Why do I say “Oh God!”, not “Oh Zeus!”

I was listening to a gateway Church podcast recently (yes, I listen to all the hit Christian podcasts), and the preacher presented to the audience an argument for why Christianity is a much more valid religion than Buddhism or the Greek gods of mythology. He presented this (paraphrasing):-
Why is it that when a theologian debates with an agnostic or a heathen (he used those terms), you can talk all you want about various theological concepts and ideas, but when the idea of Christianity or Jesus comes to the fray, they always get a bit more animated, angry and excitable. This is because Christianity has some undeniable truth about it, and they always have to resort to a bit more force in their words. And Why is it, that when they see something that amazes them they say, “Oh My God” and when they bang their hand with a hammer they say “God dammit!” Why is that? It’s because somewhere, deep down inside, they have the breath of the holy spirit within them. Blah Blah Blah… and on he went.
I had to stop the podcast at this moment. I had to think about this one because it was an argument for god, and not just some more “Believe in Jesus” talk. I have thought about it, and here are a few reasons why us atheists say God, not Buddha. I’ll also say that I personally do not say “Oh my God”, I prefer to use “Zeus almighty!” or “Thor! God of Thunder!”

First of all, most of us in the western world have grown up in Christian backgrounds, so must of us atheists used to be Christians, which means that our ‘cursing of god’s name’ is just a remnant of our pasts. I f I had grown up in a home where my father and mother had said, “Zeus help me” every time I was being stubborn, I would probably grow up to use Zeus as a curse word in my vocabulary. It’s also a lot easier to say ‘god’ (1 syllable), as opposed to ‘Anextiomarus’ (Celtic sun-god) (6 syllables) when I’m angry.

Second of all, The reason why atheists get so animated when you start talking specifically about Jesus, is because we are sick of it all. Most of us can tolerate you saying that your god wrote the rulebook and then just sat back and watched it all happen, but when you start telling me that “God made me with a special plan in mind”, “Jesus is patiently knocking on the door to my soul”, or “You really do know that god is real, but you are just suppressing it and denying it”, because these statements are so out there, random, intangible with reality, unproved, logically strange and impossible, that our brains overload with logical fallacy alarms, dumbass alerts and goes into shut down mode, or explodes.

The third objection to this argument, the reason why we use deities in our curses at all, is simple, and it comes back to 90% (ball-park, don’t quote me on this) of us having grown up in religious homes.  There is mounting evidence in many scientific tests that swearing reduces the sensation of pain. So when you stick your hand in a bucket of ice-cold water, using some expletives will give you a substantial amount of time more, with your hand in the water. When I was a Christian, and still now in my Christian home, saying “Oh My God” was as bad as the f-bomb or any other common expletive. So nowadays, ‘using god’s name in vein’ still gives me that therapeutic feeling that I experience with other swear words. That’s why I still do it.

I hope today’s post has put across the point that this argument for Christianity is paper-thin, with no logic or evidence to support it. I will you with a quote from Carl Sagan, “You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe.”, Carl Sagan, an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science popularizer of some note.


Can god be all powerful and all knowing?

Hello, and how is everyone in the world-wide web going,

In today’s post I am going to be discussing one of the many holes in the logic of many religions with a god. It is based on two logical assertions, each of which has been proposed and backed up by my Ethics and Faith teacher. These are the two ‘facts’ that my teacher puts forward:
1. God is all-knowing, and ever-present, he just IS, he exists from the start of time to the end of time, hanging over it, being there.
2. God is all-powerful, everything happens according to his will, he can change anything to make anything happen, and nothing is out of the reach of his power.

There is no way this is logically possible. Think about it. If god is all-knowing, he can see the future, right? He can tell what is going to happen tomorrow, who is going to die, whose teams are going to win the football and what I’m having for lunch. He also knows where all the electrons are in all the atoms (that’s just impossible to know, even if you are god.), how much stuff all of the neutrinos are going to go through before they hit something, and whether or not Schrödinger’s cat is going to survive.

If it is also true then that god is all-powerful, then he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and there is nothing anybody can do about it.
If god already knows what the lotto numbers are going to be, then how can he change them? If god already knows I am going to wake up at 4am and play COD for the next 14 hours, then how can he make me go to church?

the answer is that he can’t, because it is just logically impossible. Now god has limits, and that is not allowed (I haven’t found a single christian who thinks that god is limited). But he must, because he just has to be limited.

It also brings up the question… if you were god, would you rather be all-knowing or all-powerful? I would take all-powerful, because if you were all-knowing then no TV programs would be enjoyable if you already know the ending. Let me know if you would choose anything different, I would be interested to hear your argument.

I’m done now, I will leave you with a quote from Douglas Adams, ” A man didn’t understand how televisions work, and was convinced that there must be lots of little men inside the box, manipulating images at high-speed. An engineer explained to him about high frequency modulations of the electromagnetic spectrum, about transmitters and receivers, about amplifiers and cathode ray tubes, about scan lines moving across and down a phosphorescent screen. The man listened to the engineer with careful attention, nodding his head at every step of the argument. At the end he pronounced himself satisfied. He really did now understand how televisions work. “But I expect there are just a few little men in there, aren’t there?””, Douglas Adams, Atheist, Dramatist and Writer of some note.

Oh yeah, and a little shout out to my school-mate Logan, he can jog on.