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Peter Says Stuff | Come for the Banter; Stay for the Bullshit

Friday, May 20, 2011

Draw Mohamed Day II

So as many of you know today is Draw Mohamed Day II. Draw Mohammed Day is a holiday to promote free speech and anti-censorship ideals. IT IS NOT MEANT TO OFFEND!(although it may do so in the process)
I, being the pro-free speech person I am, decided to draw  picture for this day BUT seeing as the aim of this is not offend I will not post it directly in the post. The link to the image will be at the bottom so if you are one of the people that would take offense to this type of behavior please, please do not click the link. Have a good day all.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

That pesky cosmological argument

Doesn't everyone hate the cosmological argument? Amiright? (My attempt at humor) But in all seriousness I find this argument to not only be stupid, but also waste of time to refute. Nevertheless,  seeing as I do in fact have time to waste, I shall refute it.


The cosmological argument goes something like this:


  • Things exist.





  • It is possible for those things to not exist.





  • Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence, since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.





  • There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.





  • Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.





  • The uncaused cause must be God. [1]






  • Fist off let me state that this form of the argument is found on the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. This is "legit" if you will.



    Point 1: Things exist. I agree. This claim is all good.
    Point 2: It is possible for these things not to exist. ehhhhhh one could disagree and there would be perfectly valid arguments against this but I will give our friend Matt Slick (the author of the page on CARM) the benefit of the doubt and agree. This one is fine.
    Point 3: Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist. Now this is what I take offence to. This statement is down right false. Things that begin to exist often do have a cause but that doesn't mean they all do. Take fluctuations on the quantum level for example. Quantum fluctuations are completely random, uncaused events.
    "...Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless spacetime can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature. ..." ~~Victor Stenger [2]

    Keeping this in mind we can see that the assertion that what begins to exist must have a cause is not only false but is down right deceitful. Uncaused events happen all the time and thus the main premise of this argument falls.

    Point 4: There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence. This is a fair assertion.
    Point 5: Therefore there must be an uncaused cause of all things. Yes, that uncaused cause is either the universe bring itself into existence (in a way) which is not illogical because before time there is no cause and effect thus the universe can arise by itself, (I refer you to my previous post called The God before time? Why not the universe before time? )  or quantum fluctuations can be the uncaused cause. But let's see what the final assertion that is made is.....
    Point 6: The uncaused cause must be God! ......... really? I beg to differ. As suggested by the post above as well as the fact that quantum fluctuations can create a universe, why are we asserting that god is the uncaused cause?  

    "Once our minds accept the mutability of matter and the new idea of the vacuum, we can speculate on the origin of the biggest thing we know—the universe. Maybe the universe itself sprang into existence out of nothingness—a gigantic vacuum fluctuation which we know today as the big bang. Remarkably, the laws of modern physics allow for this possibility." ~~Pagels [2]

    Thus we can see that our current, highly successful model of the universe allows matter to be created from nothing, uncaused without invoking god as well as the fact that there is good evidence to suggest that our universe could be a fluctuation one can see that this argument falls.

    In conclusion, the main assumption that this argument rests on is provably false and to be honest, I don't understand why people still use it. 

    ~~Peter

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                                                   Further reading and footnotes:


    http://www.braungardt.com/Physics/Vacuum%20Fluctuation.htm
    http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec17.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo


    1: 
    http://carm.org/cosmological-argument
    2: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/vacuum.html

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    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified?

    "Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary." Who's words are these you may ask. As Robert Freeman says, "Those are not the words of a latter-day revisionist historian or of a leftist writer. They are certainly not the words of an American-hater. They are the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and future president of the United States."1


    There has been no military action that has been met with as much criticism than the decision to drop two atomic weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During the course of this post I will be debunking the reasons given from dropping the bombs as well as showing why it was inherently a bad idea.


    The main reason that was given for the neccesitiy of the bombing was the belief that Japan would not surrender. This may have been true for the troops themselves but this was certainly not the position held by the government. Japans Commanders of War, the Big Six, had been discussing peace agreements with the Soviet Union for months whilst still saying they would fight to the death.2 The Japanese had been defeated already with the destruction of their navy and the loss of the sea around Japan, the fact that we controlled the air above Japan and the fact that we had been firebombing some of their major cities. They had no means of getting supplies into the country thus it is safe to say they were already defeated. Their army was decimated. Many top military commanders regarded the Japanese position as "hopeless"1 as well as saying [they] "...were already defeated and ready to surrender".1 


    The next claim that is made in favor of the bombings is the ludicrous notion that they "saved American lives by preventing a land invasion". If one does not delve deeper into this it may sound convincing but after one looks at the facts here it is easy to see that this is false. First off, the Japanese had already lost most of their army on the islands around Japan and they were, as shown above, essentially defeated. In fact, the USSBS (US Strategic Bombing Survey) said, "Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped."3 "The November 1 date is important because that was the date of the earliest possible planned U.S. invasion of the Japanese main islands."1 This combined with the fact that Japan had been trying to surrender-conditional surrender*-meant that there was absolutely no need for the atomic weapons. 





    The first and most obvious reason why the atomic bombings were bad is because they killed over 200,000 innocent civilians as well as leaving thousands more wounded. Next off, the liver cancer rate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the highest in the world!4 This is over 60 years later! The rate of other types of cancer has also been greatly increased. Cancer rates have increased from 217 to 301 out of 100,000 in males and 176 to 197 out of 100,000 in females.4 (This is during a year) The highest cancer rate in males in the US is 163 out of 100,000 and for females, 113 out of 100,000, a massive difference!5


    The next and probably the most important reason to us is the fact that the atomic bombings really started the Cold War. Even before the bombings the US and the USSR had great distrust that was magnified by the fact that we showed our dominance by developing a weapon that could destroy an entire town first. Once the USSR saw that we had this technology they felt threatened and thus the Cold War began.


    So in conclusion, one can see that many top military generals were against the bombings as well as the fact that as new information has come to light we see that the bombings served no strategic military purpose and were only used to assert America's dominance. 


    ~~Peter


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    *As stated above Japan wanted a conditional surrender whereas the US had a policy of unconditional surrender. We knew they would surrender conditionally yet our policy dictated we ignore that. the truth is not that Japan ignored our "pleas" for surrender but quite the contrary. We knew they wanted to surrender yet we said no. 



    1: Freeman, R. (2006, August 26). Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?. Common Dreams . Retrieved May 14, 2011, from www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm


    2: 1945., & Pacific, t. J. (n.d.). Surrender of Japan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Japan


    3: Hiroshima: Quotes. (n.d.).Hiroshima: Was It Necessary? The Atomic Bombing of Japan. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm


    4: Cancer incidence in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan,... [Eur J Cancer. 1994] - PubMed result. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7917541


    5: Cancer Incidence in the United States (SEER), 1987-91. (n.d.).nci.nih.gov. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://rex.nci.nih.gov/NCI_Pub_Interface/raterisk/rates12.html

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    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Where is God?

    Hello all! First off I would like to say that I am sorry for not posting anything in a long while, I have been massively busy with school and other such things. But here I am to post once again! :) So without further ado, Where is God?


    When one talks to fundamentalists of any Judao-Christian religion and asks them the question "Where is God?", the answer will most certainly be "God exists outside of space and time". Apart from being a massive cop out these seven words tell the story of the human advancement of knowledge and the retreat of god. Let us turn the geological clock back to the time of the Greeks. The Greeks held to the belief that Zeus, the father god, lived on top of Mt. Olympus and made his rule from there. This was the belief that was held by many until we ventured to the top of Mt. Olympus and we saw no god there. God was then said to have control over the movements of the tectonic plates. He controlled volcanoes and earthquakes. People again believed this fantastical tale with the utmost certainty....until we learned how they worked. We found out that god was not needed to explain these phenomena and once again, god receded. God retreated to the hole in our knowledge of species variation and change. Here god was used to explain the diversity of life on Earth and this too, was taken without doubt until....a young man by the name of Charles Darwin shed light on the mystery that was variation in life and here, as Richard Dawkins puts it, "Darwin chased God out of his old haunts in biology, and he scurried for safety down the rabbit hole of physics...."[1] Here, as Richard Dawkins says, god retreats to the realm of physics. He is supposedly in control of the constants and the ratios, the fine tunning, but as our knowledge of that increases and we can easily dispel the fine tuned delusion, god once again retreats to his final stop, out side of time and space. Here he is in the last gap of human knowledge, the big bang singularity and he is safe there...for the time being. But as we have done so many times before, out knowledge has increased and once again it will do so and god will be out of places to hide. Then we can truly say "God is dead". (Nietzsche)

    ~~Peter

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    Full quote: "Darwin chased God out of his old haunts in biology, and he scurried for safety down the rabbit hole of physics. The laws and constants of the universe, we were told, are too good to be true: a setup, carefully tuned to allow the eventual evolution of life. It needed a good physicist to show us the fallacy, and Victor Stenger lucidly does so. The faithful won’t change their minds, of course (that is what faith means), but Victor Stenger drives a pack of energetic ferrets down the last major bolt hole and God is running out of refuge in which to hide. I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book."
    —Richard Dawkins

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