Atheism

imageå A-Deism
å A Must See
å Abandon the Marital Bed
å Ablate-X pandemic
å Agnostic vs Atheist
å Another Chance to Vote on New Atheism
å Anthropic Apologetics
å Autivaccinism
å Assailing the Ineffable
å Battle to Regress
å Bay at Fundies
å BB2006 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
å Beyond Belief
å Beyond Belief 2006
å celestialvacations.com
å cfi
å Clouds for Brains
å Cockroach Hearing
å Confidence and Ignorance
å Crimes involving Bears
å Delusion inversely correlated with FLQ
å Demands for Proof
å Desperate Measures
å Destructive Tenacities
å Dispelling bad arguments
å Don't Give That Man a Cigar!
å Explanatory Magisteria
å Expulsions
å Fear of "Framing"
å Fistians and Fuzzy Illogic
å From UPA to Ineffable
å Fundamentals
å Germane to Enlightenment 2.0
å God's Delirious Warriors
å God Rumbler on Harris
å God, what god?
å Haggard might be interested
å I am not with Sam
å If there were a God
å I'm tired of being polite
å Incompleteness
å LAME thinking
å Martian Ontology
å Mission
å Misunderstanding the New Atheism
å Mythonuttery
å No Mention? No Surprise
å Not aphorism . . .
å Not Naming any Names
å Not So-Hidden IDiot Agendas
å On Further Thought
å Panstupidity and Jumbo-Mumbo
å Polls
å Pot Kettle Black
å Read the God Damned Book!
å Readability Scam
å Regressive God
å Religionist Enemy Number One
å Religionist versus Religious
å Religionists Behaving Badly
å Reptilian Brains and Magical Thinking
å Rev Jo All Revved and Ready to Roll
å Rowan on Richard
å Shamelessly Plagiarized
å Stupidity, Lies, and Videotape
å The Rationality of A-Deism
å The Rise (and Fall?) of the Fourth Rise
å The Selfishness Gene
å The Unholy Trinity
å Science does not rest on faith
å Seeker after the truth
å Speaking of Naming
å Tick Tock
å Unangelic Review
å Voting Heads
å What's in a Naturalism?
å What's intelligent . . . ?
å What's Wrong with Religious Apologetics?
å When All Else Fails
å Whiney Candyasses





Blogroll

A-Deism


Sad is the person whose existence feels empty without belief in some invented Authoritarian Parent in the Sky.


Adeism, atheism, and agnosticism are not so much antireligious as rational.

Apologists, deists, theists, creationists, and intelligent [sick] design creationists think fuzzily from the inculcated-a-priori assumption that there must be a deity, so their thinking and arguments include fallacies of logic and, often, falsehoods.

Religionists** and Fistians, as distinct from the merely religious, misrepresent atheism as being merely another "religion" because religionists cannot think outside the dictated-opinions-box. Their beliefs and thoughts are so dominated by religious dogma that they view almost all cognitive systems as being part of a some religion or other. Of course, religious dogmatists believe that their religion is the only correct religion, conveniently ignoring the fact that their religion too could be false. Besots are too in love with religion to question their beliefs.

Creationists are blissfully unaware that in a rational world the argument concerning "creation versus evolution" is already lost to them. They cannot comprehend that the determination of knowledge about the physical world is not a matter of opinion and is not to be decided by popularity polls. Beliefs may be swayed by emotional rhetoric and illogical arguments, but belief is not necessarily equivalent to knowledge. Belief is equivalent to knowledge only when based on facts, on logical arguments based upon true premises and upon logical induction from empirical evidence. Knowledge certainly cannot be realistically claimed to result from misrepresentation and lies.

Despite the fact that deities are the product of fantasy, most creationists lack the imagination and education required to fully grasp the concepts that make the physical world comprehensible, so they miss part of the wonder of the natural world. They have been fooled into believing that science is fraught with uncertainty and inaccuracy simply because it is open to refinement. They believe that the pseudoscientific falsehoods that have been foisted onto them have equivalent truth value to scientific knowledge. Creationists have been taught to distrust experts and yet to believe religiously-biased sources without question. Intelligent design creationists have swallowed a pseudointellectual sweeping generalization and refuse to see that attacking science is not equivalent to doing science. YECs have been taught to believe blatant falsifications and to dismiss experimentally verified facts so as to maintain the delusion that a moral allegory authored by Homo religioso is the "Word of God".

In the mistaken assumption that non-acceptance of the unfounded concept of "Absolute Moral Truths", religionists misrepresent atheists as lacking moral values and mistakenly blame all of the ills of society on secular humanism. This ridiculous prejudice is based on the mistaken assumption that only those who obey weekly sermons can behave morally. In their rigid, intolerant attitudes Fistians routinely act counter to Jesus' compassionate teachings.

** Religionists are those who aggressively make a religion of adherence to rigid religious dogma rather than merely having deistic or theistic beliefs.

å Fistians and Fuzzy Illogic å The Rationality of A-Deism åå Bible Bumping å Bible Bumping å Agnostic vs Atheist å Agnosticism is NOT more rational than Atheism å Apologists make Apologies for God å Besottism å Canadians Can be Stupid Too å Creationism only flourishes amidst Ignorance åå Department of Silly Ideas åå Design Debunked å Anti-IDiocy resources å Behe Retreats å Complexity Reductio å Debunking IDiocy å Dei Non Existent å Dawkins refutes Behe å Jones' Kitzmiller vs Dover decision å Ken Miller on Collapse of Intelligent Design å Panstupidity and Jumbo-Mumbo å Reducible Illogic å Tick Tock å Un-designed Intelligences å Wedge Document åå Ex Ducare (Education) å Furor over Stupidity å In God, Distrust å Inverse Correlations å Moral Absolutism å One Evolution, Many Creationisms åå Scientia åå Sitia non Grata å Spirituality, Religiosity, and Madness å Statistics on Stupidity åå Theocracy Aversion å å YEC yack


...section index...

Polls

Internet polling is definitely not scientifically valid because it is not possible to be certain that the participants represent a random sample of the population. Clearly, asking the congregation of a Southern Baptist Church how many individuals were Muslims would not predict actual numbers of Muslims in America.

This lack of accurate prediction strikes me as a pity when 71% (at last check) of the respondents to Larry King's religious affiliation poll * reported being Atheists. This probably means that dogmatic theists have not discovered the poll and told friends, family, and fellow congregationalists to vote for God. I found a link to the poll on a popular atheist blog, and so, presumably, did other atheists. Even so, the proportion of atheist respondents was much higher than I expected.

"Indeed, countries containing high percentages of non-believers are among the most healthy and wealthy nations on earth (Paul, 2004). Of course, we must always distinguish between those nations where non-belief has been forced upon the society by dictators (“coercive atheism”) from those societies wherein non-belief has emerged on its own without governmental coercion (“organic atheism”). Nations marked by coercive atheism -- such as China, North Korea, Vietnam, and former Soviet states -- are societies marked by all that comes with totalitarianism: poor economic development, intellectual censorship, widespread corruption, ubiquitous depression, etc.. However, nations marked by high levels of organic atheism – such as Sweden, the Netherlands, and France -- are among the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated, and most free societies on earth."


I was interested in reading the above article describing what proportion of the Western population actually report being atheist vs theist. The study did not report on the full gradation: atheist, agnostic, deist, mild-mannered-theist, or fundamentalist theist. Until recently, fundamentalists theists (Fistians) seem to be the only ones making much noise.

Below is another status of religious belief scale:
1 – Complete certainty in God
2 – Very certain with God
3 – Leaning towards theism
4 – 50/50
5 – Somewhat certain there is no God
6 – Very certain there is no God
7 – Complete certainty in no God.

The above scale has been circulating is association with the AQ test and with the ridiculous notion that atheism can be explained away as resulting from AS.

*The Larry King poll as of 22/8/07 (~ 12 am GMT):
Which religion do you associate with?
Christianity 14% 3157
Judaism 4% 783
Islam 1% 322
Buddhism 1% 121
Hinduism 0% 76
Jehovah's Witnesses 1% 180
Atheism 71% 15754
Agnostic 3% 714
I am spiritual, but of no religion 3% 694
Mine's not listed 1% 270
Total Votes: 22071
This is not a scientific poll

Assailing the Ineffable

based on Transfiguration by RaphaëlThe Christian God is often referred to as unknowable, infinite, omniscient and ineffable. Ineffable means to defy expression or description or too sacred to be uttered.

Following a conversation here, led to my thinking more of the place of the ineffable in Christian apologetics.

Arguments for the ineffable take the basic form: we cannot fully describe God because He is unknowable and infinite (and we are mere men), so God can neither be fully described nor disproven (on the basis of our inability to account fully for His Nature).

Clever, huh!

What are the possibilities?

  • There is a God. This God is an all-round impressive God: supernatural, infinite, and beyond description; so failure to describe this God is actually to describe a property of this God's existence, and hence is to support the notion that this God has actual existence (usually undefined). Because this God is ineffable, it is difficult to account for His mysterious behavior and purpose, though He typically seems utterly indifferent.

  • There is a God. This God is definable: fickle, vain, demanding, cruel, vindictive, punitive, jealous, etc. (as depicted in the Bible). Because this God is fickle, it is difficult to predict His mysterious behavior and purpose, though He typically threatens to act like a Punitive Parent.

Depending on the particular religious beliefs, One of the above Gods, and it's not always clear which One, has taken the trouble to interfere to some degree with the Universe and with Life on Earth. Could it be both of them rolled into one? "But they are so different!" you say.

Examining just one Brand of Godhead: Whichever God was so interested in His Special Creation that He sent his Son, perhaps Himself, down to Earth via Immaculate Conception. He, Who can arrange any miracle that He chooses, arranged for the Crucifixion and Resurrection of His Son or Himself. Why go to all this trouble? He wanted to offer us Salvation in exchange for our worshipping Him and for behaving like good, obedient little children – or else we'd be punished for all eternity. How do we know this? His Son or He told someone who told someone who wrote it all down in differing versions. How else? Certainly not through non-circular evidence.



  • There is no God. This absence of the supernatural leaves the purposeless universe at the mercy, and sometimes benevolence, of mostly measurable, testable, physical forces. These natural forces operate on the basis of a hierarchy of mechanisms that operate on different scales – from the subatomic to the cosmic. Some 10 billion years after a rapid expansion of spacetime, a planetoid formed within the arm of a galaxy at the edge of the universe. Within 500 million years of that planet's cooling, life had spontaneously appeared on the planet.

Complexity emerged within those life forms, ultimately generating one species with a thirst for answers, but not necessarily for accurate explanations. For psychological reasons, this species invented the increasingly complex conceptualizatons of supernatural mechanisms to 'explain' inexplicable phenomena. Well, not explain really, more like superstitious guesses. One of these philosophical lineages led to the invention of the Christian God.


Eventually, some members of this species began to investigate and investigate and investigate how the world really works, and this knowledge led to doubt about the supernatural invention. Some members of this species were particularly emotional thinkers and chose to faithfully retain the old beliefs and promises. Whereas, some rational thinkers looked at the evidence and decided that the supernatural only appears ineffable because the supernatural does not exist.


Thus the notion of an ineffable deity, which began its conceptual life as an attempted explanation for the inexplicable, ultimately served double duty as an excuse for theological inconsistencies in Christian apologetics. That's the name of the game.


Ain't religion grand?


...section index...

, ,

Emotional Response to Cage Rattling

This "conversation" resulted from a comment to the Reptilian Brains and Magical Thinking post that I also submitted on another blog. Because the commenter inadvertently illustrated my point I decided to post the comments and response:


If you had read the post carefully, you’d see that I was referring to that subsection of believers who believe in Biblical inerrancy – Creationist Absolutists. Science does refute The Book of Genesis, but does not present a threat to deists.

If you read carefully rather than emotionally, you will see that I did not use any categorical statements.

“This does not, of course, explain why adult atheists convert to Christianity.”

It did not attempt to. Presumably some atheists do convert back to Christianity and some convert to Judaism or Islam. Any atheists who do convert – I doubt that the numbers are high – have lived embedded within a religious culture. And this is precisely the point - these are not adults who have been raised unaware of religious traditions. Unless, that is, you know something that I don’t about conversions amongst remote hunter-gatherer tribes not previously exposed to the J-C-I monotheistic religions. If you have a URL to reputable research on actual numbers, I’d be interested to read it.

Atheists have typically reached a rational view of the utter lack of foundation for belief in the supernatural. Some atheists do abandon belief in God because they feel that God abandoned them during personal traumas. However, most atheists recognize that all philosophical attempts to “prove” God’s existence have failed and that the God of the Gaps is not the best interpretation of the evidence.

“It is amazing how “religionists” are incapable of understanding you, but you are certain you understand them perfectly.”

Ridicule will not win you any arguments. You are reading something into my post that I did not write. (I explain the term “religionist” elsewhere.) Most Christians are probably moderate believers, whereas religionists make a religion of being religious. They are obsessed with defending their beliefs and imposing their morality on society. (The commenter lives in England, yet he was well able to recognize that I was talking of American creationists, so my description clearly did hit the target.)

Religionists seem not to fully comprehend the empirical, rational, and logical reasons for atheism. Presumably, many theists do not understand these reasons because they do not consider them without emotional prejudice.

You also may not be aware of the latest theist theory that atheists are atheists by virtue of having Asperger’s syndrome. I’d be interested to see a study on this question. However, reading blog reporting of AS:religiosity correlations, I noted that the theists actually scored higher on AS inventories than the atheists.

“If religionists are scared of scientific knowledge, then why are there a large percentage of scientists who are religious?”

I was not referring to scientists, who only represent a small proportion of the population, but to religionists who neither comprehend the nature nor content of science. So, your comment is irrelevant. I assume that you understand Venn diagrams and that you do understand the distinction.

Those scientists who are religious have almost certainly been exposed to religious teachings since early childhood (we all are exposed in Western society) and are more likely to be physicists or mathematicians than biologists. Scientists as a group contain the highest proportions of atheists.

”You have made it so clear. The smart people are atheists and the stupid people are religionists. How did I not see that before? Oh, yeah,it’s because I’m a stupid religionist with too much of a reptile brain.”

I indicated that by “reptile brain” I meant emotional. Your reaction is very emotional in tone, which goes to demonstrate my point. I’m not calling you a lizard, nor did I call you stupid since the post was not directed at you. You merely took it personally.

You may or may not be familiar with the triune model of brain evolution : essentially the same autonomic (automatic) structures from reptiles upward; the same limbic (emotional) structures from mammals upwards; and, enlarged neocortex in the primates. Humans having the greatest brain:body-weight ratio. I conflated reptilian and limbic under “reptilian”, but my point was that we have both an emotional brain, with dedicated anatomic structures, and a cognitive brain. Religion appeals to the emotions. Before you bother to argue with that, I’d point out that Christians have been using emotional “religious experience” in an attempt to prove God’s existence since Jean Jacques Rousseau.

I’m surprised that the correlation was news to you since there are many studies that indicate a positive correlation between atheism and IQ, educational level, science background, and liberal attitudes. Theists demonstrate a negative correlation with those parameters. Since I assume that you understand Venn diagrams, I also assume that you realize that such correlations are not 100% categories.

“We could briefly explore the fact that your “religionists” are in fact straw men (or children).”

The straw man fallacy only refers to attacking a weakened version of the opponent’s argument. I might have impugned the cognitive capacities of theists, but I did not deal with theist arguments, weakened or not, so your accusation is off-target.

“You seem to have focused on a particular characteristics of a particular subset of Christians, and from what scant evidence you have offered it appears that this subset is further fractionally defined by the geographical boundaries of the United States.”

Absolutely. I made it quite clear that I was referring to absolutist creationists. I have encountered quite a large number of them, so I consider my assessment quite accurate. Many of them display fascinating cognitive disorders and regurgitate highly illogical arguments built on distortions of fact.

”You have exposed your own pseudo-scientific mind to lack the simply ability to construct a logical argument.”

Since you know nothing of my level of scientific education or of the quality of my mind, I’ll let that fallacious ad hominem slide.

“It appears that you are mimicking something you read somewhere, then piggy-backing it onto some sort of negative emotional response to a unique phenomenon within your culture.”

You might want to think so, but you’d be incorrect in so far as American creationist literalists go. The fact that American creationists are trying so hard to have creationism placed in the science curriculum illustrates both my point about need for childhood indoctrination and religionist fear of science. I don’t have to prove my point with logic, the known facts illustrate my point.

”Unfortunately you may have “escaped religious indoctrination” but it clear has not been “through the operation of critical thinking”.”

Another ad hominem and you are incorrect again. My atheism is founded in logical analysis of empirical data. My negative emotional reaction to religiosity has two causes that are completely independent of disbelief in supernatural entities: I dislike illogic; and, religion is directly responsible for a great deal of harm.

You can’t insult me, though you are definitely trying to insult me in place of making a logical argument against the facts. You are upset at feeling that you’ve been called a reptile, which is quite understandable. I was rattling the cage a bit. Your upset does not alter the fact that American religionists act as I have described.

God's Delirious Warriors

Christiane Amanpour's "God's Warriors" will be airing again on CNN this weekend (Sept. 25 and 28, 2007). The series claims to provide a balanced view of the religious fundamentalists who are fighting for the political supremacy of their religious viewpoint.

The Internet is flooded with emotional reactions to the program, including criticisms that Amanpour did not fully cover the religious history behind the fundamentalist nutbars* interviewed. The program did not claim to be a history of religion, so this criticism is irrelevant.

*Yes, I do mean nutbars in the sense of their not being emotionally stable and of their displaying an antisocial cognitive disorder. Militant fundamentalists are individuals who decry religiopolitical actions in one breath then justify greater atrocities in the next. Obviously, these hate-filled control-freaks decry acts against their religiopolitical position while self-justifying any act that they deem necessary to promote their selfish, indoctrinated religiopolitical position.

Rather than being a history of religious thought, "God's Warriors" is an examination of the fervent religiopolitical activites of fundamentalists from each of the three major J-C-I religions. Call Him Yahweh, God, or Allah, the fictional deity is the same deity for all the religions. Let's call Him "Yagoal" to indicate that there is ONLY ONE common J-C-I deity. One Father to Unite Us All. Except, of course, that human nature is more inclined to the divisive.

So, with a single, identical Yagoal, only the T-B-K books and the interpretive trappings differ. This sectarian nonsense is the cause of so much religious strife.

٭ I watched the first segment (Jewish fundamentalists, Conservative Zionists in Israel) with diminishing hope that the region will find peace. The battle is not so much over ideology as it is over which ideological group has control over lands and structures revered as Holy by virtue of the ideology. For the Palestinians it is a question of land from which they have been recently displaced by UN votes, by armed conflict, and by the zionist version of squatters rights. For the Jews, the book that Jews wrote (T) promises them ownership of land that has long been in the possession of others.

The zealot who claimed that Yagoal wants Jews to worship in areas that are now confined to Muslims did not seem to have wondered why, if Yagoal wanted this so much, Yagoal did not make an appearance to settle the matter. If Yagoal was interested enough to dictate a book (T), and then sent his Son to dictate a revision (B), and then sent another prophet to dictate another revision (K), then why is Yagoal showing so little interest in the current disputes? Why has Yagoal not cared about his Special Creation for the last 1,400 years? The answer is obvious to anyone who cares to think logically, but the entire series demonstrated that religious fundamentalism and logic very definitely do not mix.

ر I watched the militant Islamic fundamentalist segment with a mixture of disgust at worldviews that have regressed so far since the flowering of Islam and with concern for moderate Muslims, for Muslim women, and for the future of civilization in the face of such passionate desire for oppressive regression.

How could I respect a mother who was delighted that her son was a suicide bomber and murderer? Does she have Yagoal's personal assurance that her son is really in Paradise as reward for murderous deeds for which most religions threaten Eternal Damnation? Her son, in reality, is simply dead.

He threw away his life and the lives of others in the mistaken belief that he was not throwing away the only life that he will ever have in exchange for nothingness. He, Islamic puritan though he might claim to be, expected to be rewarded for his crime with ownership of some mythical number of virgins, presumably without veils etcetera. This is what comes of sexual repression! Muslims might despise American sexual freedom, but their notion of Paradise necessarily includes licence for sexual license.

Of course, deities do not actually exist, but even if Yagoal did exist, why would this Father want his children killing one another over misinterpretations of his edicts? Were the 10 Commandments just a first draft, and Yagoal has changed his mind in the interests of furthering conflict? Again, the answer is obvious, neither Yahweh, God, Allah, or Yagoal actually exist, so there is no deity Who will evince the least interest in the outcome of these bloody struggles.

Scientific knowledge has provided us with ample, internally consistent understanding of the world and our place in it. It is just that those who believe fervently in Yagoal and the man-invented Yagoal literature without any empirical, logical basis for that belief. Further, they refuse to believe in reality because they are personally empty and fear-ridden without external emotional props.

Despite all their tear-stained fervor and emotional declarations concerning the joy that obsessive belief in Yagoal has given them, the lives and psyche of all the fundamentalists appear to be in danger of complete collapse without crowd-promulgated mysterical** rituals and compulsive prayer.

Americans, of course, don't have to worry about fighting over ownership of the land in which they live. They stole that land from the Native Americans over an extended period of trickery, battles, massacres, imprisonments, forced marches and treaties. As for Holy Sites, only the Mormons are so daft as to believe that Jesus actually made a side-trip to America.

† Religious Right [sick] Fistian Americans crow about the supremacy of American democracy on the one hand and decry its political and legislative advances on the other. With sublime ignorance of the actual sociological mechanisms in operation, conservative religious bigots blame all that goes wrong in their society on any group that holds views that do not fit their own narrow, indoctrinated, hate-filled worldview. These bigots are not content to live moral lives in which they personally practice their own values, they wish to impose their rigid, punitive values on the entire society by subverting the political system.

In the final analysis, Amanpour did not need to decry the messages proclaimed by whatever fundamentalist platform. To any viewer with a logical turn of mind who values peace, justice, emotional health, social values, truth, education, or compassion, the fundamentalists damned themselves and their mysterical messages. Six hours of listening to fundamentalist obsessives should be enough to convince any rational person that theocracies present a threat to the wellbeing of all concerned, including (kaboom) the religiously obsessed themselves.

Obviously, the mysterically deluded viewer might deplore that fundamentalism associated with a different religious sect or denomination and would lack the capacity to see the anti-social component of his or her delirium of choice. Falwellists might consider themselves part of the "Moral Majority", but they are moralistic rather than moral, and they are, fortunately, still in the minority.

J-C-I = Judeo-Christian-Islamic
T-B-K = Torah-Bible-Koran
Y-G-A= Yahweh-God-Allah = Yagoal

Fundamentalism is a belief in absolute religious authority and the accompanying demand that this religious authority be legally enforced. Often, fundamentalism involves the willingness to do battle for one's faith. Fundamentalists make up only one part of any religion's followers, who usually fall along a wide spectrum of different interpretations, values and beliefs.
Fistians = Fundamentalist Christians

** mysteria, mysterical = mystical (as in magic-thinking), masses (as in mob-mentality), combined with emotional hysteria. This is the pump-up-the-devotion-to-shared-prejudices that religi-evangelists employ to overcome the last vestiges of reason in rationality-deficient audiences.


"I think that Christiane gave the religious fundamentalists rope and they hanged
any justification for religious zealotry."

å Battle to Regress

Sites Elsewhere : God's Mysterical Warriors . God's Dupes . Links to video highlights .




The Rationality of A-Deism


A-Deism: the certainty that supernatural beings or forces neither exist nor could interfere with the physical realm without becoming part of the physical. Although concepts of supernatural beings or forces exist, neither these conceptualizations themselves nor personal belief in the conceptualizations constitutes evidence for ascribed existence of a supernatural agency. (This definition is mine, 8/16/07).

A-Deism is based on logical analysis of relevant physical and psychological evidence and does not itself constitute a religion. Critical A-Deistic analysis holds that it is neither necessary nor rational to evoke supernatural pseudo-explanations for the origin of the universe (cosmology), the origin of life on Earth (abiogenesis), or biological complexity (evolution). Further, death marks the end of conscious life, so adeists have neither the expectation of eternal life nor any fear of eternal damnation.

Obviously, this definition is very much like that for atheism:

Atheism is the state either of being without theistic beliefs, or of actively disbelieving in the existence of deities. In antiquity, Epicureanism incorporated aspects of atheism, but it disappeared from the philosophy of the Greek and Roman traditions as Christianity gained influence. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism)

Adeism excludes agnosticism, deism, and theism.

Agnosticism: the belief that the existence of God is not knowable. The word is derived from the negative ‘a’ combined with the Greek word ‘gnosis’ which means ‘knowledge.’ Hence, agnosticism is the belief that God cannot be known. (google agnosticism definitions)

Existence: despite religionist assertions to the contrary, the only existence of which humans can be certain is that which we each experience during this life on Earth combined with the physical entities and forces that can be empirically detected or deduced through the detectable.
(http://a-deism.blogspot.com/2005/12/reality-truth.html)

Deism: The belief that God exists but is not involved in the world. It maintains that God created all things and set the universe in motion and is no longer involved in its operation. (www.carm.org/dictionary/dic_c-d.htm)

Deity, divinity, god, immortal: any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force. (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

Theism: the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods.
(wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

Religion—sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices and institutions associated with such belief. In its broadest sense some have defined it as the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe. In the course of the development of religion, it has taken a huge number of forms in various cultures and individuals. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion)

Superstition is a set of behaviors that are related to magical thinking, whereby the practitioner believes that the future, or the outcome of certain events, can be influenced by certain specified behaviors. The idea of "good luck" and "bad luck" gives rise to many superstitions, such as the belief that it is bad luck to wear gold and silver together. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstition)

Magic or sorcery are terms referring to the influence of events and physical phenomenon through supernatural, mystical, or paranormal means. The term magic in its various translations has been used in a number of ways. From the point of view of an established religion, it has often been used as a pejorative term for the pagan rituals of competing ethnic groups, as belonging to an inferior (hence blasphemous or idolatrous) culture. The magic and religion article deals largely with this aspect. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic)

Miracle: according to many religions, a miracle is an intervention by God in the universe. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle).

A Biblical definition of miracle is, "an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38)".(www.calvarychapel.com/redbarn/terms.htm)

This blog will employ the definition used by Leibniz, "something that goes against the natural and predictable order of things.” (www.innvista.com/culture/religion/diction.htm)
"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish." ~ David Hume [Of Miracles]


Sites Elsewhere : Why Complete Materialist? :

Mission

Let us be clear, we are atheists opposed not to mild-mannered deism or theism, but to the menace to logic, knowledge, and humanism that has been promoted by fundamentalists and the Religious Right [sick].

Christian apologists repeatedly demonstrate that it is insurmountably difficult to develop a worldview free of philosophical tension when one begins and ends all thinking with an inculcated-a-priori assumption of the existence of supernatural agencies.

This blog, then, is an appeal for rational thinking.


Incompleteness

Not Gödel's Incompleteness theorem, but an explanation that some links still lead to nowhere because this blog is still in the process of being moved from Mimble Wimble.

For completeness, while we are on the topic of Austrian mathematician, Kurt Gödel, his famous theorems state that:

"For any consistent formal, computably enumerable theory that proves basic arithmetical truths, an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory, can be constructed. That is, any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete."


and,


"For any formal recursively enumerable (i.e. effectively generated) theory T including basic arithmetical truths and also certain truths about formal provability, T includes a statement of its own consistency if and only if T is inconsistent."