New blog

Im still keeping this blog alive, but ive recently started a new blog about my favourite hobby, genealogy. So follow me on Nordic Roots

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Why are there still creationists when science already answered the question on monkeys?

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dirt

Sometimes you just don’t want to answer the stupid questions from creationists with anything else than with an example of just who stupid their question is. And perhaps also more effective than handing them a 500 page textbook on the topic. I dont know any more… 

On a broad scale, the theory of evolution is complicated, with loads of aspects to understand. Genetics, epigenetics, chemistry, ecology, ethology (animal behavior), fossils, physics and so on. There more you actually know of the fundamental sciences involved, the better. Its a massive topic.

But the general concept of evolution isn’t that hard to get really even without knowing all the details. And getting it is what you should do before having an opinion on it – otherwise you will never get any respect from your opponent.

It is ok to disagree, but not if you don’t even get what your opponent actually claims.
The “why are there still monkeys around”-argument clearly shows a deep lack of knowledge on what the theory of evolution actually says.

It is clear that to battle creationism schools in religious areas should focus on answering this type of questions early on, so that they never get a hold on the fundies mind. Once an idea is there, its hard to get out. Simply explaining the theory of evolution in detail isnt enough. A direct Q and A-approach is necessary to get to all those people who think that way in this matter. And try to leave God out of it. There are plenty of religious people who believe in all of science and the theory of evolution, so it is obviously not necessary to abandon faith.

Fighting creationism is obviously hard. It is no where at all the same as when two conflicting scientific theories battle it out with facts, reason, logic and solid explanations on why the opponents theory actually is wrong (just explaining yours while the evidence pointing to your opponents gets unexplained is not good science in the long run).

Creationism has no proofs to back up its own (very few) claims on “how god did it”. Instead it is mainly built upon three things: Lies, rhetorics and misunderstandings about science conflicting with the litteral interpretation of the tales of the bible.

The “why are there monkeys”-argument is an example of misunderstanding. Not understanding the concepts of common ancestors and that evolution is not a straight line of the entire species at once. That then leads to rhetorics where God of the Gaps does the rest to make the biblical Adam and Eve seem more likely to the religious mind set on believing that anything else than creationism will make them lose their faith.

And then, confronted about the misunderstandings and the rhetorics upholding them, the lies often kick in as the last desperate resort of the religious mind.

If you don’t understand how creationists think and what they tend to always misunderstand, you wont reach them.

Posted in Atheism & Scepticism, Christianity, Pseudoscience, Rethorics, Science & Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Religion and little green men

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Are we alone in the universe? Life on Earth that is? NASAs 30 year plan includes a focus on this matter. I belong to those who think we might already have seen life on other planets, or at least, the remains of it from older times. Like bacterial fossils on Mars. Im not sure that it is so, Im not an idiot, but I specialized in bacterial fossils when I studied geology so I know a thing or two on the topic and I cant help but to recognize some of the morphology and chemistry involved. I do not hink NASA is hiding anything from us. They just simply dont agree or they cannot afford to be wrong and therefor prefer to choose the negative answer until we really really know.

But bacterial fossils are problematic. They are difficult to prove in the best of situations, and as a proof of alien life forms, they are quite a party pooper for most of humanity.

So if we focus on more hands on evidence, such as actual large, pref. intelligent life forms on other planets, I think that it is possible that they exist. All we know on abiogenesis and statistics says so. They SHOULD exist.

Ive always wondered what would happen if we did meet these aliens and one of the most interesting questions would be: What would all religious people do?

In ALL religions except a very few limited ones, man is the pinnacle of creation. Everything surrounds man, our life,  our ethics, our destiny on this planet and so on. All human religions are to put it mildly, anthropocentric. As they should be, since they deal with questions only important to us. Not to beetles, not to fishes, not to bacteria and not to chimpanzees.

So what exactly would the story of a carpenter slash “son of god” slash god from Palestine mean to a visitor from another world?

Absolutely nothing of course. An alien society would of course have their own philosophies or religions based on their experience relevant to their history.

And the fact that the bible makes no mentioning at all about aliens should tell Christians that something really important is missing here – if this meeting occurred.

What is the point of anything in the bible if it is antropocentric and focus on our human life, full of stories about the humans adam and eve, in a universe full of other life forms, perhaps a lot older, wiser and more advanced than us? Do you honestly think that someone who can fly across the stars, originated on some planet only made of methane oceans, could relate to stories about carpenters and olive trees on a desert planet?

Any intelligent religious person must have thought about this hypothetical problem. The compability problems that is. And they cannot really hold on to their own faith without doing one of tree things:

1 Deny the possibility of aliens to the very last. Ive seen this a lot from christians. They are often hard core sceptics against any form of possibility of alien life. And I can understand them. Not from a scientific point of view, but from the fact that aliens would make their religion in dire need of a massive revision with its earth-based stories.
2 Claim that the aliens, if existing are demons. These types of scared Christians would probably not be the first choice to put in the front seat of first contact situations…
3 Accept that their God, when inspiring the prophets on the bible, really acted strange. Come on…  to have left out such important information and made it appear that it was all about Earth and humans and then it is not? That makes the entire bible pointless. It kind of makes the Pamela Ewing dreamt everything about Bobbys death and 3 seasons of Dallas to make sense, in comparison. ;) I know a lot of science friendly christians who most likely would have to do something like this last point.

But we all know what little green men would lead to. Eventually. And that is the death of earth religions as we know them today. Only the moral sentiment would have any reason to survive, but in new contexts, and things like the Quran and Bible would lose their meaning.

Posted in Christianity, Human behaviour, Science & Technology | Leave a comment

The reason for the season

Julbord
The julbord at my parents old house on the eve of Christmas. The best real reason for my season.

Christmas in Sweden is in many aspects very much different than in other parts of the western world. Only the other Nordic countries have similar traditions and background. I suggest you read up on the concepts of yule and christmas before reading more in my post because I might accidentally assume you know stuff about these concepts when I write.

Firstly, Christmas in Sweden isn’t called anything with “Christ” in its name. We do not by name celebrate “The mass of Christ” as most other christian/western/secular countries do. It is called “Jul” here because of very strong old pagan roots to the celebration. Christmas came to the vikings via missionaries a thousand years ago, but it could never really replace the midwinter celebrations that already existed here. It had to integrate it self in to it, and create something new, that has continued to develop over the centuries – and perhaps like never before in the last one hundred years of secularization. Similar stuff happened all over Europe where older pagan traditions where incorporated in to christianity. Another older and similar connection and integration is of course the integration between Sol Invictus and the birth of Jesus.

So we celebrate Jul here. Thats of course also where the word “Yule” comes from as sometimes heard in english speaking countries. The origin of the word is debated (some ancient germanic pagan origin), but one can at least be sure of one thing: Its a lot older than christmas here in our Nordic countries. People here celebrated Jul before they celebrated Christmas.

On the surface a Swedish christmas isn’t perhaps that much different than the one you find in let say USA. But visiting here you will notice several differences. In most families the christian part isn’t visible at all.

We have Santa Claus giving out presents here as well, albeit it being a little bit different here since we can see an older root to the modern concept of Santa still present in decorations and concepts. It is visually similar to Santa Claus and is called “tomte” – look at this beautiful old movie to understand that, (despite it being called Robin Goodfellow there in the move, which is a bad translation imo).

In Swedish “Santa Claus” is actually called Jultomte (yule + tomte). The jultomte of today (or Santa Claus) is a strange mixture of these folklore tomtar, Saint Nicholaus, Jenny Nyström-gnomes and Coca Cola-images of the 20th century. But the last thing is not as important as people think. Thats more of an internet myth than a relevant fact since the bearded man in red and white is older than the coca cola commercials. I would argue that the gnomes depicted by Jenny Nyström in the nordic countries are much more important when looking at the origin of Santa as he looks today.

Bok_Janojvind_Swahn_Jul_Med_Jenny_Nystrom_635874
The Nordic “tomte“, “tomtenisse”, “gårdstomte”, “hustomte”, “Nisse” or “vätte” is one of the more important roots to the more modern concept of Santa Claus. Its a gnome like figure, common in all germanic countries. Here depicted by Jenny Nyström whose illustrations have come to strongly influence all modern images of the tomte. That red-and-white-bearded man you all love is a real testimony to a mixture of cultural stuff… Mostly heathen and secular. By the way. The original tomte was not a very nice figure. He was thought to safeguard the animals of the farm, but cross him in any way and you were doomed. A grumpy and dangerous little figure.

And the similarities between a typical Swedish christmas compared to the rest of the world continue with Christmas food, christmas trees, gingerbread houses, lots of candles and decoration and so on, but the actual celebration of Jesus isn’t present in more than a few percentage of our homes (Like with nativity scenes, they have lost their popularity over the years). I would argue thats the case for countries like USA as well, despite the US being a much more christian nation than Sweden.

And the reason (for the season) is simple. The time when people actually celebrated Jesus on Christmas has passed here in the western world. Or rather I should say: The reason for the season is personal these days. There is no longer any forced collective reason. Christmas is a personal holiday. Some do celebrate it for the birth of Christ, some for the family gathering, some for the food and some just because its time of work (in Sweden, you are legally in your right to be free from work these days, its a national free holiday by law).

It really annoys me when people say: “Why do WE celebrate christmas?” and then they mean EVERYONE in their Jesus-answer. Like there is a collective reason that we either all follow or all should follow or don’t know that we do follow. That attitude, extremly common among conservative and religious people is patronizing and ignorant at the same time. Just today I read a very arrogant study on that matter where the former state church of Sweden had made a survey to see if the Swedes “knew the reason for the season” and that it was Christ. With that kind of authoritarian reasoning its very hard too like christians at Christmas sometimes.

It is actually wrong, simply because there is no longer any collective reason that includes everyone. Not even a majority (of us Swedes at least) celebrate Christmas because of Christ – since only a minority are christians these days. Even if christianity and the birth of Jesus was the only original reason in the past for many (which it is not, it all depends on what time and place you look at in history) holidays now days have an individual meaning where any origin of where the tradition once started no longer is of any concern for most people – without it being pointless for that matter. Because people make their meaning these days. People create their traditions these days. They do not have any clear collective meaning that every one follows (or should). It is all very much more personal (and abstract). Does the individual christmas of the 21th century have less grip on people than the collectively enforced Jeus-worshiped traditions of the 18th? Yes probably. It is probably less important to us now. But on the good side: We who do celebrate christmas these days do so of our own accord and with reasons we choose freely. We can cherry pick and by doing so making it all to our liking. I know, this will offend more hard core christians.

But get over it – christmas isn’t your holiday to dictate the reasons for. You offend me by claiming that I don’t know “the reason for the season” just because Jesus isn’t a part of my celebration.

My personal atheistic christmas is all about food and a nice gathering of the family in a setting of pagan and christian ceremonies and esthetics and even some totally modern things like watching Disney cartoons. And so I would argue probably does most Swedes. Not that majority thinking is relevant any longer when the traditions are individual and free, but many things are commonly seen in many Swedish homes of course.

Not there any longer being any collective reason, doesn’t mean that there are not collective things seen in many homes.

For most people its a mishmash of similar stuff. As for me as well. But I especially like the traditional Swedish christmas dishes (which in many cases are only traditional in a family-going-back-just-one-generation-sort of way) are important to me. Im interested in food and therefor the Swedish christmas is literally a Swedish smörgåsbord for me. I do get in to the christmas mood and feeling. But it is not because of Jesus. Its because of the atmosphere I help to create in this mixture of things.

That said. I DO like many christian aspects of christmas. I like christmas carols for example and I find the thought of people riding a horse and sleigh through the snow on their way to church early christmas day as very appealing. At least esthetically. I do not in any way deliberately try to avoid any christian aspects of Christmas. I choose and pick and use elements that I like from all kinds of origin. Some pagan. Some secular. Some christian.

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People on their way to celebrate christmas morning mass in church (julotta) in traditional horse and sleigh. Not many swedes do this in real life (who do you think owns a horse…). Not all who does this are even christian mind you. Some just find it a very beautiful tradition. Like my self.

So in conclusion. Remove paganism and modern secular parts from the commonly celebrated nordic/germanic style of christmas (that most of you are influenced with all over the world) and you are left with nothing much at all to recognize. Out goes the christmas tree, santa, presents (yes, they where given before and nothing that Jesus can take credit for) and the food.

You are kind of left with a religious mass in church, some carols, a nativity scene and all this celebrated sometime completely different than december – since thats not even when Jesus was born. Remove Jesus from the celebration of “Jul” and you are left with a holiday would remind you a lot more of christmas than the other way around. At least here in Sweden. So claiming that Jesus is the original meaning before individual meanings started to appear in the modern world – is just plain ignorant.

Jesus is not the reason for my season – and most likely not even for most christians either. And that is a good thing. A sign of individuality. Of progress. People choose their own holidays today and the meaning of these. And they are more aware of the complicated roots of all traditions than ever before. They no longer just sit there collectively and think that they are celebrating Jesus. Times change. Nothing is or should be static when it comes to traditions and knowledge of all aspects of a collective tradition is strength.

This increase in individuality is not a problem at all. Well sure, people should perhaps spend less on crap for presents, relax more and be kind to you loved ones, but you can do these things just fine without Jesus.

I do. Its not like all who worship Mammon and stress out on christmas are atheists you know… Some of them are as hard core christian as can be. So just relax, educate your self on history and traditions and have a God Jul! (Merry Christmas!)

Posted in Atheism & Scepticism, Christianity, Culture & Folklore, European stuff, History, Myths & Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dolls for boys

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As a Swede you sometimes forget that large parts of the world still lives in the dark ages. And you get amazed what can cause an outcry in other countries. I mean seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people in the rest of the world?

Starting with Sweden, several catalogues from companies selling toys, like Toys’R’Us have become gender neutral in their depiction of toys. That simply means that children depicted in the images are displayed using all kinds of toys and not just the older stereotypically gender-classified ones. Unlike before, you can see photos of boys playing with dolls for example.

This created an outcry of hate and mockery across the so called civilized western world. The leader of “equality topics” in the danish political party “dansk folkeparti” (Danish peoples party) , Pia Adelsteen, for example called it “ridiculous and perverted”.

Thats right. She said perverted. The person in charge of equality in this political party. Thats the level of sanity we are talking about here.

She is a high ranking member of a right wing socialconservative party. You now, the kind of party that thinks that gender equality politics like this means making boys gay and that instead they must work hard for the “restoration of traditional values” and that real good women preferably should stay home, making food and spreading their legs for their husband before seeking a career. Otherwise its the end of the universe.

Socially conservative females always makes me somewhat lost for words. Its like african americans being members of KKK or jews being nazis for fucks sake. How about staying home and making babies and biscuits instead of doing man-stuff like politics then Pia? Just sayin’ that you should perhaps do what you preach?

How do people like Pia think that young girls, the women of tomorrow is supposed to find good role models of females outside of the role as house wifes? How will they get the inspiration to become scientists, artists, teachers or politicians on an equal footing to men from a you age if we have a society that does its best to convince them of the perks of the opposite?

Stay home. Wash clothes. Be the servant of males. Otherwise Armageddon.

Thats right… “think” is not the word best used to describe the mental process of morons like Pia. The only reason that she is not forced to stay at home and shutting the fuck up is because of gender politics that made female emancipation possible and that showed young girls that – hey, you know, you can actually become everything that boys can”. Thanks to gender neutral values, even idiots like Pia can now become politicians.

It is not about convincing kids what they should do, its about letting them see what they CAN do if they so want it. Like boys actually wanting to play with dolls or girls wanting a chemistry set, but being afraid to do this, since bigoted parents and other grown ups think thats wrong.

Your boy will not become pansy gay by playing with dolls and your daughter will not become a butch lesbian by playing with trucks. They will however become deprived of possibilities and choices in their life if we shove the image that you should play with certain things if you are a certain gender.

Get this right now. Im not one of those who think that boys and girls are identical. I think that even if you raise 100 boys and 100 girls in a completly gender neutral environment (not that those exist anywhere and that this can be proven), they would still show of relevant statistical gender differences in behavior. More physically aggressive and competitive boys for example. Not in every one, but in a majority enough to make it a noticeable difference statically.

Its not the point of catalogues depicting boys with dolls either – but thats what people react to mostly because male sexuality is a very sensitive topic in our macho-ideal world.

They can accept girls with trucks easier. And thank god for that – since its the issue of females held back thats the only real problem here. Over the world, millions of females are deprived of their potential because of patriarchal structures and gender norms.

A catalogue of toys depicted in a gender neutral way will not change much of the faults in the system, but it will at least not function as the opposite – a mental suppressor of possibilities. And anyone with half a brain and respect of the hardship of females will see the benefit of that.

More reading :
AB (in swedish)
The Local
Huffington Post
DW

Posted in American politics, Human behaviour, Humans rights, Myths & Facts, Swedish politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient alien astronauts

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Pumapunku complex at Tiwanaku in Bolivia. A typical “oh my god it must have been aliens”-type of structure in among people believing in alien visitors and pseudoarchaeology.

The similarities between people believing in ancient alien visitors and creationists are striking. Both basically argue in the same way. Firstly they really want to believe something sensational (fun > boring), then they strengthen their faith by poor rhetorical arguments. And one of the most basic arguments is refuting the accepted scientific explanations of something. Creationists work their best to find “errors” in the theory of evolution and radiometric dating techniques, since these things more than any thing else makes a biblical explanation unlikely. Creationism isn’t really based on anything else than faith plus the famous god-of-the-gaps-arguments. Creationist find actual (or most often) fictional holes in science and fills them with their creator-god to get the reality that they want. Ignoring inconvenient facts is a must and focusing on gaps a mantra.

I don’t know – therefor God-reasoning.

When starting to reason like that you will have trouble understanding what scientific proofs and theories are. It just poisons your mind and makes you mistake your self being more bright and skeptical than all others with the fact that you just really get dumber and dumber. And when they argue against you with problematic evidence to disprove concepts like scientific conspiracy is used as serious arguments. Because we all know that scientists really are illuminati tricksters…

Well. The strength of a theory, proof or claim in science isn’t based on the problems or errors with other theories, proofs and claims – they are based on their own merits and evidence. A gap is never a proof of anything but a gap.

Ancient alien-believers don’t understand this premise. They see a gap as proof of something. They present claims about how impossible it is for the ancient man to have been able to do this and that. Cutting square rocks in igneous rocks without tools of metal is one example. I just debated Pumpanku with ancient aliens-believers. And boy, do they throw claims about gaps at you.

The fact that you only need time, hard work and a quartz-based rock to drill and grind any igneous rock to the shape of your desire is something they ignore or refuse to acknowledge. In Pumapanku they used simple metal alloy tools (copper, nickel, bronze) also. With tools of these metals, the process of shaping and cutting the rocks is no problem at all. And in the cases of even larger and older pre-metal megaliths the cutting of shapes is even rougher. If you look at the megaliths of Europe they are impressive in size, but only rarely that complexly shaped. And if you compare that to the complex shapes of stone age axes, like the scandinavian boat axes, the level of detail isn’t very impressive, even on huge Egyptian megaliths.

Anyhow. They claim that there is a knowledge gap, an impossibility, and fill this with the “hint” of aliens as an explanation. They same goes for material transport. Huge megaliths transporten for hundreds of kilometers in neolithic cultures that had no relevant knowledge of metal to be used for lifting and sleighs.

Impossible they say and claim that trees cannot be used as sleighs and lifts, despite calculations showing that the trees easily could handle the weight of even the most heavy monoliths (>1000 tons). Wood in general can handle 500-1000 kilograms of pressure to a square inch before getting crushed. So speaking of Egyptian megaliths we have an example of a monolith statue like the Colossi of Memnon that weighs 700 tons and is around 18 meters high. I estimate that the original rock might have been in contact with around 30m2 to its surface below laying down at transport. A rough estimate gives these numbers: Thats 39.2 MPa. 700 000*9.81 N on an area of 30m^2 gives a pressure of 0.23MPa.

It takes 700 tons of rock an contact area of wood around 0.2 m2 to crush it (700e3*9.81/39.2e6=0.175m^2) Anything larger than that and the wood will stay hole. And theres a lot more contact between megaliths weighing 700tons and the wood below than 0.2 m2.

So even given rough terrain, holes in the ground below, moving wood, bad wood and so on, the margin of error is very high. The logs of wood can take the beating, and of course, broken pieces of wood would be replaced all the time. No one claims moving huge megaliths is easy and problem free. It probably took a lot of trial and error before they got it right and I would guess that engineers trying to replicate it today would need a lot of trial and error before getting it right as well. We don’t know exactly how they built their transport in all cases and we never will do, but we know that it is possible to do so with the tools and knowledge they had. There is nothing impossible what so ever about it.

But once again – they create a gap of claimed uncertainties and fills it with aliens as a “needed” explanation.

This is not how science works. Even if there were actual (and not as in these cases fictional) gaps of knowledge with things we didn’t know the answer to in the question of megaliths, then the scientific explanation would have been that: We don’t know for sure. And that is what we do in the case of ancient buildings in general since it is impossible to observe today – only calculate and replicate. However, experimental archaeology and experimental engineering where we try to reconstruct stuff doesn’t prove much, it can only test out one very specific conditional thing at a time and in general at a much smaller scale than the original.

Drawing absolute conclusions on possibilities based on contemporary limited experiments is just stupid. And Ancient aliens-believers often do just that. They say that we haven’t been successful when trying to move really large megaliths. Basing this claim on one or two failed experiments (and ignoring the successful ones).

As I said: Trial and error through many generations gives you knowledge and experience and the builders of ancient monuments knew a whole lot more about moving megaliths with simple tools than engineers today do since this is nothing we do that often today without a lot more advanced equipment to our aid. Someone used to move 100 tons of rock with a truck isn’t an expert on moving it on logs.

The only real gap here is the fact that we, humans, haven’t had to hand build megaliths in a long time and consequently some empirical knowledge on how this is best done with simple tools will have been lost. But Im sure that given enough time and trials we would be able to reconstruct the process to a plausible version. But theres little money in these expensive experiments so that would most likely not happen sadly and in the few instances where they happen, theres little room for repetion until it works. One try, thats what they usually get in attempts today in larger scale experimental archaeology. You need 100s of tests to be able to draw any conclusions. But no, if an ancient astronaut believer have heard about one megalith moving experiment failing, then thats all he need to draw a conclusion that maths and science is wrong and that the wood cant take the weight of the stones.

Most science start this way – with unsolved mysteries. A mystery or problem that sooner or later becomes solved through trial and error. But the solution must always be based on its own merits. It doesn’t really matter if the proposed solution is difficult to replicate or extraordinary – as long as it is based on some actual things we can prove. That means that even if it is an extraordinary claim that stone can cut stone and neolithic people can move rocks that weighs 1000 tons, it is still an extraordinary claim with a hell of a lot more evidence than the combined proof of alien visitors put together…

And talking about gaps. I cannot replicate a computer chip even if I had all the knowledge of the internet at my disposal. I understand the building principles roughly but the complexity of building silica chips astound me.

I cannot build a car. I couldn’t most likely even build a simple toaster if I tried because I lack the knowledge in the practical bits. I don’t however assume that I know all there is to know and that this means you have to be an alien to do so because of this… I acknowledge that someone with more experience than me will know more about this thing than I do. Like a Brazilian wood cutter knowing more about cutting down trees in the jungle than a Swedish one would and vice versa. Trial and error. Learning practical knowledge by doing and practical knowledge that disappears when not used any more. Building megalithic structures with primitive tools is perfect example of this. And NOTHING in the process is theoretically impossible so therefor the practical process is simply a process of trying.

So. We can prove that we can cut rocks with rocks – and in the examples of the so called perfectly cut rocks in Pumapunku we knew they had metal tools as well. We can prove that people and wooden tools can move megaliths through calculations. We don’t really need any explanations to problems that doesn’t exist. There is no problem. No need for alternative explanations.

Put this situation against the total absence of actual proof of existing alien visitors and is a easy choice for the skeptical and free mind.

There is no need for aliens to explain anything. Oh, they might have existed, these aliens. They might even have visited us, and they might be out there watching us today, but they did not build a lot of crappy huge stone structures for us. We did that on our own.

The saddest part of all this isn’t really a bunch of confident idiots refusing to understand science even when hit with it in their head. No its the fact that the incredibly hard work, skill and craftsmanship of ancient men and women is discredited by morons arguing with arguments based on god of the gaps, arguments from ignorance and the desire to mystify what doesn’t not need to be mystified today.

Give humans some credit – we don’t need aliens to be awesome.

Posted in Atheism & Scepticism, Myths & Facts, Pseudoscience, Rethorics, Science & Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God has no right to forgive Hitler

I had a discussion with a christian friend a while back about this forgiveness thing that christians think is so great (and sometimes wrongly assume is a christian invention). 

His opinion, (shared by most liberal christians today most likely) is that God does forgive anything. God is all-forgiving. Even atheists not believing in him are forgiven. You just have to ask for it on the day you die and really want it and then God will give it to you.

The arrogant self importance of a God wanting apologies aside…

I asked him: Does god forgive people like Hitler? He said: Yes. If Hitler was really sorry and wants forgiveness he would get it.

That kind of is the problem with this christian forgiveness thing for me. You can actually take it to far and go beyond any point where your actions just simply have hurt to many rather than spread love and peace. If someone raped my daughter, I wouldn’t really care one bit how sorry he was. It is punishment he must have in the first place, for the sake of my anger and for the hurt of my daughter. One day, in the distant future she would perhaps forgive, and I as well, but that would be our choice to make and ours alone.

When it starts to become an insult to others rather than an instrument of love and peace – the forgiveness thing stops being a sign of awesome cumbaya-kindness.

Here is a fictional analogy of the absurdity: Lets say I am a 10 year old kid that a lot of bullies pick on every day. These kids really torment me and I hate my life. This 10 year old actually thinks about suicide. I ask my mother to help me. But instead of stopping the other kids, she says that not only should I forgive them for picking on me every day, she also forgives them despite what I think about them.

That feeling. Just being deserted and betrayed by the one person who could do something about it, and then even without asking if you are ok with it, forgives them. Like a dagger through the back. Now multiply this feeling to include stuff like genocide, rape, murder on the scale of millions.

The thing is, it is not Gods place to forgive Hitler. Hitlers crime was against humanity. If God, this self proclaimed omnipotent entity of big love, really cared about it he would have acted.

God got hurt too when millions died in the concentration camps, is the general defense of this. “He really got hurt”. Well sitting there, crying on his cloud aint helping 12 million killed by the nazis, now did it?

And we need some story logic here as well. God if existing, doesn’t have the right to act in retrospect more than God did when the thing happened in the first place. And forgiving is acting. Thats the moral rule in a system he invented where he gave us complete control of our own actions without him intervening.

I would argue that only a few, if any at all, of the 12 million (6 million jews and 6 million others) victims want to forgive Hitler if they had the chance – so God isn’t speaking for anyone but himself, and by doing so he just makes him self look like a bad mother not helping her children, but only hurting them more.

And also, this sentiment, of not really helping, but rather making things worse is seen all through christianity. Its like a thing there. Christians praying for people in need instead of trying to help them for real. Sending bibles to starving people instead of food. Being passionate about the unborn and than ignoring kids and so on, muslims and jews more interested in foreskins and if the pork is cooked in milk than actual important stuff…

Believers, like Gods alike, making them selfs feeling good with moronic contra productive stuff, instead of helping humanity.

The basic thing is: To have a good God, you actually need something that is impossible to forgive, something unforgivably evil. An example of what is not ever good and acceptable.  Lines that mut not be crossed, and when crossed its to late. Otherwise it is impossible to understand what is truly wrong and evil. Otherwise everything becomes acceptable. If Hitler can sit an Gods lap singing camp fire songs and drinking ambrosia with good people, something is wrong. Very wrong.

I understand that modern liberal christians have invented this all-forgiving-God of theirs to be able to explain the passive God who doesn’t act against evil people and by doing so making God to appear more pleasant now, than he did in the old days when fire-and-brimstone-preachers talked more about the wrath of God than anything else. Not a solution to the classical Theodicy problem, but a band aid trying to fix stuff in retrospect.

Well, this “band aid” of all-forgiveness is an insult. An insult to millions of dead through out history that received no help from any omnipotent God in their time of need. An insult to any decent and good moral codes.

And above all: An insult to the intellect of the brilliant human mind that only feeble minds or people denying them selfs to think deep enough can accept.

Forgiveness is only great when it is the honest free choice of the victim. And it is only relevant when you, as the victim, give it to someone who cares. Otherwise you would only hurt your self even more.

God is the one who also should ask humanity for forgiveness and not the other way around. If God exist, and is an omnipotent God who refused to act when families by the millions where slaughtered he has a lot of explaining and begging to do. That “free will”-bullshit explanation just don’t cut it for any really free mind of the 21 century.

Understand me correctly. Forgiveness has its place. An important place. If people got less offended by stuff, like christians, jews and muslims get so easily offended with their silly religious feelings considering “blasphemy” it would be a much better world. Love is good, hate is bad and so on.

But that forgiveness must always come from the victims, never from someone else. God has no right to forgive Hitler.

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Posted in Atheism & Scepticism, Christianity, European stuff, History, Humans rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments