Vexen Crabtree's Blurty
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Vexen Crabtree's Blurty:

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    Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
    11:45 pm
    Three updates
    (1) Why Question Beliefs? Dangers of Placing Ideas Beyond Doubt, and Advantages of Freethought: I have added section "2.3: The Benefits of Accepting Opposing Views". And added some notes from William Draper (1881) to section "1. Crazy Beliefs are Dangerous", subsection "1.5. Religious Fundamentalism". And added the famous quote from Thomas Paine to the conclusion: "it is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry"!

    (2) Hot Topics in Human Sexuality: Page relaunch. I've added an introductory paragraph, and section "2.1 Human Sexuality Today Verses Ancient Greece". The differences between Greek culture and ours is truly astounding. I've tidied up the section on religoin and sexuality, and added introductory sections on masturbation, homosexuality, birth control and marriage. I have removed some old text (I bet no-one misses it!). Some bits I've left untouched which I ought to have rewritten (but I've not yet got good source material to use).

    (3) The Problem of Evil: Why Would a Good God Create Suffering?: Added a paragraph to the intro (section 1) on how the Problem of Evil is only really a problem for monotheistic religions that hold there is an all-powerful, perfectly good god. Added section "2. The Inhumane Effects of the Justifications of Evil", on how many historical explanations as to why God created evil have had horrible effects on morality. Added some history to the start of section "6. The Creator of the Best of All Possible Worlds: Or the Evil Creator of the Worst?".

    Current Mood: awake
    Friday, March 7th, 2014
    10:24 pm
    Some updates to pages on Christianity
    1. Iyyobh, in the Jewish Book of Truth - Known to Christians as the Book of Job: I've added a paragraph to the introduction on this page on the theological problems in the story of Job, and 2 sections to this page: (1) God Testing People in The Bible, and (2) God as the Author of Evil: Are Satan and God Interchangeable?

    2. Jesus Did Not Exist: I have added a long introductory paragraph, and added multiple quotes from Bart Ehrman and a bit from Karen Armstrong. This page needs a lot of work - there are several important books and authors on this topic that I ought to be mentioning (for example the dry Richard Carrier and the impassioned Acharya S). The parts on the birth of Jesus and on his death will be revamped too at some point.

    3. The Book of Revelation: Some notes on authorship and symbolism.

    4. The Birth of Jesus and the Christmas Story: Pagan and Unhistorical: I have revamped this page... given it an introduction before the menu, added notes from Prof. Bart Ehrman on historical proofs, and added a few other bits throughout the page.

    Current Mood: blank
    Monday, December 30th, 2013
    5:51 am
    Updates from the past week
    1. New page: Apostasy: Thought Crime in Christianity and Islam.

    2. New page: Growing Fundamentalism in Islam: How Moderates are Subjugated by Muslim Hardliners. Extremists and fundamentalists put on much pressure to stop the growth of tolerance and liberalism in their own communities, and where possible, in entire countries. Examples are given, as usual.

    3. On all the region pages (see: Compare International Country Statistics by Region and Continent) I've added a section comparing religions and tables are now sortable by clicking anywhere on each column header, and a little icon shows you which way the table is presently sorted. So to find out which continent or group of countries has the best life expectancy, just sort the table accordingly! And to find out which continent or bloc has most Muslims, or, least Christians? Just sort the tables, and find out :-)

      For example on the Which are the Best Countries in Asia? page, to find out which country in Asia has the best life expectancy, just sort the table accordingly! Which country in Asia has most Buddhists, or, least Hindus? You get the idea.

    Current Mood: content
    Current Music: "United in Black (Angels & Agony mix)" by Zeitgeist Zero
    Sunday, October 13th, 2013
    11:41 am
    Another round of updates

    All of these I've done today (and it is only 11am...):

    • Pascal's Wager is Safer in Reverse: Picking a Religion is Dangerous Business: A few updates to this page. I've added section "3.2. The Islamic Qur'an - Worshipping the Wrong God is a Ticket to Hell" which lists many verses - things like saying god is in 3 parts, for example, will make you a loser on judgement day. Also added an opening paragraph to section "3.3. The Christian Bible - Believing the Wrong Things is a Ticket to Hell" - many verses in the Bible warn against the dangers of idolatry (which is, worshipping the wrong god), and punishments include hell and the punishment can effect up to 4 generations of your descendants. In other words: pick the right god! The problem is of course, that according to Pascal's Wager, you /ought/ to pick a god. In practice, it is safer not to, because the world's religions have harsh punishments in store for those who pick the wrong one. It is safer not to pick one, and not even to /know/ about religion!

    • Homocentricity or Anthropocentrism: Why Do Religions Think Humanity Is Central to God and Creation?: I've added section "4. The Instruments of Heaven in the Christian Bible" - on how it just-so-happens that the instruments heard from heaven in the Book of Revelations is an instrument popular among the Hebrews and Greeks. Is it coincidence? Why do the hosts of heaven not play a Chinese, Australian or even an electronic or modern instrument? The answer to these questions is that the description of heaven is culturally sourced - "divine truth" is made up. Aside from that, I've added a footnote for Bainbridge's acknowledge of an argument in section "2.1. We are Not the Center of the Universe". And added Qur'an 2:29 to the list of verses in section "1.3. Homocentricity in Islam".

    • Christianity v. Astronomy: The Earth Orbits the Sun!: Added two more verses to the list of Biblical verses that have a stationary Earth sit at the center of a circling sun: Habakkuk 3:10-11 describes an amazing and miraculous scene, where the sun and the moon stand still "in their habitation". The sun is always standing still, of course, at the center of the solar system. Ecclesiastes 1:5 explains that "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose". The sun, of course, does perform no such acrobatics.

    And finally,

    • Homosexuality in Animals and Humans: Added a few new sections to this page: "2. International Gay Rights Index (Which Countries are Most and Least Tolerant?)" includees a list of the 40 best places and 40 worst places for gay rights, over all of history, and taking into account criminality, marriage and other things. The Netherlands, Belgium and Canada score the most highly, and UAE, Saudi Arabia and a few other Muslim states score the worst. I've added new sections on genetic and development theories as to the cause of homosexuality and updated existing texts. Various studies have found between 20% and 50% of homosexuality is purely genetic, and the rest is due to biochemical influences on the fetus.

    Friday, August 2nd, 2013
    1:45 pm
    Human physiology and the human condition
    OK a few updates recently on some issues surrounding our experiences as human beings:
    • The Illusion of Choice: Free Will and Determinism - Page re-organised to make it flow better and done a bit of mild editing. I've rewritten what is now section 6.1 - "Social Justice Requires Causation, Not Free Will" and added a note contrary to philosopher Robert Carroll. There are still a few sections in the middle that need rationalizing.

    • Psychosomosis - the Placebo and Nocebo Effects: Curing and Causing Disease with the Mind - I've added a story to section 3.2. Somatoform Disorders and Conversion Hysteria; a case of a possible hallucination but probably somatoform disorder whereby an ordinary-sized man thinks himself too massively fat to squeeze through a door. Doctors have him forced through the door in order to prove his mistake, but he thinks he is being crushed to death, and 'nearly' dies from the psychosomatic effect!

    • The False and Conflicting Experiences of Mankind: How Other Peoples' Experience Contradict Our Own Beliefs - added section #4.1, Hallucinations and Fasting (with a section on Ghosts), which is now the best part of this otherwise old page. I was on the verge of deleting this page in 2008 but settled for deleting large chunks of waffle, and it has just held on. Hopefully with this new content I'll feel better about it!

    • A Realistic Guide to Dream Interpretation - Added section "5. The New Age Religion of Eckankar" ; Eckankar embraces full-on every possible crazy belief about dreams and dream prophecies but they do get one one simple thing right - that the elements of dreams are personal and subjective, and daft "Dream Symbols" books are useless.

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: "The Final Countdown" by Europe
    Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
    8:53 pm
    Marriage prohibitions, religious countries and God's justice
    • On Marriage: Its Diversity and Character I have added a note to the end of the new section "5.4. Dogmas About Marrying Outsiders From the Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Bible". Sociologists have often commented on the reluctance, and often refusal, of Jewish rabbis to conduct marriages between Jews and non-Jews: "Mayer conducted a 1997 survey of American rabbis on interfaith marriages, in which 36 percent of the rabbis said that they would officiate at an interfaith wedding, but the numbers ranged widely, from zero among the Orthodox and Conservatives rabbis to 62 percent of the Reconstructionist rabbis".
    • On Secularisation Theory: Will Modern Society Reject Religion? What is Secularism? I have added to Section #3 a list of the least religious countries of the world, and countries that are most atheist. Added a note that some describe Berlin as 'the atheist capital of the world'. I've re-ordered some sections. Added notes that in the West and in the non-Western world (i.e. Amongst Buddhists), the perceived authority of clergy and religious professionals is declining. Added a quote from Richard Fenn to section #6 on Civil Religion.
    • On Biblical Christianity Denies Free Will
      I've added Matthew 5:45 to the section on predeterminism; although it isn't about salvation, it is at least about justice. The verses say that the sun and the rain afflict both the good and the evil amongst us. Also added a quote to section "4.5. The Church of England" from John William Draper (1881).

    Current Music: "The Funeral of Hearts" by HIM
    Saturday, May 11th, 2013
    11:14 pm
    A few updates
    • "Why Did Some People in the Bible Live So Long?" - I've updated section 4. "Sociological Data on Life Expectancy Versus Religion", given it a new scattergraph with data from 2009/2011 to replace the 2002 data, and the associated text is rewritten. Over those 7 years, the trends have remained the same.

    • The Causes of Fundamentalism, Intolerance and Extremism in World Religions, and Some Solutions - I've added a quote from Voltaire (1764) to section 4.1. "Monotheism and Violent Intolerance". The quote in full reads: "One remarks a singular contrast between the sacred books of the Hebrews, and those of the Indians. The Indian books announce only peace and gentleness; they forbid the killing of animals: the Hebrew books speak only of killing, of the massacre of men and beasts; everything is slaughtered in the name of the Lord; it is quite another order of things."

    • What is the Best Country in the World?: An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life - I have added a section on Gay Rights and Equality. The Netherlands, Belgium and Canada are the most equal and accepting countries. This has changed the rankings, with Switzerland and Germany just dropping out of the top 10 best countries in the world.

    Current Mood: productive
    Current Music: "The Man Who Came From Later" by 32Crash
    Thursday, December 13th, 2012
    11:37 am
    Some updates
    I've added a load of quotes and text to my page on humanism, mostly from the British Humanist Association's "What Is Humanism" booklet.

    Added the story of Lot to my summary of incest in the Bible as example four. "Lot fathered children with his own daughters after they took turns to seduce him while he was drunk. Lot is considered favourable by god, was saved by God's angels (Genesis 19:11-13, 15-17,19) and is described as just and righteous in 2 Peter 2:6-8."

    I've re-organised my page on Christian Universalism in Matthew and Luke - the Parables of the Vineyard Workers and the Lost Sheep and a good summary of it put on Universalism: If there is a Good God, Everyone Must Go to Heaven (which is about Universalism in general, not just Christian Universalism).

    I've added a section on Islam (including Qur'anic verses) to "Homocentricity or Anthropocentrism: Why Do Religions Think Humanity Is Central to God and Creation?"

    Aside from religious stuff, I've also updated Alien Life and Planet Earth and added comments on the limited use of SETI using radio waves.
    11:36 am
    Are there any users on Blurty?
    I can only find spam and spamvertising! Such a shame... whoever writes these programs that automatically posts stuff to journals should be sent to some hell-hole where there is no internet access!

    Current Mood: annoyed
    Current Music: "Dead Set &am (Re-Stomped) by Glis
    Monday, October 24th, 2011
    9:39 pm
    Biblical Justifications for Murder and Heresy-Hunting
    I've added this text as Section 3 of "The God of the Christian Bible is Evil: Evidence from Scripture and Nature" by Vexen Crabtree (2006), and section 5.3 of "Religion, Violence, Crime and Mass Suicide" by Vexen Crabtree (2009):

    The Old Testament was rife with occasions when God not only sanctioned the murder, pillage and rape of the enemies of his chosen people, but, often God itself joined in, directly smiting people itself. Jeremiah 48:10 declares: "A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!". It is clear that violence has a divine Biblical endorsement. But for what ends? Luke 14:23 says "Compel people to come in!" for the purpose of "filling" the Church. Jesus himself declared "think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34). And henceforth, Christian history contains many unfortunate chapters where Christian groups anathematized one another as heretics, and proceded to burn, torture and murder those who disagreed. Victims have been anyone who disagreed even on confusing technical points of Christian doctrine, members of other religions such as Muslims and Jews, and it seems, many other innocent victims ranging from outcasts who were accused of witchcraft ("Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" - Exodus 22:18), homosexuals and finally, a small number who have genuinely plotted against the Church.

    Book CoverSuch attitudes are not merely disasters found in history. Even in the twentieth century, Pope Leo XII argued for violence and murder, based on religion:

    The death sentence is a necessary and efficacious means for the Church to attain its end when rebels act against it and disturbers of the ecclesiastical unity, especially obstinate heretics and heresiarchs, cannot be restrained by any other penalty. [...] If there be no other remedy for saving its people it can and must put these wicked men to death.

    Pope Leo XII

    Current Mood: busy
    Current Music: "Peace of Mind (Dave Foreman Remix)" by Wynardtage
    Saturday, May 28th, 2011
    10:58 pm
    Psychology and Crime by Clive R. Hollin (1989)
    I've finished whizzing through this book - I'm slowly getting through the psychology and legal books I acquired en masse in 2005! I've used this book on two of my texts, which are updated accordingly. They are:

    * Crime runs in families: "UK Trash Culture" by Vexen Crabtree (2004)

    * Gender separation, male dominance and strict religion are correlated with high levels of rape in society: "Religion Versus Womankind" by Vexen Crabtree (2007)

    Current Mood: tired
    Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
    10:31 pm
    The Ritual Slaughter of Animals in World Religions
    I've spellchecked this page ( ) (corrected one or two things) and added a quote from Jocelyn Cesari on European law and how it has tended to accomodate Islamic slaughter as a also-exempt alongside Jewish practices. She also notes that public protests sometimes - and rightly - endager the practice of the ritual slaughtering of animals.
    Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
    3:27 pm
    Marriage and Islam
    I've added a section here: "Marriage: Its Diversity and Character: 5.4. Islam and Marriage" by Vexen Crabtree (2004) which includes sections on arranged marriages, 'fetching marriages' and EU immigration, and polygamy.
    Friday, February 11th, 2011
    2:20 pm
    Secular, Secularism and Secularisation
    I've added some clearer definitions of key terms to the beginning of my page on secularisation:

    Secular means without religion. Non-religious people lead secular lives. Secular government runs along rational and humanistic lines. This is the norm in democratic countries. The individuals that make up the government are rightly free to have whatever religion they want, as are the populace. Because of this freedom, in a multicultural world, there is a requirement for governments not to cause resentment or divisions by identifying itself with a particular religion. The most well-known phrase proposing secular democracy as an ideal is Jefferson's "wall of separation between church and state" [paraphrased].

    Secularism, promoted by secularists, is the belief that religion should be a private, personal, voluntary affair that does not impose upon other people. Political secularism ensures that religions, and non-religious, people are treated fairly, without bias being given towards one religion or against others. It is the only democratic way to proceed in a globalized world.

    Secularisation is the process of things becoming more secular. Most of the Western world has seen this paradigm come to dominate politics and civil life, starting from the time of the Enlightenment. Religion, because it causes issues, retreats from the public sphere as people prefer to meet on neutral terms, in peace.

    Secularisation Theory is the theory in sociology that as society advances in modernity, religion retreats. Intellectual and scientific developments have undermined the spiritual, supernatural, superstitious and paranormal ideas on which religion relies for its legitimacy. Therefore, religion becomes more and more "hollow", surviving for a while on empty until loss of active membership forces them into obscurity. The evidences and shortcomings of this theory are discussed later in this text.

    Some take the process of secularisation as a personal affront, and think that mere lack of bias from government implies an active attack. They see any reduction in (their own) public religion to be bad, and apparently they do not understand the causes or reasons behind the secularisation of officialdom. Hopefully this page will address this.

    On "Secularisation Theory: Will Modern Society Reject Religion? What is Secularism?" by Vexen Crabtree (2006)

    Current Mood: busy
    Current Music: "Craving" by Seize
    Saturday, October 30th, 2010
    11:20 am
    My Satanism website redesign continues
    Six more pages have been brought into the new style and lightly editted. They are:

    "The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism" by Vexen Crabtree (2010)

    "How many Satanists are there?" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

    "The London Satanists Group: Now Closed" by Vexen Crabtree (2010)

    "The Book of Satan" by Vexen Crabtree (2006)

    "The Book of Satan 1:1-4" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

    "The Book of Satan 1:5-7" by Vexen Crabtree (2006)

    Current Mood: happy
    Current Music: "The Irreperable" by Glis
    Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
    9:24 pm
    God Cannot Change: Physics Versus Traditional Religion
    I've added a little bit to "The Four Dimensions and the Immutability of God: 3.2. Traditional Religious Beliefs" by Vexen Crabtree (2007):

    Traditionally the Creator of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and many other religions, is a creator that is emotional, creative, moral, judgemental and personable. Nearly all monotheistic religoius books contains descriptions of God portraying emotions that require the creator to be subject to time, not outside of it. For example in Genesis, God is found 'looking' for Adam and Eve; on other occasions, a Human being changes God's mind through the use of a rational argument in one instance, and through the use of a blood ritual in another occasion. The creator of time cannot change its mind - nor can a perfect being. To change is to be subject to time, and to change implies that what comes after was better than before, which would contradict God's perfection.

    God, in all religious literature up until recently, resembled a being with human emotions and thoughts. Whoever wrote religious books tended not to understand the complexities of multi-dimensional abstract mathematics nor the physics of the space-time continuum.
    Book“By employing mathematics as a language, science can describe situations which are completely beyond the power of human beings to imagine. Indeed, most of modern physics falls into this category. [...] It may be logically impossible for anyone to be able to correctly visualize certain physical systems, such as atoms, because they contain features that simply do not exist in the world of our experience. [...] Failure of the human imagination to grasp certain crucial features of reality is a warning that we cannot expect to base great religious truths (such as the nature of the creation) on simple-minded ideas of space, time and matter.” -- "God And The New Physics" by Paul Davies (1984)

    Current Mood: happy
    Current Music: "Supersonic Snakebite" by Project Pitchfork
    Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
    8:18 pm
    The Short History of Romantic Marriage in the West
    I've added some details to "Marriage: Its Diversity and Character: 3.2. The Short History of Romantic Marriage in the West" by Vexen Crabtree (2004)

    Modern marriage, "for love", is a relatively rare and new institution. Not only is monogamous marriage common in only 20% of present-day societies, but romantic marriage itself has only been common in the West for a few hundred years. According to the sociologists Anthony Giddens, Lawrence Stone and John Boswell, even as late as the 1500s modern ideas of romantic marriage had not found common acceptance. Religious authorities regarded marriage as a necessary, pragmatic solution to unhealthy sexual emotions, and not something to be done for pleasure, romance or affection.

    Book[In the 1500s] Individual freedom of choice in marriage and other aspects of family life was subordinated to the interests of parents, other kin or the community. Outside aristocratic circles, where it was sometimes actively encouraged, erotic or romantic love was regarded by moralists and theologians as a sickness. -- "Sociology" by Anthony Giddens (1997)

    In premodern Europe marriage usually began as a property arrangement, was in its middle mostly about raising children, and ended about love. Few couples in fact married 'for love', but many grew to love each other in time as they jointly managed their household, reared their offspring, and shared life's experiences. Nearly all surviving epitaphs to spouses evince profound affection. By contrast, in most of the modern West, marriage begins about love, in its middle is still mostly about raising children (if there are children), and ends - often - about property, by which point love is absent or a distant memory. -- John Boswell

    The idea of romantic marriage, steeped in personal choice, coincidence and love, had begun to flourish in cities and urban centres. Until the 1800s, marriage was still a deal sought for practical advantage - a peasant could not maintain his holding on his own, without a committed and hardworking wife. When bereaved, a peasant married almost at once, often to whoever was simply most willing to work hardest. It wasn't until the 1800s that ideas of romantic marriage began to emerge from the cities.
    The traditional conception of marriage as essentially a business contract, an arrangement based on mutual practical advantage in terms of property-ownership or the labour-power needed to work a peasant holding, the conception which had been taken for granted in pre-industrial peasant Europe, was now rapidly decaying. The idea of it as the result of free individual choice based on individual tastes and preferences was now seeping from the large city into the countryside and the smaller urban centres. In one small French town, for example, during the two decades after Waterloo, the average age of women at marriage was relatively high (about twenty-five) and about a third of brides were older than their husbands. Quite rapidly, however, the average age of marriage fell to twenty-one; and from about 1865 onwards only one woman in ten was older than the man she married. A basic aspect of human nature, the fact that, given a free choice, men prefer to marry women who are younger than themselves and who are physically attractive, was now increasingly able to assert itself. -- "The Ascendancy of Europe 1815-1914" by M S Anderson (1985)
    Although romantic marriage was destined to dominate the ideas of what marriage should be in the West, it actually has a rather short history of less than 200 years of general acceptance.

    Current Mood: happy
    Current Music: "The Tongue of Fire" by Emperor
    Saturday, March 27th, 2010
    9:38 pm
    Perception of Crime Rates in the UK
    I've added this section to "Modern Mass Media: 1.3. Perception of Crime Rates in the UK" by Vexen Crabtree:

    "Crime stories have long been a staple of news reporting, but crime news doesn't reflect the real world" says Professor Justin Lewis, head of the School of Journalism at Cardiff University. He continues: "Crime is usually reported because it is dramatic or alarming, not because it is typical or likely to have an impact on our lives. So while increases in the crime figures are seen as dramatic, decreases are seen as dull. The first will be headlined, the second glossed over. [...] Many people have assumed in recent years that crime levels are going up when they have actually been going down". For example in the 1990s the annual total crime rate was over 15 millions crimes per year on average in the UK. This was according to the large-scale British Crime Survey which quizzes people about crime, rather than rely on police or government statistics. In the 2000s the average was closer to 10 million crimes per year. This significant drop has occurred despite an increasing population in the UK. "Despite these changes, 65 per cent of the population believe that crime levels are increasing in the country as a whole". Aside from this independent source, the UK government's Home Office has itself complained of the mistaken opinions of the masses, noting that in particular, readers of poor quality newspapers are the most likely to have skewed perceptions of crime:
    The Home Office says that [...] Crime in England and Wales actually peaked in 1995 and has now fallen by 44% in the last 10 years. 'Despite the number of crimes estimated by the British Crime Survey falling in recent years, comparatively high proportions of people still believe the crime rate to have risen. This is not true.' said Jon Simmons, head of Home Office research and statistics who put part of the problem down to media reporting. 'Readers of national tabloids were around twice as likely [39%] as those who read national broadsheets [19%] to think that the national crime rate has increase 'a lot' in the previous year', he said.
    Populist news outlets prefer to headline what sells rather than practice good journalism. And aside from crime rates, populist papers tend to report the negative side of pretty much everything.

    The next section on that page is about "Modern Mass Media: 1.4. The Pessimism Syndrome"
    Monday, March 15th, 2010
    10:47 pm
    The 'Experience of Evil' Theodicy
    I have revamped , the bulk of it now reads:

    Some people say that God created suffering, pain and evil because we need to experience these things. But there is no 'greater purpose' that can justify the existence of the amount of suffering and superfluous evil that exists for humankind or in the natural world. There are a few major arguments against the experience theodicy.

    1. Infanticide and Heaven: If the unborn go to heaven when they die prematurely, as is assumed by many, then it means that these babies have not yet experience the suffering of life. If they can enter heaven without experiencing suffering and evil, then, it cannot be true that God created suffering because it is good for us, and God should put everyone in heaven immediately.

    2. Real suffering is not necessary: God could simply give us an innate knowledge of what evil is like, without us having to experience it. We have a lot of instinctive emotional reactions to pain and suffering, these are not learned. They are proof that innate understanding is valid, and God can easily endow us with as much innate understanding about evil as required. We would then know about it, and not need to experience it. We could all happily appreciate its absence.

    3. We don't need an experience of suffering. Forgetting the fact that unborn babies don't seem to need it and that God could give us knowledge of it without us having to actually experience it, it seems that there is no particular reason why we need either knowledge or experience of suffering and pain. Any advantage that is gained from experiencing these things could simply be granted to us directly by God, therefore bypassing the need.

    4. Angels and God: If angels, and if god, exist in heaven then it shows that it is possible for beings to be in heaven without first going through an experience of suffering in life. If it possible, then if God is good, it would immediately place everyone in heaven. However, god is not good, so it continues to let us suffer.

    It is inadequate to say merely that knowledge or experience of suffering is requirement for us to enter heaven as a justification of why suffering exists. God can give us innate knowledge of evil, rather than let us experience it directly, and if babies or the unborn go to heaven then is clear that experience of the suffering of life is not actually required, after all. If angels or god exist in heaven then it shows that it is possible for beings to be in heaven without first experiencing suffering. The experience theodicy does not work.

    To the present day, all theodicies have failed to explain why a good god would create evil, meaning that the existence of evil is simply incompatible with the existence of a good god. After thousands of years of life-consuming passion, weary theologians have not formulated a new answer to the problem of evil for a long time. The violence of the natural world, disease, the major catastrophes and chaotic destruction seen across the universe and the unsuitability of the vastness of reality for life all indicate that god is not concerned with life, and might actually even be evil. Failure to answer the problem of evil sheds continual doubt on the very foundations of theistic religions.

    "The Problem of Evil: Why Would a Good God Create Suffering?"
    Vexen Crabtree

    Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
    6:36 pm
    "Thought processes are accompanied by localized physical activity in the brain"
    I've added text to "Emotions Without Souls: How Biochemistry and Neurology Account for Feelings" by Vexen Crabtree (1999):

    Neurology and science has enabled us to understand the brain to such an extent that such an ethereal concept is no longer needed to explain anything. Modern brain scanning methods include a wide range of technologies, including fMRI, PET, SPECT and EEG. Using these, neuroscientists have made many exciting discoveries, including the physical basis of important thought processes. In all cases, the firing of neurones in these parts of the brains come before awareness and conscious choices are made.

    “All these techniques confirm that thought processes are accompanied by localized physical activity in the brain. Let us look at just a few of the examples relevant to our discussion. Using fMRI, scientists in the United States and Brazil have discovered that the region of the brain activated when moral judgments are being made is different from the region activated for social judgments that are equally emotionally charged. [... It] is not just that physical processes in the brain take part in thinking; they seem to be responsible for the deepest thoughts that are supposed to be the province of spirit rather than matter. [...]”
    Prof. Victor J. Stenger (2007)

    Some people reject this type of thinking. The science is new (even if the idea of a physical basis of consciousness comes from antiquity) and it often takes a while for new discoveries to find their way into popular thinking - neophobia may play its part too.. Prof. Stenger warns that "the implication that "we" are bodies and brains made of atoms and nothing more is perhaps simply too new, too disturbing, too incompatible with common preconceptions to be soon accepted into common knowledge", so, we, as scientists and enlightened readers, should always strife to spread the great depth of our scientific understanding of neurology and consciousness.

    The rest of the page linked contains several discussions and examples from various fields of medical science which are all only possible because emotions are physical, not spiritual, in nature.

    Current Mood: loved
    Current Music: "Feier Dich!" by Unheilig
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