30 May 2010

Why you should believe in God -- Part III

In Part I and II, I gave you reasons why you should believe in God. In Part III, we'll explore why believing in God is important.

Reason #1: God tells us what is right and wrong. If we didn't have God to tell us, how would we know that murder, theft, and rape are wrong? Imagine how much of these evils there would be in the world if God hadn't given us these important rules to live by. Think about yourself; imagine if God never told you not to murder or steal. If you saw a skinny child shivering in the street begging for food--and a stranger came up and gave the kid a piece of bread--what would stop you from walking up to the child, ripping the bread out of her little hands, and pushing her in front of the next bus to stop her from annoying you with her whines that her tummy hurts. Don't worry, that would never happen, because without God, no stranger would ever give a hungry little kid any bread anyway. Oh, but if God tells you to murder and steal then it is okay. Also, if He tells you to marry little girls to old men, or to cut off pieces of babies' genitals, then that is okay too!

Reason #2: God gives us life after we die. What luck! After your body dies, your spirit will go to heaven where you will have a mansion and will be with God all the time for an infinite amount of time. Because of this fact, nothing that happens on Earth is really that bad. Even if something terrible happens, its okay because the innocent people go to heaven and the bad people go to hell. So don't worry too much about the world getting blown up by nuclear bombs at the hands of terrorists--it just means you'll get to heaven sooner! If it wasn't for heaven, what would be the point of this whole life? Why would you care about anything if it was all just going to end after you die. Why get up in the morning? Why learn about nature and science and the world around us? There'd be no point; the world would be worthless. Just a bunch of cells dividing then dying.

So now when somebody asks you why it is important to believe in God, you can reply:

"Isn't it obvious?"

22 May 2010

Why you should believe in God -- Part II

In Part I, I gave several scientific reasons for why one should believe in God. As it turns out, Part I was just a red herring--written as a mere aside to the main event. In Part II, I will explain why scientific and rational inquiry is highly overrated when it comes to the subject of God. True theists (and I hope you count yourself among them when I'm through), have a better reason for believing.

Reason #2: Have a little Faith. There is a lot of debate about faith and reason and whether the two are compatible. First, let's explain the difference between the two. Faith is belief in the absence of reproducible evidence (a true virtue!). Reason is belief based on the presence of verifiable evidence or based on logic. Think about a court case--an eye witness can put someone away for life, even death row; that is how solid first hand experience is. Yet data, on the other hand, can be used to argue either side of the case (it's easy to manipulate and misdirect with numbers). "Science" spends a lot of time trying to convince us that God does not exist. Fortunately, with faith, you can believe in God without having to study science or think things through logically. God made both science and logic, so obviously these cannot be used as evidence against the existence of God.

I know there is probably still one smug doubter out there reading this, asking, "If God made science and logic, why doesn't He use these to prove to us that He exists?" I'll tell you why! God is not big on science. God is big on faith. He wants you to believe in Him because people tell you to--they are his witnesses, just like in a court case. Just make sure you don't listen to the people who tell you his name is Yahweh or Allah. As long as you remember His name is spelled G-O-D, you'll be okay!

Sometimes God sends little shivers up your spine to tell you that He loves you or approves of what you are doing; this is to help reaffirm your faith and make you a witness of God. When the people who say Yahweh and Allah sends them shivers too, you'll know that actually those are just neurons firing in their spines.

Isn't it obvious?!

18 May 2010

Why you should believe in God -- Part I

This is a first post in a series in which I explore one of the least controversial issues in America. Believing in God. According to numerous polls (just Google it), nearly everyone in America believes in God. Okay maybe there are a few pockets of unbelief in the Northeast and the Northwest, but those are just a bunch of liberals, so they don't really count.

But let's say you count yourself with those latte sipping, bleeding hearts on the fringes of America. I am taking it upon myself to convince you to believe in God. Why am I taking on this task? Well, I could try to convince you to believe in intelligent design, but not as many Americans believe in that--since believing in God is a prerequisite--so I'm taking on the easier job first.

But what is my motivation? Well, contrarian opinions sow disunity and I'm trying to unify our country in the name of peace. I don't want Armageddon to come before I have kids and get a chance to teach them all the Bible stories after all!

If you are like most Americans and already believe in God, you can stop reading now since you already know the Truth!

For all the rest of you schlups who never bothered to attend Sunday school, here is the first reason to believe in God:

Reason #1: Take a quick glance around you. The natural world is full of amazing and diverse beauty; it is too amazing to have just happened. In a random world you'd expect just as much ugly and useless stuff as beautiful and useful wonders for us to enjoy. That's probability; you may have learned about it in school. The fact that there are so many things for us to enjoy like every kind of food from corn to broccoli, and even a wide variety of dogs to be our companions, everything from huge saint bernards to little chihuahuas. This couldn't be chance, someone (or something) had to organize all the little atoms into molecules and molecules into cells and cells into life!

But why would God create any bad things, like tornadoes and poison berries? Well, have you ever had a cool glass of water after running in hot weather? How much better is the water after running than if you were just sitting around watching TV? You see, God creates bad things so that we appreciate good things (note: The Devil and his demons also tempt people to do bad things, but that's for another time, this is about God!). But what if the tornado crushes your house and kills your brother and your little sister ate some poison berries and passed away. Don't worry; they are with God now in Heaven (if they were baptized), so they are happier than you, you sad schmuck.

Sorry, I digressed a bit. Just because it is improbable that the world just happened to be the way it is doesn't mean it is impossible, right? There is still a chance that maybe God didn't make the Earth and all life that is on it...


You may have heard a so called scientist, maybe even a teacher at your public school, claim that life can "evolve" through this process called "evolution." The main problem with evolution is that it's just a theory. These self-proclaimed scientists (or maybe some backward school like Oxford gave them a degree) will say that evolution is a testable hypothesis with a lot of evidence to back it up. Well, if that were true they wouldn't still call it a theory. Don't believe those cheap peddlers of nonsense.

Besides, even if they were right, which they aren't, you should still believe in God. How did the universe begin if there was no God? Who caused the Big Bang (if that even happened...it's just a theory)? What was around before the Big Bang created all the space in the universe? You guessed it--God was around!

Some silly people might ask, "but who created God?"

Isn't it obvious?

03 May 2010

This Label is Nuts

I'm a fan of Emerald Nuts because they are cheap. I find that they are typically cheaper than Planters and on par with the store brand, at least at Safeway where I typically purchase them. As we well know, nuts are not a low fat/low calorie food. As such, I find it helpful to check the label and ensure that I have an idea of the appropriate portion to consume given my desired caloric intake.

The clever folks at Emerald Nuts have found a clever way to both comply with federal nutrition labeling guidelines and obscure this nutritional information while I'm consuming their delicious product. In the image below you can see that the "serving size" and "servings per container" information are conveniently lost when the perforated shrink-wrapping is removed from around the screw top. The rest of the information is essentially useless if you don't know the serving size that it is referencing. You might expect that I, as the consumer, would be more cautious in my consumption of the product due to an aversion to accidentally consuming vastly more calories than I had intended; however, I've found that quite to the contrary, in my blissful ignorance I can unconsciously consume what I later learned to be several servings without so much as a dent in my appetite.

Anyhow, kudos to Emerald for clever packaging. By the way, a serving size of almonds is 1/4 cup or 1 oz (about 20 almonds).