Showing posts from February, 2012

Ignosticism: Possibly the Best Argument Against God Ever

Although I am extremely busy at the moment, I just had to relay this really excellent conversation I am having on Ignosticism. Borrowing from rabbi Sherwin Wine, who coined the term Ignosticism, I  define Ignosticism as: Ignosticism is the theological position that every other theological position assumes too much about the concept of God. Ignosticism holds two interrelated views about God. They are as follows: 1) The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed. 2) If the definition provided is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God is meaningless. In other words, a) a definition which is incoherent can’t be about anything, and b) a definition which isn’t about anything cannot be said to be meaningful. A theist reader wrote in and argued that: Your first view in Ignosticism is impossible to satisfy. How

Personal Update

I am gearing up to publish 3 books this year. I have my first deadline in April, so you will likely see me go off the blog radar until after the book is complete. My other two books are being edited as I write, and I should get them back sometime in late April early May. From there I will do some final edits and then send the final file to the press. This year is looking to be a good year. Of course I will keep you posted on all my writing endeavors, but if you are interested, feel free to visit to learn more. Until then, live well and be wise.

Atheism X Agnosticism X Ignosticism

According to The Oxford Dictionary of English (2005): Agnosticism - n. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God. [from a- 'not' + gnostic .] Atheism - mn. the theory or belief that God does not exist.  [from Greek atheos , from a- 'without' + theos 'god'.] The question we often hear is can an atheist be an agnostic? The answer is yes. An atheist can freely lack a belief in a specific god such as Vishnu, Thor, or Yahwey yet still be open to the possibility that a Deistic entity may or mayn't exist. The reason for this is two fold. First, with personal gods come personal attributes. Believers usually define their chosen [G]od's attributes in terms which are testable, meaning, the claims they make about the nature of their god are either verifiable or falsifiable. When looking for the evidence of these claims, one can either rule or belief or form belief based on the reliability of these cl

Could a Horse Fly? Might a Snake Talk?

A regular reader, who I have been debating about scientific and philosophical issues, threw out an interesting question. Honestly, I don't know where he was going with the question itself, but I had fun answering it.  "Just a question for you; are talking snakes, and flying horses impossible? If so, why?" I am sorry to say, both are scientifically impossible. A flying horse is not possible. Neither is a talking snake. An average full size E. ferus, or common horse, weighs anywhere from 840 to 1,200 lbs. (380 to 550 kilograms). The largest flying dinosaur ever recorded is called a Quetzalcoatlus , which weighed around 100 kilograms and needed a 15 meter wingspan just to keep it in the air. As such a flying horse would need a wingspan larger than a modern jumbo jet to keep it up in the air. Where, exactly, those mighty wings would fold up to is beyond me. This is assuming we are talking about terrestrial horses who live on earth or a planet with similar atmospheric

Abortion, Feminism, Sexism, and Not Being Critical Enough

Some of you may have seen this image floating around the World Wide Web.  Now I am all for feminism. In fact, my Japanese history degree is specifically about feminism in Japan and the diversity of feminism globally as well as multiculturally. Of course my interest in Japanese women's rights should come as no surprise to those who know me, since I am married to a brilliant, beautiful, and highly sophisticated Japanese woman.   The thing is, people are often extremely opinionated about things related to gender and identity. The reason I tend not to talk about such subjects here is not that I am disinterested but that people usually like to pull out the ad hominems and attack you when your opinion differs with theirs. Nobody seems able to simply agree to disagree. Instead of taking the time to write out a well reasoned criticism, like a civil person, they would rather call you sexist, racist, and so on. Usually, I find this juvenile behavior aggravating as it ends the conversa

Something From Nothing Discussion: Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss


Quote of the Day: G.W. Foote

"The Atheist and the Agnostic confess their inability to fathom the universe and profess doubts as to the ability of others. Yet they are called dogmatic, arrogant, and self-conceited. On the other hand, the theologians claim the power of seeing through nature up to nature's God. Yet they, forsooth, must be accounted modest, humble, and retiring." --G.W. Foot (Arrows of Freethought)

Quote of the Day: Robert G. Ingersoll

"In his day Christ was an Infidel, and made himself unpopular by denouncing the church as it then existed. He called them liars, hypocrites, thieves, vipers, whited sepulchres and fools. From the description given of the church in that day, I am afraid that should he come again, he would be provoked into using similar language." --Robert G. Ingersoll

Earthquake Mom Chain Letter Myth Debunked!

You may have seen on your Facebook feed, or elsewhere online, the above picture and following story. This is a true story of Mother’s Sacrifice during the Japan Earthquake. After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman’s house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supporting by an object. The collapsed house had crashed her back and her head. With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescuer team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure. He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reasons, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruin

Conversations with Christians: All You Need is Faith?

[Disclaimer: The following is a reconstruction taken from actual conversations I've had with real Christians. The names have been left out to protect the stupid... egos ... of those who would be cast in a bad light. P.S. Feel free to read my part in the sophisticated voice of Brian, the atheist dog from The Family Guy . Believe me when I say, you won't regret it.] "Just have faith in God," said the Christian. "All you need is faith." "I thought all we needed was... love?" I replied with a hint of sarcasm.  Not getting the joke, the Christian continued on in all seriousness, "No, you're missing the point. If you believe in God with all of your heart, he will give you proof of his existence! You will begin to see Him working in your life." "I don't think that's necessarily true," I replied (the stereotypical atheist). "Job believed in his god but, for his piety, got nothing but suffering, anguish

Religion In My Facebook Feed! Oh, God, No!

A Christian friend of mine wrote some words of wisdom today for all to see. "The key to overcoming fear, then, is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear. It is a turning to God even in the darkest times and trusting Him to make things right. This trust comes from knowing God and knowing that He is good." I was left so speechless by these, how shall I put it, profound words, that I could not give a proper response. Instead, I shall let G.W. Foote, the great English Freethinker, respond for me. "Why should God help a few of his children and neglect all the others? Explosions happen in mines, and scores of honest industrious men, doing the rough work of the world and winning bread for wife and child, are blown to atoms or hurled into shapeless death. God does not help them, and tears moisten the dry bread of half-starved widows and orphans. Sailors on the mighty deep go down with uplifted hands, or slowly gaze their life away on

Quote of the Day: G.W. Foote

"In matters of science, after investigation and discussion, the world comes to an agreement; in matters of theology the world grows more and more at variance... And to our mind the explanation is very simple. In matters of science men deal with facts , while in those other matters they deal with fancies , and the more freedom you give them the greater will be the variety of their preferences." --G.W. Foote (Flowers of Freethought)

Faith vs. Religion (If not the same thing)

Many people do not make a distinction between faith and religion. Millions of Muslims, for example, believe that Faith is the submission to the will of God. In other words, it is obedience to the religion of Islam. Other people to make a distinction. Numerous Christians, for example, claim they dislike organized religion but practice faith. But for me faith and religion are inseparably wed together. One might object that I have simply defined faith and religion differently than they have--and all are valid descriptions of the same sort of spiritual experience, more or less. I am going to argue that semantics, although highly important to clarify our subject matter, is besides the point in this case. Allow me to explain. Logically speaking, faith is the byproduct of religion. It's not a semantics issue so much as a pragmatic issue. Without any religious beliefs there simply could be no faith to be had in these beliefs to begin with. A reader recently asked me,  "Fa