Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Best Delusion EVER

Sometimes, a believer will tell me that christianity or whatever their particular favorite flavor of delusion is, has benefited humans beyond comprehension. They will tell me islam is made for peace, that christianity invented science, that faith-based missions help thousands of people. I will hear of how people like mother Teresa or the pope have spread good deeds and hope to millions. I shout BULLSHIT and smile at their stunned faces.

Oh, I take that back. For now. Let's say I conceded that the Crusades never happened, the Holocaust wasn't religiously inspired, and the Inquisistion was a terrible misunderstanding. I'll concede for now that 9-11 is a cover story to frame the peace-loving muslim nations. Sure. Why not.

So what? So it's the best delusion ever. How does that make it not a delusion? Are there more delusions that I may find helpful? Should I give homeopathy a try? Psychic surgery? Will the tarot become more accurate? Hmm. My horoscope says I'll be an asshole today. This shit WORKS!!

I've been told that even if belief is a delusion, it is helpful. We have to fool ourselves into thinking god is real, or we become monsters. Right. Because atheists have an organization with endless funding to hide, obscure, inhibit and defend child abusers. Because atheists fight to defeat civil liberty and freedom. Yep. It's helpful alright.

And I don't really concede religion is helpful at all. You knew that, right? I suppose I could shout bullshit again, but now it's no fun.

If religion really wanted to be helpful, then missions would feed hungry people and not shove faith down their throats along with the cheesburgers. If religion really wanted to be a boon to society, it'd keep it's damn mouth shut. If we could know who the christians are by actions, and not their voices, we'd never know what a christian was. All we'd see would be people helping each other because it is the right thing to do. And nothing more. Then god wouldn't be needed, because we'd be there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rotten Biblical Fruit

Rotten Biblical Fruit

Someone told me that the bible is a great way to know if you are living a good life. They told me that contained within the bible is a lifestyle that is guaranteed to make your life better. I asked if killing non-believers and their children would make them happy and they told me that is not in the bible. I lack the memory to recall the verses, but it’s in there. I asked if incest was going to make me happy and they told me that I was taking the bible out of context. I asked how I was supposed to know what context to take the bible, and they told me I needed to study the bible.

For an instruction manual, this book sucks. Apparently, the instruction manual needs an instruction manual. Imagine a cookbook that told you to measure a half cup of flour, but if you are homosexual, you should not use flour, and if it is the Sabbath day (whatever that is) you should use ¾ cup of flour. Then, later, the cookbook says to ignore the cup completely and said to use the metric system instead. It also told you there is only one way to bake this bread, and if you get it wrong, it will kill you. A best seller in the making, I’m sure.

It seems to me that this “biblical study” crap is an exercise in mental aerobics. This is the class where you get to stretch your logic to the breaking point and back. Here you learn that the bible doesn’t mean what it says; no, it means the opposite. Slavery is bad, the bible says so, if you read it properly and twist the context into something completely different than what is written.

Any cookbook that tells you there is only one recipe for anything is full of shit. The bible wants us to eats a candy-coated, batter-dipped, deep fried dog turd and ask for seconds. No, thanks. It still tastes like crap to me. How anyone can swallow that with a straight face is beyond me. Must be an acquired taste.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Absolute Failure of Absolute Moral Standards

The Absolute Failure of Absolute Moral Standards

Every so often, a believer will tell me that god exists because he is the source of the absolute moral standard. They will tell me that absolute moral standards exist because if I am to say that something is good or evil, that is a judgment. To make that judgment, I must be able to compare something to a perfect good or evil standard. If perfect good exists, god is its source and therefore, god exists. A facepalm always follows.

To start, I need no perfect example to know rape is evil. None is required to know feeding starving people is good. These seem self-evident to me, but for the sake of argument, I’ll find something to make a comparison. Is rape more evil than not raping? Is feeding the hungry more good than not? Hmm. I think I’m done comparing. But is rape the ultimate evil? Is torture more evil than rape? Is there a form of torture that could be considered to be more evil? Like say, hell? Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself.

It seems perfect examples are not necessary for these judgments. How then, do we make moral judgments? How can we know we make the right choice?

It seems to me our moral judgments should keep us up at night. Was that the best thing to do? Could I have done it differently or better? Constant review and re-review is needed and we must commit ourselves to this massive undertaking.

So why do believers always bring the myth of absolute moral standards to the table? I think it is clear. First, religion is a tool for control, not morality. It is designed to force certain actions and inactions that promote the religion. If you think this will make you a better person, why wouldn’t you follow it? If you are guaranteed a code of ethics that has god’s seal of approval, why would you need to look any further? So what if innocent people die when you crash that airplane into a building? God says it is okay, so it is.

Not that I don’t think there are no moral standards. I just don’t think they are absolute in any way. Once people thought slavery was okay. It still carries god’s approval. But we know slavery is wrong. One day, the people who say gay marriage is an abomination to god will be trying to convince us they supported love the whole time. Won’t that be a great day?

Even if I were to accept the existence of absolute moral standards, I could not accept god as the source. God has but one punishment and one reward. Though I thought the movie sucked, Obi Wan said it best when he told Anikin, “Only a Sith thinks in terms of black and white.” Evil demands obedience, or death. Good allows for the morally gray. If any absolutes do exist, god would be the source of evil. If hell has multiple levels, it recognizes the morally gray, and therefore is good.

But it’s all bullshit. Absolute moral standards are as real as flying poop monsters. We have to own our morality, and make it work for us. God isn’t here, we are.