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My Nagini argument

Today I will be discussing yet more thoughts which I have already spelled out on some memes of mine which I use on Twitter. I wanna discuss what I have dubbed the “Nagini argument” . For those of you who are unfamiliar with Harry Potter Nagini is Lord Voldemort’s pet snake. However as we have come to learn within the Fantastic Beasts movies which plays within the Harry Potter Universe Nagini was not always a snake. Prior to turning into a snake she was a woman who had a blood curse which doomed her to turn into a snake permanently. She is what is known within the wizarding world as a maledictus.

Now what does any of this have to do with Atheism, God, Christianity etc. ? Well I do think that we can make a case as to why Jesus being both God and human is quite literally incoherent by way of analogy using the character of Nagini:

So let’s ask ourselves the following. Is Nagini 100% human and 100% snake when she is trapped inside her snake body? Well she certainly cannot be 100% human seeing that she lacks human anatomy, seeing that she cannot communicate in human language seeing that she looks nothing like a regular human does. After all when you think about it prior to the Fantastic Beasts saga no one in the Harry Potter fandom community even entertained the idea that she was anything but a snake. Granted a very smart snake but still a snake. So no, Nagini was not 100% human when trapped in her snake body.

Now let’s ask ourselves: Is Nagini 100% snake? Well I don’t think we could argue that either since she is qualitatively different from “normal” snakes: After all she has human memories, after all she has human intelligence after all she has human emotions and human thoughts. She has a human mind that unfortunately for her is trapped in a body of an animal rendering her partially animal partially human. So no, Nagini is not 100% snake.

In the same way that Nagini is partially snake and partially human Jesus Christ can also only be partially God and partially human but not both to a maximal extend: After all God in his normal form consists of a non-material substance while in his “Jesus form” he is made up of matter. Normally God lacks blood and organs and just human anatomy in general yet as Jesus he loses those defining characteristics of God and assumes defining characteristics of humans.

In the same way we can also not say that if Jesus was God incarnate that he was fully human. After all he would have had not a human mind but a divine mind with the thoughts, memories and knowledge of the Creator of the Universe inside his head. He would have a completely different way of thinking that would surpass any and all human capability and would not resemble our thoughts in the slightest. So no Jesus was not fully human either since he lacked the mind of a regular normal human but instead had God’s mind.

Therefore it is not the case nor is it even possible that Jesus was both 100% human and 100% God since being God and being human are mutually exclusive just like being a human and being a snake is.

So those were my thoughts for today.

Goodbye from yours truly,

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation

Miracles magic and the Supernatural

It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog but seeing that we are currently living through a global pandemic I also need to keep my head and I also need to find ways to get my creativity flowing and to find an outlet through which I can express myself. For some people such an outlet would be singing or dancing or doing sports or drawing or painting or whatever. For me one outlet is writing and since this is a blog dedicated to the God debate and Atheism I figured I would write about something which I have already included in a meme of mine but wanted to flesh it out in this article.

As you may or may not know I am a MASSIVE Harry Potter Fan. One of the things that I find curious about the wizarding world is that there seem to be two parallel worlds with different sets of laws which are intertwined the Universe to be occurring: The Muggle world and the Wizarding world.

For example one law that holds in both worlds is the law of gravity. If you jump into the air you will drop to the ground again. However as we know there are different spells within the wizarding world which allow wizards to interact with gravity in completely different ways than we are used to: Apply Wingardium Leviosa to a given object and you may levitate the object into the air and control it as you wish. If you fall to the ground from a higher distance all you need to do is say arresto momentum and your fall will briefly be stopped and you drop to the ground on a much lower point.

But how does any of this relate to the God debate? Well the thing is the wizarding world for all intents and purposes is a completely natural world with completely natural laws. It’s just that there are more laws and that the laws are somewhat different and that the scope of a given law from our usual physical world may simply be overriden when magic enters the frame and the magical law nixes the usual necessary consequence of our every day laws.

In the same way then it is a mystery to me on what basis a Theist can conclude that what has happened when Jesus was resurrected or when Muhammad flew on a winged horse or whatever was a genuine miracle from God Almighty himself instead of just a natural occurrence of different laws which are unknown to us which may simply be larger in scope than the laws we do know about but which have overridden those exact laws.

How can one conclude that it was genuinely Supernatural instead of just another natural thing within the frame of natural laws which we simply do not have access to at the moment in the same way that a Muggle would? Moreover given that the scope of those natural laws could in theory extend towards absolutely everything and make everything physically possible, like a law of omnipotence allowing God to be omnipotent in what exact way is the term Supernatural even be meaningful and not just a confusing way to distinguish the natural we know from the natural we yet fail to understand?

Just some food for thought.

 

Anyways that was it for today. Goodbye from yours truly,

 

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation

In(co)herent Value

For today I want to address a topic which I wanted to talk about for quite some time. The reason I wanted to talk about it is because it is so laughably absurd and contradtictory that I can be nothing but amazed that there are still people out there who hold to it. I am of course talking about the concept of inherent value and especially the supposed inherent value of humans as a result of being created by a god.

It is my aim to demonstrate here that there is no such thing as inherent value that humans do not and cannot have inherent value and that even if God existed and did create us this would do absolutely nothing to give us inherent value.

So let’s get into it:

It is a fact that the amount of water we have on Earth is 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters . Now of course I do not wanna trouble myself with such numbers so for the purpose of discussion let’s say we have a total of 1 million liters. Let’s also suppose (though of course this isn’t true) that 100% of the water we have is drinkable.

With this in mind let me present a thought experiment:

Suppose I have a gigantic cannon in my possession. I also have a tank in which two things are stored in seperate rooms. 500.000 liters of water (which is half of the total supply we have on our planet) is in one room. In the other room there’s a human. I will either shoot all of the water into space using my cannon and the water is never going to come back ever again or I will shoot the human into space where the human will choke to death. I will give you the choice to choose which one it is. Either a living breathing human who has inherent value and who is made in God’s image or inanimate matter which nevertheless is a resource which is crucial for all of our survival. In case you do not know this losing all of the water means that there will be millions of other people dying of dehydration and those who do not die because they have enough money to afford the water at a very high price will at the very least struggle and have to change their lifestyle completely.

I think any sane and reasonable human would choose the water as a resource with no inherent value over the human who because he or she was made in God’s image has inherent value.

What does this tell us? It tells us that the value of a human can be expressed in terms of resources like water or food or what have you. In case you did not know this resources like water for instance can be expressed in terms of dollars or euros which are currencies which are completely arbitrary invented and man-made. A dollar or a euro does not have inherent value. It’s simply a system we have invented which we have all agreed upon and by which for reasons of convenience we abide by. There’d be no rational reason why the owner of a shop would be satisfied with her giving me ham, bananas, tomatoes, steaks, in exchange for a pieces of paper if it were not for the fact that we all agree upon the economic system and that she in turn can use these pieces of paper in exchange for resources she wants or desires.

But back to the subject. If it is true that a human life can be expressed in terms of resources like water then if these resources can be expressed in terms of money it follows that humans can be expressed in terms of money which as I remind you is a man-made invention.

But let us suppose that we change our thought experiment from earlier up a little bit:

Let’s say we have more than 1 million liters. Let’s say we have an amount of 99^99 (99 to the 99th power) liters. Either 500.000 liters get shot up or the human. In that case we would without second thought shoot up the water because we have it in abundance to such a degree that 500.000 liters do not matter to us at all.

This tells us that value of a given object is also dependent on how much we have of it at our expense. Supply and demand. In one case water is more valuable than a human life because it is scarce. In another case 500.000 liters of water do not matter.

And we can spin this scenario further. The value of an object can be expressed in terms of other objects. In fact that’s how we traded prior to inventing currencies. You get my cow for your two pigs. For these two pigs of mine I want your 12 eggs as well as your chicken.

The value of objects and humans depends on the situation we find ourselves in: Now granted we place high value on human lives but if we admit that resources can in a given situation be more valuable than a human and in another case it is not then we must likewise admit that the value of the resource and likewise by extension the value of the human compared to the resource is purely situational and therefore NOT inherent.

 

But let’s say you are not on board with this (as no doubt many Theists who may read this will not be). There still remains the question of whether we can have inherent value by virtue of being made by God. Why would that make us valuable? Well as many Theists will tell me it makes us valuable because God loves us and because he values us and all that hogwash. But notice what this presupposes: It presupposes that God’s love or God’s value judgements and that God himself are valuable. But who says that God is valuable? Who says that his views and his love matter? As far as I can tell there are three possibilities:

 

  1. Humans say so
  2. God says so
  3. It just is the case

 

If it’s 1. then this is just the subjective opinion of humans. What person X may value person Y need not value. A number of people saying that God is valuable does not mean he is inherently valuable. He is valued by certain individuals but that does not mean a thing.

 

If it’s 2. then God has value because God says he has value. That is completely circular. Why ought I accept this? Is it not open to me then to say “God doesn’t have value because I say he doesn’t” ? This does nothing to establish anything. And if you think that the difference between my statement and his is that he is authority so in his case it’s fine while in mine it isn’t then we need to ask ourselves who says that he’s authority. Again we have the same three options. If it’s humans it’s just opinion. If it’s God he is authority because he says he is. Am I authority because I say I am? We do not accept self-declared authorites in my case so why would we in his?

 

Which brings us to option 3. it just is the case that he has value. Okay…. ummm….. why ought I accept this? What’s the evidence for this? If you wanna make such outrageous assertions you’d better be ready to give a reasonable argument for this. Until such an argument was succesfully made and is shown to be sound it is most reasonable to withhold judgement.

 

The bottom line is this:

There are no good reasons to suppose that we have inherent value. There are many good reasons to suppose that neither we nor anything else has inherent value and that inherent value is self refuting and indeed incoherent.

As always I appreciate your feedback.

 

Goodbye from yours truly,

 

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation