Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Archive for the ‘Faith vs. Evidence’ Category

Irreligious Song #15: “The Skeptic in the Room”

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on March 25, 2011

This song is a little different from the other irreligious songs I’ve posted in the past. Namely, it doesn’t make heavy use of dissonance! If you found my other song posts a bit too noisy for your tastes, see what you think of this one. It’s a very funny little ditty by someone named Eddie Scott called “The Skeptic in the Room.” Scott plays an acoustic guitar while he sings, and his song consists of five “chapters” that cover the topics of auras, UFOs, homeopathy, Christianity, and vaccinations.

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Humor, Video | Leave a Comment »

Denying evolution is lying

Posted by Ann on March 12, 2011

My father is a charismatic preacher. He has an ability to convince people to trust him implicitly. Maybe my years of interacting with him contributed to my desire to research the operations of the brain, to study the science of psychology. Much of what he says doesn’t make practical sense. Yet his ideas were pushed on me as truth. I was ordered to follow his rules (and my mother’s) based in these ideas in order to live in his home as a child, as are most children living under the rule of parents. At the same time, something always seemed off, not only about my parent’s fundamentalism, but also their perception of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cognitive Science, Faith vs. Evidence, Reflections & Memories, Science, Testimonies | Leave a Comment »

More God of the Gaps?

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on January 8, 2011

Bill O’Reilly’s recent proof for the existence of God — that God must exist because the tides come in and go out — initially struck me as an example of the God of the Gaps argument. The only problem is that science has been able to explain the relationship between the tides and the Moon and Sun since Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematicain in 1687. So O’Reilly appears to have used a sub-category of the God of the Gaps argument. Now, Christians like O’Reilly don’t need to appeal to a gap in overall human knowledge, they can simply appeal to what they are ignorant of. Click on the link below to see Colbert’s hilarious mockery of Bill’s stupidity.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill O’Reilly Proves God’s Existence – Neil deGrasse Tyson
www.colbertnation.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:370183
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Religion in the News, Video | 4 Comments »

New Gallup Poll Shows Christian Americans Are Overwhelmingly Idiots

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on December 21, 2010

From a new Gallup Poll: “Four in 10 Americans, slightly fewer today than in years past, believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago. Thirty-eight percent believe God guided a process by which humans developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms, while 16%, up slightly from years past, believe humans developed over millions of years, without God’s involvement.”

Read more about the results of the poll here. Note that one’s education level is directly proportional to the likelihood of believing the falsehood that humans were created 10,000 years ago. Christians would probably argue, as I have heard them do, there is a liberal conspiracy in universities. This conspiracy–which must be very well organized to keep all universities in line across the country and world–has as its aim to spread the lies of evolution! At least, that’s what I’m told.

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Religion in the News | 3 Comments »

Ricky Gervais’ Article in the Wall Street Journal

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on December 21, 2010

Since Gervais has been mentioned in a few of the posts on this site, I thought I’d post the article he wrote that was featured in the Wall Street Journal. It’s been making the rounds on Facebook.

Update: The WSJ got a lot of response to Gervais’ article, so they asked him to respond to a few of the typical questions people sent in. Here is the link to his 2nd article, “Does God Exist? Ricky Gervais Takes Your Questions.”

Posted in Essays on Belief, Faith vs. Evidence | Leave a Comment »

Definite Fideism!

Posted by dsc01 on November 26, 2010

First of all, screw you, spell-check! “Fideism” is a word! This started as a response to Paulo’s comment on the “Evolutionary Metaphysics” entry, but then I realized my verbosity was turning my comment into a full-length take-down of Josh Thompson’s “MAN UP,” on his blog, the Outpost. You can find it here.

I think we’ve arrived at a point where fideism is the only alternative to ignorance, for fundamentalists.

If you do a little research, you quickly realize that mountains of evidence tell us that, even if they are in doubt, the origins of life bare little resemblance to what is described in the Bible.

One can only go so long dismissing scientific findings as being the intentional distortions of anti-theistic scientists.

The one thing fundamentalists have on their side (which Josh exploits in this blog) is that they have “unchanging Truth.” Of course, the intellectual dishonesty, there, is massive, but that is their claim–that God’s Truth never changes.

The nature of scientific inquiry is such that the scientist is free to (and should) change his mind as often as new evidence casts doubt on prior hypotheses. “Unchanging Truth” has little value (it only puts the cart ahead of the horse), and the possibility is always open that everything we know about the workings of the universe is not true.

Of course, that’s not a problem. The universe is very complex. What we know about it tells us that there is much more that we do not know and that we are almost certainly wrong–at least in some small way–about almost everything.

But Christians can make that a problem. They’ve got a long history of training their own to be unable to think logically. After all, “Jesus offers us eternal security,” is considered a valid argument for why we should believe in him.

So it’s no surprise that Josh says, “‘Being open to believing anything,’ sounds a lot like fear-based paralysis to me,” and challenges us to “man up” and pick a side.

Of course, he undermines his own position by quoting Rush and their assertion that refusing to choose is a choice. Josh assumes that this is passive, that fence-sitters are indecisive cowards, but it can be an active choice and a brave one, at that.

After all, definite answers are comforting. If sober analysis of the facts, independent of what one wants to be true, indicate that we don’t know what is going on for certain and likely never will, then why shouldn’t one choose to believe just that?

Now, the excerpt he quotes does sort of offer us a stupid dichotomy: either there is some kind of guiding force in the universe, or it’s all random and pointless, so we should remain open to both possibilities. It seems like the author is an agnostic who is afraid to go atheist because (s)he thinks that everything becomes meaningless without the possibility of a God. But who knows?

Anyway, Josh resorts, ultimately, to the odd doublethink that necessarily characterizes fundamentalist philosophy. Unless one chooses to believe in God, he says, “the most proudly open mind in the world is actually already blindly biased.” How does this work? Well, it doesn’t need to make sense, does it? Because faith is independent of reason, and these kinds of crazy non sequitors are like Escher’s impossible stairs to Christians–nonsensical but awesome (and God is awesome and makes the impossible possible, so whatever–proof!).

I suppose that the conclusion to all of this is that we can’t really hope to communicate with fundamentalists in a way that they will understand. Many of us went to school with Josh, and we probably agreed with him when we did. For me, moving away from fundamentalism was a long process, and Josh has spent that time getting deeper into it.

Even though we can’t reach him, I hope that the debate finds its way to those who, like we did, are moving away (or at least open to it).  I think that they’ll realize that our side is the reasonable one, we are not cowards, and disbelief can finally offer the happiness that we were always told Christ would bring, even though he never did.

Posted in Essays on Belief, Faith vs. Evidence, Opinion | 14 Comments »

Former Christian missionary challenged to rethink his faith after learning the Piraha’s concept of experiential liminality

Posted by prb3 on November 18, 2010

I was reminded of Daniel Everett’s book ‘Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes’ after a short discussion with a christian friend about people converting to Christianity.

Everett offers a great example, albeit rare, of a Christian missionary abandoning his faith due his experiences with the Amazonian tribe he was trying to convert. I particularly like this because he used to work for SIL (one of the organizations my father works for).

Check out these links to learn more, I guarantee that the Piraha tribe will fascinate you. I should also warn all you die hard Chomsky fans that some of Everett’s findings in the field of linguistics are challenging notions Chomsky has championed over the years…that said, I’m sure that if you are indeed a fan of Chomsky, it probably has little to do with his views on language and more to do with his political views, so you shouldn’t be upset 🙂

Full audio lecture:

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Video | 6 Comments »

Jesus’ Resurrection Debunked. In one page.

Posted by Ann on October 14, 2010

Okay, so I admit. I’m a John Loftus junkie. I go to his blog almost daily. Every once in a while a blogger catches my fancy, and Debunking Christianity got me hooked. At least a couple of times a week I read something on his blog I think of reproducing here. But…it would be a little silly to copy everything he puts up, no? This one I can’t resist though. His blog is a one stop blog for current atheist news and thoughts on-line, so I don’t feel guilty lifting this since he does the same thing a lot. Loftus got this from Chris Hallquist: Jesus’ Resurrection, Debunked in One Page. Nice.

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence | 24 Comments »

My first and final Facebook discussion on religion

Posted by Ann on September 5, 2010

A couple of days ago I had my first discussion on Facebook with “liberal Christians” about their religious beliefs. Somehow I had developed a belief that liberal Christians would actually be able to see through the irrationality of fundamentalism in a way fundamentalists can’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Dialogues, Faith vs. Evidence, Liberal Christians, Reflections & Memories, Science, Testimonies | 10 Comments »

“Missing links” are not missing anymore

Posted by Paulo on April 8, 2010

BBC News: “South African fossils could be new hominid species”

Yet another missing link has been found. This is the latest one in dozens found within the last few years. How many more “missing links” have to be found before people like Wendy Wright admit they exist?

But people like her will never admit these are in fact missing links. They will just say, “Oh, those aren’t missing links, they are just extinct ape species that somewhat resemble humans more than other apes, but they are not humans.”

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Science | 14 Comments »

Wendy Wright, not so bright

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on February 9, 2010

The following interview of creationist Wendy Wright by Richard Dawkins has been making the rounds online. Warning! Listening to Ms. Wright can cause insanity and the desire to jump out of the nearest and highest window.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Video | 49 Comments »

Pat Robertson’s Christian Truth

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on January 14, 2010

I would be seriously remiss if I did not post something about Pat Robertson’s recent comments that have gotten everyone talking. To summarize, after the earthquake in Haiti that has so far killed between 45-50,000 people, Pat Robertson went on the air to offer his compassion, love and support…

Not quite; that would occur in an alternative reality, where Pat exists as a non-racist, non-ignoramus. Unfortunately, in this world, Pat is a self-righteous prophet of condemnation. Here is a video clip from The Young Turks whose commentary on the clip is worth listening to. I like the anchor’s incredulous attitude: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Religion in the News | 12 Comments »