52 thoughts on “Nietzsche was close. . .

      1. Is that trying to say that killers are atheists, or atheists are killers?

        Has anyone done a study? My mother used to visit in prison and said you couldn’t find a Goddier lot.

            1. Odd coincidence. I was thinking this morning, if ever asked my religion, I would say ‘Keynesian’. Because I believe Keynesian economics is the best bet and I’m certainly not a free marketer, but IMO economics is not a science and nothing in it can ever be proved, so it must be a religion.

      2. Ohhhh, this is how you make a billboard unoffensive. Someone let Silverman and CFI know they need more guns in their billboards to placate the religious.

  1. Amusing, but Christians the world over (and probably other faiths, too) continue to believe that God still possesses the miraculous power of mind control, a supreme, frightening ability all the more insidious in that it often goes unremarked. In fact, “The God Delusion” had nothing to say on the subject, at least that I could find. And yet it’s ubiquitous in Christian culture: God told me to do such & such, God made people vote for candidate X, God granted me wisdom, courage, peace, God is guiding me etc. It’s a terrifying ability not because it’s real but because people think it’s real, and therefore think that whatever idea pops into theirs & other Christian’s heads was likely as not put there by God and thus must be believed & followed. I still suspect Bush II was given to such superstition, the result being such disasters as Iraq.

    1. In case you haven’t come across it, Sam Harris on Dubya: “The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”

      1. Oh, thank you for so much reminder us of that Harris quote. It’s a gem.

        It should be posted in every schoolhouse and court in the land, SCOTUS being the first one.

    2. Yup. Take the powers of ESP and psychokensis away from God and God evaporates into nothing. When you get right down to it faith itself is based on the running assumption that people who choose the right faith do so through some sort of magical osmosis whereby they simply “know” or feel the right version of God.

      Ask a theist who thinks they are guided by God to be specific on what this is, how it takes place, and above all how they can tell the ‘voice of God’ apart from normal, natural inclinations, impulses, and rational conclusions. More often than not in my experience they get flustered — and rescue themselves from the dilemma by reminding me that they’re not supposed to be clear on any of this: it’s part of God’s mystery and their impotence. Convenient.

      1. Jesus having lived is a historical fact. There is plenty of solid evidence concerning his life besides what is in the Bible. I suggest you do some reseach on the subject. Concerning getting guidance from God, the most reliable method used by Christians is by reading and studying the Bible. You attempt to live by the principles laid out. Jesus said the most important commandment was to love God and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. The 10 commandments are good principles to live by; e.g.do not steal, do not lie, do not covet…God does speak to Christians by bringing to mind these principles from the Bible when making a decision or by making you reconsider prior to doing something that violates these principles. Christian faith is based on facts but goes beyond what you can see and hear. For example, you have faith that the airbags in your car will activate if you are in a front-on collision. You have not seen them operate but you have faith that they will based on what the manufacturer says in their literature. You would have to tear apart the dash of your car just to verify that the airbag exists. I suspect you have not done that.

        1. Let’s just focus on your last proposition here, Fredrick. My car does have airbags, and no, I have not taken them apart to make sure they exist. But here’s the big difference. If I did indeed dismantle them, I’m confident I would find an airbag mechanism. On the other hand, if I “dismantle” the Bible and Christian theology, e.g. conduct scholarly research, examine historic references, apply logic, I would find, ultimately . . . nothing.

        2. I’d ask you for that evidence of an historical Jesus, but we both know you’ll just spout the same tired old list of people not even born until long after the “fact.” And that your “ancient sources” are all either descriptions by non-Christians of the lunatic beliefs of this radical new fringe cult, utterly bizarre and incomprehensible zombie snuff pr0n fantasies, or well-known forgeries that even the Catholic Church admits to.

          And all the while you’d conveniently ignore the literally libraries worth of actual contemporary information, all of which is perfectly ignorant of any such Jesus character or even the most innocent of his zany antics. And you’d simultaneously ignore the documents, contemporary with the ones you would cite, where Christians explain in excruciating detail the pagan myths they shamelessly stole from and pagans tell how they conned the Christians into falling for the oldest theological scams in the book.

          So, kindly take your lying-for-Jesus, your misogynistic pro-slavery theocratic Ten Commandments, and your “trust me” con job, and use the whole shootin’ match for an autocolonoscopy.

          Cheers,

          b&

        3. I do not have faith that the airbags on a car I am driving would operate or that the seat belt would lock correctly in a crash. How could I since I know such things have failed in the past? However I do have a reasonable expectation based on evidence that they will work as advertised. It seems to me that the way I live my whole life is based on reasonable expectations such as these. And you know what? Sometimes these expectations are not fulfilled, sometimes things do go wrong in ways I feel I could not have reasonably expected. In each such case the solution is not to say “I should have had more faith” but to investigate and find out how one’s standards of evidence can be improved so that one is not caught out for a second time.

        4. Your belief is your business. But facts are facts, like it or not. The airbag example is utter nonsense. That’s what laws, standards and testing are for. That’s what the US Department of Transportation is for, unless some dimwit president and a dimwit majority in Congress decide to dismantle that, too, and hand over transport safety to Jesus. Airbags are prescribed by regulations. Their testing is prescribed by regulations and checked by national and international agencies. There are substantial penalties for not complying with these regulations. And that’s not mentioning legal action, should an airbag ever malfunction through the manufacturer’s fault.

          Who are you going to sue, should Jesus turn out not to have existed, or if he existed, to have been an ordinary man, and the entire resurrection fairy tale a fraud? What’s the penalty for deceiving yourself, let alone others? What’s the penalty if your self-delusion with a divine airbag sends you crashing into a wall, even if only metaphysically?

  2. Shouldn’t the chart title be “God’s perceived power”? After all the actual power of a non-existent being is none.

  3. Hey, some folks are posting their comments on the picture page (what you see when you click on the picture). If you did that, you may want to repost on the main page.

    thx,
    The mgmt.

  4. Observations:
    1. The curve is documented only for YAHWEH. Statistical evidence for all the other deities is missing, and should be included.

    2. The decrease in divine power is correlated with the increase in capsaicin concentration in dry matter (cf. Tewksbury et al., PNAS2008, Fig. 2B, quoted by Tomh, comment #13 in the previous post). Given the antimicrobial and antifungal effects of capsaicinoids, conclusions regarding the nature of the divine are inescapable.

    3. The ‘walking on water’ episode was re-staged for the millennium celebrations. The experiment’s outcome was consistent with the curve, the principal sinking fast after the first few paces.
    Upon his rescue and return to terra firma, his justification was: “Vit de holes in de feet, vot did you expect?”

  5. You’d better quit making fun of the ineffable ground of all being, or you might find yourself apart from it for all eternity after you die.

        1. And if I already find myself to be apart from the ineffable ground of all being, even before I die, that’s probably an effing bad sign that I’ll be spending eternity intangibly grounded.

          Is this a step up or down from being ground round on the eternal barbeque of God’s boundless love?

  6. This graph ignores His amazing ability to make BOTH teams score touchdowns and hit homeruns in football and baseball games, evidenced by the ubiquitous skyward acknowledgement by players of both teams. He’s an Omnifan! It’s a mystery why one team ends up winning, kind of like the problem of evil.

  7. I have been sinning a lot recently, so he’s been tied up with a lot of extra Forgiving. Plus, the locusts unionized last year, so it’s been difficult for him to get anything organized on a large scale since AIDS.

  8. This graph misses an important manifestation of God’s power.

    Apparently, you Western heretics choose to ignore or deny this miracle, but it’s all the rage here in Russia and other largely Orthodox countries. I’m talking HOLY FIRE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Fire).

    So, not only does God appear on toast, but each year on the second birthday of His Son (who is also somehow Himself), He infaillably lights one candle! With magic!

    Naturally, the fact that this miraculous event happens in the place with no eyewitnesses except a handful of Church officials cannot cast any doubt on its miraculous nature, as opposed to the “hidden matches” hypothesis. Because these guys are obviously too Christian (Orthodox, which is the best type there is!) to lie. But skeptics gonna skept.

  9. As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words and this one is, in spades. Drives the point home much faster than you could read the 1000 words too! Everyone I sent this to loved it. Shows how stupid the whole religious thing is in about 2 s.

  10. why is the line continuous. shouldnt it be an interval graph or something not continuous. arent the points on the line in between the markers are meaningless.

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