Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Debate: Epistemology, God, and Atheism

There's this wonderful debate that's just getting off the ground between Russell Glasser, of The Atheist Experience, and Stephen Feinstein, presuppositionalist Christian apologist.

Feinstein starts, Russell responds, and Feinstein responds again, saying, among many other things, that:
I think by this point I’ve shown you which direction I am going to take this. I am interested to see where you are planning to take it. I think the phase of using feelers is coming to an end.
They've passed the point of pleasantries, are about to start digging in pretty deep, and I absolutely can't wait to see how it turns out. So hurry up, before it starts without you!


Now, for those of you who are all caught up on the discussion so far, I've thrown in my two cents about epistemology before:
I would say that we believe there is no god, but I do so from an epistemological perspective and not a faith-oriented one.

We cannot truly know anything with certainty. All we can ever hope to do is gather supporting evidence to ensure our "leap of faith," so to speak, from unbelief to belief, is as short as possible for any given claim.

For Atheism, that leap is very small. All the evidence points to the Bible and Christianity, and all the other religions, really, as being nothing more than Bronze Age mythology invented to explain things, perpetuated through guilt and indoctrination, and sustained by the brain's capability to be fooled by emotion and flawed logic. The leap to the "God isn't real" belief is as big as the leap to the "Unicorns, fairies, and leprechauns aren't real" belief.
Personally, while I have high hopes for this debate between Russell and Feinstein, there's a cynic in me who's expecting it to degenerate into "You can know stuff, therefore God" (which has all the same flaws as this little gem of an argument that you may have seen before).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friendship Friday!

So, I have this little confession to make.

I've absolutely fallen in love with the latest My Little Pony show, Friendship is Magic. Most of the other 20-something-year-old guys who admit to watching it, it seems, feel some manic need to defend their masculinity afterward, but you won't get that from me; it's an adorable show with a playful sense of humor, and, honestly, all the pink and purple and pastel yellow stops rankling your man-sensibilities after about an episode and a half.

I'm not just pulling "episode and a half" out of nowhere. I'm backed up by an informal scientific study with a sample size of... umm, like five people. I've inflicted the show on my siblings and my closest friends, and all five of them stopped gagging at how girly it is partway through the second episode.

Honestly, now I'm kinda drawn to that girly color scheme, just because I associate it with ponies. :D

(Also, FiM finishes its second season tomorrow!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Footprints — Atheist Edition

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints —
At other times, only one.

This bothered me because I noticed that, during the low periods of my life,
When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat,
I could only see one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, "You promised me, Lord,
That if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
There have only been one set of prints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"My child, I don't exist. When there was only one set of footprints,
That was you, all by your bad-ass, motherfucking self.
Sometimes your friends and family were there for you, too,
But never sell yourself short; you're much more capable,
Powerful and durable than you give yourself credit for.

"The next time you're suffering from anguish, sorror, or defeat,
Hoping some magic, all-powerful father figure will carry you,
Look back at all the sets of footprints in the sand and notice:

"Yours were always there."