Atheism Established by the Hard Sciences
Religion and Violence
Mind body Problem
Philosophy of Science
The End of the World
1. Religion and Violence
Religion cannot sustain itself on evidence because it does not have any.
Instead it uses violence to continue its propagation. Religious folks wage
an unceasing campaign to discredit or destroy anyone who is a threat to
their control. Atheists suffer job discrimination and severe social discrimination.
They are not allowed a proportional representation in the media and generally
not allowed at all. They have had to develop their own book distribution
There are reports in Humanist writings showing a link between fundamentalism
and violence in politics. Americans who are religious are more hawkish
and dishonest about US support of foreign dictators and terrorist organizations.
This then establishes the moral low ground for christians.
The coup de gras is the Proof that gawd does not exist based on the existence
In medieval times St. Thomas Acquinas said that "for anything to exist
God must will it into existence and maintain its existence by force of
will." Evil exists. That indicts gawd and contradicts one of his
properties. Now you may not believe St. Thomas Acquinas. I don't.
But that doesn't clear your poor lord of sin. I think he should punish
himself in hell.
2. Ancient Philosophy
Philosophy is supposed to provide the framework and rules for development
of the formal theory for science and for religion.
The Greeks conceived of the idea of atoms developed geometry, and buoyancy
The most notable failure of the Greeks is that they did "armchair science."
To do real science you have to do experiments and be honest about it. You
cannot judge experiments by your own preconceived rules. Many rules
were invented by the ancient philosophers such as cause and effect, but
the only rules you are allowed are those implied by the experiment.
b. Plato and Socrates
These folks have extensive writings but almost all of it is concerned with
trivial social interaction. There is little of value. Even the cave story
can be rewritten in a fraction of the words he used.
This guy is famous for his buoyancy principle which today is considered
a minor exercise for entry level students-nothing to write home about.
3. Medieval Philosophy
There is a long list of names that belong here. Like the ancients they
really lived before the day of hard science, so you can't expect much from
these guys either. All of their proofs of God were shown false long ago
and their philosophical rules obsolete. A lot of their ideas appear foolish
in modern light. However believe it or not the protestant church has re-indicted
Galileo after the Catholic church has absolved him.
a. Pre scientific World View
Here are some of their ideas:
Every object in the universe owes its existence to gawd. Without the
uninterrupted will of gawd to keep an object in existence it would instantly
Jesus died for our sins.
Humans have souls bestowed at conception.
An individual is responsible for his actions. (As if we were not machines
subject to Newtonian determinism.)
Free will vs Christian determinism was argued by these folk! (Both
They believed in heaven and hell!
They believed that mathematical concepts were somehow spiritual, or
indicative of spiritual ideals.
They argued over free will vs predestination.
b. The Works of St. Thomas Acquaints
Here are his five proofs of gawd:
Modern science has shown that these arguments are wrong by finding natural
relations that account for the world order. To answer the arguments specifically:
1. Things are in motion hence there is a first mover.
The cosmological argument.
2. Things are caused hence there is a first caused.
The cosmological argument.
3. Things exist hence there is a creator.
The cosmological argument.
4. Perfect goodness exists, hence it has a source.
The moral argument.
5. Things are designed, hence they serve a purpose.
The teleological argument.
Some other famous argument:
Only gawd could enable humans to have the idea of gawd's perfection.
1. Objects can be set in motion by things that do not move like gravity
and electric fields. There is even the famous zero point motion at absolute
zero which exists with no energy source.
2. Causality has fallen into disrepute because of quantum chaos. In the
case of radioactive decay there is no possible cause. Unknown causes have
been ruled out by the Von Neumann "No Hidden Variables" proofs.
3. Particle pair creation is a common nuclear process and neither gawd
nor human creator is needed.
4. Perfect goodness has never been defined but evil has and it exists.
For gawd to allow such a thing gives him a questionable reputation.
5. Nonlinear chemical process and other processes that make fractals have
demonstrated the formation of complex order from simple origins and the
evolutionary process has been demonstrated to result in optimized performance
of sophisticated systems. None of these processes require a designer.
4. Mind Body Problem
They imagined a "Mind Body Problem." According to their thinking
the mind and body were two separate entities. It suffices to say that thoughts
are machine states and have no existence outside of the brain which is
just another machine. The clear terminology provided by computer hardware
and software is sufficient to reduce this "prehistoric" problem to trivia.
Enormous volumes have been written on morals. The Bible has distinguished
itself as seriously immoral. The medieval concept that morals could be
invented by a gawd is completely contrary to the modern scientific view
that morals have meaning only in a human social context.
I remain convinced that there is a simple calculus of morals
based weighing outcomes and individual values. I haven't written the symbology
for it but it should not be hard. Probably like language it depends on
Those words were written based on ideas from the 1980s. Now a new scientific
appproach has enabled a more definite statement to be made. The most rudimentary
morality is altruism, a phenomenon documented in many species. It is based
on evolution and the particulars have been studied sufficiently by now
to be a science. Altruism works because it helps survival.
Morality has a similar origin-law and morals can be considered as a
method for enabling society to function more efficiently. A business
community with an environment of cheating spends a lot more energy defending
itself than a community based on trust. In the United States only the force
of law has enabled a somewhat trustworthy environment to develop.
A morally straight society can out compete an immoral society. This definition
of morality will necessarily omit any concept of divine law.
6. Modern Philosophy of Science
a. Logical Positivism
Modern philosophy grew out of a small group called the Vienna School around
1900. These folks generated what is called Logical Positivism- an essentially
atheistic philosophy that denies the existence of even metaphysics. It
put the spirit world in the trash can where it has stayed ever since. There
were some mathematical problems with Logical Positivism and even some more
serious ones with mathematics brought on by Godel and company.
Nevertheless a set of rules and strict guidelines has been formulated
and named the Scientific Method. These rules are adopted worldwide. In
the United States this process has failed due to political domination and
censorship caused by christians. The philosophy of science maintains that
every idea must have empirical support.
b. Science and logic
It turns out that science cannot be strictly held to the rules of mathematical
(deductive) logic. All logic consists of a deductive calculation that must
start with absolute truths. There are many professional scientists that
deny the existence of such absolutes in science. Any proof in science rests
on an enormous number of relations, tests and inferences, any one of which
leads to more of the same and can be challenged. Furthermore the whole
concept of scientific induction is without logical basis. This means that
science, contrary to public perception, does not accurately follow the
rules of logic.
The dilemma caused by this realization is quite serious. According to
this result you can't even prove you have a head on your shoulders. Also
you cannot prove that the devil is not controlling your thoughts.
To resolve these "startup problems" science came up with a set of rules
that enable rational thought to proceed. These are Occam's razor, The Null
Religionists often answer atheists with the statement "you cannot prove
a negative." This claim is false. Assume a positive, say jesus, then another,
say the big turtle, then another and another. You can go on forever.
These positives all contradict each other and none merits any special consideration.
therefore they all must be negated. The result is complete negation.
This is the starting point of science. In short all things that may
be acknowleged to exist must be proven.
The creationists have no end making fun of the rules of science but
they are firm and serious. The strange rule "If I can't see it, that
proves it doesn't exist." is "repaired" by the next rule "If I make a mistake
I get to change my mind." It is this combination that makes science
approach the truth closer and closer.
Modern philosophy really began in the 1900s. Science involves criticism.
It is the constant scrutiny which enables science to avoid mistakes.
One famous writer Carl Popper said things like "It is not possible to prove
a theory but one experiment can prove it false." This guide works fine
in some situations but I maintain that in a complex field where both agreement
and disagreement of theory with experiment must be tested, it is the best
agreement which qualifies a theory.
For additional background see my Philosophy
d. Why does anything exist at all?
This question has been asked and answered wrongly with "God" since the
dawn of history. A more mature response is that since the questioner often
assumes a time when nothing existed was followed by a time like now, the
whole idea is non physical. Furthermore if you can't answer the question
with an experiment then it may be just nonsense anyway.
7. Modern findings.
Science allows only ideas that can be shown to have support by scientific
tests. Thus unprovable ideas like spirit, soul, supernatural, aliens are
Contrary to Creationist claims, Evolution never had problem with the
second law of thermodynamics. However some scientists could not understand
how complex systems developed. In the Nobel Prize winning work
of Ira Prigogine, the physical basis of
evolution has been discovered. It turns out that dissipative
systems that increase entropy fastest are favored even if such systems
make complex ordered structures. Dissipative systems "draw their creativity"
from chaos and can both grow and reproduce. One common such system has
been known to follow humans and kill them. It is called fire.
a. Causality See Squires "The Mystery of the Quantum World." Chapter
"The potential barrier and the breakdown of determinism." Determinism here
means Newtonian determinism.
b. No hidden variables proof: Von Neumann 1932: " Mathematische Grundlagen
der Quantenmechanik" Translated by Princeton University Press 1955.
c. The ubiquity of random vacuum fluctuations as demonstrated by the
Casimir effect has convinced many cosmologists that the universe we live
in is just the result of a "macroscopic quantum fluctuation."
d. For the coup de gras read about the Bell Inequality. Bell's
work has demonstrated that no local hidden variable can account for observatin.
e. The famous Copenheagan interpretation of quantum mechanics does not
introduce subjectivity despite the pleas of christians. Instead the observer
is equivalent to any non-linear interaction which causes "collapse of the
8. The End of the World
The interaction of the Earth and the Moon has been carrying the moon farther
away at the expense of the Earth's rotational energy. Eventually the Earth
will become locked facing the Moon just like the Moon is already locked
facing the Earth. After that the Earth-Sun interaction will slowly draw
the Moon back down to the Earth until it gets so close that it breaks up
and the pieces crash into the Earth. That will be a very exciting time
for life on Earth.
Assuming that life somehow survives that, there will be an interval
of peace. But the Sun will be slowly growing and eventually it will expand
until it eats the Earth.
9. Freethought Publications
See the Free Thoughts back issues,
now being added regularly to these pages.
A number of people have contributed articles and leads. If you
send useful material I may add it. If you send garbage it will be trashed.
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Last modified: July 20, 2000