Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Know Your Role, Stupid Believer!!

Know Your Role, Stupid Believer!!
Religion is based on authority. Authority is hieratical. God has a purpose for you, and it is based upon your role first in family, then in community. So you better know your role.

The following are the roles of the persons in what believers think is the only formula for a family. That is one man, one woman, and children. There is no other formula. If you live alone, you’ve no family. If you live with a brother or sister, you’ve no family. Only this formula is acceptable. All others come from satan. Satan will allow any group of people who call themselves a family to be one. Satan couldn’t care less the sex of the people, so long as they support, love and honor each other, they are a family. He’s such an evil bastard.

Husbands are the leaders. The male has a penis, and therefore has the power. Penis=power=authority. God really likes people with penises. That’s why he had a son, after all. The daughter of god wouldn’t have had the ability to sacrifice herself for the sin of all. All decisions are to be made by the penis/power holder. God gave the male two heads so he could think more clearly. Do what he says, or else.

Wives are the submissive help. Husbands need help. After a long hard day of holding their penis, the husband needs someone to cook, clean, and look after the kids. Then, the wife needs to satisfy the penis in the bedroom. Yes, she can have a job. It’s a crappy economy after all. Just so long as she doesn’t make more than her husband, and uses ALL of her income to support her husband. Remember, he gets to decide what to do with the money. She makes it; he spends it. Porn can get expensive.

Children obey. It does not matter if the parents are fools. As long as they are RELIGIOUS fools, children obey. Parents provide food and shelter to their children in exchange for obedience. No obedience, no food, no roof. Children are born in sin, remember? Parents need to beat the devil out of their evil offspring. Spare the rod; spoil the child. That’s biblical! God wants you to smack the taste out of those disobedient brats. And then, you need to make more of them.
I can’t imagine how divorce could ever be so prevalent within a family constructed in this manner. Hey, was there ever any mention of love in god’s plan for the family? Nope, just a whole lot of authority and delegation of authority. Submit, or suffer. Love, respect, empathy and kindness have no place here.

You know, I have no idea how I would ever subdue my wife. If not for her, I’d wonder off into la-la land trying to drive from the house to Wal-Mart. If not for her, we’d not have half the luxuries we enjoy. I’ve told many people before that I’d need to consult my wife before making a decision. She’s said the same. We have a partnership; we’re spouses.

Are there parents that are so afraid of childhood rebellion they feel they have to squash it out before it shows up? The preacher dude on the radio actually said the role of parents is to break their children’s spirit without breaking their bones. I’m glad he put a limit on his approved child abuse, but this really bugged me. Parents do not provide shelter and sustenance to children in exchange for obedience. Thinking this way will ensure rebellion. Parents feed and protect their children because they love their children. Children obey because they want to please their parents because they love them. And children rebel, not because they are evil, but because they have a need to understand what limits are and what happens when you break them.

Religion must have control. Control will come from authority. Authority comes from whoever is biggest and strongest. The male controls and rules the wife because he is bigger than she. Preacher dude seriously said that if your wife rebels and she is bigger than you, get your brother involved! This “might makes right” theme is so unjust, I can’t imagine intellectual people attributing this to a perfectly just god. My son has a Sesame Street My First Manners book that tells him people don’t get to decide based on who is bigger than who. But god seems fine with this. And believers want me to accept this as an absolute moral standard.

A lack of religion does not equal a lack of control. It simply means control comes from self, not superstition. We have to control ourselves, and teach our children how to do the same. (I wish that second one was a little easier.) God isn’t here; we are.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The sky daddy is not my daddy. Who’s your daddy?

The sky daddy is not my daddy. Who’s your daddy?

I’m often asked what my beef is with religion. I’m accused of being an “angry atheist”. I think missions are destructive and poisonous. I think creationism sneaking into the science classroom would spell the end of critical thinking. I believe fooling people into believing they have to believe in god to be moral is incredibly reprehensible. But what really gets me angry is when religion impedes freedom, liberty, mutual respect, equality and love. And it does this in the name of family.
Family means a great deal to me. My family is my world. I can’t imagine life without them. Whatever I used to do to fill my days before I had kids is beyond my recollection. Family is everything to me.
It may surprise you to know that on the surface, we look like a typical Christian family. We could be going to church every week. We could belong to the Focus on the Family community. I work; my wife stays home with the kids. We have two: a son and a daughter. We look like the “traditional” family. But this is purely a coincidence.
My wife and I just happen to have decided that the life we want together matches what a “traditional” family looks like. We enjoy our family so much; we couldn’t possibly imagine trying to keep others from experiencing this kind of joy and fulfillment. But, as we all know, there are bounds of asshats trying to keep people whose families do not happen to match their perceived formula from having families. I find this to be the most egregious abuse religion inflicts upon us today. Why do they do this? What is the purpose?
It should be no surprise that religion, especially the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are misogynistic to the core. Women are subservient to men, and must always be so. In a family that has more than one male, or no male, how can you tell who is subservient to whom? We need to be able to look at a family, see the penises, and locate the power. That is how families are supposed to work: the male is in charge and all others submit to him. See, to the religious, love is not in the equation. The only equation is 1 dominate male + 1 submissive wife. It has nothing to do with people who love each other.
When people who oppose gay marriage try to use this “defend the family” bull or “preserve the definition of marriage” insanity, I ask them what a family is, or what their definition of marriage is. They give me this crap about a man and a woman, and some other crap about tradition. Apparently, these imbeciles don’t realize that marriage has been redefined over and over again, as society changes. And while I may have a “traditional marriage”, it is not because I wanted to follow tradition, but because this works for me. If you don’t follow tradition, you ought to do so because that works for you, not because you want to rebel against tradition.
A family is a group of people who call themselves a family. A marriage is a public contract between consenting adults to share their lives. I see no problems with either of these definitions. Why do believers? Why are they fighting so hard to keep gays from marrying and having children? Last I checked, gays don’t have many accidental children. Why do we try to amend constitutions and place harsh restrictions on love?
Religion isn’t about love. It’s about control. It’s about authority. It’s about obedience and servitude. Religion wants to control your life to the finest detail of who you love and how. You will only love certain people. You will express this love within these boundaries. You will obey these people. You must, or you shall burn in hell. And god loves you. He’s the only one who really does. And if you don’t believe that, he’ll smite you with all his might.

I say it is time once again to redefine marriage. Better this word that those of liberty, freedom, equality, and justice. I say we redefine family. What if we were to have families rooted in love, instead of faith? What would happen if we, as a society, recognized that not everyone has the same tastes, preferences and desires? What would be the result? I’d love to find out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Bad Atheist

A bad atheist

I’m a bad atheist. I’ve been told this often. I believe there is no god. That is, to say that I don’t believe in god is less accurate than to say I believe there is no god. My brain doesn’t seem to work in negatives. I hold the belief that god is imaginary; I don’t lack a belief that god is real. Am I making sense here? I think in affirmatives, not negatives. This makes me a bad atheist.
Now, people will sometimes tell me that this is dogmatic, or that I must have faith to hold this position, or that this makes atheism a religion. I think all of these are wrong. I believe that unicorns are imaginary. No one seems to think this is dogmatic. I believe that the tooth fairy is a legend. This requires no faith. I believe ghosts do not exist. This does not it a religion.
I’ve been told this is unreasonable; that to hold this belief I must be god, or at least all-knowing. I find this ridiculous. I believe there are no such things as chimeras. There is no need for me to be all-knowing to realize the possibility of a chimera actually existing is so incredibly small, it is negligible. So I neglect it.

Since I make this an affirmative statement, I’ve been tempted to call it “the atheist’s gospel”. Mostly because I think it is “good news” that god does not exist. Perhaps there is too close a parallel drawn here for some atheists. But while the believer’s “good news” of jesus comes with the “bad news” of sin, the atheist’s “good news” of no gods comes with the “bad news” of personal responsibility. With no god to tell us what to do with our lives, and no absolute moral standards, we must use our admittedly faulty faculties to find our own path. We must define, and re-define, our morals, our standards, and our lives. We have no deity to guide us. But there is more good news: we have each other. No one said we have to do it alone. God isn’t here; we are.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to Take Over the World

How to Take Over the World

This blog was not written by Andrew the Atheist. He typed it, yes, but I, Mango the Magnificent, am the true author. The god of the bible showed me how to do this author-by-proxy thing, so you know it’s authentic.

I’d like to tell you how to take over the world. You’ll want to take notes, so go get a pen and paper. I’ll wait.

The first thing is to establish your authority as the only authority. Any other authority must submit to yours, or you will have a problem. The best way to do this is to claim you are the end-all-be-all of everything. You have to be a god. No, not just ANY god, you have to be THE god. And you cannot allow anything to compete with you. Tell your new followers, “I am the lord your god, you shall have no other gods but me.” Write that down.

This competition thing is important. If the people have a choice between feeding their families and following your will, they need to choose you. You need to block out anything that could even look like something that could be as important as you. Tell your subjects, “Thou shall have no graven images.” The fools will probably think we’re talking about porn.

Now you need to get respect. Having authority is great, but you must have the respect of the sheep, I mean, people as well. Tell them they can only use your name when it means something. Tell them you will know if they do not. This will reinforce your status as a god, and place weight on crap that has your name attached to it. State it as follows, “Thou shalt not take the name of your lord in vain.”

We can’t just tell people to respect us an expect it to happen. We are going to need people who are going to enforce this crap. The older generation will soon die, but before they do they can serve a great purpose: indoctrinate the young. This will make ruling the future generations easier and easier. We give the elderly some authority and power. They use and abuse it. When the younger generation grows up, they will see their opportunity to become the abusers and grab hold of the chance. Tell the congregation, “Honor thy father and mother.”

But what authority and power are we to give the elderly? The authority to punish those who break our laws. This will be reserved to those we hold close to us. Let’s call them “clergy.” These shall be the people we allow to order the punishment of those who do not accept our way as the only way. Issue this proclamation, “Thou shall not kill.”

We really need to begin to focus on destroying individuality now. We need to start to look to controlling thoughts, behavior and attitudes. This will reinforce our authority and prevent revolt. Yes, I know the peasants are revolting, but as long as they obey us, we shall let them live. We begin with the basic desire to love and procreate. We must take hold of this and not let go. People are allowed to love who we say, fuck who we say, in the manner we say, and in no other way. Tell them, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

Now, this alone will not quell all rebellions. We must give ourselves a way of utterly destroying all that challenges us. We, of course, could never break our own rules. So we must establish that all who do are also liars and thieves. This will reduce them to common criminals and we can deal with them as such. Proclaim, “Thou shall not steal”, and “Thou shalt not lie.”
Come to think of it, we might want to stomp on our flocks’ genitalia again. That’s just so much fun, I can’t resist! Further control their minds. Further control their desires. Tell them they cannot have desires. Fuck with them and say, “Thou shalt not covet.”

There you have it. Ten easy steps to begin your conquest of the world. You know, presentation is everything. You could carve these into stone and then say, “Look!! These are timeless! They are carved in stone!” See how easy this is going to be?

What? Hang on……..
The dork who wrote the bible is telling me I’ve stolen his ideas. Like he ever had an original thought! Don’t listen to that wimp. I’m the one holding the lighting bolts now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mistaken for sin

Mistaken for Sin

I’ve had two conversations with believers recently who wanted to try to convince me that since I have made mistakes in the past that I have also sinned. I tried to explain to them that sins are not mistakes. Since my conversations with these believers went less than well, I’ll reiterate my position here.

Let’s talk about sins first. A sin is an offense against god. These include, but are not limited to breaking the ten commandments. Since I don’t want this to become a “what-is-or-is-not-a-sin” discussion, we’ll stick with the ten commandments for clarity’s sake. So sins include things like working on the Sabbath, killing, stealing, adultery, and coveting. There’s taking the lord’s name in vain and having other gods. Not included are things like child abuse, spousal abuse, slavery, and killing infidels. (You aren’t thinking of pointing out any contradictions here to ME, are you?)

What about mistakes? Mistakes are like speeling errors. They just happen. I’m reminded of an old favorite Sesame Street song. No one expects you to never make a mistake, and most people easily forgive them. You forgot to get milk at the store? We’ll get it next time. You locked your keys in your car? Man, I hate it when that happens! But so what? Does anyone need to be nailed to a tree because I spilt my drink?

So let’s do a little compare/contrast. Sins offend god. Mistakes offend people. God only forgives sins if you believe in jesus. People forgive mistakes without requiring a blood sacrifice. Unless you are a believer, you don’t sin. Mistakes happen to everyone, regardless of religious belief.

Why isn’t child neglect one of the commandments? If we are to honor our parents, why should we not be ordered to care for our children? Where is “Thou shalt not own slaves”? Could it be that these commandments are not supposed to be a moral compass, but instead serve some other purpose?

No one really sins. God is imaginary, so offending him is like offending the loch ness monster. You can piss off a caveman; they’re extinct. And it’s okay to make mistakes. If you thought god was real, it’s okay to admit that was a mistake. Go ahead. Give it a try. It’s so easy, a caveman could do it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

THOU shall not kill, that’s GOD’s job!

THOU shall not kill, that’s GOD’s job!

I’ve never been a fan of the Ten Commandments. I really loved George Carlin’s take on them, reducing them to two. But I still have a problem with this one…

I’ve mentioned before that I listen to the Christian radio. The preacher dude is going through the commandments right now, and today he talked about this one. At the beginning of the sermon, he admits that god DOES allow some killing. He said he was going to explain that, but he never really did. Maybe it’s in tomorrow’s sermon.

What kind of killing does God “authorize”? There are just and holy wars, punishments for disobeying god, and of course, god loves it when criminals are executed by the GOVERNMENT.

God does not authorize euthanasia or abortion. Those are “unauthorized”.

It seems to me that god authorizes an awful lot of vengeful killing, but does not authorize mercy killing. War is so vengeful. Especially if we’re talking about Biblical wars. Whoo! That was some vengeful fighting! The death penalty is still vengeance, even if it has a civil front to it. Someone does something, and you or the government wants to kill that person for it. That sounds like vengeance to me.

I can’t think of too many people who have asked a doctor to assist them in committing suicide that were in great health. This is usually a decision made to reduce or prevent prolonged suffering. So too can abortion be a merciful act. What do you think happens to the child born to parents who didn’t want the child?

Why is this? Why does god so easily allow hate and vengeance and stifle mercy? Well, I kinda got the answer.

See, the emphasis in the commandment is not on the “not kill” part, it’s on the “THOU” part. God wants to do the killing. God wants to have his dudes have all the power and you are not to even try to do the same. This commandment is not to promote life; it is to protect and reinforce the authority of the religion of the land. This commandment is designed to leave the average person powerless to rebel against the established regime.

I’m glad I live in a country that had guaranteed its citizens the right to bear arms. This right is designed to keep the power in the hands of the people, not the priests. We have the power; we have the authority, not god. God isn’t here; we are.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Faith and Evidence

Faith and Evidence

I am often confused as to why believers try so hard to prove their beliefs are not based on faith but evidence. The mental gymnastics they have to perform to accomplish this is nothing short of jaw-dropping. It’s like taking a curved line and trying to convince your self it is straight.

Perhaps I should spend some time defining faith. I’ve heard people say there is such a thing as “reasonable faith.” This “reasonable faith” is when you drop a ball, and it falls, and you drop a ball again, and it falls again. “Reasonable faith” says the ball will fall again if you drop it again.

I don’t call this “faith”. I call this an expectation based on evidence. Faith, as I will discuss here, requires no evidence. That is to say, faith only exists in the absence of evidence OR in the presence of conflicting evidence. If there is evidence, there is no need for faith.

Now, I came across a website that attempts to “prove” Jesus was resurrected. Before I begin to show how insane these people are, why would anyone even think this was a good idea? With evidence, you lose the need for faith. However, once I read the evidence, it was apparent that I would require more faith to believe these people had a clue. In the portion that follows, I have “sanitized” the original text, meaning I have removed all scripture references. Hey, if you want to prove Jesus came back to life, you’re going to need to do so WITHOUT using the bible. My thoughts are in italics.

Evidence about Jesus' Resurrection
The Importance of Jesus' Resurrection
The WHOLE Christain faith is based on the resurrection of Jesus
In fact, whether Christianity is worth believing or not ultimately depends on whether Jesus really did resurrected from His death....
o Basically Jesus is saying that by His resurrection is the ONLY WAY that we will REALLY KNOW that He is indeed the Son of God

At least we are being honest about the importance of the resurrection. At least they give the reason why they have embarked on such a futile journey. If they had said after this, “And it is a matter of faith because we can’t prove a damned thing”, I’d have much more respect for them. Seeing as how they are deluding themselves, I made a blog of it.
Why is the Resurrection Miracle so Special ?
Soccerers and magicians can perform "miracles" or tricks
PROPHETS in the Old Testament could perform great miracles - including raising people from the death....
The prophet Elijah did it:
The prophet Elisha did it:
But NO ONE has EVER came back to life after HIS OWN death - not even prophets !!!

That’s right, no one has EVER come back to life, not even JESUS!
Do we have evidence that Jesus has ever resurrected ???
Since the resurrection is THE MOST IMPORTANT PROOF that Jesus is the Son of God, it is only fair that God provides to us EASILY VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE of this event - because if God does not do this, He could not accuse us of our unbelief fairly.
And indeed, we can find ironclad historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.
The evidence can be summarized as follows:
There are ironclad historical evidence that Jesus died
There are ironclad historical evidence that Jesus was buried in a well-known tomb
There are ironclad historical evidence that Jesus' tomb was empty on the Easter Sunday following the Passover
There are ironclad historical evidence that Jesus was seen alive after His death.
Okay, I’m redacting the following portion that “proves” Jesus died. To me, the only thing you have to do to prove Jesus died is to prove he was born. Then it logically follows that he died SOMEHOW. Your next task would be to prove he was crucified, but these guys just skip to the crucified part. Anyway, it wouldn’t make a difference to me how he died, this is supposed to be about a resurrection. I’ll concede the dead part so I can get to the alive again part.

OK, so Jesus died... What evidence do you have that He was resurrected ?
There are no eyewitnesses to the resurrection... (in other words, no one stood next to Jesus when he came back to life) however, we do have other convincing evidence that shows that the resurrection did happen...
Logic dictates that if there is convincing evidence that:
Jesus died
They knew the exact location where Jesus was buried
They could not find Jesus' corpse in that burial place
Jesus was seen later alive
We would have convincing evidence that Jesus did resurrect from death - because dead people normally don't do these 4 things....
And here is where this dude’s logic begins to really fail. It’s pretty obvious when you start your list with “0”!! Anyway, let’s look at this:
Jesus died. I’m giving you that. Jesus was later seen alive. BIG DEAL!! Elvis was seen after his death. Marilyn Monroe was seen after her death. I’m surprised I’ve not heard of any Michael Jackson sightings already. So what?! How does eyewitness testimony recorded decades after the event prove the event happened as the eyewitness says it did?
I realize I skipped the part about the burial and the empty burial. Whoopee. These events do not in any way help to prove a resurrection. They might suggest grave robbery. Maybe someone, a Christian no doubt, thought the “King of the Jews” would have been buried with some valuables? Maybe they figured they were hidden on his body? You can’t seriously expect me to accept an empty tomb as evidence of a resurrection, do you?
Keep in mind I’ve redacted any reference to scripture. The argument gets real short when you do that.

Evidence that Jesus was buried
Here, the skeptics like to point out that it is customary for the Romans to leave the crucified victims on the crosses for a LONG LONG time; and let animals eat them and them throw what remains into a mass grave.
Therefore, they say, Jesus was not buried in his own grave, but in a mass-grave and you can't never find His body was missing.
But we are talking about "the normal practice", but one single case - in Jesus' case, something special happened and this event has been recorded and passed on to us reliably - as I will show you next.
Evidence that testimonies on Jesus' burial is accurate and reliable:
It is no wonder that the late John A. T. Robinson of Cambridge University ( click here ) said that the burial of Jesus is one of the most certain facts about the historical Jesus - (Reference: "Will the Real Jesus please stand up", page 27)
Huh? What happened the all the evidence? Was it all in the bible? Yep, it sure was.
Evidence of a missing body
It is quite clear from the reading of historical documents that Jesus' body was missing...
Imagine what would happen if Jesus' body was NOT missing. You would have the following event happening around Easter in 30 AD:
Jesus' disciples say: Our Lord has risen Pharasees: Oh, yeah ? Pharasees produce Jesus' dead body, saying: Pharasees: No, he's not
End of argument....
And that would be the end of Christianity....
Historical documents show a different story....
Instead of producing evidence to counter the disciple's proclamation about the risen Jesus, the Pharasees bribes the guards to make them say something that explains a missing body:
Clearly, the Jewish leaders have a problem: Jesus' body was MISSING....

Clearly, Christians have a problem identifying evidence. What happened to the “historical documents”? I didn’t redact them. They weren’t there. I can’t imagine anyone ever finding an empty tomb and immediately saying, “Holy Shit!! He’s come back to life!!”
Was Jesus seen later alive ?
Here is where the Jewish leaders and the disciples differ in their accounts....
Clearly, the resurrected Jesus did not appear to everyone, so the Jewish leaders are right to claim that they have not seen the risen Jesus
But that does not disprove the claim that Jesus was seen alive after his burial....
Examining the evidence of Jesus' resurrection
Both the Jewish leaders and the disciples knew where Jesus was buried.
How do we know that:
Both the Jewish leaders and the disciples knew that on the Sunday after Jesus' death, that grave was empty.
How do we know that:
And since it would be extremely easy to shut the disciples up from proclaiming their gospel of the risen Christ if the grave was not empty (by showing them the dead body of Jesus), but they did NOT. Because they COULD not. Instead, they gave an explanation for the missing body.
Therefore, we can conclude the Pharasees also know that Jesus body was missing - it's no longer inside the grave....
The disciples were convince that they saw Jesus alive....
How do we know that:
Some men will die for a lie invented by others, but no man will die for a lie invented by himself. The disciples were the first ones that preached that Jesus was risen from the death - if this was a lie, these men would have died for a lie invented by themselves.
So, what we have left is that there was an empty grave with no explanation, and people claimed to have seen him alive after that. Well, how can you dispute evidence like that? I seem to remember Jim Jones died for a lie he created. Did David Koresh do the same? Aren’t there lots of examples of delusional people dying for their own delusion? Wasn’t this supposed to be “ironclad”?
Yet another excuse: you can't believe the disciples because the disciples were biased....
Fine, let's hear it from some FORMER UNBELIEVERS !
[redacted] I didn’t redact this because it was scripture. I redacted it because it really doesn’t matter if believers thought they saw Jesus and were already delusional, or if there were non-believers who became delusionsal.
The fact is:
Jesus DID appear to UNBELIEVERS after His resurrection
Sure, He did not appear to ALL unbelievers, but we have the testimony of two unbelievers who BECAUSE THEY saw the resurrected Jesus and believed !!!
Testimonies from UNBELIEVERS
James, the brother of Jesus
The Jewish historian Jesephus wrote about the DEATH of James in his book "Antiquities" - Book 20, Chapter 9 ( click here ):
Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned...
The Sanhedrin (religious leaders) had James put to death.... these Jewish religious leaders were persecuting Christians and James was killed for his faith.
The Bible did not say what made James change from an unbeliever to someone who would give his life in spreading the Gospel, but most Biblical scholar believe it is this:
When James saw the risen Jesus, he HAD TO believe.
Paul: something strange happened on the road to Damascus...
o [redacted]

I left Josephus here. The passage from Josephus that is quoted here is barely proof of someone’s death, but it does not say anything about what James believed or did in his life. But I’ll assume he was killed for his beliefs. I’m still not following how someone murdered for believing a thing is true makes the thing true. Paul’s evidence is, of course, redacted.

The resurrection is even confessed by UNBELIEVERS turned Christians who have seen the risen Jesus !!!

Do or don't you WANT to believe, that's the question !!!
The material I documented above show that there is overwhelming evidence that
Jesus died,
Jesus was buried in a known grave (Joseph of Aremathea),
his body disappeared (missinh)
was seen alive again by some believers AND by some unbelievers (who later became believers)
Yet, some people claim that "their intellect won't allow them to believe"
A common "intellectual" objection is: it would take a miracle to resurrect....
- to this, I have to say that they are right; I'm glad that it DID take a miracle because otherwise - if any John Doe can resurrect from the death, I would not have believed that Jesus is God.
According to Lynn Anderson ( click here ) in the "Case for Faith", it is pure bullshit (sorry for the strong word, but that's the only way to describe it correctly) that the intellect prevents someone from not believing in Jesus (See "Case for Faith" on or around page 236):
"Here is my experience," Anderson said in summary. "When you scratch below the surface, there is either a will to believe or a will NOT to believe.
In other words: your reason (intellect) will not stop you from believing in Jesus - there is plenty of evidence that can convince any reasonable man.
It is your own FREE WILL that prevents you from believing.
Jesus himself had told us about this in John 7:17:
o In other words, if your free will decide to do God's will (i.e., if you decide to turn away from sin), then you will find out whether Jesus' teaching comes from God or decides on that Jesus was just a man and he "only talks the talk" (but does not walk the walk).
o [redacted]
o In other words: After Jesus had done many miracles before some people, they still did not believe because they chose not to. And because they chose not to believe, they could not believe.

If there had been a shred of intelligence presented in any of the preceding paragraphs, this might be convincing. However, there was not.
Faith: the Most Important quality of a human being
So believing or not believing in Jesus is ultimately based of your free will - not on your mind. Your reason or mind cannot prevent you from not believing (although many people claim that, underneat all their "excuses" you will find a "unwillingness to believe").
Faith is achieved by free choice and that's why the quality that God appreciate most in men is faith.... not wisdom or intelligence or whatever. - a man that has faith is a man that has chosen by his own free will to follow God.
Case in point: [redacted]

Ah, here it is. Faith is something you must will yourself to do. You must force yourself, though an act of will, to believe in something for which there is no evidence, or very weak evidence. This is the most important thing you can do, and god demands it. Why? I cannot imagine why a god would want us to delude ourselves.
Important Note: [redacted] This was also not redacted because it was scripture, but because it just plain sucked.

And that’s the end, folks. I really try to avoid these long blogs, but I had to do this one. I just can’t get over why people think they can or should even try to “prove” anything within a religion. On one hand, they say faith is the most important virtue you can have, and in the other they attempt to remove the need for faith by presenting evidence. Now, granted, I didn’t see any. I saw not one argument that would qualify as reasonable. In fact, I find the idea of trying to prove faith is reasonable ridiculous. Just admit you have no evidence, that it is all based on faith, that faith is an act of self-delusion, and you don’t see a problem with any of this. I see all kinds of problems.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A mission of malice

A mission of malice

I often rag on how bad belief is. People who want to ban gay marriage, ban abortion, ban pornography and ban comprehensive sex education are among the most dangerous people on the planet. People who think “intelligent design” should be taught in the science classroom are almost as bad. Belief hurts us when people think we need to convert homosexuals to heterosexuality. It hurts us as people infringe on others freedoms, rights and privacy. It is one of the most destructive things we know.

Often, a common rebuttal to this is that belief also does some good. Faith-based initiatives do all kinds of great things like feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc. There are missions that go to the ends of the earth to try to ease the suffering of others. Surely I must acknowledge that belief if not all bad?

Nope. This would be another example of the harm belief can cause.

The purpose of these missions is NOT primarily to do the good works; it is to spread belief. What better way to spread belief than to offer a hungry person food in exchange for conversion? Let’s offer clothing and shelter for your soul! Confess Jesus is lord, and you will never be lonely again.

While it is true there are rare exceptions to this, the fact is the exception is rare. Show me a mission whose primary purpose is NOT to spread belief but to do the good work, and I will show you one that is criticized by the christain community for this very reason.

Or, you could show me a secular organization that does the good work.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pascal’s Insurance Policy

Pascal’s Insurance Policy

You know Pascal’s Wager, right? Either god exists, or he does not. Either you believe in god, or you do not. If god does not exist, nothing happens to either the believer or the non-believer. If god does exist, the believer goes to heaven and the non-believer goes to hell. The believer stands to lose nothing, while the non-believer stands to win nothing. Therefore, believe.

Well, that’s fine, but we never defined “god”. Which god? You can as easily use Pascal’s wager to argue belief for Zeus, Thor, or Odin. Shall we believe in every god ever conceived by man? That’s a lot of gods, and many will not play nice together, especially that christian/jewish/muslim god.

The believer stands to lose nothing? Really. What of all the time spent at church, or at home, worshiping or praying to an imaginary god? What of any and all money donated to churches? You believers ARE donating the first 10% of your gross income every year, aren’t you? It takes a mere decade, and you’ve lost a year’s wages.

The believer stands to gain nothing? Really. What of the freedom and independence from a tyrannical deity? What of the responsibility of finding and making our own path in life? What of the possibility of recognizing reality?

But I had rejected Pascal’s Wager before I had stopped believing in god. Back when I was a believer, before I knew this argument had a name, I realized it fails miserably. No real believer believes BECAUSE of Pascal’s Wager. Believers have faith, not insurance.

That’s how I see Pascal’s Wager: spiritual insurance. But like real insurance, the premiums are sky-high. And just try to get a claim paid with prayer. Go ahead. Try. You’ve nothing to lose, right? I know I’ll get a giggle watching.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Example of the Harm Belief Can Cause

The Alanar Case

Vaughn Reeves, a former pastor in Sullivan County, Indiana, along with his sons, Chip, Chris, and Joshua Reeves have court dates set in a Ponzi scheme that scammed millions of dollars away from unsuspecting Christians. According to the Indiana Secretary of State, Todd Rokita, and the Sullivan County Prosecutor, Robert E. Hunley II, the Reeves were charged with 10 counts of Securities fraud each. For each count of fraud, they face up to 8 years in prison.

The Reeves have been doing this for quite some time. My wife had even heard of Alanar, the umbrella company the Reeves used to cover their illegal endeavors. They sold bonds to churches, promising church construction and expansion projects which never happened. In total, the Reeves were able to sell over $120 million in fake bonds, and stole more than $6 million. In a story covered by my local paper, the Tribune Star, a couple reported they had given the Reeves more than $300,000. They described as everything they had; it was their lives’ savings.

I was talking about the story at work. One of my co-workers remarked that she didn’t understand why anyone would give $300,000 to a complete stranger, no matter how good the sales pitch was. I explained how the Reeves were able to pull this off.

According to the documents available at and, the Reeves made sure a complete stranger was not the person selling the bonds. Vaughn Reeves was a former pastor in Sullivan County. He had friends and connections within the churches nearby. He didn’t go to each church and sell his fake bonds; he went to the pastor and duped him. They would tell the pastor to sell more bonds to his congregation, and to set a good example, he should buy the most bonds. So the pastor would go out to his congregation thinking he had found a new way to fund his church and keep the lights on. The congregation would follow the pastor, often to the tune of several thousands of dollars.

The Reeves didn’t just dupe the pastor; they trained him on how to dupe his congregation. Sales calls would begin with a prayer. Bible quotes would be dropped in the middle of a call. They would tell people, “Never sell the facts. Sell warm stewardship and the Lord.” They integrated religion with the sales pitch.

My co-worker was right; no one would give a complete stranger thousands of dollars. But they might give that kind of money to the pastor they had known and trusted for years. A simple sales pitch could never convince anyone to do this. But religion defies logic and reason so much, that it can spill over to how we view our finances and our futures. You can view a list of deposits made by the Reeves. Almost all of them come from churches. Many are for huge amounts.

I hear believers say atheism is responsible for the greatest atrocities in history. Most atheists reply that none of these atrocities happened because people were being too skeptical or too rational. Believers ask what harm can come from belief. An unscrupulous person can easily take advantage of your belief. While I cannot understand why an all-powerful deity would value faith over all other virtues, it is easy for me to see why power-hungry men would.

The Alanar scam would never have worked on an atheist. Indeed the prosecutor states that the Reeves expertly played upon the religious beliefs of their victims. If you are wondering what harm can come to you by believing in religion, the Alanar scam is a perfect example. Belief in the supernatural predisposes you to being scammed. Especially by clergy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Meaningless Life without God

A Meaningless Life without God

I hear this alot; that without God life is meaningless. I remember holding such a position before I discovered its flaws. I often see others confused by this statement. Allow me to explain my previous position.

You may have to read more about me to understand how involved with religion my childhood was. Suffice to say, I was inundated with religion. As I began to move away, this point struck major chords with me. If there is no God, how can my life have meaning? If God does not exist, what is my purpose in life? I felt baffled by these questions. I felt terrified that there seemed to be no answer to them. Looking back, I had every reason to be frightened.

Since I could remember, people would tell me things like this, “You are here to serve and love God.” “Your purpose is to fulfill God’s plan for you.” When you are little, say 5 or 6 or so, these seem like solid, intelligent answers, and why shouldn’t they? These answers come from some of the most trustworthy sources I had at my disposal. Combine these simple answers with the routine of Catholic prayer, and it is easy to think you have defined your life, when you have not. And thus, the fear.

I was moving away from religious answers. But how would my life retain meaning? How can I make meaning for my life without God? It seemed impossible. Imagine you are bird, living in a cage. You’ve lived in a cage forever. Now you want out of the cage, but where do you go? How will you eat? Do you really want to leave the only life you know behind for a chance at freedom that comes with great peril? Some birds would choose to stay. I did not.

There I was, left with a meaningless life. I had almost resigned myself to stop looking when it dawned on me. THIS IS THE CHALLENGE! The problem with religion is that it gives you answers that you are supposed to work to get. The meaning in your life is what you make it. It is not what God makes it; it is not what your religion makes it; it is what YOU make it. Each of us has to find our own way through life. Religion offers what seems to be a good roadmap, but it’s more like a tour. Imagine you are a new immigrant to a foreign land. You came to this country looking to begin anew and leave the past in the past. Would you first go on a commercial tour of the country to discover its opportunities? Wouldn’t you rather begin to make connections with people and discover the opportunities that they presented? I see religion as a tour. Only look here, here and here. Don’t look there and please don’t look over there. This is where our great monument to the past is located. Isn’t it pretty?

Religion is seductive. It offers quick, easy answers to life’s hard questions. It seems to be the solution, but it’s not. Even if you but into it, even if you give your life to God or Jesus, even if you do this with all your ability, you fond yourself further from the answers, not closer. Now you must pray, go to church, sing and worship. These things seem designed to distract you from ever realizing the answers you think you have are all lies.

After dropping God, I had to find a way to re-ask the questions I thought I had answered in childhood. More than that, I needed new answers. Without the benefit of religion, I had to turn inward to find these. I started a journal. I kept a record of my thoughts and reflections. I wrote in the journal for five days, read them on the sixth, and reflected on the seventh. This pattern made me feel like I still connected with my old self. Regardless, I found it extremely helpful. As I begin down my newly discovered atheist identity, I fond myself doing the same again. This time I have the internet and myspace, and while I may not be able to write five days a week, I find myself with more then ever to record.

More than ever, I find purpose in life. Now that I am forced to determine my own meaning, I find greater responsibility to DO what inspires me. Without God to spoon-feed me answers and comfort, I must find my own. This means I have to do my best to get it right the first time; I may not have another. Instead of finding life meaningless without God, I find it has more meaning.

Yes, life without God can have meaning, but only if you put it there. Really, isn’t that what would have happened if your prayers to God had been answered? Is God necessary to find inspiration? No, he’s not. I’m glad I found my motivation and inspiration. I’m thrilled I didn’t need to look into superstition to do so. Perhaps now I can be an inspiration to those close to me. That seems to be a fine purpose: to be an inspiration, because God isn’t here, we are.