Friday, 28 August 2009

Creation Science 101

With the impending 150th anniversary of the release of Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species, I thought I would share this classic video for those who haven't yet seen it, it is really funny. After the unbelievable anger I have at the Living Waters religious group for their butchering of The Origin of Species, this video helped lighten my mood. More on the Living Waters stunt later, if I can stop convulsing and swearing in absolute anger and disgust of over what they are doing, which you can read about for yourself here.

Also on a side note, I am currently moving house, so it could be a few days before I can post again, due to issues getting the internet hooked up at the new place. So, until I post again, have a pleasant dogma free weekend!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Sam Harris with Bill Maher

Special thanks to J.L.K. for pointing this video out to me.

This a good little discussion between Sam Harris and Bill Maher. I have to say that I really like Sam Harris and his ideas. His books, Letter to a Christian Nation and End of Faith, are both great. I can highly recommend these as a must read for anyone on the fence or looking for ammo in defending their non-theist lifestyle. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

Just to leave off here are a few of my favorite quotes from Sam Harris:

Nothing is more sacred than the facts.
The End of Faith (2004)

It is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window.
The End of Faith (2004)

The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe.
SALT talk 2005

Faith is what credulity becomes when it finally achieves escape velocity from the constraints of terrestrial discourse.
The End of Faith (2004)

Religious faith represents so uncompromising a misuse of the power of our minds that it forms a kind of perverse, cultural singularity—a vanishing point beyond which rational discourse proves impossible.
The End of Faith (2004)

The idea that any one of our religions represents the infallible word of the One True God requires an encyclopedic ignorance of history, mythology, and art even to be entertained.... Whatever their imagined source, the doctrines of modern religions are no more tenable than those which, for lack of adherents, were cast upon the scrap heap of mythology millennia ago.
The End of Faith (2004)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Hypocrisy in Free Speech

This may sound a little funny coming from an anonymous blogger, but this is exactly why I am anonymous. It has become increasingly obvious that theists do not afford us non-theists the same courtesy or rights that they themselves expect and often take for granted.

Take my life on Facebook for example, under the "Religion" question on my account I have used a quote from Robert G. Ingersoll : "Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery". I have been told by quite a number of family members (all of whom are quite religious) that I should remove the quote, that it is disrespectful of their religion. How is that any different than me claiming that their religion being put as "Evangelical" is disrespectful of my beliefs. I would never do such a thing, I respect their right to their own belief, but it seems that I, as a non-theist, am not afforded the same luxuries.

I often post links to interesting stories, sites and videos that have to do with religion, science & reason, as do a couple of my friends. Again we are told off for doing so, told that these videos and sites offend them. If they are so offensive then don't watch videos or visit the websites, is that so hard? When they post links to pro-religious sites and prayers and such and that is perfectly OK, but not when I do it. I don't know how many private (and a few public) messages I have gotten from family members telling me to tone down my "anti-christian rhetoric" and "my hateful message of atheism" while these same people have messages praising God in their status damn near every day! I do not openly attack God or their religion, I simply share poignant quotes, messages, videos, stories and links that make one think, question and learn, yet I am not allowed to have my say and they are?

I have recently been trying to watch what I post and I have actually held back a lot of what I would like to share, being afraid of rocking the boat, but enough is enough. As long as I am not being mean spirited or hateful why should I back down or be silenced in my beliefs, why should any of us? Our non-theist ways and beliefs are just as valid!

Ahhh hypocrisy; isn't it funny how it attaches itself to religion in so many different ways!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Abraham & Isaac - How do we know what is good?

I have seen a number of videos from these guys and this has got to be one of my favorites. My favorite line is "Like I have any chance of forming an independent basis of right and wrong outside the instructions of some supervisory being."

This is the kind of argument that so many Christians throw at us, "how can we know what is good without God". They seem to have absolutely no understanding of morality, ethics or empathy. A christian basing what is "good" on the Bible is an absolute joke! The bible is so full of hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism that any morally decent Christian has obviously never read the bible or they have used their own sense of right and wrong.

These people regularly tell us what we should read and believe in, and how we should act, yet it one probes deeply enough one will find that they themselves haven't read it, or if they have they don't believe it, understand it or follow many of its teachings themselves. That my friends is hypocrisy at its best.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

In God Dog We Trust

Recently, in a forum argument, a theist / believer made the statement that "The United States was Founded on the Christian God, that is why we are 'One Nation Under God' and why we have 'In God We Trust' on our money." There is so much wrong with that statement that I don't even know where to begin, it is a topic for another LONG post. What he said next though is what I want to
talk about today.

The person then went on to say "I can understand how you atheists would be offended by this since you don't believe in God, however I think it is more that you fear his existence and want to take others down with you."

I wont comment on his hateful statement that we want others to go to hell with us because that is just not true, the majority of atheists love their fellow man more than any Christian ever could. However I would like to comment on the statement that we are offended by the use of God in the national pledge, on our money and so on.

While I don't speak for the atheist community, I can say that personally I do not find it "offensive". Most atheists like myself find that it violates the whole separation of church and state and the secular values that this nation was founded on. The believers can argue any way they want, but the fact remains, The United States was formed as a secular nation. Yes, religion played a part (we came to America to escape religious oppression and intolerance), but the government was designed as, and always intended to be, secular.

The phrase "In God We Trust" occasionally appeared on our currency through out history, usually during times of great national strife, such as the Civil war, however it was never a mainstay on our printed or minted currency, nor was it ever a national motto. Like it or not our Motto is "E Pluribus Unum" or "Out of Many, One", which is meant to signify the diversity of peoples and religions that made up this nation. "In God We Trust" was brought in and placed on our printed currency in 1957 as a propaganda piece against our enemies, the Godless Russian Communists.

I know it seems like such a small thing: "In God we trust".... "One nation under God" and so on. But, as with everything else, if you give an inch they will take a mile. Religion is being forced down our throats at all turns, and God on our money and in our pledge was just the inch they needed.

And its not just a universal God, no, it is the Christian God. Ten Commandments in court houses, nativity scenes on government property and so on. I have never seen a Hindu scene on public land during the festival of Deepavali. I have never seen anything related to the prophet Muhammad during Idul Fitri or Idul Adah. I could go on with plenty of examples from other religions. If the right of public religious display extended to ALL religions then we might be more accepting, but it doesn’t. Not only does it not extend to all religions but if someone of a different religion tried to openly show these symbols of their faith in the wrong parts of the country they would be murdered.

As if that wasn't bad enough, now they want to teach creationism and abstinence in public schools. Some schools are already teaching creationism and, thanks to President Bushwacked, abstinence is the only thing most schools are allowed to teach. Public schools are run by the government and must remain secular, religion has no place in public schools. Religion should be taught in church, temple, mosque or where ever you worship and / or in your own home. If you want it taught in school then send your kids to a private school and pay for that type of education. Keep it out of the public schools which are funded with tax payer money. Not every taxpayer believes in your God. If you think teaching kids about sex is wrong, then remove your kids from sex education class, but don’t forbid others from getting much needed education because YOU don’t agree with it. That is just stupid and wrong. Especially when America has the highest teenage birth rates in the developed world! How can it be possible that in the developed world the United States is the most religious and has the highest instances of teenage pregnancy? Shouldn’t that be the other way around? It all comes down to human nature and hypocrisy.

Next thing, and it won’t be far off, you wont be allowed to work in certain jobs unless you are Christian, trust me it isn’t far away if the the "moral-right" have anything to do with it. And it will just get worse from there. This has got to stop.

So yes, get God off our money, out of our pledge and out of our schools. Do it now before "Land of the free and home of the brave" turns into "Land of the hypocritical christian zealots and home of the enslaved infidels". (And by infidels I mean those who believe in anything other than the Christian God. Contrary to the current redneck, right-wing, bible basing Christians of today, the word 'infidel' has been widely used in the Christian faith. It is not a word exclusive to Islam.)

Lack of posts.

I know I should be posting more. But time has not been on my side. I have been doing a lot of reading lately and much of my time has been devoted to that.

I have to say too that I feel somewhat intimidated by the calibre of some of the atheist bloggers I like to follow. If you take a look at my blog roll let me suggest and The BEattitude. Both of these sites have great articles and blow me out of the water on what I can come up with. I frequently engage in commenting on both of these sites as a way to involve myself in the atheist community, but I really need to start writing more of my own material.

I also have unfinished business to attend to with regard to my story and how I reached the path of enlightenment. I will get to it I promise. Some of it is a real pain to write because it makes me so angry and when I get angry my minimal writing skill degenerates into something heinous.

Anyway, there will be more to post soon. I promise.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Profession of Faith

Ever since my de-conversion there is one statement from believers that irritates me time and time again. We have all heard it, it is the common fall back for just about every argument against christianity. Every time I have argued the plagiarism, absurdities, contradictions, lies, cruelty and intolerance of the Bible, this statement, or something similar, invariably gets thrown in my face: “You just have to have faith”.

Faith in what I ask. Define it. Describe it.

I have faith. I have no shortage of faith, in fact, I have faith in spades.

I have faith that if I do the right things, lead a good life and help my fellow man that I will live on, beyond my years, in the memory of my community, my children and my family. I have faith that if there is an afterlife that it is for us all, that it is something that no one could ever understand and is not reserved for a select few.

I have faith that my children will do the right things and grow to be men and women to be proud of, not because of some religious indoctrination, but because I set a good example and instilled in them a commonsensical set of morals and ideals.

I have faith that there is something greater than myself; Humanity. I have faith that one day we will realize our potential as a race and, finally working together, reach heights that we can now only dream of. I have faith that through setting aside our petty arguments of religion, race, gender, sexuality and creed that we can finally work together to end war, hunger, injustice, prejudice and suffering.

I have faith that there exists, somewhere, a politician that is doing their job because they want to help people, not for the fame or power, not to spread wealth to themselves and their friends, but because deep down they want to help their community, their country and the people around them. I have faith that if I am wrong, somewhere, sometime, and perhaps under a guiding star, a politician will be born who will actually care for those they govern; a politician who refuses push their moral agenda, but one who speaks for the people and works as a servant of the people. I also have faith that some people will find the guiding star reference in the last sentence amusing.

I have faith that with technological breakthroughs we will fix global warming, create powerful and cheap sources of renewable energy and sustainable fast growing crops that could feed the masses. I have faith that through technology we will reach out for the stars, colonize distant planets and discover the origins of time and the universe, and, I have faith that someday Windows wont suck so much.

I have faith that someday, through science, we will find a cure for cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, and other ailments that afflict mankind. I have faith that through science we will be able to help the blind see, the mute speak, the deaf hear and the paralyzed to walk again. I have faith that diseases of the mind, once taught by religion to be caused by daemonic possession, will be curable.

I have faith in these things and much more. I do not however have faith in a flawed book, full of inaccuracies, contradictions, lies and fairy tales. I do not believe in fire and brimstone or a deity who would punish souls for eternity just because of the randomness of when and where a person was born and its affect on their access to information about his “son”.

You may call me an idealist, a dreamer or an optimist, but you can never say that I am a man without faith. My faith is strong and pure. It is without conditions, without exceptions and without caveats. Actually, given the history and current state of the world, full of its hatred, injustice and prejudice, it takes a lot more faith to believe in what I have stated above than it does to believe in the mythology of the Bible.