Gospel Disproof #42: The infallible test

Have you ever wondered whether there is an almighty, all-knowing, all-wise, and all-loving God Who wants a personal relationship with each of us badly enough to literally die for it? Well, fortunately there’s a simple test you can do that cannot fail to tell you whether or not such a God exists. Ready? All you have to do is say, “God, can I see You for a minute? I want to talk with you.” Then have a digital camera ready. If He shows up to talk to you, take His picture and post it on the web, and you will have proven that He exists. The cool thing is that this test will work for anybody and everybody, so if anyone claims you might have faked the photo, they can just repeat the test themselves.

What makes this test infallible is the nature of God, as specified in the test. Because He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise, by definition there is no greater power than God to prevent Him from showing up if He wants to. And because He is all-loving and wants a personal relationship with each of us, He wants (by definition) to show up to participate in that relationship as long as no greater power is able to prevent him. It is thus impossible, by definition, for this test to fail to reveal the truth about whether such a God exists.

In fact, there’s only one flaw.

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The equal rights bill you never heard of.

There is a major human rights bill under debate in Canada. You’ve probably never heard of it, which is a bad sign, because it’s important.

It is about what happens to actual human beings. Human beings whose rights are being denied, identities being invalidated, ability to participate in our society being hopelessly compromised, ability to live without fear of assault or harassment being taken away, and pursuit of simplest forms of happiness, fulfillment and life’s rewards being rendered untenable, impossible. Real living, breathing Canadians being denied their chance at anything resembling a full, rewarding and safe life by the complacency of an uninformed public.

Read the full story at Sincerely, Natalie Reed.

The case against Mormonism

I’m going to try something a little different and see how people like it. A little while ago I was approached by a self-described Christian apologist with a request that I write my best case against Christianity, up to 2,000 words, for presentation on his blog, so that he could respond to it. I declined, but I made him a counter offer: write a similar rebuttal of Mormonism, written in terms that would be convincing to a skeptic, and I would publish it on my blog, and make a similar argument against Christianity. I frankly told him that I would use his material to illustrate the extent to which a priori beliefs influence the believer’s perception of an argument’s validity and impact, but he’s still game, and sent me his arguments against Mormonism.

I’ve included his article below, unedited (though slightly reformatted to fit the blog format better). Does he convince you? Would he convince a Mormon apologist? Do his arguments apply equally well to Christianity if you make the appropriate substitutions?

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School prayer draws opposition from—wait, who?

For more than 30 years, Dr. Harold Brockus was the Presbyterian pastor at the Good Samaritan Church in Pinellas Park. Sermons, missions, prayers. Everything you would expect from a place of worship and a man of God.

So when a school prayer bill landed on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk this month, Rev. Brockus understandably had reason to care. Enough reason to put his name on a letter imploring the governor to do the right thing with this proposed law.

Don’t sign it.

via Tampa Bay Times.

The only people who really profit from laws mandating state-sponsored prayer are the lawyers who will take home fat fees from all the lawsuits it will take to bring the state back in line with the Constitution again.

God’s definition of marriage

God’s definition of marriage, according to a lot of people today, is given in Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” But there are a few problems with that. For one thing, the word “wife” does not appear in the original text. The word used there is “ishshah,” or woman–the same word Adam uses in the previous verse when he says, “She shall be called woman (ishshah), for she was taken out of man (ish).” There was no license, no priest or rabbi, no vows, or in short, no wedding. Eve was a woman, and Adam just took her and started sleeping with her, without marriage. If you want to find the earliest Biblical reference to actual marriage, you have to go to Sodom.

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I had no choice, he was packing a whole bag of Skittles

This is old news by now, but the passing of time has only made it even more outrageous. A white vigilante named George Zimmerman has shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, and hasn’t even been arrested.

Zimmerman, 28, claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month in self-defence during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.

Zimmerman spotted Martin as he was patrolling his neighbourhood on a rainy evening last month and called the police emergency dispatcher to report a suspicious person. Against the advice of the emergency dispatcher, Zimmerman then followed Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store with a bag of Skittles sweets in his pocket.

via guardian.co.uk.

As the Guardian reports, this has now led to an investigation by the US Justice Department, joined by the FBI and the US attorney’s office. But he still has not been arrested. If you happen to be passing by the Action Request form for the Sanford police department, you might want to ask why not.

“The real bigots are the liberals”

Writing for Mail Online, one Simon Heffer spews:

I believe that the only people who should be able to marry and have a wedding are those of different genders.

Well I believe that people should only publish opinions that do not make them look like narrow-minded twits, but you don’t hear me calling for the outlawing of Simon Heffer, now do you.

Sheesh.

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Heh, publicity

The creationist lawsuit against the JPL is getting better and better: the Glendale News Press reports that lawyers for David Coppedge tried—unsuccessfully—to bar the press from their client’s religious discrimination lawsuit. [Update: No, I read that wrong, it was attorneys for JPL who requested the press ban, citing privacy concerns for the witnesses.]

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige denied their request without explanation as the trial delved deeper into the beliefs of the plaintiff, David Coppedge, and how the space exploration agency based on scientific research can accommodate employees who wear their faith on their sleeve.

Gonna be Dover all over.

Resistance is… persecution?

This is really not going to end well for the ID creationist community…

“David Coppedge alienated his co-workers by the way he acted with them, and blamed anyone who complained about those interactions,” according to JPL in their response. “He accuses his former project supervisor and line manager of making discriminatory and retaliatory employment decision, when they had in fact protected him for years.”

via CNN.com Blogs.

One of the problems with being reality-averse is that you also corrupt your ability to assess your own circumstances. I’m sure Coppedge went into this suit convinced that he was going to show the world how prejudiced and unfair everyone else was for resisting his attempts to convert them to his own beliefs. He should have learned his lesson from Bill Buckingham.