Less than two weeks after terrorist attack in Manchester, there was another terrorist attack. This time the target is London.
The time has come for us as a civilization to examine the cause behind these attacks. Now, you might think that we have done so, but we actually haven’t. And why? Well, mostly it is because people do not want to be labeled Islamophobic.
By MIH83 / Pixabay
The arguments that Religion should not be even looked at do not help our society stay safe. There are right now a huge amount of tweets and Facebook posts with people claiming that religion has nothing to do with it, without having a slightest clue about who and what the attackers even are. Now isn’t this insane?
Yes, the most immediate cause for these attacks is Hate. But Hate does not come from nothing. There needs to be an explanation and a cause for it.
You do not simply hate somebody without any reason whatsoever. Atheists are aware of the dangers of all religions. All we ask is that Religion is not so easily dismissed as a possible source of this hate.
It is naïve to ignore the possibility that it can be religion. It might turn out not to be, but with people being afraid to even ask the question, we might never know. And we can't afford not to know. Lives are at stake. The risk of offending an ideology is a small price to pay.
It seems almost certain that they ARE Muslim extremists. They are the people who took the absolute worst of the religion and decided to live by it. It happens. They have told us this many times. And there are a huge amount of cases where moderate Muslims were convinced to leave their lives in the West and join ISIS, simply because they liked how ISIS was interpreting the religion. This does NOT mean all Muslims do this or are capable of doing this. But it does mean that modern Muslims need to condemn what they do.
Denial doesn't help Christians, Atheists, Buddhists and least of all moderate, modern Muslims who are possibly the biggest victims of ISIS. But the first step is acknowledging the possibility that it might have something to do with religion.
Many times, you can hear the so-called “first cause” argument and that it supposedly proves the existence of God.
The argument goes something like this:
- The Universe had a Beginning
- If the Universe had a beginning, it must have had (transcendental) cause that is outside of our reality – first cause
- The Universe has a first cause that is outside our limits
- This cause must be powerful
- This cause is God
On the first glance, the argument it does look powerful.
But, sometimes if one is witty enough, one can remember what was written by various philosophers before.
TL;DR – That science and religion do not clash as they are not concerned with the same things is basically a mantra invented by religious people to have their religion not questioned.
The entire point of this post can be summarized by the image above.
It can also be perfectly explained by paraphrasing Sam Harris: There is NOT a single thing for which once we had a scientific answer, but for which we now have a much better religious answer, while through history we have countless examples where things were once explained by religion, but are now better explained by science.
It basically goes in this one way, every single time. It is almost every time science really advances knowledge about our universe, religion somehow falls back, loses credibility. To prove this point just think about that once religion claimed that the Earth was stationary, until science proved this wrong. Same with Earth being the center of the universe, and the sun going around it. This can also be seen in the science disproving nonsense that is Noah’s ark, for example. Then the creationism of man, which was disproved by evolution / geology / astronomy. Nowadays creationism is mostly replaced by so-called “intelligent design” where people are simply saying “ok, some kind of evolution did happen, but it was god who guided it” .. or “god started it”, or something similar.
Of course, even these things are being disproved by science right as we speak. For example, through the human body there is evidence of “bad design”, meaning no intelligent designer would do things in this manner, but on the other hand, they are perfectly explained by evolution.
CC0 Public Domain – Mikegi / Pixabay
On today’s date, 18 May 1872 (- 2 February 1970) Bertrand Arthur William Russell, was born. Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, writer, activist and Nobel laureate.
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
He has left huge impact on mathematics, logic, philosophy and even computer science. So, to celebrate the day this extraordinary man was born here’s some sites where you can get Bertrand Russell’s books either for free or very cheap.
Not all of these books might be in the public domain in your country. You MUST check the copyright laws of your country before downloading.
But even if they are not free in your country, some of them now are really, really dirt cheap. For example, there is a huge number of Books under €2 on Amazon.de.
As has been said multiple times, poetry is one of the things that has the potential either to elevate us above all possible reason or move us to tears. Because of this, entangled.life will from now on share poetry that has just that potential to inspire us humans.
So, let’s get into it. First poem we’ll share is Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe:
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
- The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe on Project Gutenberg
If you ever encountered an “atheist post” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other social media platform, you might have had a passing thought what really motivated the author?
Or maybe you even encountered a bit “sharper” post, which maybe even offended you for a split second, right before you continued scrolling further down to funny cats and vacation photos which don’t question your beliefs.
Or as an extreme example, you might have even been seriously offended and choose to comment and resorted to ad hominem?
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay
So, a thought might have occurred to you “Why do Atheists Speak Out”? Maybe even: “I don’t try to prove that God exists, I don’t bother anybody, so why do they bother me?”
Well, first of all, if you were personally offended by an Atheist in a debate for example, who resorted to ad hominem, let me make perfectly clear that I do not support this kind of arguments. They are weak and not needed, because there are so many good arguments why there is no God. We’ll touch upon these arguments in some other post.
Let us get the obligatory thing out of the way. Almost every statement and counterargument today revolves around the “Not all _ do that”. OF COURSE not all Atheists do that. That is besides the point. People do generalize and we ought to recognize that there is some amount of truth in these generalizations. Also, the “not all _” reply basically stops the conversation. An I think almost any conversation should be generally open, because that is how the society moves forward.
One of the things that has a great potential to irritate is the denial of basic and proven scientific truths. A lot of confusion can come from the fact that a theory in science is something very different from the regular understanding of the word “theory”. We touched upon this already.
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed, preferably using a written, pre-defined, protocol of observations and experiments. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.
So, to cut through this confusion, here’s a MEME to show what evolution is:
First of all, I am not a scientist, but I do know how to read and how to think for myself. Also, when something matters to me, I will take the time to study it, to read about it, to make myself at least a bit more familiar with it than I would have been if I relied on my education alone. The sad fact is, education in my time (and even today) is not focused on teaching critical thinking, but memorizing facts, which makes students more robots than educated citizens. But I digress.
So, how do scientists know that evolution really happened?
By Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
When you think about potential evidence for evolution, you immediately think FOSSILS. But, as we shall see, fossils are actually only extra, bonus, icing on the cake … however you wish to call it. The case for evolution would be air-tight without any fossil evidence whatsoever!!
How? Well, let’s just see.