Category Archives: Atheism

The Hamza Tzortiz handbrake u-turn on scientific miracles in quran

The Hamza Tzortiz handbrake u-turn on scientific miracles in quran

Originally published on www.answers-in-reason.com March 2016

 

I was more than shocked having recently read Hamza Tzortiz’s essay stating:

Regrettably, the scientific miracles narrative has become an intellectual embarrassment for Muslim apologists, including myself.

Full paper can be read by clicking here

I take my hat off to his honesty. I respect the effort he actually put into his essay in putting forth the arguments against scientific miracles in quran:

There are an array of reasons of why the above expressions of the scientific miracles are problematic and incoherent. These include,

  1. The Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle

  2. Inaccurate History

  3. Teleology of the Qur’ānic Verses

  4. Scientism, the Problem of Induction and Empiricism

  5. “Unscientific” Verses

  6. Miracles, Simplicity and A Note on Qur’ānic Exegesis

I hope he has not received any negativity and especially the violent rhetoric afforded to people that speak out on such matters as this is a massive statement to make considering he was such a high profile advocate and apologist for the scientific miracles in quran since its publication in 2013.

A short bio on Tzortiz:

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis was born 21st September 1980. He is an international lecturer who has lectured in many universities including USA, Australia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Canada and Lebanon. The lecturer has authored many books and articles on his personal blog. As a debater he has debated many popular professors including Professor Lawrence Krauss, Professor Simon Blackburn, Professor Ken Gemes and Professor and Dan Barker. Hamza heads up a team called iERA,(Islamic Education and Research Academy).

As honest as Tzortiz has been, his group are still selling a publication called The Man in the Red Underpants. In this publication is stated:

Actually what is remarkable about the Quran is not only that it does not contain any contradictions , but in fact it seems to be making statements about history, theology, philosophy, law and the natural world that defies a normal human explanation..

The pamphlet goes on to talk about, inter alia, the Big Bang Theory, embryonic development and plate tectonics and concludes,

It is easy to understand how the Creator would know about the common origin of the universe, the details of embryonic development and that mountains have roots but it is not easy to explain how Muhammad managed to include the information in the Qur’an unless we accept his claim to be a Messenger. It would seem that accepting this would be the most sensible thing for a rational, sincere person to do.

In my opinion this publication needs to be revised to no longer include this. This has been for too long an argument used and still used by imam in the mosque or parent to child or proselytiser, and the bane of my life, the internet debater with no knowledge of the science they are attempting to talk about. Oh and lest we not forget Zakir “The Snake” Naik.

scientific miracles in quran

A New Approach

Ohhhh, things seemed to be going so well until Tzortiz mentions his new approach. That being:

How to articulate this in a simple way

For those concerned on how to articulate this in a simple way I suggest a simple step process:

1. When talking about Divine revelation speak about:

  • the fact that there are historical statements that are mentioned in the Qur’ān were not known at the time

  • the linguistic and literary miracle of the Qur’ān

  • the fact that Qur’ān is preserved

  • the meaning and message of the Qur’ān

  • the Qur’ān’s concept of God

  • other remarkable features of the Qur’ān

I believe the same logic applied by Tzortiz can be levelled at the historical statements which are claimed could not be known. Why stop there Hamza?

I don’t get the linguistic part. there is a part where Muhammed is asked to write a divinely inspired poem. It is rubbish. It keeps repeating the same line over and over again. This to me is the nature of the quran. Lots of filler statements regarding allah repeated over and over and over and over and over and over.

The meaning and message of quran is much like, in fact almost cargbon copy of the fire and brimstone god of the Old Testament.

His concept is straight out of OT also.

Remarkable features? Not sure what they could be. Islamic rhetoric!!

Effects of his essay

It speaks volumes that its greatest proponent will make such a statement however it seems very little positive effects because of this, apart from Tzortiz making things right publicly with the scientific community. The debates mention quran’s scientific miracles still flow. His book is still available to download with no revision. The imams still preach it from the mosques and the young minds are still fed it at home and in madrassa. The islamic world seems to either have not noticed their chief proponent has made this u-turn or choose to ignore it. Why on earth would they do that?

Is islam that weak that they can not embrace the fact that the quran contains no scientific miracles?

I wonder whether the punishment for apostasy would apply to someone that was duped into accepting islam on the back of these purported miracles and have lost faith because they are no longer to be considered miracles? Also I got no apology for those duped or misled.

All in all an effort was made but really a half assed attempt. We want an apology, we want a fatwah exempting anyone that leaves islam on the back of this revelation and we need the Red Underwear publication revised!! Until then my hat firmly replaced on my head and tipped gently to all readers….

You may wish to check out this article published on www.answers-in-reason.com a short while ago http://answers-in-reason.com/religion/islam/is-the-quran-perfect/ as well as the other great articles produced here at www.thescientificatheist.com

Wishing you all a godless and logic based March 2016

Alan The Atheist

Karma, la cultura de culpar a la víctima, el peor sustituto moral y consuelo de los tontos.

Ya que el Karma es una ideología que ha tomado fuerza en los últimos años fuera de la religión que originalmente la ideó, siendo incluso tomada como sustituto por algunos ateos a la idea moral que se les había inculcado cuando formaban parte de una religión o culto, es importante analizarla por lo que es.

La “ley del Karma”, como es denominada por sus seguidores, es la idea de que cada decisión y acción tomada por un individuo moldea desde su apariencia física, hasta su destino a largo plazo y eventos que le ocurrirán; no como consecuencia directa, sino como resultado de la intervención de una fuerza universal.

El concepto de una fuerza universal que mantiene el equilibrio castigando y premiando a los individuos con base en sus acciones es común en múltiples religiones y filosofías, algunas le dan personalidad y voluntad, como al dios castigador presentado en el Antiguo Testamento, mientas que otras lo tienen como una fuerza ciega que imparte justicia sin necesidad de tener un personaje en sí misma, surge de la necesidad de las personas de tener un consuelo cuando se sintieron completamente impotentes ante una situación causada por un tercero, como cuando una persona es víctima de un robo, no puede detener al asaltante y se consuela con la idea de que El Universo/Dios/Justicia Divina/Karma castigará al ladrón por haberle hecho daño; pero de la misma manera, surge en contraposición la necesidad de sentir un reconocimiento por las buenas acciones de un individuo que podrían pasar desapercibidas por sus pares, lo que conlleva a la idea de que la fuerza superior que mantiene el balance los premiará por haber realizado dicha acción.

Algunas de las fuerzas previamente mencionadas castigan y premian durante el tiempo de vida del individuo, mientras que otras lo realizan hasta después de que la persona ha muerto, como el cristianismo y el islam.

La idea del Karma recae en la primera categoría, puesto que afecta a la persona mientras esta se encuentre con vida, por lo que si el individuo es asaltado, robado, violado o asesinado, es enteramente culpa suya, como comúnmente se dice en el islam cuando se busca excusa para golpear a una mujer: “algo habrá hecho”, la persona es tanto culpable como responsable de lo que sea que le haya ocurrido, sin embargo, si es una persona joven o que jamás ha llegado a cometer un crimen lo suficientemente grande como para merecer dicho castigo, la ideología entra en conflicto, lo que lleva a un proceso de racionalización en el que la única manera de explicar dicho acto es mediante la creación de un sistema aún más complejo, la reencarnación y vidas pasadas, conceptos presentes hasta el día de hoy para mantener el sistema de castas en algunas regiones de la India, iniciativa meramente religiosa que ha encontrado su lugar en la política y estilo de vida de muchos.

Lo que nos lleva a una pregunta:

¿Es el Karma en verdad moral y vale la pena usarlo como base para un estilo de vida?

La respuesta sencilla es “no”, puesto que esta es una creencia que trata de sustentarse en conceptos científicos como la ley de la causa y efecto, también llamada Principio de la causalidad y no tiene bases en el mundo real, dado que no ha sido demostrado bajo rigurosas pruebas de laboratorio; pero, principalmente por el daño que causa en la persona que es víctima de las acciones de un tercero, pues el Karma propone que es culpa de la víctima cualquier cosa que le haya sucedido, ya sea por acciones que haya realizado directamente o en una “vida pasada”.

Atheism is not an Institution

When religion and those that align themselves with a particular one like the RCC that commits atrocities against people that should be protected. Those names and people that have done these horrific crimes are protected instead. Then we get the apologists sticking up for this behavior. Don’t waste the hot air on those of us that don’t agree with your religion instead look within and start asking questions yourself and why the victims of abuse have been met with resistance.
Atheism is not a religion nor does it follow a doctrine and it isn’t a political movement. Non-belief in a deity is what separates atheism from theism period. I don’t have a Dawkins shrine at my house (contrary to belief)…and I actually disagree with a couple minute things….but the differences in my disagreement can do be based on individual views……These men don’t speak for me, they aren’t my appointed leaders. I don’t look for their guidance in my everyday life.
Do I agree with them on a debate about rational thought, evolution, biology and secularism? Sure, but not because of who they are and what they promise me, but because I agree with their non-belief.
The very reason I am an atheist is because I am an individual thinker in my non-belief. I am skeptic. I do right by society because I have to live in THIS society.
Misogyny, homophobia, GM, and other mistreatment of those that don’t subscribe to their stupidity is something every believer should be asking themselves today. “Why would I belong to a group that commits these horrific acts?” And “Why am I, as a believer, not doing everything I can to stop these crimes yesterday?”

Reason;
The believer would have to ask themselves some hard questions and that might rock their world. As a citizen of the world but more specifically of the USA, I’m concerned that a very vocal group wants to take away the right to choose to have a legal procedure done, that is of no business to anyone except my doctor and myself. They want to take away human rights to those people that are different in skin color, gender or sexual orientation.
I believe these communities need equal rights NOW not when people feel “more comfortable” about the idea.
The false equivalence that I’m oppressing religion by speaking truth about their practices is ridiculous. Especially when thousands of years worth of death, violence and mutilation have occurred and been encouraged by religions. Should we address these issues as a group? YES of course, that however doesn’t make one a believer in a religion but a protector of the human experience.

religious-fanatic

Religion is an institution. Atheism is NOT.

– Gelliebeans

Atheists Helping the Homeless in NYC

AHH2sm

AAPN is helping AHH with helping the homeless in cooperation with  www.logikalthreads.com

“Like” AHH and tag five friends in the post for a chance to win one of these two giveaway prizes, volunteers for the event will receive an additional entry! Send your submissions to the comment section on this website article with proof of “likes and tags.” Prizes are 1 of 2 shirts as shown below.
giveawayts 

Atheists Helping the Homeless is a secular charity group that was
started in Austin, Texas in 2009 for three basic reasons. 1 To help
some folks in need. 2 To show by example that Atheists DO care and DO have morals and DO help. 3 To have fun. We’ve helped by doing monthly giveaways of free items like toiletries, clothing, and food. Since 2009, we’ve helped literally thousands of people in Texas and beyond, and lately we’ve been growing rather quickly.

This Sunday, March 27, AHH will do giveaways in FIVE different cities, including New York City. That chapter is brand new, and this will be their first giveaway. They need volunteers and donations of items to give out, now. If you live in that area and would like to help, please visit their chapter page and send them a message:

https://www.facebook.com/AtheistsHelpingtheHomelessNewYorkCity
SETXAHHgrouppic
If you do a search on Facebook for “Atheists Helping the Homeless,”
you’ll find our chapter pages, which now number more than 16. With the rapid growth we’ve experienced lately, chances are, there is a chapter near you. If you’ve ever wanted to help the homeless, but only through a purely secular group, you’ll love AHH.

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The Divine Plan Fallacy

A Quick Dose of Harsh Reality  

I can’t stand it when people try to assert to me their god has “a plan for me”…
If God has a plan for you, me and every other poor smuck in the world to include the world itself, did god plan to have the twin towers destroyed in such a horrific manner? If the Jews are supposedly “gods chosen people” and god is all knowing with a divine plan, did god plan Hitler and the Holocaust?

Christian apologists claim god gave us free will but in the next breath claim god always has a plan. When things don’t exactly pan out the way they wanted it to, they attribute it to god working in mysterious ways, or it was not part of god’s plan (as if they somehow knew).

So would this loving god that works in mysterious ways have a reason to plan the horrific events like the Boxing day tsunami in the south pacific? Why would this be considered as just or good when such unmerited human suffering is created? Why would god let countless children die of starvation in Africa, especially since he is claimed to have loved us so much and values the lives of the innocent so dearly?

People attribute god as being whatever it is they imagine it to be, after all, it makes perfect sense that god is exactly as the believer imagined it to be; that’s the key word here, imagined…
So why find fault in something that is claimed to be perfect, especially when things go badly it can be claimed as god working in mysterious ways or that of being man’s free will… Even though there’s a divine plan and god supposedly made a plan for us…

See the conflict here?
Divine Plan Fallacy

What Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Fails to Address

What Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Fails to Address

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(Above is the picture of the Wyoming)

There are many, many flaws with the Genesis story of Noah’s Flood, and there are many articles debunking it as well. So to add the case we will debunk just the size and construction of the wooden Ark alone.

The ark was purported to be 516.24′ x 86′ x 51.6′(converted from cubits). There was supposed to be 3 decks. Using this data, we get a total square footage of 133,189.92 ft on 3 decks.

Assuming you don’t accept Evolution, you must arrive at the assumption that the number of species we currently see is exactly the same number of species that existed at the time of Noah. (Excluding the Dinosaurs, even though Ken Ham believed they were also on the Ark.) And for simplicity we will forgo that whole 7 of every clean animal part since the math with only counting 2 of every species is more than adequate.

According to conservative estimates, there are between 3 Million to 10 Million different species on Earth today.
Using the MOST CONSERVATIVE numbers, 3 Million species x 2 of each species (not taking into consideration species that reproduce via non-sexual reproduction)= 6 Million animals.

133,189.92 Sq Ft divided by 6 Million animals = 0.0221983 sq ft, or 0.27 sq in. This is simple math folks and we aren’t even including food, water or excrement. So each animal gets about 1/4 of a square inch in the Ark, but we’re not done just yet.

Let’s talk about the live animal cargo on the Ark and how it’s construction effected that as well.

An adult elephant in captivity will eat around 50kg of food per day. A mixture of hay mostly but with vegetables and oddly, bread. 50×365= 18,250kg. Times two, of course, is 36,500kg of food or 36.5 metric tonnes. Also, an elephant in captivity will drink about 200 litres of water per day. That’s 146,000 litres of water for two elephants, or 38569 gallons. And this is for just elephants, there’s apparently an entire planet’s worth of animal species x2 left to feed after this. So with every animal having only a 1/4 inch to roam, where did they fit all the food?

Digesion of food = gas and waste…

In order to prevent explosive levels of methane gas, not to mention an odor of biblical proportion, the air in the ark would need to be totally exchanged every two hours. The velocity of the air in Noah’s window needed to be maintained at 170.45 miles per hour for 11+ months. No provision were made for exhaust gas according to the bible, they must have overlooked this ripe fact.

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What is very convenient is that the folks involved in The Ark Encounter and Answers in Genesis never address what happened to the Wyoming . Although they give a size comparison of the Wyoming, they conveniently fail to go into the details about this ship, and what happened to it.

The Wyoming was a wooden six-masted ship, and the largest wooden schooner ever built. She was built and completed in 1909 by the firm of Percy & Small in Bath, Maine. Wyoming was also one of the largest wooden ships ever built, 450 ft (140 m) from jib-boom tip to spanker boom tip, and the last six-masted schooner built on the east coast of the US.

Because of her extreme length and wood construction, Wyoming tended to flex in heavy seas, which would cause the long planks to twist and buckle, thereby allowing sea water to intrude into the hold. Wyoming had to use pumps to keep her hold relatively free of water. In March 1924, she foundered in heavy seas and sank with the loss of all hands.

ark-compared-to-other-ships
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Now as you can see, the Ark was considerably larger than the Wyoming and would have had to carry an immense weight in cargo.
So going by all this information, just the construction and contexts surrounding the Ark is enough to sink this story.
-AAPN

 

Why the God of the Gaps Drive Atheists Nuts!

Why the God of the Gaps Drive Atheists Nuts!

 

God of the Gaps

 

The ‘God of the Gaps’ fallacy seems to be one of the most common philosophical errors in today’s age, from the dawn of humanity, to the big bang, we have many explanations and plenty of evidence, but many still reject the evidence.

External link for video here 

“Science doesn’t seem to know, therefore it must be god” seems to be the common ploy. The reality is that the notion of God is an ever receding line drawn in the sand as science presses forward. For example the definition of God then is different than it is now, so this begs the question, what is “God”.  When will this realization dawn upon us and people draw that oh so logical conclusion that  there was no god in the first place? We live in an era where we can now explain how events happen(ed), the world, the universe, they’re all wondrous in every aspect, we don’t need to attribute a supernatural aspect to it for us to appreciate it.

 

Why The Bible is Bulls***!

Why The Bible is Bulls***!

Why The Bible is Bulls***!

***Warning Explicit Language***

This article is for pure comedic enjoyment; what we have here is a ‘short’ list of some of the obvious BS in the bible and a very short summary to why it is BS.

We hope you enjoy!

-AAPN

The story of Genesis: Pseudoscientific Bullshit ( Because science doesn’t care what you “believe in”…)

 

The story of Adam and Eve: Foreseeable Bullshit ( If God is all knowing…)

 

The Story of Cain and Able: Dead End Bullshit ( If Adam and Eve had 3 sons [Cain, Able, and Seth] how did Cain and Able manage to find wives in the next town over?)

 

The story of Jacob: Stupid Bullshit ( Mother Goose could have come up with a better explanation than this…)

 

The story of Noah: Total Bullshit ( Seriously the whole story can be debunked by a 5th grader…)

 

The story of Exodus: Where is the Bullshit? ( 2 million Jews and not a shred of evidence?)

 

The story of Jobe: Hypocritical Bullshit ( Who was there to account for this bet, and isn’t betting considered a sin anyways?)

 

The story of Jonah: Exaggerated Bullshit ( Because everyone has a fish tale or two…)

 

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah: Nonexistent Bullshit ( Beyond the bible, there is no evidence or mention of these two cities… or random human shaped pillars of salt…)

 

The Story of Lot: Incestual Bullshit ( Do we really need to go into detail about this?)

 

Story of Abraham: Crazy Bullshit ( Because hearing voices wasn’t considered as being crazy then…)

 

The story of Lazarus: Tired Bullshit ( News flash, your body is still functioning when you’re sleeping. You can only sleep so long before needing food, water, or to use the bathroom for that matter.)

 

The story of Samson: Hairy Bullshit ( Because somehow a luscious mane of hair can be the ticket to superhuman strength)

 

The Story of Judas: Double Bullshit (Two deaths, one person…)

 

Story of Jesus walking on water: Over Hyped Bullshit ( The Bible claims Jesus walked on water, we watched on live T.V. Neil Armstrong walk on the moon…)

 

The story of Revelations: Apocalyptic Bullshit ( Because somehow the stars and planets will fall to earth… take all the time you need to think about that one…)

External video link here

Our State of HAPI-ness in the Philippines

.10256930_10152045468242409_7310359895863432718_o                                 What is Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI)

Trailblazers of secular humanism in the Philippines

First: we are HAPI because we envision ourselves as the trailblazers of secular humanism in the Philippines. This is our identity. It is our mission and vision, and the meaning of our logo:

S – Secularism of State
H – Humane Treatment, Freedom from Discrimination and Equality of Human Rights
A – Advancement of Reason and Logic
R – Respect for Individuality and the Democratic Process

E – Environmental humanism

The E in SHARE is the newest mission added; and yet it has been the most powerful, being the specialization of our current Executive Director, Jennifer Gutierrez.

The human symbols in our logo are not boxed, denoting that we are not contained in a certain belief system. We are free and dynamic. We are interconnected and flow freely. Whether or not we have differences in features and beliefs, we will still find a certain commonality as per our “big tent” policy.

The purpose and the meaning itself of humanism is the glue that binds us together. Something bigger than us. Isn’t that supposed to be the essence of activism, after all? One does something of one’s own volition, working for the greater good, without expecting remuneration?

Herding Cats on the Internet for Humanism

We in HAPI have  always been serious with our advocacy. We have always preferred to work with people who are stable emotionally and financially, like most of the officers. And now we have wonderful volunteers, most of them independent individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their careers.

The old idiom about herding cats rings true in this scenario, though. Organizing a society of humanists who are independent cats with their own voices is a behemoth task that can be frustrating at times…especially when one is organizing things from thousands of miles away. Thankfully, we have the technology. The advent of social media has made our tasks a little easier. HAPI is a volunteer-only organization, and promoting it online was no easy task.  We have been doing a lot of research in social media marketing strategies, and thanks to Alex Mendoza Wisner, that job is easier now.

HAPI Heroism on the Rise

Mostly, we are HAPI because things are looking up for us.

We are an emerging society, but we’ve had a stable foundation from the get-go.

We are sending our heartfelt gratitude to our biggest supporter, the American Humanist Association, which has given us the opportunity to promote secular humanism in the Philippines.

The HAPI International Council is composed of financially stable officers who are ready to share their time and money.

Our donations come in trickles, but we have been fortunate to get donors who are our very own officers, so we know where our donations are going.

The HAPI  Nutritional Campaign in Alabang, will continue even if we run out of donations.
The monthly events will become self-sustaining, thanks to our very lovely HAPI Executive Director, Jennifer Gutierrez, for her organizational prowess.

Our events have been very interesting, FUN, but most of all promote critical thinking.

The HAPI Pasko with the kids in Alabang has gathered 500 kids. Here our noble guests dressed as superheroes, because that’s what we strive to be. But what makes someone heroic, anyway?

Heroes are special because they inconvenience themselves for the love of humanity, and for love of their country. They strive to be good people, simply because it is the right thing to do. They do not seek fame nor fortune; being comfortable is good enough for them.

However, heroes also have to deal with negative mentalities of self-entitlement and professional jealousy…sometimes from the very people they seek to help.

It is high time to break the counterproductive debates online that inevitably arise when people with different points of view encounter each other; these only waste precious time and energy, and pull people into emotional roller coasters.

We’re now on our third year, we have just scratched the surface, there is still time to join us and marvel the beauty of being in HAPI. If everyone will share their time and effort to HAPI at least once a month, we can become bigger, better, and more formidable, for there is strength in numbers and in diversity.

My heartfelt gratitude to our HAPI Core officers and sponsors, Atheist Alliance International, American Humanist Association, other international and local alliances, my sisters in Cebu, individual donors in the USA, Europe and the Philippines, for without them, we cannot continue our mission and vision.

Please continue our legacy.

We are in this together.

Thank you and kind regards.

Sincerely,

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Marissa Torres Langseth, RN, MSN, ANP

HAPI Founding Chairperson

http://www.hapihumanist.org/

The Problem With “Christian Values”

The Problem With “Christian Values”

 

"Christian Values"

‘Christian values’, are completely subjective as one ‘Christian’s values’ are completely different than another’s ‘Christian values’, which begs the question, what is the definition of ‘Christian values’ when Christians can’t even agree on what they believe is the correct set of values.

Or view here https://youtu.be/703ZJSzyyOA
If your morals and values come from a fear of reprisal from a higher power and only act with decency to your fellow man because of that, you are no better than a rabid dog on an imaginary leash. If the only reason you act with kindness and compassion to your fellow man is your hope of reward from this supposed higher power then you are incredibly divisive and selfish.
-AAPN