Re: Why atheism beats agnosticism (Was: Re: Contacting God) ("")
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 18:29:54 +0200

> From: ChuckKuecker <>

> At 01:02 4/23/98 +0200, you wrote:
> >> From some public statements made by atheists around here, I would > >> be tempted to define atheism as a fervent belief in the NON > >> > >>existence of a supreme being...
> >
> >Indeed, atheism is (often) more than just saying "it's extremely
> >unlikely that god exists", but also "it is not _desirable_ that god
> exists". It's about understanding that, certainly for a transhumanist,
> >the existence of god is _not_ "neutral", but very, VERY bad. All our
> >efforts would be futile. After all, don't we want to become gods
> >ourselves? No such luck if the job has already been
> >taken...(remember: if god existed he would _not_ be "nice", just look > >at this deathist planet and universe. Being omnipotent = being
> >responsible for all that happens.
> >
> That is one of the views I have held for quite a long time. The > Christian Old Testament god is a particularly nasty critter..if this > is the way things actually run, I will be quite happy to take my > rightful place in Hell.

Indeed, it's a sadistic psychopath by anyone's standards...

> However, I don't think the universe is 'deathist'. Life is just > localized reversal of entropy. As such, it appears the universe is out > to get us...Actually, for the universe to be 'deathist' would > presuppose some sort of controlling organization that cared one way or > the other, would it not?

Or a god...That was the point: if you assume that the Judeo-Christian
God is real, than you also must assume that he doesn't give a crap about
the well-being of his creatures. Fortunately the chances that the bible
even remotely approximates the truth (where the supernatural is
concerned) are very slim, and it's much more likely that all is just a
big ol' coincidence. That would explain a lot.

> >> I shall continue as a quite vocal agnostic until I find sufficient >
> evidence to change..
> >
> >And I shall continue as a quite vocal atheist until someone can > >present sufficient evidence of god's existence and/or that this would > >not be a disaster for humanity and transhumanists in particular.

> If there are gods or a God, I have a hard time seeing any reason why > this being would have any particular interest in the goings-on of > Terrans or any other lifeform, except as far as these beings could > evolve to a level capable of providing stimulating conversation or > competition...

This being would _by definition_ be a ruthless sadist, because it is
supposed to be absolutely 100% omnipotent. It could have made things
infinitely better for us but it didn't. It wants mindless worship from
creatures it has equipped with intelligence and "free will" (what is
free will if God knows everything in advance). What kind of being would
torture people forever in hell for the slightest transgression? People
it has programmed *itself* to commit those transgressions. It's like
making a creature that's always thirsty, and punishing it when it tries
to drink. The Judeo-Christian God does NOT value stimulating
conversation -- he only wants blind worship. Competition? I don't think
so! When Satan and Adam & Eve got too "emancipated" they got kicked out
of heaven with a death sentence slapped to their ass...

That's why we should be glad that He is just a myth.

Strong atheism should definitely be a part of the transhuman package,
certainly if you want to teach the philosophy to novices, because
otherwise they would be easy prey for any religious fanatic. "If you
don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything". God (and the rest
of the "supernatural") does not exist until he comes down from the
heavens in all his glory etc. People really need to get rid of that
"there must be some higher force"-meme in order to make truly rational
decisions (about cryonics, for example). The god-meme is very powerful,
in order to beat it one has to have a powerful counter-meme, not the
maybe/maybe not agnostic approach. People are going to get infected
with memes (programmed/brainwashed etc.) one way or another, that's
how we work, so better make it the transhuman/atheist/rationalist meme.

Oh dear, I have been preaching again...:-)