Tag Archives: Christianity

faith

Biblical Absurdities: Faith

Before we too far into our series on biblical absurdities, we should take a look at the most central issue here; faith itself. We should ask ourselves what faith is and why it is so unreasonable.

What is Faith?

I define faith as:

The blind acceptance of assertions in the absence of any evidence or proof, on the basis of emotion or wishing that claim to be true.

Dwayne Davies

So, it is the blind acceptance of empty assertions, for no reason.

The only claims which have any value are those which can be shown to have some relation to observable facts, those which can be said to have some truth to them. Those with some evidence or proof behind them. Any assertion accepted for no reason at all has no value at all.

But that is exactly what faith is, the acceptance of things for which there is no evidence or proof.

What is Wrong with Faith?

The truth typically does not matter to the devoutly religious. If it mattered to them, they would not be devoutly religious. They would not have faith in anything at all!

Faith is the belief in something for no reason whatsoever. Faith is typically defended against all reason. It is the acceptance of assertions without any attempt to find out what the facts are.

The most dishonest is position is knowing what the facts are and choosing to pretend that they are not so. But as we shall see, many faithful also do this. Making the devoutly faithful some of the most dishonest people that you are likely to meet.

As with any form of dishonesty, there are consequences for holding faith in anything.

Why? Because faith and reality are always in conflict. As is every claim of consequence that is assumed for no reason and against all reason.

Knowing the truth on any matter of consequence is not a trivial task. It takes observing reality, thought and understanding the facts for what they are.

Faith is the refusal to do any of that. Faith is the attempt to bypass thought and proceed directly to truth by the process of wishing empty assertions to be fact. As though wanting them to be true makes them true.

Assertions accepted on faith are wrong. They must be since since empty assertions accepted for no reason have no basis and blind assumptions are always wrong.

Once you have rejected reality and embraced faith, what does that leave you to believe? Whatever you want to believe in, as long as it is assumed blindly.

Most often this takes the form of whatever is emotionally satisfying or which seems easy to superficially grasp. Or which provides moral guidance with no actual connection to how man should act in order to be happy and thrive.

faith
Yes, Heaven may be an emotionally satisfying idea, but it just encourages people to waste their life.

The religions of every culture posit some kind of spiritual existence after death where the spirit can endure the death of the body. Why? Not because there is any reason to believe this. No, but because this is emotionally satisfying for some.

Every religion seems to offer some form of spiritual existence after bodily death usually by obeying the moral teachings of the religion and doing the bidding of the clergy.

Every religion tries to offer its followers moral teachings. This makes sense. We all need moral guidance in order to help choose which actions to take in life. Once you have rejected reality, you must get that moral guidance from somewhere and religions are all happy to offer that.

Often with plenty of threats and other forms of emotional manipulation.

The most devoutly religious people emotionally invest in their religion. They believe that their religion is the only means of moral guidance they have and more importantly, the only means by which they can achieve some kind of immortality.

It should come as little surprise that many of these people desperately cling to the teachings of their religion. Reality has little interest to them, unlike their religion. They are strongly incentivized to defend their religion against the facts of reality.

So, it should come as little surprise that since reality conflicts with religion, the truly devout have little interest in reality.

Their faith invariably clashes with science. Faith says one thing. But science says another. It is science that they discard.

When reality invariably clashes with their religion, they have two fundamental choices: to reject their faith as dishonest or to accept reality. But in embracing faith they have already rejected reality so they almost invariably continue to reject reality.

Many religious people know what the facts are. But they still refuse to abandon their faith. Reality is rejected for clashing with their delusions.

That is the harm in religion. It is the refusal to know reality and to accept whatever one wishes to believe. Assertions accepted on faith are always wrong about anything of consequence.

Faith is the epistemological equivalent of choosing to walk around blindfolded while declaring that you can see. But you cannot see. Reality is what it is despite you trying to make it whatever you want it to be.

faith
This is your brain on faith.

Is Biblical Faith “Justified Trust”?

There are those that might think that by “faith” the Bible means “justified trust”. I am about to present several several Biblical verses to disprove this notion.

The Bible never uses faith in that sense. By faith it means blindly believing things for no good reason and against all reason. It openly tells you to not to see reality but to just believe anyway.

Why? Because of the empty assertion of promises beyond the observable world. That is the only thing religions can offer anyone to have faith, empty assertions that have nothing to do with reality.

That is why every religion widely recognized as such always offers immaterial, unearthly rewards. Because they cannot offer anything real that relates to reality. All it can do is appeal to emotion and irrational, baseless desires that have nothing to do with reality.

Biblical Absurdities: How Much Space Does the Ark Need?

In this series, we look at the countless absurdities that can be found in the Bible. Today we are looking at the alleged dimensions of the Noah’s Ark and seeing whether there is any chance it could have held the animals it was supposed to.

I got bored and crunched some numbers and this came out. Obviously you don’t need math to show this is silly, but lets have some fun with this.

Note that I was rather generous and assumed that Noah only needed to keep these animals on the Ark for 150 days. Most scholars admit that this would have been more like 370 days.

Let’s assume the dimensions of the Ark given in the Bible. Genesis 6:15 gives us a figure of 300 by 50 by 30 cubits. Let us assume that a cubit is 21 inches. A cubit ranged from about 18-21 inches, but I am going with 21, as that was a common definition of the cubit given in Mesopotamia.

Why Mesopotamia? Many elements of the Biblical flood story seems to be taken from earlier flood legends around this region. So, I am going to go with this plausible figure that also gives an upper estimate for the alleged size of the Ark.

So, we have a volume of about 450,000 cubic cubits. Let us convert that to litres. Why? Because later we are going to figure out how much water and food the animals needed. Litres works well enough for both. We get about 68,292,270 or about 68 million litres.

Let’s go with a fairly conservative number of animals required, 70,000 animals.

This is obviously far too low. The Bible talks about “kinds” of animals. But the word “kind” employed here has no objective meaning. Animals are not divided into “kinds”, nor is the word “kind” given any definition.

Why does this matter? Because apologists will tell you Noah brought one of each kind onto the Bible. Not one of each species, but each kind. Even though the word “kind” has no meaning and apologists can consider several different species all the same kind.

For instance, they can say Noah had one couple of the lion kind, the tiger kind, the bear kind. Not several bear species, not hundreds of cat species, not thousands of bird species, but one bird kind and so forth.

This means they can say that Noah only needed enough animals to cover all the “kinds” of animals.

But they can only artificially create so many kinds without seeming clearly insane. Most people can easily see that even if you only count the land creatures, you need several thousand “kinds” of animals.

Scholars tend to agree that the 70,000 is a figure on the low side, so we will go with that. Again, we are being generous here.

Ark
This drunkard is the guy that built an impossible Ark?

Now, we are going to assume that the average animal is about the size of a sheep. This does not seem unreasonable and several Biblical “scholars” themselves use this metric.

We need to give them some space, let’s give each animal one meter cubed of space. That is 1000 litres, per animal, or 70 million litres required.

Too little, given many Biblical scholars claim that at least some of the dinosaurs were on the Ark! But, we will allow it. We are being very generous here.

A sheep requires about 3 litres of water a day. We will go with one litre, to make it be very generous. So, for 150 days we need like 31,500,000 (31.5 million) litres of water (which he has to keep fresh for 150 days).

For 370 days we need over

Yes, we need to bring along water. That is, fresh water. We cannot use salt water for this and Noah did not have magic to convert salt water to fresh water.

Unless you think he can gather 7,000 litres of salt water a day. And then covert all 7,000 litres of salt water to fresh water. No, I don’t think so.

Let’s assume about 1kg of food a day, probably a little generously low. We will assume the food has the density of water. We need like 10,500,000 (10.5 million) litres of food.

Granted food is denser than water, but we will definitely need more than 1kg of food a day on average.We are already 43,707,730 (43.7 million) litres short.

This is even though will actually need far more than 70,000 animals. And although we probably need more water than this and almost certainly more food. And we will need far more than on average one cubic meter of space per animal!

In fact, the animals themselves require more space than the Ark has to spare! The animals need 70 million liters of space but the Ark has under 69 million liters to spare!

And that is before we account for the fact we need to bring along food and water. Which require over 42 million more liters of space than the Ark has to spare!

The Ark is seriously short on volume, even if we make some pretty generous assumptions.

Whups, looks like our all-knowing God did not give Noah the right dimensions. This Ark was going to be big enough!

Now, what about if we assume Noah was on the Ark for 370 days?

He will need 77,700,000 litres of water. That is over 77 million litres of water.

He will need over 25,900,000 litres of food. That is almost 26 million liters of food.

Together he needs over 100,000 litres for food and water. Which is already far larger than the volume of the Ark, leaving no room for the animals themselves!

So much for the omniscience of God….

Creating Christ Tjtus

Episode Twenty Four – Creating Christ Archaeology with Warren Fahy

Play

Today we have an interview with Warren Fahy, the co-author of Creating Christ. We have talked about Creating Christ before, when we interviewed the books other author, James Valliant. You can find that interview here.

Today we are focusing on the archeology of Creating Christ, although we will cover a few other issues as well. We cover some stuff that is not covered so much or at all in our previous Creating Christ interview. Meaning that you should definitely listen to this one, even if you have listened to the other one. Or should that be, especially if you have listened to the other one?

What is Creating Christ? Some of you may not know. It is a book that shows the Roman origins of Christianity. Not simply the fact that the Roman Empire morphed into the Catholic Church, but the thesis that the Romans created the religion!

It might sound radical, but the book makes a very compelling case for how this must be true. If you have not read it, you really should. You can get it from Amazon here:

Creating Christ
Buy from Amazon

 

You really should listen to that interview first, as it gives a really in depth coverage of the book. Or, you can read the book first.

Please note that the Amazon Kindle edition is currently not available. As far as I can tell, this may be due to some disgruntled customer complaining about the books technical issues. Which I can assure, having owning a copy of it in Kindle, do not exist!

Apparently one customer complaint can cause items to go under review and be taken off the Kindle marketplace. If so, this policy should change!

I have given them some polite feedback on this. You can too, if you want. But, please be civil. Incivility helps nobody, least of all Creating Christ or its authors!

We have not presented the transcript of this in web page form. Instead, you can listen to the audio or download the PDF transcript.

However, there may be mistakes in the transcript. Any mistakes in transcription represent our own errors or a transcription error we missed.

Click here to download the PDF transcript.

Why Fundamentalists Dislike Science – Part Two

We continue to look at why the fundamentalists dislike science and dismiss it. You can find part one here.

The Dismissal of Science

Let us take the example of evolution. Which most fundamentalists seem desperate to pretend never happened.

They like to pretend that evolution is fantasy. But evolution has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

Almost no theory has as much evidence for it as does evolution. Every living being is evidence of evolution and contains pieces of evidence for evolution.

The body of evidence that evolution has happened and is still happening, is truly staggering. It includes evidence from studying the fossil record. Evidence of genetic similarities and commonalities between species. As well the fact that we have seen evolution happen.

And we know a lot about how it happened. We even know about t he transition from sea to land!

To say that evolution is unproven and “just a hypothesis” is about the most dishonest claim one could hope to make. Especially when it is very easy to understand most of the extremely abundant evidence that it definitely happened and continues to happen.

Observe the way they are frantic to dismiss almost all the evidence. Especially the most convincing evidence. Without which evolution might indeed seem a lot less credible and scientific.

Could it be that they do not understand all the evidence that exists? Perhaps they simply do not understand the science?

Sure, they often fail to understand huge portions of the evidence. Many of them refuse to do so. Yes, many of them have little or no understanding of what the science actually says. And show no interest in correcting their frequent mistakes. No matter how many times you clearly explain it to them!

Do not assume they are interested in understanding evolution. Or any science which clashes with the baseless assertions of their religion.

It is s not just evolution. We see fundamentalists constantly denying the facts of almost every branch of science known to man.

For instance, we see them trying to argue that the speed of light is not constant. Not for any scientific reason, but because the constant speed of light makes it obvious that the universe is far bigger than the Bible allows.

Religious fundamentalists are caught in a trap of their own dishonesty. Their faith demands that they blindly accept any assertion their religion makes as infallibly true. For no reason and against all reason.

Religious people have rejected reality and therefore science. It does not matter what science has to say. If science does not agree with their religion, then it must be rejected. For no reason and without any attempt to understand it.

There is a reason these people are always vastly ignorant. And frequently unable to form a coherent thought or argument. Knowledge and coherent, rational thought require a commitment to understanding reality. Not to blindly assuming whatever you want and to defending it against reason.

Does it Matter?

It matters that these people are spreading lies. But the problem is worse than them spreading lies.

It matters that they are not interested in reality. Or in teaching their children about it. Instead, they raise generation after generation of ignorant savages.

fundamentalists
Knowledge is forbidden!

It matters that they say that abortion is immoral. And that women should be prevented from having abortions. Thus, enslaving pregnant women to their unborn fetuses. Which have no rights as they are not alive in any meaningful sense.

It matters when they tell us that vaccinations are immoral. And then thousands of people needlessly die of easily preventable diseases.

It matters when the Church tells people that contraception is bad. Especially since they tell us abortion is also bad and we must accept however many children “God gives us” or choose not to have sex.

It matters when priests tell us that sexual desire is a sin and that sex is not for pleasure but for procreation. And then people feel guilty about their desires. And are unable to fully enjoy sex!

It matters when religions demand we submit to the will of kings, even brutal tyrants. Which gives kings a moral justification for their unjust rule. And to do as they please on the basis that they have divine blessing.

It matters when slave masters try to justify slavery by appealing to the Bible. Where God gives license to make everyone a slave. Except for his Chosen People.

It matters that fundamentalists want to force religious morality on our legal system. No matter how many lives it costs and no matter how much worse everyone’s lives are.

Yes, it matters that religions spread lies and misinformation that make everyone’s lives worse if taken seriously!

Why Fundamentalists Dislike Science – Part One

Here we are going to confine our discussion to the fundamentalism espoused by Christian fundamentalists. The essential arguments apply to all fundamentalist interpretations of all religions.

What do we mean by a “fundamentalist”? Google provides a good definition of this term:

“A person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture in a religion.”

So, in other words, a fundamentalist is someone who takes the claims of the official holy books of their religion literally. In this case, we are talking about people who take the word of the Bible (and other canonical texts) as literally true.

These people typically believe that the Bible describes real history, events and people. They believe that since the Bible says God made the universe that God made the universe.

The Old Testament describes how God flooded the world and Noah built an ark. So, they believe a global flood happened. And that Noah loaded a not at all seaworthy ark with an impossible array of animals. And so forth.

Not only do they believe in the alleged events of the Bible, they believe that everything else in the Bible is the inerrant and infallibly true Word of God. They believe that anything God says is literally true. Regardless of how much evidence proves that God is wrong.

We know the Old Testament was written by desert-dwelling savages around 2600 and 3000 years ago. They will never accept that. We know that the New Testament is the result of Roman political propaganda. But they will not accept that either.

The fable of the Flood was stolen from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Which stole its flood from the Epic of Atrahasis. So, their nonsense was not even original!

No, fundamentalists believe whatever the Bible tells them. Or, more often, whatever their religious leaders tell them the Bible says. Many of them have read little or none of the Bible!

The truth does not matter to these people. As it does not matter to any devoutly religious person. If it mattered to them, they would not be devoutly religious. They would not take everything they read in the Bible or are told by their religious leaders on faith. They would not have faith in anything at all!

Faith is the belief in something for no reason whatsoever and is defended against all reason. It is thus the most dishonest position it is possible to have. And as with any form of dishonesty, there are consequences for holding faith in anything.

Why? Because faith and reality are always in conflict. As is every claim is assumed for no reason and against all reason.

It is not simply that fundamentalists are wrong.

They are, they are wrong about almost everything of any real importance which pertains to their religion. As they must be since what they believe has no basis and blind assumptions are almost always wrong.

Once you have rejected reality and embraced faith, what does that leave you to believe? Whatever you want to believe in, as long as it is assumed blindly.

Most often this takes the form of whatever is emotionally satisfying or easy to understand. Or which provides moral guidance with no actual connection to how man should act in order to be happy and thrive.

Every culture seems to posit some kind of spiritual existence after death where the spirit can endure the death of the body. And every religion seems to offer some form of spiritual existence after bodily death usually by obeying the moral teachings of the religion and doing the bidding of the clergy.

Every religion tries to offer its followers moral teachings. This makes sense. We all need moral guidance in order to help choose which actions to take in life.

Once you have rejected reality, you must get that moral guidance from somewhere and religions are all happy to offer that. Often with plenty of threats or instructions regarding how to achieve spiritual immortality while doing so.

So it is that most devoutly religious people are heavily emotionally invested in their religion. They believe that their religion is the only means of moral guidance they have and more importantly, the only means by which they can achieve some kind of immortality.

Heaven
All religions elevate some kind of afterlife above reality.

It should come as little surprise that many of these people desperately cling to the teachings of their religion. Reality has little interest to them, unlike their religion. They are strongly incentivized to defend their religion against the facts of reality.

So, it should come as little surprise that since reality conflicts with religions, fundamentalists have little interest in reality.

If science touches on something opined on by their religion, science is always rejected in favour of what their religion tells them.

Fundamentalists are not just wrong; they are hostile to many areas of science. Including biology, evolution, astronomy, taxonomy and more.

What They Are Wrong About

Clearly, fundamentalism disagrees with reality. It asserts that God created the universe and then the Earth and then the Sun, then the Moon. And then man and other creatures. As well as asserting countless other miracles.

People of a more scientific mindset know that this is not the case. We know that such mythologies are not only arbitrary, but they are also blatantly false. Almost everything we know about the world, the stars and every living thing, contradicts every creation myth.

This is all arbitrary nonsense. And so, in many ways, it warrants no serious argument. But I think it is nonetheless interesting to list some of the countless things the Christian faith is wrong about and some of its many contradictions with reality.

anti-religion

Atheism or Antireligion?

As many long-time followers of Metaphysics of Physics will know, we are staunch atheists. Or at least, that is what most people would describe us as. However, we do not describe ourselves that way. Well, not exactly. But surely there is nothing wrong with atheism?

What do we mean by “atheist”? What do we define atheism to be?

We define atheism as:

“The firm conviction that God or gods do not exist.”

Not only do we believe that they do not exist, we believe that they cannot exist. This is a stronger form of the lack of belief held by many other so-called atheists.

Here is a common definition of atheism you might have seen:

“Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.”

Is this the same thing as our definition of atheism? Not necessarily.

Notice that it says, “A lack of belief in”. This indicates that someone simply does not believe that gods exist. It does not necessarily indicate that they believe that they cannot exist. We are mostly discussing the “I do not know” sort, but what we say should apply to the “we cannot know” sort as well.

The problem is that many atheists simply do not believe God exists due to a lack of evidence. As though they are open to the possibility of God existing. But just happen to believe that there is no such evidence. As though they believe that such evidence might hypothetically exist. In which case they might accept that God exists.

We go a step further than this. We know that no such beings can exist. Whereas a great many atheists explicitly state that they cannot be so sure that such beings cannot exist.

anti-religion atheism
We reject not just the major religions, but all religions.

That reeks of agnosticism. What does it mean to be agnostic? Let’s ask the English biologist Thomas Huxley. After all, he coined the phrase “agnostic”, so he seems a reliable source.

“Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.”

It does not necceasirly refer to the belief that one cannot know whether gods exist. Many agnostics simply profess that they do not know.

[Editorial, below we have added a clarification on why we have defined atheism in this way. It may come across as a tangent, but there seems to be some content over this apparently somewhat controversial issue.]

Before we proceed, yes we know that our definition of atheism is more narrow than the standard definition. According to our definition an atheist does not simply lack belief.

Lots of people lack such beliefs. But, an atheist rejects the existence of such beings.

That means that everyone is in one of three categories: They are convinced in the existence of gods and the like, making them a theist. They are firmly convinced that such beings do not exist, in which case they are an atheist.

Or, they are uncertain and not committed to believing they exist nor that they do not exist. Making them an agnostic.

If you are unsure, you are an agnostic. Even if you think they most likely do not exist, but are not sure. If you refuse to take any position and are unsure, you are an agnostic. If you say “Well, they probably don’t, but maybe” you are unsure and you are uncommitted and an agnostic.

It is important to grasp that here agnosticism is used not just in the sense of “You can’t know” but “I don’t know” as well! This includes all people not convinced one way or another as to whether or not such beings exist.

This is not a redefinition of agnosticism, it is simply using it in the more broad and common sense of the word. While allowing a more narrow definition of agnosticism as specifically the “I cannot know kind”, as long as you specify that is the kind of agnosticism you are talking about.

You might call this “philosophical” agnosticism, the conviction that such things are not knowable.

Why do we define atheism this way? Well, it is less vague. If atheism is merely “a lack of belief”, then this includes agnostics as well. They lack belief, just as do people who reject the divine. So, if someone is an atheist, do they reject the divine or just have a vague non-belief?

This way it is easier to distinguish the two. And you do not have to deal with a “hard” vs “soft” atheism distinction. Soft atheists usually being those who lack a belief, hard atheists being those who reject such beings.

And agnostics being those unsure as to whether they accept or reject such beings.

We think it is important to have a term which clearly and unambiguously refers to those who reject the divine. As opposed to not really clearly indicating this, at least not without further clarification.

Now, we have cleared this up, lets get back to our topic.

What many of these “atheists” seem to believe is that there is no scientific ground upon which to assert that there is no God. But, is this the case? Can we reject God based on science?

It is true that the issue of the existence of God is primarily an epistemological and metaphysical issue and thus not primarily an issue of physics or the other physical sciences. And we certainly reject all gods on metaphysical grounds.

Before going further, perhaps we should remind ourselves what it means for something to be “possible”. We cover the topic of “possible” in this podcast episode:

To summarize:

“X is possible” means: “That according to the context of my knowledge, there is some evidence that X is true and none that proves that it is not”. Note, that there may not be very much evidence that supports X, but there must be at least a little bit.

The existence of God or gods is impossible.

Is there any evidence that the gods are possible? Obviously not. There is no evidence whatsoever that suggests gods exist or even that they might exist. And a great many atheists would agree with this.

Note that just because you cannot disprove that something exists does not mean that it is possible that it exists. A lack of evidence against something is not evidence for it.

Nor does a lack of evidence against something establish any possibility that it is true. For that, you would need evidence for it, not a lack of evidence against it.

Nor is the fact that you can conceive of the existence of God proof that he might exist. The fact that you can imagine something is not proof that it might exist.

The possibility of God has not been established. But that does not prove that he does not exist, right?

That is true. It establishes that any claim that God exists is entirely arbitrary. Since there is no evidence or logic of any kind supporting it, it must be rejected as lacking any observable connection to reality. And thus, rejected as without cognitive value.

Can we go further than that? Can we prove that God is entirely impossible? That is, that he is not able to exist. Of course, we can …

God can allegedly shape reality with but a thought. Which asserts that consciousness as such has a magical power over reality. But as existence is primary and existence is not influenced by consciousnesses, this primacy of consciousness must be rejected.

And that God created the universe nonsense? Yeah, well, lets not get started on that.

God can allow things to act contrary to their nature, which is also forbidden by a rational metaphysics. Things cannot act against their nature. Not even if someone tries to make them do so.

God has a contradictory nature, which is also forbidden. To exist is to exist as something with a specific, non-contradictory nature. Nothing is an exception to that, regardless of what kind of being they might be.

And so forth. We thus reject the possibility of any god’s existence.

Obviously, no such entity can exist. Not only does he violate basic principles of a rational metaphysics, but he would also violate countless laws of physics.

Therefore, no reasonable person should consider the idea of any god as remotely possible. Any claim of the existence of any god is not simply arbitrary. It is not simply that there is no evidence for its existence, there are countless reasons you should know that such beings cannot exist.

So, on that basis, every reasonable person should dismiss the idea of any god as entirely false.

This is not a matter of “there is no evidence that God exists, but I will remain open to such evidence.” No such evidence is possible and indeed it is clearly impossible. As by their alleged nature, gods contradict what we know about reality. And such contradictions are not possible.

Roman coin

More Creating Christ Interviews!

This blog post takes the chance to share news of further “Creating Christ” interviews performed by MythVision. As many of you know, we are big fans of that book and the thesis it presents. So, it should come as no surprise that we would choose to share some updates on this.

Some of you will remember episode ten of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast, where we interviewed James Valliant on the book “Creating Christ”.

For those whom do not, this book details the remarkable and crucial evidence for the Roman involvement in the creation of Christianity. You can find out more by listening to the original podcast or you keep reading.

Episode Ten – Interview With The Author of “Creating Christ”

James Valliant has been very busy since then and has performed another excellent interview with the presenters of the excellent MythVision podcast. This interview has two parts and I highly recommend that you listen to both parts. Even if you have heard our interview with James. It covers some stuff in more detail or at least from a slightly different angle.

Click here for part one, which covers the first hour of the interview.

And click here for part two, covering the second hour of the interview.

James Valliant then went on to record a second interview with the MythVision. This time with his co-author Warren Fahy. And the distinguished scholar and expert on such matters, Dr Robert Price!

Why this particular scholar? Well, Dr Price has recently expressed great interest and support for the thesis of “Creating Christ”. This does not mean that he necessarily fully committed to agreeing with everything in the book, but there is enough to make him think.

In any case, It is obviously a great step for any thesis when notable scholars in the field start to take notice.

Do you want to know more about what Dr Price has to say on this? Well, you can out by listening to the MythVision interview. Click here to do that.

Dr. Price also reviewed “Creating Christ”! You can see that review by clicking here.

Titus 1

Follow Up To “Interview With the Author of Creating Christ”.

This is a text followup on the previous episode of the last podcast episode on the thesis presented in Creating Christ.

In that interview, James indicates how you can lay your finger down anywhere in the New Testament and he can explain how that indicates how the New Testament has its origin as Roman propaganda.

I find a random segment of the New Testament and take a stab at doing just that.

If you have not listened to the previous podcast episode, do so here:

Episode Ten – Interview With The Author of “Creating Christ”

Today I want to share with you an interesting experience and some of my thoughts on it. Here goes;

My Experience

This morning I engaged in an interesting experiment. I found a random video from a fairly typical Christian fundamentalist, one that likes to throw quotes from the Bible up on the screen.

I then skimmed through it to see if I could find any quoted verses which indicated Roman providence to the New Testament.

The very first quoted verse did this. I kid you not, the very first verse he threw up indicated Roman providence to the New Testament.

Titus 1

Here is the verse in question.

Here is what it said:

“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers,  specially they of the circumsion: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which  they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake”.

Now, the first question we should ask is: “Is this a fair translation?”

As far as I know, it is fairly accurate in its essentials. As well as fitting in what we learned in the previous episode of the podcast. Although, other  translations have replaced “lucre” with “unfair gain”. And these translations might be a little more accurate.

Other translations of this include:

” For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching  for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. ”

My Thoughts

Let’s see what this juicy tidbit from Titus (oddly enough one of the names of the Roman emperors…) seems to be trying to tell us…

Well, first we see some naked antisemitism. It seems obvious that the “they of the circumcision” being singled out here are Jewish people. Hardly very subtle…

Apparently, they must be silenced, for they subvert whole houses, teaching what they ought not for the sake of lucre. Which, if I remember correctly, is money dishonestly acquired. Although, note that other translations says “dishonest gain”.

So, apparently, the Jewish people are spreading lies and cause upset. What are these lies and what are they upsetting?

Well, I submit that the lies are anything that casts their Roman rulers in a bad light and which agitates and justifies rebellion.

The subversion or upset would be an attempt to undermine the rule of their Roman rulers. The “whole houses” or “families” being subverted or upset, would be the Roman state.

So, apparently the Book of Titus is nakedly suggesting that the Jewish people, certainly the Jewish rebels, were lying, unruly liars. Who were doing it for the sake of dishonest or shameful gain of some kind and perhaps not out of sincere devotion to their religion!

Imagine if this was propaganda intended to undermine the revolt of Jewish rebels against Roman rule. A revolt which was religiously motivated. Then, this is the sort of thing you might write, no? Especially if you wanted to undermine the rebel’s religious motivations.

Note, that I have no doubt that this verse is one which has done much to stimulate two thousand odd years of antisemitism. And to contribute to the image of Jews as “greedy” and dishonest people.

Our presenter here, one Kent Hovind, is no doubt completely oblivious to all that this implies. He thinks it is just a generic damning of materialistic deceivers. He is totally ignorant of the fact that he is repeating the political propaganda of Roman emperors.

But, a fair reader of the New Testament (which Hovind and his ilk clearly are not) has to ask oneself: If the Word of God, why is God such an antisemitic, pro-Roman bigot?

Gods antisemitism is odd given how in the Old Testament, he apparently literally committed genocide in the name of the Jews. On multiple occasions. There they clearly his favored people.

It is hard not to see the contrast as odd. I know I always used to wonder about that and the other weird changes of mind God allegedly made between the two Testaments. Not because I thought God was real, but why the people writing the book would have him change his mind like that.

Could it be that it isn’t the Word of God? At least, not that God, but that of some Roman emperor trying to cement his place as a Roman state deity?

It would certainly be a lot more interesting and relevant to this world than the contradictory Word of some unfathomable man in the sky…

Creator God

Episode Eight – Quora Questions on Creationism

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Today we go over some Quora questions on the universe and Creationism and answer a question from one of our listeners.

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Episode Transcript

[Please note that this may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences.]

Hi everyone! This is episode eight of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast.

I am Ashna, your host and guide through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Thanks for tuning in!

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science.  We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

You can find all the episodes, transcripts and subscription options on the website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

Today we will be doing a Q&A episode revolving around the theme of the universe and creationism. These are questions we found looking around the Quora platform where Dwayne has an account if you wish to follow. We will also be answering a question submitted by one of our listeners.

Ok so let’s begin.

What would a non-mathematical universe look like?

It would, ignoring parts of Earth (and possibly other worlds with intelligent life) look much the same as it does now.

Mathematics is a science of method invented by people to help them measure things. Without it, we would lack the ability to do much science and we would know almost nothing about the world or our universe.

Pythagoras
Go away Pythagoras, nobody asked you about your mathematical universe.

Without it, we would know nothing about engineering and we would be unable to build most of the technology that we have.

But, other than the fact that the universe would lack all those things people built, it would be much the same.

Despite what many physicists believe, mathematics is not fundamental to the universe. It is just something people use to measure things in the universe.

Some people cannot understand the “unreasonable success” of mathematics.

Well, it is not unreasonable at all, it is entirely predictable and obvious, if you understand what mathematics is: a method of quantifying relationships and performing measurements!

If you know that, then why should it be surprising that mathematics is able to … quantify and measure the universe?

How or why did the creator create the universe?

Firstly, who said the universe was created? The universe is simply “all that exists”. It presupposes some kind of existence.

There is no explaining existence, an explanation would require something to already exist. Any explanation would presuppose something to exist.

A creator would suppose that something existed. At least himself. But are we meant to suppose that he is the only thing that existed way back in time? That he is some kind of omnipotent being?

Sorry, everything that exists has a nature.  But, to have a specific nature means that there are some things you can do and somethings that you cannot.  That therefore limits and logically excludes omnipotence. Or even the kind of power that allows one to create a universe.

How is having a creator that can create a universe any kind of logical explanation?

And more obviously, once you decide that the universe has to be created, you need to invent a creator. But, then you need to explain that creator. You need another creator and then another one and another one. It is creators all the way down.

I suppose one could assume that the creator just magically appeared out of nothing. But, if we are going to accept that, is it not simply easier to assume the universe appeared out of nothing?

But, neither the universe nor a creator can appear out of nowhere. If nothing existed, then there is nothing that can cause a creator or a universe to come to exist.

No. The only possibility we are really left with is that the universe always existed. Which is the same as saying that something has always existed.

No creator, sorry.

Creator God
Sorry God, you still are not needed.

How are atheists so adamant that there’s no “god”? Isn’t that just as naive as believing there is one?

No, there is nothing “naive” about requiring evidence to believe that something exists. And there is absolutely no evidence that God exists. Just a bunch of claims that never match observable reality and never stand up to a moment of rational thought.

Why should we believe that there is a God? I guess if we ignore logic and reality and just accept nonsensical claims of faith, then we could find a so-called “reason”. But, I am not willing to do those things.

But, it is worse than that, the very nature of God is just impossible. The laws of nature and logic make it clear that no such being could ever exist. By definition, any god is supernatural and thus outside the bounds of nature.

There is nothing at all naive about not finding any reason to believe God is possible and indeed finding a thousand reasons why he could not possibly exist.

Let me deal with one objection some of you might raise: Isn’t this trying to prove a negative? I thought you could not prove a negative…

That does not apply here. If someone makes a claim that contradicts rational metaphysics, the laws of physics or other known aspects of reality, then you most certainly can prove that it is false.

Simply show that if it was true, it would contradict reality. This establishes that it is false.

So, let’s try to prove that there are no gods.