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Humanity and Religion - Recipe for Disaster?

I was surfing recently, looking for suitable fodder upon which to blog.
It was a dry day for stories of the religious nonsense, a surprise, as usually the news is replete with the faithful displaying their deluded wares.
Anyway, I was sitting staring at the no news, pondering on the components of religion, and hit upon the title you saw above.
What comes next is what came next. LOL. I hope you enjoy.

Recipe for Human disaster

First take any standard human and marinate in a million years of fear and darkness.
Then take a bowl of an exceedingly specific size and pour in a goodly measure of 'the desperate need to be more than you were born'. Add your marinated human, a good dash of 'guilt' and stir in a spoonful of 'pomposity'.
Grate in more 'self-delusion' than you'd expect then whisk in the zeal of two Gestapo officers until the mixture takes on a mousse like quality.
Set it on a stand, higher than the surrounding bowls, while you grease a large saucepan with scripture, tenet or dogma (the choice and brand is unimportant as all do much the same thing.)
Transfer the mousse to the saucepan and place reverently on stove, turn heat up to full stupidity.
Boil out logic and reason, then grind on some 'self-righteousness' and simmer in the 'myth of eternity', until a thin crust forms. This is known as the 'Religious Delusion Cocoon' or RDC.
At this point the centre has been transformed to pulp; a soft, pliable and easily manipulated substance called a 'soul'
Remove from Pan and hand unclothed to chosen witchdoctor for his little 'welcome to the world' dance. Again, here the brand is irrelevant. If possible, ensure the chosen witchdoctor injects as much 'essence of insignificance' as the RDC can accommodate at this point, it'll save questions later.
Take back from witchdoctor and, praying the whole time, raise in an ignorance-oven, stupidity mark 6, until the word Darwin is meaningless and sounds the same as Satan.
SERVES: None

USES:
Particularly suited to situations which call for intolerance, misunderstanding, pride, snobbishness, and any number of obnoxious character traits born of the misplaced confidence in pseudo-eternity.

Extra Notes:-
To preserve - Add a sprig of prudishness, a ladle of judgmental intolerance and store in a stupor pot covered in a sheet of reasonproof paper.
Also, for a truly 'viral' religious human add roller skates, a dash of blissful ignorance, some dehydrated arrogance and a soupcon of thinly veiled threats and, taking care to cover it's eyes with wool, send it on its way with a copy of this recipe.


FINALLY:
This recipe is not a toy, it's powerful evil magic for the creation of a deadly weapon. A weapon of last resort. It should not be entrusted to any sorcerer under five centuries of age.
Because of the likely dire consequences if even one
of these dangerous beings got amongst the general population, any magic-user intending to conjure this recipe must
UNDER PAIN OF DEATH
log his magic-plan with the magic users commission BEFORE he commences.






Crispy Sea
©2008



This is one of the Too many questions

PEACE    

Crispy
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Divine Evidence Laws

As you might expect if you've read my previous posts, I have conversed with many Theists, sometimes quite passionately, during my third of a century as an Atheist, but this week's post wasn't something I'd thought of until first came online.
You see, this one was more of a revelation than an epiphany, it's been bubbling under in my subconscious for a good while, you know, one of those things that you know you know, but you don't know what it is yet! Anyway, after a recent conversation my muddy ponderings turned into a crystal spring and the nugget of a notion turned into a full blown blog, and my friends, what a whopper!
It struck me that were I to have some sort of brain lapse and suddenly feel the need to believe in the 'wishes and wants machine';
How would one choose a religion to follow?


After a while pondering the dilemma, I thought the sensible thing to do would be to start by discerning,

Which religion is most obviously the word of God/Gods??


Unfortunately, there are many Gospels, Creeds, Doctrines, Dogmas, and Tenets around the world, how would one choose between them?

By what criteria should one judge the divinity of each work???


I searched, but the only information I could find had been written by the already confused or convinced - neither of which, I am sure you'll agree, could be described as a reputable or reliable source of information!
So, I decided to write my own!

It's taken a few weeks but I think it's been worth it because what I now have is a clearly defined set of pointers and, even though I say so myself, what I think you'll agree is a 'top entry' into the list of Too Many Questions. So with a smiley face and relaxed attitude I give you


Crispy Sea's


Divine Evidence Laws

(for discerning the divinity of a written work.)
Law 1.
No Doubt.
Upon completion of reading the perfect book, one should be left with no doubt or misunderstanding, but a complete comprehension of the meaning of the texts main message.



This one is arguable I know; many believers would probably suggest that's what they have - fair point but this is only the first criteria, here comes number 2.
Law 2.
No Explanation.
No external human interpretation should be required for comprehension of the text, it should be easily understood by all ages and intellects.



This point is much harder for a religious text to fulfill.
It seems that regardless of which tenet you choose to read, the work is not instantly comprehensible, there are reams of external works purporting to explain what each 'good book' means by this or that sentence, paragraph, chapter etc.
Indeed, is there any religious text out there that doesn't have at least one "this is what it means" book to accompany it?
Could we have ruled out all current religions already? We are only at rule 2, now, here comes the eliminator.
Law 3.
No Translation.
The perfect book should be written in a language that every human, past, present, and future of every race, creed and colour could instantly read.



I don't know what that would be, or how it could be achieved; I can't really get my head around it, but some sort of 'divine ethereal multi-language' (Polyglotics maybe?) that everyone would instantly understand without the need for translation; A truly divine script could be read by anybody because it is 'magically' readable by multiple people at the same time, like the 'comprehend languages spell' used in the old DnD games. Exactly the sort of thing that should be well within the reach of even a minor deity and would have completely obviated all this stupid tribal rivalry. Any God would know that humanity would have many languages; why would a god who wants the worship of all, write in the mono-language of a single 'tribe'? HE would know this to be finest way to cause arguments for eternity!
Way to shoot your-divine-self in your divine foot!

If you know of a book that fulfills
Crispy Sea's
Divine Evidence Laws

please leave its title or isbn number below.
Thanks.

Of course, if a book were discovered, which could fulfill the criteria, it would instantly fall foul of Arthur C. Clarke's third law...

"Any sufficiently advanced technology
is indistinguishable from magic.
"

In this instance magic equates with divinity.

            ...and evidence, that it was not merely advanced technology, would then be required.


Addendum illustrating stupid tribal rivalry - "No Divine Evidence So No Benevolent God".



In a similar vein as the Divine Evidence Laws but with a wider remit check out Dr. Michael Shermer's Baloney Detection Kit...




This is one of the Too many questions

PEACE    
Crispy
Please leave a comment - Anything will do
The best communications are often,
THREE WORDS OR LESS
OR ONE OR MORE FINGERS!

Back to the Core TMQ"

The Most Probable Thing in the Omniverse?

In many discussions and with greater regularity, I have heard theists suggest that the existence of god is proved by the laws of thermodynamics.
It bothered me since I first heard it, not because it directly opposed my world view (atheist you know) but because it sounded intrinsically 'shonky' to me, though I didn't know why. It was no more than a hunch until I started researching thermodynamics, nearly a month and many headaches later, I think I understand it enough explain what the science says and what the theists say about it, so brace yourselves,


HERE COMES THE SCIENCE

1st Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation):

Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed.

2nd Law of Thermodynamics (entropy):

All things inevitably decay; things tend to move toward a condition of disorder - called entropy. In any energy Conversion, some energy is lost in the form of heat Which cannot be Recovered.
Quote - Sir Arthur Eddington - '...if your pet theory about the universe is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope.'

Theists propose.


As there CANNOT be an infinite amount of energy in the universe (this would break the 2nd law) there must be a finite amount of energy in the universe. The definition of finite in this context would be a start and end point, but a start point (creation) would break the unbreakable 1st law. Because of this impossibility theist suggests there MUST be a 'creator' who converted the energy from himself into the universe.

Theists propose.


As evolution is the process of the single celled becoming multi-celled (opposite to decay), it goes against the 2nd Law.


Right, now we have a handle on what they think, Here's how I see it...
The anti-evolution argument seems to me to be a misappropriation of the 2nd Law, I think it's being improperly applied to 'evolution'.
Living things consume energy to grow and develop. Only after they stop consuming (death) does entropy apply to the individual. One could think of the generational line as a chain of entropy-defying bubbles; as the overlap of life between generations continues indefinitely, constantly adapting to it's environs, entropy is postponed until a species fails to adapt and begins to decline towards extinction.
The 'anti-evolution' stance is the only use of the 2nd law that I have heard theists state as evidence of the divine - this maybe because the 2nd law seems to outright deny the god posited in the tenets.
I'll try to explain...
ONLY a 'nothing' (non-existent entity) may have zero entropy (no energy loss) so
ONLY 'nothing' can be infinite.
Therefore, to abide by the 2nd law, it is only possible for God to be either, 'nothing' or, exist outside the laws of thermodynamics. But theists accept the 1st law, indeed they uphold it as proof of his existence, so they must also accept that
the 'energy that is God' cannot have popped into existence either
as this would also break the 1st law.

So, we have had the two major 'scientific' arguments for god up on the operating table for exploratory surgery and have found, god must be 'nothing';

thermodynamics is not their holy grail of proof.
Moreover, there are further pitfalls for the scientific theist; the whole use of physics to reveal god may be in question anyway.
This is what I think...

The universe is defined by it's physical properties, its physical laws - 'the laws of physics'(1) are the 'nature' of the universe.
BUT before the universe formed there was nothing, no galaxies, stars, planets, no physical elements of any kind. And as it is the interaction between physical elements that causes the laws of physics, that means there were no physical laws.
(1) My usage, here and hereafter in this post, of the phrase "laws of physics" is shorthand for "The actual parameters that exist, which the structures of the universe operate within or because of; the actual physical nature of the universe". I'm not attempting to imply that every condition or clause of "our" observations are identically perfect descriptors of the actual parameters but, rather, that there are unchanging, unchangeable, constants in the multiverse that we have identified and labelled "laws".
In that state where no laws of physics apply, there are no physical laws to defy, when there are no physical laws to defy all things are possible!
A first cause (defying the 1st law of thermodynamics) is thereby not impossible but merely improbable, matter could "pop into existence" or "emerge" from "nothing" because there are no laws of physics to prevent it happening. Highly improbable yes, astronomically so you might say (LOL) but that we are here, is proof that some sort of improbable event occurred.
It seems reasonable to conclude that it's much more likely that the highly improbable event was minuscule in nature, a primeval sub-atomic particle "popping into existence" or more properly "emerging from the quantum foam" and CAUSING, quite unexpectedly, a "Big-Bang" and the laws of physics, and much less likely that the first highly improbable emergence even brought forth a god
To believe that the fully formed 'all benevolent god', the 'omni-omni-omni-eterni' of the tenets, popped into existance first is, in my opinion, analogous to betting your nations wealth on a horse with an undisclosed number of legs that some bloke is attempting to flog back to life!
So there you go, that's what I think! Have at it, I'm going for a long lie down because my head really hurts!

But if you want to read more then check Entropy Explained by Richard Carrier


Update:
Almost a decade after I penned "The Most Probable Thing in the Omniverse?" scientific models suggest similar to my 'entropy bubbles' - IFL science: Life Is Inevitable Consequence Of Physics, According To New Research - http://www.iflscience.com/physics/life-inevitable-consequence-physics/
Always nice to discover some great thinkers are thinking similarly to oneself.
This is one of the Too many questions

PEACE    
Crispy
Please leave a comment - Anything will do
The best communications are often,
THREE WORDS OR LESS
OR ONE OR MORE FINGERS!

Back to the Core TMQ"

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