Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse part 1

[The Walking Dead is a popular television series in its second season in the United States.  The long anticipated zombie apocalyse has happened: How, has not yet been revealed.  The series follows a group of survivors who are trying to avoid becoming zombies themselves.  The interest the Atheist Turtle has in the show is its exploration of the faith of the main characters.  Rick is a deputy sheriff by profession. He is a straight shooter with a well developed sense of right and wrong.  Glenn is a former pizza delivery boy in his early 20's.  He is of asian extraction and is a blank canvass as far as faith goes.  Hershel is a retired veternarian with a strong and apparently unshaken faith it God.  As Rick is searching for a lost child from their group he enters a church.  At the front of the church is a crucifix.  Rick looks at the figure of Jesus and asks for a sign that he is doing the right thing by leading the group.  Shortly afterward Rick's son Carl is accidently shot and nearly dies.  They make their way to Hershel's farm where Hershel operates on Carl and saves his life.]

Maggie (a member of Hershel's family. She finds Glenn alone on the porch)  I'm sorry, were you praying?

Glenn: Yeah, I guess.

Maggie: are you religious?

Glenn:  No, not really.  I guess I just figure that we could all use some prayer now.  What about you?  Do you think prayer helps?

Maggie: I have to figure that with everything that has happened, there had to have been a lot of prayers which went unaswered.  But, yeah, I still pray.

[During break in show]

Mat (sarcastically): I suppose you are going to tell me that every prayer gets answered - Yes, No, or not now.

Ary: Suppose I did say that?

Mat: That answer only satisfies the sheep.  They are too stupid to question things rationally  That answer is a cop-out.  It's a way to justify whatever happens and leave god in control.

Ary: you realize it's just a television show don't you?  It isn't real.

Mat: Neither is god.

Ary (smiles):  What caused the Zombie Apocalypse?

Mat: In the show?

Ary:  Yes.

Mat: We don't know.  Probably a chemical weapon gone awry.

Ary: So, something humans have done.

Mat: probably.

Ary: And you think it shows that God either doesn't exist, or doesn't care that He doesn't do something in answer to prayers.

Mat: or  he is not powerful enough to do anything.

Ary: How many of the prayers do you suppose were from people who don't believe in God? Should He have answered them?

Mat: Why not?

Ary: Why would He? So they can turn their back on Him again until they are in another disaster?

Mat: What about his believers; why doesn't he answer their prayers?

Ary: I can't really answer for God, but suppose I was Him, how do I decide whose prayer(s) to answer?

Mat: By answer you mean - intervene in a positive way not the yes, no or not yet?

Ary: Right.  I grant their wish.

Mat (sarcastically):  I guess based on merit.  The best person's prayer is granted first.

Ary: There are two problems with that. First, God isn't in the wish granting business.  Remember, we said they were the wishes of the individual.  God has His plan for our lives and if some one is making wishes which oppose that plan He is not going to go along with it.

Mat: Even if it means being chewed on by a zombie?

Ary: Zombie, cancer, heart attack.  We are going to die from something eventually.  In this case we did it it was up to us.
Mat: Up to us?  I didn't vote for zombies.

Ary: Actually you did.  From the beginning we have been trying to replace God, to become Him - We've had three chances: Garden, Ark, and Nativity.  In each case we had a chance to live life according to His plan but we rejected it.

Mat: So it's our fault?

Ary: No, it's your fault.

Mat starts to object

Ary: And my fault.  Each of us individually makes the choice to honor God or not.  And, by the way, God doesn't play favorites; one believer is not more worthy than another.

to be continued.

doesn't play favorites.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Logical Proof That God Exists

(Atheists frequently confront believers with a demand for proof that God exists.  The demand is presented with a smug assumption that it cannot be met.  However, that assumption is not correct.  It rests on multiple levels of assumptions which are flawed and therefore must collapse.  The destructive blow can be initiated using something called The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God.  Now, don't let  your eyes glaze over, there is nothing mysterious about this.  In fact, you can rephrase it to read: "Logical proof that God exists."  In the following discussion, some scary logical symbols are going to show up.  They are included for accuracy and so you can impress your friends.  Print the image out then show your friends and explain how they prove God exists.)

Atheist Bus
Ariane Sherine, Richard Dawkins and
 Polly Toynbee
(Photo: Leon Neal/Agence
 France-Presse — Getty Images)
 Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle handing a newspaper with a picture of the bus and thee people standing in front to Ary): I see the Atheist Bus is out again.

Ary: For the life of me I never understand why you are so proud of that thing.

Mat: Because it takes a stand for atheism and shoves it right in the face of believers.

Ary: But the sign says, "There Probably is no god."  What probability is that exactly; 10%, 20%, 50%; I guess as long is you dont' exceed 49.99% the sign is accurate.

Mat: That isn't the point. It isn't up to us to prove there is no god, it's up to you to prove that there is, and you can't do that, can you?

Ary: As a matter of fact, I can.

Mat: So do it!

Gödel's Ontological Proof for God
Ary (hands a card with symbols on it to Mat): Here, look this over.

Mat:  What is this crap?  It looks like a bunch of gibberish to me.

Ary: It's Kurt Gödel's Ontological proof for God

Mat: Ugh, some idiot believer comes up with a bunch of symbols no one
can understand ... I'm not impressed. 

Ary: Well, first of all, Kurt Gödel is not some idiot, he was one of the greatest mathematicians and logicians of the 20th Century.  He was also not necessarily a believer in God.  He spent decades of his life secretly working on this proof and only showed it to a friend of his when he thought he was dying.  He didn't want to be ridiculed by you atheists.

Mat: Yeah, I've heard of the ontological argument for god.  Anselm started it but it's been shown to be flawed and no one accepts it now.

Ary: That's not correct.  It was started by Anselm in the 11th century, and his proof did have weaknesses, but since then it has been improved by; René Descartes, Gottfried Leibniz (the guy who invented calculus), Norman Malcolm, Charles Hartshorne, Alvin Plantinga and more recently Kurt Gödel.

Mat: So what, all I see is a bunch of symbols, what does it mean?
Ary:  God can either necessarily exist, or necessarily not exist.
If God is an all-powerful being, and
he exists,
he necessarily exists in all possible worlds.
If he doesn't exist,
he necessarily doesn't exist in any possible worlds.
It is not possible to say that God does not exist in any possible world.
No matter how slim the chance is, God might exist.
That means that God can't necessarily not exist.
Since the choices are either God necessarily does exist, or
necessarily doesn't, and
we have eliminated the possibility that he necessarily doesn't,
the only possibility left is that he necessarily does."

Mat: All that comes from those symbols?

Ary: Those symbols are just sentences for logicians.  They eliminate the language barrier. 

Mat: I still don't see it.  Richard Dawkins is one of the greatest minds of our lifetime and he doesn't believe in god.

Ary: I can't speak for Mr. Dawkins but the sign on the bus he is promoting actually proves God exists.

Mat:  How, it says "probably doesn't exist."

Ary: Exactly, remember the statement above that if it was possible for God to exist, no matter how slim the chance, then God must exist?  When they put 'probably' on the side of the bus they allowed for the possibility that God exists and according to Gödel's proof that satisfies the condition and therefore, by the statement on the side of the atheist bus, God exists.

Mat (stares at the proof and the bus picture): I need to 'turtle up'.