Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Moron Morality

I'm sorry, did I say moron morality? I meant to say more on morality, my bad.

So there's this big debate as to whether you can have morality without religion. Now, before you click away thinking this is going to be the same old discussion, it's not. I'm going to present a counter theory of mine that's probably not entirely correct (nothing I ever say is), but it's a good starting point.

OK, so all of this bullshit that religion is full of peace and tolerance has been well debunked by now because we've seen way too many examples of how they run things when given the chance. And it's funny to me that the extremists are dismissed as wild-eyed crackpots who don't hold the true values of the religion as a whole. But what if that's backwards? I propose that the extremists are the only ones who are following what their religion tells them to do and it's the majority who aren't following god's word. What makes me say this? That's easy... I've read the bible.

Most xtians make excuses for the shit you find in the bible by saying it's just a metaphor or that something isn't meant to be taken literally, or that it was a different time and it was only to be applied in those specific circumstances, etc. Bullshit people... there's nothing in there that says, now look, I want you to do this, but only this time... or only until this date... or I don't really want you to do this, it's a metaphor for whatever you can pull out of it. It's time to grow up people. Your religion teaches violence and intolerance so get over it. And what's more, you're not a real xtian because you're not following god's real and true word. That guy over there who killed his wife for not wearing a scarf on her head... he's the one following god's word.

So now I'm left to ask myself why all these people are turning against god's official word and NOT killing everyone around them. The answer is easy... we all have a strong sense of morality that comes from both ourselves and from society and that gets in the way of religious doctrine. So it's not that religion supplies morality, it's that we're able to maintain morality despite religion. And being the clever people we are, we've managed to still link it back and give religion credit for it anyway. Ain't having a brain grand?

So let's recap real quick... religion tells us to kill people for the glory of god and then when we refuse because killing is wrong, religion gets the credit again for being peace-loving and tolerant. But there's nothing in the books that suggests that.

Dawkins says that there are many factors that go into making up our morality, which sounds right to me. It's not just one thing that implants it into our heads. But society has a lot to do with it because you have but to look at the sign of the times to confirm it. Back when the bible was written (and before), those religious killing sprees were ok because people just didn't know better as a society. They were too busy fighting over land and trying to establish themselves as dominant. Then move ahead into just the last couple centuries and we've gone from women being nothing more than filthy baby factories to becoming real people with real jobs and feelings and ambitions. And do you wanna hear something really crazy? Niggers are considered to be people now too. And they can not only hold jobs, but they can be the boss and order us white folk around. And they can even vote and this one will really knock your socks off... one of them became president. Now we've also refined our laws too. Many things that used to be legal have now been outlawed because they're just not considered ok anymore. One that comes to mind is this one and it'll just kill you. Kids have rights under the law now and you're not allowed to starve or beat them anymore.

So with all this change, what's driving it? Is the the bible and religion? I seriously doubt it since it hasn't changed (officially) in centuries. Though we all know that it's changed quite a bit hasn't it? So since our morality is changing, and the bible isn't, then it's pretty easy to say that we're not getting our morality from the bible or from religion. And don't give me that "oh well we're interpreting it differently" crap either. Because yeah, you're interpreting it differently, but only because your morality has given you the ability to see past its bullshit and now you have to look into the passages and see how you can distort their meanings so you can keep on believing that's where you're getting your morality. Give it up already.

And god commanded him to go into the town and kill every last man, woman, child, sheep, goat, etc. Let no living creature remain. Gee, I think that's a metaphor for love your fellow man and tolerate his beliefs no matter how different. Do you see what god's doing there? He's teaching us love and forgiveness by saying the opposite to show us how ludicrous it would be to be that way. It's reverse psychology.

Fuck off already and grow up.

Big dildo up your ass.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Appropriate Signs

(photo links from Fail Blog)

fail owned pwned pictures
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fail owned pwned pictures
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Blueberry Delusion

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It used to be so hard for me to understand how xtians can constantly get so worked up over something that isn’t even real… i.e. god.  But you know what, I had an experience just a couple days ago that’s changed my mind forever.  In fact, now I can completely understand how it is that they can get so worked up over an imaginary friend.

So I was playing with my oldest son in the backyard and he was playing like he was going to the store.  He rolls his little dump truck around and pretends to get different produce and then he comes over and gives it to you… or me, rather.  What happened the first time was he came up to give me some blueberries and I held out my hand and he dropped them on the ground so I had to pick them up.  Then the next time he did the same thing.  I told him that he needed to start putting them in my hand.  And the next couple times he dropped them on the table instead of putting them in my hand.  And I found myself getting mad at him.  Why the fuck can’t he just put the goddamn blueberries in my hand?  How fucking hard is that?

Then something crossed my mind.  THE FUCKING BLUEBERRIES AREN’T REAL!!!  Why the fuck am I getting upset over imaginary fruit?  Let him put them where he wants.  It’s not like I actually have to pick them up and dust them off or anything.

And this is how I got with a simple playtime with my son.  Can you imagine how easy it is for others to get that upset about their eternal life?  Well, I guess you don’t have to, huh?  So anyway, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the game, but at some point you have to remember that the blueberries your preacher is handing you aren’t real.


Big dildo up your ass.

Those Darn Pagans!

A very dear friend of mine is a Pagan, which I hold against her no more than she holds my atheism against me. But I went to the online pagan publication she writes for, and there on the front page is a drawing of a reeeeally old woman and this title:

Today we honor

I just found it funny.

It brings something to mind, though. We don't despise Paganism and Wicca anything like we do Christianity and Islam (I know I don't speak for all atheists, I'm currently talking about God Dammers). And I know some of the major reasons why: Pagans haven't been in the majority, and supressing and murdering and causing wars, for a very long time (if ever...?) So that's good.

But Paganism just tends to be more FUN, I think. Pagans don't take themselves overseriously, don't try to convert people or make everyone feel bad about themselves. Some of this is a side effect of being in the minority, sure. But some of it is just a better laid back-itude.

And there are hundreds of pagan inspired fantasy books out there, and we all KNOW it's fiction. People don't throw malatov cocktails because somebody got the handfasting ceremony wrong in "Gone with the Wynde".

I'm just sayin.

Fluffy Gay Blog that is full of WIN

This, this is full of WIN WIN WIN

I only wish that I'd done this first. And that I was gay and had married a girl as hot and funny as this. I'm just sayin.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

God is a Shitty Copilot

The god-as-copilot quips Faithinate posted Saturday night were something I've been thinking about. Really? Does God have a lot of time in this type of aircraft? And I doubt he's under the FAA-mandated 60-hour limit since he seems to be lots of people's copilot. And how can he spare adequate attention to my flight?

I highly recommend investing some time into training and safety drills rather than asking God for help. Here is an article telling of a pilot who decided to pray out loud instead of take planned contingency procedures and then ditched the plane in the water when observers thought he could have made the airport. 16 dead. I guess they are now with God? See, you can't have a copilot with a conflict of interests!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jesus is a cool dude

Yeah, we were talking the other night about how ridiculous it is that people thank god for letting them do things... you know, like when they win awards and such. And of course, that got me really kind of inspired to write a porn acceptance speech. Because after all, there's no reason Jesus can't help you bang a chick really hard, right? He's a cool dude and he preaches peace and love, and what's more peace and love than a nice piece of love?

This award is for the best sex scene between a man and a woman...

And the winner is Dirk Diggler!!!

[Thunderous applause]

Oh my god. Oh my god. I'd like to thank everyone for this amazing award. You really make it worth the work. I'd like to start off by thanking my agent, who works hard to get me auditions. I'd also like to thank the director and the producers for being so patient on set. And of course there's my co-star. Without her being so wonderful that scene wouldn't be what it is.

But most importantly I'd like to thank the lord for giving me the ability to do this. Without god's help I would never have been able to tongue her pussy so long without getting sore. And the way I slammed my cock in the back of her throat was truly inspired. And that's not all, the lord our god gave me the extra ability to go ass to mouth without hesitation, and as we all know, if you hesitate in this business you're dead.

And when it finally came time for the money shot, I could almost feel the lord's blessed hands squeezing every drop of cum out of my nuts.

So yeah, most of all the credit goes to god. So thank you god for giving me the extraordinary ability to fuck hoes longer and harder than anyone else. And thanks for giving me a rock hard cock that is almost completely intoxicating these women all on its own. No one fucks like you lord! Peace out ya'll.

Anyway... it would go something like that...

Big dildo up your ass.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Live Blog - The God Dammers' Saturday Night

SurferJesus says he used to date this girl, years ago, and wanted to marry her, but they couldn't because of the big difference in religion between their families. Her family believed it was most important to shun Islam, while his believed it was most important to shun Christians, and he didn't want to go through the trouble of converting.

Three guys I knew in college were publicly flogged for hoping out loud that the world wouldn't end any time soon.

What would the pamphlets look like for door to door evangelical atheists? Christians always have happy, blissful people smiling on the front, but atheits are realists. So maybe people with "WTF?" expressions, or people with goggles and test tubes.

If you wanted to publicly prove that you were a really really good atheist, what would you channel to speak in tongues? You could channel Carlin, I suppose, or Dawkins, or Joe Pesci (he swears a lot!)

SJ asks, What's going to be the penalty for hosting a gay wedding reception? And I said, no, atheists get pissed off when STRAIGHT people get married. PN added that it's far worse to involve an invisible third party. The way marraiges are these days, rings should probably be made out of something biodegradable.

The real pisser about being atheist is that it usually isn't, in and of itself, an excuse to get together with other people. I mean, there are atheist clubs, but only because we need to resist, to fight for reason. Without resistance there isn't a reason to have a full organization, get together every week, do dinner parties...you're forced to go out and make friends on your own charisma. Pisser.

Atheist award ceremonies are a lot shorter, because you just get up and say "Thanks! I worked really hard!" And sit down. (Isn't it odd how porn stars thank God when they accept their awards? I think SJ's going to elaborate on that, sorry...)

Jesus is EVERYONE's copilot. When I'm flying, I think, "How much time does God HAVE on this kind of plane?"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Christians Looking Forward To Armageddon

Taking some threads from SurferJesus' and my recent posts, a shared belief among many Christians is the prophetic wars and horrible things that are going to happen at the end of the world, or the conquest of the world by Hell, or some similar bad thing where all Christians will teleport to heaven via the rapture. And they're looking forward to it.

Those damn Christians are always euphoric about the afterlife and about the end of the world. Do they really look forward to all the bad shit, or are they operating in cognitive dissonance mode and not realizing that their vision of holding hands with God results from widespread misery and evil on the mortal Earth? Why yearn for that even if you believe in it? And why do many keep predicting the world will end soon? Which, by the way, they've been doing for eons. The world is always about to end, according to somebody.

And Christians and Muslims general goal is to spread their religion and take over the world. They don't quite put it that way, but they have little tolerance for us atheists asking logical questions about their silly faith, and they think more and more people should be like them. Don't they realize the consequences? They seem to almost look forward to a religious war where God shows everyone they are right by letting them win. (Both sides of the war believe this.)

It's really weird to watch somebody supposedly peaceful and nice to talk lovingly of the impending end of the world and the associated wars, but I've seen it repeatedly.

And the implications are scary. I agree with SurferJesus that Christianity if allowed to take over the United States would degenerate into a state of harsh punishments for dissenters.

Remember when Clinton got militarily involved in Yugoslavia? I don't recall anyone pointing this out, but I wonder if it's why so many Christians seem to hate the guy. He was protecting Mulsims from being wiped out by Christians in Yugoslavia. Modern day Christians in an industrialized nation (they even exported cars to us: the Yugo) were ethnically cleansing their dogmatic competition. And it doesn't surprise me. I've heard Christians speak with hatred and a suspense of humanity about people they dislike. Hey, if God is on their side, got hates the dissenters, too, so how can they not feel justified in wanting them tortured, maimed and killed? And they are euphoric in this.

More Crazy Testicles

I just love catchy title, don't you?

So yeah, this is a comment/response to PraiseNull's comment on my first post on this topic.

So he's right to a degree that it's hard to look at the world with the cynicism that I do, but is it really cynicism? Am I really all that far off base? Look at any theocracy and show me where non-believers weren't persecuted. In fact, show me any theocracy where even the believers who just didn't happen to believe the same thing the established religion believed weren't persecuted. And these people aren't any different than you or me. We all want the same things. We want to be happy. We want a good life. We want to instill values in our kids and have them grow up to be what we consider 'good people'. We want the world to be a good place. But what happens when people refuse to get along and work at being tolerant of each other is they turn to religion. They setup an impossible doctrine and make laws that are ridiculous. And then they punish people for breaking them.

Remember that story last year where the couple was arrested in Dubai for drinking OJ in public. They were germans visiting and it was during that stupid fucking ramadan (sp?) holiday where you're not allowed to eat or drink in public. The story I get is that it's because they want you to experience what it is to be poor and sort of walk a mile in their shoes. So somehow that's turned into a religious crime that's actually punishable, even to outsiders who know nothing of the law. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone to come to your country and not run a red light, or to not rape a child. Those are common sense laws that are fairly ubiquitous. But drinking juice... how the fuck is someone supposed to know a stupid law like that? And I call it a stupid law just because I don't want to typy "fucking bullshit goddamn assinine motherfucking asswiping piece-of-shit monkey-fucking stupid law" every time I go to type it. So just know that's what I mean from here on out.

I've started listening to the dogma-free america podcast and the shit that goes on in this world in the name of religion is just fucking amazing. Women being buried alive for wanting to choose their own husbands, kids being beaten for not believing a rotting body sitting on their toilet is actually going to come back to life, pedofiles claiming their cleansing little kids by fucking them up the ass, blind kids being hung from ceiling fans and beaten to death because they're unable to read the koran, 1yr olds starved to death because they're unable to say amen after grace, etc. This is all just pure evil. And what's worse is those are ALL real stories.

Now, not everything religion has to offer is evil... or is it?
There are some seemingly benign actions that everyone puts up with like praying before meals, organizing group prayers to alleviate drought or a crime wave, having something censored because it offends your religion, etc. Well, if pot is a gateway drug then these are gateway religious behaviors. Just the practice of these things leads to you wanting, no NEEDING to control other people's lives. All of a sudden it's your business where my dick goes, and even worse, where my hands go. I'll tell you something right now. If I wanna lotion-up and stroke my cock with my right and shove a curling iron up my ass with the other one, that's none of your fucking business. That's only between me and the owner of the curling iron (who I'm sure might object sutstantially). But it's certainly not a religious matter.

Let's look at gays in the military. If I were gay and in the military and someone asked me about my sex practices, I would ask him first. I would say something like...
So how about you and your wife? Do you fuck her in the ass? Does she finger your ass when she sucks your cock? Hey does your wife swallow? How high can you get her legs up over her head? Come on man, tell me... what's it like to be deep inside your wife's pussy?

Of course all of those questions would be met with extreme offense, and might even start a fight. So why are the details of my sex life important, but yours aren't? It doesn't matter in the least whether I'm fucking a man or a woman. The details of my sex life are none of your fucking business. Yet, because there's a book that says it's bad to fuck a man up the ass, you're going to make it your business who I fuck. But you could line up people of both sexes bent over in the dark and you could be lead in to fuck one of them in the ass at random and I guarantee you couldn't tell the difference between a male and a female ass. So any of you guys out there who fuck their wives in the ass are just as guilty as the gayest queer out there. I mean, you like to fuck ass, so how can you blame queers for it?

So where was I... oh yeah, gateway bahavior. By making it ok to pray, or to censor a TV show, etc you're making it ok to go further. Next you move up to wanting to post religious signs in government buildings. You make it ok to stop educating your kids by teaching them design theory. You make it ok to illegally start a war because god wants you to. You make it ok to keep people out of jobs because they don't believe in god. And much much more, right?

Then people are voting by religion and then we've got a theocracy. And I know the xtians think that's what they want, but it's really only while they're on top. What happens when a radical comes into power (as they always do) and starts making weird, restrictive laws? Within 10yrs women would probably not be allowed without being covered up. Then we do away with evolution in schools. Then you're not allowed to hold public office if you're not xtian. Then companies are allowed to use religion as criteria for whether you're qualified. Then you can be refused medical care based on religion. And it goes on and on.

So what is it causing these changes? Is it that people are basically good and they're just doing what's best for us? Or is it that people are basically selfish and evil and they've not got laws to back up what they've been dying to do? It's ridiculous and very scary how close to Pakistan we could become.

So yeah, maybe I'm a little cynical, but it's also not that far of a leap. Look at Canada even. Right now they're in the middle of a huge free speech crisis because the religious fucks are allowing people to be sued for offending their religion. IN CANADA!!! So yeah, it's not that far outside the realm of possibility that we could fall under such rule. And once that kinda shit gets going and is endorsed by the state, it's easy to take it one step further. And another. And another.

The funny thing is that while it's against the law for the US government to endorse a religion and have an official US religion, there's nothing like that at the state level. States have the right to have an official endorsed religion. And until the late 1800s, Massechusets had an official state religion. Scary huh?

OK, I'm just rambling now but I'm sticking to my guns. Religion doesn't make good people do bad things. It turns good people bad. But make no mistake... when they're doing those bad things in the name of religion they're no longer good people.

Big dildo up your ass.


A random, late-night thought: I was into maps as a kid. I recall one of my elementary classes having some extracurricular map instruction self-study courses available for extra credit, but you had to get your main work done first. I put an unusual effort into finishing my work so I could do the next map course.

I recall thinking that I had no way of telling if the maps were true. At the time I had not been to many of the mapped places. As I got older it was a comfort to travel around by plane and car and verify that the maps were true. I don't mean every road and every detail, but that the cities were where the maps said they were. I could see them from the air; I could navigate between them by car. I've driven in a 20-foot circle where 4 states meet. I've cruised the sea from Florida to Cozumel. I've stood at Pike's Peak and looked over the fruited plains. (That reminds me, I've also been to San Francisco.) I've driven alongside a few hundred miles of the Mississipi River. I've been into the Smoky Mountains. The maps were true.

I am not from Missouri, but sometimes you need to show me. I've had too many people testify with sincerity things I later found out to be complete bullshit. I'm not the type of person to do that, and it is hard for me to accept that others do it, but I've seen it repeatedly and know from experience that some people are simply full of shit. So don't testify to me about your dear and fluffy lord or show me a bullshit piece of cloth that covered him 2000 years ago or a popular book that has been translated and altered multiple times, isn't verifiable and contradicts itself as a matter of habit.

Your Own Personal Jesus, Fuck You

My thoughts on religion lately--although I'm not sure I've put it quite this way--are that religion is not actually a cohesive set of beliefs but a framework for an identity and self-entitlement. "I am Christian and can justify my actions through scripture/church peers/church elders." However the individual beliefs vary so much it's comical.

Christians--and I use Christians all the time because that's what I've grown up around and am surrounded by--seem to believe all sorts of crazy things that aren't shared beliefs. In particular I've had them describe tree fairies (remember that, Faithinate?), varying incarnations of angels (you'd think there'd be a standard definition of what an angel is), ghosts, etc. And they have differing beliefs on raising kids, accepting gays, and all sorts of other stuff.

It's hard to look at the world as cynically as SurferJesus looks at it, but the more I look the more the cynicism seems justified. Perhaps the most comforting thing about religion is that it accepts and forgives your flaws and sins if you pay mouth service (and tithe) to the church. It cleanses the guilt from the guilty without remedying the victim, and quite often it demonizes the victim for not accepting the sinner's cleansing. I think the three of us have seen examples of this closer than we want, and closer than I could have imagined just a few years ago.

No, I take that back. I had imagined the possibility before that the sinner had wronged the victim. Some questions had no satisfactory answers, and one possibility seemed to fit. When I was told the story I was not surprised. It's just that everyone else who knew about it kept quiet about it, deified the sinner and made the victim a pariah. Some great goddam Christians, eh? That sin fucked up at least two generations of a family, and the rest of the family praised the sinner and wondered why the vitcim was so crazy. Fuck you all, seriously, for allowing Christianity to celebrate a multi-year child rapist for 40+ years and leave those of us who finally say enough is enough to be the outcasts.

I think I was going somewhere else with the thread of thought that started this post, but now I am here, pissed off at the more prominent Christians in my life. And sometimes we wonder why so much anger shows through this blog. It's because I've seen too many Christians, Muslims and Jews near to me and far away use religion to excuse acting in ways universally perceived as evil when not blessed by or later excused by God (with or without the victims' consent). Fuck all of you.

Oh yeah, I think the point I was headed for is that each person has their own individual religion or set of beliefs rather than a cohesive shared religion. Perhaps the shared parts are the forgiveness. "God forgave me, really, so I'm all right now." And everybody's happy...except the family pariah who was raped by her father for years and her family. But it's her fault because she hasn't accepted that God forgave the sinner. Guess she didn't get the memoBible.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Deep-fried Goat's Nuts

Since PraiseNull brought up Dawkins I might as well go ahead and get this off my chest and see if I can articulate it well enough to not look like a huge asshole.

Dawkins always that it takes religion to make good people do bad things. I'm not so sure about that. One of the things I've had a problem with for a long time is how can you really be all that good of a person if anything can talk you into doing something that bad? Religion gives bad people an excuse to do what they really want to do. Of course it's not as simple as that, so I'll flesh this out a little.

We all know that there are nuts on both sides of the fence. You can find athiest nuts(salted nuts) just as you can find religious nuts(deep-fried goat's nuts). These aren't the ones we're talking about really though because they're so far out there it doesn't matter what's happening or who they are because they'll always be nuts. Oh no, it's the middle of the road religious crazies I'm talking about here. The ones who look like you and me, and even to a degree talk like you and me, but they're definitely NOT you or me.

These are the people who think it's ok to tell a child that he's going to hell because he saw his aunt's tit when she came out of the bathroom. Or who are beating their kids because their grandma died on the fucking toilet and the parents left her there because god's gonna bring her back and the kids don't believe enough. The kids get beaten whenever the body smells because it's their disbelief (true news story, I swear). Or who have some guy fired from his job and now he can't feed his family because he doesn't believe in god. These people aren't out physically killing people, but they're far worse. Killing someone is a single act that ends a life, but it doesn't effect the public in general. And it takes a lot more planning and is harder to do in mass numbers. But fucking up somebody's life, well shit, you could do that several times and day and it's not only a lot easier, it's legal so you can be perfectly open about it.

These people who do these things think so little of human life that their victims are nothing to them. Do you really think they look at us as people? No, they look at us like ants or animals who just get in their way and need to be controlled. The big question though is why do they do these things? Do they really want to make us better? Do they just want to rule us so they can show everybody how much better they are than us? No, that's not even close.

The reason these people do these really mean things is because we have laws and they can't legally kill us anymore. Y, go ahead, I know what you're thinking. We've come a long way as a society and xtians don't really wanna kill us anymore. I'm afraid to say that's just a little naive. Listen to the way so many of these guys discuss god when you bring it up. It really doesn't take long for xtians to get really really upset. And I mean really really upset. They hate having to explain their god, and to justify their religion. Do you really think religion would have spread like it did if they weren't allowed to kill anyone who didn't believe? If logic and reason ruled there wouldn't be any religion today because nobody would have bought into the bullshit. It doesn't stand up to the simplest of tests.
But that's not what this is about.

Look guys, it's like this. If someone shows you who they are, believe it. And that's the problem we as athiests and as a society have. We refuse to believe what people are telling us about themselves. Sure, if we had a complete theocracy in America there wouldn't be religious killing right away. It would take a while. It might even take a couple decades for religious killings to be sanctioned by the state. But if you doubt anything I'm saying, then just look at the middle east. Look at Pakistan. People are all the same. We're not anymore moral than they are and our religion isn't any better than theirs. If people in America were given religious freedom to really practice the way the bible says, I guarantee you that you'd see a switch to the Old Testament again. Right now they're all leaning towards the New Testament, but that would change.

So if you can look past basic human compassion. If you can look past human suffering. If you can ignore a starving family. If you can overlook all of these things because your bible tells you to, then no, you're not a good person. You're an evil motherfucker who's really only being kept in check by the law. But given your teeth you would bite. Humans are all the same. That's one thing that the equal rights movement has taught us. So if you want us to not be bigots and treat everyone the same because deep down we're all the same people, then you have to accept the argument that any theocracy is just Pakistan waiting to happen.

Religion is nothing but justification for doing what you really wanna do to begin with. How can you honestly call yourself a good person when you allow something to turn off your compassion and emotions to real people? Hell, just a few yrs ago I was completely fucked over by a guy at work who claimed to a mega-xtian. As a result I got fired for something I like totally didn't do. He fucked me and he fucked my family. It's a good thing I'm good at what I do and I wasn't out of work long at all. But there's no way he could've known I wouldn't be unemployed long. And the thing is, he seemed like a nice enough guy. We hung out, we talked, we joked, etc. But when the chips were down, he fucked me. And he didn't lose a second's sleep over it. So Mike, here's to you, you xtian fuckshit motherfucker. Go fuck yourself. And I DO wish you a blessed day. I wish you all the god you can muster because I know what god is like. So the last laugh will be mine.

Faithinate has a friend right now who's really upset about the religious discussions they've been having online lately. Her friend is telling her what kind of person she is, but Faithinate still refuses to believe it. She's hoping she wrong. Trust me dear, your friend is exactly who she's telling you she is, so believe her.

I had more but I can't remember right now.

OK, take care guys...
Big dildo up your ass.

The Jesus Fallacy?

I'm reading Richard Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype. As far as I know it has nothing to do with atheism or religion, but a possible atheist insight hit me while reading it.

In arguing a particular point on genetic adaptation he brought up what he called the Concorde Fallacy, that sometimes a choice is made not on the results that may follow but on the effort put into the project so far. His biological example was of some sort of wasp that makes a burrow and collects katydids to feed the larvae. Sometimes two wasps will collect katydids in the same burrow and then fight over who keeps the burrow. Research bore out to his surprise that the wasps will fight with effort related to how many katydids they themselves collected rather than how many katydids in total are to be won which is the logical value of the burrow.

This brought into focus some thoughts I've had recently about Faithinate's atheism Facebook debates. It occurs to me that atheists in general--and certainly us three on this blog in particular--can and do question beliefs, value and even ourselves, and I sometimes wonder if that's why we're atheists: we question belief and come up with no compelling answers. The same arguments to be made for Christianity or other religions are no more compelling than things generally regarded as absurd such as alien abductions, UFO's, witchcraft, etc.

Sometimes I read accounts of Christians questioning their beliefs and then becoming rededicated. I don't see their compelling reasons, but I wonder if it's analogous to the Concorde Fallacy? Have they put so much time and effort into their beliefs that it's not worth dumping in the face of dubious evidence for and plenty against?

Faithinate recently brought up the question again of whether atheists are smarter in general than religious people. I don't want to believe that, and it's rather conceited, but then again we three seem to be relatively rare in the ability to objectively look at ourselves and fundamentally change if we deem necessary or desirable. Objectively the argument for Jesus over Horus or Ra or a secret government collaboration with space aliens are equally compelling--that is to say, hardly at all. Only personal testimony and dubious real evidence is available to show for them. That says a lot to me, but somehow the Christians we talk to can believe apparently unfailingly in God and Jesus while dismissing Wicca, Scientology, UFO's and hollow Earth "theory".

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Blindfold

I was talking to my mom again today (the southern baptist) and I was talking about how Jesus seems to be taken from the story of Horus. And she asked why it's so important for me to convert her to athiest and destroy her beliefs.
Well, I told her it's not necessarily about converting her as much as it's about seeing how much direct evidence she's willing to completely ignore. It seems that no matter what evidence comes to light and what proof you can offer, xtians are going to remain xtians no matter what.

Personally, I really can't comprehend that at all. Absolutely everywhere else people will change their minds if their wrong and it's ok. But in religion there's no way to change. Oh sure, you may get discouraged with one religion and switch, but you're still sticking with the program.
Seriously though... what the fuck does it take? How much evidence does it really take to make these assholes look up and say, wait, there can't be a god or jesus was a fake.

Along those same lines we were talking the other day about religion in this country, and this may be combining topics too much, and I was saying that we have all the freedom of religion here we could ever want. But what we don't have is freedom to NOT religion. This goes directly into my post from the other day and I really believe it. While the law officially protects us, public opinion doesn't and protecting the godless doesn't seem to be much of a priority. It's one of those laws that just gets overlooked when applied to athiests. You know, kinda like the separation of church and state gets overlooked when they pray at senate meetings or swear the president in on a bible. Or when the military refuses to promote someone to general because he's athiest, or someone can't get elected to public office because he doesn't pass the imaginary friend litmus. It's bullshit and there's nothing we can do about it. We're the new gays. I talked about this when we first started this blog. The reason we haven't put our names up here is because we're all professional people and we can't afford to have our careers effected. I've both heard stories and known a couple people who had problems in our professional community, and trouble finding jobs even. I even had someone tell me exactly of his trouble and advised me to never let out my religious beliefs unless I was ready to say I'm a specific religion.

So being godless in this country is strictly taboo. So what the fuck ever guys. If I ever start my own company or make my millions I'll proudly put my name up here and all those xtian fucks can suck my dick.

So anyway, that's all I've got now.

And until next time...
Big dildo up your ass.

Topical Scientology

I rarely read Fark any more, but I hopped on today and got this article, which is part 5 of a series I haven't read. The interviewer is asking a Scientologist about secret Scientology stuff, and a couple of his answers completely floored me...not because I'm surprised a Scientologist said it, but because it's a repeat of some of today's fun:

For you to talk to me, you as somebody who is not a Scientologist to talk to me about what my beliefs are or to ask me to explain any core religious belief, that's an offensive concept. Nobody should ever be asked to do that.

I was going to post quotes from the debate that mirror this, but I lost steam. Just trust me...this is a theme that comes up with Scientology nutcases AND everyday Christians near you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, asshole

So of course, the Facebook religion debates have degenerated, at least in one sector, into namecalling, hurt feelings, and a persecution complex. There's a lot I could talk about - I could give you specifics, I could rant about any of a number of things that came up in the course of the discussions and the post-game metadiscussion bitching...but there's one thing, ONE THING that bugs the shit out of me more than anything else. It's what still keeps cropping up in my head, long after all the "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" has quieted down, and it is this:

Why is it so acceptable for the atheist to discriminate against the christian? Something to ponder. There is so much prejudice against christians...hmmmm
Now, this isn't limited strictly to Christians. I've heard many the member of a majority group pull out the old Oh Woe Is Me, WHY is MY GROUP the only one that it's okay to persecute in America today?

Fuck. You.
Fuck. You.
Fuck you.

I'm serious...this has to be one of the most offensive things anyone has ever said within a 15 mile radius of me. And again, it's not just the Atheist/Christian dynamic here. It's men: "Oh sure, make fun of men. You can't pick on any other group, but go ahead and pick on the men." And white people. And, god, what else have I heard? There've been more, but it's always the people in the OMFG THERE ARE SO MANY OF YOU majority, whining and getting sand in their little vaginas.

And as much as I want to pull the Atheist card - it IS hard to come out of the closet, we do have to fear for violence and retribution and problems in our careers - even that really doesn't compare to other minority groups, even today. Talk to black people. Mexicans. Nearly anyone from a "brown people" country. Mixed race couples. Anybody gay.

Fucking seriously, you're going to pull the persecuted Christian shit on me? Let's talk when you can't wear the cross around your neck for fear of a beating. When every fucking piece of legislation that's pushed in an 8 year period takes away your rights, your funding, your education. Let's talk when kids in school are regularly beaten and sometimes killed for being Christian. Let's talk when your husband can't get a job because he let it slip on MySpace that he loves Jesus.

In short, fuck you.


This persecution complex, by the way, came about because I had a great in-person religious discussion with a couple of friends, and we agreed we should continue online. Then we did, along with several other people, and one friend got VERY upset because (suprise!) I don't agree with or comprehend her religion, and expressed why in a series of online discusions. While I was very calm, fair, and rational in those discussions (and the postgame), I come here to rant and blow off steam. *MOTHERFUCKING SIGH*

The Bigot Manifesto

I'm always torn when I go to write posts like this because I have a lot to say, but I don't want to publish a novel and make you guys read it. So I'm stuck between being too brief to be interesting and witty and being too windy for the internet. I'll try to strike a happy medium.

This isn't necessarily a pure athiest topic, but it definitely has roots in the differences between religion and secular behavior.

What I'm talking about is how we view foreigners. It's very interesting that here in America anyone who comes from another country and is a lot browner than we are is instantly objectified into some kind of animal. Just look at how most of us view anyone from the middle east. They're either terrorists or animals who deserve anything they get. This is reflected by our government as well as many Americans. We don't trust them, and we have little to no sympathy for anything that happens to them because they bring it on themselves.

Faithinate and I were talking about that just this morning. We really don't see these people as human a lot of times. They get pidgeon-holed into these stereotypes and we really don't even care to look any further.
At the end of our conversation she asked what it would take for this attitude to change. I thought for a few seconds and I remembered something that happened to me at a conference in Seattle just a couple weeks ago.

I was with a whole group of my friends when a guy came up that I had never met before. A couple guys in the group knew him and said hi so he was at least known by someone there. I'll tell you though that I looked at him and made some instant judgements about him. His name was Mohamed (or something close to that, don't remember exactly to be honest) and he had that long scraggly beard with no mustache that a lot of the really religious middle-easterners wear. He had on one of those little hats too. Not the yamaka, but the other one that you always see these religious nuts wearing on CNN. And frankly, he just looked like one of those assholes who does nothing but preach about how all Americans are going to die unless we turn our lives over to Islam, etc.

Well, someone was telling a story and it took a couple mins for it to end and when it was over someone looked at Mohamed and said, so what's up man, how's it going?
This is when I expected a terse answer that was just barely polite, but instead I got a huge surprise. Mohamed said something similar to... hey man, things are just fucked up at work, and I almost couldn't come because my daughter has the flu, etc... after all this time I can't believe how surprised I was to find out he was just a normal guy like me.

So this is where I get back to the story with Faithinate. The way to change the perceptions that all brownies aren't real people and that they deserve whatever they get is to have normal interaction with them. Get to know them. Learn what they think. They want their kids to be safe just like we do. They want to make money, play with their kids, save for retirement, and have a good dinner just like we do. They're not the enemy. And they don't deserve what's happening to them a lot of times over there. So the answer is as it always is... get to know them. And the only thing that's going to make that possible right now is immigration. The more they immigrate here the more we'll interact with them and the more we'll come to see them as people and not just objects who are all bent on killing us.

Unfortunately though it's just not that easy. There's a lot of dogma in those middle eastern countries that makes these people who they are. Yes, they're just like us in that their lives and the lives of their families are just as important to them as ours is to us. That's actually what's meant by 'all men are created equal'... not that we're all on the same level physically or mentally, etc. Anyway though, that was a useless digression. But there are some major differences in our dogma. They choose to follow a religion that's filled with violence and has lead that part of the world to be one of the most intolerant in history. Their religion doesn't tolerate outsiders and they take offense at absolutely everything. So the cultures are so different it's really difficult to really identify with them as people. Even though you can get to know them and may be even like them to a degree, there's really a lot to get past before you could ever really be close close friends with someone that different culturally.

A few years ago I worked with another guy from the middle east whom I liked very much. I actually got to know him pretty well throughout the months we worked together and I considered him a friend. His sister also worked with us and she was smart and pretty. I liked her pretty well too and actually would've dated her given the chance. Then one day it happened. You know what I mean, that one thing that happens to show you what someone's really like. His sister accepted a date with an American guy she had been talking to for a few weeks. Her brother forbid her to go on the date and was ordered to go home on the spot and wait for him. I didn't see her for a couple more days and when I did I noticed she wouldn't make eye contact with anyone. She was timid and quiet. I asked my friend what had happened and he proudly told me that he had to remind her who she was and that she doesn't do anything without asking him first. Seriously dude, this is a real deal killer for me. I can't be friends with anyone who treats women like that. And what's worse is MOST middle eastern men treat their women like property.

So it's really not as easy as I made it sound in the beginning. In theory it is, but in practice, there's a lot to overcome because culturally there's a big difference between us. And of course, it's their dogma that makes them treat women the way they do. I don't understand why any woman would ever want to belong to any religion because none of them treat women like people... but that's another post.

And this is largely the fault of the media. You almost never hear about anyone from the middle east who isn't trying to kill us. I don't think I've ever seen anything on TV that shows them as peace-loving, honest, humble, normal people. They're always blood-thirsty animals out to destroy us in our homes (ala Bush). Sometimes you see Arabic rights groups talking about how they're just the same as we are, and that Arabic women enjoy sex and have a free sexuality a lot the same as we do, but you never actually see that. You never see women in the middle east in any other position other than being completely covered up and treated like fucking pets. So it's easy to say Arabic women have these qualities, but it's never shown to us by the media. That's probably because it doesn't suit their purpose of creating animosity so we can keep a war going. There's nothing the media has to gain by showing us how we're alike enough to get along. They need us to be as different as possible.

So let's try to look past some of these cultural stereotypes that are pushed on us by the media and start getting to know these guys as people. Because they are.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Unpolished rant: The Bible is not Clear

Understanding what God wants from you shouldn't be that difficult. People like to say that God is the parent and we're the children, so let's go with that. I try to make it VERy clear to my kids what the rules are; what's okay, and what's not so okay, what's praiseworthy and what's absolutely forbidden.

Of course I give my kids leeway; have some freedom, even have the opportunity to screw up. But I don't let them damage themselves or others. I stop them before they run out in front of cars, before they pour boiling water on themselves.

This God I grew up with, He's fine with His children maiming, raping, and killing each other. He only makes a few of the rules clear, and those aren't all of the important ones (so "honor your parents" made the 10 commandments cut, but "don't hurt children" didn't? How about "don't rape"? "Don't betray"?) We're left with huge debates on whether being gay is a sin (Leviticus says yes, the 21st century says no), whether divorce and contraception and premarital sex are wrong, on and on.

And there's a key difference here. If we're really His children, and therefore too stupid (immature, not godly, whatever) to know the mind of God, then why do we get to CHOOSE whether to BE His children? My kids aren't allowed to say YOU'RE not my MOM...


The gentle slope from "superChristian" to agnostic to considering paganism to here, at atheism, has for me been an incremental journey of clarification. Again and again, I've had these large and small "Oh, I SEE!" moments. One of the most significant of those moments came some months back when SJ, PraiseNull and I all realized that we were capital-A Atheists. Reading Dawkins (and other authors) and watching his lectures have provided many more OHISEE! moments. And now, we have these conversations I've started up on Facebook.

We never reach a consensus, of course, but as always, typing out my thoughts helps me see what I really think much better. So here are a few things I've solidified in my online talks:

- I think that morality is a natural result of evolution and society; it's easy enough to see that, over time, people must have begun to disapprove of things that they didn't want done to themselves and their kin. The more we all agree not to kill and steal and rape each other, the happier we'll all be.

- I think there are degrees of Christianity, and I tend to dislike people who are less conservative (the Bible is the inerrant word of God, all that stuff actually happened, the Earth is 6,000 years old) and tend to be friends with the more liberal (much of the OT is irrelevant, evolution yah, yay hippie Jesus).

- I have a really hard time ditching my preconceived notion that Atheists are, generally speaking, better educated and more intelligent than religious types.

- I realize that being Atheist doesn't necessarily mean you actually share the same beliefs; it only guarantees that you share one specific disbelief. So I make sure to tell people I debate that I do NOT speak for all Atheists.

- I should probably start calling myself an Atheist-Humanist.

- We watched Religulous last night, and it was better than I'd hoped. It double-solidified this feeling I've had that I can't be a closet Atheist, that I have to talk to people about it.

- I believe that irrationality shouldn't be a virtue; it leads to all kinds of problems. I find it strange that I have to say that, and explain to people why.

That's good for starters...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Irreverently" Denying Jesus?

Word usage can be entertaining. I was just following some link chains starting with the blogs linked from here and wound up at Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun" which is a web comic I've seen before. What caught my eye was an ad for "The God Who Wasn't There".

The ad quotes a Newsweek review: "Irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed." I am curious: is it possible to deny the existence of Jesus Christ with reverence? Please type for me how that would look.

"With all due respect, your religion is bunk." Nah, it's not quite working. Certainly anyone who believes in Christ would find the argument against irreverent, but even from the side of atheism is it possible to present the argument in a "reverent" manner?

Is the Lard In You?

Apparently a woman took a liking to me on a job site this week. I was working in a business inside of a grocery store and wandered out into the store for a quick break and some snacks. Her opening line I heard as "is the lard in you?" I realized she was saying "is The Lord in you" and that pretty much ruined the chance of that conversation going anywhere. She wasn't cute, but I'm not picky lately, but that wasn't the way to start with me!

Or maybe she was just calling me fat.

Really, to we have to start with religion? I don't meet people and say "have you realized God is bullshit?" Hmmm, maybe I should start...

Actually I kind of wish I were religious because that gave me a new idea for a pickup line: "Do you have a little lord in you? Would you like one?"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just believe SOMETHING!!

I find it something that the religious in the world (this country especially) need you to believe in a god. Any god, any kind of god will do, but you absolutely have to believe in something. I mean, how can you not believe in anything?

It's really strange that you don't have to have the same religious beliefs as the people you're talking to and you don't even have to agree that the same god exists. But to not believe in one at all makes you an outcast to the point where you're put on social trial. It's like all of your organs are on the outside of your body because you didn't feel like you needed a creator who knew where everything was supposed to go. So you just left it up to nature and now look what happened.

A lot of these are the same asswipes who insist that you drink with them at parties or do drugs with them in the back room. You don't have to be drinking beer, but you'd better be drinking something and it's a huge personal affront if you're not. For some reason their actions are only validated if you're doing something similar. Misery may love company but lunacy apparently requires it.

I'd like to also point out that these hypocrits don't even drink their own kool-aid. They aren't comfortable unless you belong to a god (again, it doesn't matter who it is), and they insist that you drink with them, but they would rather see you bitter and alone than in a gay relationship. For some reason that seems to be the exception to the rule. You're not allowed to be gay under any circumstance.

God Bless You

This is going to be fairly short because I really just wanted to bitch for a minute.

I'm getting really sick of these assholes who feel the need to bless me at random points of the day. One of those door-to-door meat guys came by a few days ago and on his departure he spouts 'god bless you'. Hey, fuck you prick!! Who the fuck do you think you are pushing your imaginary friend off onto me and what the fuck makes you think it's appropriate in a business transaction? Why haven't you idiots caught on to the fact that mixing religion and business isn't a good mix?

It's like those fuckers who stand on street corners and beg for money. They always feel the need to put god bless you on their fucking sign. Like I'm going to be swayed by that. I'm gonna feel some deep moral obligation because you hope your invisible friend will treat me well. And that's obviously going to mean money for you.

But this shit is everywhere. You can't go anywhere without a random waitress blessing you or without some grocery clerk assaulting you with her religion.

And I realize how you people feel. You're just being nice. You don't see it as an offense. But it has NO business in business. You have no idea who I am and whether or not I believe what you do. What if I did that? What if I picked something that's close to my heart and used it in my salutations to complete strangers.

Now let's see... what could I pick... ok, here's one...

"Good morning, dude."
"Hey, good morning, what's up?"
"Oh nothing, say, I've gotta go but we'll catch up later."
"OK, talk to you later. Big dildo up your ass!"

Now, I don't mean that as an insult. I happen to LOVE a big dildo up my ass. So I mean it as a compliment. But just because it's something I hold dear, and something I'm passionate about, and something I'm hoping everyone can experience, doesn't make it appropriate to use as a greeting with people at work or with strangers in public.

So if you ever get blessed by someone, just wish them a big dildo up their ass. I promise, you'll feel better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Legitimate religion

One thing that's really become apparent to me lately is that there's no standard for what constitutes a legitimate religion. Of course, we're not only starting to see what dangers something like that can hold, but it's at the very least an inconvenience.

Here's the thing... I can take my daughter to school in the morning and on the way we can concoct some bullshit religion with a bunch of stupid rules and there's not only nothing anyone can do about it, everyone is automatically legally and morally bound to respect it.

So if I go to a city counsel meeting and say it's against my religion to have chairs lined up in a row, then they've got a choice to make. They can either move all the chairs or they can risk a lawsuit by me because they're not honoring my religious beliefs. It's fucking ridiculous isn't it? But there's nothing anywhere that has even a vague guideline for legitimizing a religion. And a lot of the religions out there aren't even that old. Look at the mormons... that shit's a fucking joke started by a KNOWN con man. And yet it took hold and we have to honor it today.

And to me they're all ridiculous. I've lost the ability to see the difference between what's considered legitimate in religion. My mother tells me stories sometimes of stuff that goes on in other religions and she's always talking about how crazy it is that those people believe that shit. But it all sounds like bullshit to me. Her brand of bullshit is the same as theirs.
I mean really, what's the difference?

Nonreligious Now 15% of American Population

I'm staying at hotels a lot lately, and they keep putting USA Today newspapers at my door. They don't seem to take the hint when I don't touch them for a couple of days...the cleaning crew keeps bringing them in and stacking them in my room. Whatever.

But a headline caught my eye recently. This USA Today article says that "Nones" now make up 15% of the American population, up from 8% in 1990. "Nones" is their cute term for those who answer "none" to survey questions asking their religious affiliation.

I am a bit surprised but certainly encouraged. About the "Nones", not about the freakin' newspapers they keep piling up in my rooms.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Evil, Religion and Atheism

Would Christians would be as evil as they think atheists are if they suddenly lost their faith? If they had no fear of god or believed there was no afterlife would they act like dicks?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Irrational Fear of Donating Organs

I will admit I have not yet signed up to donate my organs after death. I really should do that. For the longest time I avoided it because of some weird irrational feeling that I may somehow need my body after I'm gone even though I've never actually believed that.

I think now it's just procrastination that's kept me from filling out the organ donor stuff. After all I haven't renewed my passport yet, either, and I have no irrational fear of leaving the country.

After Life: Oblivion?

In Faithinate's debate and Lewis Black's book I noticed that at least these two people can't accept the idea that there is nothing after death. I suppose at one time that bothered me, but I really don't worry about it anymore.

I have seen no evidence that anything--aside from a corpse and others' memories--will be left of me after I die. And if there is something, how am I expected to prepare for it with no information?

I certainly have no memory of anything that happened before this life. As far as I know nothing that defines who and what I am existed before I was born, and that doesn't seem to bother anyone. Besides, if oblivion really is what happens after death then I will be unable to care, won't I?

I think the thing that really got me over worrying about the afterlife is that billions of people have already died and faced whatever happens next, if anything. Whatever will happen has been happening and will continue to happen. Until I have some verifiable information I don't see the point of using what life I have to worry about what comes next.

And if you're curious, yeah, from the information I have my best guess is that we just "wink out".

Debating God: What kind of atheist am I?

Atheism is not evil. Atheism is not a religion. Atheism isn't a cohesive framework of beliefs outside of "there is/are no god(s)" or "I have yet to see compelling proof of a god or gods".

I am not the type of person who can change another's belief. I've had no success doing it in the past, and it is excruciatingly annoying to me to try. Besides, if one person believes in god and the other doesn't it is hard to make a point that the other will respect. Or so it seems in the few online debates I've read so far.

I also observe it's hard to make a statement about the opposition without offending them deeply. An atheist tries to separate goodness or morality from god and a Christian thinks you're about to nail them to a cross. A Christian makes a point from the stance of god/Jesus/the bible says, and the atheist is offended at the implicit suggestion that correct judgement cannot exist outside of god--or the particular god the opponent wants to believe in.

I find it interesting how people try to tell you what you think when you don't believe in god. I guess the Christians think the same thing when you quote the Bible at them, but I didn't point to a book and say it's the basis of my beliefs; they did. As far as I can tell each religious person has their own personal religion and pretends that there is cohesion with the rest of Christians (or whoever). Until you try to bring up the Spanish Inquisition, Crusades or other problematic causes in the name of religion. But as far as I can tell atheists generally make no presumption about other atheist's beliefs.

So, what kind of atheist am I? I'm not the type that wants to convince religious folks that their god doesn't exist. I can have a conversation, but at my age I'm not interested in being converted. If you're interested in how people can live without god and manage not to rape children or conquer Europe in the process I can talk to you. However I am annoyed when atheism is associated with evil or foolishness. Religion does not have a monopoly on morality.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Debates with Christians - If there is no God?

This is the second big debate thread I've had online (actually a friend started it). I thought I'd post it here for funsies.

If there is no God?
After a discussion I was having the other night a friend sent me this article by Dennis Prager...
Good reading.

We are constantly reminded about the destructive consequences of religion -- intolerance, hatred, division, inquisitions, persecutions of "heretics," holy wars. Though far from the whole story, they are, nevertheless, true. There have been many awful consequences of religion.

What one almost never hears described are the deleterious consequences of secularism -- the terrible developments that have accompanied the breakdown of traditional religion and belief in God. For every thousand students who learn about the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials, maybe two learn to associate Gulag, Auschwitz, The Cultural Revolution and the Cambodian genocide with secular regimes and ideologies.

For all the problems associated with belief in God, the death of God leads to far more of them.

So, while it is not possible to prove (or disprove) God's existence, what is provable is what happens when people stop believing in God.

1. Without God there is no good and evil; there are only subjective opinions that we then label "good" and "evil." This does not mean that an atheist cannot be a good person. Nor does it mean that all those who believe in God are good; there are good atheists and there are bad believers in God. It simply means that unless there is a moral authority that transcends humans from which emanates an objective right and wrong, "right" and "wrong" no more objectively exist than do "beautiful" and "ugly."

2. Without God, there is no objective meaning to life. We are all merely random creations of natural selection whose existence has no more intrinsic purpose or meaning than that of a pebble equally randomly produced.

3. Life is ultimately a tragic fare if there is no God. We live, we suffer, we die -- some horrifically, many prematurely -- and there is only oblivion afterward.

4. Human beings need instruction manuals. This is as true for acting morally and wisely as it is for properly flying an airplane. One's heart is often no better a guide to what is right and wrong than it is to the right and wrong way to fly an airplane. The post-religious secular world claims to need no manual; the heart and reason are sufficient guides to leading a good life and to making a good world.

5. If there is no God, the kindest and most innocent victims of torture and murder have no better a fate after death than do the most cruel torturers and mass murderers. Only if there is a good God do Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler have different fates.

6. With the death of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many Westerners believe in little. That is why secular Western Europe has been unwilling and therefore unable to confront evil, whether it was Communism during the Cold War or Islamic totalitarians in its midst today.

7. Without God, people in the West often become less, not more, rational. It was largely the secular, not the religious, who believed in the utterly irrational doctrine of Marxism. It was largely the secular, not the religious, who believed that men's and women's natures are basically the same, that perceived differences between the sexes are all socially induced. Religious people in Judeo-Christian countries largely confine their irrational beliefs to religious beliefs (theology), while the secular, without religion to enable the non-rational to express itself, end up applying their irrational beliefs to society, where such irrationalities do immense harm.

8. If there is no God, the human being has no free will. He is a robot, whose every action is dictated by genes and environment. Only if one posits human creation by a Creator that transcends genes and environment who implanted the ability to transcend genes and environment can humans have free will.

9. If there is no God, humans and "other" animals are of equal value. Only if one posits that humans, not animals, are created in the image of God do humans have any greater intrinsic sanctity than baboons. This explains the movement among the secularized elite to equate humans and animals.

10. Without God, there is little to inspire people to create inspiring art. That is why contemporary art galleries and museums are filled with "art" that celebrates the scatological, the ugly and the shocking. Compare this art to Michelangelo's art in the Sistine chapel. The latter elevates the viewer -- because Michelangelo believed in something higher than himself and higher than all men.

11. Without God nothing is holy. This is definitional. Holiness emanates from a belief in the holy. This explains, for example, the far more widespread acceptance of public cursing in secular society than in religious society. To the religious, there is holy speech and profane speech. In much of secular society the very notion of profane speech is mocked.

12. Without God, humanist hubris is almost inevitable. If there is nothing higher than man, no Supreme Being, man becomes the supreme being.

13. Without God, there are no inalienable human rights. Evolution confers no rights. Molecules confer no rights. Energy has no moral concerns. That is why America's Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed "by our Creator" with certain inalienable rights. Rights depend upon a moral source, a rights giver.

14. "Without God," Dostoevsky famously wrote, "all is permitted." There has been plenty of evil committed by believers in God, but the widespread cruelties and the sheer number of innocents murdered by secular regimes -- specifically Nazi, Fascist and Communist regimes -- dwarfs the evil done in the name of religion.

As noted at the beginning, none of this proves, or even necessarily argues for, God's existence. It makes the case for the necessity, not the existence, of God. "Which God?" the secularist will ask. The God of Israel, the God of America's founders, "the Holy God who is made holy by justice" (Isaiah), the God of the Ten Commandments, the God who demands love of neighbor, the God who endows all human beings with certain inalienable rights, the God who is cited on the Liberty Bell because he is the author of liberty. That is the God being referred to here, without whom we will be vanquished by those who believe in less noble gods, both secular and divine. Written 7 hours ago - Comment - LikeUnlike - Report Note
Michelle at 5:58pm March 5
Good article. Don't forget to credit the author. :)
Andrea at 7:19pm March 5
oh yeah I meant to do that... busy busy day here.
author Dennis Prager
Kellie at 8:08pm March 5
Although I had to look up the word "hubris", I like # 12. I already hear it in the conversations I have had on this topic.
Andrea at 8:10pm March 5
amen to that sister! (listen to me preaching lol)
Faithinate at 8:58pm March 5
Oh my word, my head hurts....I will reply...
Kellie at 9:02pm March 5
ha-ha-ha. Is this round 2 or 3? I am losing count :)
Faithinate at 9:07pm March 5
Replying to the conclusory paragraph first: God is not necessary. The God of Israel "endows all human beings with certain inalienable rights"? Let's start with the right to life, and talk about the vast numbers of people God condemned to death, EVEN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. A few examples:

1 Corinthians
- If you defile the temple of God, God will destroy you. 3:17
- Paul claims that God killed 23,000 in a plague for "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab 10:8
- If you murmur, you'll be destroyed by the destroyer (God). 10:10
- God will not forgive us unless we shed the blood of some innocent creature. 9:13-14, 22
- Those who disobeyed the Old Testament law were killed without mercy. It will be much worse for those who displease Jesus. 10:28-29
- The Israelites kept the passover and sprinkled blood on doorposts so hat God wouldn't kill their firstborn children (like he did the Egyptians in Exodus 12:29).
11:28 Faithinate at 9:13pm March 5
That's just for starters, but you get the idea. Even by NT standards, this is not a loving God, but still a bloodthirsty God.

To address something that stands out in EVERY religious discussion I had; whether or not Hitler was an Atheist (I need to find the article explaining his actual beliefs, he did believe in God), his loony ideas and despicable actions in no way reflect a godless society, but rather a very disturbed and overly powerful man who came to power in a desperate place at a desperate time. HE WAS A BLOODY LOONY, HE'S NOT ONE OF US. We've agreed before, Andrea, that in any sufficiently large group, there will be the crackpot end of the spectrum that are capable of doing horrible things. I further posit that ANY philosophy, theology, methodology, given enough time and popularity, can enable mankind's inner demons (so to speak). The question is whether that philosophy etc TENDS TO ENCOURAGE evil behavior. I believe that most major religions do, whereas Atheism.....
Kellie at 9:15pm March 5
God gives life, but He is the ultimate creator and also has the ability to take away as He deems necessary. Also, we can pick verses out of the Bible all day to lend credence to our own beliefs, just as we could disect each others sentences (completely out of context) to make our own meanings.
Faithinate at 9:19pm March 5
...and the Atheist movement (can we call it that?) tends to encourage humanity, equality, progress, etc. Does religion do NO good? No, of course not. There's a mission house just up the street that feeds, clothes, and gives medical attention to the homeless. We have that capacity for good in us, and as time goes on I think we will see an increase in "godlessness", and more secular charities and programs.
But I digress. For #1, I've already discussed how there IS good and evil without gods; you're essentially arguing that we're too stupid to naturally come to the conclusion that you should be kind to kids, you should condemn things like theivery, murder, and rape because you wouldn't want those things to happen to you, etc etc. Humans have evolved, society has evolved, and we can clearly see (even in the Bible) that morals have evolved.
Kellie at 9:20pm March 5
Hey Jen, I don't think that its major religions that encourage evil behavior, but rather, they are the perfect tool to manipulate people.
Faithinate at 9:21pm March 5
Put those verses in context, Kellie, and see how many of them come out the exact same way; God condones killing, God metes out eternal punishment (that's a Biblical reference to a very real hell, Andrea!) for nonbelievers, God has again and again ordered the slaughter of entire cities, including women and babies. This isn't picking and choosing, this is your book, and your God. You begin to see why this is upsetting to me.
Faithinate at 9:26pm March 5
"Without God, there is no objective meaning to life." As an Atheist, I have the joy of making my life mean what I want it to mean. I realize that Xtians have some latitude there, but ultimitely your life is about serving God and going to Heavan. I'll leave it there for now, lots more points to go.

"Life is ultimately a tragic fare if there is no God." Sure, you can think of it that way. There's certainly a lot of suffering; I still say it's better than well more than 9/10 of the population of the Earth burning for all eternity because they believed in Zeus, or Allah, or were born Jewish.

With these two points, you're essentially saying that life's no good if you can't believe in God, much like a child might consider Christmas sucky if there weren't a Santa Clause. Is it really that bad to learn that it was only people all along? Moving right along to...
Kellie at 9:32pm March 5
Jen, so what do you believe happens after death? Is it just over? This is a serious question, it isn't meant to be sarcastic...
Faithinate at 9:33pm March 5
"4. Human beings need instruction manuals." We might be able to agree on this, but I gotta say, the Bible is the WORST instruction manual ever. It's uninclusive, contradictory, ambiguous, and filled with cruelty and horrors almost too great to discuss. Talk about cherrypicking; "love thy neighbor", absolutely. But I say again; society evolves, morals evolve. You grow and learn your own personal code. Let's write a new manual, and update it as the times evolve. In Version 1.0, let's be sure to include equality for women, all the races, protection for children, and warnings against unneccessary violence. The heart and reason, and personal reflection in the context of global societal morals, ARE sufficient guides to leading a good life and to making a good world. -----------------------------
Faithinate at 9:36pm March 5
Kellie, I think it's highly likely that there's nothing after death. I like to think that there's so much about the world and universe we don't yet understand, who knows? Maybe an afterlife is possible, but I think the reward/punishment dynamic is so far unlikely as to be nigh well impossible.
Kellie at 9:44pm March 5
God has the ability to do as He pleases, He is the creator of us all. However, that right is not given to mankind (unless specifically commanded by Him). It has been and always will be abused by some individuals, regardless of what religion or lack of. For Pete's sake, the Catholic church use to sell "salvation" because they wanted more money. These are not acts of God, but rather of man left to his own devices. We can argue religion all day and never have any impact on each others stances. However, I don't think that any of us can argue that mankind is capable of an absurd level of cruelyt and greed.
Kellie at 9:45pm March 5
I also don't think that we can argue with my amazing gramatical capabilities (seriously, can I spell anything right today :)
Kellie at 9:47pm March 5
Thanks Jen. I didn't know what an Athiest's beliefs were about death and I never have time to look anything up anymore.
Kellie at 9:47pm March 5
Goodnight all. Have fun with your conversation.
Faithinate at 9:51pm March 5
#5 says that we want there to be ultimate justice; while yes, I agree that would be wonderful, it's a fairy tale. Life can be random and cruel, absolutely. The god of the Bible is purposefully cruel, which is infinitely worse. If we're looking to god for justice, why do we need a justice system? We've grown to the point where we have an organized system in the quest for justice; as time goes on, the system will improve worldwide. We'll never make life fair, but it shows the relative sophistication of the human spirit that we make the attempt and put so much weight on justice.

I think #6 shows a very cursory, almost flippant, understanding of Wester European history, and it makes my head hurt to think about trying to address it. The single-cause theory of history is ludicrous, like a single-cause theory of behavioral analysis. My head hurts, ouch. ONWARD!!!
Faithinate at 9:52pm March 5
Atheists don't have a unified belief in anything, necessarily. We're united by the understanding that gods don't exist. After that, you really have to ask the individual what he/she believes.
Faithinate at 10:03pm March 5
"Religious people in Judeo-Christian countries largely confine their irrational beliefs to religious beliefs (theology), while the secular, without religion to enable the non-rational to express itself, end up applying their irrational beliefs to society, where such irrationalities do immense harm."

This makes me want to cry. I'm guessing that Christians (or at least the author) thinks that irrational thought is good, as long as it's about God?!

That aside...you express your non-rationality in religion, which NEVER EVER EVER impacts society (WTF??). You believe in an invisible guy in the sky that tells you to hate gays, shun nonbelievers, etc etc. Whereas if I as an atheist want to indulge in the non-rational, I can argue with my husband about whether or not he should bring me flowers because I got the disposal fixed. Or go on a ghost hunt. Or see a freakin' movie, for dog's sake.

Faithinate at 10:15pm March 5
"8. If there is no God, the human being has no free will." *Sigh* Nice try...you guys were sick of the rest of us saying that the existence of God would mean no free will, eh? Sure, genes can predispose some behavior (you're saying that's not true if you believe in God?) And environment definitely does; otherwise, children of Christian parents would randomly turn out to be Atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc. from a very young age. Predisposition and environment affect a person, surely, but it doesn't take away free will. People think, grow, change, experience...we're people, we have freedom of choice.

It becomes ridiculous, the things you have to say out loud.
Faithinate at 10:20pm March 5
"9. If there is no God, humans and "other" animals are of equal value." The joy of having, by an insanely tiny chance, even begun to exist should be quite enough to make you feel special. No? Okay, well, how about being able to write? The ability to use tools, travel internationally, go to space? Not ringing any bells? You seriously can't come up with ANYTHING to say to your kids when (God forbid, hah), they ask you "Hey Mom, am I better than a dog?"

And by the way, I think the Bible devalues animals far too much. They're there for us to eat and use and sacrifice whenever god gets pissy, or hungry, or something. PETA should be secular, if they're not.
Faithinate at 10:41pm March 5
"10. Without God, there is little to inspire people to create inspiring art." I'm not artist, and already I can think of a myriad of inspiring things that I'd love to paint, or sculpt, or communicate through art. My love for my children (and theirs for me), the incredible beauty of the world and universe, the mysteries of same, the complex relationships of my friends and family, my dreams and goals, on and on and on. Just because a few people made blasphemous or disgusting art pieces, that doesn't invalidate secular art.

So, was Pablo Picasso a religious artist? Most of Manet's career was of non-religious matter. Ditto Monet. Michelangelo was commissioned by the church to do the Sistine Chapel and others, and it is well believed he was gay. There's plenty of beautiful religious art, and plenty more secular.
Faithinate at 10:41pm March 5
More later, I'm done for tonight. Good times, in all.
Aimee at 10:55pm March 5
Intersting article. On the whole atheist vs. believers topic, I was very interested to read what the ATheist code (or whatever it was called) was that Nicole posted. I feel these values are much the essence of Christianity-of what Jesus taught. Isn't that ironic?

I don't feel I can argue (nor am I really interested in trying to convince anyone else that feels as passionately as you do Jen)that there is no God, because honestly I'm not that talented. I'm no biblical scholar. However I do find the discussion fascinating from the standpoint of what people that have differing beliefs from me think, feel and believe on this and other topics. I know there is a God. I can't say how, I just do. Of all the things in my life I have been unsure about, my belief in GOd has never been one of them. I am certainly glad I live in a country that protects the rights of atheists and christians, etc. alike. I truly believe that people HAVE be able to choose to believe in God ...
Faithinate at 11:01pm March 5
It's cool Aimee, I don't have to debate EVERYone :}

So there is a God. Why THIS one? And why do you get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are relevant, and which ones God thinks it's okay for you to ignore? You don't have to answer, I just want you to think about it.

And I agree; I think it's wonderful, and we're very lucky, to live in a country where you and I can beleive whatever we damn well want to and talk about it when/wherever we want. Incredible, wonderful.Aimee at 11:04pm March 5
or not in order to have a personal relationship with him. It is funny even to myself how much faith I have that there is a God because I grew up with a Catholic mom who still holds fast to the thinking that she's a Catholic and how important that is based on two things #1 her devotion to her Catholic mom and #2 the guilt she was raised with in the church. Honestly, she's a Catholic in word much more than deed. I would say she is a Christian, by deed for sure. We went to church sporadically, I don't think I ever heard my mom pray to God other than the prayers you are taught in Catholic church, etc. I don't attend church regularly although I don't think it is a bad idea to do so. I don't take the bible word for word, for the most part. I just think of it as a guidebook to life written by man, therefore some parts I think of as more a product of the times in which it was written. I don't believe the Bible is to be worshipped. I'm not really religious but I am deeply spiritual.Aimee at 11:10pm March 5
It seems to me (and I am counting on you setting me straight here it I am interpreting this wrong, Jen.) that most of your problems lie with religion. Do you see God and religion as the same?

An Jesus Christ (that "some invisible guy in the sky") does not tell me to hate anyone nor to shun anyone. It is quite the opposite. Jesus spent his adult life embracing those that were being shunned.

I can tell you why I get to pick which parts are relevent and which parts to ignore...because He gave the me free will to do so just as He has given you the free will to not believe in Him. I may be right and I may be wrong in being so picky-choosy, but for now & where I am in my journey, this IS what I do. -----------------------------
Faithinate at 12:22am March 6
"most of your problems lie with religion." Sure, I'd say that's accurate, especially since I don't believe in God, or god, or gods. I don't have a problem with God any more than I have a problem with Allah, or Ra, or angry purple unicorns. You can't be pissed off at a concept (not rationally anyway). God is not the same as religion, God is the concept around which religion is based. I think religion causes a lot of problems; I think God is ridiculously unlikely.

Jesus is your friend, your savior, your personal messiah, right? And he's perfect, he's everything you'd want in a friend/savior. He listens to everything you have to say, knows everything about you, loves you unconditionally, would (and has) give his very life for you. And there's a book about him (several, in fact, bound into one), but only some of it applies, and the deciding factor in what applies and in what doesn't is your existing moral code and intuition. If we changed the word "Jesus" for "talking goat" or
Faithinate at 12:28am March 6
"leprachaun", then we'd call it an interesting fantasy life (for a kid) or a delusion (for an adult). Why does everything about Him get to be completely subjective? Why does the OT not count for some people? Why do people get to interpret passages any which way they want to? That's not religion, that's art.

Jesus shunned...here are 2 examples from Matthew (there are lots more): Jesus tells his disciples to keep away from the Gentiles and Samaritans, and go only to the Israelites. 10:5-6

Cities that neither "receive" the disciples nor "hear" their words will be destroyed by God. It will be worse for them than for Sodom and Gomorrah. And you know what God supposedly did to those poor folks (see Gen.19:24). 10:14-15
Faithinate at 12:29am March 6
There's lots more at http://skepticsannotatedbible.com

Anyway, I know you didn't want a big debate, just replying. And I can't stress enough that I don't...necessarily...MIND that you guys believe in God. You have different experiences and different mindsets. But little of it makes sense to me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh grow the Fuck Up!

Man there’s nothing that’ll get me going faster than someone who won’t entertain even a basic argument on their beliefs. Faithinate recently wrote a short note on Facebook that was clearly meant to enflame someone. She wrote that religion hijacks morality [paraphrased]. Now, as much as I agree with this on so many levels, she has a friend who clearly doesn’t agree and in fact it turns out she’s a pretty strong xtian. So of course the first thing she does is get offended and start saying that we need to respect her religion and basically everything about it.
So it got blown up after that by me and a couple other people who chimed in and while I’m not going to bore you with the same old arguments you all know, I’ll just say that after all this time in the discussion she’s not even willing to entertain any kind of question that the original statement may be right. And in fact, she got into this ridiculous diatribe that her religion is really the new testament and that the old testament doesn’t count. And that her god was generous and loving and how much she loves him with all her heart yada-yada-yada. You guys know all that fucking rhetoric that menas nothing at all to anyone, including the person saying it.
But to me, it’s offensive that these people can’t even entertain a basic argument about their faith. Faith is faith, but unexamined faith is nothing. And it means nothing unless you examine it. They act like being xtian is the same as being gay. You’re either born that way or you’re not. There is no choice in the matter. So to question it is futile because it’s what you are. When you’re really full of shit is what you are. Seriously, if you can’t put your religion up to even the simplest scrutiny then what do you honestly believe in? If you can admit that your religion isn’t perfect then there should be no reason you can’t look at it with a critical eye and say when something’s clearly not right. How hard is that? It doesn’t weaken your faith in the least to question how it’s practiced.
Anyway, the whole thing ended by her saying she’s pray for me… pray that I’d be able to open my mind. That’s a fucking gas. She won’t even discuss the simplest topics about her religion that do anything but praise it, and I need to open my mind. And I’ll say again…religion turns off your brain.