99.9999% Skeptic Reasoning

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Nordic Fox's picture
99.9999% Skeptic Reasoning

The number comes from the definition of being a skeptic: that statistical evidence, beyond the minimum of possible doubt could show that an outcome is entirely likely - or in the case of religion, the "power of prayer" the 6,000 year-old Earth, and creation science - unlikely.

Now, many theistic apologists approach us daily and ask us "How can you be sure there's no god?" or the myriad of similar, brainwashed cookie-cutter questions that are identical to the one I just presented.

I have, in short, a response which I find is brief and good to keep in mind for religious zealots, and it tends to offer a hassle-free way to at the very least cause people (who listen, anyway) to question their own beliefs, and hopefully discover that things are not all as they seem when told by a charlatan preacher-person.

To any, and all Christians who have ever wondered why I'm 99.9999% sure there is no god, at all, anywhere... My three main reasons:

The concept of evil. Neurology, psychology and the study of human beings has found we are all equally capable of 'acts of evil', and that evil itself is actually more of an invented concept than a true black-and-white dividing line of morality and ethical conduct. Case in point: the countless scandals in which clergymen have sexually, criminally, or otherwise illegally taken advantage of their 'flock' or members therein, and have been allowed to continue preaching for the 'good lord' by superior clergy. Second on this point, christians claim that "evil cannot exist in the presence of god", but they also insist that "god is omnipresent" and lastly that "god punishes people for sin(s), and does not allow them to continue. Ironically, if "god" is omnipresent, and yet evil cannot exist in his/her/its presence, then how does 'evil' exist? Furthermore, if Susie Q down the road dies in a car crash, as Catholics will claim "because of sin" then why do corrupt clergymen, the wolves in the sheep's clothing of the church go on to live rich, full lives? These statements are not only contradictory, but they prove beyond a single doubt that nothing the testaments say about good/evil/god are true, therefore proving that they are human-made, full of human errors, and describing a man-made "god".
***to tack on to this point, it is also ironic that the supposed exodus of the Jewish people occurred to save a few hundred or a few thousand of "Moses' people", and their magical sky-god intervened to see it through... And yet the holocaust killed hundreds of thousands (and more) of the same people, from the same religion without intervention? Further evidence that the old stories must not have been true. [Addendum plus: the Egyptians were found not to have many slaves to begin with, and relied instead largely on paid workers for many projects. They did have slaves, not as many as people tend to assume when compared to other powers such as China and Rome but I digress here.]

#2, [Buckle up, folks... This one is a doosy]
The biography and life of the supposed "Jesus". This is where I really get a bee in my hat, so much about Christianity (nay, even the name) revolve around the "messiah", and yet the new testament is the -only- bibliographical supposed 'evidence' of his existence! We know Julius Caesar existed, and did the things he did, just as Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Marcus Aurelius, Alexander the Great, King Xerxes, Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan, and so forth -because- we have coins minted in their image, there are accounts left behind from these people themselves, descendants who are known through DNA and record-keeping (where applicable), and most imporantly.... Opposition accounts. There are people from history who HATED these individuals, and made equal accounts of their accomplishments, most notably opposing generals and senators in Rome when Caesar crossed the Rubicon river with his personally loyal army of legionnaires! We know when these people were born, we know when they died. In the case of Jesus Christ, there is -no- conclusive record of his birthdate (which you think they would know!), date of death, and virtually no mention of his exploits from any sources that were reliable in the area of Jerusalem, ancient Syria, ancient Jordan, Rome and so on! Apologists love to cite the Tacitus passage that in-passing mentions 'christ' but it's only to define who christians are: "supposed followers of a messiah named christ", and this is well after JC was supposed to have been dead! What's worse is not even the supposed crucifixion stands up to historic tribunal: the 'Jewish court that went against Jesus' didn't even follow established JEWISH LAW, which is something that orthodox Jewish fathers would have never tolerated, even for someone they didn't like! And again, there are no records of courts having even been held, in Roman territory (and the Romans were fairly good at documenting sweeping scandals and large, drawn-out cases). Furthermore, Pontus Pilatus was a governor in Syria, at the wrong time for the trial! And he was known for being ruthless and cut-throat against anyone, supposedly having ordered the massacre of an entire group of people who spoke out against Roman will. Definitely not the "sorry, apologetic and unwilling to be involved" Pontus portrayed in the new testament.... The real Pontus would've killed a would-be messiah for much less! Lastly, Jesus' name wasn't apparently even Jesus. "Jesus Christ" is a name derived from "Yeshewah/Yahweh" who was termed as "being the christ" at some point in the early middle ages, thus "Jesus Christ" was fully adopted... Or very close to that. There are so many people having been listed as sharing those names who lived in the old area of Galilee/Jerusalem/Judea as it is, who lived very average, dull lives to their completion. None of them were messiah's.

Regardless, my biggest point on #2 is that Christians don't even know when their supposed savior lived and died! The guesswork is between the years of 6 B.C.E. - 4 C.E. and 32 C.E. - 42 C.E. ... That's a gap that is way too big to even begin wanting to be accurate, and yet it's suggested that the 'messiah is absolute'. When I ask what JC's supposed birthday was, and Christians say "christmas" that isn't even remotely accurate, either - - - The 'savior' Jesus was supposedly born in spring, as well as executed in spring! Mentions of this guy don't even show up until around 200+ C.E., when people actually wrote things down about him. So the people who supposedly wrote about him (Paul/Mark/John, etc.) didn't even write on him! Scribes in about 232 C.E. came up with the apostles' names, so that the apostles -would have names to begin with-. This is another huge reason I doubt the divinity of anything the bible has to say.

I even very seriously doubt that Jesus was a real human being, and suspect he was instead an invention of necessity to make a "more appealing god" so that the Hebrew branch-off religion could then survive as the new fan-dangled belief system: Christianity. Should I ever find/see/stumble across or be shown substantial evidence showing that he was, in fact, a regular-Joe human being who was either a lost Buddhist or a super-hippie then I would reconsider, but that would not make him anything close to 'divine', and I'm positive his name would not be "Jesus Christ".

#3, my biggest and final reason to stand behind my lack of belief.
Everything portrayed in the Bible, the Koran (or Quran, whichever), the "Book of Mormon" (which is total, absolute, garbage-ridden bogus, even by religious standards!) is definitely, beyond a doubt, HUMAN.

If we had a 'creator god' who was better than us, superior in every way, infallible, ultimately all-powerful and invincible.... That deity would not be human. And yet the god portrayed in every text is very much human in every way.

The bible alone: "He" (Helium?) gets angry, jealous, vengeful, regretful (for making man, after being happy about it?), happy, etc. etc.... These are emotions that only human beings can possess, in such a range of manners. Based on these emotions, their 'god' also supposedly makes mistakes! Having "known all that will be" and "all that is", then why would the same deity get angry for those things transpiring? Or allow them to transpire and then become angry about it? The contradictions mount up so high that it is obviously, undoubtedly a work of fiction by human hands, using human concepts and human language. Therefore.... That's all it ever will be. And why I'm 99.9999% sure there is -no- god(s) as presented by the religions that have existed thus far on Earth. People also believe that prayers will be answered.... Just as people might write a wish-list to Santa Claus, or ask a Genie to fulfill their owed 3-wishes for finding a standard metal oil-lamp with a magical Djinn trapped inside. Prayers are nothing more than people talking to themselves about what they wish to happen, and studies have shown that prayer can actually hurt medical patient's chances MORE than when nobody prays for them.

"...patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested." (Carey, Benedict, NY Times 2006)

Besides, as Penn Jillette pointed out something along the lines of: "Prayer is the most blasphemous thing anyone can do: you assume that an all-knowing, all-planning god who set all things in motion.... Would suddenly change that big plan, drop everything and spend time for an insignificant mortal to help her get her puppies back, and at the same time refuse to help good people with mortal wounds to recover, when their family needs them more than the girl needs her puppies?"

Bonus: Buddha is not a god, and instead teaches as a teacher would: by pointing out that strength is individual, not granted by a fictional deity or ancient text (Buddha himself was supposedly credited with saying ancient religious texts are not to be believed as facts). I'm not a Buddhist, but if I had to be anything... That's what I'd choose.

As a skeptic, I can admit there is the 0.00001% chance that there could be a "larger power" out there in the universe, hell even a sentient one. But I can guarantee with 100% certainty that it would not be anything as presented in any religion that has ever been established, ever.

The christian god is like a superhero... Invincible "because!" ... powerful "because!" ... and so forth on the same assumptions and 'faith beliefs'.

On the same theory, it almost legitimately surprises me that more people don't die in house fires waiting for Superman to come and rescue them, instead of fleeing the house and waiting for the Fire Department. To me, Superman and god are one in the same:

INK on paper, and nothing more.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a good week, Atheist Republic forum goers!

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Nunya Bizness's picture
All good and valid points.

All good and valid points. But I want to focus on your contention that the Christ figure did not even actually exist.

A lot of atheists/secular people say they believe jesus existed. And I really don't see why. Like you said, there is no credible evidence that he existed.

The non-credible evidence are these... texts. But they are not credible because the texts were always created by someone who would benefit from the existence of yeshua, or whatever his name was.

These texts wouldn't hold up in court. Like a murderer submitting a typed note from a mysterious person claiming that he was asleep at their house at the time he is being accused of committing a murder elsewhere. No one would believe the note was from a real person. Why? Because the murderer has an obvious motivation to forge the note. The note is fake and the person doesn't even exist.

I always use court as my example of why religion is not credible. What makes testimony non-credible? 1. The person has a history of lying. 2. The person has an obvious motivation to lie 3. There is some glaring inconsistency in the testimony. These religious texts have all three! There are completely non-credible.

And yet for some reason, even atheists are scared to admit the fact that what little credible evidence there is coupled with logic does seem to point toward the fact that Jesus was simply invented. Adam, Eve, Cain, abel, noah.... tons of characters were made up in the bible. Yet so many atheists seem unwilling to operate on the basis that Jesus did not exist.

I wonder why?

Nordic Fox's picture
Exactly! Not only that... But

Exactly! Not only that... But the texts that mention him (the only written things that seem to, at all...)** were also written 30+ years after his supposed life, by people who were re-named later... And having been a JEWISH MAN I also find it very odd/peculiar/oxymoronic that people refer to him by his GREEK name. That alone is proof to me (in some way) that there's a huge disconnect in the timeline, the story got mixed up, and in all likelihood was made up.

We know that Gaius Julius (Julius Caesar's actual name) existed, under that name, and that never changed.
Same for Plato, Socrates, Confucius, Sun Tzu (which is even farther back than Jesus, and yet his writings and actions were recorded, and having been scrutinized are accurate! There is even geological, historical, and physical evidence to the wars he fought...), etc.

Excellent comment, I'm glad you took the time to write!

** What strikes me as the most funny about that period of time is that the Romans took NO notice (zero, zip, nadda) of some dude walking around performing completely astonishing tasks, performing magical miracles, etc.... Rome would have either killed him much sooner than christians like to pretend, captured (and subsequently tortured) him to find out how/why he was able to do so, killed him for insurrection against Rome, or at the very least written about him. No Romans from the Judea area, from 50 BCE - 50 CE ever said a word about someone doing any of that. Odd.

And to be honest, that's what has bugged me the most about people who quit christianity, but still believe that Jesus was a historical person... There were lots of people with similar names, many wanna-be messiahs (who -were- in fact killed by Romans)... But this proves nothing about the existence of the specific "man". The descrepancies are too many for me to think he even existed as a normal human being... Though many people may have lived similar lives to the one portrayed, at least in some details... That proves little. In our own time, I'm sure there are thousands of males who are around my height, bald, who love books and motorcycles.

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
if for all of human history

if for all of human history, an idea is agreed upon since its conception, with little to no opposition (and when there is opposition, it is always and consistently summarily crushed), what would you do?

Nordic Fox's picture
I'm not sure I understand

I'm not sure I understand your question?

But for example, most people throughout history accepted that the sun rose from the East, circled -around Earth- and eventually fell in the West. Islam, actually accounts for this by saying the sun "Comes out of a hole in the Earth in the East, and re-enters the Earth in the West", and the Koran has held this as "truth" in its writings.

In Western education, until Copernicus people usually believed that the Sun orbited around the Earth... But with Copernicus' observations people began to realize that the Sun is the center of the solar system, and Earth is the third planet orbiting the sun!

Many ideas are constantly changing, many theories are constantly shot down. But that is how science works. A theory cannot be 'proven', but through various hypotheses it can be strengthened. A sole hypothesis can gain traction through observation, but can be disproved much easier than it could be proved.

Science is -not- absolute. X-rays were seen as harmless until we found out that radiation carried by x-rays can damage tissues and cause cancer by triggering a malfunction in cell structure. Before the 20th century, we didn't know that cancer is simply a cluster of mutated cells that refuse to die... It's not an illness quite as much as it is a 'glitch'. Cells reproduce, but don't die... Causing tumors that spread, or multiply until they can cause severe damage to surrounding tissues.

My point is, things are proved wrong all the time. Science adapts, moves on, and records where things went wrong so that we understand -why- an idea was incorrect.

That's the fundamental difference between religion/faith and reason/logic/science... Religion always states itself as absolute, unquestionable, and never wrong... Despite the enormous discrepancies that are found throughout religious texts and dogmas.

Anything that is found to be "true" within the scientific community, at least for a time, is reviewed by peers (who often disagree or amend the research in question), tested, found to be repeatable, and only then truly accepted.

Scientific method demands that any theory be able to be tested, and when tested the test must be repeatable, the results must at least support part of any hypothesis of the research in order to be considered valid.

If I were a priest, I could claim anything I wanted about any deity I wanted, and nobody could disprove what I say.

If there was irrefutable evidence to the existence of a deity (Roman/Greek/Slavic/Asian/Norse/Christian/Hebrew/Islamic/Hindu) existing, I would be willing to amend my views.

But the fact remains that there is no evidence of the existence of any god/gods, simply conjecture and pointless "stories".

Nordic Fox's picture
There are undeniable truths

There are undeniable truths in the world, but none of them have involved religion.

People need a brain, a heart, lungs, a liver, and (a) kidney(s) to survive for at least longer than a short period of time. This can be demonstrated (inhumanely, or through medical observation) repeatedly.

If someone lacks a heart, they die. If someone lacks a brain, they die. If someone lacks lungs, they die. And nothing changes that. Despite whether people believe "zombies" were possible, there have been ZERO cases of anyone surviving without these major organs.

Just as gravity always functions to pull a smaller body towards a larger one... Take the atmosphere completely away from the Earth, and you could still observe that a bowling ball, when thrown, would be pulled towards the ground.

This is not an 'idea' so much as observable evidence.

Nobody has ever been able to show me a god, a ghost, a spirit, or any vampires, werewolves, witches or people who can actually speak to the dead. Therefore, I believe that none of those exist.

Psychics and fans of psychics claim that people from the past have predicted the future (famously, the Mayans, Nostradamus, etc) but all of them have been proven wrong, with less than a 10% accuracy. Psychics have been found throughout testing to have no more accuracy than people giving random guesses about events.

So... I stand behind research, reason, and common sense when I look at the world.

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
NordicFox, you seem to have

NordicFox, you seem to have done your research properly. Any idea how I can do the same?

Nordic Fox's picture
Absolutely! Sorry about the

Absolutely! Sorry about the delayed response. One great idea is to find books written by knowledgeable people, but I also happen to really love history and noticed lots of discrepancies within claims by people....

If nothing else, I can prove Julius Caesar existed because coins were minted, statues built, mosaics created while he was alive... So they are in his EXACT likeness. Or more or less (maybe without blemishes). There are no statues of Jesus from his supposed time, no paintings, no statues, no coins. Only various "artists renditions" from hundreds of years after his death. Caesar was born Gaius Julius, and his career can be tracked from early life (nobility in the Julii family) to his time as Tribunus and then finally, emperor (Caesar). Jesus' record simply states he disappears for a while, then comes back. No explanation as to the (10+?) years he was gone. And then finally, we have records of Caesar's failures, his enemies (even at home, who killed him) and it wasn't a dramatic scene involving all of Rome and a melodramatic speech at the end of his life.... It was an evening when senators brandishing swords stabbed him to death as normal street thugs surely would. But I digress.

Some of the best books I can recommend are by David McAfee (we can't post links in the forum), as he points out his sources fairly well. Amazon has his book in several formats, and I think you can even read parts of it online for free if you wish... Not sure though. It's a controversial title/book cover, but the information is good.

Reading though, that's what I recommend the most. Critically think about sources... Never accept just one source to be the endgame fact.

Through several resources, I decided that Marcus Aurelius is an ancient figure I'd follow, if I had to pick one! He was forced to live humbly by his grandfather, despite being born to a noble family. He carried that into being a leader, though harsh at times... He truly knew how people lived, and was one of the very few sane emperors of Rome!

...Some of his texts were edited later by christians though... I found a version of this where he supposedly mentions "god", but his original writings only mentioned gods in passing.

He is attributed with one of my favorite quotes (also from a few sources):
"If there are gods, and they are good... Then they will not/should not care whether you worship them. If there are gods, and they are evil or malign, then you should not wish to worship them. If there are no gods at all, then you should live your life to the best of your ability and take joy and pride in that you will be remembered for living well." (Not exact, but close).

Turns out, Marcus Aurelius, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and a few other notable historic people never really fully believed in god/gods, and they were some of the best, brightest people that history had to offer.

And we have statues, coins, and memoirs of all of them!*

*Ben Franklin is on the $100 bill, not a coin.... But you get the idea.

I also highly recommend these books to you, if you're interested:
- The god delusion by Richard Dawkins
- "God, no!" by Penn Jillette (a little brash, but many very good points are made in this book)

And lastly, but most importantly: A demon-haunted world, by Carl Sagan.

If reading isn't your thing though, I think there are audio versions of these books, and/or youtube content about them.

Also VERY highly recommended is "Big Think", a channel with many very enlightening, uplifting videos on youtube.

If you wanted advice as to how to research properly though: always think critically. Don't ever just accept an explanation as-is, dig in... Discover why that answer works, or what holds it up to scrutiny!

Many people try to debunk the "big bang" to discount non-religious origin theory... We don't know how everything started. We can't know, currently... But someday we probably will discover a way to test our theories for sure.

We -do- know however that the universe is indeed expanding! Undeniably, definitely expanding. And expansion must start somewhere! Thinking doesn't have to be stressful or draining, either. Just meditate on things you learn, digest them.

science's picture
To be honest with you, I

To be honest with you, I never believed that a "Jesus" even existed. There was no such person. ( there may have been thousands of people with the name, but not in the context that theists believe is true) Theists want their cake, and be able to eat it too. They say "God" created everything, perfection... He also knows everything, what someone is going to do, what is going to happen, watches everything, ( sounds like what we were taught about Santa Clauss, dosen't it??) can do anything...there is no task that is too big, He controls everything,etc. But...when something terrible happens, or when someone commits a horrendous crime against innocent, helpless individuals, suddenly, He had nothing to do with that, and you here some bullshit about "free will." But, God created perfection, in His image, so HOW could anything He created do such horrible things. When an atrocity happens, God controls everything, so why did He let it happen? ( what about when people contract, or are born with terrrible diseases...the kids are especially heartbreaking...didn't God create that too, or did He not create those things??) Yet, when something good, heartwarming happens, it's God's work. You can't have it BOTH WAYS!!

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
I'm going to play this both

I'm going to play this both ways and see what yall think. See below link:


as well as everything else on that channel :)

Nordic Fox's picture
The video for some reason won

The video for some reason won't play on my end... I'll watch it later though, seems potentially entertaining?

Fun fact! Morgan Freeman (who played god in Bruce Almighty) actually doesn't believe in god. :D

Nordic Fox's picture


Many christian/islamic/zealous theist arguments tend only to go in circles.

I think to put it simply, I dearly love what one of my personal ancient heroes had said:

"Is god willing to prevent evil, but unable? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but unwilling? Then he is malevolent. Is he both willing and able? Then from whence cometh evil? Is he neither able, nor willing? Then why call him a god?" -Epicurus

Not only that, but surely it's ridiculous, stupid even, to assume that if we were born to a creator-god who WANTED us to know him/her/it/them, then we'd be born with that knowledge! We're born with the inherent, instinctual knowledge that black spiders are things we should avoid (well, most of us), or that the dark can be scary (no night vision, means risking being eaten by a large predator or falling from a cliff in prehistory), and heights are scary (we fall, bad things happen). Yet, no born-in knowledge of a deity.

Surely then, if a creator-god was so wimpy/weak/lazy that he mandated that another, more precious creation (his "son") should have to suffer/die/blah blah blah so that we know he exists?

Call me callous, but isn't wanting your son to be tortured to prove a point just prove that you're a sadist? Not to mention.... If Jeebzuz had a head, two arms, two legs and a beard like us average monkeys.... Wasn't he human?

Doesn't that mean that if we had a creator.... We're all his sons/daughters? Then at that point, isn't it just playing favorites like an alcoholic father or mother with overly-high expectations? Actually, funny enough many christians don't even recall that their own version of "hell as made by lucifer" isn't actually a bad place with fire and brimstone.... Apparently, Lucifer (a high-ranking angel, somehow angels have ranks) got pissed because his god was letting mortals that he liked into heaven, and rejecting the humans he didn't like.

So.... Essentially angels = demigods, and he got pissed off because his 'god' was playing favorites with far lesser beings.

Not only does this create a polytheism (many gods/godlike beings) to boot, but if it WAS true (if I was, indeed proven wrong)... Then god is an asshat, and we should happily follow lucifer's example! Who would -want- to follow an "all-loving god" who actually plays favorites?

I also find it very disturbing that people actually believe their "god" will protect them on road-trips, will bring back their lost puppy/kitten/little brother, or watch over some random soldier in some whole on the other side of the planet....

When the same "all loving god" didn't save millions of "his own creations" from excruciating torture and death at the hands of Mongols, Nazis, Gangs, Slave owners, etc. etc.

Lastly, to touch on what you (and I) said, another very awkward catch-22 is the point of life to christians (as an example). They are so against abortions, executions, etc.... And yet, they claim that death brings people to a better place? IF that was indeed the case, why worry about the people who die? Why care?! Worse, they argue that "life is to learn about the sacred act and accept it, therefore guaranteeing eternal life".... Well, aren't you totally screwed hard if you die pre-term? And what about the millions who died pre-jesus era? Are they just screwed by time? Were they sent to an 'eternal hell', only to be plucked out later when Jesus' supposed sacrifice (which is retarded, the bastard was reported to come BACK TO LIFE, which negates the point of sacrifice!) took place? And if so... Why should anyone be afraid of punishment?

I guess my whole point is yeah! I totally agree, man! I worked as a first responder, and the BIGGEST thing that made me grit my teeth was when I performed first aid on someone, or pulled a man away from a burning car, or helped calm a girl down so she wouldn't commit suicide.... People thanked "god". They prayed to their "god." They thanked me that "god guided me."

... I would much have preferred a simple "Thank you!", a pizza, or even a pat on the back.

It's not like my medical training, equipment preparedness, and mental state as well as my own desire to help people had anything to do with me helping people. lol

....Bah. I just don't get how people can believe in such charlatanism. Sure, life is depressing, Earth is a mean, cold, vicious place. But hey! Our species has survived long enough to allow us to travel to the moon, entertain ourselves with awesome things like computers and drive cool vehicles. It has its downs, but it certainly has ups!

And I don't need religion/a god/gods to tell me how to live... I've always been a law-abiding person, friendly, and helpful.

I wrote a book, sorry! Have an awesome week, and good on 'ya.

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