The Day I Quit Caring About God

In my personal circle of atheist friends, we don’t talk about God. To us, it has become one of the least interesting topics to discuss. I remember the day that this really clicked for me. My wife and I were driving with some friends to the store when one of us (I don’t remember who) said something that was essentially mocking the idea of God. This sent us down a conversational stream of reiterating points we had made in the past that made the idea of God seem laughable. We again pointed out the mere improbability (dare I say, impossibility) of God. We were saying many of the same things we had said in the past, perhaps from different angles, but for all intents and purposes, it was the same argument. It was then that one of my friends asked, “why are we doing this?” This wasn’t a sympathetic question towards the Christian faith, suggesting that we were being too hard on them. No, this question was asking; why are we talking about something that is so clearly false?

Soon after he asked this question, we all kind of laughed introspectively. I then began to mock what we were doing by pointing out the clear flaws in the myth of Santa Clause. Bringing up the improbability (dare I say, impossibility) of a man reaching every home over night. I pointed out how Santa was not as generous a man as claimed, leaving the starving kids of Africa without food or shelter while giving a child in America a new XBOX. We all laughed, because the idea of Santa is so clearly false that discussing his likelihood is literally a complete waste of time. It was then that we realized, so is God.

The idea of God is not a discussion worth having once you are an experienced atheist, and I think many atheists would agree. If you have studied religion and science for a substantial period of time, there comes a point when acknowledging the God hypothesis as a valid possibility is to give too much respect to it; lending far too much of our valuable (and finite) time to an unsubstantial claim.  God is clearly a failed hypothesis. Contradiction after contradiction, improbability after improbability in the face of a probable solution, no other hypothesis could fail so often, so explicitly, and still render five minutes of intellectual discussion. So why lend the 5 minutes to this?

The reason that I have taken the time to point this out is because we need to recognize that there are better things to be talking about. There are better things to ponder. The wonders of science are at our fingertips and we need not spend another moment wondering if there is a dictator in the sky waiting to punish us for thought crime. We know this argument is over. It’s time to move on to more relevant ideas.

Now there is a caveat to the points I have made above. What I have said above applies more to the subjective experience. I think that we atheists that have covered all the bases in the God debate need not spend so much time on it when there is so much more to discover in this life. That being said, we still need people that do speak out against religion. Religion is far too popular and we are clearly hindered as a people because of religion. I am thankful for people such as the four horsemen and the various atheist groups that work to keep religion out of our government, we need these groups, we need these people.

And I am sure that we still have people in our lives that we care about that do want to have this discussion with us. We should not ignore this simply because the idea of God is so stale. And due to religions popularity, sometimes we need to present ideas that people haven’t heard before. If we want religion to lose its popularity, people need to feel pressure when they try to claim nonsense. We need to be willing to speak out when someone tries to present an unsubstantial claim with pride.

To summarize, the power that religion still has on society makes our voice in opposition important. But at the end of the day, for me, I know that this debate is over. I have spent a good amount of time this subject and I have quite honestly spent enough. I personally rarely desire the conversation anymore. Now, I am open minded. If someone has a new and revolutionary idea, let me hear it. But I know (virtually, I should say) that it won’t happen. The argument is over. I have better things to think about. There is a universe filled with plenty of wonder and beauty and I need not waste any more of my time on this idea called God.

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Fun With Numbers: Binomial Theorem

I have been quite busy over the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t had too much time to put into my blog. In my little bits of free time, I have put together this short post which talks about a clever trick in mathematics that I have always wanted to share with people. One of the best things about this trick is that it is simple and almost anyone can do it once they learn how. If you are ever around a group of friends and you want to blow them away with your computational speed, this is just the trick* to do that. Before I say more, I first would like you to answer the question below;

The question to the poll below is: What is the coefficient in front of  blogpic11 in the expansion of  blogpic12

Now there are probably only two ways that you answered this question. The first way I would suspect is that you guessed, and the second way would be that you took the long, strenuous, and tedious time of actually working this problem out. It turns out that there is a much quicker way to solve this question.

There is an equation used in probability when dealing with combinations known as “n choose k”. It looks like the following,

blogpic13

Now, thus far in my studies of mathematics, this equation has only appeared a couple of times outside of a probability course. When it does come up, however, it is followed shortly by a great tool in probabilistic mathematics which is the Binomial theorem. The Binomial theorem reads as follows,

blogpicbinomial

We can see pretty easily that this is true. Using a simple example, we see that,

blogpic1

And this is satisfied using the Binomial theorem,

blogpicwork

blogpicfinish

So what if someone asks, what is the coefficient in front of the xy in the expansion of (x+y)^2? Well since is raised to the first power, then our value for is one. Thus, the solution is,

blogpic999

So again I ask you, What is the coefficient in front of  blogpic11 in the expansion of  blogpic12?

* I know I call this a trick in this post but it should be noted that this equation was developed with much more serious intent. I use this equation daily by means of solving probability questions and its uses extend beyond into all fields of mathematics.