31 October 2009

Atheism vs. Christianity

All the comments are too easily reputed:
# Atheism does not have missions to feed the hungry.
# Atheism does not have programs to give shelter to the homeless.
# Atheism does not trouble itself to help the poor or give to the needy.
# Atheism does not clothe the naked or visit the imprisoned.

None of the above is true. There IS non-religious based organisation aimed/tasked to help, e.g. Red Cross, Amnesty International!
# Atheism does not give hope to the despairing, does not give love to the needy soul, or open arms to the broken-hearted.
# Atheism does not seek to bring healing to any person.
# Atheism seeks to tear down Love and stop its flow into the hearts of the un-loved.

What is the use of giving false hope to anyone? Real hope comes from scientific advances. Real hope to cure the ill, lessen the pain, feed the hungers come from evidential based scientific research. Most scientists are atheists. They are the people giving real hope - not the false hope such as those from the religious.

Love is human basic characteristics. We don't need religion to tell us to love our parents, our family, respect and enjoy friends, obey common laws and basically be good. It is totally false for religious to claim any moral high ground. The fact that they believe in something which has no evidential support already indicates a lack of integrity. People in high offices within religious organisations are telling lie daily, pushing the parasitic theological doctrines to the common people, demanding blind following, sucking the followers' hard-earn money for their own luxury living. Tell me why Pope lives in a palance? Why many preachers fly in private jets and live in multi-million dollar mansions.

# Atheism does not intend to encourage the down-trodden.

Unlike religion, atheists do not oppress the common people. Oppressive behaviour of religion can be vividly observed today in many Islamic countries. Past horror during the Puritan era should not be forgotten either.

# During the 20th century, atheists (mostly communists, such as those who followed Stalin) slaughtered untold millions of Christians, Jews, and people of many other religions for the sake of their faith. This still goes on today in places like China.

People kill people to seek power, like the past and like the present. Don't forget millions of people during the crusades. Also don't forget the ex-USA President sent thousands of young Americans in harm's way - to invade Iraq, eg. - because he was allegedly told to do so by his god. Good people do good thing. Bad people do bad thing. It is only religion to have good people do bad thing!

# Atheism seeks to destroy the hope of Jesus Christ and take love away from a world of people in need of care. In the name of science they proclaim, "there is no God", "we evolved from slime", "the cosmos is an accident". Declaring as gods the foundations and fate of the universe, they ignore the needs of the hearts of men to know that there is a Divine Creator who loves them.

Atheism is not a synonym of Science. Atheists are people who do no belief in a god - whether it is Allah or Jesus because there is no evidence to demonstrate there is a god. Many atheists will be the first to convert to any religion which can demonstrate, with repeatable reliable evidence that god exists. Atheist does not need to proof there is no god. The burden of proof is with the people who claim there is a god. Just like you do not need to proof that there is a pink unicorn which just flied above your head does not exist.

The fundamental difference between scientific theories and religious dogmas is the ability to explain observable facts. Evolution and Big bang theories are not imaginary theories. They are based on evidences - many evidences from different angles, different places and different time. Once formulated, scientific theories are constantly being challenged both from within and outside to prove its validity. If a single valid evidence exists to contradict a theory, the theory will be abolished. Can religious dogmas survive similar scrutiny?

If everything needs a creator, who created the creator?

# Because an atheist got God banned from public schools, our children must pass through metal detectors on their way into school where they score worse and worse on educational tests and morals are at an all-time low. They must remember each day the school massacres of the past few years and wonder... if... when... where... who... Does anyone stop to think that this downward trend started the year God was banned from schools?

The proportion of inmates in prison shows a very interesting data. The fraction of religious inmates is basically similar to the population. BUT the fraction of atheists in prison is significantly less than the proportion in the population. How's that possible? Atheists are more morally law obeying citizens! American public schools need metal detectors in the entrance NOT because school sponsored prayers are banned. Students can pray in private in school as they like. Muddling the issue does not make it right.

30 October 2009

House excludes spiritual care from Health Care Reform bill

The Secular Coalition for America is thrilled that the House of Representatives has decided to remove language found in all three draft bills that would require private and public plans to cover the spiritual care of individuals with religious objections to medical care.
If this language had been included, tax payers would be forced to help foot the bill for this religion-based “care” – “care” offering no scientific evidence of effectiveness. "Care" which, in fact, endangers lives by placing government approval on non-scientific practices.

WOW. We must applaud the House of Representatives to right the wrong in the bill.

What is worrying is WHY such wording would have been in the bill in the first place. Given USA is one of the most "advanced" civilisation with massive quantity of weapon of mass destruction, should we not expect the law makers be of a higher standard than others? The fact that BS such as prayers be included as a tax-payer subsidized care plan in the first place sends chills down my spine? What this is telling me is than we are living in a very dangerous world. With so many apocalyptic wishful thinking religious fools, some even managed to put such BS into a bill for passing into law, one would wonder the chance of someone stupid enough to push the red button which will spell the end of the world as we know it today. That chance is obviously non-zero!

Christian teacher charged with sex assault used Bible to persuade victims

Only if the victims were not brainwashed with religious BS, such abuse of young children would not have happened. Bad things are done in the name of religion, often, too often!

29 October 2009

People who've experienced God KNOW that God exists

Selected comment from Richard Dawkin's Foundation:
People have EXPERIENCED being abducted by aliens. People have EXPERIENCED rising up out of their body and looking down on it from the ceiling. It doesn't make it real.

One person's personal experience will never match another's. As real as it may feel, it cannot be used to empirically determine the existence or non-existence of God. That's where evidence comes in.

Most Christians have "experienced" God.
Most Muslims have "experienced" Alah.
Many different people have "experienced" many different Gods.

Does this mean all gods exist? Does that mean they are all crazy and you are not? Or is it simply easy for most people to mistakenly believe that they have experienced God?

So God singled you out as 'special' and gave you a direct experience. Are you certain it wasn't Allah or Vishnu, as Wiggy points out? Perhaps it was Satan. He's suppose to be really good a deception, you know. Perhaps you were temporarily ill or have been drugged. Considering these possibilities, how can you expect anyone else to trust your experience as genuine or that you've interpreted your experience correctly?

What exactly did you experience and how do you know you experienced it?

So God singled you out as 'special' and gave you a direct experience. Are you certain it wasn't Allah or Vishnu, as Wiggy points out? Perhaps it was Satan. He's suppose to be really good a deception, you know. Perhaps you were temporarily ill or have been drugged. Considering these possibilities, how can you expect anyone else to trust your experience as genuine or that you've interpreted your experience correctly?

I have experienced no god and so I know no god exists.

How many people here have seen a skilled magician? They can do magic, so magic is real right?

The basic functioning of the brain and an overview of how concious percepion is different than reality should be required in all education programs around the world.

To save you from typing, here is the text mentioned in the video. Print it out and have some glue handy. Next time when you see a bible, stick it to the inside front page. Have fun.

An atheist is one without a belief in, or one who lacks a belief in the existence of God or Gods.

Since there is no empirical proof that this God or any God exists, we invite you to enjoy reading the bible as a fictional work using a rational, enlightened and open mind.

Feel free to watch shows such as
"The Atheist Experience"
or read Richard Dawkin's
"The God Delusion"
to help give you the proper context for a greater understand of God and Religion.

We also hope you understand that this is a religious text made up of a number of stories and myths but remember, it is not a scientific text.

So enjoy your fictional bible reading experience!

28 October 2009

Is Christian Faith defendable?

The video says there are good solid reasons to believe in christianity. "Saying there are good reasons" does not mean that there is any reason, let alone good ones. So I am challenging my reader(s) to state these reasons.

Good reasons to NOT believe in any god

I never was, am not and never will become religious. My father let me grew my curiosity. I stubbornly chose to study the "hardest" subject in my undergraduate course. I took up to the maximum allowed courses during the three years of under graduation and enjoying it to the best I could.

Since I started this blog, I have been exposed to a lot of challenges and none have changed my view on religion - religion has passed its used-by date long time ago. People also questions my scientific attitude and says that I should be an agnostic. No, I am an atheist. If you claim there is a god, you provide the proof. If there is no evidence of such existence, my default position is there is no god. I cannot be agnostic towards pink unicorn, imaginary flying dragon, ...

My family urges me to be "polite" towards the religious and stop ridiculing religion. I am sorry I cannot, but I appreciate their concerns. Intellectually, religious ideas cannot stand up to the standard of evidence I have been trained to require. Religion is an idea virus, spreading and damaging the host - human society.

Religion, as a business, is unfairly subsidized by tax payers. Religion does not fulfil its corporate citizens' obligation to pay tax. The huge amount of money collected by religion is only channeled back to promote religion - and more income. Charity? Does it not there are charities working without any religious banner? When a priest of a church in Melbourne suburb spend a little more in helping the poor, what did the church do? Try to force him to retire! [source]

Religion is not a harmless thing people choose to do at their private space. As the saying goes, "if I do not know there is a god and Jesus, I don't go to hell when I die. WHY you tell me then?" Religion is political, trying hard to grip any political power and have no intention not to exert its unwarranted power and wealth. How many people have died in the name of religion over the centuries? How many more need to die in the future?

Without raging wars (this is only hypothetical because USA ex-president Bush alleged that he was told to invade Iraq by his god), religion is still doing a lot of harm. Richard Dawkins, in comparing the Catholic church to the Anglican, put it like this:
What major institution most deserves the title of greatest force for evil in the world? In a field of stiff competition, the Roman Catholic Church is surely up there among the leaders. The Anglican church has at least a few shreds of decency, traces of kindness and humanity with which Jesus himself might have connected, however tenuously: a generosity of spirit, of respect for women, and of Christ-like compassion for the less fortunate. The Anglican church does not cleave to the dotty idea that a priest, by blessing bread and wine, can transform it literally into a cannibal feast; nor to the nastier idea that possession of testicles is an essential qualification to perform the rite. It does not send its missionaries out to tell deliberate lies to AIDS-weakened Africans, about the alleged ineffectiveness of condoms in protecting against HIV. Whether one agrees with him or not, there is a saintly quality in the Archbishop of Canterbury, a benignity of countenance, a well-meaning sincerity. How does Pope Ratzinger measure up? The comparison is almost embarrassing.

Is Anglican church any better? May be. But it is still a parasite to the society we can do without happily.


Why Religion Saddens Me

I would actually think "Why religion is dangerous" is a more appropriate title of this self reflection. Great respect from this blogger towards VanCoffeeChick to say what she said in the youtube video.

26 October 2009


One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. - Arthur C. Clarke

How true! If anyone suggests that without religion, there is no moral, then it is an insult to one fifth of the world's population, Chinese, who traditionally live under the moral guideline of Confucius (551 B.C.E. – 479 B.C.E.) who has laid down the moral law: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself 己所不欲、勿施於人

This Confucius moral ideas have deep cultural influence to Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnames. It is said way earlier than the bible.

Dishonest people I do no respect - Tony Blair

Tony Blair

Not only has Tony Blair led the UK into the illegal invasion of Iraq (under the pretext of weapon of mass destruction - which has never been found), he is now grouping the atheists with the religious fanatics:
Those who scorn God and those who do violence in God’s name, both represent views of religion. But both offer no hope for faith in the twenty first century. [source: Speech delivered on 7th October, 2009 at the Common Word Conference at George Town University]

Tony Blair now joins a list of dishonest people whom I do no respect.

Theory or Fact?

As I have pointed out before, science starts with observation, repeatable, reliable observations. To most people, such observations are facts. It is undeniable. It is there for the keen eye to see and testify. For the scientists, these are data, factual data.

The sun came out from the East the day before yesterday in Melbourne. The sun came out from the East yesterday in Melbourne. The sun come out from the East today in Melbourne. These threestatements are facts. But for a scientist, these statements are data. So a scientist postulate a theory. The sun comes out from the East. (Note that the time reference and place reference has been removed from this postulate.) Now the scientist will see if this postulate can explain the observed factual data. Yes, it can. So it passes the first test. Now, the scientist will see if this postulate predicts new observations. Yes, it predicts that the Sun will come out tomorrow from the East in Melbourne. So we wait and test if the new observation can be observed as predicted. ... the result will be known tomorrow. It also predicts the sun will come out from any place. But let put that aside to keep the length of this post short.

Meanwhile, this is an overly simplified example of how science works. The example is also overly simplified by not taking into account a number of conditions that may have superficial effects on the observation, e.g. the weather condition. But this is not the point. The point is that when a postulate graduates into a theory, it would have been tested over and over by many many scientists in many many different places at different times. A theory "explains" many observable facts.

When the IDiots say, 'evolution is only a theory, not a fact', my response is "what? what do you mean by ONLY?". Of course, a theory is not A fact! A theory is more than a fact, a theory explains a lot of facts. The correct sentence to show a little knowledge of the scientific process should be evolution is a theory, not only a fact.

To those with compulsorily lying abnormalities, next time when you want to say something about evolution, do not expose your ignorance by saying evolution is only a theory. Saying that will only expose your arrogant ignorance on the subject matter you are trying to say. That weakens your position of argument to the point 'no comment' is a more than enough response. So be warned.

25 October 2009

Religion without a god

Extract from Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy (Ideas Explained) by David Ramsay Steele:

Buddhism. None of the sects of Buddhism accepts the existence of an all-powerful Creator God. Most Buddhists believe in the existence of devas, beings with powers far more exalted than anything human, and having little to do with humans. Like humans, devas may misbehave and be reincarnated as lower life forms. Buddhists have traditionally held that the universe has existed and will exist for ever.

Jainism has about fifteen million members, in several differ­ent sects. It's an old religion dating back to ancient India, though most members are now outside India. Jains have always been noted for strict morality, asceticism, and dedication to learning. They explicitly reject the concept of a Creator or controller of the universe. They hold that the universe has existed for infinite time, going through repeated cycles which will continue for ever. Jains will not usually reject the word 'God', but will define it in terms of abstract qualities rather than a conscious agent. Similarly, they appear to worship their tirthankaras (great sages of the past), but will always insist that they do not worship these individuals, only the virtues they embody.

Daoism is a traditional Chinese religion. Its two main scriptures are the Daodejing and the Juangzi. Daoism is concerned with human life, personal and social. The (or Dao 'way') is the natural flow of things. Daoism has no concept of worship and no concept of salvation. Its central tenet is wu wei or non-interference: violent, invasive action will pro­duce more problems than it solves.

Confucianism is a system of beliefs in which a very vague reference to 'heaven' plays a small part, nothing like the cen­tral part of 'God' in 'the Abrahamic faiths. Confucians emphasize right conduct, which to Westerners often seems more a matter of etiquette than of morality.

'Chinese traditional religion' refers to beliefs currently held by most Chinese (nearly a fifth of the world's popula­tion). It's largely an amalgam of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, along with some 'folk beliefs' that are not specif­ically Confucian, Daoist, or Buddhist. What is called 'ances­tor worship' is an element in traditional Chinese thinking, but it does not necessarily commit its followers to the the­ory that the deceased ancestors are still conscious.

Falun Gong is a new religion, with about one hundred million followers, based on the writings of 'Master' Li Hongzhi. It has been banned in China since 1999. Most of the beliefs concern qigong, the traditional breathing exer­cises associated with Buddhist and Daoist meditation. Li has expressed views about the malign influence of aliens and about distant and finite 'gods', but these views are not paid much attention by rank and file practitioners of Falun Gong, who are mainly concerned with raising their consciousness, improving their health, and behaving morally.

Shinto is the traditional folk-religion of Japan. Most Japanese follow both Buddhism and Shinto to some extent, often merely ceremonial (at weddings and funerals). Even today, more than ninety-five percent of Japanese have no contact with classical theism or anything close to it. Shinto involves recognition of numerous gods "the eight million gods"-though 'nature spirits' might be a more accurate rendering of the Japanese word 'kami'. As in many forms of non-Abrahamic religion, there are virtually no demands on what an individual personally believes. Shinto has little in the way of a distinctive morality: elaborate traditional Japanese morality comes mainly from Confucianism.

Christian atheism is something that springs up from hun­dred different places. The Death of God Theology of the 1960s has been influential, but mainly confined to theolo­gians. The best expression of popular Christian atheism is Don Cupitt's book, Taking Leave of God. Christian atheists work within many traditional denominations, though many find themselves most at home in the Unitarian Universalist churches.

Unitarian Universalists have their historical roots in Christianity. Unitarians were Christians (such as Arius, fourth C.B. ) who denied that Christ was God and rejected century C.B.) the Trinity. Universalists (such as Origen, third century were Christians who believed that all souls, even Satan him­self, would eventually be saved. In the U.S., Unitarians 1961. However, they also accepted and Universalists united in into their ranks people who did not believe in God or an after­life. They no longer define their denomination as specifically. Christian. A recent survey of the labels Unitarian Universalists choose to apply to themselves (respondents were permitted to give more than one answer) came up with the following per­centages: Humanist, 54 percent; Agnostic, 33 percent; Earth-centered, 31 percent; Atheist, 18 percent; Buddhist 16.5 percent; Christian 13.1 percent; Pagan, 13.1 percent.

Does god exist?

In the poll, 96% says no (out of 165,856). That's healthy.

23 October 2009

22 October 2009

This is a smart kid

I don't know how young he is, but he looks young enough for me to call him a kid. But he is smart and have read enough to response better than a lot of adults. Congrat!

21 October 2009


"A religious idea is just an idea somebody had a long time ago, and claimed to have received from God. It does not have a different status to other ideas; it is not surrounded by an electric fence none of us can pass." - Johann Hari

This is such an under statement.

Just an example: anyone, who has vision of being told by an imaginary god to kill and burn his/her son as an offering, will be admitted to a psychiatric hospital today [Genesis 22]. Killing some one, one's own son in particular, as a test of faith is rubbish. That testing idea promotes blind faith and is counter to the advancement of human kind. The status of such religious idea should be the lowest of all stupid ideas. Anyone believing in such crazy idea as words of god is even more so.

20 October 2009

Jurors Consulted the Bible and a Texan Now Faces the Death Penalty

Do you REALLY follow the moral guide given to you in the bible? Really?

As shown in the clip above, we have our own moral standard. We do not need your imaginary friend to tell us what is moral and what is not.

"I don't know."

It takes a lot of courage to be able to say "I don't know" in public. Great scientists have learnt to say that, but not the religious.

Jesse Galef from Friendly Atheist put it nicely by refering to a clip about UFO by Neil deGrasse Tyson :

Somebody sees lights flashing in the sky. They’ve never seen it before; they don’t understand what it is. They say, “A UFO!” The ‘U’ stands for ‘unidentified’. So they say: “I don’t know what it is… It must be aliens from outer space visiting from another planet!”

Well… if you don’t know what it is, that’s where your conversation should stop! You don’t then say it MUST be anything! Ok?

That’s what argument from ignorance is. It’s common; I’m not blaming anybody. Psychologists know all about it.

As PZ Myers summaries:

Complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity, ... therefore by design.

If we don't know something, we don't know something. Period. Putting god as a certainty as an answer to something we don't know is just ignorance. That's not how human has progressed.

We don't know the origin of the universe. Fine! We don't know the origin of the universe. Period. Some books written 2000 years ago do not have better knowledge than we have today. So those authors dont know the answer too. Saying that god created universe is just --- ignorance. Believing in something like this is just --- ignorance.

We don't know the origin of life. Fine! We don't know the origin of the life. Period. Some books written 2000 years ago do not have better knowledge than we have today. So those authors dont know the answer too. Saying that god gave us life is just --- ignorance. Believing in something like this is just --- ignorance.

19 October 2009

Solving Africa's Food Problem

The first "green revolution" called for by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2004 has been producing good result.
Countries, such as Malawi, have transformed their food production using relatively simple means: With the help of government subsidies, farmers can now obtain two bags of fertilizer and five kilograms of hybrid maize seed at just 25 percent of the actual price. And, whereas the World Bank and other donors have refrained from such agricultural subsidies over the past few decades due to concerns about corruption, they are now supporting them and refocusing on agriculture as a priority. "It's a 180-degree turn for the better," Sanchez says. "You can avoid corruption by keeping it on a small scale."

Bill Gate is now charging for a second green revolution

"The charge is clear—we have to develop crops that can grow in a drought; that can survive in a flood; that can resist pests and disease," Gates added. "We need higher yields on the same land in harsher weather." The answer, at least in part? Sustainability paired with genetic modification.

Gates also called for a more environmentally focused effort this time around. "The next Green Revolution has to be greener than the first," Gates said. It "must be guided by smallholder farmers, adapted to local circumstances, and sustainable for the economy and the environment. The last thing anyone should do is create short-term gains for poor farmers that have long-term costs for their children.

Basing on fossil fuel based fertiliser will make these farmers continuously is not sustainable in the long run as we know that fossil fuel is a limited natural resource which is not renewable. A better solution would be to adapt/adopt a permacultural path. Here is a video showing how permaculture is applied to green the desert in the middle east. [source]

Cross posted to Sustaining future

16 October 2009

This dog must be very religious and obey its dog god!

via Pharyngula

Have you prayed for a liberal today?

via New prayer Web page - Adopt and pray for a liberal

Great idea! Sure, prayer works!

Hey god, listen up. People are praying! Do something!

BTW, what has god done in the last 2,000 years. He seems to be missing in action since his, oops, Joseph's son was born!

God's ideas

15 October 2009


Science shows us ways of interpreting the physical world, while spirituality helps us cope with reality. But the extreme of either is impoverishing. The belief that all is reducible to matter and energy leaves out a huge range of human experience: emotions, yearnings, compassion, culture. At the same time, holding unexamined spiritual beliefs-beliefs that are contradicted by evidence, logic and experience-can lock us into fundamental cages. - The Dalai Lama

While I totally agree that if we do not have proper experience on a huge range of human experience, we are not living our life in full. However, I do think the Dalai Lama is mistaken in this sentence: But the extreme of either is impoverishing

First of all, there is no extreme science. As I have written before, science is a body of understanding of the physical reality that we live in, a methodology to conduct understanding of the universe and the underlying contributor to the many advances we have made.

Secondly, not only extreme of religion, which does occur every now and then, recent example includes parents praying instead of seeking medical help causing their daughter's death to wars between religions in the past and and present, is impoverishing. Mild form of religion also hinders human progress by 1. channelling resources towards useless rituals, 2. dividing people into different religious groups, 3. demeaning human morality - implying that human has no moral without the fear of god (typical christian) and 4. sometimes causing actual harm. To support 4, I can cite Pope's denouncement of condom in Africa where AID are a major issue. Many religious objection to stem cell research and the inability to recognise marriage among same sex couples are other examples.

Does some science research lead to ethical issues? Yes many do. What values are we based on to judge whether stem cell research meet ethical requirement? Such question are beyond the scope of this post. I may do a post later to clarify my position. But the challenges from many religious group on this issue do not meet my standard of morality.

Now I have question for you. If a mother is going to give birth, but there is serious complication. The best medical advice is that either mother or the baby can survive, but not both. What would your choice be? My position is in the next line in white on white. Highlight to read.

I will save the mother first. Saving the mother preserves the opportunity for another child.

Where is the funding for the Atheist Convention Melbourne 2010?

Jesus All About Life LIES is calling for government funding to support the Global Atheist Convention 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. This is not without precedent that government support worthwhile calls, including some not so worthwhile such as $35 million to WYD 2008 as its direct funding contribution to the costs of hosting the event and $40 million compensation package to the NSW racing industry to secure the use of Royal Randwick Racecourse during the Vigil and Papal Mass. I urge everyone to leave message at KevinPM, send email to your local MP and urge them to support the Atheist Convention. The following is my message to our PM:

Dear Mr. Rudd,

As the record shows, http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/policy/major_events/world_youth_day_2008/Pages/WorldYouthDay2008.aspx, Australian Parliament has supported religious activities using tax payers fund. It is time to support those citizens who may not share the same religious belief as you. The 2010 Global Atheist Convention Melbourne, Australia (http://www.atheistconvention.org.au/) will be held in 2010 in Melbourne. As a goodwill to those attending the conference, may I suggest the government to support the Australian attendees with the full registration fee. If you have the will, there is a way. Please show us your government does not discriminate between the religious and the non-religious and support Australians participating in this event.


14 October 2009


It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. … Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. - Albert Einstein

Science has helped mankind to understand the physical reality. What we do with that knowledge is not dictated by an imaginary god. It is our compassion, the ability to think in the shoes of other, that provided the pillar for human moral. Einstein's theory of relativity let us see the interchangeability of mass and energy and lead to the discovery of atomic energy - eventually atomic bombs with kill in hundreds of thousands at once that ended the second world world. Is Einstein's science evil or good? Neither. Science is morally neutral. How we use the knowledge is morally bound.

We, the human race, are dragging the whole world's living systems into chaos by our excessive use of fossil fuel releasing millions of tons of stored carbon back to the atmosphere. If we do not take action today to remove the carbon from the atmosphere, we shall kill most of the living systems on this planet. Large portion of human and the civilisation as we know it today will be destroyed by the climate change. Now, that's immoral!

Is Science the religion for Atheists?

Austin Cline has a good article at About.com on this topic. I just want to focus on one sentence of the article:
To be fair, it can be argued that a certain amount of "faith" exists with how average person accepts what science says.

Cline points out a major difference of "faith" in science to "faith" in religion. In science, if you are willing, you could be in a position to proof to yourself what and how science works, eliminating the need of faith. In religion, you cannot. So that's for the diligent and devoted.

Cline also points out that for most people can observe the practical impacts of what science says and thus don't need to conduct experiments to confirm that scientists are right. Not everyone is able to understand the theories behind how electricity operates, but everyone is able to witness the obvious and dramatic effects of electricity at work — both good and bad.

I would also like to take another approach to this issue. Science is a process - scientific method itself is within the understanding of any rational mind. So even if you are not scientifically oriented, you can understand the scientific process and hence understand why there is no need of faith in the outcome of science. Granted, there are many intentional misinformation which are dressed up like a science argument, but they are not supported by evidence and have not undergone the scientific process of verification. We must learn to distinguish such mal-information from the real information.

Scientific process involves collecting observable repeatable evidence. One off occurrence may happen due to a large number of possibility. That's not the realm of science. Science only deal with repeatable, observable evidence. So, the first step is always to repeat and observe to see if the same phenomenon happens. Equally important is the conditions under which such phenomena are observed reliably and measured. If a phenomenon can only be observable to a single individual, that does not fall into the scope of science as well. The observable evidence must appear to be the same for anyone, not just the scientists! Yes, there are things which appear obvious to me, but not necessarily to you. However, if I indicate to you how I see the phenomenon, you should not have any difficulty in seeing the same phenomenon, because such phenomenon is a physical reality.

"Step" here is just for the purpose of exposition. In most situation, all the steps occur at the same time and/or shortly after each other and not always in the same order as presented here.

The next step is to propose a theory. The theory must satisfy several important criteria. One, it must be compatible to ALL previously established theories in ALL scientific disciplines. If two theories are contradictory to each other, one of them must be discarded, expanded, modified (whatever) to remove the incompatibility. ALL scientific theories are mutually compatible.

Two, the theory must be able to "explain" the observed phenomenon. Here explain means by applying a deductive logic, the observed phenomenon can be deduced from the theory.

Third, any other deduction from the theory must also be physical reality.

This is where step three starts. The theory is used to create new predictions. The predictions are then converted/expressed in observable events. Experiments are conducted to look for the predicted observable events. So in a way, scientists are also looking for "strange" observable events not commonly obvious to most people except those in the same field. If the observed event does not appear as predicted (at the probability frequency as predicted) then the theory has to be rejected, modified.

If this sounds hard enough, there is yet another hurdle for anyone claiming to be a scientist. The result must be published and be verified by someone else. In the publication parlance, the publishing has to go through a double-blind review process. Double-blind means the reviewer does not know who the author is AND the author does not know who the reviewer is. This eliminate personal favouritism and/or bias. For reputable publication, this double-blind review process is rigorous and demanding and is usually carried out by more than one reviewer. A standard practice is three independent reviewers.

In other words, if the observation is NOT a physical reality, the observation will not happen to a random third person and the theory will fail the double-blind review process. That also means the theory will not receive acceptance in the scientific community.

While some scientific theories are not fully settled - scientists are still arguing some parts of the theory, most of the times, such parts are only "academic" especially for theories which have general acceptance within the scientific community.

Scientific knowledge at the cutting edge is evolving, all the time - that's how progress is made. So adjusting, modifying, rejecting theory is part of the everyday life of any scientist. But a vast majority of established scientific theories are mature enough for us layman to apply and be benefited from such understanding. For example, when Einstein's relativity disproved Newton's laws of motion, it does not mean that Newton's laws of motion is completely wrong. It means that at speed near the speed of light, Newton's laws of motion is wrong. But at our human speed, both Einstein's relativity and Newton's laws of motion produce practically the same result. In this case, the scope of Newton's law of motion is adjusted and limited only to speed substantially smaller than the speed of light. Scientists still frequently rely on Newton's laws of motion as short hand when dealing with speed smaller than that of light.

With this insight, I hope everyone can understand that science DOES NOT require faith. The scientific method ensures the scientific theory is accurate to the best of understanding at that point in time. Major scientific theory may still happen and may throw some existing theories into the garbage bin. Until then, I don't need any faith to have trust on scientific result because I know that the scientific process has ensured a correct interpretation of reality for us.

12 October 2009

USA healthcare crisis

This is an emotion filled presentation. After watching it, my eyes are wet.

If you have time, this is the longer version:

Evolution Vs Creation

Bill O'Reilly makes it clear that he is a religious fool. He does not understand logic.

In the interview of Richard Dawkins, he made three obvious logical fallacies.

1. There is no logical linkage between moral and the origin of Universe, be it via a Big Bang or god created in 7 days. They are totally separate issue. Granted part of the teaching of religion is about absolute morality, still raising two separate issues in the same breadth is a demonstration of the lack of clear thinking ability. Furthermore, Christopher Hitchens has, in his book "God is not great", demonstrated clearly how religion has poisoned everything.

2. Science is a discipline based on evidence, logic and repeatable observations. If science does not explain something at this point in time, there is no reason to throw in another substitute which is NOT based on the same principles into science classes. Creationism has been rejected in USA court already. Still insisting on teaching creationism in USA classroom is both morally corrupt and lawfully guilty.

3. Bill accused Richard of fascism because Dawkins opposed the teaching of religious BS in science class. That's absurd! Even me, someone with no knowledge in political science understand that is an authoritarian ideology. The USA court has ruled against teaching of creationism. If anyone is "fascist" according to Bill, it would be his own country's judges. BTW, it is NOT true that christian is a major. And majority view is NOT necessarily the true and correct view either.

Nothing created everything?

The Bible is BS

Calling on the Pope to do the right thing as suggested in Matthew 19:24

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. - Matthew 19:24


10 October 2009

Church is a business ... for the parishioners

Correct me if I am wrong. This is what I read from a post in Kiva's forum.
All money collected in the donation basket at any church goes to the church. So it's not a charitable donation at all, it's a very selfish donation. The church mostly serves it's parishioners, not the community. Most of the good work that churches do in the community comes from volunteers from the church and targeted money that is solicited separately for that particular need, whether a Christmas Drive or a Food Drive. However, to qualify for the tax free status, churches are supposed to demonstrate that they do work in the community that benefits the community. As long as they do that, they can keep every last dime that goes in the collection basket to build a mansion if they want to, and, which they mostly do. - Mai Dao-Horton

Atheists Lead The Movement To End Poverty


In just over one year the community of Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious (AASFSHNR) at Kiva.org have raised $1 million (USD) in interest-free loans to help end poverty. Kiva.org is a US non-profit organization that connects lenders with borrowers, from around the globe, who need a micro-finance loan. Peter Kroll, the AASFSHNR community team leader, created the community on August 28th, 2008 with the ambition to organize those who share his world view that "people should care about reducing the suffering of other human beings because we acknowledge the evolutionary fact that we are all one human family."

Kiva's co-founder Matt Flannery has put out his call that "now is a time for the world's privileged to demonstrate to the world's poor just how compassionate and resilient we are." The AASFSHNR community has responded, as well as many other communities and individuals. More than four years after Kiva's founding almost $100 million has been lent worldwide.

Micro-finance is the brain-child of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohammad Yunus. Yunus realized decades ago, on a visit to a poor village in his country of Bangladesh, that the local people were caught in an endless cycle of debt caused by loan-sharks. He realized what a difference it would make by "removing the barriers faced by the poor so that they can unleash their creativity and intelligence in the service of humanity."

08 October 2009

Catholic god is male!

The Invention of Lying looks like a good movie for me. According to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights on the Opposing Views that this film has a hidden agenda - spreading of atheism. Obviously Catholic League has a very thin skin and cannot accept the fact.
It is not for nothing that the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the bishops’ conference slammed the movie as “morally offensive.” But we are pleased to note that the atheists still use our religion as the model, and still portray God as male. There is hope for them yet. [my emphasis]

You wish!


Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't. - Mark Twain

I just like to add that the bible is worse than fiction. It is beyond possibilities or simple logic.

Jail terms for faith healing pair

From BBC
A US couple who prayed rather than seeking medical attention for their dying daughter have been sentenced to six months in jail.

Dale and Leilani Neumann, of Wisconsin, could have received up to 25 years in prison over the 2008 death of Madeline Neumann, who was known as Kara.

What I found really disturbing is what the judge reportedly said to the couple:
The judge told the Neumanns this would give them time to "think about Kara and what God wants you to learn from this".

He added that they were "very good people, raising their family, who made a bad decision, a reckless decision".

He added: "God probably works through other people, some of them doctors."

This is appalling. While the reduced term showed the judge's mercy on the couple, his remarks did not help the couple to learn the lesson. Their mistake is that their belief is not based on science and caused the unnecessary suffering and death of their daughter. The error of judgement on the part of the couple is huge - therefore they need to spend time in the prison. However, the people surrounding the couple, those prayed with them at the dying moment of the poor girl should be punished as well. They would have helped to save the girl's life if anyone of them suggested to seek medical help.

The couple are appealing against their convictions and still claim to have trust in god. Did they learn anything? Obviously not!

Kiva AASFSHNR team reached $1M

Here are some write-up of this:

AASFSHNR Reaches US $1m In Loans


A Million Dollars of Micro Finance

One million dollars is a lot of money, especially for entrepreneurs around the world turning to microfinance institutions for loans. One million is the amount lent to these entrepreneurs by the team Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious (AASFSHNR) at Kiva.com. Through Kiva, anyone can lend $25 or more to an entrepreneur looking for assistance. When a borrower repays, the money becomes available to re-lend.

AASFSHNR, just over 1 year old, is the first group to reach $1,000,000. Despite the modest goal of $50k in four months, 10 days after creation AASFSHNR hit $10,000. As the loans were paid back, or new money was lent, the group total climbed faster and faster.

AASFSHNR is a fantastic example of the generosity of atheists and others who fit into the group’s theme. We don’t always agree when posting on the team forum, but we do work hard to fund loans. In addition to our group’s milestone, Kiva is fast approaching an even more impressive moment. Collectively, Kiva lenders have lent nearly $100 million around the world. I invite everyone to Kiva. While you are at it, you’re welcome to visit us heathens. [by Heather Huntley]

I am sure this news will pop up everywhere.

06 October 2009

Size of God's memory

God is omniscient; he knows everything. Here is an estimate of the size of brain needed to be omniscient.

Since god knows everything, god knows the position, speed, and the vector direction of ALL subatomic particles in the universe since the big bang 14 billion years ago to the end of time (another 33 billion years may be). Brian C. Holly estimated that god have to keep track of about 10128 facts, yes, 128 zeros after 1. The estimate was god would have a brain about the size of 1055 universes. WOW!

Since god created this universe, he must have knowledge about other possible candidate universes in order to make a judgement to create this one. God's brain must be much much larger than the estimated 1055 universes.

This post is labeled [bogus science] because the assumption god knows everything is bogus.

05 October 2009

We care

The atheist team in Kiva will reach $1M loan soon. It is standing at $992,125.00 as I type. Well done!

Obedience is the keystone of religion

A question to the Christians...

I have a question and will appreciate some honest responses from the faithful.

In Mark 10:21, Jesus spelt out the condition of entering heaven: "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." and in 25: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

If you are really living to the words of your saviour, you should have no possession of any kind, right?

Here is my question: How come so many preachers (e.g. Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen,... ) are so damn rich, living lavish lifestyles?

03 October 2009

Golden Rule of Morality

Compassion is human nature. 己所不欲,勿施于人 (Do not do to others what you don't want to be done to you.) has been around since 500BC (The above chinese is a quote of Confucius)

Religion is fundamentally divisive. If we really want to see our human morality progress, discard religion and seek compassion, understanding. Treat every being, including non-human, with respect and understand the role everything plays in this planet earth.

02 October 2009

Australia's ABC Q and A last night

In response to a question from the audience:
Thousands of people dying from earthquakes can't be called 'god's punishment', why is it that a person being saved from under the rubble days later is almost invariable called a miracle? And, also why should God be credited for good act of a human being saving a fellow human being from under the rubble, while God being spared for the calamity that was brought up on the people?

Christopher Hitchens' answer is not the focus of this post. The responses from two of the religious representatives are really lame and avoided the whole question. From Father Frank Brennan,
Natural disasters happen and an omnipotent God lets them happen, for those of us who believe in God. It's not about God saying that we won't let nature take its course. Those of us who do have a religious faith, we equally, I think, are committed to science but, like Christopher says, we all look for patterns. We look for patterns in our daily lives. We look for patterns in our histories. We look for patterns in the world and, yes, some villages might be called blessed. Well, if they didn't lose anyone, they wouldn't call themselves cursed. And so what - how do they see themselves?

What's the role of god in such disasters? No answer!

From Waleed Aly:
Well, I think, by definition, if you believe in God, you would have to say that at the very least God allows this thing to happen because to say otherwise would be to presuppose that God lacks the power to stop it, which - I don't know of any religious traditions, certainly no monotheistic religious tradition that would say that. I do want to say something that I definitely agree with in what Christopher said, and that is that this sort of very simple dichotomised thinking about natural disasters - that they are punishment or reward and this is the prism through which we view them - I mean, this has to be some of the most rudimentary, unsophisticated thinking that religious people and, frankly, irreligious people, who perpetuate it even via criticism, have ever produced. I think it's a ridiculous assertion and I've not really encountered a serious religious thinker, as opposed to one who is too busy playing forms of identity politics or some other kind of rabble rousing - persecuting some rabble-rousing religiosity, who would argue that. The simple fact is that things happen in life that are, in our subjective experiences, grotesque and other things that are wonderful and our judgments, immediately, about whether they're grotesque and wonderful are, in a sense, beside the point. The question, I think, for religious people who are actually serious about being religious people and with all the introspection that that implies, is what do you do about it and what do you do with it? It's possible that by surviving the earthquake and moving on to behave in all sorts of ways, that you cast yourself into some kind of eternal destruction in religious terms. That's entirely possible, in which case you probably would have been better off to have been killed in the earthquake. It's entirely possible that by gathering all sorts of riches in life and having an easy life, that you are similarly deforming your character as a person, so I think the key question is not so much what is God doing - although that's a perfectly legitimate question - field of inquiry. But I think the more important question for people, particularly religious people, is: who am I in response to this? What am I doing? Each of these is a test, whether you're in the good side or the bad side of it, and what do you do with it? And I'm more interested in that, frankly.

Blababa... So what's god role in disasters?

On the issue of doing charitable deeds, see how they avoided the issue of god as well:
Frank Brennan: Well, let's take it. I mean, people like (indistinct) have argued very strongly and persuasively, like yourself Christopher, that empowerment of women is the key to the development of peoples. Now, why don't we just drop the bagging and smearing and saying, all right, anyone who is out there, let's judge them by their fruits? Whether they're atheists or whether they're Catholics or whatever, let's drop the bagging and smearing. Let's say, right, we agree. What we've got to be working for is the empowerment of women. And there are people of religious dispositions who are passionately committed to that and, yes, there will be mistakes made in terms of policies and in terms of moral theories, but that's where I think, in a pluralist society like Australia, we can have the respectful dialogue and we can work those things through, as we do this evening.
Waleed Aly: I think there's a real call that needs to be made for some honesty here on the part of religious people. And that is that, yes, lots of religious people do lots of very good things and there was research published, I think, two years ago looking at generation Y Australians that found that those who were more religiously committed were more socially aware, they were more committed to the social good and all that sort of thing, and you can point to those studies and you can say, "That's wonderful." But, in a sense, I think you get caught in a reactionary argument, which is with all these people lining up saying, "Look how horrible religion is," you get a religious response that says, "No. No. No. No. We're good. Look at these charities," turning a blind eye to not only some of the points that Christopher raises, but also the fact that there are religious charities that do a lot of that religious work for their own ends that, in my judgment, are actually quite nefarious at times. Religions can be used as a cover and a pretext for violence and evil and all sorts of things. It can be instrumentalised in that way. It can also be instrumentalised in the opposite way. And so I kind of echo what Father Frank Brennan has said here and that is that if you actually look to the substance of what people are doing, rather than asking the first question, is this a religious organisation or is this not, and then trying to make some judgment about their conduct and their motives on the basis of that, then I think you get further down the track of making some kind of assessment. I think we get caught in these petty games about, well, you know, are religious people good or bad. Just get on with being good or being bad and let people make up their own mind.

It is good that religious people can be so open and concern about the well-being of fellow human beings. The key core of religion is the belief in god and how that is related to doing charitable work is again totally side-passed.

The same happens when an audience asked about their views on gay marriage. [We all know catholic's official position, right?] Here is Father Frank's response.
I would approach the issue of gay marriage, distinguishing two things. One, people of a religious disposition may have a view about what they call the sacramentality of marriage. I would see that as a separate question from the civil institution of marriage. Now, in terms of the civil institution of marriage, I think one of the welcome developments in Australia is we've got to the stage of saying that discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexuality should be wiped out completely and that we're a better society for that being the case. In terms of the next step, whether or not in civil law there should be a recognition of the bond between two men or two women as being the same as marriage as it's presently understood, the real issue, I think, is whether or not that decision is best made by our elected politicians or whether it's made by our elected judges. And I think at the moment, in Australia, the view has been that that should be a decision of our elected politicians. My own view is, moving around the country, I think that younger Australians, they don't see it as a problem. It's not an issue. I think for a lot of older Australians it's still an issue and, guess what, a lot of them happen to be married. So in terms of a free and democratic society, for those who are civilly married, then we've got to bring them with us as we look at any change on that issue.

OK, the audience did just ask for his opinion. But in light of the Q and A, I would have expected Father Frank to defend his church's position, which frankly is undefendable.

I think I am disappointed with the responses given by the religion representatives. They just hide and tuck to avoid the key question.


I think the following 'quote' is probably outside fair use. But here is it. From a message by HiltonT in Kiva.org forum.
When stories are written down and become scripture they cease to evolve. They are stuck with the state of knowledge at the time they were written down. Why is it that something written down years ago is "THE Word of God." Why aren't the amazing new understandings about our universe our world and ourselves, evolution, DNA and genetics, science, incorported into our current religious text and discussions. There are two kinds of revelation. Private inspiration and Public. Revelation in the sense of what we come to know, feel, experience, believe. Generally there is no way to establish the truth or falsity of the private revelation. Public revelation (including science) is argued and tested, verified and adjusted in open and public ways. Dowd talks about Day Language and Night Language concepts. Night language is subjectively real, but not necessarily objectively real. Night language is communicated by way of metaphors, poetry and vibrant images. Our focus is on "what does it mean." Night language is personally and culturally meaningful, it nourishes us with images of emotional truth. Day language is used in discussing what is factual and measurably true. Day language is used for Public revelation. I ask, why can't we use both in talking about the universe.

Personally, I think this pair (Dowd and Barlow) are serious fence-sitters. They seem to want to have the best of both worlds - belief in some form of metaphysical, mythical creationist (or at least creationist-like) creature and also a belief that science is fact. I say belief in science for that's what I think they have.

Science is fact - believe in it if you want or don't - neither will change the facts. Religion is belief, pure and simple - there's no facts, no proof, no reality associated with religion per se.

So, you wonder "Why aren't the amazing new understandings about our universe our world and ourselves, evolution, DNA and genetics, science, incorported into our current religious text and discussions." Well, because facts undermine religion. If The Bible (or any other particular religious tome) is THE word of god, then how can it be changed by man? (And yes, you are right that THE word of god is accepted to be what was written down eventually after many rounds of Chinese Whispers, and which is likely rather different to what would have been written down a few hundred or thousandf years earlier.) By having an "ages old" religion accept the scientific facts of the way the universe was created, the way life, once created, evolves and so on would totally undermine its insistence on a beard in the sky, a cosmic creator, or some other form of intelligently designed universe.

The two simply don't mix.

So, the plain, simple reason we can't use both of the languages you wish when talking about the universe is that one (science) is factual and the other (religion) is fairy tales that have no use aside from being interesting stories about how uninformed people viewed what was around them. We can use one (religion) to say "this is what people believed before the facts were made apparent, even though those religions KNEW they were right because some book told them that it was right" and the other (science) to say "this is how the universe is - yes, we know this will change over time as we learn more and more about the universe, but what we're talking are proven, observable, explainable facts and phenomena".

The two can't be used on an equal basis.