Posts Tagged ‘Atheism’

I Respect Good People, Not Stupid Beliefs

I find it tragic that I love reality, yet everyday I spend in the real world I die a little on the inside. No, it’s not the world itself that I hate, but the society within it that doesn’t seem to grasp its own environment.

Today, I had the pleasure of wallowing in more anti-intellectualism with the irnoic combination of cultural relativism. In history, I was in a group of two other students, one of which was African American, working on a project when we started talking about his race. It really wasn’t racist in any way, and I’m not sure how we got on the topic of his skin colour (it certainly wasn’t me who brought it up as I couldn’t care less if he was purple with turquoise polka dots), but I was trying to get the group back to work and said “Well, ultimately we all come from Africa so let’s start answering these questions…”

I was, of course, referring to the fact that Africa is the cradle of our species, Homo sapiens. The fact that they didn’t know this was already proof enough of the public education system having failed them.

Anyway, somehow from there we started talking about evolution and how I was an Atheist and the African American kid was trying to make the one connection to Atheism and evolution his education could make. “South Park, Atheism… South Park, Atheism… South Park, Atheism… Aren’t Atheists against evolution?”

The error was quickly corrected, but I asked him what his personal religious beliefs were because the two were pretty much ridiculing me for stating the fact that the cradle of our species was in Africa. It turned out that he believed in God but was not deeply religious and did not deny evolution, so the ridicule was more out of ignorance… but I went ahead and asked him why he believed that God was “up there”.

If God is “up there” in the United States, then is he also ” up there” in Australia? That was just a random thought and not what I actually said…

As I was saying, I asked him why he thought that somebody was “up there”, and the other kid suddenly started rambling about how “that’s just true for you, and what true for me is different from what’s true for you.”


Why, just why do these people deny reality?

I made an analogy, pointing to the nearest wall. “If it’s true for me that the wall is not there, but it’s true for you that the wall is there, is my ‘truth’ just as valid as your ‘truth’?”


I managed not to fall out of my chair.

“What if I walk into it, then?”

“You know what, I’m not taking your shit anymore. You can’t tell me that something I believe exists is not there, your scientific truth is different from my truth” and so on.

Honestly, I wasn’t trying to tell him that God wasn’t there for once. Faith is not hard to understand, but it never hurts to improve ones understanding. I was trying to have a civilized conversation about other people’s beliefs. If they had them, you would think they had them for a reason and wouldn’t be pissed about a lowly fellow freshman like me challenging them. What I wanted to know was…

“Do you care about what is true or not?”

And of course the answer was again…

“It’s true for me, and what’s true for me is different from what’s true for you…”

And it went on like that until they pulled their desks away from me, so I stood up and went to another desk. Because we had work to get done, they dragged me back, and at the end of class, I started getting attacked for something I had said earlier. I called the “what’s true for you is different from what’s true for me” by its proper name, post-modernism, and was asked how I knew that. “Because I’m an intellectual…”

“Well, do you study Warcraft?”

“I’ve played it a few times.”

And then I was asked about the difference between rogues and hunters, and the level at which mages can use polymorph. I hadn’t played it in months so I didn’t know the answer to the last question, and he started saying that he was an intellectual of video games. He ‘studied’ video games. I asked if video games had real world applications…

“Some of them do!”

Heh… “Name one.”

I’m sure somebody could come up with something to do with virtual reality, but honestly, knowing what level mages can use polymorph at does not make you an intellectual of any kind… even of video games.

This could be a poor definition, but I suppose that the very essence of being an intellectual is not just studying and learning these things, but also to back up your statements with evidence or logical arguments… exactly what they had failed to do.

But the other thing that I’d really like to address in this post is ‘respect’. As much as I’d like to do what society expects us to do and say “I do not agree but I respect your faith unquestioningly,” I simply can’t. There is nothing respectable about faith. Faith is stubborness. It’s believing for no reason other than wanting to believe.

When the theists blow up the second you challenge their beliefs and say “That’s just my faith! You can’t say anything bad about that!” you’re expected to say “Oh, I respect that…” When a Democrat debating a Republican blows up and says “That’s just my political party! You can’t say anything bad about that!” we’d all think that the Democrat was completely bonkers (as I don’t have affiliation with either party, feel free to interchange the two if you feel better about the Republican making a fool of themself).

And of course, I face the criticism from both theists and other Atheists that I shouldn’t think that all theists are stupid. I don’t.

Homo sapiens is the closest species to a reasonable being that you will find on this planet. Had we continued discussing the fact that we originated in Africa instead of moving on to religion, I have no doubt that the cultural relativist anti-intellectuals would have stopped denying it. But, the “what’s true for me isn’t the same as what’s true for you” boy is a victim of double think. Politics are debatable, but you’re simply not allowed to say anything bad about his faith. Why? You just can’t… His reasons for clinging to the delusion so dearly may be because he just wants to believe too badly, but it’s simply something that you can’t get past because the moment you question the boy’s faith, he closes his mind.

I can not respect faith. It’s the tool that religion uses to keep us in its tyranny. Faith is totalitarian.

But, it’s human nature. I can’t respect him for not rebelling against his nature, but I can understand it. As far as I’m concerned, the boy is still my friend. He is a good boy… with stupid beliefs.

On Dawkinswatch (Again)

I feel bad about not responding to this sooner, so I’m devoting a blog entry to it.

From Dawkinswatch:

“I put up a prove me wrong thread a few days back here and I have received a youtube response from Splendid Elles saying that she did not see any results.I went to South West China and they asked God to come and they got drunk in the Holy Spirit.

I think Splendid Elles attitude needs to be fixed first then she can have better results plus these Chinese Christians are risking their dear lives because the Atheists calling themselves Communists, will not have anyone choosing to believe the Truth.

Splendid Elles I said that Sam Harris was a New Ager darling, not Dawkings who is just a facilitator of the New Age by being a fellow horseman with Harris. They really need to sit down and decide whether they are materialists, mystics or both.

Splendid one, surely you know that Communists want to destroy all religions? Well, I do not see why if Dawkin is against all religions, he cannot be a Communist or at least a closet sympathiser with the atheist World Revolutionists? At least they share a common hatred for Jesus, Church and all Religion.”

So… I left the following comment.

“I should Google myself more often so I know when you people say these things. Here’s my (late) response.

First off, I thought that a bad attitude would be added incentive for Jesus/God/Holy Spirit to come to me and prove me wrong. If you really want me to try again and be all mannerly, I’ll do it, but I’m not recording another video. I’ll tell you the results.

Moving on…

Um… Being half Chinese, I have relatives in China… therefore I go to China rather often.

China is a communist country… in name only. There’s quite a lot of capitalism going on there now, which is part of the reason why their economy is surpassing us. Last time I went there, I saw several Bibles (CNN claimed the sale of the Bible was banned in China) in the government-run Xin Hua book store, several well-above-ground churches (in fact, my mum’s old middle school had been demolished many years ago so that they could build a church), etc.

So no, Christians really aren’t all that oppressed there (though the Chinese government is still oppressive about other things, but it’s not as bad as it was during the Cultural Revolution)… However, it is true that Chairman Mao did not think too highly of religion. I disapprove of forcing beliefs or forcing people not to believe, and I am a supporter of freedom of religion (if we didn’t have freedom of religion, I wouldn’t have justified freedom from religion).

Though it is a fact that Marxists did not think highly of religion, it’s still a big leap between Richard Dawkins not thinking highly of religion and being a Chinese communist. Just because two people agree on one thing, doesn’t mean they agree on everything. That’s what we call a logical fallacy.

I did not say that you said that Dawkins was a New Ager (did I?). I can’t check the video right now, but I think that you said that he was part of some New Age invasion, yes? No? I could be wrong…”

By the way, if any of my three regular viewers see any of this stuff in the future, a notification would be appreciated so that I can respond to it. Thanks in advance.

Mitt Romney: Secularist… Kind of.

Er… not really. But I think he has realised that there are Atheists in this country since he gave that ever so popular faith speech in which he called secularism a religion.

See, I ditched two periods of school and I went to see him speak today. Not that I really support him, I just wanted to go see him speak because the election is this year, I’m interested in who will be the next leader of the United States, and I want to know who the greater of whatever evils the Republican side and/or the Democrat side will turn out so that I know who I should vehemently campaign against.

So, I piled into an SUV with three other students, and we drove to Freeway Ford where he was holding his political rally.

The mother of one of the students, who was driving us, commented on how Obama and Clinton had gotten an entire auditorium at University of Denver, but Romney had to have his rally in a car dealership. She put forward the theory that the University of Denver was too Liberal to let Romney speak there, but it became clear when Romney began his speech by thanking the owner of the car dealership and talking about how he drives a Ford. It’s a conservative thing to drive American-made cars as opposed to imports, in case you haven’t already noticed.

But, I said I was going to comment on Romney’s interestingly secular(ish) aspects of his speech, so I’m going to cut some of the stuff about the economy which he seems to believe is very important, and just focus on a few sentences which I found interesting.

Of course, my heart sank a little when I saw a sign reading “Mitt is focused on the family”. In case you didn’t get the allusion, there’s a Fundamentalist Christian organisation in Colorado Springs called “Focus on the Family” which lobbies against abortion, and for all sorts of fun, fun, fun Evangelical values.

Indeed, family values did pop up in Mitt Romney’s speech. For the record, I’m not quoting him verbatim here, but he went off on a chain about how the American people are what make this country great, and how the American people must have great family values and…

“We need to teach our kids that if they want to have kids of their own, they need to get married first!”

My heart sank a little lower. I don’t think that he meant that he thought preventing pre-marital sex was the foundation of family values, which were the foundation of the country (though he seems to think that family values are part of the foundation of the country along with the economy), but he seemed to think that preventing pre-marital sex was very important. This begs the question…

Why do politicians care about the sex lives of teenagers?

Furthermore, aren’t families values about more than making your kids uphold 5,000 year old (or 2,000 year old… or in the case of the Book of Mormon 150 year old) religious values?

Right then, now that I’ve gotten the extremely unsecular thing that ticked me off out of the way… on to the stuff that kind of makes Romney secular… kind of.

He’s definitely going for the evangelical vote… likes to talk about values a lot. He shared an anecdote about how when he went down to Memphis, Tennessee, he saw some T-shirts that said “Yankee Governor… Southern Values”. He said that he asked the wearers of the T-shirts what was meant by southern values. I’ve got a cold and my brain has been moving so slow that I can’t remember a single one of them, but as you can imagine, the first southern value I could think of was faith in God. Tennessee is in Bible Belt after all… couldn’t help it. Curiously, he must have listed nine values, but faith was not one of them. One can only wonder if he didn’t purposefully omit it…

Earlier on in the speech (alright, yeah, this is not in chronological order…), he said another very curious thing.

Again, I’m not quoting verbatim here, but…

“The people in this country believe in something. For some people that’s faith. For those who don’t have faith, that’s their ethnicity or their communities…”

Again, I don’t really support Mitt Romney, but I was very surprised to hear him say that. When the secularists got outraged by his faith speech, I think he learned a lesson, and for once, politicians seem to be acknowledging that there are non-believers in this country.

Granted, I didn’t pay much attention to how secular presidential candidates were in the past, and I haven’t heard in full any of the other candidate’s speeches, but after hearing all the Republicans and Democrats take so many opportunities to talk about their faith, it was a (refreshing) surprise to hear one mention that there are people who don’t have faith.

So, I justify the following statement.

Atheism in America=Epic Win

Happy Christmas!

One of the most hilarious things I’ve seen recently on the internet is the controversy (if you could call it that) surrounding the fact that Richard Dawkins sings Christmas carols! Le gasp! The horror!

I can understand the confusion from the press, but most amusing is how pissed some people are about it. It’s as if they want to send the Atheist Inquisition after him and sentence him to 200 lashes.

Well, when I heard that he sang Christmas carols and called himself a ‘cultural Christian’, I’ll admit to a bit of surprise. But, it made sense… to me, at least. When I was younger, my parents exposed me to a few Christmas traditions. They gave me presents, we occasionally set up a plastic Christmas tree, but mostly we’d just use the time off from school and work to travel. We never felt obligated to celebrate the holiday, but I enjoyed it. I mean, free toys were the coolest thing ever at my age.

When people asked me if my family celebrated Christmas, though, it was about as awkward as being asked what religion I was, since I’d have to end up saying I was Atheist both ways. I told them the truth, that we traveled mostly, occasionally set up a tree, gave presents to friends… but surprisingly, it was my religious friends who got mad at me. One of my (now ex-)Catholic friends started whining about how the holiday was not about presents, but about Jesus.

It seems to have changed. Now it’s a minority of Atheists that are getting pissed at the Atheists who celebrate Christmas.

Well, I might’ve sort of supported those Atheists earlier on, but when I went around saying “Happy Holiday” it was not because of political correctness, it was because it’s a Pastafarian holiday. But, today I came to the conclusion that it’s OK to say you’re celebrating Christmas. The Christmas I celebrate is a secular Christmas. Some people may start saying that that’s an oxymoron, but even theologists think that Jesus wasn’t actually born in December, but that the Christians celebrated it during that time. Something about the Winter Solstice making it easier for them to blend in with the Pagans, but I don’t remember and I don’t want to misinform…

But the point is, it’s OK to celebrate Christmas. It’s OK to participate in those traditions. Why? It’s OK to have fun for no , or a meaningless reason.

Christmas traditions can be fun. I like looking at the pretty lights. I like getting presents from friends. I like making presents for my friends, and giving them to them. I like food.

So, while I was eating breakfast this morning, I came to that conclusion, left my food at the table, sat down at the piano, and started playing Christmas carols and bellowing the lyrics as loudly as possible. My mum must have thought that I was acting quite mad. But isn’t singing a song about the night Jesus was born about the same as singing some of the Potter Puppet Pals songs? You don’t have to take the lyrics seriously, and I can’t really think of an example when you need to take lyrics you’re singing seriously.

Then, I went downstairs, dragged up the plastic Christmas tree we hadn’t set up for two or three years, and decorated it. I wrestled a bit with the tangled up tinsel and lights, wrapped them around, then started hanging ornaments on spare branches.

And I had quite a lot of fun.

So why should theists get all the fun of the season? The answer is they shouldn’t. Atheists have every right to practice whatever traditions they want, not matter what the origins are (most Christmas traditions have secular origins anyway), just as Christians have the right to practice traditions that have Pagan origins.

And Hell, if Dawkins wants to sing Christmas carols (as long as he doesn’t have the singing voice of Sanjaya), and Hitchens wants to set up a tree, and if I want to do both, we should be allowed to. And if some people don’t want to, more power to them. I hate some aspects of Christmas myself.

So, to all ye faithless and faithful, have a Happy Holiday/Christmas/Hanukkah/whatever.

Defending Dawkins

Haha. I think that that title’s a bit ironic, him being a defender of reason.

When I first read Skeptical Inquirer magazine, it was in the library at the University of Denver. I had been attending a summer program there for gifted students, and started reading the magazine for an article on quantum mechanics… and then kept reading. I instantly loved it, but it wasn’t until the Fall of my 8th grade year that I finally bothered myself to get a subscription to it. This was probably sparked by my discovery of the infamous website, Answers in Genesis. Through the Center for Inquiry, I began to become exposed to even more new ideas, and a whole new world of skepticism, which held such names as Joe Nickell, Daniel Dennet, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others… But as much as I greatly admire these names, I think that the person I most admire is Richard Dawkins.

The first time I was exposed to him was listening to an episode of Point of Inquiry, and it really was quite nice listening to a voice that I could so whole-heartedly agree with. I hadn’t read any of his books, and wouldn’t get one of them for several more months because I’m just lazy like that, but I already knew that I admired him. He delivered quite a devastating blow to religion, and I liked that…

But, at the same time, I was hearing criticisms of him. Criticisms from fellow skeptics, criticisms from the media…

What really got me writing this blog entry was the most recent issue of Skeptical Inquirer which had an article on him that, though I’m not quite sure it was exactly criticizing him, still used words such as “hostile” and “militant atheist” to describe him. I couldn’t help but start thinking about all those criticisms (I’m getting really sick of the word now) that I had heard before.

I have heard “militant atheist” used to describe him dozens of times, I have heard fellow skeptics say that he comes across as arrogant and pompous, and I have heard theists say that he must be a twisted, lonely man. Also prominent in my mind, the episode of South Park in which Richard Dawkins has sex with Mrs. Garrison, finds out that she’s (it’s?) a trans-sexual, is disgusted, and says “How could I have been so stupid?!?”

Having read many of his articles, and books, and seen videos, and heard him on radio shows, and met him, I have never really been able to know what they were talking about. I suppose I can see how some of the things he has said can be seen to be arrogant, especially when not read in context, but I would like to use this blog entry to argue otherwise.

I think that one need only read one of his books to know that that is far from the truth, and the well-known quote in the beginning of Unweaving the Rainbow, I think, should effectively shut up people who say the man is a twisted, arrogant, pompous ass.

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you, and I, in our ordinariness that are here.”

That entire paragraph is laced with a sort of… spirituality… for lack of a better word. But, I put that last part in bold to point out Dawkins’ lesser-known humbleness. I don’t think that he really does think that he’s better than all of us, though I do admittedly think that he is the coolest person ever (might not take too kindly to reading that if he ever stumbles across this blog), he is nowhere near as egotistic as I am and he could probably justify being egotistic if he was.

Well, I should clear up that last part… I don’t actually think that I am that great. I think that I was lucky enough to have parents who cared about me, who shared their knowledge of the world with me, who encouraged me to gain more knowledge of the world, and sent me to a charter school. Any precociousness that I may seem to demonstrate is not because of a destiny, or my genes, but because of the learning-rich environment in which I was brought up.

Which brings me to something else. Like I said, I don’t think that I’m really that special. I’m just motivated to learn, and this is because I was lucky to be brought up that way (I blame public school for not exposing students to a love of learning like the one I have but that’s a entry for another time…). But if you’ll see my first entry, “I Am Great”, it contains an excerpt from an e-mail that Richard Dawkins sent me shortly after he met me. He told me that I had bowled him over.

Would a pompous ass really be greatly impressed with a 14-year old girl like me? I am not trying to brag at all (for once), but when one of the world’s greatest minds can be bowled over by something so simple as a 14-year old girl who stood up in an Irish pub to give a 5-minute speech about a skepticism club she’s starting at her high school, I think that that has to be one of the most humbling things possible. Would a man who said “How could I be so stupid?” after having sex with a trans-sexual (by the way, I have reasons to doubt that he’d be disgusted by that anyway) say that? I doubt it.

I have often heard fellow skeptics longing for “another Carl Sagan”. I admittedly haven’t read as much of Carl Sagan’s books as I should, though I have seen Cosmos a few times, but I think that Richard Dawkins is another Carl Sagan. Passionate about science and the truth. Utterly fascinated by the world. A remarkable ability to share science with the general public. Highly moral. Eloquent. All one has to do to know this is true is listen to him talk, or read one of his books. He always manages to bring a smile to my face. Richard Dawkins is a defender of reason, and another Carl Sagan, but nominating him for the “Bad Faith” award and supporting the South-Park-Richard-Dawkins impression on the general public is not going to help get the message across.

So, to those who think that Richard Dawkins is ineffective/bad for the cause of skepticism, if you want him to be effective, stop supporting the media’s impression a person that he’s not.

Ok, so I don’t like how I ended that… Let me word it a different way…

Richard Dawkins’ message is beautiful, and persuasive. However, when the theists keep hearing the words “militant”, “hostile”, and “arrogant”, that’s just already biasing them against him. The media does it enough, and it doesn’t help when we do it either.

Mm… no. I don’t like how I ended that either…

I’ll just end with these thought-provoking words…


And Now for a Brief Period of Furious Typing

In case you haven’t already noticed, I am an Atheist, and that particular religious belief or lack thereof (it’s obviously a lack, but whatever) carries some dirty connotations… Based on the looks I get, these connotations range from a simple feeling of oddity at not believing in God, to thinking that I’m about the next best thing to a neo-Nazi. I don’t even know why people think Atheists must be neo-Nazis… All that is involved in being an Atheist is not believing in a Supreme Being. It does not involve believing that women are responsible for man’s original sin (Judeo-Christian), nor does it involve believing that Lamanites were punished for turning away from God by being given dark skin (Mormon), and I’ll stop pointing out fundamental immorality in religious beliefs here because I’ve done it enough on this blog and it’s besides the point.

The point is, Atheists are no more likely to be moral than a religious person (well, you could argue that they are more likely to be moral because they don’t blindly follow doctrines from x amount of centuries ago and are instead influenced by today’s moral zeitgeist), and yet the stereotype is much harsher.

I’d like to point out an example of an incident of discrimination that I went through today because of my open Atheism.

See, in my Speech & Debate class, there are two doors into the class. One from the outside is more direct and easily accessible, provided a person from the inside is willing to open it. Or you could go around a corner of the building, go inside, walk down the hall a bit, and then enter through the other door. Again, if you choose the direct path, you have to have somebody open it from the inside…

Today, when my friend and I knocked on the door, I visibly saw a girl (and out of respect for her privacy, I will not name names), look at us, smile, then turn around and refuse to open the door for us. When we finally got inside, I asked her why she let other people in but kept us out. She said that she just didn’t want to let us in. I pointed out that I don’t discriminate and always let people in and said “I’m just philanthropic like that.”

Guess what she said, that got several other members of the class to give her kudos and compliments?

“You don’t believe in God because you think you’re smarter than all of us. That’s not being philanthropic. That’s being selfish.”

I think that’s outrageous enough that it’s worth quoting again.

“You don’t believe in God because you think you’re smarter than all of us. That’s not being philanthropic. That’s being selfish.”


She’s entitled to her opinion, but she’s wrong. I tried to explain this to her, but she childishly clasped her hand over her ears said “I don’t want to talk to you, I really don’t want to talk to you,” and I gave up (not the first time a theist had done this to me). I don’t believe in God because I have no reason to believe in God (granted, I’m agnostic on a technicality, being that you can’t disprove the existence of the deist God, even though there’s no reason to believe in the deist God either…). Where does immorality and selfishness follow from that?

I have openly said to some of my theist friends that I think they’re smart (they can vouch for me). I know some very intelligent people who believe in God for what I personally think are fallacious reasons, but that does not lower my opinion of their intelligence. I suppose that I think I’m less ignorant of certain scientific facts, but that’s knowledge, not intelligence.

And the issue of philanthropy. When Noel Cunningham, founder of the Cunningham Foundation and Quarters for Kid project, came to our school to talk about how one quarter can feed a kid, another quarter can educate them, another quarter can give them new clothes, I literally emptied my pockets of my money to give to them. I wonder if she can say that.

I have hundreds of hours logged at the museum for my volunteer work. Time which most people spend in church, probably making themselves more ignorant of science, instead of making a difference in the world by educating others about science. I wonder if she can say that.

But most of all, I don’t keep people out of a classroom in the cold because they don’t believe in my God. She most certainly can not say that.

Besides the lack of connection between being egotistic and being selfish, imagine if instead she had said “You don’t believe in Ra because you think you’re smarter than everyone else. That’s not being philanthropic. That’s being selfish.” Imagine if she had said “You don’t believe that L. Ron Hubbard was a prophet because you think you’re smarter than everyone else. That’s not being philanthropic. That’s being selfish.” Imagine if she had said “Your skin color is dark because you turned away from God because you think you’re smarter than everyone else.”

Would she have received such a warm applause by my fellow classmates then?

This Spam Filter Isn’t Really Working Out For Me

No, it’s not. A few comments have been blocked by it just because they contained links, which really is such a shame because if I start getting real spam and don’t have the time to sort through it all, a lot of lovely comments will be lost forever to cyberspace oblivion. Sorry if this happens to you.

Billy struck again recently, and got caught in the spam filter.

“Hi you’re some nice people out there, you really need to come to Jesus soon, I’m sure you know how to, first repent, you certainly know you have done wrong.
Since when have you been afraid of blood, don’t you watch tv.
You say you do not believe in God, well I mean Jesus, the only true God.
The Bible says only a fool says there is no God, so you do not have any excuse
“Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel. St. Mark 1:15”.

Apparently it considers trying to convert people over the internet spam… maybe Billy can take a hint? Alright. Yeah. Fine. I did approve it so that would make me a hypocrite for saying that. You’re free to try to convert me whenever you want, s’long as you use arguments of a bit more substance, eh?

As Thrawn would say, “that argument is more circular than a 12-dimensional sphere.”

Er… At least something along the lines of that. Let’s take this comment apart bit by bit, shall we?

“Hi you’re some nice people out there…”

Started out great.

“… you really need to come to Jesus soon..”

Wait… I thought that I was supposed to build weapons of war and tell myself that I am strong so that he could slaughter me… unless by Lord you actually meant Yahweh. I’ll jump ahead for a second here…

You say you do not believe in God, well I mean Jesus, the only true God.”

So which God exactly do you mean? I thought that Christianity was a monotheistic religion… Either way, if Jesus wants me to come to Israel so that he can slaughter me, no thanks. I’m not suicidal, and I enjoy life and chocolate, and cookies, and rainbows, and stuff. Can’t enjoy those things once you’ve been slaughtered.

Back to where we were…

I’m sure you know how to, first repent, you certainly know you have done wrong.”

Maybe by your standards, but I prefer to do things that are moral because they are moral, not because they’re in the Bible. For some reason, it just doesn’t seem right to stone people for having gay sex, or for blasphemy (I have a bit of bias in that regard, being a blasphemer), and I could go on, but I won’t. Let’s see… is there anything besides being a non-believer that I have done wrong?

Hm… I don’t think I’ve killed anybody. I might’ve lied to my parents about grades a few times… But I’ve never stolen, or coveted my neighbor’s wife, ass, ox, etc. Ok, yeah… I’ve said God damn it a few times…

But short of going down the entire ten commandments and everything in the Bible, have I done anything that by today’s moral standards is really all that terrible? Nothing that I can recall.

Since when have you been afraid of blood, don’t you watch tv”

Hell yes, I watch TV. No, I’m not afraid of blood. I’m not obsessed with spilling other people’s blood, though. I live a calm, non-violent life. I like to try to be moral. However, if you tried to kill me, I would defend myself… I don’t know how… but I would. I’d like to try to avoid that, though, so just don’t think about it.

You say you do not believe in God, well I mean Jesus, the only true God.
The Bible says only a fool says there is no God, so you do not have any excuse
“Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel. St. Mark 1:15”.”

A book called me a fool. I am so offended!

Here’s where the circularity comes in. You are operating under the assumption that since the Bible says it’s telling the truth, it’s telling the truth about telling the truth. I’m also surprised by your assumption that us Atheists would assume that the Bible is telling the truth, as well. If you’re going to convert a non-believer, you’re probably going to want… I don’t know… actual evidence?

I know y’all think that we’re just people who believe in God but deny it because we hate him (look, if God wants to come to my place for tea sometime, I’ d be happy to) but God is just not part of my reality. I don’t believe in God, I believe in the natural order of things. Cause and effect, with causes that aren’t necessarily God. I think that science can explain the occurrences (didn’t know that had two R’s in it) of the world quite nicely, and even if there are gaps, it’s highly illogical to assume that God just did it. I’ve never had a good reason to believe in God that didn’t involve fallacies and circularity.

Anyway, have a nice day Billy, and good look getting the Book of Billy stuck in after Revelation…

I Didn’t Know I Had a Spam Filter

Seriously, I didn’t. I have a no censorship policy on this blog so I’ll approve it, no matter how insane it sounds, as long as the person actually has a point to make (in other words, if you’re trying to sell something, go away. If you want to argue with me, I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m also perfectly fine with people just dropping by and telling me how splendid I am.)

So, today, for the first time, I noticed that I had a spam filter, and that it had caught one thing, that I suppose was kind of spam, but the guy seems to have a point to make.

“The Lord said,
“The Lord has given a command to the enemies of the cross, wake up ye mighty men of war, prepare yourselves, come to the place where I shall slaughter you. Make weapons of war in your factories, say to yourselves that you are strong, assemble yourselves against my people, and the people of Israel.

I will judge you all as you surround Israel, your blood will overflow the land because your wickedness is great.”
“I will judge you in the valley of Decision, these are the end times spoken of by the prophet Joel 3 v 9-21. From Israel my voice shall be heard from the city of Jerusalem, it will be a time when the heaven and the earth will shake with a mighty shaking.

For war shall be in the sky and in the earth, the Christians will put their trust in Christ for they know that He is their hope and salvation, and Christ Jesus is the strength of the children of Israel.

By these things the world will know that I am the Lord Jesus Christ your God, who dwells in Zion my Holy mountain. “The people of Jerusalem will then be Holy. The wicked shall not be found in that land anymore. A time of great joy, and peace and prosperity will flow like a mighty river over all Israel, coming from the house of the Lord, and filling every valley.”

“The nations that have raised their hands against my people of Judah, and have shed their innocent blood, shall be made a desolate wilderness. My people will dwell in the city of Jerusalem, from generation to generation, for I will forgive them and cleanse them, for the Lord Jesus Christ dwelleth in Zion.” Thus saith the Lord.

This prophecy came to me in the morning of the third of December 07, Billy.”

Well, I’m happy that God has chosen you to be his prophet, Billy, and that you have found a means of passing on His word using the Internet. Perhaps you should contact somebody about having the Book of Billy put in the Bible… We’ll fit you in just after Revelation because this prophecy is related.

Ok. I realize that people like me are often called “militant” Atheists… but the last I checked I didn’t make any posts/comments telling people to go build weapons and prepare for a coming war on all theists with rivers of blood flowing and yadda yadda yadda… I actually hoped that people who wanted to actually stone people like me didn’t exist (which really was quite irrational to believe now that I think about it.) I’ve never actually seen one up until now and I can only assume that more will show up at my doorstep.

Anyway, the point is, I’d like to point out the contrast between me, a “militant” Atheist, and this guy.

Am I supposed to take this as a death threat?

And good luck starting your holy war, Billy. I have no intention of helping you start it. I’m content to have intellectual debates. Evidence is my ammunition, but I don’t actually want to gouge any eyes out… I hope you stop getting megalomaniacal delusions of grandeur at the thought of killing me and watching my blood flow through the streets of Israel and yadda yadda yadda.

Until then, enjoy your visions, but please stop searching for people and telling them your fantasies of shedding their blood. It’s not nice, and it really doesn’t help your cause any.

On Faith

This morning, I had quite an amusing experience around the passing period between second and third period. See, the route I take takes me right past two of my friends moving in the opposite direction, and if I’m not too worried about being tardy for English that day, I change directions and walk with them until I’m nearly on the opposite end of campus, and then I walk as quickly as possible to my class… three buildings away.

Anyway, I have often been accused of being obsessed with Richard Dawkins. Granted, it’s hard to think of anybody who I admire more than him (except, perhaps, some fictional characters if they count… which they don’t), but I’d like to point out that one of these two friends actually wants to call him. The other friend, who happens to be a theist, kept bothering me about getting his e-mail address so that he could debate him. I am content with dinner, and an e-mail.

Now that I’ve gotten that off-topic thing out of the way…

My theist friend who wants to debate him over e-mail was bothering me for it again today, when I switched directions to walk with them. We began debating about whether you could disprove the existence of God. My other friend pointed out to him that though you can not disprove the existence of the deistic God, you still can disprove a text-based God, like the God of the Bible.

“I know” he said, “but I still believe in God.”

And of course, I pulled out the argument that Richard Dawkins uses often (again, I am not obsessed… it’s simply a good argument worth committing to memory) and pointed out “You also can’t disprove the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Celestial Teapot, or Ra, Thor, Zeus. Why don’t you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to?”

“Well, there’s more evidence for God than there is for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

“Is there?”

“Look. I’m not going to convince you to believe in God, and you’re not going to convince me to not believe in God, so just shut up about it.”

“But you haven’t got a reason to believe!”

“I don’t care. Just shut up.”

At this point, I was nearly on the opposite end of campus from my English class, and I began walking back with a grin on my face at his quick change of mind from wanting to debate about God with Richard Dawkins (and I was basically using the arguments he would get if he had tried debating with him, assuming Dawkins decided to waste his time replying to him) to wanting me to shut up… but someone is not getting Richard Dawkins’ e-mail address (yes… he could Google it like I told him to, but he obviously is too lazy to do so because he asked me again today) since I learned today that he, like all the other theists I know (except for perhaps one), are actually unwilling to debate about the existence of the Skyfairy, and are content to remain blindly faithful without having it challenged.

Actually, I was quite surprised.

I used to divide theists into two groups. Those that want to debate and don’t want to admit that the only reason they believe is faith, and those that take great pride in it and love ending arguments (sometimes before they’ve even started) by shouting “It’s something called FAITH! Something that you will never understand!” in my face.

Either way, I normally counted him amongst the former of the two types of theists, having a keen interest in having me meet his other theist friends, and showing me books. I was quite surprised when he transformed into the latter of the two types. Actually, I see this behavior a lot. More often than not when I debate theists, I hear them admit that I was winning just before they blow up, or stick their fingers in their ears and chant “La la la la la. I can’t hear you.”

The point is, up until today I always divided theists into those two groups. Those who tried to defend their claims, and those that simply didn’t. I’m starting to think that I was wrong. There is only one type of theist, but some can go longer before retreating to their little warm, cozy, fuzzy corner of their mind called faith. It’s the faith obstacle that I’ve never been able to get past. With only that type of theist, is there really any hope for the world?