Thursday, September 20, 2018

I want to say something about the spirituality debate ...

So, this came across my social media news feed tonight:

I want to say something about the spirituality debate. You don't believe in God? That's okay, it is your right, but why is it so important for many of you to mock those of us that do? If we're wrong, what have we lost when we die? Nothing! How does our faith in Jesus Christ bring you any harm? You think it makes me gullible? Ignorant? I am okay with that, but how does that affect you? If you're wrong your consequence is far worse. I would rather live my life believing in God and serving Him, and find out I was right, than not believe in Him and not serve Him, and find out I was wrong. Then it's too late.
I believe in Jesus Christ. He said deny me in front of your friends and I will deny you in front of my Father.
If you're not ashamed copy & paste it! He is my father I will never deny my father in front of anyone even at the cost of my life.
I believe in Jesus Christ. He said deny me in front of your friends and I will deny you in front of my Father.If you're not ashamed copy & paste it! He is my father I will never deny my father in front of anyone even at the cost of my life.
Here's how I responded: I'll try to give some quick answers to the questions presented here:

"Why is it so important for many of you to mock those of us that do?"

As a non-believer ... I agree - this is 100% wrong ... that goes both ways, and believe me, with a large majority of the USA being believers, it happens a lot ... and actually it's worse than that, non-believers get discriminated against and excluded, ostracized, threatened and even attacked.

"If we're wrong, what have we lost when we die?"

It's not what you lose when you die ... it's what you lose while you live! Time - going to church, praying etc. Money through tithe. And piece of mind worrying about whether your most recent (or any) "sin" is "forgivable" but your deity ... for non-believers, everything is forgivable ... but what we non-believers can't shake is our responsibilities for our actions - and we wouldn't have it any other way - no scapegoats for us to heap our "sins" on so we choose to live in a way to minimize harming others because that responsibility is ours to live with until the day we die/

"How does our faith in Jesus Christ bring you any harm?"

Directly? - it doesn't. But depending on which sect you follow and how strictly you follow it, many of the believing majority try to legislate (create civil law) that affects the freedoms of non-believers and people who follow other religions ... and no, I'm not talking about being able to "sin" ... laws like trying to put compulsory prayer into schools, trying to rewrite science books to align with biblical stories that don't have evidence to support those stories. ... to name a couple obvious ones.

"You think it makes me gullible? Ignorant?"

No! Like me, I was indoctrinated from birth as were my parents and their parents before them. For over 40 years I believed without question - but as I got older and information/research became easier and more accessible and the science became better - some things didn't add up at a point and I HAD to have answers that made sense. Science provides those answers and many of those answers directly contradict what the religion(s) teach ...

"How does that affect you?"

Again, not directly - but again, if your preacher tells you something is a "sin" or someone is a "sinner", it can affect how you think of some otherwise good and decent people - like, say, a non-believer, who may be a good, honorable and trustworthy citizen and/or friend ... an again, it can influence your vote which indirectly affects those who don't believe as you do if your chosen candidate has an agenda with a religious foundation. That said, gullibility and ignorance aren't exclusive to the religious ... there are more than a few non-believers who display these traits

"If you're wrong your consequence is far worse."

Again, I believed for over 40 years. I didn't seek out an excuse to disbelieve, the evidence just didn't add up to what we see in an objective reality. Many f us non-believers were ragged kicking and screaming away from our beliefs by the overwhelming contradictory objective evidence ... an the utter lack of supporting evidence for just about anything in the bible (excluding some names and locations). And, exactly what are those "consequences"? Which religion and/or sect within that religion correctly outlines those "consequences"? And how can we objectively determine that there is a place (Hell) where these are carried out.

If I am forced to endure consequences because I used the tools/brain the hypothesized God gave me to use all my senses and follow objective testable evidence and I HONESTLY, in my head and heart could not "find" God. Then if God thinks I'm :worthy" of punishment, then so be it - and I'll happily take it - because I know ... and more importantly, this God should know ... that I did everything in my power to find him and it was HE who chose no to show himself. And if that's how he operates, he's simply not worthy of my allegiance. God "knows" what it would take to make me "believe" and to date, he has purposely chosen not to show me. He showed Paul, Moses, Abraham and many many others ... at any time he could choose to show me ... I'm happy to amend my beliefs if I'm given sufficient evidence.

Thanks I'm curious to hear better, more refined answers, explanations and critiques - what I got right/wrong etc.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How Amendments Work

So I keep hearing/seeing this cRaZy idea that the President or the Supreme Court will erase or repeal the 2nd Amendment (or insert your pet amendment here) so just to dispel this incorrect notion. here's what it takes to pass or repeal a Constitutional Amendment":

Constitutional Amendments can't be "erased" ... they MUST be repealed and that can only happen by Constitutional Amendment ... Amendments can only be started in US Congress or in state legislatures (The States) both requiring a 2/3 majority JUST to get the ball rolling ... then once that hurdle is cleared there's the Ratifying process which again goes to US Congress (House AND Senate) AND To State Legislatures requiring 3/4 vote to ratify by each.

Nowhere in the process does the president or any court have any part in the process

Look folks ... memes can be funny and cute ... and some even informational ... but you're viewing it on the Interwebz - the most revolutionary vehicle to access accurate information in the history of the universe (far surpassing the Dewey Decimal System) ... it takes all of about 90 seconds to search a claim in any meme ... 80% of the time you can get a satisfactory answer - confirming or denying the meme - from the search results summaries alone ... I'm not asking people to retake a civics class ... before sharing untrue memes ... just do a quick search to validate it :) You'll thank me and all your friends will be impressed 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The (potential) Dictator has no clothes ... and he doesn't care

There is no line or rule of decency, protocol, compassion, morals or even law that Trump is not willing to cross and obliterate while doing so. Wholesale change can be made without humiliating everything we hold dear in this country ... I can think of a few such humans in history who ignored the rule of law and the constraints of the country charter/constitution. If Trump had one singe viable and fleshed out policy worth talking about that made sense to Americans, we shouldn't be able to shut him up about it ... but he doesn't talk about ANY policy in ANY detail - only in slogan ... that's NOT a policy ... take the "Wall" for example ... ask the French how that whole "wall" thing worked out ... (Hint: google "Maginot Line")

Instead, from Trump we get the most humiliating, embarrassing sleaze campaign in the history of campaigns - so much so that Hollywood would reject this campaign if it was written as a script

All the scum of the Trump campaign will stick to each and every American for years to come if he were to win ... as it is we're now all tainted by it

And to the Conservative Republicans - start counting the costs - the price tag - of every slogan Trump champions ... you will find that the cost will be higher than anything Bill/Hillary/Obama/Sanders/Carter COMBINED have ever even WISHED for, let alone actually brought before congress for consideration ... He would be the most reckless highest spending liberal spender in history ... who pays for that after he cuts taxes in ways even Reagan and GW Bush would be afraid to even suggest?

All this happens before we even mention how he'll direct government enforcement apparatus's to persecute his political enemies and critics ... the man views the Presidency on par of being a feudal king.

If there was ever a god, we need his help more than ever to protect our great country from this scourge

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The "System is Rigged" (Eyeroll)

... I keep hearing/seeing/reading this ... over and over. Of course it's never presented along with evidence to PROVE the "system is rigged".

I think it intellectually lazy to "blame" the failure of their weak ideas to gain popularity/backing/support on a "rigged system" ... no, it's the fact that:

A. Their idea sucks
B. Their argument/presentation is weak, and sucks
C. They're unaware/ignorant to the fact that their idea has been done before - and failed
D. They can't be objectively self critical, much less accept external criticism
E. They're delusional to the point of rejecting the evidence that counters/contradicts their idea

In short - the "system is rigged" response is a delusional fantasy that thinly veils a temper tantrum that actually means "If I don't get my way, I'm taking my toys and going home"

... and then they invoke the ultimate unfalsifiable idea by claiming god/bible "supports" their position/idea.

Ugh! How can anyone have a rational discussion with that?

Sunday, June 12, 2016


So out comes the avalanche of "prayers" for the dead and wounded at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

I suppose it's lost on all those devout and prayerful folk that they are "praying" to the same god that was used for justification for this shooting to begin with. Any way you slice, dice or spin this "event" ... religion and it's positions against homosexuality will be at the root of the reasoning behind the motive for this "event". ALL the Abrahamic religions/Gods require tacit acceptation and approval of homophobia and summary execution of those who engage in homosexual acts.

When we're in non-shooting mode, Christians will consistently trot out Leviticus 20:13

KJV: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death ; their blood shall be upon them.

Whether they agree with this verse or not - they hold the bible as god's perfect word and command giving cover and approval to those that not only agree with this verse, but to those who would act upon it.

Allah, the Islamic god, and God/Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian God are one and the same god ... we all have heard the horror stories how ISIS throws homosexuals head first off tall buildings or immolates them in small steel cages with gasoline.

And still, all the folks who claim to be horrified by this shooting are praying to THIS god ... I can only imagine god's response:

"They had it coming"

Disgusting! Please reject this myth once and for all so we can all love and embrace ALL of humanity.

Oh, and lest I forget - the gunman was born in New Freaking York! Raised in the US of A ... so he's OUR asshole ... own it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gods and Unicorns

So I'm reading a fellow atheist blogger's recent post: Bruce Gerencser's: "Questions from an Evangelical Pastor" ... and deep in this post, he points out that there is a marked difference between the Christian God (any of the 33,000 denominations) and the potential for a deist god - one that most Xian apologists reduce their arguments to defend DESPITE having no awareness that they've effectively jettisoned virtually EVERY word of their beloved bible to make their case. You can't have it both ways ... but something occurred to me and it's a spin on a familiar argument/comparison.

The evidence that points to a Christian God is identical to the evidence that fairy tales  point to Unicorns. Both of these are unquestionably written about in books throughout history. So there's that. But many Christian apologists will point wildly around them and say:

"All of this - everything, beauty, complexity the very fabric of our existence point to the Christian God"

and it struck me ...

that's like saying - "Every existing horse, pony, mule, burro, donkey, zebra and all of their extinct ancestors/fossils point to Unicorns being REAL"

And yet, just like with the Xian God - no evidence that can be ONLY be explained by a hypothesis that requires a god has EVER been found to support the hypothesis ... just like in the whole lineage of the Equidae family, no evidence for a Unicorn-like animal ... or for that matter a "Pegasus"-like animal ever been found (I figured I'd add a Pegasus since Muhammed supposedly flew to heaven on a winged horse).

Winged and Horned Horses are both in books in great detail all throughout history ... yet they are widely accepted as a fiction and the product of the mind of humans ... as it is with gods. There simply is no evidence - real, concrete, physical evidence - direct or indirect that can ONLY be answered by God/Unicorn/Pegasus.

Perhaps Bruce Gerencser is closer to the truth that he thinks - perhaps "Maybe, just maybe, earth is some sort of lab experiment for an unknown advanced alien race. "

And although there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that life exists elsewhere in the cosmos - there has yet to be any clear evidence to suggest that this extraterrestrial life is (by our definition) intelligent, much less space faring capable of terraforming simply for the purpose of conducting and experiment. ... but then these Aliens have been described in great detail in books too ... perhaps we can start a new religion based on them? ... oh ... wait ... isn't that Scientology/Xenu?

Friday, December 25, 2015

On Religion/Spirituality ...a thought ... or two

So on Christmas eve 2015, I had a bit of a discussion/debate with a good friend of ours who is a believer ... she genuinely desires and needs a form of Christianity/Spirituality in her life to give it foundation. Fair enough.

In this country (USA) we're afforded that freedom as a basis of our constitution - Freedom of (from) religion. It was clear from our discussion that she cherry picks the hell out of the scriptures - and that's fine too - "par for the course" I think I'd say.Thankfully she does this cherry picking because we certainly could not be friends, much less, acquaintances, were she to be a strict adherent to scripture.

This person, is intelligent, kind and an all around good, caring human being. She has a history/background in some pretty extreme sects of Xianity (JW, for one) which I gleaned from our conversation so I guess it should be no surprise that such a compassionate human would:

A. Cherry pick the scripture
B. Rationally segregate scientific reality from Spiritual beliefs

I think it safe to say that this person fully understands and rationally accepts all proven scientific facts and evidence but she simply infers a Supreme Deity at the point where the evidence hasn't gone yet (a pseudo God of the Gaps) and it's THIS that she calls Christianity ... but more importantly for her, she uses the Bible/Xianity (cherry picked to pieces) to give her life "meaning" and direction.

Fair enough again - we all have that right here in the USA.

Mulling our conversation this Christmas morning, I had a thought and wished I had expressed it last night:

"If your personalized version of religion/spirituality gives you inspiration to be compassionate, motivation to be a better more giving. loving, sharing, caring human being - that's AWESOME. And that's a version of "religion" I can at least respect in that it is truly an internal engine and personal inspiration and guide ... but the nanosecond that you use that same scripture as foundation for judgment of others and to proclaim a divinely bestowed sense of destiny/entitlement over this world and ALL beings in it - then I wholeheartedly REJECT your "religion" and will be forced to debate you at every turn"

As it was ... we parted ways after a fun filled night of holiday cheer with a better understanding of each of our positions on the question of religion - there were no ill words or fisticuffs ... and the world spins on into that silent night as if there is no god directing it - just as you'd expect based on the available evidence.

Merry Christmas to all