions throughout time and around the world, only yours is true. Pretty lucky.

God chose one place, in one time, to reveal himself, and let everyone else, around the world and throughout time, worship false idols.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

How can this be? How can an actual god choose to reveal himself to a lonely tribe somewhere, sometime, in such an ambiguous way as to leave the world squabbling, if not out right killing each other, over who is right?

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Who created the creator?

Who created the creator?

One important argument for the existence of god is that of “first cause”. Something cannot come from nothing. The universe cannot have just popped out of nowhere. There must have been a creator!

Who created the creator? Where does god come from?

If you can accept that god just exists or has existed forever, why can’t you substitute « god » with « universe »?

We do not know why something exists at all, instead of nothing. But we are still looking.

Not knowing does not allow us to give up and say « god! ».

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