Saturday, August 04, 2007

Conversation with a Christian

I'm sure many of you have been down this road before. This was a conversation I had on my Stumble Upon account:

lobh70: It is worth it please check this out my friend you are going to like it and please send it to a friend you love, take care ok, your friend Hector GOD BLESS YOU hope and joy

Me: My first response to this guy got deleted somehow. I basically stated very politely something to the likes of: "Please do not bother me with religious messages. The site you linked to is a total joke offering absolutely no explanations to the questions and answers that it provides. Try reading a few of these books (listed Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, etc) and message me with a specific question or discussion topic and I'll be more than happy to communicate with you."

lobh70: I never said any thing about a religion but a relation ship with you maker please let me wise as you are and tell me how or who made us, and so where are we going to when we die what is your hope.

Me: The site you linked me to was specifically focused on the Christian religion. If you are a Christian why would you not have specified a religion. According to Christianity, all other gods are false gods.

While I cannot refute that we were "made" by something, logic then dictates that that thing was made by something leading to an infinite digression. The universe does not start complex and create simpler things, in fact it is exactly the opposite.

Modern physics can explain the big bang to an amazing precision. At the current time, this is the most commonly accepted explanation for the birth of the universe and this is where science and religion are diametrically opposed. In 20 years, science will have progressed and either refined or completely changed the big bang theory. It will have gathered more evidence, made more observations, and adjusted its beliefs. Religion, however, will be right as it started, an elaborate fairytale of an explanation for the beginning of the universe from a time when no better explanation existed. It will see what science has stated and try and mold these views into a, by definition, unchangeable belief set.

My hope is for humanity to continue to evolve, to learn the absolute most it can about reality, and to take these learnings and apply them to our lives. We are on the verge of a technological and biological revolution. I, sir, do not plan to die. If I do before radical life extension is a reality, then so be it. I believe (but am willing to change said beliefs based on constantly studying, updating, and modifying my learnings) that I will become no more. This will not be too bad. I was nothing for the first 14 billion years of the universe and I didn't mind it then. I also believe that eventually an intelligence in this universe will gain such control of reality that every logical possibility will be simulated and exercised. Call this a "resurrection" if you must. Science may get us there, ignorant, hateful, stupid religions based on 2000 year old fairy tales telling us to have faith in a ghost in the sky will not.

lobh70: trying to be wiser than are God is like play with fire I think, what about hope, and where you want to live eternity in hell and heaven or tell me who is going to pay for are sins here in earth. so how do you guaranty that tomorrow you will be a live and when you die what happens what about you your soul.

Me: I cannot guarantee that I will be alive tomorrow. I take all the precautions I can to make it so and I take care of my body as it is my only one (for now). There is no such thing as a soul. I am not a Cartesian Dualist. You have a brain, you have consciousness. Consciousness is an emergent property of the "strange loop" of neural activity in our brains. When I die, I am dead unless a great intelligence evolved from us or an alien race cares to create another instance of my specific pattern of neural activity.

Please, sir, I have read the books you claim as truth and found them despicable. Have you read the books I have suggested? Have you studied physics and biology? Have you dared let yourself imagine other possibilities than the ones that were shoved down your throat as a child before you were able to form any thoughts of your own?

(At this point a few days went by before I received another message. I thought I had sent him packing or figured he had just said "Ah fuck it." Then I get what appears to be a mass messaged spam from him a few days later.)

lobh70: Have you hear of the Harvest Crusade this is a FREE concert that is taking place this 3 day weekend at Anaheim stadium at 6:30 PM but if you can come all the way out here,you can actually see it live on the web so please try to check it out ok take care AND PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS INVITE THEM, SEE YOU THERE AND GOD BLESS.

Me: The crusades were one of the most disgraceful events in all of human history. To think that a christian organization would actually name itself after them is horrifying. Stop spamming me with your religious bullshit please. Go read a real book and start thinking for yourself.

(I haven't heard from him in a few days now.)