Atheist Film: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

by Luke Muehlhauser on November 25, 2009 in Atheist Film & TV,Video

star_trek_vStar Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) is not a good film by any criteria, but it has an interesting atheist perspective.

Vulcan renegade Sybok manages to seize control of starship Enterprise so he can reach a distant planet (outside the ‘Great Barrier’ of unexplored deep space) called Sha Ka Ree, where a mysterious, God-like entity supposedly lives (Sybok has had visions of this God). When they arrive, the planet appears barren until a series of curved rocks rise out of the ground and God appears to them.

God asks the crew how they got there. When they mention the Enterprise, God demands to join with the starship so he can leave that side of the Great Barrier and share his wisdom with the rest of the universe.

Kirk asks, “What does God need with a starship?”

God answers, “Do you doubt me?”

“I seek proof,” says Kirk.

“Jim,” McCoy warns, “you don’t ask the almighty for his I.D.!”

God continues, “Then here is the proof you seek,” and blasts Kirk with lightning from his eyes.

Sybok begs, “Why? Why have you done this?”

God answers, “He doubts me.”

Spock says, “You have not answered his question. What does God need with a starship?”

God strikes him down, too. God then turns to McCoy: “Do you doubt me?”

McCoy answers, “I doubt any God who inflicts pain for his own pleasure!”

A bit later, a blast from the Enterprise defeats this “God.”

For me, this scene makes many points about the jealous, violent God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

One might ask, “What does God need with animal sacrifice? With a human sacrifice? With a catastrophic flood? With billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and millions of unstoppably destructive black holes? What does God need with congenital diseases and a planet made of shifting plates that cause earthquakes and tsunamis? Isn’t the whole point of omnipotence that God could make a good world without all these needlessly silly or harmful phenomena?”

Moreover, why should humans obey the commands of someone as capricious, jealous, petty, and violent as the God of the Jewish scriptures?

To my mind, these questions have never been satisfactorily answered.

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike aka MonolithTMA November 25, 2009 at 7:18 am

“What does God need with a starship?” is one of my favorite movie quotes. Good post!

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 25, 2009 at 7:45 am

Exactly. Such an analogy for everything. What does God need with airplanes? What does God need with suicide bombers? What does God need with all your money? It is only we mortals who “need” such things.

  (Quote)

John D November 25, 2009 at 8:05 am

You should do a review of the Next Gen episode ‘Who Watches the Watchers?’. Probably my favourite atheist-themed tv episode. It has great insights into a fundamentalist religious mindset.

  (Quote)

Mike aka MonolithTMA November 25, 2009 at 8:07 am

I had a run-in with a pastor in a parking lot. I used to have a bumper sticker that said something like “If religious groups want to be in politics they should pay taxes” The pastor totally misunderstood and thought I wanted all churches to pay taxes. He then proceeded to say something like “If we had to pay taxes we couldn’t do all the good we do.” My response was “Really? Won’t God provide?”

  (Quote)

ayer November 25, 2009 at 8:20 am

Doesn’t Kirk affirm the existence of God at the end of that movie? (as I recall, he affirms it based on a quasi-Plantingan notion similar to “properly basic” knowledge)–but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, since Star Trek V is rightly considered one of the worst in the series

  (Quote)

Bill Maher November 25, 2009 at 9:24 am

Every other Star Trek (1,3,5,7,9) movie is shit, with the only exception being the newest one. I thoroughly enjoyed it (don’t make fun of me).

Star Trek also speaks volumes about technology with the Borg being the perfect embodiment of Ellul’s view of the Technological Society.

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 25, 2009 at 11:40 am

This may be entirely premature, but as of yet –and I don’t know exactly how many hours old this post is– no theist has answered the very rudimentary question, which, if I may redress a bit:

What good or gain does God incur; How might it pacify one who already possesses everything; What satisfaction might there be in watching, let alone condoning, even endorsing and other times blatantly mandating sacrifices animal or human, tithing to our holy buildings –which God is conspicuously absent in maintaining?

If God knew, which by his conveniently defined characteristics he must, how abhorrent many of the planets more morally cultivated individuals would find the holy literature, why not continue to offer new inspiration every few centuries? Why not keep up with the moral tide and demonstrate his paternal concern for our well-being after seeing how “out of context” (according to theist logic –an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one) most believers take their scripture while executing infidels or displaying other detestable feats of faith derived from their holy books? How many more souls would be saved and kept with him in celestial Disneyland if his precepts matched Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, etc.? Why does the creation supersede the Creator in every marker of comparison? Why is the bible’s prose and poetry, beautiful and moving as it may be in some places, entirely outdone in a single paragraph of Shakespeare or Milton? Why are the proposed methods of government nowhere near being held up with Montesquieu or Montaigne? Why do the values and morals upheld in the bible rot before our very eyes compared with Hobbes or Hume or for a more contemporary (of the bible) feel; Marcus Aurelius, Cicero or Confucious?

For someone who allegedly composed the cosmos, he has done an utterly abysmal job composing books. Can we be blamed for dismissing his attempts at being an author and looking to our own enlightened ones who held fast in his stead?

J.

P.S. You know, I never intend on these post’s being so long. I am grateful to those of you with the patience to bear it.

  (Quote)

ayer November 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Jake de Backer: How many more souls would be saved and kept with him in celestial Disneyland if his precepts matched Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, etc.?

Your comment presumes that God should tailor his communication to appeal only to the oh-so-refined sensibilities of those who frequent the self-important post-enlightenment salons of Paris and academic boutiques of the Ivy League. Can you not see how your comment drips with elitist condescension? I prefer a God who reaches out to the world, just to a sliver of the population.

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm

ayer:
Your comment presumes that God should tailor his communication to appeal only to the oh-so-refined sensibilities of those who frequent the self-important post-enlightenment salons of Paris and academic boutiques of the Ivy League.Can you not see how your comment drips with elitist condescension?I prefer a God who reaches out to the world, just to a sliver of the population.  

Do your sensibilities need to be “oh-so-refined” to appreciate and adhere to precepts expounded by Paine and Jefferson regarding individual freedom and liberty? Is it condescending to expect at least a paralleled commitment to toleration and individuality in the bible as there is to be found in the works of Voltaire? If the ideas of these men were limited to, rather than having sprung from, the “salons of Paris and academic boutiques of the Ivy League” then I, for one, would have never come by them having barely graduated high school 7 years ago and never setting foot in either Paris or an Ivy League campus.

All the same Ayer, if my “self-important post-enlightenment” ideals are so off-putting, why do they influence every civilized, industrialized country’s policy formation and organized government infinitely more than the bible?

Also, if remarking upon these concepts in the bible would require God to “tailor his communication to appeal to the self-important post-enlightenment” members of society, should we then infer that the deplorable, genocidal, maniacal actions and machinations committed by God’s prophets were “tailored to appeal only” to the pernicious, incorrigible nature of this planet’s scum who so dutifully follow in their footsteps? If only these “elitist” philosophies were initially found in the bible rather than the morally deleterious nonsense in it’s place, I wouldn’t need to “condescend” to you theists with my wishful thinking.

You “prefer a God who reaches out to the world” and yet everywhere exist signs of His salient absence. Perhaps we both maintain ideas about God which remain unfulfilled. I have simply chosen to exempt myself from the wishful crowd of serf’s who still communicate their thoughts and desires to the vacant clouds above.

J.

P.S. I issued a dozen questions in my previous post at least, what assumptions should I make that you chose to answer only one? And insufficiently at that.

  (Quote)

Mark November 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm

No way. You can’t fool me. You’re not Lukeprog. Impostor! Commonsenseatheism.com must have been hacked. Do you expect us to believe the Luke of famous philosopher aspiration would submit a scene from a fictional movie (replete with magical spaceships, extra terrestrials with pointy ears, and teleportation) as an exhibit to demonstrate the ignorance of those who worship an imaginary, magical God? Bah!

I kid. ;)

Really though, nice heckling. Let’s face it, that’s all you did here in this article. It wasn’t too hard was it? Any third grader can sit in the back of the theater and throw popcorn. ;) And any film, book, essay, treatise, speech or other medium of communication can be cannibalized and satirized to suit most any argument, right?

While I’m here, I may as well toss a few kernels back..

Star Trek V is not an “atheist film”; its genre is “science fiction.” Further, the scene you cannibalized was not the crux of the film, it was merely foreshadowing the conclusion–which I presume you were either disinterested in or unaware of. I will add it.. for parity if for nothing else..

KIRK: Cosmic thoughts, gentlemen?
McCoy:We were speculating…. is God really out there?
KIRK: Maybe he’s not out there, Bones. Maybe he’s right here… in the human heart.

A few other points..

For me, this scene makes many points about the jealous, violent God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

The “jealous, violent God” huh? So you have come to believe this mythological God is void of parity. A one dimensional killing machine bent on torturing the race of people he created for nothing more than his sick and twisted enjoyment. For you He’s a no without a yes. A zero without a one. A black without a white. Geez no wonder you’re an atheist. I would be too if I thought of God as such a Frankenstein! What a horror movie.

Of course your one dimensional description of God is a straw man even an infant could kick over. Of course no human being in their right mind (including your own parents) would follow (let alone believe in) the type of crazed lunatic you describe. To even THINK they would is to label them (and 56% of the earth’s population) helplessly gullible and terminally demented. Such a proclamation would not make you a genius philosopher; though it would certainly secure for you a place in the hall of fame of arrogance.

The “jealous and violent” God you speak incompletely of is also the God of love and peace. You speak as though HE is the one that brought on all the social upheavel and war of the OT times. He was not. His actions were in RESPONSE to a race of people who chose to worship one another and live in sin, rather than stay faithful to their Creator.

To be sure Ezekiel 18:32 spells it out: “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Hello.

There is so much more, but the gist of it is this: The Creator has always wanted the best for his creatures. But he knows the only way for them to live in harmony and peace is to follow his commandments (which I routinely note rarely fall into the atheist’s crosshairs). Why doesn’t he stay tranquil and passive while human beings act like mindless beasts with no dignity towards one another? Because that wouldn’t be the response of an unchanging loving Lord, that would be the response of an apathetic one.

One might ask, “What does God need with animal sacrifice? With a human sacrifice? With a catastrophic flood? With billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and millions of unstoppably destructive black holes? What does God need with congenital diseases and a planet made of shifting plates that cause earthquakes and tsunamis? Isn’t the whole point of omnipotence that God could make a good world without all these needlessly silly or harmful phenomena?”

One might ask WHO? One another? Or God? Or both? Or no one in particular? Or is this not a question but instead a judgment? I posit the phenomena is not nearly as “silly” as the nature of the questions themselves. You are asking questions of God as though you had emailed the lead engineer of the iPhone and asked he/she such things like: “Why did you put that button on the right side instead of the left side? Why did you make the screen reflective instead of flat matte?” Then when he fails to reply to your email you decide Apple’s design decisions are just silly. You can’t see the absurdity in that? As I said before, wait a while, Luke. You’ll get your answers eventually.

You said: Moreover, why should humans obey the commands of someone as capricious, jealous, petty, and violent as the God of the Jewish scriptures?

Well that sure makes it simple, huh? I agree with you Luke, who would ever want to obey such a monster? Not me.

To my mind, these questions have never been satisfactorily answered.

And as long as your mind stays CLOSED OFF to the idea that God is love and love is God and everything he ever did and said was out of love for us, they never will.

Happy Thanksgiving, Luke. Remember Pres. Lincoln designated it a holiday for us to thank GOD for his providence. I realize that must be an impossibility for someone who thinks God is nothing more than an evil $#%@^ with an axe to grind with humanity. :\

Peace and love,

Mark

  (Quote)

Mark November 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I have a trailing question for you.

Why is someone who claims to no longer believe in God so obsessed with disproving him? I mean, I don’t believe in Santa Claus so I therefore have no need to disprove him any longer.. let alone go out of my way to bash him for abusing animals, trespassing, stealing stuff from my fridge, and/or threatening to leave coal in my stocking.

I just don’t get it.

  (Quote)

Michael Thackray November 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm

it’s because religion is harmful, and ultimately prevents people from filling their potential. It is nothing against God. It is against this destructive hypocritical idea of God.
I would love all my Christian friends to see the fallacies apparent in their religion, so they can view the world for what it is, instead of trying to make it fit into all their presuppositions. I want them to experience and understand the beauty of reality.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Mark,

Come on, dude. You know the answer to that question and Luke I certainly don’t mean to step on your toes by answering it but I imagine if our answers aren’t in fact one and the same then they’re relationship is at least complimentary.

The existence of God, or more likely absence thereof, has much wider and more profound implications on society worldwide then fucking Chris Cringle. No one is organizing massive movements orchestrated for and committed to killing, wounding or taking captive those who deny Santa’s existence or dominion. No sects are running amok in the name of the fucking Easter Bunny persecuting tooth fairieist’s. There are not multimillion dollar buildings erected in the shape of Red Stocking’s wherein extravagantly spent, dishonorably obtained lucre –which is tax-exempt– are sunk in obscene sound systems blasting hateful diatribes against “the others” endorsing violence, ostracism, vandalism or destruction of others life and liberty on account of not praying to the right reindeer or gift wrapping your presents in mis-matching bows and paper.

You’re clearly an intelligent guy and truth be told, apart from bordering on the genetic fallacy in your previous post wherein you dismissed outright the questions derived from Luke’s post due to it originating in what, at least for my part is admittedly a colossal waste of celluloid, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I have no doubts that the apologetic materials you’ve read make the “Why bother” point which you propound as if it wasn’t a trite, platitudinous attempt at appearing clever, but I also have no doubts that you possess enough perspicacity to understand why this question can be summarily dismissed.

Perhaps it’s me. Maybe I’m just being a “condescending elitist” again. I certainly appear to be a card-carrying member of the club which Pascal address’ his Pensees too; Those who are so made that they can not believe. I apologize if that shapes my thoughts in a manner which, when expressed, are found off-putting. My ability to conceal my contempt for much of the theist’s arsenal of beliefs is at best, unstable.

J.

  (Quote)

drj November 25, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Jake, your posts are always good reads. Do you have a blog yourself? If so whats the URL? And if not, get one!

  (Quote)

Beelzebub November 25, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Yahweh is a classic god of the ancient world, and that’s all anyone needs to know to understand the character. The only mystery is how people can hold both Yahweh and Jesus in their head simultaneously without it exploding.

  (Quote)

Fortuna November 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Hi Mark;

Star Trek V is not an “atheist film”; its genre is “science fiction.” Further, the scene you cannibalized was not the crux of the film, etc. etc.

Awesome, it’s not an “atheist film” then. The atheist perspective Luke talks about is still there.

The “jealous, violent God” huh? So you have come to believe this mythological God is void of parity.

I don’t know why you have those words in quotes. The god of the abrahamic faiths explicitly describes himself as jealous, and commands violence.

Of course your one dimensional description of God is a straw man even an infant could kick over.

Let us know how that goes.

The “jealous and violent” God you speak incompletely of is also the God of love and peace. You speak as though HE is the one that brought on all the social upheaval and war of the OT times. He was not. His actions were in RESPONSE to a race of people who chose to worship one another and live in sin, rather than stay faithful to their Creator.

Yep, he would be the one who brought on the social upheaval and war of the OT times. Having complete knowledge and power confers complete responsibility.

There is so much more, but the gist of it is this: The Creator has always wanted the best for his creatures. But he knows the only way for them to live in harmony and peace is to follow his commandments (which I routinely note rarely fall into the atheist’s crosshairs).

So why is it that this Creator doesn’t get what you say he wants so much of the time? Is he able to get it but not willing, or willing but not able?

Why doesn’t he stay tranquil and passive while human beings act like mindless beasts with no dignity towards one another? Because that wouldn’t be the response of an unchanging loving Lord, that would be the response of an apathetic one.

As far as anyone can tell, staying passive is exactly what any putative deities do, all the time.

You can’t see the absurdity in that (asking god what he needs with various stuff)?

Nope. Why don’t you spell it out?

And as long as your mind stays CLOSED OFF to the idea that God is love and love is God and everything he ever did and said was out of love for us, they never will.

Yeah, silly Luke, making up his mind based on careful thought, and stuff.

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Mark,

Believers in Santa Claus do not fly planes into buildings or brainwash their children or spend trillions of dollars on evangelism rather than systemically making the world a better place.

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 25, 2009 at 4:01 pm

drj,

You flatter me. But as Luke will attest, I am computer-incompetent. I wouldn’t know the first thing about starting or maintaining a site, although it sounds like fun. I read this sites for months before I decided to post. It’s nice to know my decision was sound. I sincerely appreciate the commendation, it means a lot.

J.

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Jake,

I still feel bad about the way I handled that. Sorry.

By the way, you can keep your bookmarks and important documents continuously backed up over the internet for free with a tool like Mozy.

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Luke,

I inundated you with inquiries, man. I would’ve responded the same way. No worries. Thanks for the link, I’ll certainly look into that.

J.

  (Quote)

ayer November 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm

lukeprog: Mark,Believers in Santa Claus do not fly planes into buildings or brainwash their children or spend trillions of dollars on evangelism rather than systemically making the world a better place.  

The existence of Santa Claus would also not have the implication of ultimate moral accountability that the existence of God entails. That makes many atheists devoutly hope that God does not exist. As Aldous Huxley said of his atheist period:

“”I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning: Consequently assumed that it had none, and was able to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics (the study of being and the origin of the cosmos); he is also concerned to prove there is no valid reason to prove he should not do as he wants to. .. For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”

  (Quote)

drj November 25, 2009 at 6:26 pm

I can say quite honestly, that if there were a God, I would be happy to follow his rules if he truly designed them for my benefit, and with my best interests at heart. It would be crazy not too.

Not wanting to be accountable for failing to live up to Christianity’s often arbitrary, absurd (and sometimes downright evil) “moral values”, is not the same as a blanket wish to be free from all accountability.

More often than not, this ol’ “moral accountability” argument is little more than a stealth ad hominem.

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm

ayer:
The existence of Santa Claus would also not have the implication of ultimate moral accountability that the existence of God entails.That makes many atheists devoutly hope that God does not exist.As Aldous Huxley said of his atheist period:“”I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning: Consequently assumed that it had none, and was able to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics (the study of being and the origin of the cosmos); he is also concerned to prove there is no valid reason to prove he should not do as he wants to. .. For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”  

Ergo, many atheist’s are content in their atheism. Conversely, many theist’s are content in their delusi.. theism.

Ayer, you really are dwelling in the periphery of the issues and questions proffered in this post and it’s subsequent messages. I have yet to see you or any of your theological cohort’s address any of the substantive material contained in the multiple post’s preceding this one.

J.

  (Quote)

ayer November 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Jake de Backer: I have yet to see you or any of your theological cohort’s address any of the substantive material contained in the multiple post’s preceding this one.

Are you referring to your and Luke’s argument against religion because of the bad things certain religious people do? (While atheists I guess are focused on “systematically making the world a better place”). I can provide all the examples of bad-behaving atheists (indeed, murderous, genocidal behavior that makes religious bad behavior look picayune in comparison—Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.), but that discussion has been had before. (And no, I don’t buy the ridiculous argument that “that behavior had nothing to do with their atheism,” because anyone who has studied Marxism-Leninism knows that atheism is central to its program and worldview).

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

ayer,

Where did I ever argue that religion is false because religious people sometimes do bad things?

  (Quote)

Fortuna November 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm

ayer;

Well, if Huxley said it, it must be true of “many atheists”.

Oh wait, that’s not how it works at all. Seriously, are you just throwing stuff out there and hoping some of it sticks?

  (Quote)

ayer November 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm

lukeprog: ayer,Where did I ever argue that religion is false because religious people sometimes do bad things?  

I didn’t say you claim it is false for that reason, but that you argue (and campaign) against it for that reason (as you said when answering Mark’s question–”fly planes into buildings”, etc.).

  (Quote)

ayer November 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Fortuna: ayer;Well, if Huxley said it, it must be true of “many atheists”.Oh wait, that’s not how it works at all. Seriously, are you just throwing stuff out there and hoping some of it sticks?  

I’m only pointing out something that Luke, the author of this blog, has said himself (back on May 31):

lukeprog: “But I think theists are right. There are many atheists who reject God because they don’t want him to exist…Atheists want to be free to do what they like, without observing a long list of arbitrary commands from a big powerful guy in the sky.”
For full post, see: http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=995

  (Quote)

Fortuna November 25, 2009 at 8:16 pm

ayer;

Are you referring to your and Luke’s argument against religion because of the bad things certain religious people do?

You mean the bad things they do as a direct result of their religious belief, I hope. I have not noticed Luke criticizing religious people for having bad breath, or kicking puppies, say. Seems like he reserves his criticism for things that can fairly be laid at religions’ door.

I can provide all the examples of bad-behaving atheists

I bet you can. Can you provide a scholarly citation that demonstrates their behaviour occurred as a direct result of their atheism?

  (Quote)

Fortuna November 25, 2009 at 8:24 pm

ayer;

I’m only pointing out something that Luke, the author of this blog, has said himself (back on May 31):

No, you are “pointing out” something quite different. You claimed that atheists want to be free of ultimate moral accountability. The post you cite from Luke says that atheists often strive in vain to find some kind of system of moral realism apart from gods.

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

ayer,

Ah, I see, then yes that’s correct. I’d prefer a world without planes flying into buildings.

But religion is not the biggest source of evil in the world (though Islam is making a good stab at it). Remember, I’m Chomskian. :)

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 25, 2009 at 9:28 pm

ayer,

Also, Christopher Hitchens has said that it’s “highly probable” that he’s an atheist because he wants to live according to his own rules.

  (Quote)

Jake de Backer November 26, 2009 at 4:29 am

ayer:
Are you referring to your and Luke’s argument against religion because of the bad things certain religious people do? (While atheists I guess are focused on “systematically making the world a better place”).I can provide all the examples of bad-behaving atheists (indeed, murderous, genocidal behavior that makes religious bad behavior look picayune in comparison—Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.), but that discussion has been had before. (And no, I don’t buy the ridiculous argument that “that behavior had nothing to do with their atheism,” because anyone who has studied Marxism-Leninism knows that atheism is central to its program and worldview).  

Ayer,

I have been literally dumbfounded for the past few hours while I, having given you the benefit of the doubt to a generous degree, can not conceive what compelled the introductory question to this comment. If you review my first post I stated, it seems to me quite lucidly, several questions appertaining to Luke’s post concerning God’s desire for sacrifices, floods, etc. which renders this question completely malapropos of my inquiries.

“What good or gain does God incur; How might it pacify one who already possesses everything; What satisfaction might there be in watching, let alone condoning, even endorsing and other times blatantly mandating sacrifices animal or human, tithing to our holy buildings –which God is conspicuously absent in maintaining?” – J., First Post

These and other questions have remained entirely without redress. This passage led into a series of questions which you, in my view, unjustly dismissed as “elitist condescension” without addressing any of the substance found within.

I am without doubt in your professed ability to cite any number of genuinely evil people who happen to be absent a belief in God. And were there some atheistic literature from an unknown date produced by unknown authors rendered into English from supposed copies of supposed originals which were unfortunately lost* assumed to be the special word of an atheist super-being claiming lordship over our universe and it’s inhabitants which endorsed, or at the very least justified, the behavior demonstrated by those villainous cretins, I would be every bit as indignant while heaping censure and excoriation upon it and them as well. Alas, no such documents exist.

You may not “buy” the argument that atheism had nothing to do with those regime’s but as you well know, declaring incredulity towards an argument is not the equivalent of offering one to refute it. Absence of a belief can not be prosecuted as representative of action. Should I believe tomorrow that gravity was in fact a temporary phenomena and that I was no longer bound by it so I climbed to the top of a neighboring mountain only to volunteer the decimated remains of my body as incontrovertible proof that gravity does in deed exist, you can’t say that the sole reason prompting my leap was an absent belief in gravity. There must have been something which prompted the desire to jump beforehand. Otherwise, why not just stay home? The loss of belief only served to comfort my decision and engender the confidence to materialize the desire I held in the first place, i.e. to jump off a fucking mountain. The aforementioned monsters of history may have been atheists, and that may have been central to their political theorizing, and I don’t doubt that their believing they weren’t morally culpable to anyone but themselves played a central role in the maltreatment of their fellow creatures but I believe the misapprehension is as follows; saying a belief (or lack thereof) is congenial to certain behavior is not tantamount to saying that an individual’s behavior was conducted as such in the name of said belief’s (or lack thereof).

Ayer, I’m also curious on a personal note: Is Ayer your actual name or are you honoring A.J. by adopting his surname as your nom de plume?

J.

P.S. Again with the verbiage. Perhaps I should adopt a more laconic composition style. Until then, apologies all around.

*I can’t improve upon Mangasarian’s pithy summation of our historical understanding of the bible: “A Collection of Writings of Unknown Date & Authorship Rendered into English From Supposed Copies of Supposed Originals Unfortunately Lost.”
M. Mangasarian, A suggestion to be printed on the flyleaf of the King James Bible.

  (Quote)

PrecambrianCat November 26, 2009 at 5:50 am

“A bit later, a blast from the Enterprise defeats this “God.””

In fact no. The blast came from a klingon Bird of Prey managed by Spock, who took the ship with a allie klingon general, etc…

Bill Maher

“Every other Star Trek (1,3,5,7,9) movie is shit”

You don’t include number 2 “Khan’s Wrath”. That’ wise of you.

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 26, 2009 at 11:28 am

PrecambrianCat,

I don’t really even know what you just said, but it sounds like you know something about Star Trek so you’re probably right… :)

  (Quote)

PrecambrianCat November 27, 2009 at 4:43 am

Luke

lukeprog: PrecambrianCat,I don’t really even know what you just said, but it sounds like you know something about Star Trek so you’re probably right…   

A little bit, in fact I just remmember the movie. I have a good memory for this kind of crap you know. #8-D
BTW is my english (I’m not a native speaker) really THAT bad?

  (Quote)

lukeprog November 27, 2009 at 8:24 am

PrecambrianCat,

No, your English is fine, I just don’t know any Star Trek terminology!

  (Quote)

Fortuna November 27, 2009 at 11:28 am

lukeprog;

Also, Christopher Hitchens has said that it’s “highly probable” that he’s an atheist because he wants to live according to his own rules.

Do you have the source for that, by chance? I know I’ve heard him say that the reason he “rails against God”, as his evangelical interviewer put it, is because he doesn’t want to live by said God’s rules. But I don’t recall if he’s said that the reason he disbelieves is because he’d rather do his own thing.

  (Quote)

majinrevan666 November 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

I think Christopher said that in an interview
with a Christian who really pissed him off.
Todd Friel, on a show called wretched radio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E01VPsdozSo&feature=related

  (Quote)

Fortuna November 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

“Sir, is it possible that the reason you rage so much against god is because you just wanna blah blah blah without being accountable to your creator?”

“Yes, that’s highly probable.”

Not quite the same thing as saying that he’s an atheist because he wants to live his own way. I heard him to mean (especially given his other statements on the subject) that he doesn’t consider the Christian construction of God to be a moral one, so he writes polemics and such denouncing that construction.

Of course, in that interview he doesn’t actually go on to make it explicit that he doesn’t acknowledge the existence of “his creator”, but I’m guessing he’d had enough by that point.

  (Quote)

Thinker December 1, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Hello guys, just to take advantage of the opportunity of participating in your debate to ask all of you a question that´s been on my mind a lot lately:

We´re not discussing the existence of Mount Everest here, ´cause all of us know it exists. Same for the existence of say the Grand Canyon, or of Mars, or of the Atlantic Ocean or even Obama.

So my question is, why doesn´t “God” just simply give us an INEQUIVOCAL, UNDENIABLE, SOLID PROOF of His existence? Like, an angel or two, flying over Broadway at noon, or the Empire State building flying up in the air, or lake Erie´s waters parting, in short, just a simple, plain, PIECE OF EVIDENCE that He exists? I mean, isn´t it time we acknowledged the FACT that if He exists, He exists either only in our imagination or in our thoughts, but that He CANNOT AND DOES NOT MANIFEST HIMSELF PHYSICALLY? It would ONLY be the logical and obvious thing to do, if He wanted to convince us of His existence once and for all, why would the Creator of all the Universe limit the proof of His existence to being mentioned in an old, prehistoric parchment from a bunch of fanatics?

  (Quote)

PrecambrianCat December 9, 2009 at 8:35 am

lukeprog: PrecambrianCat,No, your English is fine, I just don’t know any Star Trek terminology!  

HERESY!

  (Quote)

Thinker II January 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I know this is very premature, but I would like to try and answer Mr. Thinker’s question and comment about this site’s response of Star Trek V The Final Frontier.

Dear Thinker, I understand that my feeble attempt to get you see things my way (not that you’re most likely gonna go back to this to see if you got a response) are like talking to a brick wall, but as a Christian, I see every moment as a hopeful opportunity for the impossible to happen. Every time I come to an pro-atheist site and no matter what the subject is about on an article, the question remains. Does god exist? Every atheist that I have witnessed to try and rationalize his non-existence, their biggest support comes from why does he let bad things happen and why doesn’t he show himself? My father is a Baptist minister and though he is %110 faithful to his beliefs, I will catch him from time to time asking why would God let a baby die of a deathly disease or in a worst way.
You are not the only one who has doubt. I have them too, but the difference between you and I are, that I ask different questions. I try to speak for my fellow Muslims and Jews, because they are just like me in that they believe in an afterlife. They might not appreciate it, but they are my brothers and sisters and the world will not let us be one family. Either way, he doesn’t show himself or prove his existence because that defeats the purpose of faith. You would believe right away if he showed up and did some magic tricks for you, wouldn’t you? But that would be too easy. Wouldn’t you like to have a god that gives you the choice? I love that I have the choice. I makes me feel like a truly free individual. I have to go right now, But I will continue in a little while.

Thinker: Hello guys, just to take advantage of the opportunity of participating in your debate to ask all of you a question that´s been on my mind a lot lately:We´re not discussing the existence of Mount Everest here, ´cause all of us know it exists. Same for the existence of say the Grand Canyon, or of Mars, or of the Atlantic Ocean or even Obama.So my question is, why doesn´t “God” just simply give us an INEQUIVOCAL, UNDENIABLE, SOLID PROOF of His existence? Like, an angel or two, flying over Broadway at noon, or the Empire State building flying up in the air, or lake Erie´s waters parting, in short, just a simple, plain, PIECE OF EVIDENCE that He exists? I mean, isn´t it time we acknowledged the FACT that if He exists, He exists either only in our imagination or in our thoughts, but that He CANNOT AND DOES NOT MANIFEST HIMSELF PHYSICALLY? It would ONLY be the logical and obvious thing to do, if He wanted to convince us of His existence once and for all, why would the Creator of all the Universe limit the proof of His existence to being mentioned in an old, prehistoric parchment from a bunch of fanatics?  

  (Quote)

Thinker II January 20, 2010 at 7:58 am

Not that anyone cares, but I’m back to finish my thoughts on what I was saying before. I would first like to say that I meant to in the beginning of my last post use something like the word “delayed” instead of “premature”. I don’t know why I used that word, but I did and time to move on. Anyway, as I was saying before about having the choice to believe in God or not, I know that atheists feel that believing in a deity is the exact opposite of being a free individual, because they feel that we should be intelligent enough to follow the ten commandments without there being a ten commandments. And I would like to believe that as a species we would be able to go from this point on into the future with the capability to govern ourselves in a religiousless manner, but let’s face it, every belief system, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Atheism feels that if every person on the planet believed in the same system, we would all be living it up like in John Lennon’s “Imagine” song. That is just arrogance and ignorance to a “T”. I like having the infinite options which this world gives us to choose from. I learn a lot from Buddhism and from Hinduism that I wish our western philosophies would embrace so we can see that everything we have learned so far is leading us down a wrong path.

You also have to understand that every belief system has their extreme right-wingers and that is why we have bombers and terrorists and Rush Limbaugh. It is just as ignorant to say that all Muslims are terrorists as to say that all Jews are accountants. I don’t know how you feel on generalizing, but it is pretty obvious that some atheist spokespersons make a living on generalizing every religious group, specifically Christians. I ask that you do not let their weaknesses become yours. I know that my words do not mean much to an atheist, but I “hope” that they might get you to think outside your box.

On to my comment about lukeprog’s review about Star Trek V. I think it is more than hilarious that he saw the whole God encounter in this movie as interesting from an atheist perspective, because I saw the movie as interesting from a Christian perspective. The same thing happened between an atheist friend of mine and myself on certain issues within the new Avatar movie. I saw certain religious elements within the movie and he saw certain anti-religious elements which made him love the movie. I loved the movie because I love sci-fi movies. I know it wasn’t great, but it had a happy ending and that’s what I like. I don’t let my Christian beliefs prevent me from liking things that are essentially anti-christian. I think that falls under ignorance. I still like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson (even though they are outdated), because art is universal if one lets it be. I also love the Big Bang Theory, even though there is a lot of reference to there being no God. I understand that atheist have the stronger defense to the non-existence of God and that that is why they are atheist, so I am tolerant of that fact. I don’t want to be like my piece of you-know-what aunt and uncle who like to boycott everything under the sun. I don’t believe in sheltering yourself or your kids. But, back to Star Trek. I’m sure that lukeprog noticed in the end of the movie that Kirk left the thought that though God did not exist where they thought and though he may not be “out there”, that he did exist in the human heart, leaving the audience with the assurance that he does exist, just not the way we might think. I know many Christians who want a physical and visible God, but it isn’t up to us if he exists. I wouldn’t want an all-powerful God who abides by my wishes. It would be nice to have a God who makes everything perfect, but that would force everyone to believe in Him if he did things that way.

There is a story about a man who is lonely and builds a bunch of robots so he is not alone and programs them to love him and obey his every command, but soon after he wishes that they would love him because they wanted to and obeyed him because they wanted to. So he did build free-thinking robots and all of them left him, all but one and he couldn’t have been happier. That’s the way I see my God. I do not insinuate that this is why you should believe, that is up to every individual. Every person is going to believe in something differently than the next. It’s just best to keep an open mind.

Thinker II: I know this is very premature, but I would like to try and answer Mr. Thinker’s question and comment about this site’s response of Star Trek V The Final Frontier.Dear Thinker, I understand that my feeble attempt to get you see things my way (not that you’re most likely gonna go back to this to see if you got a response) are like talking to a brick wall, but as a Christian, I see every moment as a hopeful opportunity for the impossible to happen.Every time I come to an pro-atheist site and no matter what the subject is about on an article, the question remains.Does god exist?Every atheist that I have witnessed to try and rationalize his non-existence, their biggest support comes from why does he let bad things happen and why doesn’t he show himself?My father is a Baptist minister and though he is %110 faithful to his beliefs, I will catch him from time to time asking why would God let a baby die of a deathly disease or in a worst way.
You are not the only one who has doubt.I have them too, but the difference between you and I are, that I ask different questions.I try to speak for my fellow Muslims and Jews, because they are just like me in that they believe in an afterlife.They might not appreciate it, but they are my brothers and sisters and the world will not let us be one family.Either way, he doesn’t show himself or prove his existence because that defeats the purpose of faith.You would believe right away if he showed up and did some magic tricks for you, wouldn’t you?But that would be too easy.Wouldn’t you like to have a god that gives you the choice?I love that I have the choice.I makes me feel like a truly free individual.I have to go right now, But I will continue in a little while.  

Thinker II: I know this is very premature, but I would like to try and answer Mr. Thinker’s question and comment about this site’s response of Star Trek V The Final Frontier.Dear Thinker, I understand that my feeble attempt to get you see things my way (not that you’re most likely gonna go back to this to see if you got a response) are like talking to a brick wall, but as a Christian, I see every moment as a hopeful opportunity for the impossible to happen.Every time I come to an pro-atheist site and no matter what the subject is about on an article, the question remains.Does god exist?Every atheist that I have witnessed to try and rationalize his non-existence, their biggest support comes from why does he let bad things happen and why doesn’t he show himself?My father is a Baptist minister and though he is %110 faithful to his beliefs, I will catch him from time to time asking why would God let a baby die of a deathly disease or in a worst way.
You are not the only one who has doubt.I have them too, but the difference between you and I are, that I ask different questions.I try to speak for my fellow Muslims and Jews, because they are just like me in that they believe in an afterlife.They might not appreciate it, but they are my brothers and sisters and the world will not let us be one family.Either way, he doesn’t show himself or prove his existence because that defeats the purpose of faith.You would believe right away if he showed up and did some magic tricks for you, wouldn’t you?But that would be too easy.Wouldn’t you like to have a god that gives you the choice?I love that I have the choice.I makes me feel like a truly free individual.I have to go right now, But I will continue in a little while.  

  (Quote)

Adrian Morgan May 1, 2010 at 12:59 am

Bad breath or halitosis can be easily elimated by using mouthwash with hexetidine or triclosan.,~`

  (Quote)

vampire existence in india August 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I keep listening to excellent take a look at getting free online grant applications well, i are shopping for the most effective site to receive one.:)

  (Quote)

long island September 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Guestimating my inner sense lead me to this site. I thank whom-ever written and shared information it is an eye opener and makes one think. I was a victim of infliction after a few series within the past four years especially within this past year. I have read the bible and had _> Past Tense) landed into a nightmare, I logged every emotion, hurts, angers and all, questions, etc.

Tell me what kind of GOD electrically zaps you in your personal private areas cause no-where in the bible does it state this. What kind of GOD burns a persons flesh for four years on and off?

Thought GOD is an All Loving GOD, he is suppose to allow you to see faults and flaws, never suppose to be infliction not a way to teach a person to change.

Thought GOD is suppose to heal, been through 3 full baptisms and my hearing has not been restored, does make a person think…

Then one learns part of it is a HOAX, NOW WHAT DOES THIS SAY!!!!!

They claim: Jesus is GOD, God the father, son and holy spirit, but yet Jesus prays to the father then next praying to God. Now does this make sense.

Now, I’m suppose to pray to a GOD and obey commands when he is not physically here to enlighten me himself and per he was here he’d be as old as the bible or even older.
Bible has witchcraft and sorcery in it, so what does this say?

I’m suppose to obey a god who burnt my skin, electric zaps in private areas, now does this make sense???? Being a female and never heard of anyone else being zapped in a males private parts kind of tells you a BIG Something!!!! No one deserves this, this is not god not in my book.

Polotics won’t even get into, we all know corruption very and truly well.

Thought we were all supppose to turn back to god for the better, not to be beat up some more, this is not a god at all. Someone (s) trying to portray god and thats not a nice thing to do.

Read bible and taken me to some not so nice areas, visioned jesus on a cross in a circle of fire from below the ground, now after reading bible, jesus is suppose to above, after searching information read glimpses of talmud or talmudic bible and states jews say jesus being incremented to h-ll. Question is I didn’t read the talmud, so when all this began to open who was playing a game or the game.

I agree totally agree God is not suppose to be a vengeful god, nor jealous nor inflicts pain for pleasure.

Nor provokes fear only to create miracles that the fear was provoked from the start not god to me.

There is the Zohar, Talmudic and Torah and Bible.

  (Quote)

Leave a Comment