One of the most accurate ways to describe my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) is by way of a concept known as the “null hypothesis”. Like most atheists, I do not claim that I know God does not exist. I merely claim that there is not enough evidence to justify belief in God. And the best way to illustrate this claim is through the null hypothesis. This is a statistical concept that is used for hypothesis testing in science. Because statistics is not a strong point for many people, I will try to explain it using a minimum of stats jargon; however, some will be required, and I will try to explain what each term means the best that I can. I really feel that this is an important concept to understand when one is trying to assess evidence claims (which happens to us all the time). So hang on for the ride!Continue Reading
Posts Tagged “God”
Religion, in all its diversity, has a vast range of effects on people. For some, the interaction between religion and the individual is very positive. Religious beliefs bring them hope, peace, and a stable optimism that helps them to become caring and compassionate people. There are many ways to explain this, of course. It may be that these people are just kind people, and would be so with or without religion. Or, it may be that religion creates this kindness and stability within them. What is most likely, though, is that it is a combination of both: These people are naturally predisposed to being kind people, and religion both encourages this and provides ways to manifest these positive qualities. If this is the case, religion can have very positive effects for these people.Continue Reading
Yesterday was fairly uneventful. I didn’t do much of anything until soon before 8:00 PM, when I headed over to Jake and Luke’s house for Luke and Julie’s engagement party. When I got there, I was greeted by Mr. Dreyer, their dad, who told me that the dinner that several of the people were at was going really slowly – which meant that I was the only one there. To save an awkward situation, then, he asked me if I knew how to play chess. I said that yes, I did, though I hadn’t played it in a long time. So he got out a chess board, and we started playing. I actually had the upper hand. Soon Melissa arrived, and then after that, Dave and Jeff came as well. Once Bethany Dreyer arrived, her dad said that he had to leave, so the game ended with no one being declared the winner. I was a little disappointed, just because I would have been able to tell Jake that I was better than his own father, but my disappointment was somewhat diminished when I reminded myself that it was, after all, just a game of chess.
After more people arrived, the excitement level fluctuated slightly, possibly even registering on the Excitement Meter. I’m not entirely sure about that, though. It wasn’t a real lively party at all. People basically sat around and talked and stuff, and then when that got boring, someone would get up and join a different circle…Continue Reading
Yesterday was a pretty average, boring day. I was talking to Angelie on MSN and she said that both she and Dave wanted to do something. So I called up Jeff and asked if he wanted to do something as well. He was up for it, so I told him that I’d talk to Angelie again and figure out what to do. I was expecting her to come back onto MSN, since she had gone to supper by that time. When half an hour went by and she hadn’t come online yet, I decided to call her. No answer. I called back a few more times, and after another half an hour, Jeff called me up and asked, “So I’m assuming that nothing really is going on?” He was correct in his assumption. We’ll likely do something today or tomorrow, though I’m not quite sure. I have to work this afternoon from 5:30-9:15, so I’m not sure if I really want to do anything today. Tomorrow night there’s an engagement party at Jake and Luke’s house, so I’ll likely show up to that. That’ll be doing something at least.
Today I had to cut the grass. That’s never a pleasant experience, but whatever. I woke up at 8:45 AM sharp in order to be up before it got really hot. I don’t want to wake up at like 6 AM or anything, but I don’t want to wait until the afternoon when the sun is out and deep-frying everything. So…Continue Reading
Today’s entry should be short, because not much happened last night. I worked from 5:30-9:30 PM, so it conveniently cut out the time I sometimes spend hanging out with my friends on Sunday nights. Whatever. When I got home, there was a message from Jeff, but since I didn’t feel like hanging out anyways, I just didn’t call back. Besides, I don’t have his cell phone number written down. Anyways, work was alright. I was working with a guy named Eric, who seems pretty cool, besides being a bit crude like most guys are. The important thing that happened last night was that I got to know some of the people there a bit better. Eric told me a few things about the people there – a few of the things he said were bad, but a few were good as well, so that may help me in the future. I just still feel like “the new guy” right now. After all, someone called me that last night. I still don’t “fit in,” but I know that it will come with time; I just have to be patient and keep getting to know people.
Anyways, as I mentioned in the last entry, yesterday I talked to Pastor Al about the Bible study and how best to set it up. I suggested doing it on Thursdays at the church if it was free then, so he was going to check into that. At lunchtime, my mom asked me what Pastor Al…Continue Reading
I’m not sure what to write about today. I already talked about what I did yesterday in the last entry, so I’m fresh out of days about which to write. I mean, that doesn’t mean I can’t write about anything, but it cuts down on the number of options I have. Work last night was alright; it was fairly busy, and I saw lots of people I knew. There was a group of losers from Central there (I say they’re losers because they’re friends with me), as well as Lars and I think Mark by themselves, though they’re from Central as well. I also saw Jenelle, who used to work at Quizno’s when I did, and we talked for a few seconds – I couldn’t talk for long just because it was busy. She told me about the Quizno’s party that I missed, and I said that Kim had told me. But apparently they’re having another one, so perhaps I can come to that one. The only thing that I’d have a problem with is if there’s drinking there. However, since they all liked me when I was there, I think they’d respect me enough to not try to shove it in my face or something stupid like that.
It was raining yesterday; quite windy as well. I was watching TV when suddenly the signal started breaking up. It was really annoying. Eventually it just cut out entirely, so I turned it off and went upstairs. I’m glad I did,…Continue Reading
I’m not sure what to say today. Work last night went quite well, and as expected, I was quite tired. This morning was alright, though. I wasn’t as exhausted as I thought I would be. The church service went quite well. The pastor went off on a tangent and only ended up playing two of the songs that he had picked out. After that, he started pulling songs off the top of his head and playing those instead. It was confusing to try and follow along with his fingers on piano, but I don’t think I did too badly.
As I sat in the service listening to the guest speaker, Pastor Bombay, something hit me. Every once in a while, a pastor will get up and say something like, “Today I just feel that someone here needs healing,” or some other similar situation. And while I don’t doubt that it’s something straight from God, it really hits me just how weak in my faith I am. These people seem to get impulses, and though if they’re wrong, they could look foolish, they never seem to be wrong. Sometimes God will just lay a burden on their heart to pray for someone, and it turns out that they were in danger at that exact moment. And as I sat in the service today, I thought, “Why doesn’t that happen to me?” How come God isn’t doing that with me, or if He is, why can’t I hear it when it happens?…Continue Reading