Why I Know There Are No Gods

March 22, 2017

Background:

Formally, I classify myself as a gnostic atheist, meaning I know there are no gods. Most atheists (from what I read online) appear to be agnostic atheists, people who are without gods but who do not claim to know there are no gods. Some people who fit this description simply call themselves agnostic. But, on formal forums, like reddit’s atheism subreddit, all who are without gods are atheists and agnostic or gnostic is a statement of whether they know or have doubt. Similarly, they allow for agnostic theists, those who believe in god(s) but have some doubt.

Regarding knowledge:

In no other area of discussion do we expect certainty or proof when we speak of knowledge. Nearly all knowledge, outside of mathematics, is empirical knowledge, gained by empirical evidence.

Empirical evidence, also known as sensory experience, is the knowledge received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation. The term comes from the Greek word for experience, ἐμπειρία (empeiría).

After Immanuel Kant, in philosophy, it is common to call the knowledge gained a posteriori knowledge (in contrast to a priori knowledge).

This is the type of knowledge we use when we say that we know that if we drop a ball on the surface of the earth, it will fall. I don’t hear a whole lot of people telling me, you can’t claim to know that because you can’t prove it. But, indeed we cannot. We know the ball will fall because it has done so the last gazillion times we performed the experiment.

For some reason, most people expect that if you say that you know there are no gods, that this one case of knowledge requires certainty. We do not require certainty from any other type of knowledge. Why do we demand certainty to state knowledge only when we are discussing knowledge of the existence or non-existence of gods?

Why this one?

Nowhere in the definition of knowledge does it ever specify that we must have 100% certainty.

So, when I say I know there are no gods, I mean it the same way that I know the ball will drop or that I know the planet on which we live will continue to rotate through the night causing the appearance of a sunrise in the morning, even if it is blocked by clouds. Night will become day as the earth rotates. I know it. You know it. We cannot prove it to 100% certainty. We only know that it has always done so before.

Classifying gods:

To begin our discussion, we have to classify gods. This way we can address different claims of gods individually.

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Secular Jews: Time to Speak Out Against Haredi Practices (the Ultra-Orthodox Jews)

February 11, 2015

We secular Jews do know that Jews have a long history of persecution. As such, we as a group are hypersensitive to the merest hint of antisemitism, regardless of how religious we are. This is why this message must come from Jews, so there can be no hint of antisemitism.

As an side, I also prefer when criticism of the Westboro Batshit Crazies and other Christian extremists comes from within Christianity. Though, clearly I’ll do my part criticizing them as well.

I should state that I fully believe that everyone, including Haredi Jews, is entitled to their own mishigas. I do not hate Haredi Jews. I hate what they are doing. There is a difference. This is about their actions, not about their right to believe, not about hatred for any human beings.

It’s about being moral and decent human beings in a modern world.

What I believe Haredis are not entitled to do is to be bad neighbors. When they leave their homes, they need to be members of modern society in the modern world. They must not expect others to give them special privileges. Nor can they require that others dress according to their standards. Nor can they take over public land. Nor can they vandalize public or private property.

What many of today’s Haredi Jews are doing in the modern world is unconscionable.

I hope that some Haredi Jews will read this and will not hate me for these opinions. I do not hate them for their opinions. I do not hate Haredi Jews at all. I do hate a lot of the actions of the Haredi community, especially the ones that make the news. These actions make me embarrassed to be a Jew.

I also hope that if non-Jews read this, that this will not be a cause of antisemitism. Remember as you read this, even if you find some of these actions as abhorrent as I do that not only are the people committing these actions Jewish, so is the author of this article. There are also many other actions taken by these same people that may be quite beautiful. I am merely criticizing a subset of the Jewish community for a particular type of interaction with the outside world.

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Clickhole Says: All Religions Are Beautiful — Satire

December 4, 2014

For any who are unaware, Clickhole is a recent spinoff from The Onion.

http://www.clickhole.com/video/embed?id=222


Lot and his Daughters Cartoon for Children??!!? NSFW (not safe for your brain either)

September 4, 2014

Yes, it’s true that the cartoon is not truly accurate to the bible verse in question. The authors embellished a bit. And, the fucking took place on two different nights, not the same night. Here’s a link to the original text.

As you read Gen 19:30-38, keep in mind that these are the same two daughters from Gen 19:8, just a few paragraphs earlier, whom Lot offered to sell into sexual slavery to the men from Gen 19:4 “the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter.”

Isn’t it nice to know the daughters, even after this attempt to sell them into sexual slavery to a whole city full of men, still loved their father and wanted to “preserve seed of [their] father.”

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0119.htm

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Wordification: Fundalentilist (noun)

April 2, 2014

I’m creating a new word. Let’s see if it takes off.

Fundalentilist: (noun)
1. A human being who thinks with an organ of the size and complexity of a single lentil bean, a living dal.

Note that a young earth fundalentilist only has half a lentil and is twice as dangerous.

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Waterboarding Noah

April 25, 2012

I was recently surprised. I had what I thought were two original thoughts about Noah’s Ark. I googled both and found that I was far from the first to think of either, of course. But, there is a sub-thought to my second thought that does appear to be somewhat original.

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The World of Religion

August 13, 2010