I wish more people thought like Larry David.
Thanks to Atheist Media
Up until recently, I, like many others, was under the impression that agnosticism was somewhere inbetween atheism and theism. That it was just "fence sitting". I learned that (a)gnosticism and (a)theism are not mutually exclusive when I watched this video by the Atheist Experience. Now I know that I am an agnostic atheist.
You can also read a great explanation about what agnosticism really is at the Atheist Blogger.
Now I know where my fear of bananas come from, they're my worst nightmare!
I have one big problem with all of their arguments. Why does the creator necessarily have to be the biblical god? Why not any other creator that man has thought up? Why not any creator that man hasn't thought up?
This is the kind of thing that makes it hard for me to be amiable.
So I will just shut up and let you watch it yourself.
I feel a lot of pressure to act a certain way as an atheist. Since Christians are constantly insinuating that the only reason we don't have faith is because we are depressed, rebellious, or angry, I feel this huge obligation to prove them wrong, and act as if life since awareness has been a breeze.
In all honesty, life has been harder.
When I was a Christian I had these illusions that I could pray to somebody and it would make everything better. I knew that if this world sucked, I was promised a better one. I actually didn't give death much thought, perhaps because I was so young.
Now that I know that life is all we have, it makes me incredibly worried that I am wasting it worrying! Here I am, telling a Christian that life is more sacred to an atheist because it is our only shot, and yet I am wasting it sitting and typing on a computer, getting into arguments with complete strangers. And yet, when I try to imagine what I should be doing in order to get the most out of my life, I can't really come up with any answers.
I have been very active lately in learning about the debate between religion and atheism, and I have been absorbing information and news. All this does is make me incredibly depressed because I know that the majority of the world clings to delusion, and that the day I die, it will be much the same.
So what can we do to make a difference? To make the most out of our one shot at life? The Friendly Atheist has suggested that we should donate to important causes, such as science education. I think this is an excellent idea. But how much difference is my tiny contribution going to make?
I think the best some of us can do in this life is to try to enjoy it. I want to smile more often, laugh at stupid jokes, love somebody and be loved. Even if it wont change the world, maybe it will leave an impression on the people around me.
Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times calls Expelled
One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time
a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.
Blithely ignoring the vital distinction between social and scientific Darwinism, the film links evolution theory to fascism (as well as abortion, euthanasia and eugenics), shamelessly invoking the Holocaust with black-and-white film of Nazi gas chambers and mass graves.
Every few minutes familiar — and ideologically unrelated — images interrupt the talking heads...This is not argument, it’s circus, a distraction from the film’s contempt for precision and intellectual rigor
“Expelled” is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike. In its fudging, eliding and refusal to define terms, the movie proves that the only expulsion here is of reason itself.
On RichardDawkins.net, Prof. Dawkins responds to a letter they received from a Jewish man who had recently seen Expelled and believed the movie's claim that Hitler was motivated by Darwinism. Here was his message:
Now I truly understand who you atheists and darwinists really are! You people believe that it was okay for my great-grandparents to die in the Holocaust! How disgusting. Your past article about the Holocaust was just window dressing. We Jews will fight to keep people like you out of the United States!
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.
After watching Outfoxed yesterday I was slightly amused by this term (PC Liberalism). But for your comic relief, here are some excerpts from a positive review of Expelled. (The only way someone can enjoy this film is if they are misinformed or willfully ignorant. All of the facts are there on the internet showing that the movie is deceitful trash.) Thanks to RichardDawkins.net for the link.
By Brent Bozell III, Ben Stein vs. Sputtering Atheists
"It is a reality of PC liberalism: There is only one credible side to an issue, and any dissent is not only rejected, it is scorned. Global warming. Gay "rights." Abortion "rights." On these and so many other issues there is enlightenment, and then there is the Idiotic Other Side. PC liberalism's power centers are the news media, the entertainment industry and academia, and all are in the clutches of an unmistakable hypocrisy: Theirs is an ideology that preaches the freedom of thought and expression at every opportunity, yet practices absolute intolerance toward dissension....Evolution is another one of those one-sided debates. We know the concept of Intelligent Design is stifled in academic circles"
"[Stein] allows the principal advocates of Darwinism to speak their minds. These are experts with national reputations, regular welcomed guests on network television and the like. But the public knows them only by their careful seven-second soundbites. Stein engages them in conversation. They speak their minds. They become sputtering ranters, openly championing their sheer hatred of religion."
"He points out... that Hitler's mad science was inspired by Darwinism"
"Everyone should take the opportunity to see "Expelled" — if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it's far more than that. It's a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little."
I probably spend too much time on Yahoo! Answers in the religious section. This can be very frustrating because some of the most troll-ish religious people come out of the wood work. I started visiting this site because I thought it would be good for me to hone some of my debating skills.
I have found that not only the religious trolls annoy me. I find the things that a lot of the atheists say there to be irritating as well.
1. "I am reserving judgement for Expelled until I see it for myself."
Now, I get what they are doing here. They want to sound very "fair and balanced" by saying this. The thing is, if there was a new Paris Hilton horror flick coming out that had gotten several terrible reviews, would you say you were "reserving judgement" until you saw it? I seriously doubt it. You would know it was a piece of crap and you wouldn't waste your time with it. So what is the difference with Expelled? You can look online and find out just what a deceitful piece of crap it is. You don't have to see it for yourself, the facts are there! I find this desire to sound "cool" and "balanced" to be very irritating.
2. "I don't have a problem with religion as long as it is not being shoved down my throat."
This is another attempt to sound very "cool" and "tolerant". The problem is, the religions of the world today are hell-bent on shoving their views down your throat. It is part of their teachings. Whether they admit it or not, their religious book encourages them to convert, conquer, and interfere in the government and lives of non-believers. So saying you don't have a problem with religion as long as it is not being shoved down your throat is kind of like saying you don't have a problem with rain as long as it is not too wet.
3. Saying that Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and other new atheists are just as bad as the "fundi's"
I addressed this a bit in my previous post, but this one makes me the angriest. These people are trying to open up the doors to more tolerance for you, and you are going to sit there and insult them in the same way that religious people do? I cannot count the times that religious people have told me that atheism is a religion and that some of us are just as fundamentalist as they are. So I cannot believe it when I hear an atheist say this. Every major change in society as come about as the result of people getting angry and speaking out! It does not come as a result of apathy. Maybe you would prefer to sit at home and not talk about your atheism, but some of us think we deserve equal rights, and some of us are very concerned about the effect religion is having on society.
I understand that a lot of these people want to be tolerant, and a lot of us have family members and friends who are religious. These people deserve respect, but their religious beliefs do not! The majority of the world is delusional. They believe things with absolutely no evidence to back them up, and they deny science. Whether they are the nicest person you have met, or a crazy intolerant fundamentalist, they are all operating under delusional assumptions and that is extremely harmful to the progress of our society. I don't know about you, but this worries me, and I am not going to respect their delusions.
I was just watching the Root of All Evil again, and it reminded me of some of the criticism I have heard of Richard Dawkins, even from atheists.
I often hear people say that he is too militant, or too anti-religion. I agree that Richard Dawkins is very critical of religion, and I agree that he seems to have a short temper when debating (remember his interview with Ted Haggard in the film? He looked like he wanted to punch him in the mouth as badly as I did), but I still think that he is doing all atheists a great service.
It is true that he thinks religion is dangerous and believing in things without evidence is ignorant and harmful. But it is also true that he says he is a "cultural christian", in that he does not desire to rid the world of religious music, art, or some of its traditions. As an atheist, I have to agree with him. And I have trouble understanding other atheists who argue that we should just let religion alone and mind our own business.
I have to wonder, do these people watch the news? How can they not be extremely troubled by the things that are happening as a direct result of religion? How can they be so apathetic to it all? I can't help feeling outraged when I hear about honor killings of Islamic women or about Bush waging his holy war in Iraq or about the majority of the U.S. population denying scientific facts in favor of fantasies.
How can these things not make you angry? Really, I would love to know. Because ever since I became an atheist and started researching things, I have become increasingly upset about the absolutely harmful effects of religion on the advancement of our society. Are things getting worse? No, of course not. They have improved. Atheists used to be burned at the stake. But does that mean that we should stop speaking out and stop being outraged by ignorance and introlerance?
I agree that Richard Dawkins is quite terrible at reaching believers. He is far too emotional and anti-faith to get through to them. But I believe that what he is doing serves a different purpose. It serves to wake atheists up. To make us aware of the harmful things that are occuring, and to make us passionate. To help us to "come out", and not be ashamed to tell our friends and co-workers that we don't believe in their god. For this, I am very grateful to Richard Dawkins.
If it weren't for people like him and Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, PZ Meyers, and many others, I would be a lot less interested and passionate about this world that we live in and its future. All of these people are outspoken, and some may say, militant atheists. But I think we owe them our gratitude for speaking out on our behalf. Especially for American atheists, if it weren't for these "new" atheists and these online communities filled with non-believers, many of us would have nowhere to turn to for support.
This documentary may be a bit old, but I just saw it today and was pretty angered by it. It's an 8 part video on YouTube.
The film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know. See for yourself how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been waging war against journalism and independent news.
I have never been a Catholic, so I have to admit that I am quite confused by all of the fanfare this man has received. What has he done? Why should I care? Why does our nation's leader and the media care so much? All I've heard are negative things. Read the IHT article here.
The ceremony was among the most elaborate the White House has ever conducted, even more so than the one last year honoring the queen of England. The opera singer Kathleen Battle sang The Lord's Prayer, her clear voice pealing out in the soft spring air. Little girls in flowered print dresses carried signs welcoming the "Pope of Hope," while the presence of dozens of bishops and cardinals, in their traditional black vestments set off by magenta and red skullcaps and sashes, lent a European air of solemnity to the occasion. When the ceremony was over, the announcer declared, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please join us in singing 'Happy Birthday' to the Holy Father."
This is an audio of an interview after some of the editors of the Scientific American watched a screening of Expelled. This is a discussion they had with the associate producer of the film, Mark Mathis. This interview is very revealing about the dishonesty of the film.
Also, check out the Expelled Exposed website.
I thought the Compassion Forum on CNN last night was largely annoying (the fact that the Democratic candidates are being forced to pander to the religious in order to get votes). But there were some comments made by Obama that I thought were worth mentioning:
"We are not just a Christian nation, but a Jewish nation, a Buddhist nation, a Muslim nation, a Hindu nation, and an atheist or non-believer nation."
"One of the things that my religious faith allows me to do, hopefully is not to operate out of fear, fear is a bad council, and I want to operate out of hope and faith"
On Yahoo!Answers someone asked the question:
Why doesn't the U.S. government acknowledge atheists?
Yes, and I guess porn video shops and strip clubs are not enough to show this? (who do they think the majority of these business' customers are?)
the same reason we dont want to acknoledge satanists. you're all mixed up in the head
They are not allowed to talk about and worship God in school. isnt that good enough?
the government allready acknowledges this .... but seperation of church and state... also homo sexuals have the same rights.. but dont force your beliefs on to others.. mind your own busines.. you have the right to think and choose whatever you desire.. as long as it does not stop on others or hurt others ok
Well, the Gov tries to keep religion out of Gov and public organizations already. I'd say that is past equality... seems you have a superior position with them.
Atheist influences have been taking over our government little by little and are winning. No prayer in schools, no public displays of the 10 commandments, public funding for stem cell research... What are you complaining about?
What's your definition of equality? Do you have to pay higher taxes? Do you get to vote? Do you get get refused service at restaurants? You just want the ability to go around telling non-athiests how they should live. Does the presence of a church in your neighborhood infringe on your rights? Nobody's saying you have to attend it.
Nobody is forcing your kids to pray in school. But it seems like a lot of athiests are trying to deny non-athiest children the right to pray. (apparently we have forbidden children to pray? i wasn't aware of that new law)
I guess they are ashamed that we have them in the USA. I know that I am and that most are Godly people here so no one is saying you can't live here just stop putting us down ,,you have taken away the prayer in school and the Ten Commandent,s out of places..what more do you want,,because we will fight it in court because we are
not going to lose our right,s. (you are at risk of losing your right to freedom of religion, which may not affect you today, but could in the future)
It’s called separation of Church and State. (oh, so they have heard of it, then!)
what are you talking about? since when are atheists oppressed? you think you have it so hard when in fact you probably have very easy. how can you say that when in schools you can't pray or even talk about God without getting into trouble for it. they are even talking about taking the "in God we trust" logo off of our currency. I think it's pretty clear just how nice your faith has it in this country. when people tell you that your weak for your beliefs then you can ask this question, until then I suggest that you keep your opinions to yourself.
The US gov't has acknowledged "your" presence. But because you're the minority and the majority still frowns upon "you" the gov't will not start giving "you" special rights. At least they won't right now. Give it a few years and they will. All of this is foretold in the bible. Just wait a few years, you'll have the leader "antichrist" you want or think you want, and you'll have the "world" you think you want. One religion (which is no religion), one currency, one world. Don't get too anxious. (well, since lots of people are claiming obama is the antichrist, guess we're in luck!)
If an Atheist has No Faith, No Belief, then why should the Government believe that you have Faith in them?
I find it really upsetting that it has become a contest for the Democrats to see who is the bigger Jesus lover. I find it upsetting that a politician cannot admit to atheism, and that the Christian voters are so enormously influential that one cannot be elected without pandering to them.
Clinton told CNN's Campbell Brown and Newsweek's Jon Meacham. "I don't think that I could have made my life's journey without being anchored in God's grace and without having that, you know, sense of forgiveness and unconditional love.
I would like to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from The Atheist Blogger's 101 Atheist Quotes. Please take a look at the original list, these are only a few:
Faith means not wanting to know what is true. - Friedrich Nietzsche
We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes. - Gene Roddenberry
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg
Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going? - Anonymous
It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image. - Ludwig Feuerbach
What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. - Christopher Hitchens
You do not need the Bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate. - Richard A. Weatherwax
A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow
If all the Christians who have called other Christians “not really a Christian” were to vanish, there’d be no Christians left. - Anonymous
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. - Frater Ravus
Authorities removed 416 children from a West Texas polygamist compound in the last week, in response to a teen's accusations that her 50-year-old husband beat and raped her. The compound is called the Yearn for Zion Ranch in Eldorado owned by the breakaway Mormon sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Read the full MSNBC article here.
"A Saudi man has created a riposte to films criticising Islam in a video which portrays Christianity as a religion of violence.
The film, entitled Schism, was made by Raed al-Saeed. It splices together Bible verses and Iraq war images - including British soldiers beating civilians."
Mr Saeed said his film was not intended to outrage or provoke, but rather to illustrate how all religions could be depicted as preaching violence.
"It is easy to take parts of any holy book and make it sound like the most inhuman book ever written,...In Schism I have used the same methodology that Wilders has used and that involves taking texts out of context," he said.
At a San Francisco fundraising event on April 11th, Obama said about small town people in Pennsylvania and the midwest:
they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy towards people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Monique Davis apologized for her hateful comments towards an atheist during a hearing over a million dollar grant for a South Side church.
She attempted to excuse her actions by saying that she had just learned that day that more students in her state had died of gun violence. I fear that her apology was too late, and I don't think that this is a good excuse for lashing out at atheists, and telling them their view point is "dangerous". I still believe she should step down. Whether in anger or not, her comments reflected on her obviously intolerant views of people who disagree with her religious beliefs.
I agree with this blog entry on Atheist Revolution Blog, it is upsetting how little press this story got, since the outrage would have been incredible had she insulted any other belief system (Islam, for example). It is incredible how stigmatized atheism still is in the U.S.
Read more about it on Pharyngula.
She was named "worst person in the world" on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show "Countdown". Here is the video:
Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy is a K-8 charter school in Minnesota. A Charter schools are public schools and by law must not endorse or promote religion. An article by Katherine Kersten exposes them for using tax payers' money to run an Islamic school.
Evidence cited by Kersten:
The school shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is "establishing Islam in Minnesota." The building also houses a mosque.
The executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader
Students pray daily
The cafeteria serves halal food - permissible under Islamic law
"Islamic Studies" is offered at the end of the school day as an extra-curricular activity, but none of the school buses leave until this study is over.
Assemblies are held, children are required to perform ritual washing beforehand, and religious leaders lead the children in prayer.
The following video is an hour-long documentary about a man who claims to be the Messiah and his following, who live in New Mexico and are waiting for the end of the world. Click here to view the video on The Atheist Media Blog.
I found this documentary to be extremely troubling, mainly because it shows just how blindly people will believe something because it makes them feel loved, special, and like they belong. Some quotes that really stood out to me:
"My mother told me I was brain washed, and I thought yes, I am brainwashed! Michael washed my brain of all my own corrupt thoughts."
"No children attend school here, Michael says it is a bad influence."
I don't know what kind of ego it takes to proclaim yourself as the Messiah, but I have to think that this man actually believes himself. At one shocking point in the film, he reveals that God "instructed" him to sleep with his son's wife. As he explains this we see the pain in his son's face, who really cuts a tragic figure. Does this man think that every erection is a sign from god? He must.
This video is a must see if you have the time, and you can find a little bit more info here.
This video is reposted from Atheist Media Blog.
"The UN Rights Council passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries saying it is deeply concerned about the defamation of religions and urging governments to prohibit it." (Read International Herald Tribune article here).
"The resolution "urges states to take actions to prohibit the dissemination ... of racist and xenophobic ideas" and material that would incite to religious hatred. It also urges states to adopt laws that would protect against hatred and discrimination stemming from religious defamation."
"Although the text refers frequently to protecting all religions, the only religion specified as being attacked is Islam, to which eight paragraphs refer."
I share his outrage at this resolution. Religion should not be above criticism, and we should not allow a group to intimidate us and take away our freedom of expression.
Science education in the United States is obviously lacking somewhere. Many people are completely ignorant about what a "theory" is in science, and what evolution is. Here are some examples of where America is failing in educating its students in science (not to mention grammar and spelling as well):
Macro evolution is where you breed two like beings/creatures whatever and instead of getting the young of that species you get a completely different species. It's never happened - NEVER and NEVER will! that's why the unbeliever tries to make us believe the world is over a million years old - that's the only excuse they have for why they cannot reproduce Macro evolution.
If you feel like Monkey .. then believe in evolution
Evolution has fundamental flaws and is a lame alternative to the Genesis. You shouldn't believe in evolution.
Evolution is not an illusion. It was an assumption, which has been scientifically disproven. Today, it continues only as a religious belief. Evolution is not true, science does not claim it is true; only evolutionists do. Evolutionists attempt to convince others of a lie - that science accepts evolution. Scientists no longer accept this lie, and neither should you.
Evolution is not a proved fact. It's still a theory.
evolution is crap talk... god created everything
"Evolution" is not a fact, it is a way of people trying to get out of having to follow God. If you want to believe that your great great great great... grandfather was a type of monkey than that's up to you. Does that mean that apes, monkeys etc. are as smart as us? Apparently that's what people who believe in "evolution" believe in. If the "evolution" theory is true, than where are you going after your life here on earth?Who's to say that God didn't create everything using completely different laws than we know of now, and just left us with laws that we could understand, or laws that were deliberately inferior to the laws He used so that we couldn't create or destroy a universe ourself? Think about it. Then ask yourself, do we really know how the universe was created and should we?
I set up this blog with the intention of staying amiable. This does not mean that I think that we should sit back and say nothing. In fact, I am quite the angry atheist in disguise. I think it is our right and our responsiblity to get angry when we think bad things are being done. This is the only way to make a difference. Staying amiable on my blog is just an effort to remain level-headed in my discussions, because I tend to get heated when I debate about things I feel strongly about.
Because I want to avoid a rant, I would like to direct you to an excellent blog entry by Greta Christina, that explains why atheists are mad, why we should be mad, and why religion is not just "a windmill". The blog entry is called Atheists and Anger.
This is an excerpt from an article by Tony Beam, Knowing the Enemy and How We Must Fight, that states that the two biggest threats to Christianity today are Islam and atheism. Unintended humor ensues...
The second enemy Colson mentioned is what he calls “Neo-atheism.” This new brand of 21st century atheism is much more pervasive and exceedingly more dangerous than any of its earlier manifestations. Neo-atheism goes much farther than the mere denial of God’s existence. It actually calls for the eradication of all forms of Christianity. One prominent Neo-atheist has gone so far as to suggest that Christian parents should be prohibited by law from passing their religious values down to their children. They consider the teachings of Jesus Christ to be the moral equivalent of child abuse. They believe absolute truth is a myth and objective, fact-based reality is a fairytale told by fools (is he referring to belief in god as fact-based reality?). Relativism has so infested the thinking of many Christians that they are slowly beginning to buy into the ideas put forth by the Left concerning what true Christianity is all about. Moral relativists on the political Left reduce abortion to nothing more than a woman’s right to choose and homosexuality to nothing more than one lifestyle choice among many (gasp!). They turn the “faith once delivered to the saints” into the “faith once distorted for the sake of political gain.” (couldn't have said it better myself)
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
Atheism is a belief system that ardently denies the existence of God. God calls the atheist a FOOL. Many atheists spend much time and effort attempting to "disprove" that God exists. According to Romans chapter 1 they know that He exists, but they want to control their own lives and not submit to the Lord. They are actually rather tragic figures just like any other unsaved individual. It is hard to live out their atheism--if they did, they'd actually be considered crazy like O'Hair was.
Most atheists have what I call the Don Quixote Syndrome... Don Quixote would attack windmills as if they were his enemies. Of course a windmill is nobody's enemy. If what the atheist believes is REALLY his belief, then he would leave people like me alone. After all, if God did not exist, He and His followers would be no enemy to the atheist. We'd just be deluded people. Therefore IF the atheist REALLY believes there is no God and the fool attacks a Christian, then he has the Don Quixote Syndrome because the Christian is not his enemy.
you were spontaneously generated from a rock,
a monkey is your daddy,
a fish is your cousin,
you have no hope,
you should just live for today,
when you're dead, you're dead.
Is there any evidence that could make you stop believing in your god?
Even atheists admit that if one could actually show some concrete evidence, we would be compelled to believe in a god.
But do you believers admit that regardless of the amounts of concrete evidence that could be produced, you would still deny it?
Does that make the atheists more reasonable and rational in their willingness to accept evidence? It is illogical and irrational to deny concrete evidence in every other circumstance in life. Why should your religious beliefs be the exception?
"For millenia, there have been people trying to prove or disprove the existence of God. I don't think it can be done. But keep trying, and we'll see. I can tell you right now, it won't be a fossil." (just as people have been trying for millenia to PROVE the existence of God, but have never been succesful)
"if my faith was circumstantial then yes but my faith is authentic" (And my lack of faith isn't?)
"I believe that God is...The power of love and goodness...There is lots of evidence of love - and since that's what I believe God to be - I have proof." (I believe that God is mashed potatoes and since I had them for dinner last night and they were delicious, I have proof?)
"God has made Himself known to me in ways that can't be denied ... ever." (So the answer is, "No I am not reasonable or rational"?)
If you have some extra time, this video is a bit long, but pretty interesting, it was posted originally on The Atheist Media Blog. It is a British television show with a panel of people both religious and non. The three topics discussed are:
Are immigrants harming Britain?
Do people have the right to offend?
Does the devil exist?
Richard Dawkins is a special guest on the show, and some of the other guests either impressed me or made me shake my head in disbelief. I happen to disagree with Richard Dawkins' whole "Atheists for Jesus" thing where he says that Jesus was an inspirational person. I have read what Jesus said, and I don't see anything that morally compelling or insightful. Jesus also happened to say some really cruel/absurd things that seem to get overshadowed by the cruelty and absurdity of the Old Testament.
Here are some quotes from the video that really stood out to me:
"I defend the right for people to have views, but I would object to imposing your morality on everyone else through the law of the land. "
"I don't think there's ever been a poll taken at any time where people thought we were in moral ascent. Everything is always getting worse, that's the nature of human feeling." This was in response to a poll saying that a majority of people think morality in Britain is declining.
"You don't have to be a godly person to be a good person."
"A film claiming that Islam was violent had to be taken off because of death threats, so it kind of proves the point! We need the right to ridicule, we need the right to offend."
"We don't just have the right, we have the necessity to offend."
"Our most important freedoms and social advances have been brought about by people who caused great offense in their time: Galileo, Charles Darwin, people who spoke out against slavery."
"Walking down the street you get offended. It's part of being grown up. "
"The universe does not owe you a sense of hope."
Apparently Jesus would be a hater. The following exchange between atheist activist Rob Sherman of Buffalo Grove and Ill. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) took place Wednesday afternoon in the General Assembly as Sherman testified before the House State Government Administration Committee. Imagine if this had been said about any other group besides atheism? How big would the outcry be? And can someone please tell me what Christians are doing about guns in school? Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school. I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know? I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous-- Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am? Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat! Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court--- Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
You can go to RichardDawkins.net to hear the audio.
Apparently Jesus would be a hater. The following exchange between atheist activist Rob Sherman of Buffalo Grove and Ill. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) took place Wednesday afternoon in the General Assembly as Sherman testified before the House State Government Administration Committee. Imagine if this had been said about any other group besides atheism? How big would the outcry be? And can someone please tell me what Christians are doing about guns in school?
Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school.
I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?
I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--
Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?
Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!
Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---
Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
When I was younger, I was volunteering to help sell Christmas trees. They asked me to make some signs, so I did my best, but all I could fit was "Xmas Trees" (Christmas is a long word!). While I was selling trees, a woman came up to me and asked "Did you make these signs?" I told her that I had, and she proceeded to chew me out for disrespecting her religion, being inconsiderate, and taking Christ out of Christmas. Unfortunately, I was too shocked to respond and she just walked away, probably feeling really proud of herself.
Just about every Christian I have asked, believes that writing Xian or Xmas is insulting and rude to their faith. So I decided to check on this...
Urban Legends Reference Page
The abbreviation Xmas for Christmas is neither modern or disrespectful. This usage is nearly as old as Christianity itself, and its origins lie in the fact that the first letter in the Greek word for Christ is "chi", and the Greek letter "chi" is represented by a symbol similar to the letter x.So the abbreviation was not created specifically for the purpose of demeaning Christ, Christmas, or Christians
I don't know where that link obtained their study,but in America...almost every Christian Denomation objected to their "christ" being taken out of their Faith. I am Jewish and I would be insulted as most Jewish people would be if I was refered to as a Ew rather than a Jew or called Ewish,It is very insultive,..So anyway you are certainly allowed to feel anyway or think anything you want,but I stand by what I posted,but if someone insults my Faith & says Ewish or Ew I'd report them~Shalom"
Contrary to popular belief, atheists are not on a mission to eradicate all religion. Most of us are just interested in protecting the rights of everyone to believe what they want without oppression. This right protects us atheists, and it is also what protects the rights of Christians in the United States to practice their religion. As the number of Muslims continues to rise above that of Christians in the future, I think you will be very thankful if you have still preserved these rights.
Many Christians today are trying to tear down the separation of church and state in the U.S., claiming that it is a "Christian nation" and was founded on Christian values. Regardless of the founding fathers' religious beliefs, it was pretty clear that they were really interested in protecting peoples' right to religious freedom, even those in the minority. In order to do this, they set up this separation of church and state in our country. Just because the majority of people living in the United States are Christian, does not mean it should be a Christian nation, just as it should not be a White Nation or a Woman Nation either. This means that ideally, the U.S. should not impose any rules that show favoritism or support to one religious belief over another.
In the news recently is the controversy in Turkey over the ban of head scarves in universities. I believe that this ban is harmful to freedom of religion and should be lifted. I do not find head scarves to be harmful to anyone else, but I find this ban to be harmful to Muslim women. It harms their chance of receiving an education. We may find their beliefs to be silly or strange, but if they want to believe that they should cover their heads, and if covering their heads doesn't hurt anyone, then I support their right to do so.
You can read more about the head scarf ban in Turkey here.
Here is proof of the Christian God's existence, straight from the fingers of believers and onto the Religion and Spirituality section at Yahoo! Answers. (I promise, I did not make these up).
"do u believe in the wind? but u've never seen it or touched it huh? but u feel it.. thats how it is with God.. you feel him in the wake of each morning.. having a relationship with God means talking to him in prayer.and seeking him. and day by day.. you feel him =D God bless!"
"There is plenty of evidence for God and the accuracy of the Bible.
A building must have a builder.
A painting must have a painter.
Creation must have a creator."
"u must believe in god, he create us , do u think , if u watch in desert , logical u say it is belong to someone, so , god create us from nothing to worship him and see the power and perfect creatures to obey him more ."
"Everyone believes in something sight unseen. Nobody knows everything."
"You seem to think that believers don't question. That is not the case. I spent my life questioning. That is why I do believe in God. To me it is the only answer that makes sense. I choose to have faith. God has done such wonders in my life that I would be stupid not to believe."
"I have seen the light through Jesus"
"My beliefs are based on the truth of the Scriptures.........not on a myth.....or on an opinion."
"So Christianity is tangible because of the evidence supporting it............both Spiritually & historically."
"I have seen the Lord work in my life & in the lives of fellow Christians around me."
"Because I cried out to him in total and complete desperation and he answered me!"
"Becuase I've felt something that I've never felt before when I was in his presence. I couldn't see him or hear him, but I knew he was there - it was the most beautiful feeling, and I pray that you and everyone else will get to feel that one day."
"The end of times are approaching fast, are you ready?"
"Yes, I believe in God with my whole heart. I believe because he brings me comfort, and he answers my prayers."
"How can one not just look at how wonderfully made the Earth is and not believe in God? What about how wonderfully made our human bodies are? It's all too perfectly placed to have happened by accident. If the Earth was just a little bit closer to the sun, we would burn up, if it was a little bit further we would freeze. There are so many varieties of animals, plants, and foods to enjoy. How could all of those things have come to be by mere chance? They, and we were created. There is NO OTHER possible, rational explanation. There is too much proof to deny the wonderful existence of Jehovah God!"
"I know God exists from my own direct, personal experience. Just as I know love exists from direct experience of it...and I know you exist because I am replying to your message."
"Yes, Good and evil exist its plain to see. Look at your eye in a mirror and really study it. wow what a creation, who could do that but God. and dont say man can make some test tube model, because he only uses the stuff like sperm and eggs that was already there. How else could your skeleton get into your body, we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made, Praise God. You can find out for yourself, all you have to do to find out is ask Jesus to come into your life, now thats not difficult, try it with a true heart. God bless you."
"The gospels are eyewitness accounts..............
They recorded His birth, life, death & resurrection.
The most important aspect that you're forgetting about is this:
Each believer posesses the Holy Spirit of God........and He guides us into all truth."
A BBC report shows 68 academic societies from around the world expressing their support of teaching evolution. Excerpt:
"We, the undersigned Academies of Sciences, have learned that in various parts of the world, within science courses taught in certain public systems of education, scientific evidence, data, and testable theories about the origins and evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied, or confused with theories not testable by science. We urge decision makers, teachers, and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and to foster an understanding of the science of nature. Knowledge of the natural world in which they live empowers people to meet human needs and protect the planet.
We agree that the following evidence-based facts about the origins and evolution of the Earth and of life on this planet have been established by numerous observations and independently derived experimental results from a multitude of scientific disciplines. Even if there are still many open questions about the precise details of evolutionary change, scientific evidence has never contradicted these results:"
"Human understanding of value and purpose are outside of natural science’s scope. However, a number of components – scientific, social, philosophical, religious, cultural and political – contribute to it. These different fields owe each other mutual consideration, while being fully aware of their own areas of action and their limitations.
While acknowledging current limitations, science is open ended, and subject to correction and expansion as new theoretical and empirical understanding emerges."
I have recently been informed that the world will end on December 21, 2012. Guess I'd better get some more travelling in before then.
Apparently, the Mayan calendar ends on that date, and many predict that this means the world will end. I assumed nobody would accept that a fiercely superstitious and violent culture based on myths from 3000 years ago was in possession of this knowledge. I can't help but picture the savage culture from Mel Gibson's film Apocalypto. Apparently, I was wrong. There seems to be an irresistable attraction to fear for some people. What really confuses me, is that many people of the Christian faith have also latched onto this date.
Here are my thoughts on this...
Number of apocalypses that have been predicted?: too many to count
Number of predictions that were correct?: 0
This is a public access television show from Austin, Texas called the Atheist Experience. In this video, the host, Matt Dillahunty, responds to the claim that it takes faith to be an atheist.
I was really impressed by this video. I admired how the host kept calm throughout the interview. I think that is very important in discussing religion with people. We will never get people to listen if we use anger and emotion.
Secondly, I was very interested about how he describes "absolute knowledge" and "practical knowledge". He says that atheists do not claim to know absolutely that there is no god, because we will never know anything absolutely. But we can say practically that there is no god based on insufficient evidence. In the same way, we cannot know absolutely that there is no Santa Claus, but we can say practically that he does not exist.
He says at one point
"I would prefer that people be able to justify their beliefs with something more than personal experience and faith...name one thing besides religious belief where that would be an unrealistic expectation...I care whether or not my beliefs are true. I don't just believe what's comfortable and what feels good".
This is a video by Pat Condell on YouTube.
"According to a recent opinion poll, many Muslims say that the way for the West to have better relations with Islam is to show it more respect. And who said Muslims dont have a sense of humor? Given that Islam is officially above criticism in the West, it's hard to imagine how we could give it anymore respect..."
I would like to share a little bit about myself to begin this blog.
I was raised religious. My mother was Baptist, and my father was Seventh Day Adventist. When I was young, we moved a few times, so we were always sampling different churches in the area to find the right fit. I went to Calvary Chapel, Episcopalian, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Latter Day Saint, and Catholic church services. When we finally settled down, we decided on a small Baptist Church in our rural town.
As a young girl, I was very familiar with Bible stories, I prayed often, and went to church regularly. I accepted everything that my family and the church told me because I trusted that they knew best. I remember being so concerned with not sinning that I would pray for forgiveness if I let a mean word slip or if I was disobedient to my mother.
When I was 15 I went to a Baptist summer camp. It was a great experience. I was surrounded by other young people who loved the Lord, there was great music, and lots of fun. During an emotional sermon I stood up and "accepted Jesus into my heart". I cried, and everyone cheered for me. I felt completely filled up and good.
When I got home from the camp, those feelings soon faded as I realized I could not maintain that kind of elation in my daily life. I began to discuss baptism with my pastor, but everything seemed hollow and meaningless. When I was baptized at 16, I felt nothing and knew something was not right. I stopped taking communion and started doubting the things taught in my Sunday school class. I remember sneaking onto the computer one afternoon when nobody was home, and googling "atheism". To me it seemed like a dirty, evil word and I was frightened of being caught. But I just wanted to know, did they have any valid points? But my guilt over this urge was overwhelming and I didn't look any further.
At 18 I went away to college and during my freshman year I took a course on the religions of the world, anthropology, and geology. Learning about the many different religions in the world made me wonder, how could all of the others be wrong when they were all so convinced of their beliefs? In anthropology and geology class I discovered that the real world contradicted many of the stories in the Bible that I had been taught to interpet literally. The world was millions of years old, and humans had only been alive for a fraction of that time! At first, I began to accept the fact that perhaps the Bible was not to be taken literally, but that God was still important and my faith was not at odds with science.
But the more I learned about science and the world, the more I realized that my religion was just plain wrong; my Bible was filled with cruel and ignorant stories and it could not explain how the world began, and my fellow believers were sometimes intolerant and hypocritical in the name of God.
This is when I realized that I was an atheist. Since that point, I have never regretted this discovery. The only time I have felt a loss, is when I instinctually begin to pray at moments when things aren't going my way. I have to stop and laugh when I realize I am talking to myself.
Lately I have been eagerly reading and learning about atheism. The topic is very interesting to me, because practically every part of our lives is influenced by peoples' religious beliefs, and it is worrisome to me that this influence is often times harmful.
I have started this blog because I wanted a place to compile my thoughts and interesting things that I find on the topic of religion and atheism. Of course, I invite you to express your opinions, but I hope you will also try to remain an Amiable [Insert your belief here] when you leave your comments.