“We need a leader who is biblically based”

So the Reverend Ralph Martino just got done blabbing his word-flap on CNN about this big shitstorm with Obama alienating lots of black voters by showing that he has a heart. I sort of knew this was going to happen, because black folks in America are slightly more concerned with gender roles and norms than whitey. (Generally speaking; obviously, there are people who break the mold.) Anyway, when asked if he and Watch and Pray Ministries would still be supporting President Obama, he responded that they will be praying for them and went off on a tangent about how we need an über Christ-lover in the Oval Office. I think this is rather coincidental, because I just found out that I got an A+ on my paper about why atheists are qualified to hold public office. If I were clinically insane, I might think this was synchronicity at work.

Anyway, I won’t go into the fine details about why I’m opposed to deeply religious folks running things. If you want, you can read my full project, which is up on my Open Letter to American Atheists page. Really, it boils down to this: Christianity is a deficient belief system, and people who blindly follow its tenets are not going to have the problem-solving skills to run a country. It is perfectly possible to have a secular ethical system based on logic (again, read my paper or this post or the entry on Humanism at ReligiousTolerance.org). In fact, I think it is desirable to have an ethical system based on reason as opposed to faith. You see, the nice thing about basing things on reason is that you actually have reasons for them. Reasons which are objectively verifiable and don’t boil down to gut intuitions.

Also, I was shocked when Rev Martino said that his ministry prays for more than 32,000 minutes a week. What a waste of time. Prayer has never solved any problems. Active doing of things is what gets things done. That’s why it’s called “doing things.” Prayer doesn’t do anything other than shut down certain parts of your brain, causing you to mildly dissociate and think that things coming from your own mind are coming from supernatural fairy-being. Direct action is the way to effect change in the socio-political world.

SOrry, Christians, but you’ve had your millennium of dominance. Time to let the rational empiricists have a turn.

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Can science disprove God?

It really irks me when theists claim that science can’t disprove God. To me, saying that is like saying that science can’t disprove the existence of unicorns. It demonstrates an ignorance for how scientific proof works.

The only way to prove that something isn’t true is to look for proof that it is true. Finding none, we can reasonably conclude that whatever we were trying to prove does not exist. This is what science has done for God. We have naturalistic explanations for everything that God was created to explain: creation of the universe, good and evil, the mind (“soul”), natural events such as earthquakes, etc. It’s simple logic: When you have two possible explanations, you go with the one which makes the least egregious assumptions. This is called Occham’s Razor. So what assumptions do each of these theses make?

The naturalistic thesis makes the assumption that our powers of observation, experience, and reason are reliable sources of knowledge. This is why the scientific method is known as “rational empiricism”: it combines the best elements of rationalism and empiricism. The theistic thesis, on the other hand, makes the opposite assumption: we can’t know anything based on reason and experience. Sure, the universe seems to be 14 billion years old and operating on laws which were formed naturalistically in the first few milliseconds of existence, but that’s all really a big hoax perpetuated by an all-good creator-god. Which of these assumptions is more egregious?

Furthermore, absence of absolute disproof does not qualify as proof. It’s called Russell’s teapot, yo. Read it.

What would qualify as absolute disproof, anyway? A note from God saying, “Sorry, dudes; don’t really exist”?