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There is a part of me that really doesn’t even want to take the time to respond to you at all but I don’t want you to mistakenly think that I am accepting what you say as true by not responding. So if we would like to talk reality checks let me give you yours, you are living in a very shallow, self centered, egotistical subculture that really isn’t representative of the “real world” at large. When you get a bit older hopefully it will pass and you will finally realize that physical beautify is always fading. You’ll start to look for other traits in a possible partner, if maturity is able to reach you. Maybe it won’t, maybe you’ll just continue on well in to your 40’s chasing after one woman or the next letting your penis decide what direction to lead you. Most people who follow that path find it very lonely and feel unfulfilled in the long run, you’ll always be going back to the stories of your glory days for a glimpse of a time when you were relevant.
Let me take a stab at what your life is like because I’ve run in to many dude bros like yourself in the past. You’re likely someone in your late teens or early 20’s who consider themselves up to date with current trends and fashion, single obviously, and likely constantly pass the blame from yourself to others as to why you remain single. You probably sit around saying “what is wrong with these women?” instead of sitting around and saying “what is wrong with me?”. I am sure you consider yourself a wonderful catch, someone who is simply going to wait for success to happen to them in life, you’re the man right? It’ll all fall in to place. Until then you spend time sitting around drinking, hanging out with your other dude bro friends talking about the “problems” with all females. Making jokes with your other guy friends about how awesome you all are and how women should be falling all over you, always taking the time to collectively trash talk any woman that has ever rejected the advances of such amazing young studs as you and your friends. You likely either still live at home with your parents, in a very small apartment by yourself that you can hardly afford, or with several other dude bros in some trashed out little hovel. Maybe I don’t have all the details right but general picture sound correct? I would be shocked if I was far from correct.
"Image over substance" only applies to those that still fully sink themselves in to that shallow subculture that you have apparently nestled yourself in to. Don’t get me wrong I fully agree that America is driven by consumerism and that image plays a huge part of that. Those that lack maturity are usually the most frivolous with their money as well, throwing money at whatever product looks pretty, is sponsored by someone they like, or makes them feel so insecure that they feel like they must have it. People with any level of real maturity and a few years behind them give up on that pretty quickly. Perhaps when you get a bit older and have some more perspective you will realize that as well. As my friends move from 20 somethings in to being 30 somethings I’ve noticed it more and more in general, not just with myself. At some point in your life with things that are really going to matter you will likely find image means almost nothing.
You talk about the “real world” but you don’t even have any idea what that is. You’ve hardly gotten your foot out of your front door, you likely have little life experience beyond college and frat parties, you haven’t experience the real world so don’t attempt to tell me what it is like. The “real world” you are in is just a shallow shadow image cast over to distract and detract from the actual real world going on behind it. Not everyone is as shallow as you want to insist they are. I have no doubt that there are millions of people in this country just as shallow and this image is continually perpetuated by reinforcing the belief that everyone is that shallow, that everyone is that superficial, but that is not reality. You’ve bought into a pseudo-reality and are attempting to insist it is the only one.
Again along the lines of your pseudo-reality money may equate with respect. In reality there are many people who have lots of money that do not deserve or have much respect. There are countless people that don’t care how many millions Donald Trump has, he is still an ass and I would gladly say it to his face if I had the displeasure of meeting him. A good friend of mine from school went to college and got a master’s degree in geology, he is incredibly smart and could easily get a job making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, instead he lives on a small communal farm in North Carolina where they produce enough to get by. He’s happier than he ever would be making hundreds of thousands of dollars, he was able to escape the pseudo-reality that you surround yourself with. Money can buy power, influence, and credibility but to me in particular it does not equate with respect. The amount of money someone has is absolutely no indicate of what kind of person they really are or if they are worth of respect.
You really show your age in what you say, high school is not representative of the real world. When someone is in high school it feels like the entire world but once you’re past it you realize it is really a very small part of your life and those people who you used to worry about so much, what they though or how they perceived you, just don’t matter anymore. I hope with a few years and a bit more life experience you will come to realize that buying into this reality that others are pushing on to you only helps to perpetuate these beliefs you hold. There is a whole other world beyond that filled with real people who care about actual issues, the type of people that respect Hillary Clinton more than Kim Kardashian, that is what reality is really made of. That reality is where the people who makes the laws and policies reside, the people who make the decisions that affect the future, that make scientific discoveries, the people who push for innovation, ingenuity, and intelligence. That is the world I live in, perhaps you can join us some day.
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If you couldn’t already tell from reading my blog I tend to ramble quite a bit. One thought will lead me to another, to another, and to another, I’m a sparked thinker. I don’t do it often anymore but sometimes I like to just type and rant and see where it goes. It was one of the reasons I started this blog but I don’t do it as often as I should…so I feel like rambling. Since it’s a ramble please be generous in overlooking grammatical errors and thank you to anyone who takes the time to actually read it.
Something I’ve had it pointed out to me before, and I think about quite a bit, is the fact that I’ve built a fairly successful blog page and online persona not necessarily based on what I am as much as on what I am not. Atheism is so unique as an idea when compared to other fields of thought and ways people identify themselves. People don’t make blogs dedicated to not being a football fan, or not being Irish, or not being a Libertarian. Atheism is different in the fact that telling someone that you are an Atheist tells them almost nothing about who you are, only really about what you are not.
In some ways the reasons why a religion is so important to people is the same reason that Atheism is important to many non-believers. Now I know the moment anyone draws a comparison from Atheism to religion people jump on it and say “DON’T DO THAT!” because we aren’t and don’t want to be classed as a religion. Yet in the same way that a spark starts a flame the answer to the simple question of “Do you believe in god?” sparks a firestorm of follow up. That simple answer will lead to another prerequisite idea, which leads to others, which often leads to others. At some points people will often diverge as the proverbial fire spreads, but it can all be traced back to a spark.
Let’s imagine you’re in a room with 9 other people watching a wonderful performance from a magician. You all marvel as he works his way through the act soliciting awes and applause from the onlookers. Seamlessly blending his slights of hand and tricks of the eye with a well worked out performance to the point where it could impress even the most seasoned magician. Now let’s imagine that after the performance you and your fellow onlookers start talking and you mention off hand what amazing tricks you just saw and you wish you could understand how they were pulled off. You feel off put as the other 9 look on at you with stunned silence.
Perhaps they begin to question your skepticism of the performance. “What do you mean tricks? We know he made those doves come out of no where, the hat was empty before!” “Yeah, you can’t understand it, it’s magic. Magic isn’t able to be understood!” “Why can’t you just be happy with believing it was magic, why would you have to question it?” Imagine the embarrassment you would feel as 9 people look to you as if they can’t comprehend what you’re saying. Partly embarrassed at their credulity, partly embarrassed at the fact that you seem to be the only one that wants to understand.
Now take up the scale and imagine that shows like this are going on all across the world. Everyone is seeing these shows but almost always with the same results of 9 people in awe of the amazing performance that they feel is far behind their comprehension but just 1 questioner. How often would the 1 be shouted down in to silence? How often would the 1 feel so much embarrassment at the situation that they quickly pretend to switch their view to join the majority? How often would that 1 be left stunned, wondering how in the world so many people can fall for something, when if only they really tried to understand, they really tried to seek out the information, they really looked for answers…they could understand and appreciate the magnificence of the show even more?
If you are an Atheist, you are that 1. That is why it is still important for us to point out who we aren’t, not just we are. We are the ones who aren’t simply satisfied with magic. We are the ones who won’t aren’t simply satisfied with marveling at the wonders we see around us without understanding. We are the ones who can still enjoy and appreciate the wonderful show of the magician, but aren’t going to believe he is bending the will of space and time to do it.
As long as we continue to face the impossible odds against us that we do, we need to continue to speak out. As long as we continue to see Atheists put down and shunned from their families and society, we need to speak out. As long as we continue to live in a world where more people seek to answer questions with magic than with reason, we need to speak out. We are Atheists, which only means we are not the believers. Someday, I hope to see that day I no longer feel the need to say I’m an Atheist but that won’t happen until the day that what we are stands out more than what we aren’t. Until that day, the day we finally have more people look to understand the magic than we do accept it without question and shun others into silence, I will be an Atheist.
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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.
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Alright so this is just a rant and it is not related to religion at all. I totally understand if anyone wants to skip over this post but I am pretty upset about the recent changes and just want to let some of it out here. The new changes that tumblr has made to asks and submissions are going to hurt my blog a lot as well as many others. The majority of posts I make are generated off of asks and discussion. With the fact that people are going to be limited to just 500 characters it is going to make it next to impossible to get the depth of stories and questions I’ve received in the past.
I’ve had my tumblr account for just about 1 year at this point. I’ve seen some changes to the page in that time and normally updates and changes don’t bother me, they’re usually at least intended to improve usability or quality. They may take some adjusting to get used to but that’s not that big of a deal. The ask/submit feature is one of the things that made this site special though. It is one of the things that makes tumblr appealing over other blog pages. It is something absolutely vital for many of the blogs that are already set up and established on this page.
What bothers me even more is their reason for putting in this limit. They don’t want people to use tumblr as a mail service, I can understand that but this is not the way to address it. Anyone who has used this site for any period of time with many asks will have the inevitable messages you just never receive. It happens a LOT. This site is just not reliable to be used as a mail site. Anyone that really uses this site quickly learns that and although it still happens that people will send message back and forth it is not going to be a primary means of communication for most people. People are just going to send more messages if they aren’t able to fit it all in a single message, that is going to add even more strain. I think most importantly of all is that there are many people that use the ask for what it was intended for and they are crippling many pages by taking it away.
People are able to use the submit option for now to send longer messages so if anyone wants to send me anything substantial please make use of that instead. I think in many cases though it isn’t a good alternative. You are able to edit any type of submissions sent to you so even if people are going to screen shot and post or publish them they are able to make changes before doing that if they feel the need to. In many cases it won’t be an issue but does hurt their credibility if it is ever called into question.
When I was looking to start a blog page one year ago I was looking at the various options available but I decided to go with tumblr and the ask option was one of the main reasons why. It gives people a chance to interact and to help this be a social site as well as a micro blogging site. It is one of the things that made tumblr a special place that we all love to use, it helps develop the community of tumblr. I know my rant isn’t going to do anything, it is not my site and people will do what they want with it. I just hope my page can continue to have quality posts in spite of it and I am going to start to look into alternatives. Thanks tumblr, way to fuck a lot of us over and not care.
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I’ve spent a lot of today trying to flesh out my thoughts on the entire situation. I feel like sharing a few opinions. Chances are many people may disagree with some or all of these but I’ve tried to consider the situation as best I can.
- The world is a better place for him not being part of it but I don’t feel as if any measure of justice was served. I don’t think he should of been able to die like the coward that he is cowering in a million dollar facility. Hiding behind his wife, using her as a human shield, perhaps only a few moments of terrorizing thoughts flashing through his mind. He should of been made to stand trial, he should of been forced to face many of the people he hurt, not tortured, but I think many people may feel rightfully robbed on any sense of justice.
- I don’t think people should celebrate his death. As I said the world is probably a better place with him gone from it but we don’t need to take to the street cheering and chanting. We shouldn’t celebrate death. The first images that came to my mind was imagines of mainly Islamic countries throughout the world celebrating the disaster of 9/11. Do we really want to celebrate a death the same way those we attempt to condemn did? There is certainly no reason to morn, but there is no reason to cheer. This is, if anything, a very minor victory in the “war” to overcome theocratic tyranny.
- I realize virtually no one outside of Osama’s followers prescribe to his particular view of Islam. With that said, he did use Islam as a tool of his own devices. He was able to feed on young impressionable people using religion as a tool for his purposes. His view certainly does not reflect the view of all Muslims but it serves as a perfect example of the evils and atrocities religion can breed. It serves as a reminder of how people can be trained and indoctrinated into believing the most ridiculous claims imaginable. It does not reflect all religion but it would be foolish to dismiss it without looking at the lesson it can provide us.
- Is he really dead? Any crazy conspiracy theories? I think overall he is very likely dead. Even his own people have confirmed his death. I understand why they did a quick burial at sea, to hopefully minimize any martyrdom. It will deter turning his grave site into some sort of holy shrine for his delusional followers. Just because he is gone doesn’t mean there won’t be others that seek to fill his roll. It doesn’t mean that we can drop our guard and claim and absolute victory. It means we’re just one small step closer to making the world a slightly better place.
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I have to be done with talking about religion on Facebook, it’s worse than anon trolls because I can see who it’s coming from. I have a former co-worker who changed his profile picture to the Atheist “A” and announced that he is an Atheist. He was concerned that some of his family might be upset because he comes from a religious family. His father used to be a minister who became a Pagan later on. In the discussion we have several people who jump in with…
"I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist"
"Atheism has to prove something doesn’t exist, religion just has to prove a single instance. Much easier to do."
"(random bible quote)"
"I’d rather believe just in case"
"I don’t have enough balls to be an atheist."
"I’m agnostic" (AG1)
"Me too!" (AG2)
(Me) “Gnostics don’t exist, everyone is agnostic”
(AG2) *link to Wikipedia article on Gnostic*
(AG1) “People who believe in religion can’t be agnostic. Don’t lump me in with those religious crazies.”
(Me) *mental face palm* (Send message to explain to AG1 what I mean about agnostic being a qualifier and gnostic being one that shouldn’t exist. Explain it means religious people are on equal ground as Atheist in the ability to know of God existing, no one can do it.)
(AG1 replies) “no one can be an agnostic Atheist!”
Done…. just done.
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So I often get the most hassle for the posts I make late at night when perhaps my internal censor is down a bit. During the recent Facebook debate I mentioned the person I was talking with started mentioning how he is actually an agnostic. (He ended up deleted me after I started challenging him, surprise.) It caused me to really press the issue. Agnosticism is just a speculation as to the availability of knowledge. Nobody is entirely an agnostic as I see it. Even if when pressed you chose to answer I don’t know to the question of if God exists or not you are going to live your life under a certain assumption. He either does, or he doesn’t. You are going to believe everything in your life is watched and recorded. (theism) Some force started the universe into motion and doesn’t care about it after (deism) or it didn’t. (Atheism) To break it down into very basic terms. Even if you don’t want to answer the question there is an answer. Even if you don’t want to admit to everyone else how you truly feel, deep down you know you feel a certain way. When presented with the very idea you must make a personal decision as to what you think is more likely, what you’re going to accept as more true until a time that more information is available, if that could ever even happen. Agnostics, you can be undecided for a while, but at some point, you have to make a decision. At some point you have to quit sitting on the fence and at least be honest with yourself.
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Makes me realize why I should just delete my Facebook page. I just had to deal with someone who compares homosexuality to child molesters, cause child molesters are just “born that way” too but we see no problem in discriminating against them. If we accept homosexuality as being natural because they are just born that way isn’t it a “slippery slope” until we say child molesters are okay because they’re born that way? How are people in this country so fucking stupid sometimes to be able to just spew out erroneous ignorant statements for the whole world to see and see no problem with it? It’s even worse then the conversation I got into earlier where someone said we shouldn’t teach evolution in schools because it contradicts the teachings of religion and that may upset people. Guess what people if science says your religion is wrong, chances are your religion is wrong. If your religion is wrong, and it “upsets” you or “offends” you to hear the truth that is your problem. Why do we have to bend over backwards for accommodations in ignorance? I understand we like to accommodate people, we respect diversity, but making such extreme accommodations for nothing more than complete ignorance and an overly righteous sense of self entitlement? Why do we do this to ourselves, why do we allow ourselves to live this way…. sorry America, I try hard to love this country but you make it so damn hard sometimes. Sorry this is pretty random, I just have to vent.
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but I have to say it. I am sick of Muslims that act like being able to read Arabic is some special magic decoder ring. Reading about Muhammad in Arabic he is still the same dick he is if you read about it in English. When learning about the Quran I did due diligence in checking often 2 or 3 other translations on a particular passage I found to be odd or confusing. It drives me nuts that so many Muslims will say well, you have to read it in Arabic to really understand it. Really? Does that make a difference? If so many Islamic scholars who have read it in Arabic can’t come to a consensus as to what the translation is do you really think your magic decoder ring is going to do any better? This whole idea of something being impossible to translate is complete and total crap. If the words have multiple and unclear meaning, that means translated or reading it directly you’ll still have the same problems. Virgins or raisins? If two people read it in Arabic and get two different answers, how is this the answer to understanding anything? It is something pushed so often by defenders of Islam as if when you read it in Arabic you get a whole new story where Muhammad’s flying horse shits rainbows and he says to give ice cream to the infidels. UGH! Okay, end of pointless rant.
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I’m not really a fan of things like this. Yes, it’s funny, and yes, Christians like that do exist. However, the generalization is still damaging to that population, and I don’t think it’s fair to do that in the sense that we are individuals that make a collective whole. We can’t let respect fall by the wayside because of ignorant individuals like those portrayed above. I’m not a fan of Christianity by any means, but I am a fan of a lot of Christians, and I love them. I wouldn’t want someone to write a comic about the Atheist community running around screaming and telling everyone their god doesn’t exist. At the end of the day it’s just as unfair.
We are all human, and we should give the respect that we wish to receive to those that have shown they deserve it. Always.
This is a topic that comes up to me all the time. I feel I might as well address it again in a way. Perhaps the more I update saying it I’ll get better at wording it in a way that I get less of these objections.
Yes, it is a generalization. I freely admit that and as anyone how followed my blog for a while knows I admit all the time that not all religious people are bad, not all religious people do these things, not all religious people are ignorant. The idea that this is damaging to that population though I think is misleading. What is more damaging to the population of Christians, the fact that I say these things about the crazy ones, or the fact that these crazy ones exist?
Christians love to point the finger at me as just trying to stir things up. Yes, exactly, that is what I am trying to do. People who are Christians stand a better chance of bringing about a change in the ways of thinking and ideals of people in their religion then an outsider does. That’s why I love the fact that I often have Christians who tell me they do agree with a lot of my ideas. The next step is to do something about it. I can tell a fundamental Christian all day how wrong they are for some of the things they do or say but chances are it will have far less impact than a Christian doing the same thing.
If you don’t like that there are people out there like this, then try and do something to change it. If you don’t want to or are unwilling or feel you’re incapable to do something to change it don’t get down on me for wanting to. If you admit there is a problem, if you admit it’s an issue then what are you trying to do to bring about any kind of change? If the answer is nothing then you have absolutely no room to criticize what I do or say on this page.
I respect many individual Christians. I don’t respect Christianity or religion as a whole. I don’t feel it is deserving of respect. If change was ever brought about and all of the many ills in religion were addressed and corrected perhaps I’d develop a little more respect for it. I absolutely hate that people try and tell me how I should respect religion well I have to listen to the most ignorant, vile, and despicable among them spew their idiocy everywhere. Trying to push it into my daily life where I don’t want it. Maybe if religious people could respect that, I’d respect them.
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