I’ve been feeling a little down recently, for various reasons. This is what Buddhists call suffering, and they say it is caused by desire, or passion. Desire is what binds us to this life, they say, and is the cause of our suffering. Christians have a similar world view. They say that sin is the root cause of our suffering, and that our redemption is through Jesus Christ.
While there are many differences between Christians (who believe in an eternal soul), and Buddhists (who supposedly do not – although people like the Dalai Lama certainly seem to), religions generally regard the physical world as a place where humans are trapped. It’s easy then to imagine that we were born to suffer. Continue reading
I wrote recently about how one of the valuable functions that religion fulfils is that it offers a powerful motivational force. If we believe that God (or luck, or some other supernatural notion) is on our side, then we are empowered to fearlessly take on life’s challenges. Continue reading
On this blog I’ve written relentlessly about atheism and explained why I’m an atheist. I always assumed that religion exists primarily because of indoctrination from an early age, and because people have a natural predisposition to believe in the supernatural. Our need to explain the world in terms of narrative leads us to suppose that random events happen for a reason, and so we get sucked down an intellectual rabbit hole. Continue reading
I’ve written about religion a lot on this blog, but I’ve probably never explained why I’m an atheist.
It’s really simple. Continue reading
Level 1 of the universe is matter, energy, forces, space-time – the physical world. It follows rules, although precisely what those rules are and why they are like that, we aren’t yet certain. But we know enough about it to measure it and explain much of what it does.
The level 1 universe does something else too. It encodes information. Matter exists in different states, and the more physically-distinct states there are, the more information that can be encoded. For example, if an atom can exist in one of two energy states, then it encodes one binary bit of information (0 or 1). Information is not a subjective human thing. It’s an objective property of the physical universe and can be measured. The total amount of information encoded in the whole universe is mind-bogglingly vast. Continue reading
Posted in Science
Tagged Atheism, Belief, Computers, Creativity, God, Language, Mathematics, Philosophy, Science, Technology, Words
It puzzles me that a third of Americans don’t believe in the Theory of Evolution. Why is it controversial? Sure, the Bible says that God created the world in six days, but really?
Of all the theories that science has thrown into the public consciousness, evolution is one of the most obvious and easily understood. Horticulturists and farmers use selective breeding all the time to strengthen their stock, or to select for specific characteristics. It’s not rocket science. Continue reading
Apparently many Christians and Muslims feel pity for atheists because they think we are nihilistic, and live meaningless, empty lives. After all, they say, if there is no life after death, what is the point of living? Atheists cannot see any meaning to the universe, they say, because in our world view the universe is a cold, inhospitable place without purpose or design.
Well pardon me, but who’s being nihilistic now? Atheists derive all kinds of meaning and purpose, despite their impending doom and despite the fact that the world has no Creator. Continue reading