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Author Archives: Tom Paine

A creator worthy of creation

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A creator worthy of creation

Christians sometimes ask how anyone can gaze into the heavens, at the incredible vastness of space and the innumerable stars and galaxies, and not see a Creator.

To me, it’s just the opposite. How can anyone look upon all that and see behind it a god who throws tantrums over whether or not humans eat bacon and love whomever they wish. Or a little god who is supposedly all knowing, all loving, and all powerful, yet who allowed a talking snake to wreck his most prized creation.

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Why I mock religion

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I’m not normally one who mocks anyone or anything. But much of what I write here can (rightfully) be called mocking of religion, and more specifically of Christianity. Most of the time, I’m poking fun at a particular branch of Christianity — that of fundamentalism, or as I am prone to call its adherents, “fundies.”

Why do I do this? I suppose there are a few reasons for it.

First of all, I do it for my own sanity. I was completely and totally consumed by fundamentalist Christianity for nearly four decades. It made me neurotic, afraid, insular, judgmental, and — much of the time — miserable. I would have cowered in fear back then at the very thought of questioning God or anything having to do with God. It’s not a good place to be in. Read the rest of this entry

On dualism

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I had a brief exchange with a good friend on Facebook recently. My friend is basically a freethinker like me and, I believe, an agnostic. But one area where we disagree centers on the issue of dualism, or the notion that the mind is somehow separate from the physical brain. I don’t want to do my friend the disservice of paraphrasing his words and mischaracterizing his position, so I’m going to quote our exchange verbatim.


It is truly amazing and confounding, trying to figure out the “hard problem” of consciousness. But it’s a physical system. No miracles required.

My friend:

Let me ask you. The fact that there is anything (physical or non-physical) seems to conjure up perplexing question as to how it came into existence. I can think of only two options. One, it always existed. Two, it came from nothing. Neither one of these makes logical sense. Yet – I’m sure something exists – either physical or my mind.

So didn’t something defy all logic to exist? Isn’t it reasonable to say this is miraculous? Isn’t it also very humbling ~ to degree being too sure of one’s opinions is almost silly.

What form of physical matter could either create itself from nothing OR just always exist? If you can’t answer then how do you know it’s all a “physical system?”

Obviously my friend is a deep thinker and for that I am grateful. I relish the opportunity to discuss these things, so I promised him I would answer when I had enough time to collect my thoughts. I decided to eschew Facebook and form my response in my long-neglected blog. (Another friend made me think of my blog today.) So here goes. Read the rest of this entry

Where are the miracles?

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Does God exist? As many people on all sides of the “does God exist” debates have agreed, I personally believe that this is something which will never be definitively proved or disproved. To use some legal terminology, that leaves a lower standard of provenance: rather than showing proof beyond a reasonable doubt, we are more concerned with the preponderance of evidence. And for my money, the scales weigh heavily on the “non-existence” side.

Since we can never know for sure that there is or is not a God, it comes down to basically one thing: does the world work in ways that can be rationally understood and predicted (naturalism) or do things happen unexpectedly, miraculously and with no plausible natural explanation (super-naturalism).

In other words: do miracles happen? Read the rest of this entry