Fifty-six-year-old monk Kazuaki Kinoshita and the girl’s 50-year-old father Atsushi Maishigi were accused of what police described as “waterfall service”: strapping the victim Tomomi Maishigi to a chair and dousing her face with water.
News reports said the two men poured water over her as an “exorcism” with the father holding the girl down while the monk chanted sutras.
Miss Maishigi’s mother called an ambulance after her daughter fell unconscious, but it was too late. She was confirmed dead early the next morning.
Anyone want to be next on my list of ridiculous people that say religion doesn’t harm anyone? Sure hope not.
Have you ever wanted to believe in God? I mean, sometimes I wish I could, it would be great if I could, sometimes life seems to be really hard and unfair to me. I don't know if you can understand me...
I haven’t personally felt that way in a very long time. It’s nice not feeling that way. Wanting something that is a bit ludicrous and unrealistic isn’t really a good use for emotion. It’s something exhausting and pointlessly futile. I do understand where you are coming from though, in a way.
I think it is mostly a temporary feeling though. The more I’ve considered the possibilities the more that I am grateful there is absolutely no indication of any type of god out there. The ramification of such a thing existing in any way commonly expressed by religion would be huge. It’s not the case though, which means that there is no god to either lift you up, or restrict you. It’s true freedom. You are the one who has the ability to bring about what you want in your life, or at least try for it.
It sounds like a terrifying tag team but next week I’ll be recording a podcast with The Angry Atheist. It’ll be an interesting experience since this is going to be my first Atheist podcast. Hopefully it’ll give everybody a chance to get to know me a little better and a chance for some good conversation. I will definitely be posting when it’s up but if anyone wants to check out his site including all the previous podcasts look for it here.
so i just saw in one of your posts that you have a son. are you raising him to be atheist or like how are you going about that? because i've always wondered how atheist parents deal with the whole religion thing with their kids
My son is only 4 now so thankfully we haven’t had to worry too much about it yet. He has had the occasional question when he comes across something in one of his books about “spirits” or “praying” which doesn’t show up often but pops up in children’s books more than you might expect. We do our best to try and provide a simple explanation of what “some people” view it to be. We are hoping to allow him to come up with his own opinions on these things whenever possible.
Chances are it will come up at some point. He attends preschool now but has never come home yet with a question about “What is god?” or “Do we have a religion?” which will be a bit more difficult to explain. He is a smart kid though so I am sure he will be curious and figure out what he can. I’ll do my best to provide him with information but it is still probably always going to be the views that “some people” believe. If the day comes that he starts asking for what I believe, I’ll be honest with him.
I just found out the author of “Where The Wild Things Are”, Maurice Sendak, is an Atheist. I feel as if my childhood is coming full circle. I have been contemplating getting a tattoo of my favorite of the wild things from that book for years now and I think with this new information it has clinched it for me. I will post a picture of it whenever it happen but may not be for a while still. Plus my son loves the book too, it is one of his favorite bedtime stories.
Obviously you don't want a religious funeral (neither do I btw) so what would you do? Would you be cremated? Buried at sea? Ejected into space? Would you have one at all? I remember you saying you're not having a wedding ceremony.
I have changed my mind many times on what I’d want to happen, so I’m still a little unsure. For the most part once I am done with my body where it actually ends up is of little concern to me. I think it would be nice if I could donate myself to some worthwhile cause that will possibly better science or the world. If that isn’t an option I think I’d prefer to simply be buried. Something simple, where my body can become nutrients for the worms and other organisms in the dirt. Return my matter to the continuous circle. (No horrible Dane Cook jokes, please.)
As far as any ceremony as I mentioned last night I would want it to be more upbeat. I’d want people to remember the good things and the good times. I’m sure if I see my death coming with enough advance warning I will prepare something to hopefully be read to anyone that decides to gather around. I’d want it to be brief and simple though, so that people can move on and continue on with their lives. I don’t need anything big or fancy, no real large ceremony, that’s not who I am and not the type of thing I’d want.
You know what I haven’t done in a long time? A late night rant about anything. So I feel like talking, it’s late, and this is my blog. I’m going to rant away. You know what I really hate? I hate funerals. I hate the disingenuous bullshit that you have to hear at funerals. I hate how people have to sit there and listen to it even when so many of them are deep down screaming inside about how wrong it is.
A few weeks ago I had to go to a funeral. Thankfully I haven’t been to one in quite a while, they’re never a pleasant experience for anyone. It was my girlfriend’s aunt and I admit I barely knew the woman. Most of what I knew of her came through second hand information in the family “rumors” that got passed around. One thing that is for certain is she had her issues. Her husband had passed away very suddenly a few years ago and as a result she spiraled into horrible depression and alcoholism. Just two days before she was supposed to enter a rehab facility she was found dead in her home. Just two days away, just two days away from getting a chance at turning things around. Rehab was a decision she had agreed to herself. Just two days away though, she is gone.
The whole atmosphere of the funeral just made me feel uneasy. It was a situation where most people were consoling themselves with the fact that she had been through so much in recent years that she was “in a better place”. Many people were chatting openly with people they hadn’t seen in years. There was the occasional mourner crying over the loss of someone they had known so well, mostly remembering her in better times. Some people were laughing, smiling, almost happy well still in the presence of a somber atmosphere…I didn’t know how I was supposed to react. Perhaps thankfully before the actual “service” started my son got fussy and I offered to take him out to the front of the funeral parlor.
Being a modern funeral home they had a live feed of the funeral service playing in the front room. I sat there listening to the service well my son jumped around on the furniture. I listened to a man who had never even met the dead woman he was talking about, attempting to describe her life. He spoke just briefly of her life, her family, a few small events, perhaps filled in with small details he received just minutes before expected to express her entire life in a few minutes. Being a funeral though, of course, it moved on to religious undertones. It moved on to how “the Lord” is watching over her now. How he is keeping her safe, and is looking out for her. Other loads of random bullshit pleasantries meant to make the surviving feel better about the fact that they will never see a loved one, that they hardly recognized now, ever again.
The services ended in a matter of about 20 minutes. After I didn’t feel sad about the words said, about the message delivered, but about the service itself. The fact that this woman was just 2 short days from trying to better herself, but now people are being told of how a loving God is with her and taking care of her. How they sat their quietly through this speech well I know they must of been feeling deep down as if this woman was just shorted out of her chance of turning things around. How they had to be feeling as if these pleasant little messages fell short of the chance of ever seeing the woman they once knew and loved in her familiar state ever again. How can these people talk of the love and care of God now? It’s shameful.
After the services, I was still a bit uneasy about what to say. I have dealt with death many times in my life, to the point where it is hard for me to muster comforting words in the situation. The thing that stuck out most is how me and my girlfriend spoke of the service. “I don’t want anything like that.” We both said it at almost the same time. We were both disgusted by it. We were both saddened by it and it is what stuck out to us most at the moment. These were the last moments people would gather to say good bye to a woman that touched many many lives. Yet we had to hear “pleasant” lies delivered by a man who never knew her, and this is how people are expected to say good bye. It is not a way to say good bye to life, it is a way to stroke people into believing comforting lies, and I hate it.
We both agreed that we don’t want a service anything like the traditional funeral. We want people talking about the good times, people who really knew us. People remembering our lives, and thinking of the great memories. We don’t want people sitting there, too afraid to say what they really think, well some boring drone is paid to say a few random pleasantries. We want nothing to do with any religious idiocy thrown in as a way to capitalize on people at their most vulnerable as well as “comfort” them. Saying good bye to life should be to celebrate life, it shouldn’t be to remind us of “God” and other bullshit that is just meant to fluff up people. I don’t want my death to be anything like that, I can’t really imagine why anyone ever would.
in response to the question about being an atheist, and having good friends who are christian, 2 of my best friends are religious and we're incredibly close. the secret i think is a good sense of humor. i poke fun at them every once and awhile for the silly religious things they do (one's christian, one's muslim) and they give me equal amounts of crap whenever they get a chance, and the relaxed atmosphere made all of us feel more at ease. they're some of the closest friends i've ever had!
Exactly, a good sense of humor helps and if there isn’t one at all chances are it just isn’t going to work out well. Have to admit though “A Christians, Muslim, and an Atheist walk into a bar….” does sound like the set up for a bad joke. If things ever get too heated though just yell “Crusade! Jihad!” and hit the deck. :)
I'm a very strong Atheist, and since I live in the UK it's okay for me to be quite open about my beliefs and most of my friends are atheists anyway. However, I've made a new friend who is Christian. I've not hidden the fact that I'm an Atheist but she did seem a bit shocked and occasionally she does say religious things (forgetting i'm Atheist) and it does get a bit awkward... Do you think we could ever been GREAT friends? Or do you think religion will get the better of us? :(
It’s possible that you could be best of friends, as long as religion isn’t a topic that is going to cause conflict. Very often friends don’t always share world views completely. Sometimes this conflict can actually be more interesting, it can spark conversation and discussion. The issue being though how you both react to these conversations when it comes up. If it upsets or bothers either of you chances are it is going to be something that will always stand in the way. If you two are fine discussing it or having the topic come up, chances are it will be no big deal and you can continue on being friends.
It’s like most any topic that people feel strongly about. Can a pro-choice person be friends with an anti-choice person? Of course, but chances are they have to avoid that topic more often than not. Can a Republican be friends with a Democrat? Yes, but most people just consider that positioning for the eventual stab in the back. (kidding) It’s really going to come down to you two as individuals and how you two react to the situation. If you really want to be close friends I would definitely encourage you to give it a try. Sometimes though differences of views can be just too much to ever be really comfortable around someone, and if that is the case, there is little that can be done about that.
I am not sure if you follow the show Dexter, but the first episode of the new season is hinting at religion being a large part of it, with the protagonist being atheist.
How can you not love the show Dexter? It is one of the best shows on TV right now. (along with Breaking Bad) I don’t usually keep up on a lot of the new shows going on but Dexter is one I definitely look forward and can hardly wait for the season premier. It’s so close….plus Masuka is one one of my favorite characters.
Do you think there'll ever be an atheist US President in the future?
Assuming that we don’t wipe each other out in the next 50 years I think that there will be. I don’t know if I will see it in my life time but I do think there will be a time when being an Atheist in America isn’t so bad. Once Christians are no longer the majority of the country I think things will be able to free up a little more and people will be open to people of other views. Considering Atheists are now only the second most hated group, behind, of all things, a political party, it’s a sign that we should start getting political. The Tea Party may be bunch of ignorant yokels that want to take the country hostage so that someone will listen to their agenda, but they are making waves. It’s going to be time before long that Atheists do the same.
So, if you’ve followed my page for a while you know I never really promote pages. I want to break my general rule and give a promotion to one page because I really think she deserves something. (Lots of other pages really do deserve it, so please forgive me.) Amanda was one of the first followers I had on my page, she was within the first 20 and I’ve follower her page ever since. Due to a bit of an increase in NSFW content I’ve had to unfollow her (I spend a lot of time on here at work) but I appreciate that she’s supported me for so long. We haven’t talked a whole lot but there have been times and she’s always been a great person and very supportive of my page. So if you enjoy beautiful sometimes naked women (including her modeling photographs which are beautiful) and an awesome person please follow her here: http://amandadarling.tumblr.com/ she is an absolutely wonderful person and I hope despite the fact I can’t follow her anymore I’ll still keep in touch with her.
Seriously Alabama? Now I know that being stuck in church every Sunday morning for many feels like jail but how can they really be allowed to do something like this? What’s the alternative for anyone of no faith or with a religion that doesn’t use a traditional church or one that you can’t find in a small town in Alabama? This makes absolutely no sense to me, but that’s probably because I’m trying to look at it from the logical, reasonable, realistic side of things.
The city judge in Bay Minette (AL) will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.
If offenders select church, they’ll be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and police.
If the one-year church attendance program is completed, the offender’s case will be dismissed.
Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says the program could change the lives of people heading down the wrong path. So far, 56 churches are participating.
Not sure if you have a solution to this, but I was arguing with my religious science teacher (still not sure how that worked completely) about homosexuality, which he doesn't think "exists." He said "If people are truly homosexual, why do lesbians use toys in the shape of the opposite sex's genitals, and why to gay men have sex with things similar to the vagina?" I had no idea what to say to this. What would your argument be?
Something like this…
Seriously though, what? How do people come up with these ridiculous things as justification for bigoted views? Since he wants to go down the let’s ask ridiculous questions route. Why not ask him why the male g-spot is on the inside of the anus? It would require anal stimulation in order for it to be effective. Men are often able to ejaculate from that alone and would require no other stimulation. Women are able to orgasm in multiple ways, the inner g-spot being explained in evolutionary terms as helpful for child birth. Clitoral orgasms though require outside stimulation and are often more common. Hmmm seems like there’s more than one way to get someone off doesn’t there?
The reason people use toys to help with the process is because it makes them feel good. It’s about pleasure and enjoyment. It doesn’t matter what shape the object is exactly because many people have been known to use lots of various objects to help them along. It sounds as if your teacher is just upset that people are able to enjoy sex outside of the traditional boundaries he’s comfortable with.
I thoroughly enjoy your page. You provide rational and logical answers to your questions.I believe that one day, no matter how long it takes, that religion will become an antiquated concept. Just like the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth etc. Why do you think that people feel the need to look outside themselves to validate their existence?
I think this is something that goes back as long as people have been considering philosophy. People have talked nearly forever about the nature of existence and how we can even know we do exist. There is of course the famous phrase “I think, therefore, I am.” which sums it up easily for me but does nothing to validate our existence beyond ourselves. We fall into a bit of an existential pit where we want to be able to confirm more but aren’t necessarily able to in any satisfactory sense.
I think a lot of people need others to validate their existence because they simply aren’t happy on their own and very insecure. They need others to validate their feelings, their thoughts, their emotions, to try and let them know that what they are doing is real and valid. People seem to be more concerned with the opinions of others than they are with their own in many instances, but if they receive validation from someone outside themselves it is a way to assure themselves they’ve made the right choice.
Take for example. You get a new shirt, you get an opinion from a friend and they tell you it looks fine. You feel validated that you’ve made a good choice. What about something so much bigger though? The meaning of life and reason for existence for example? Most everyone wants to feel like their life has meaning and purpose, but who can they really turn to for validation of that? A few encouraging words from a friend may not be enough to satisfy, which is when the false promises of religion become even more appealing.
People seeking validation find a great deal of comfort in religion. They are able to have an all powerful being on their side that not only advocates for them but validates their life. He agrees with what they agree with, hates who and what they hate, and, for some people, validate every single action they make throughout the day. How can you lose? It’s like a best friend that will always reassure you of exactly what you want to hear.
It’s not surprising that insecurity and religious delusion work so well together.
I just got back from an AA meeting with my mom. She received her 30 day chip, and it meant a lot to her that I was there, so I went. I've always known that AA promotes accepting religion to keep you sober, but I found the level of religion they promoted was ridiculous. I ended up asking her what would happen if you weren't religious, and she said essentially said you have to be, which I found a little offensive. What is your opinion on AA, and do you believe that is the only way to become sober?
I’m sorry this message has sat in my inbox for a little bit now. I have been asked about secular alternatives to AA in the past and was surprised that there is actually quite a lot of information out there. Traditionally AA is most definitely a religious organization and part of the 12 step is “turning your life over to God”. Some people try to look at it as saying there is “something bigger than ourselves” or that we simply don’t have the power to do things on our own. Either of those views are an alright alternative but generally it is difficult to be non-religious in AA. I’ve even been told by some others in the past that they were told if they are not religious they will never make it through AA.
I most definitely do not believe it is the only way to get sober. There are a lot of different options and methods for people to attempt to get sober. I do think AA has been a great program for many people and they do deserve credit for a lot of the work they’ve done. AA though is a very relaxed program and is simply a means of support for people to recover. It is not the best system or the only option and very often people relapse or continue to struggle even with AA.
From what I’ve read in recent years it appears that secular alternatives are starting to gain popularity over AA. Membership to AA has been shrinking, which some could interpret as people are drinking less, but likely means people are simply showing up at AA less. As people generally continue to move away from religion we will continue to push for more secular alternatives. It’s starting to come up much more often, groups that have been traditionally religious in nature but open to anyone are being pushed to embrace secularism. I hope it is a trend we continue to see.
It recently came to my attention that some of the nurses I work with think that dinosaurs never existed. I am... well, I'm shocked. I can't even. How prevalent is this, do you know? Is this a common thing?
I would have to say it is fairly rare. Even a lot of the nuttiest Creationists out there will simply say that dinosaurs existed along side human beings, sort of like an episode of the Flintstones. There are others though that still usually believe in a young earth theory but will say that fossils were put here to “test” us or that they were tools of the “devil” to try and trick us. I’d like to say that based on a very rough guess probably only 2-4% of Christians actually believe such ridiculous things, so they are by far a minority. I have absolutely no idea how someone even slightly educated could justify this to themselves. Nothing personal of course, but I really hope I don’t ever need health care from any of those nurses.
I’m surprised to see you object to shock tactics. It’s very important that artists persistently challenge societal norms to invoke an educated discourse as to their origins. Bear in mind, most our human rights were once considered offensive blasphemy
I do, in many cases, enjoy shock tactics. Obviously my name is a bit of a shock tactic itself. The big thing is to do it in a way that isn’t generally damaging and harmful. I don’t think saying things like “rape a pregnant bitch and call it a threesome” is the type of shock message that we want to encourage and open up to society. Also his gratuitous over use of the word “faggot”.
It may just be the old man in me but I feel like Marilyn Manson was a great shock artist that still did it with real artistic expression and style. I have been a fan of Manson for about 15 years and have read or listened to just about everything I can by him or about him. He honestly wanted to challenge society by the fact that he was different. That he dressed different, thought different, and acted different. He didn’t call people to hate women or homosexuals though. He called for people to stand up for who they are even if society doesn’t like them. (in his old days at least)
I have to vent out too, that being an "athiest" is trending too, esp at my school. They think by saying fuck god & not going to church makes them an athiest, when really they're juts trying to be cool & can't even have a good discussion on why they're athiest! Its soo stupid!!! Because they even wear cross necklaces & the second theres trouble they'll be crawling back to "god". Ughh!
It seems that a lot of people are taking it as “something new” that’s getting popular. It seems like a lot of people are saying they are Atheist simply because of Tyler, the Creator and Odd Future. (There may be other reasons too but this one does seem to pop up a lot.) Before I’ve commented on Tyler a bit and said that I really enjoy his voice but didn’t like his lyrics. I hadn’t heard much of him but after seeing his name pop up a bit more I’m fully willing to say he’s horrible. Some of the lyrics he uses are really inexcusable. It’s not for the sake of “art” or his creativity, it’s for shock value, to say shocking things that make people listen, it’s an old tactic. You can still do it tactfully and without misogyny and homophobia.
There will be people that jump on something just because they see others doing it. Chances are their interest in it will fade and before long they’ll be on to the next big thing. It seems unfortunate because it is really diluting the pool of honest and actual Atheists.
GOD LOVES YOU is trending on Twitter right now. Ugh, just had to kind of.... vent quietly about it here for a while. Not that it should be bothersome, but now Bible quotes are springing up all over the place and my eyes, lol. Btw, you don't need to respond - I just needed to vent to someone who wasn't religious. Can't do that on my account, haha. I wish FUCK RELIGION would trend someday.
It bothers me to see that. It seems like something “God” related is almost always trending on Twitter in the United States. It just goes to show how prevalent it really is in this country. Maybe some day people will organize an Atheists invade twitter day.
Since I haven’t mentioned it in a while though, I do have a twitter also. http://www.twitter.com/hatefulatheist - I have been slacking a bit on updating at all well busy but things are starting to get back to normal.
I had a supply teacher for RE at school the other day, and he said that because school holidays happen at christmas and easter, and because I celebrate christmas and easter, I am automatically a christian and that god is automatically real. This annoyed me a lot but I didn't get a chance to debate it with him. (plus he seemed like a total wanker who would have given me detention). What would you have said if someone said that to you?
I’d ask him if all of this “automatic” stuff happening, that you have no choice over, still means people are allowed to have free will. Hopefully he would say yes, then I could punch him in the mouth and say God works in mysterious ways doesn’t he?
No, really, I wouldn’t do that because I’m not violent. People that ignorant though don’t have much hope to be reached in a logical way. They’ve already dismissed logic and reason as tools they have no need for. When someone doesn’t care for logic or reason it’s very hard to give them a logical reason why they’re an idiot.
Public education, or education at all, in America can be traced back to religion (Puritanism), due to the need to read/understand the bible. Before that, education was mainly considered to be only for those who were wealthy, not just anyone. So, I guess, we can thank religion for our education. I'm an atheist, but just found that interesting. What's your say?
Yeah, John Cotton. Who we can also thank for Cotton Mather. Education is education though, however it starts more education is never a bad thing. Maybe it isn’t the best reason to be motivated to learn but if it results in people learning, that’s the important part.
We've heard so many cases where religious individuals have mass murdered thousands, for the sake of religion. Sometimes I wonder, if there's anything else we don't know, that the institution, whatever religion it may be of, scrambled to cover up, and successfully did so. If that is anything at all.
Like that one Pope in the 1300’s that was actually an alien lizard. If that one ever gets out, oh boy, it’ll be trouble.
Recently I expressed to a few friends my views on the french ban. And they all acted like I was ridiculous because I said that the Koran does NOT demand that a woman cover her face. Only her hair and dress moderately. Which in turn = hijab. NOT full face veiling. So the french's decision is NOT harming a muslim's religion. And then I proceeded to ask how would someone feel if people walked around you 24/7 with ski masks on? Apparently IM the ridiculous one b/c i find that slightly off putting.
France is doing big things. The ban on prayer in public is going into affect in Paris and is causing even more of an uproar. I’m glad that France is being strong and holding to what they believe is right. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out though.
There is a lot of debate in Islam if women are required to be covered or not. Based on most of the wording I’ve seen and quotes I’ve read it seems as if it is more or less a requirement. Either way though if it is or is not required of the religion doesn’t really matter to me in the least. It’s been used as a tool to oppress and demonize women for hundreds of years and should end. Whether it is required or not should be a secondary concern to the fact that it violates basic human dignity.
I honestly look forward to seeing how things go for France and hopefully if these measures end up successful you’ll see them take hold in other countries as well. Someone should be pushing us to achieve a more secular world and if France is willing to do it I applaud them for their effort. It is not outlawing religion, it is just trying to keep it out of the public, the way it should be.
A lot of religious people don't accept evolution and accept creationism instead, but have you ever talked to a religious person who doesn't accept something else like, I don't know, plate tectonics? I never hear someone say plate tectonics is crap, alwaaays evolution. I just find it weird how a lot of people only focus on evolution, when other scientific things go against religious doctrine as well. Just a thought.
Well it does happen with various things it just seems that evolution is the most prevalent and the one that they focus on the most for the time being. I remember reading an article from a few years ago where Bill Nye the science guy was nearly booed off stage in Texas for saying that the moon reflects light from the sun. No joke, this crowd of people who chose to come see a scientist/celebrity booed him for talking about science. The bible says God put two lights in the sky, so in the bible world the moon makes light too. Not in the real world though.
You see it seep into quite a few other things really. How long have Christians tried to debate whether homosexuality was a choice or not? Many of them still believe it is and refuse to listen to any of the science that tells them otherwise. That’s how we end with these ridiculous people that think they can “cure” others of their homosexuality.
I think probably the most disturbing example I can think of off of the top of my head though has to do with climate change. It was actually said by congressman John Shimkus that “The planet won’t be destroyed by global warming because God promised Noah”. Seriously, this was said by a congressman well talking about the very serious and real threat of climate change. This is the kind of buffoonery we have get to put up with in the United States, its pretty horrible at times.
People seem to give you a lot of crap just mainly for your title/description/ideologies, without having actually thoroughly read any of your posts. Also, they seem to skew what you say a little. The one thing I especially enjoy about your blog is that instead of disputes to religion and trying to prove it wrong (which is almost more difficult than proving it right) you just describe how it affects us socially today. I heard you get called mediocre because of that once but I actually prefer it.
Thank you for the message. With an Atheist centered page it’s almost inevitable that you will get people criticizing and picking at it. I usually just brush off most of it but try to respond to what I can to at least better elaborate on my views. I try to be honest that I could get things wrong at times, but I still do my best and will passionately defend my views and opinions.
I do usually try to address thing under the fact that we do currently have to deal with religion. Disproving religion is a difficult fight but people familiar with the subject know that there really aren’t a lot of good arguments left for religion. It’s usefulness in explaining the world has long since past and now we are left to deal with the fallout of it still lingering on. Thank you for the message.
“All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hair-splitter to pretend that I don’t regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist.”—H. P. Lovecraft
Things that damper a cheerful optimistic outlook on the possible feature of humanity: when some asshole steals the battery out of your car in the middle of a full parking lot in the middle of the day well you’re at work. Not just some change, not just a lighter, not something little, but the BATTERY from under the hood. Well that’s $90 I didn’t plan on spending today…good thing I’m working all those extra hours.
I was really intrigued on your answer about the Design and Causation arguments. If you had to choose one, which one would you say has more 'proof'?
I don’t think either of them have a whole lot in the way of proof. The design argument in particular I find no matter of “proof” in it at all. For the causation argument it is more of just a matter of unknowing as of yet. We don’t know what the first movement or motion in all of existence was that set everything into motion after it. Perhaps some day we will. Until we have any more information all possibly theories are basically on equal ground which is why the “unmoved mover is god” doesn’t work out to much of anything for me.
Do you ever slip up and say stuff like "Oh my god!" or "God dammit!" or even stuff like "Holy shit"? I've been working on taking all of it out my vocabulary. "Good grief" for instance, has been a big replacement. But "Oh my gosh!" Just sounds so lame, and nothing sounds better than a good "God dammit!" at times. Any suggestions or commentary on the subject? I don't want to be hypocritical, but it's hard sometimes.
I do still say things like that from time to time. I’ve tried to make an effort to move away from saying it but it is so engrained into my vocabulary at this point it’s nearly impossible. It is simply part of our language. Whenever we say things like that we all realize what we’re saying, we’re not actually petitioning “god” for anything or anything along those lines. It’s simply a saying.
I prefer saying things that don’t involve “god” as part of the phrases usually but when I say it, it doesn’t bother me. Only occasionally on the internet have I heard of people jumping all over that as being some kind of subconscious admission of a belief in god. It’s completely ridiculous to say such a thing and anyone attempting to put forth that argument is grasping at straws. You can definitely try to work it out of your vocabulary but if it pops up once in a while, it’s nothing to worry about. As far as alternative phrases you really have to work out what works for you and flows right, there are hundreds of options but you have to find the right one for the right time.
I am an atheist 16 year old and I am forced to go to church because I 'live under my mothers roof'. I've been forced ever since I was 10 and I've hated it since. What do you think about that? What could I say to my mom to have her understand that it's not right to force their kid to go to church. Please, please, please help me.
I received a few messages lately asking again for advice on how to handle family issues. Usually my advice is fairly similar for about every situation. I think communication is the key aspect, opening up the ability to communicate, and then hopefully being able to communicate freely. Either way the first step is to open up dialogue so you can at least talk to each other and share your ideas and feelings.
I’ll stress this again since I have received some criticism of it in the past but be careful of the limits. Even when simply trying to open up conversation and communication some people may not be open to it. If even hinting at a discussion causes someone to fly into a rage chances are you will never be able to have a productive discussion. I like to think most parents care at least somewhat for the feelings of their children and would be willing to have a simple conversation.
The key once communication is open is to build to what you’re trying to express. Don’t necessarily rush right into it and tell her you don’t want to go to church right off the bat. Simply let her know in some way that you don’t know if it is right for you, that there are things you take issue with, things that don’t make sense. Questions you have that don’t seem to be answered or have very poor answers.
Ideally this will open up a chance for the two of you to talk and you could get some honest feedback as to where your mother is coming from in the whole situation and her feelings on it as well. Hopefully if things go well you can eventually bring it around to an explanation of why you feel the way you do and maybe, just maybe, she’ll be understanding. Hoping to affect a situation like that there really isn’t much else you can do. I’ll always advocate at least attempting to speak up instead of just suffering in silence but unfortunately even with the best of intentions conversations don’t always turn out well. Good luck.
What's your reaction when people say "God bless you." after you sneeze?
I usually just ignore it and move on. Working in a job with customers occasionally I’ll have customers say “God bless you” simply for assisting them or as a way of saying good bye. Although I personally feel a bit awkward I let it go because it’s not a very big deal. The same way I react when someone tells me “God damn you”.
I don't know if you've been asked this before, but what do you make of "demonic possessions"?
I think it’s sad that tourette syndrome and actual mental disorders were mistreated for so long because of a bunch of mystical nonsense. Obviously in the past people did not have a real explanation as to what was going on, which is why they invented the concept of a demon possessing someone or “evil” getting inside of them. Even today we still have people profiting off of this bogus mumbo jumbo and it’s disgusting. It doesn’t take a lot of searching to come across a YouTube video of some uneducated nit wit palming some shuddering woman’s face screaming for the demons to leave her body! Where she will collapse to the floor playing along perfectly as a pawn in the show the nit wit wished to create.
Depending on the nature of the event at time will be jumping around, screaming, acting completely foolish because it is what they feel they should be doing. They get wrapped up in to the group idiocy and play along with all the other fools acting out their parts. They have strong experiences because they are subconsciously tricking themselves into it. It is still a powerful feeling for them but it was created by the chemical reactions in their own brains not the exercising of these “demons”.
As long as people still perpetuate idiotic ideas like demonic possession their will be people that seek mysticism over medicine. There will be people that throw their money and lives away, handing it all over to some vile huckster who may of even duped himself into believing he is doing “the Lord’s work”. One fool fleecing another. It’s an age old story but it continues to happen all the time. It needs to be left in the past with so many of the other archaic ideas that have been dragged through time.
I'm an Atheist and my mom and I were having a conversation about religion. She said, "What if there is one God and all religions look at him in a different perspective?" I was wondering what your answer would be to that question.
My answer would be more of a question, if it is all a matter of perspective how come so many are so very different? I guess polytheism is totally out the window in her mind. Even in monotheistic views of religion many of the views are completely contradictory to others. If they’re all putting in their own perspective and altering it to how they view things, how is that any different from simply inventing it in your mind or wishing it existed? Creating the God they simply want to exist, but with no validation and giving it the attributes they want.
There either is or is not a God, obviously these are the only options. If there is, whatever attributes made up that God would not be altered by those perceiving it. If people took different perspectives then we know all views but one (possibly) must be wrong. So if every other view of God besides one is wrong, how could we possibly trust these other perspectives to be right on anything if they get the biggest question wrong? We certainly don’t “know” which one is right, so how can anyone pick one with any degree of certainty? If there is a God, there is only one right description of its attributes, and anyone who states they have that description should have some extremely strong evidence to support that. Yet no one will ever produce this evidence, because there is no God.
What are your thoughts the Design and Causation arguments?
I think that William Lane Craig does a good job talking about those arguments and he seems to be the most well known public speaker on those topics. Really though for me, they are horrible arguments and aren’t compelling. They are arguments from ignorance that only reveal our lack of understanding, not some grand creator/designer as they intend to.
The argument from design is one that is very impressive to those with limited imagination. Saying everything seemed designed, so it must be right? Is a horribly fallacious argument. Saying hey everything that happens has a cause, so to start, there must be an uncaused causer right? That makes sense in theory, and saying we don’t know how it happened is the most honest answer. Saying it is a big guy in the sky who cares if we masturbate at night, is not a logical or honest answer. So really for one, we are realizing more and more how things come about without a designed. As far as the other, the cause without a causer, we just don’t know yet, and that’s okay.
Does your hate for religion only account for the most "well know" religions such as Christianity? Or do you hate, literally, all religion? For example, what is your view on religions such as Paganism?
It’s true that I hate some religions far more than others. There are some that are far worse and far more destructive than others but I do also hate the concept of religion in general. With that it does extend to all religions. The problem is that the line between religion and philosophy can become very blurred at times so when people ask about things like Buddhism, or Taoism, one that don’t fit the usual Western form of religion, it becomes harder to include them in many of the most common criticisms of religion in general.
To try and sum it up basically I hate the concept that a group of people will rally together under a common name and accept beliefs dogmatically or out of tradition rather than rationality and what they feel works best for them. I hate that these groups often foster feelings of hostility to other groups and it often results in conflict. I hate that people will force this world view on to young impressionable children with no regard for what their want is. I hate that they will hold on to their “traditions” and archaic beliefs despite modern information showing the harms. There are many things that can be part of any general religion that I feel can be extremely harmful and as a result do have a hate for all religion.
Many religions may only fit some of the things that I despise about religion. The above mentioned things are certainly not a complete list. They all take at least some part of it though. It’s just a bad system and one that needs to be done away with. So really, there are much bigger targets on Christianity and Islam, but I think as religions crumble and fades eventually the whole concept will fade too.
Just wanted to send out another quick note to update everyone on what I’m up to. I am still working extra hours for the time being and have been fairly busy outside of work as well. Have been a few issues that have been cutting into my time some and a few general problems. I really really appreciate all the messages people send and I promise I will do my best to get to as many as I can when I have time. Thank you again to all my awesome followers for sticking with me and I assure you that I will be back to posting regularly, I’m just going to stop trying to put a timeline on it because things keep coming up.
This seems like a simple questions but it actually made me think the idea over quite a bit. There is the liberal part of me that feel the answer should be yes, but I don’t think it is. I think I have to say I prefer freedom from religion. That people should be able to be free from religion but when someone ends up with religion they should not be entitled to special freedoms because of it.
Originally when I thought about it I had to consider, to what extent would we allow religious freedom? As soon as you have to put that type of clarifying statement out there is it really still “freedom”? Do we really have full freedom of religion now as it is? People can often be condemned socially or charged criminally for taking part in things that are part of their religion. I just noticed an article earlier today about Amish men being sent to jail for a few days for refusing to display orange safety triangles on their buggies. As someone who has seen the aftermath of a truck/car vs. buggy accident in person, a small triangle is the very least they can do to try and remain safe.
To be clear, I do still strongly advocate freedom of thought. People should be able to think freely where ever they are. What they do beyond that can often be an issue though. The thought that the world is 10,000 years old on its own does no harm but when you start brainwashing young impressionable children into that idea and to deny science it can become quite dangerous. It’s damaging to people and to the progress of the world.
So of course in saying this, that people with dangerous thoughts should keep them to themselves, I’ve probably opened up the flood gates of criticism. People will say how I can not be the judge of what is right and wrong for people to think. I never intended to be the one that does. I think society will though. If someone secretly keeps disturbing thoughts to themselves, no one in society will be any the wiser. The moment they start acting out upon them or sharing them with others, it will get a reaction.
If these dangerous ideas and thoughts are pushed back into the closets where they belong they will eventually fade. Once religion is no longer pushed onto young children and brainwashing weak willed individuals it will start to fade. We should not condone these ideas that damage humanity and hold us back. We should not allow the cycle to perpetuate. We should advocate being free of religion, not special treatment for religion.