Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chapter 26 - What does it all mean?

Rather, "Chapter 26 - It means that we must continue doing research."

Let us pause for a moment and review the evidence that we have seen in the prior 25 chapters. I feel like this is what we've already been doing. If God exists, how do we explain all of the different things that we have seen? By realizing that, if God exists, none of these things would disprove God's existence. There is enough independent evidence that suggests that he does to make this meaningless.
  1. How do we explain the death of Neva Rogers? (see Chapter 1) Human negligence, violence, and sin.
  2. How do we explain the 39 houses that were destroyed on Pinecastle Street? (see Chapter 2) Natural disaster.
  3. How do we explain the death of Ranika? (see Chapter 4) Human incompetence.
  4. How do we explain the way that God ignores amputees? (see Chapter 5) God doesn't "ignore" amputees anymore than he ignores anyone whose prayers he refuses to answer positively.
  5. How do we explain the fact that Christians need health insurance? (see Chapter 6) Because Christians want to be able to productively function in society too.
  6. How do we explain the fact that you cannot move a mountain? (see Chapter 7) Because the verses in question are likely not literal, showing clear evidence of hyperbolic language.
  7. How do we explain the fact that bad things consistently happen to good people? (see Chapter 8) Because of human will, and therefore the tendency to sin. That's merely the way things are.
  8. How do we explain God's plan? (see Chapter 8) God's plan is not, and has never been, literally planning out every action that will take place, which would completely remove free will.
  9. How do we explain the fact that Christians who pray have exactly the same odds of winning in Las Vegas as people who don't pray? (see Chapter 9) Because God probably doesn't want to encourage and enable greed, or gambling.
  10. How do we explain the fact that so many people die on battlefields when all of them are praying? (see Chapter 10) Because people die in war. This shouldn't be incredibly surprising.
  11. How do we explain the fact that God is a huge proponent of slavery? (see Chapter 13) By pointing out that the type of slavery in the Old Testament is quite different from the concept of "slavery" that we are more familiar with in the Ancient Near East.
  12. How do we explain God's statement in Exodus 21:20 where he says, "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod... he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property." How can God encourage humans to beat other humans? (see Chapter 13) Because beating was a form of punishment in the ANE for both slaves and free people.
  13. How do we explain the fact that Exodus 21, where God is telling us it is OK to beat our slaves as long as we do not kill them, is the chapter that immediately follows Exodus 20, where God enumerates the Ten Commandments? Why would we hold up the Ten Commandments as the immutable and sacred word of God, while at the same time knowing that Exodus 21 is ridiculous? (see Chapter 13) Well, because we don't hold up Exodus 21 as ridiculous. We understand it by researching the historical context.
  14. How do we explain the fact that God demands animal and human sacrifice? (see Chapter 14) By pointing out that animal sacrifice has been observed in literally every culture, and by saying that God never "demanded" a human sacrifice.
  15. How do we explain God's hatred of women? (see Chapter 15) By pointing out that his "hatred of women" is imaginary, and that you're poorly interpreting scripture.
  16. How do we explain the fact that God massacres so many children in the Bible? (see Chapter 16) By pointing out the context of each event, showing the true motive and legitimate reason behind the actions, and recognizing when the Bible merely records something as having happened rather than God commanding it.
  17. How do we explain the fact that the Bible is so full of irrelevant, incorrect and useless material? (see Chapter 17) By pointing out that you are a decontextualized bigot who can't understand why if the meaning of something isn't immediately apparent, it it still isn't "irrelevant," etc.
  18. How do we explain the fact that the Bible tells us to kill all homosexuals? (see Chapter 17) By pointing out that this commandment was not given to "us," but to the people who signed on to the covenant, in order to keep the society from dying out, and by also explaining how it's not "homosexuals" who were ordered to be killed, but people who practiced homosexual activity. And believe me, there's a huge difference.
  19. How do we explain the fact that the Bible is supposedly inspired by an all-knowing being, yet the author of the Bible knows no more than the primitive men who wrote it? (see Chapter 17) Well, we would articulate that there's a great deal that appears to be prophetic knowledge in the Bible, but qualify that by saying that the Bible was still written by men.
  20. How do we explain the fact that Jesus never proved that he is God? (see Chapter 19) By asking you to define what you mean by "prove," since apparently walking on water, feeding five thousand or more people with a scrap lunch, and resurrecting from the dead after telling people it would happen wasn't enough.
  21. How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to anyone after his death? (see Chapter 20) By telling you about the five hundred people who are said to have seen Jesus after his death.
  22. How do we explain the fact that we have to eat Jesus' body and drink his blood? (see Chapter 21) By explaining the difference between literal cannibalism and ritualistic communion.
  23. How do we explain the fact that 10 million children die every year of simple things like starvation? (see Chapter 22) Human greed and apathy.
  24. How do we explain the fact that Jesus -- the all-powerful, prayer-answering creator of the universe -- needs your money? (see Chapter 24) By clearly postulating that God doesn't need a cent, but churches need money to pay the bills.
  25. How do we explain the fact that there are a billion Muslims who think that all the Christians are delusional, and there are two billion Christians who think all the Muslims are delusional? (see Chapter 25) By explaining that we don't actually think anyone is "delusional;" we merely believe that they are mistaken.
How do we answer all of these questions? With careful consideration and evidence.

Here is the thing that I would like to help you understand. If we assume that God exists, then each of these questions presents us with its own individual mystery. I don't see that as being true. None of these have been all that mysterious. I fairly easily answered every one of them. Each question creates a paradox that requires excuses, rationalizations and convoluted explanations. But none of my explanations were any of those. If you think they are, you must demonstrate it to be true rather than merely assert. These paradoxes and rationalizations are extremely uncomfortable because they make no sense. You're not thinking hard enough, then. If we assume that God exists, then God is ridiculous. Because you're not trying even remotely hard enough to understand God.

On the other hand, if we assume that God is imaginary, then all of these questions are very easy to answer. Our world makes complete sense. Actually, these questions may often become more difficult to understand, and the entire rest of the world becomes a huge absurdity.

What you realize, if you take the time to probe into your religion and think about it deeply, is that all of this evidence is telling you something important. It is telling you, clearly and concisely, that God is imaginary.
False, false, a hundred times false. There is so much more evidence outside of this essay here that demonstrates the existence of God.

If you are a Christian, I realize that your immediate reaction may be to completely ignore what you have read here and turn away from it. Rather than turning away, however, I would ask you to examine all of the evidence that you have seen in this book. I have, and you have come up empty. Think about the questions at the top of this page. Give your mind permission to understand what the evidence actually means. I urge you to do the same, then, and allow yourself to admit that you may be making a terrible mistake. Allow your brain to analyze your religion rationally. What you will find is that all of this evidence points in the same direction: God is imaginary. Most of it points in the direction of you being in huge error.

Reviewing the evidence

In this book we have looked at God from many different angles. What we have found is that there is no evidence for God's existence, except the creation of the universe out of nothing, the fine-tuning of the universe, the objective moral values we see in the world, the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, the personal experience of literally billions of people, the logical absolutes that we use to even make these arguments, and the very ontology of God. God does not answer prayers except for the thousands upon thousands of prayers that even people within my inner circle of friends have uttered that have gone radically answered. God did not write the Bible except by inspiring it, which is different from dictation. God has not incarnated himself except in Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit which dwells within us. In other words, God is imaginary only if you don't really look around you.

How do we know, for sure, that God does not answer prayers? As described in section 1, we simply pray and watch what happens. Odd. I tried that, and prayer worked. What we find is that nothing happens. No matter how many people pray, no matter how often they pray, no matter how sincerely they pray, no matter how worthy the prayer, nothing ever happens. Except for yesterday, when I prayed for something, and it happened. If we pray for anything that is impossible -- for example, regenerating an amputated limb or moving Mt. Everest to Newark, NJ -- it never happens. Except when people I know prayed for a blind person to receive sight, and they immediately were able to see. We all know that. The idea that "praying for impossible things means they won't happen" should theoretically be a no-brainer, if you think about it. If they're impossible, they are not possible to answer. If we pray for anything that is possible, the results of the prayer will unfold in exact accord with the normal laws of probability. Except the situation above, right? It is easy to demonstrate this fact. For example, if we ask 1,000 devout Christians to pray that a coin toss come up heads, and we then have all one thousand of the Christians flip a coin one time, about 500 of them will see their coins land tails. Have you tried this experiment, or are you merely assuming? If we repeat the experiment, the same thing will happen. Has this been proved, or are you making a guess? In every situation where we statistically analyze the effects of prayers, looking at both the success AND the failure of prayer, we find that prayer has zero effect. Not the case, as there are actual scientific studies that have determined that prayer has had a positive effect. That happens, always, because God is imaginary. Every time a Christian says, "The Lord answered my prayer," what we are seeing instead is a simple coincidence. Somehow I doubt that praying for a girl who is mute and deaf to receive her hearing and speech and having them both suddenly happen is "simple coincidence." Christians never talk about failed prayers, but if we look at all the prayers that fail as well as the prayers that work, a statistical analysis proves that God does not answer prayers. Christians do talk about "failed" prayers. I've heard stories of them all over. But it's usually to demonstrate how what we see as a "failure" ultimately worked out for good. See section 1 for details.

How do we know, for sure, that God did not write the Bible? As discussed in section 2, we simply read the Bible and note how uncomfortable it is in so many places. Being uncomfortable with it makes no logical claim on who the author is. We note that God is a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible, despite our absolute certainty as normal human beings that slavery is a moral abomination. The fact that we can be "absolutely certain" about a moral judgment implies that there are moral absolutes, and therefore that God exists. We note that God is a huge misogynist in the Bible, despite our certainty that misogyny is a moral abomination as well. How do we know this apart from a transcendent moral standard, Mr. Brain? We note that God kills huge numbers of babies and small children in the Bible, and we know that this is both an atrocity and horrifically disgusting. Etc. We note that God, who is supposed to be all-knowing, knows no more than the primitive men who actually wrote the Bible. And so on. Yes, merely repeating yourself ought to make it sink in. Anyone who takes the time to actually read the Bible rapidly reaches the conclusion that the Bible was written by primitive men, not by an all-knowing God. See section 2 for details.

How do we know, for sure, that Jesus was a normal human being? As described in section 3, we can ask this simple question: If a man were to proclaim himself to be the son of God today, what would we do? We would want to see incontrovertible proof. Jesus does not get a pass because he lived 2,000 years ago. We note the fact that none of Jesus' miracles left any lasting evidence. But what does that even mean? For example, even though Jesus proclaimed that anyone can move a mountain, we note that no one -- not even Jesus -- has moved a mountain. Likely because it was a hyperbolic statement, which would be quite clear if anyone else had said it. All of Jesus' miracles are either faith healings or magic tricks, and we all know that faith healers and magicians are frauds. Of course, that statement is so broad and vague, and unsupported, that we can dismiss it immediately. We also note that there is no evidence that Jesus is resurrected except for four early accounts, some by eyewitnesses of the event, a variety of creeds which can be dated back to within a few years of the event, and an unexplainable belief in a resurrection. Jesus could easily appear to each of us in the flesh to prove that he is resurrected, just as he did with Paul the mass murderer who ultimately went on to be responsible for spreading Christianity enough that it still exists today. Yet Jesus never does that because it is completely unnecessary. If he did, there would be thousands of videos floating around on the Web showing Jesus' appearances. There are thousands of videos floating around of miracles happening. Do you believe any of them? We note that Jesus says dozens of things in the Bible that are plainly wrong. Like? We note that even though Jesus is the all-powerful creator of the universe and promises to answer prayers, all of his churches depend on the money of mere mortals to support themselves, which is perfectly understandable given that Christians are not above the law. And so on. It is obvious that Jesus was a man like any other. See section 3 for details.

It is also interesting to note that, by proving any one of these things, we have automatically proven the other two. Are you serious? Do you really believe that by proving Jesus was just a man, we have proved that atheism is true? For example, once we know that the Bible was written by primitive men rather than God, then it is automatic that God does not answer prayers and that Jesus was a completely normal human being. Complete hogwash. Even if the Bible was indeed written by men, that says nothing about the reality of God. That is such a non sequitur. The Bible is the book that tells us about prayer and Jesus, so if the Bible is meaningless then prayer and Jesus are meaningless as well. I honestly don't see how someone could make such a grievous logical fallacy and not realize it. The fact is that we have proven all three things separately. Jesus is not God, the Bible is not the word of God, and God never answers prayers. These three things are true, therefore, both directly and by association. One hundred percent false. There is absolutely no logical connection between them.

Understanding your delusion

In this book there is a tremendous amount of evidence showing us that God is imaginary. You have just seen 25 chapters of good, solid, easily-digested evidence. It is good evidence, it is, it is, it IS good evidence! I'm going to keep saying it until you believe it. It's good evidence! It would be easy to present a hundred more chapters just like them. You tried to make fifty other proofs, but most of them are repeats of this website. The evidence is all around us, so why don't you believe in God?

On the other hand, there is no evidence showing that God is real. Broken record. Broken record. Broken record. A Christian can point to prayer, but it is easy to disprove the efficacy of prayer with statistical analysis (see Section 1). A Christian can point to the Bible, but it is easy to show the myriad problems with the Bible (see Section 2). There is no verifiable evidence for Christians to present. What about philosophical arguments, like the Kalam Cosmological Argument? You never address that here.

Is God real, or is he imaginary? At this point, we have our answer. We can look at all of this evidence and we can see that God is imaginary. Christianity is a delusion. Religion in general is a delusion. Sigh.

I understand that the word "delusion" is uncomfortable because it has strong connotations of mental illness. However, it is the correct word in the English language to use. No, it isn't. The dictionary defines "delusion" in the following way:

    A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence. [ref] But you left out the second half of the definition! What about the part that says, "especially as a symptom of mental illness?" You wouldn't want to insinuate that all Christians are mentally ill, would you?

    Would you?

When I say that religion is a delusion, I am not intending that in an insulting way or a derogatory way. Given the rest of the writing, you are. Instead, I am speaking to you as a friend would. I don't know about your social circle, but most of my friends wouldn't call me "delusional," or insinuate I have mental illness for holding a particular belief. My goal here is not to criticize you for your religious beliefs, but instead to help you to recover from your delusion. Yes, because I'm sick.

I know what you are thinking. If you are a Christian, you are thinking, "I am not delusional. Christ is the way, the truth and the life." What if I could show you your delusion? Haven't you been trying? What if I could hold up a mirror that would allow you to see your own delusion in the reflection? If you would like to clearly see how the delusion of Christianity works, please read Understanding Delusion. Basically, this essay says that because we apparently look at Muslims and think they're delusional, Christians are also delusional because we're just as wrong. But as usual, that isn't demonstrated.

All religion is delusion. With any luck you can see that now, and you can start down the road to recovery -- you can begin the process of healing that will free you from your own personal delusions. Stop calling me mentally ill.

What does it mean?

There are three reasons why it is important for us to speak honestly and openly about the delusion of religion:

  1. Religion truly is a delusion. That's not a reason to speak about it. You told me that there were three reasons for why we should speak about why religion is a delusion. One reason can't be "Because it's a delusion." That's the equivalent of me saying, "We should talk about the stupidity of socialists because they're stupid." By allowing this delusional behavior to persist unchallenged, we do ourselves damage. What damage?
  2. We currently have significant free-speech and free-thinking issues around religion, which means religious people have just as much free speech as you.
  3. It is time for us, as an intelligent species, to understand the reasons why human beings invent religions, and to begin addressing those reasons rationally rather than delusionally. Yes, we must remove religion so we can progress as a species. Because religion is holding us back. Pardon my skepticism.
Each of these points is important. Let's look at them one by one so that we can understand what they mean.

Reason #1: Religion truly is delusional
[It's important to speak about religion being a delusion because it's a delusion.]

Let's start by asking a question: Does it matter? In this book we have proven, conclusively, that God does not answer prayers, that God did not write the Bible and that Jesus is not God. I don't even have to say anything here. In other words, the God of popular religion is imaginary. But does it really matter? What difference does it make if half of the people in the United States want to believe in an imaginary being? What does it hurt?

Let's ignore the danger that can be found in the ashes of 9/11/2001, and the subsequent events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Madrid and London. There are many zealous and misguided Muslims who believe that, through Jihad, they must kill non-Muslims -- Christians and Jews in particular. Let's ignore that.
So now we're talking about Islam, not Christianity, or Jesus, or the Bible.

Let's ignore the ill effects of religion around the world over the last several decades. We have Muslims killing Christians (and vice versa) (vice versa? Not nearly as many, certainly), Jews killing Muslims (and vice versa), Protestants killing Catholics (and vice versa), Shiites killing Sunnis (and vice versa), white people killing black people (and vice versa), Republicans killing Democrats (and vice versa), National Socialists killing Jews (and not vice versa), Communists killing Christians (and not vice versa), etc., etc. All of it is completely pointless, because all human gods are imaginary. But let's ignore all of that killing and destruction. People will kill regardless of the motive, Mr. Brain.

Let's also ignore all of the insanity that religion has brought us through the ages -- the crusades, the witch hunts and all the rest, which has killed maybe a couple million people in the last two thousand years. Kind of like the atomic bomb, which killed a quarter of a million people in a single day. Let's ignore it because it's all water under the bridge.

Even in the United States -- a modern, advanced nation -- religion creates problems. The delusion created by Christianity is so extreme and so pervasive at the moment that we have Supreme Court justices and politicians who publicly claim that God handed down the Ten Commandments to us in the Bible (see chapter 13). These justices and politicians are speaking about a book that openly advocates slavery and misogyny along with many other notions that are beyond absurd. Yet no one can question their claims in public because it is far too dangerous (see next section for details).
Oh, please. You are questioning their claims in public.

To have otherwise intelligent Americans babbling on about an imaginary God like this is dangerous, if for no other reason than this one: If so many people are this delusional in the area of religion, it makes you wonder where else they harbor equally significant delusions in their thinking. He who asserts must prove. Demonstrate your case. In addition, religion in America is now actively restraining scientific research and social progress. If that's the most you can cry about, then religion can hardly be called "dangerous." The problem that American scientists are having with stem cells is just one of the many manifestations of the problem today. Well, if they really wanted to, they could go somewhere else to do their research.

There is also growing evidence that the delusion of religion may cause significant social dysfunction. Statistical research is revealing the problems that go with religious delusion. For example, a recent article in the Journal of Religion and Society points out that religion is correlated to the significant social difficulties that we can see in America:
    In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a "shining city on the hill" to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. [ref]

    Yet even the Journal of Religion and Society admits that this correlation does not equal causation, and they still don't know if society is dysfunctional because of religion, or the society turns to religion because it is dysfunctional. Most studies that have this sort of conclusion opt for the latter option.

    Of course, you'd likely say that's only because of their fear of religious backlash.

The prevailing view is that religion is harmless even if it is delusional. Actually, the "prevailing view" is that religion is not a delusion. You're still a minority view, remember. That turns out not to be the case. America is the most religious country of those studied in the developed world. America also has the biggest problems in terms of things like homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion.

How ridiculous. What's so interesting about this study is that it ignores any evidence to the contrary. It puts America up as the Christian nation and compares it to "secular" nations like those in Europe, but of course ignores the "secular" nations that have incredibly high rates of abortion, STD rates, etc. New Zealand, for example, is 40% non-religious, and has one abortion for every two live births.

Religion is delusion. A planet full of delusional people is not healthy. And yet,
this is exactly what we have, and most religious people aren't murderous, or even remotely dangerous.

Reason #2: We must freely discuss the delusion of religion [It's important to speak about religion being a delusion because we must freely discuss the delusion of religion.]

Religion creates significant free-speech and free-thinking issues both here in the United States and around the world. Let me help you to understand what I mean when I say that, and offer a solution to the problem.

Let's imagine that any normal, intelligent American were to stand up in public today and say something like this: "I do not believe that an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God wrote the Bible or the Ten Commandments. The reason why I don't believe it is because the Bible openly advocates slavery and misogyny in both the Old and New Testaments. God could not love slavery or hate women." See section 2 for details on his statement.

Within seconds of making this honest, completely rational statement, that American will be branded as an atheist. Likely because most people don't make statements like that unless they're atheists.

In today's America, being branded as an atheist is poisonous. It is as poisonous as being branded during the McCarthy era in the 1950s. So people are being tried for being atheists? Imagine someone who has been branded as an atheist trying to run for public office in America today.
Like Pete Stark, the atheist congressman. I'm sure he's being routed out and tried for being an atheist, and I'm sure his constituency would never let him into office because of their bigoted ways. Oh wait. Many christians are so polarized and so sensitive right now that they will crush anyone with an opinion contrary to their own. Once branded as an atheist, the candidate is attacked in the public forum. Just like candidates are attacked for openly expressing views based on the Bible. Right? Just like people who are against gay marriage, irrespective of their actual views, are immediately branded religious fanatics or Christian fundamentalists.

Then look at the rest of the world. In many Islamic countries, women cannot freely choose how they dress, much less what they do, where they work or how they behave. They often cannot even drive a car. The repression of women's freedom in Islamic countries is well known, and ridiculous.
Okay, so make a website specifically addressing the problems of Islam. Don't blame "religion" for something that is the fault of "Islam."

There really is only one solution. It is time for Americans, both religious and non, to openly discuss the evidence showing that God is imaginary. Which we've been doing for a very long time. Let's stop hiding the discussion, or attacking it. Let's talk openly. Let us have an honest, open, rational, civil conversation about all of the evidence that we have seen in this book.
Okay. Let's have a public debate, just like hundreds upon hundreds of philosophers, authors, speakers, and other professionals are doing in front of audiences of thousands of people. Let's make documentaries that lampoon religion and show them in theaters and make millions of dollars, like Bill Maher. Let's be like George Carlin and be one of the most renowned comedians of all time, all the while belittling religion.

If we have that debate in an open forum, the majority of us will reach agreement that God is imaginary. Really? Does that line up with the actual post-debate surveys taken? Because you can go find the statistics of how many people thought the Christian won or the atheist won on almost every debate held on the subject. The reason why we will come to that conclusion is because the evidence, as presented in this book, overwhelmingly favors it.
Then why aren't thousands of people deconverting after attending debates about the existence of God? Why, for example, did Christopher Hitchens get absolutely spanked in his debate with William Lane Craig?

We must also recognize as a society that there is no such thing as an atheist. Funny, that's what Ray Comfort believes too. We must end the branding and the name-calling. Click here for details.
Because calling yourself a "Rational" is not branding or name-calling Christians as immediately irrational or insane.

Reason #3: Understanding why people create religions [This is the only one that remotely makes sense as a reason.]

What I am proposing to you in this book is both quite profound and quite baffling. It is this: Everything that we associate with religion is imaginary. God, the Bible, Jesus, the resurrection, prayer, the Ten Commandments, the creation story, your soul, everlasting life, heaven... every bit of it is the product of human imagination. The same goes for Allah, the Koran and so on. As a species we have believed all of this religious dogma for centuries, and most of us believe it today to some degree. And yet... it is all fiction. It is just as fictional as were the gods of the Egyptians, the Romans and the Aztecs. We have seen 25 chapters of clear, unambiguous evidence and all of it supports this conclusion. Clear and unambiguous...Broken record, broken record.

If it is so obvious that God is imaginary, then why might half of the American population profess belief in God? Interesting question. If the evidence is actually all around us, how is that millions of people aren't becoming atheists daily? We have asked this question throughout the book because the whole situation is profoundly strange. Why would we, as a species, create all of this mythology and nonsense over and over again through the millennia? We must do it for a reason.
Perhaps because there seems to be a lot of evidence of the supernatural, and humanity attempts to relate to it in some way through religion.

If we can understand the reasons and deal with them rationally rather than through the silliness and mythology that is religion, we actually can do ourselves a great deal of good.

There are two important reasons why humans fabricate all of our religions:
  1. People invent God as a way to cope with death. Many humans are terrified by death for some reason. They invent religion as a way to deal with their terror. How could this be true of Judaism, a religion that had no concrete afterlife concept?
  2. People invent God as a proxy for goodness. People want a way to promote "goodness" and eliminate "evil" in their societies. It's interesting that now you're putting "goodness" and "evil" in quotes, as if they're not legitimately real things, and yet when it suits your interest, you treat things as "moral abominations." In the past, inventing an imaginary God has been perceived to be one way to facilitate that process. Of course, this has nothing to do with Christianity, or at least why it was founded.
Death and goodness are important to people. They touch on fundamental human emotions. If we can separate death and goodness from the mythology of God so that we can understand them and work with them in a positive way, we can actually do something very helpful. We can create a rational world for ourselves that is focused on benefiting mankind. A utopia, if you will. Right? Except all of the attempts to create a secular, "rational" utopia have ended in the genocide of millions of people.

In chapter 27 and chapter 28, we will talk about death and goodness. We need to understand the reasons why we fabricate our gods and then act on these reasons rationally.
I look forward to your attempts to grapple with explaining them in a naturalistic way.

Once we understand why we create religion, we can begin creating the social structures that will replace religion. The remainder of the book discusses this process.
Oh, joy.

© P-Dunn's Apologetics 2009. All rights reserved.