Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas and Consumerism

It's Christmas time yet again. What does Christmas mean to atheists? Free presents!

No, but seriously, it means that we are celebrating the birth of our societys favorite myth.

I say "Merry Christmas" to strangers. I give them a smile. I donate to the Salvation Army bell ringers whenever I can. I get presents for loved ones.

Just because Jesus is a myth doesn't mean that he didn't have good teachings to live by. Christmas time should be all the time. Need knows no season.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Christmas has been turned into the busiest shopping time of the year and retail businesses are never more profitable than at Christmas time.

Mike Lee, the Religious Antagonist, has just produced a new video entitled Consumerism: The New Religion.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Atheism: A Question of Understanding, Part 2

Ok, here is the second part of this guys arguments for the existence of Allah. The main argument in this section is that failure to understand gods ways do not negate his existence. My comments are in italics. I have left a lot out because it is just rambling and makes no sense at all. Here we go:

Most Atheist arguments challenge the compatibility of an all-loving God with the perceived injustices of life.

No they don't. I haven't seen one single atheist blog that says "I stopped believing because nothing was going right for me." Every atheist I have ever read or spoken to says something to the effect of "I turned on my brain and religion dissolved."

The fact that many of mankind fail to make sense of certain aspects of this life should not dissuade from belief in God... By analogy, the fact that a person does not like the way the boss does things at work, and fails to understand the decisions he makes, does not negate his existence. Rather, each person’s duty is to fulfill a job description in order to be paid and promoted. Similarly, failure to grasp or approve of the way God orders creation does not negate His existence. Rather, humankind should recognize with humility that, unlike the workplace boss, who may be wrong, God by definition is of absolute perfection, always right and never wrong.

That's a poor analogy. The existence of your boss is not in question. No one has ever tried to claim that their boss doesn't exist because they don't like his decisions. The existence of your god is in question. The reason why is because it is always a human being who is trying to tell you what god's will is. And most of the time they want your money. The moment god shows up and tells me what to do, I will be the first to admit I was wrong. But as long as human beings are all shouting out what gods will is, I'm just going to laugh at them.

Similarly, a person cannot be faulted for expecting the disbelieving tyrants and oppressors to have all the enjoyments of this world, but none of the hereafter. Some of the known inmates of Hell spring to mind. Pharaoh, for example, lived a life of posh magnificence to the point that he proclaimed himself to be the supreme god. Most likely opinions changed when he broke wind.

It's easy for you to discredit Pharaoh because you are not an ancient Egyptian. If if you were, you would be writing this very article in favor of him. Most people from America are Christian. Most people from China are Buddhist. Most people from Japan believe in Taoism. Most people from the Middle East are Muslim. The area of the world you are from will greatly influence which religion you believe in. BTW, if you were ancient Egyptian, one of your gods would have been Osiris, who shares many characteristics with Jesus and about a dozen other godly figures throughout history.

Most people have had the experience of ending a great day in a bad mood due to some sour event at the conclusion of events. Nobody values a fine meal that ends in divorce, a romantic interlude rewarded with AIDS, or a night of revelry capped off by a brutal mugging or crippling car crash. How good could it have been? Similarly, there is no joy in this life, no matter how great the ecstasy or how long the duration, which is not instantly erased from memory by a 100% full body burn. One side of one hand represents 1% of the total body surface area of a human being, making a kitchen burn of a fraction of a fingertip count for less than a thousandth of the total body surface area. Nonetheless, who doesn’t forget absolutely every little, every big, everything during that moment of painful thermal affliction? The agony of a whole-body burn, especially if there is no relief -- no jumping back, no pulling away -- is beyond the capacity of human imagination. The few who have survived such burns agree. Not only does the torture of a total burn exceed the boundaries of human imagination, but the agony of the experience surpasses the limits of language. The horror can neither be adequately conveyed by the unfortunate of experience, nor fully understood by those blessed to have escaped initiation. Certainly one looooooong, eternal, full-body bath in fire can be expected to erase any pleasant memories of the past, consistent with the conclusion that “…the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.” (Quran 13:26)

So let me get this straight... you believe in Allah because he will burn your body forever if you don't. This god has to scare you into submission with threats of agonizing torture. As I stated before, this is not a god worthy of any praise; this is a tyrant. This is a figure to be avoided. I hope parents in Muslim homes do not emulate this god and burn their disobedient children. This is child abuse, and isn't child abuse a sin? How can you claim this god is perfect and never wrong when he tortures and blackmails his children? I spit in the face of that god. I defy him. I loath him. I will NEVER worship him!

two elements of guiding consciousness deserve consideration, the first being that deep down all people have an innate knowledge of the presence of the Creator. Humankind may intellectualize this awareness away in search of the conveniences and pleasures of this world, but deep down, all mankind know the truth. What is more, God knows that we know, and He alone can calculate the level of individual rebellion and/or submission to Him.

"...all people have an innate knowledge of the creator." Oh really? Then why are there ten million different religions? If this claim was true, then there would only be one world religion. Your "god" created the "pleasures of the world". What is wrong with pursuing them? I would argue the opposite. All men, deep down, know that their superstitions are nothing but bullshit.

The second element of dawning spiritual awareness is simply to understand that there is seldom a free lunch. Rarely does anybody get something for nothing. Should a man work for a boss whom he does not understand or with whom he does not agree, in the end he still has to do his job in order to get paid. Nobody goes to work (for long, anyway) and does nothing more than saying, “I’m at work,” expecting a paycheck to follow based on nothing more than unproductive attendance. Similarly, humankind must satisfy a duty of servitude and worship to God if hoping to receive His reward. After all, that is not only the purpose of life, it is our job description.

Again, a poor analogy. Show me the "job description" in a place rather than an ancient book written by poorly educated idiots who thought the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. You can't compare a duty to god to a job because a source of income is necessary to survive. Your belief that servitude to god is necessary is just that: your belief. Just because you believe it, doesn't make it true. Besides, if the only reason you believe is to avoid hell and gain an eternal reward, then you are pathetic. You are motivated by greed and fear.

“And I have not created... men, except that they should serve (worship) Me.” (Quran 51:56)

Ok, the Quran says god says that man should worship him. Big deal. A Marvel comic book says that Superman "can leap tall buildings in a single bound." Just because it says it, doesn't make it the truth. You will never convince an atheist to believe by quoting scripture because atheists correctly realize that words are just words. Try this: replace all references to "Allah" with "Superman" and see if it doesn't just sound ridiculous.

Many people question the purpose of life, but the position of the faithful of many religions is exactly that stated above – mankind exists for no other reason than to serve and worship God. The proposal is that each and every element of creation exists to either support or test mankind in the fulfillment of that duty. Unlike worldly employment, a person can duck his or her responsibilities to God and be granted a grace period. However, at the end of this probationary period called life, accounts become due and payable, and such is certainly not the best time to find one’s account ‘in the red.’

That's an opinion. That would be a great argument... if god was real. But since he's not real, it's just rambling. I really haven't read anything in this article that even remotely encourages me to believe. It's all just a bunch of doctrine and more superstition. If god has a purpose for me, I will gladly fulfill it as soon as HE tells me; not some religious whacko who wants my money and unconditional servitude, but HIM.

Again, those who doubt that which cannot be directly experienced may find excuse for denial of the soul, but they will most likely find themselves to have scant company.

Finally, this author admits that his beliefs "cannot be directly experienced". And since that is the case, it all exists in your head. Isn't that a form of dimensia? That is more reason for me to NOT believe. I choose to believe in reality. I choose to believe in well, reality. The Quran says this... the Bible says that... The Book of Mormon says...

Isn't it amazing how each religion defends and excuses their holy book while discrediting all the others? The Bible says Jesus is the son of god and since you love to quote scripture to convince me to believe in your Allah, how come you won't take other scripture seriously? Why do you choose the Quran over the Bible or the Book of Mormon? If I start quoting Book of Mormon passages, are you going to be suddenly convinced that you're wrong? No, so why do you think quoting the Quran is going to convince me? I'll tell you why... because most likely you were born and raised in Islam and you were indoctrinated from birth that your religion is right and all others are wrong. Mormons are that way. Catholics are that way. Baptists are that way. Buddhists are that way. Muslims are that way. Everyone is wrong but you... how convenient.

If anything, this idiot has given me MORE reason to NOT believe.

So that no one can accuse me of quoting out of context, I have provided a link to where you can view this arcticle in it's entirety along with many others. Their evidence for Islam section looks interesting. I bet their "evidence" is miraculous healings, prophesies of Muhammad that came true, and other nonsense that all religious use to prove themselves.

Also, have you ever noticed that ALL Muslims have the name Muhammad? What if everyone in America named their kid Jesus? Shit people, can't you think of something else to name your kids? "I have three sons: Muhammad, Muhammad, and Muhammad." I wonder why it's okay to name all your children after Muhammad but when a foreign school teacher names a teddy bear Muhammad, you all want her executed!

Your religion is just as dumb, if not moreso, than Christianity. Let me guess... if you knew who I was you would come and kill me for daring to insult your precious Allah. Well, that's just more proof that you are nothing but deluded wack jobs!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Atheism: Denying the Undeniable, Part 1

For a while now, I have been having an email exchange with a fellow who calls himself "yasir". He is a Muslim and he is trying desperately to convert my lost soul to Islam, Allah, and the Qu'ran. Just today I received an article from him entitled Atheism: Denying the Undeniable

This shit is worse than Mormonism! I am going to include bits and pieces from the article and then comment about it. My comments will appear italicised.

Atheists might assert that they don’t acknowledge the existence of God, but the view of some Christians and all Muslims is that at some level even the confirmed Atheist affirms God’s presence. The innate but neglected awareness of God typically surfaces in Atheist consciousness only in times of severe stress, as exemplified by the World War II quote “There are no Atheists in a fox-hole.”

Some Christians and all Muslims assert that even atheists believe in god on some deep level. Yes, just like all believers really are atheists at heart. Who are these people to claim that they know what is in someone elses heart? I say "goddamnit" or "Oh my god," sometimes when I am stressed, but that doesn't mean I believe in god.

Undeniably there are times -- whether during the agonizing days of a lingering illness, the seemingly eternal moments of a violent and humiliating mugging, or the split second of anticipating the impact of an imminent car crash -- when all mankind recognize the reality of human fragility and the lack of human control over destiny. Who does a person beseech for help in such circumstances other than The Creator? Such moments of desperation should remind every person, from the religious scholar to the professed Atheist, of the dependence of mankind upon a reality far greater than our own meager human selves.

I'm not even sure how to word what I am thinking. Why is it that "god", according to believers, reminds people that he is in control by making our lives go to hell? Sure, there are some things in the world that are beyond our control, but that doesn't mean that god is orchestrating it all. If I jump off a cliff, I can't stop gravity from pulling me to the ground, but I CAN choose to not jump. I can't prevent a driver in another car from slamming into me, but I can chose to not ride in a car. I can't prevent an illness from making me sick, but I can improve my health by eating right and taking care of my body. I am not "dependent" on god for anything. A belief in god doesn't pay my bills, doesn't put food on the table, and doesn't cause or prevent bad things from happening. Similarly, a non-belief in god doesn't cause those things either.

In such moments of distress, when all human efforts have failed and no element of material existence can be foreseen to provide comfort or rescue, Whom else will a person instinctively call upon? In such moments of trial, how many stress-induced appeals are made to God, complete with promises of lifelong fidelity?

I am sure that in many cases, people do call upon god in such times. BUT that doesn't make him real. A car crash is a car crash. It happens to believers and non-believers alike. What is the difference then? To an atheist, none. In the mind of a believer, a car wreck is a trial of faith for believers or a wakeup call for atheists. How about you just call it what it is and leave your imaginary friend out of it? Again I ask, why do you believe that god reminds us of his awesome power by using it to make our lives miserable?

No doubt, the day of greatest affliction will be the Day of Judgement, and a person would be unfortunate to be in the position of acknowledging the existence of God for the first time on that day.

Wow, so you are telling me that your merciful god will make everyones life hellishly miserable on judgement day and their only crime is that they failed to acknowledge his awesomeness? This is not a god I will ever worship. This god is a tyrant. I visited the sick; I helped the needy. But fuck all of that! I didn't grovel at his feet and kiss his ass up one side and down the other and for that, I am hell bound. Your "merciful" god sucks.

The thoughtful Atheist, full of skepticism but fearful of the possibility of the existence of God and a Day of Judgement, may wish to consider the ‘prayer of the skeptic,’ as follows: “O Lord--if there is a Lord, Save my soul--if I have a soul.”

Hey they finally got something right! "Thoughtful". Atheists think and therefore do not believe. Believers who think, don't stay believers for very long. As far as the "save me" prayer, I've tried it and nothing, absolutely nothing, happened. Secondly, I am not "fearful" that there might be a god. It is a myth and I am no more afraid of your god than you are of Zeus. BTW, have you ever noticed how similar the names "Zeus" and "Jesus" are? Just an observation. But I'm sure that it has nothing, whatsoever, to do with mythology.

In the face of skepticism blocking belief, how can a person go wrong with the above prayer? Should Atheists remain upon disbelief, they will be no worse off than before; should belief follow a sincere appeal, Thomas Jefferson had the following to say: “If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under His eye, and that He approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it…”

How can a person go wrong with the above prayer? They can't go right or wrong... they are just words. I gave "god" a real, sincere chance and, as expected, nothing. Other than the threat of going to hell, I have no reason to believe. And since hell is just a made up place, I have no reason to believe in that either.

The suggestion can be made that if an individual doesn’t see the evidence of God in the magnificence of His creation, they would be well advised to take another look. Worthy of contemplation is the fact that even the lowest elements of God’s creation, though perhaps ordinary works in His terms, are miracles in ours. Take the example of as tiny an animal as a spider. Does anybody really believe that such an extraordinarily intricate creature evolved from primordial soup?

Yes, they do. And the reason they do is because of this little thing called "evidence". Atheists marvel at the awesomeness of this world too, but they don't see a designer. There is no doubt that the world is truly an incredible place and the diversity and complexity of life is mind boggling. It would be easy for the uneducated mind to invent a god, a designer. But the evidence for a designer just isn't there. Oh sure, religion will come up with it's pathetic attempts to refute evolution, and even claim that "more and more scientists are starting to doubt evolution" but this is all propaganda, wishful thinking, and mis-information. The scientific community views evolution as a fact just as much as the fact that atoms are the basic components of all the elements.

And yet, mankind elevates itself to the heights of arrogance. A moment’s reflection should incline human hearts to humility. Look at a building and a person thinks of the architect, at a sculpture and a person instantly comprehends an artist. But examine the elegant intricacies of creation, from the complexity and balance of nuclear particle physics to the uncharted vastness of space, and a person conceives of…nothing? Surrounded by a world of synchronous complexities, we as mankind cannot even assemble the wing of a gnat. And yet the entire World and all the Universe exists in a state of perfect orchestration as a product of random accidents which molded cosmic chaos into balanced perfection? Some vote chance, others, creation.

The mere fact that this author has claimed that scientists believe it all happened by pure chance is a statement of his own ignorance. He is trying to refute evolution without even knowing what it is. It was not random chance, and evolutionists do not claim that it was. Besides, if they are going to argue that complexity necessitates a designer, shouldn't the designer also need to have a designer? Their god is allegedly the ultimate in complexity but where is his designer? So if they are going to use the argument from complexity, they should apply it to themselves as well.

Arrogance? So now it is arrogance to look at evidence and use that evidence to determine your belief? Let me ask you this: Do you enjoy being able to use email to send me your "god" crap? Do you enjoy being able to climb into a car and travel at speeds 50 times faster than traveling on foot? Do you enjoy being able to board an aircraft and travel to the other side of the earth in less than a day? Do you enjoy being able to summon water from the walls of your home with just a twist of your wrist? Do you enjoy being able to have your home illuminated in bright light without a fire even in the middle of the darkest night? If so, THANK AN ARROGANT SCIENTIST! You live in more luxury and comfort than the richest man in the world 200 years ago and you have nothing but science to thank for it. What progress has religion made besides more violence, more ignorance, and more suppression of the human mind?

Denying the undeniable. What a statement. It is undeniable that the sky is blue. It is undeniable that sugar tastes good. That a god exists... that is very deniable!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Religion is Bad for Society According to New Study

There is now another good reason to take Sunday off...

According to recent studies, religion is bad for society. This completely contradicts the idea that in order for a society to be successful, it must be god-fearing.

This study has shown an indirect relationship* to how religious a society is and how functional it is. A more functional society tends to have lower murder rates, lower suicide rates, fewer people in prison, lower crime, fewer STD's and teen pregnancies, abortions, divorces, etc.

*An indirect relationship is a relationship where as one thing goes up, the other thing goes down, as opposed to a direct relationship where as one thing goes up or down, the other thing does as well. In this case, as religion goes up, functionality goes down.

This study has found that those societies, such as the United States, who are highly religious, tend to be the most dysfunctional. The less religious a society is, like Japan, the more functional it is.

Gregory S. Paul is the man in charge of this study.

Is this just wishful thinking on the part of atheists? No, atheists don't engage in wishful thinking. This study is a look at the raw numbers of how religious a society is compared to its functionality. The results: more religion = less functional.

Interesting. The United States, which is full of Christians who hate abortion, is ranked the highest in the world for abortions. Let the data speak for itself. This graph shows that the more a society believes in god (the dot further out to the right) the less functional it is. Notice the US. It is the far-most right dot on the graph meaning it is the most religious. Notice, however, it is the LOWEST in terms of functionality. You will also notice that the societies on this graph that are the least religious are the MOST functional.




Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christopher Hitchens Dies

I first heard of Christopher Hitchens a few years ago when I found and read his book, God Is Not Great.

I read on Facebook today of his passing. He had been battling cancer. We need more people who are willing to say it how it is!

Christopher Hitchens will be missed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Evolution Is True

This video is just short of an hour long and Jerry Coyne provides some very compelling evidence that evolution is a fact.

Creationists have long dwelt on the argument that "transitional forms" don't exist in the fossil record and that Charles Darwin himself admitted that if none could be found, then his theory was incorrect. Well, this video ought to silence them once and for all!

If humans did not share a common ancestory with birds, why do we have non-functional genes for yolk? Why does a human embryo have an empty yolk sac for a short period of time?

Towards the end of his presentation, Jerry shares some scary statistics. The first shows a strong negative correlation between the general acceptance of Darwins theory of evolution and religion. The second, even worse, shows that societies who have a stong belief in god tend to be more dysfunctional, with the United States being one of the worse!

This is great stuff! Religion is poison not only to the mind, but also to the society.

I am going to ask that everyone please refrain from leaving comments until you have completely watched this video. If you are pro-creation, try and refute the evidence that Jerry shares. Let's have a good, clean debate.

Note, Richard Dawkins refuses to even debate with creationists because the very act of debating with them gives them far more credit than they deserve!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Response to the Argument That Atheism is a Faith

This argument is used a lot and it baffles me how non-atheists think they get to define what atheism is when they know next to nothing about it.

Faith, according to the dictionary, is the act of believing something which has no evidence.

If it takes faith to not believe in god, then it also takes faith to not believe the sky is orange. You don't believe the sky is orange. There is no evidence that the sky is orange. Since you don't believe the sky is orange and there is no evidence that the sky is orange, then I could accuse you of having faith that the sky is not orange.

Stupid right? The same applies to atheism.

There have been hundreds if not thousands of different gods worshipped by humans in recorded history. How much faith does it take for you to NOT believe in all of those? Ra was the Egyptian sun god. Zeus was the king of the Greek gods.

I would be willing to wager that it doesn't take any faith... Just as it doesn't take any faith to not believe in the Christian god.

We now view the ancient Greek religion as mythology. But it was as real to them as the Christian god is to you!

The fighting atheist said it best: "Claiming that atheism is a faith is like claiming that NOT collecting stamps is a hobby or that NOT smoking is a habit."

Atheists don't try to define what Christianity is. Why do Christians think they have to define atheism? Either way, it's another weak argument that is easily debunked.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Godless Billboard In Utah

Apparently, billboards such as these are popping up all over the nation. And those who do believe in god are doing what believers do best, the most un-Christian like thing possible: Death threats.

What are believers so threatened by? It is okay for them to put up their billboards threatening the whole world that they are going to hell if you believe in the wrong Jesus or go to the wrong church. They are free to publically express their opinions. Why can't atheists do the same without our lives being threatened? Atheists don't threaten believers when they post their crap, even though some of their billboards can be outright offensive.

"We want everybody to know we’re coming together as people who are atheists, agnostic or freethinking and open to discussing ideas," said Elaine Ball, director of the Utah Coalition of Reason. "We’re not trying to convert or de-convert people. We hope people will discover that we [atheists] are a legitimate part of the community."

The billboard was supposed to only be up until September 19, but it was there when I drove past it just a few days ago. It is located on the north side of westbound highway 201 just past the 5600 west exit.

"The point of our ongoing nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Such non-theists sometimes don't realize there's a community for them because they're inundated with religious messages at every turn. We hope our effort will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren't alone. Being visible is important to us, because atheists and agnostics in our society often don't know many people of like mind. Furthermore, if traditionally religious people can be open about their views, why shouldn't we be open about ours?"

Great question! If religious people can shout their message in public, all over TV, and on everyones front porch, why can't we have one stinking billboard?

Only religion can make good people do horrible things...