Tag Archives: God

I was wrong about religion

allthingsarepossibleOn 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

Why I am an atheist

zeusjpgI’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

Book review: The End of Mr Y, by Scarlett Thomas

theendofmryWow! This book is a rollercoaster read. I finished it, then started reading it again immediately. It blew my mind.

I’ve just read it again for a third time, and felt compelled to write something. I want to evangelize on behalf of Ms Thomas and spread the word about this book. Continue reading

Physics, information, patterns, consciousness and God

thematrixLevel 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

Perfect imperfect

I’m not a perfectionist. I never finish jobs properly. This is not laziness, but efficient time management. I never complete a task 100% perfectly. I stop at 90%, or sometimes 70%, then move on to the next job. That means I complete more jobs. Does this bother you? It shouldn’t. It’s not necessary to complete jobs perfectly. To prove this, I won’t even bother to finish this … Continue reading

What is the point?

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

iConfess

One of my closest and oldest friends  is a Catholic priest. He’s pretty confident that he has a job for life. I hope for his sake he’s right, but computers and the internet have disrupted a lot of industries and I wonder if the Church might also be vulnerable to change. Continue reading

Science, philosophy, and the Mountain of Ignorance

mountainofignoranceThere’s been a lot of debate online recently (like here and here) about whether philosophy is a waste of time. Here’s my metaphor for thinking about this question.

Imagine that ignorance is represented by a mountain. The mountain is big and in plain view of everyone. Even small children can see it clearly, and love to ask questions about it that their parents can’t answer. You know the kinds of questions I mean. Continue reading

Don’t be an atheist asshole

I’m an atheist but I hope I’m not an atheist asshole. On Twitter you’ll find tweets like this:

#jesus is satan lol

And this:

#allah eats bacon

Now I guess the person who tweets these thinks they are being funny, but where is the wit? I don’t see it. It seems to me exactly like going to the funeral of someone who has died of AIDS with a banner that reads, “God hates fags.”

Hate is hate. I don’t see the difference.

Music for Easter

As Good Friday approaches, the music I love to listen to most is Bach’s St John Passion. That’s not because I’m religious, but because I love this music and it was written for Easter. Although it’s in German and I don’t understand a word, I can hear the passion in the music and in the human voices that sing the words.

Religious and devotional music and art tap into a deep part of the human psyche. It moves me. Continue reading