Posts Tagged ‘lying for jesus’

This topic is one I look forward to covering because stupidity is something I have always confronted head on (not quite the bad personality trait I may have once thought I was, stupidity requires confrontation). Being atheist all my life and not ashamed to say I don’t believe has often led to people trying to convert me with some simplistic and incorrect breakdown in their own beliefs. The title mentions the two most prominent, from my experience, of the gods that have no value (well less than the other nonexistent gods).

We atheists love to ask for evidence of god and with sound justification. We humans learned not to guess answers like god into existence some time ago, we leaned to study or environment building layers of evidence on which to further our knowledge. Evidence is important in improving our knowledge of the world if possible, of gods. I doubt very much that without evidence many theists would believe in the orange invincible invisible tide directing monkey god, the one who rides on my back (should I claim one). They would demand evidence of the monkey, they would demand proof it made the tides, they may even cite scientific knowledge to dispelled my tides claim. Why then do their gods not require the same level of scrutiny? What we ask is nothing they themselves wouldn’t ask of a great many irrational claims. Denial of other peoples gods is a favourite of many religions, few if any blindly accept every god as being possible.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Denial by the religious often goes one further extending to a denial of science. Selected science, not the ones that make computers and social media possible. Science, which in modern times has in place a complete system for reporting and retesting its own findings, is popularly refuted by some theists. These theists demand evidence but are generally unwilling to accept evidence when it’s given or in failing to understand it cite their ignorance as the case against it. Denial of scientific evidence is not the same as denial of some guy who owns an old dog bone he says disproves evolutions without ever allowing it to be examined (but wheels it out for religious congregations). Science asks to be refuted because people failing to disprove finding is far more powerful than a million people simply accepting findings. In denying science you are denying the work of people who were on your side, those trying to find fault in the work. The untested dog bone is very different and stands only as unsubstantiated nonsense and hearsay, it can be denied without further consideration.

In asking for evidence of god we atheists do have to be willing to consider or study any that is presented. This is not the same as requiring us to simply accept anyone’s word that a dog bone disproves one of the most powerful scientific theories of all time. Of course we can’t test everything for ourselves, the beauty of science is that it offers us a way to read the work done by others and find discrepancies should they exist. We can even repeat the work if we have the resources or have someone else do it for us. If you want to deny science at least read a review of the research, people review papers for a living to save us all reading all the unimportant detail. A good way to get a feel for a scientific paper is to read the reviews and peer comments. There are many ways to learn something of science and it’s workings. If you want your dog bone accepted as evidence against science, submit it for testing. If you have evidence you should be proud of it, what harm is there in our asking to see it?

I’m all for demanding evidence of god, we should do it more and argue pointless theism less. We shouldn’t stop at evidence though, we can take this whole argument back one step and demand a definition for “god”. What is it? What is it you want us to believe? What are you trying to prove? Present evidence, of what? Even if theists presented evidence it may prove useless if we don’t know what it’s evidence of. If someone presented a tea cup and you had no knowledge of tea or access to tea, proving tea from the existence of the cup may prove impossible.

395303_10151287858150527_247700905526_23081195_467410619_nThis is where the god of love, hunger, the need to pee and other synaptic impulses finally comes in. When pushed for definition my experience is that love is now the most common one given. “God is love”, it seems is the best definition of god we have in this modern era, an era in which we have the ability to measure and study the bodies most intimate processes. What we know of love shows it to be a completely natural process, explainable through evolutionary terms and completely free from supernatural influences. It’s not just we humans that have positive reactions in response to others of our kind, it is a well known process in many if not most living organisms. In ourselves we know full well the electrochemical reactions that take place when we interact with others of our species and we understand it. We react in some way to most people but when we bond to others that reaction becomes the more powerful positive reaction we call love. We know what love is and we have a name for it, we call it “love”. Why do we need another meaningless term to describe a known and named reaction? Why do we need god, we have love? Why is god never “the need to pee”?

Only this week I had this argument extended to me personally. “Who am I? I am god, god is me”. No I am a human animal from Earth and my mother gave me a perfectly good name. These thing describe something about me but calling me god is useless and adds nothing to our knowledge of who I am. This is nothing more than a rebuild of the love argument. For some reason theists love to change the subject of their argument, keep the core of the argument intact and treat it as a new revelation. If you call god “toenail growth” it has no more meaning than “god is love”.

The second claim is the inevitable next step in the “god is love” argument. Deism is as strange as theists argue nihilism when they most certainly believe in their own existence as creations of a fictional god. Deism describes everything as god. My keyboard is god, a rock is god, I am god, our every action is god . We can give a name for everything deists call god, a keyboard is a keyboard, a rock is a rock, I have a name… Like love why do we need to give everything a meaningless additional definition. Calling my keyboard god does nothing to explain god or make my keyboard anything more than a keyboard.

a realityBefore god had to start sliding back in to the gaps in our knowledge god was defined. God was very like us. Buddha was a well to do wealthy fat man who became a supergod by contemplating his navel and telling people it was okay not to be wealthy and well to do. The Abrahamic god was the mould we were drawn from, he was a man who made things and wrote rules but immortal and living in the sky. If you go to the many other religions of humanity there are numerous images and models of gods to be found, even tree spirits at some point had human or semi human form. The point is that we used to know god, we didn’t have to give god wishy washy meaningless definitions. As our knowledge of the world grows and the places to hide god diminish, our knowledge of god seemingly vanishes and now even the believers can’t describe what it is they believe in.

As I have previously pointed out, if we had a definition for god we could start working to prove or disprove god. Calling god everything still leaves us with no foundation for working out what god is. Using the tea cup analogy, trying to fit an elephant, a peach and three pairs of underwear (or everything) into a tea cup will not bring forth tea. Even if you stumbled across tea you would only have one possible use for the cup, not evidence of intended purpose. The cup could as easily be evidence of whiskey unless you were to find the words “this cup is for tea” inscribed on the cup. “God is everything” means nothing and has no value.

I will cover one more angle of deism because deism is often cited as the religion of some of the worlds great thinkers. The call to authority argument. It is just as likely in many cases that the god of deism was a way to shake off the god question without needless social reprisals for not believing. Would Albert Einstein have suffered any form of reprisal if he said he was atheist in the era that saw the words “in god we trust” added to the US currency? Would it have caused some difficulty coming up against his jewish upbringing? Maybe and maybe he really was deist but reading some of his notes on theism it would be very easy to consider him an atheist. His supposed deism reads as a fascination of the universe more than a spiritual journey. Many supposed deists before him were it seems of a similar mind set and finding spiritualistic beliefs in their writings is not the task of a historical and literary layman like myself. The way I see it is that if a nobody like me can break down deism, surely the great minds of the past could. Deism and the god of love are equally useless concepts and easily tossed aside.

Getting back to the lack of definition for god, it does have one drawback for atheists. Atheism is a lack of belief in god/s, whatever gods are. If however we remember that gods are only hypothetical it doesn’t matter that they lack definition, the lack of definition only makes it easier to deny such a poorly constructed philosophical argument. The problem then is not so much about god/s but that atheism should maybe be redefined as “denial of the philosophy of god”.

I often use this philosophy argument though it often goes over the head of theists or they want to avoid facing the truth of their beliefs. Sometimes you have to resort to other methods to get past the barriers. It doesn’t hurt however to remind atheists that god is pure philosophy. Some atheists argue god as if it were something based on evidence or existence. Philosophy doesn’t come to life just because someone wishes it so and we should remember that in our own arguments.

The lack of definition may be a negative but it can be a positive in our favour. In creating their arguments theists do use some common terms to describe their gods and the most commonly used and meaningless word used is supernatural. Supernatural is everything outside the natural, no more definable than god itself but common to other irrational claims, claims sometimes based on theistic concepts but not automatically considered theism. The final result of this line of thought is that god is supernatural and all claims of a supernatural nature are god or god like. This is that it allows me to deny the entire collected range of crap called spiritualism which can only be described as supernatural or god like. With no definition of god coming from believers I can’t but think it justifiable that I define their belief for them based on the limited information available. At least I know what I deny (sort of, everything not natural, whatever that is). On this basis my atheism may be better defined as denial of supernaturalism, which as pointed out, includes gods.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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Though my title applies to the nature of theism rather than atheism it has relevance in how over the years people have dealt with their atheism and failed to have it recognised as a social and political force.

I will start by getting my initial statement about the title out of the way because it is very simple to explain and will save confusion later. Theism is indefensible for the simple reason that without irrefutable evidence of a god any and all arguments for a god remain pure philosophy. Arguments for a real existing god are meaningless and doomed to fail. Theist often argue the problems they perceive (or are instructed to perceive) in science and atheism as if it in some way justified or proved their god, what they fail to understand is that if all of scientific knowledge was to be overturned tomorrow we would still be no closer to proving a god unless they could show a god did it. Trying to discredit scientific findings and theories is a waste of time they could better spend trying to prove there was a god. When pushed for evidence theists will often say they have faith but the doctrines of faith exclude any need of evidence and fails to meet the requirement. The very nature of god as supernatural also excludes evidence because evidence would make god part of the natural and easily proven by scientific means. Defending a philosophy is always possible (though theism fails there too) but defence of a real god entity is and will forever remain indefensible.

ExplainAtheism is indefensible in an entirely different way. Atheism fails to have any beliefs or doctrines of it’s own to defend. This creates a problem if you are trying to defend or promote atheism. Only this week I saw a preacher had written a book on the premise that atheists “need god” to make their case, the problem is that he has a point (though not the one he was trying to make). Atheism does rely on god, a philosophically constructed argument for god must exist for atheism to exist. This does not mean we accept or require a real existing entity as I am sure the theist writer proposes. Without the philosophy of god there would be no reason to be atheist, we could all get on with our lives in peace free from other peoples imaginary friends, ridiculous doctrines and attempts to subvert our political systems with religious agendas.

The point I want to make with this article is that idea of promotion is hard for atheism we’re always on the back foot. Atheism exists only to deny theism. Being heard or seen as a significant community has long been a problem and not having a doctrine or doctrinal organisation voicing our side of the deity philosophy has left behind us with generations of silence and oppression.

Atheism is not new, it existed in ancient Greece. I alone am the third generation of recognisably atheistic men in my family. This being atheistic in fact makes my point, we were atheistic because as non-believers the word atheist was not on our radar. I learned the word atheist in my 30s and it took another 10 years to fully accept it as the best and least confusing word to describe who I am. I know of religion, I wasn’t insulated from the world and who gets through life without a church funeral or wedding or at least one door knocking evangelist. In my case both of my parents had given any pretends of religion up before I was born. Years before I was born both had identified as members of christian cults (anglican and catholic). When I came into the world I had the luck of being raised with no religion at home and being allowed to discover it on my own. I did some religious instruction in primary school and even went to Sunday school for a while. In my later years, the years where morality becomes an issue, I did a far more comprehensive study of as many religions and doctrines as I could to find anything of value. I knew early on that all that god stuff made no sense and that I had no requirement for it. All my self discovery and learning only solidified my non belief and yet, I never recall learning or discovering through community involvement, the word atheist. Discovering the word atheism was part of a search for parents like myself who were seeking an end to stealth indoctrination of our children. Without that search I may never have identified as atheist or become a part of a community.

I am lucky in some ways that I was born and live in Australia. Australia has always be an irreligious country and though statistically many people will identify with a religion Australia it is a cultural religion not a belief in deity they lay claim too. All my life I have heard about how Australians don’t attend church, of late that has focused on the fact they don’t even go for the religious festivals any more. My home country has always been the sort of place where saying you didn’t believe in a god was possible and had a reduced impact on you life. Growing up pubs (public bars) were more important to the people around me than churches and it was not all that important to identify as atheist. My blood relations are a measure of religion in my life, my grandmother was raised as an orphan in a convent and was catholic, I had one nutter christian aunt and one of her sons now runs his own commune, if there were more it was unknown to me or cultural. That makes 3 people suffered from religion amongst my blood relations, an almost insignificant number amongst my 4 grandparents, 12 aunts and uncles and 50 cousins. Because of this low incidence of religious infection I have lost only a few friends and opportunities for my non belief and never family or even my life as I may have in other places in the world.

It was before the advent of modern social media, 15 years ago when my son started school, that I became a vocal atheist and yet still no under that label. As non believers my wife and I took on religion in state schools and had school prayers and creeds (our sons said “trust in god”) abolished in our state and still we had no organisation or community to identify with. Had we had a community we may have won more of our battles. It was a few years after these events that I accepted atheism and it took my wife another 10 years to accept the atheist label, not because it is wrong for us but because we had little to no understanding of the term, it simply wasn’t in our vocabulary.

The big problem with a country of people who culturally accept religion, they continue religions political and social power. Cultural theists see no great harm in identifying as something they may in fact not be. They believe saying you are one religion means another less desirable religion never takes control of our country, they never consider no religion as a valid option. Countries like mine also don’t discuss religion in a proper manner, meaning, we never get to know of atheism or other options to the one we see as our birth right. Having a religion is accepted as a cultural norm, if you say you have no religion you get asked your parents religion and you get associated with that rather than atheism. Cultural theism means nobody needs to say or even think you can live without religion. We non believers never get to know other non believers on anything but a passing level while religion uses it’s wealth and numbers to influence our political and legal system. Without doctrines and organisations we have no power or funds and no promotion.

This lifeIf it were not for the advent of modern social media (I used to Grex and admin on IRC so I know the now and then) atheism may still be individuals fighting personal battles against religion. As American style evangelism slowly take the place of traditional religion social media has benefited atheism beyond any other form of media. It has taken technology to promote and drive atheism forward and yet we still struggle to have the words recognised in the greater community. It is still easy to go through life not knowing what the word atheism means or recognising one of the symbols used by atheists. People like myself still go through life not knowing there is an option to cultural religion. People like I once was can still feel alienated and left out. As I myself have said, being the non believer in church is is like being sober at a party where everyone else is drunk. People in this world still feel that way, our voice is not being heard in the regular media and not everyone thinks to google their social issues.

I love the fact that within my lifetime atheism has lifted itself up high and become something theist preachers and organisations fear. I do however think we need to do more to be heard in the crowd. We need to become a culturally significant part of society driving for change and showing ourselves to be people. We need to diminish the stigma and hate theists have loaded us with so that even when new non believers hear the word they don’t fear it and can associate with it.

I started a Facebook group with two intentions. Initially we had to take on some theist bigotry in our community being spread through social media and then we had to offer support and community to other non believers in our community. Though we (largely I) are active in the international community on-line we are still only an offer of coffee and a chat if anybody wants one locally. This I believe is where we have to start, we have to be willing to give ourselves to help people who need a friend or someone to discuss their belief issues with. It is through our actions at the most basic levels that we take atheism from being the unspoken poor cousin of theism to the powerful doctrine breaking philosophical power house it is.

Atheism needs to promote itself wider, we need to be seen and heard. We need people to understand that there is an option not to be feared. My eldest will be the first generation of atheist to say all his life “I am atheist”. He will defend his atheism knowing he has legal protection and community but will he promote his atheism and voice it as often as theists do? How will atheism find it’s place in society if we don’t find ways to promote? It is important for the future of atheism that we, as individuals, embrace and defend our atheism publicly. Groups have limited function because they splinter and diminish the impact of causes. We need groups because humans are sociable animals and groups are in our nature but we need to work beyond groups. As individuals with our one common factor we should still work together but not shy away from the idea of atheism being able to be racist, homophobic and generally bigoted. This has to be our truth rather than demand people be humanist, atheist+ or not be atheisting wrong (trust me, you do not have to like everybody to be atheist or humanist). It is only from that position, the position where every non believer is happy to admit their lack of belief regardless of their choice of bigotry, that we get to discuss our bigotry, work it out and be free from doctrine. Only when we do this will atheism be a valid option for all people, something we can promote to everyone and make a very real social force.

Atheist_symbolFor atheism to push forward it needs to be visible and viable an option for everyone. We need to promote our negative philosophy and lack of doctrine and make it appeal to people. We need to work out who we are and who we want to be if we ever want to draw theists and non atheist non believers to our side. We need to promote or compassion and show our bigotry, we need to be human with failings and emotions. We need to show we can do what everybody else does but do it without gods. We need to make the negative of denial a positive of life and show how atheism improves us and our lives.

Having said that, I don’t for one second think we should all agree on everything or not argue amongst ourselves. We need to make our individuality a positive as much as we need to turn our message of denial into a positive. I look forward to more discussion and argument with my fellow atheists, I don’t need us to all be like me. I look forward to being wrong and being corrected. It is important to atheism that where we can we show how these things are positive things resulting from our atheism.

Atheism has enough people wanting to dirty it without our assisting them. It’s time we took an active roll in promoting rather than always being on the back foot refuting some new nonsense from yet another ignorant theist.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Well that didn’t last long. A vocal facebook atheist killed three muslims and we atheists are everything evil. The person in question is not in my social networks, have no idea where he is vocal and I have no first hand knowledge of him or his mindset, I only know atheism does not inspire killing. Many a christian has named Dawkins and others as instigators but none have produced the documents showing these people as instigating anything.

The news stories (mostly in the US) have focused on the muslin/atheist aspect trudged under foot a long standing disagreement over parking. If we were talking about Australia I would be inclined to let that fact wash but in the USA where shooting and rage crime is common you can’t ignore that a gun nut shooting someone was just expected behaviour. The possibility that three people in the USA confronted someone, or he confronted them, ending in a shooting is not amazing.

statistically wIf we put this in perspective one atheist shot three muslims while a five second Google search will find endless stories about deaths associated with muslims killing christians and anyone they don’t like, christians killing christians and anyone they don’t like, buddhists killing muslims killing buddhists… I am not saying religion causes these deaths though the doctrines often allow or even promote such action, fact is it is still people and their own problems that cause people to kill. Using your religion as an excuse to kill doesn’t automatically make it the religions problem. The big difference however between atheism and theism is atheism is only a denial of theist philosophy and doctrines, atheism has no counter proposal or doctrines. An atheist need no more have a counter proposal to god than anyone else does for unicorns or elves. Atheism has some writers, none taken as god like authority and none I have ever seen that promoted killing. You may be an atheist and kill but you can not say I killed because Richard Dawkins said so (he hasn’t and wouldn’t, just an example).

I did see something which upset me even more during this time, more than all the talk of how immoral atheists are. I spend a lot of my time correcting people errors about atheism, my fellow atheist not theists, and this was one of those things. Someone said they were ashamed to be atheist because of this one event. It is right for us to condone this one persons actions but how is it being part of our community is suddenly the worst thing to be? You simply don’t see christians getting up saying how much they don’t want to be christian every time someone shoots someone else in a church. Theists take pride in being theist regardless of how often people use their religion to excuse killing. An atheist kills, there is nothing to show he killed because of atheism or in its name, and we have to be ashamed of who we are. This upsets me.

From this one immoral baby eating atheist to everyone listening or reading, I personally, without doctrine or belief, do not condone killing (or baby eating).

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Well not quite, though I have been told often how immoral I am without god, allah or the bible it isn’t the truth theists wish it to be. I go as far as arguing that it is not me they accuse but their fragile beliefs they defend. If they can’t get morality from their beliefs, if you can get it without them, what value can you give those beliefs. It doesn’t take long to find good caring law abiding atheists, even one still hanging on to many of the ones they had when they were religious and I’m sure the theists know this deep down under the mental barriers they erect around their beliefs.

This topic comes to mind not for the first time but as I sit waiting for my wife’s scheduled midwife visit there is a woman sitting in front of me who’s jumper is covered in little metal crosses and she has an angel tattoo on her ankle. Suddenly, first time today and like so many days, religion is bought to my attention. So this isn’t a new topic for many atheists but one that is for some reason hot on my mind.

I cant help but wonder what morals theists think we should have, why the ones we have are not enough for them and how are theirs better than ours? What’s wrong with how I live my life and how does it hurt anyone?

hellmedMidwife visits are not new for me nor are accusations of immorality, this isn’t my first time as a parent and with my eldest turning 18 this year I suspect my morals may be in working order. To date I have not eaten my offspring or anyone else’s (regardless of baby eating being another accusation against atheists) and the fact my eldest has never been in trouble with the law or even looked like he is able to get in trouble with the law may be some measure of my ability to navigate morality. I’m as sure as anyone can be that my son will developed into a fine young man (give or take regular teen parenting issues). I myself have never been in prison, I haven’t even lost a license and haven’t had a point on it in 10 or more years. I don’t have any issues with my morals or those I have instilled in my son, why would anyone else given our record to date? Even if the claim of immorality as supported by statistics (it isn’t) why would you tarnish us all that way? I don’t call all theist paedophiles because so many of your institutions are under investigation world wide.

I am far from being a perfect parent – who is – and having made my share of mistakes but I also recognize that there are far worse parents with far worse kids in this world. Giving in and buying my son an XBox when he was 16 and a mobile phone at 17 don’t really count as terrible errors and not immoral but for me these were significant points in my parenting I am as yet unable to call good parenting. My mistakes are significant to me but certainly minor in comparison to some and of those some doing worse than I feel I have many believe in the fictional moral giver. I am a realist about everything possible and I don’t even promise to parent my next one better. There will be differences and problems I – and all parents – can’t hope to navigate before they happen. 18 years ago we may have foreseen the rise of gaming but who could have known the social impact. Now when your teens don’t talk to you they do it in your lounge room (as my son does) instead of out with their mates getting drunk or stoned (as I did). Who would have know? I don’t know the future or pretend I can control it. What I do know is that as a parent I will do my best to instil a since of community and caring in my next child, the same as the sense of community and caring I have had most of my atheist life.

So what is the difference between being a moral theist and an immoral atheist?

Not believing in a mythical god is an easy one. Given I’m the 3rd generation of atheists on my fathers side I can’t see that as being important. If not believing in a god is a moral problem it is one I can’t make sense of because I have no evidence to suggest there is a god or that the proposed gods (more than 3000 of them) set a good moral standard. Even buddha who is meant to have been all about peace and wisdom had a low regard for women an unacceptable notion in or modern society and not a sign of sound eternal morals. Any immortal all knowing eternal god character would give perfect morality the first time not give us primitive morality and say “that fits your current thinking, use that” so we later work out it was wrong and find something better for ourselves. Maybe giving us the wrong morals is a test and because theists are not developing they are failing the test. In any case how would giving us the wrong morals be moral? As an atheist this is easily explained, I understand gods are fictional and their morality equally so. For me the 10 commandments are no more a problem than any of the other 300 commandments because fiction books that says things about human behaviour are everywhere in literary history we just don’t consider them god given or law. The bible is just a terrible fiction novel, it is most certainly not historical or moral. Even if holy book weren’t fictional there is no morality lesson in “thou shalt have no other gods before me” or “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”, these are just the demands of a jealous deity, not morals.

I often hear it said our morals are given to us by god along with every stage of human development and learning. These people know how to cheapen their achievements and every achievement of humanity but there is no evidence to suggest we don’t learn and developed or morals on our own. If our morals were given by an overlord we would all start out with the same morals and even if we factor in free will, the end result of our morality would be a variation of the basic moral code. I have since primary school had an interest in socio-economics current and historical, I have travelled a little, lived in China a short time and known my share of people from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds. I can’t see the effect of a supreme moral giver in the behaviour of my fellow humans. I have spent around 15 years working as a children’s entertainer, I even see differences in how children behave and reason and it varies a great deal suggesting there is no starting morality only learned behaviour. I most certainly can’t see this overlord morality. If I am to believe rules like “no gods but me” is a god given moral instruction, one of many amongst the thousands of gods and rules we know, how is I exist and live as an atheist. I known some will say I don’t but lying about me to protect your religion doesn’t change the facts.

One final point on this line of thought, if god gave us our morality how is it satan (or any other evil fictional entity, demons are very common in religion) get the blame whenever a theist does something immoral. Satan (and kin) it seems are the primary excuse given for bad behaviour and bad parenting. What use is the claim of god given morals if satan (and kin) can simply make you break them? Thinking here of christians and their satan and his being sent by god surely indicates gods low regard for morals, he is tempting you – more than life itself would – to break your moral code. God it would seem wants to end morality. Is god a moral giver or do you find your own morals and god tries to break them?

I don’t know which of these lines of reasoning is best, they all seem equally bad. All I can gather from the evidence at hand is that there is no god involved in any way in our lives and most certainly not in anything called moral giving. We have to be personally responsible for being good or bad people. I think personal responsibility and knowing you are responsible is one of the best paths to good morals. Passing the blame to invisible magic men invites immorality.

It’s been two days since I started this article and I considered letting it go until a christian again bought the topic to mind. Religion is not my every day life.

nothing doing aIn an attempt to lure atheists into a moral trap this theist put forward a hypothetical that proposed kicking two women in the stomach and killing them, the variable being that one one was pregnant. Not just any version of pregnant but six months pregnant, a time indicating she had decided to carry through her pregnancy. This person was suggesting we decide a new course of action for her by killing her and another woman with the premise being a need for us to select which death is morally superior? Not one atheist fell for this very obvious trap because not one atheist thought there was a moral option. After having some trouble getting anyone to take the bait he changed from two women to one pregnant woman who he would kick to death because the baby when born would be noisy and keep him awake, this was his idea of a moral compromise. These people scare me, they have no morals I can see and represent a danger to humanity.

I will admit the person in question is an idiot but stupidity is not rare in religion and those who defend it. I have seen similar mindsets time and again, this is not even the worst example. How with this level of thinking can we or anyone take the idea of theistic moral superiority seriously? When theists are willing to consider – even as a hypothetical argument – kicking anyone to death as a moral option, theist morals seem to be a very sad and inferior thing indeed. This persons only concern with this entire line of question was an unborn child, there seemed to be not one second given to the thought that killing a person is wrong. Is that the level of morality learned from the bible? These people are the ones arguing religion with atheists, they know and recite apologetics and represent the “knowing” section of the theist community. Even the most dull minded atheists (yes they exist) reasons 10 levels above these people. Is christian morality (and muslims argue the same way) such a dangerous and meaningless concept that the stupid represent its most knowledgeable representatives.

If we take a second look at the problem the idiot presented and consider only the woman and the baby as nothing else matters then the problem is at least better represented.

Using personal experience, it being the best way to argue, not entirely hypothetical. I have a wife one month from giving birth, her belly kicks like escape is number one on it’s mind. At no point in the past 8 months have I thought the child more important than my wife. If I thought it was my choice to make I would never choose the life inside her over my adult living loving wife nor would I regret making the choice. Too make choices for her over her body and her life, to put the child’s life before her welfare doesn’t show my wife to love and respect I owe her. I don’t care for the morality of the options however because I hope with us having actually decided to have a child we have a healthy one and the choice never has to be made. If I were not educated and knowledgeable about sex and impregnation, if I had gotten my wife pregnant by mistake, had she not wanted it, if this was something we did not both want, even if I wanted and she didn’t, I would not have one second have thought to stop my wife choosing to abort. Maybe this is the real moral issue. My eldest will not get anyone pregnant by accident, he knows enough to not do so because my morality doesn’t say to pretend sex doesn’t happen or it is evil, that some sex is not really sex. My morality doesn’t enforce the result of rape or correctable mistakes on people and pulling out is not contraception. My morality says educate them and make their lives better than mine, not, keep them ignorant and with child at 13. I don’t ask who do we kill, I ask how do we avoid it.

The thing is that I am not alone in my thinking on women, christians also killed babies to save women. Until the advent of modern medical assistance baby’s heads were often crushed, killing the baby, if it was thought she couldn’t give birth safely. Many cultures had practice’s that allowed abortion for reasons as simple as illegitimacy to health. Simple fact is, a woman may have more babies if she lives, she serves no purpose dead. Adult women have always been more valuable to society than unborn children so why do christians make so much fuss in our modern age? Often it is the same christians who deny aspects of science and medicine that have saved babies dying on mass, do they want the dark age killing of babies back? Why do they choose to overlook their own history? Why do they think their protection of the unborn has anything to do with morals? The idea of killing babies is not unknown to the Abrahamic religions or their texts. The abortion argument is not entirely new but is entirely over blown and over rated. How about we just do what is morally right, how about we let women decide what to do with their bodies.

I suspect this is not the last time I will discuss morality as I will go on being told how immoral I am the rest of my life. For now and from this perspective I will let the topic rest.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

What a nasty cycle religion creates. It creates a cycle of fear and depression in believers on which it feeds like a leach. Like a leach it also provides the lubricant to keep the fear alive as it sucks the life from it’s victims. Sucking the life from people is not how I personally felt during the past 2 days, being quite immune to the methods I viewed, I do however suspect that a few poisoned and toxic brain cells were discarded in the wake.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn't ours to sell.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn’t ours to sell.

I have spent the past 2 mornings in a hotel and not being good at spending time alone in hotels I don’t sleep well, creating as it does long periods of stagnation in four walls (being the immortal atheist I am said to be, I never want to find myself in prison). At home I’m not much of a television watcher, the sheer stupidity of news reporting and sometimes the content, cause me to rage at the screen. Subsequently I have been banned from television news for around 10 years. That is how little television I watch and how little I enjoy it. Documentaries and comedies are my limited television diet. When alone in hotels the rules change and I use television as both company and entertainment. From the time I step in the room until the minute I leave the television is on.

This does present the problems of being faced with the increasing levels of crap regarded by television executives as entertainment and the need to channel surf. My laptop, writing and books offer occasional relief but not enough, I need noise to work and without noise find reading sends me to sleep. Being faced with television as my noise option I also have to face the fact that I end up waking to morning television and nothing is worse in the morning than christian televangelists (late night television psychics run a close second). No scam is quiet so blatant or been so openly allowed throughout human history as religion and the pinnacle of religions contemptible nature is money hungry televangelists.

In two days I have witnessed the most blatant scam and in those two days the price of participating in the scam went up from $300 to $500. Two different presenters, the same shallow project and slightly different god given offerings being presented. These are not donations or payments mind, you are asked to plant seeds. Both presenters continually say they want you to sow seeds, and that sowing will create positive outcomes for the person giving. Both guys had also been explicitly and conveniently instructed personally by god to get these seeds from 1000 people.

The second guy had me wondering if they were going to ask for half of everything their followers owned. He was rattling on about how he gave half of everything when god called him to give and nothing is too much for god. He had lots of anecdotal stories of people who gave and magically the phone rang saying they received money there and then as he spoke to them. One story was of a guy giving and a client who was late paying, paid. Even if it were true are his audience so stupid as to believe that only god could have caused someone to pay their outstanding invoices. What I did get from the sales pitch is that god loves your money and having people lie to get it is just fine by god. Even if were an element of truth to any of the stories they we so embellished and edited that they were nothing short of a lie. The preacher did eventually get to the point of asking us for the new and increased seed price of $500 but I felt at the end he was naming his minimum price. I suspect his minders let him ask for more because his sales pitch was better, you could get your seed at a discount price of only $500 from him, much cheaper than half of everything.

For around 30 minutes both mornings I watched these people promise everything and nothing to get my money. The first guys seeds were for blessings and bonus points with god. If you gave last year you need to remind god this year. The second guy was mystical cash returns, give now and money will just appear everywhere in your life. The more you give the more you get, give enough and maybe someone will drop dead and leave you a fortune (sweet thought). Both guys insisted that giving them money was going to drive satan away, the only common tie outside which church doing the asking and the project they were offering to fund.

The project itself was not often mentioned and if I had not decided to listen to the methods and words used I could have missed it. I was unusually focused on the content having woken early and little else to do before heading out. The project was sending bibles to the third world. Yes, bibles. These people over 2 days insisted you give $300 – $500 or more for bibles (no specific number of bibles was ever discussed while I watched, it may have been 2 worth $250,000 each).

So offering nothing but lies and bullshit to those giving in this life they were offering fire starters to Africans worth $300,000 and $500,000. Let’s face it, if bibles were going to save Africa it would have been done long ago. Many places in Africa were introduced to the christianity and the bible long ago, the world oldest known christian culture is in Ethiopia where people died on mass during long periods of drought and political turmoil. These idiots alone have been delivering bibles for years, some result should be clear by now. The bible being the single most printed, sold and stolen book in history, even the first book printed, surely the world should already be saved.

If, if you were the sort of idiot who believed this crap surely sending a bible to a random African address would be cheaper and not have you paying the wages for multimillionaire middlemen for god. Why does god need middlemen anyway? For $500 you yourself could send a box full of bibles to a church in Africa and they can share them out.

The saddest thing for me in watching this is that I knew someone who watched and believed, she sent these people money. She had all the DVDs and books they sell and she still died before the world ended or any of the promises came to pass. Her family found that the cash rewards were not coming in her life or after her life and eventually sold their farm and moved on. If she got any blessings at all ever there is no evidence of it. Maybe she got her brownie points in heaven but even if you believe that shit is real how can you really believe lying and cheating US millionaires are the key to getting those points. It is more likely that her wishing at heart to be a nice person, not her delusional state and making other people rich that won points. All these scams do is make someone in the USA richer, then they die too.

retrospectPeople like the lady I just mentioned (not an anecdotal story, I knew Thelma personally, I live 2 farms away and sometimes helped out if they needed extra hands, I was out with her grandson when I met my wife, I don’t need to lie for atheism) don’t get better or think better with religion playing on their fragile mental states. Televangelists play on peoples fears and their depression, they target them and enhance their problems to scam them out of their hard earned incomes and investments. Thelma believed the television news was a sign of satan and end times and these people re-enforce that belief.

The victims of these scams don’t seek help for their conditions because religion presents itself as a cure. By properly fearing the stories of evil told by the religion you allow god to save you from the religion and everything will be fine. This relationship is often and correctly compared to abusive relationships because getting the victim to accept the abuse they receive is a key to both religion and abusive partnerships. The fact is religion doesn’t cure and people start to avoid the victim making them even more alone, miserable and insecure. People find them harder to associate with and this only gives religion more hold. Thelma was eventually left with visits from people with a vested interest in her money being given to their church as her primary companionship. Her husband had little say over her money and he continually fought with her over how much she was giving them. The rest of us only went near Thelma if we were asked to come and help unload hay or other farm tasks best left younger folk. At our farm we put effort into making it look like we were never home so Thelma wouldn’t visit, we even hid ourselves on occasion when she did. She used to comment at how often we were not on the farm. This is just one sad but true story of how religion destroys peoples lives and it didn’t do much for us in turn. It made our lives change, we hid to avoid being rude, nobody really wants to tell sad deluded old women to fuck off.

Thelma was addicted to televangelists, she would whenever possible lend us books or videos knowing we were atheist (and before I became a father with children to protect, I would not be so polite now). For us, her nearest neighbours (only vacant farm lots and cows between us) avoiding her was our best option.

Religion is a social disease and like many diseases it feeds on the unhealthy aspects of the thing it is infecting. Religion seeks weaknesses in people and played them to its advantage, growing in them like cancer. Televangelists are amongst the worst of religions cancers, the lung cancer of humanity.

I am going home now with this short and rant like post behind me. I hope one day we will be free of bad television and religion, until then I will return to my state of mostly television free bliss (and consider sending my $500 😀 ).

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.BADA 1

Atheism, theism, deism, agnosticism these and the many other often useless and unproductive terms get used and abused in discussions of a theistic nature. Mostly the practice of a theists, some less informed atheists also manage to fall into these traps. For the theist it is often ill considered arguments learned from a professional in the art of “lying for jesus”, for the atheist it may be the result of prior indoctrination or social conditioning that has not been completely shaken off.

On to business…

Thinking GenerationBELIEF.

Belief is an odd thing that needs some explaining.

Most people believe in things, only nihilists believe in nothing, they seem to think we all live in the matrix computer. Other than the nihilists we all start with a few basic testable assumptions about our lives and the world around us. Theists do often try and throw nihilism into a debate not understanding it negates all argument even their own. Simply put, if none of us exist what use does any argument or any god actually serve? I prefer to accept that we all start with the same basics, I am here, I am alive, I have four senses (touch, sight, taste and hearing) to begin exploration of my existence.

We are not at belief yet because I trust rather than believe my senses. My trust has limitations because I also know they can be wrong as would anyone who has tried to catch something under water. There is still room to examine things in my environment and confirm things I normally accept. For instance, a rock is hard and I have no reason not to believe my senses here, but, the reason a rock is hard is something my senses are unable to tell me. I know my senses don’t explain everything and I will spend my entire life learning about my environment and to that end I am one of the lucky ones, as are all people willing to open their minds.

At this point I will quickly throw off science rather than bog down in it. For some reason science causes problems for many theists yet science is not about belief and is not a rebuttal to religion. Science is a method of discovery and reporting that allows us to build a better evidence based picture of our universe. You don’t believe science you accept the value of science as a tool and in turn accept the value of its findings. If you “believe” science you are not understanding science. Equally wrong is the idea that science is a “phenomena”, science is not some magic mystical out of the ordinary thing. We humans have experimented with our environment since we first made tools, science is the modern and more accurate way of addressing our already exploratory nature.

On to belief finally because saying we accept science doesn’t mean we cant also believe things, atheists can believe in many things. The problem with belief is not that atheist have it but that all belief is not equal, this idea confuses some people.

Belief based on intangible evidence (evidence I can’t put in a test tube and boil until it reveals it’s secrets) and a theist favourite is love. It’s a favourite of mine too because in my own life I believe I’m loved and it is lovely. Should I have my belief wrong and this is not be the case I would not be the first person to believe in love based on reading the evidence (words and motions) incorrectly. I can’t very well test my wife’s love without a sounding jealous and possessive, traits I believe are undesirable and dangerous to relationships (and another belief I have based only on life experiences). So love, how I assess it, even how I manage to maintain it, remain based on largely intangible evidences,. Life it turns out is not always about picking up every rock to see how hard each one is, often we judge our environment on prior experience, we decide to not lift every rock but choose to believe the next rock is hard. Should we really need to know we can always go a little OCD and go back to lifting. An even better and less confusing word to describe this belief would be trust, we trust our judgement based on the available evidence and previous experience. Regardless which word you use, evidence based on real world events and actions still constitute a form of evidence.

Religious belief, the problem belief, should be a short on to explain. Religious belief is best described by the word faith, the final argument for all gods. Faith by definition stipulates that evidence is not required you just need to hope and if you hope hard enough it will be true. I don’t understand it myself, it sounds like Santa for adults. This form of belief differs greatly from the earlier belief in that only your own opinion matters. Evidence is not only unimportant but can be ignored and even denied in favour of simply hoping you have it right. This version of belief should be opposed by all atheist as it is at the heart of what constitutes a god. The biggest problem for atheism is that theists hoping for several millennia that there is a god still haven’t managed to provide a single clear definition of what god is or what god means. Religious belief is basically belief in whatever you imagine/guess/hope/are told/feel like. Some theists use doctrine to base their definitions but the instant anyone show doctrine to be incorrect or falsified the last defense is always faith or religious belief, the belief in nothing simply because “I want too”.

FAITH.

I know I mentioned it but this one is meant to be an argument buster for the theists. Basically, if you have faith everything is okay and no argument can defeat your personal want to have an invisible friend. The problem is that saying you have faith is like insisting anything can be real if only we just want it hard enough, the christian bible even has a pretty line about praying and the mountains will move (praying being an extension of having faith). I could think of a few things that still don’t exist but have very high levels of faith. Santa for one would be much more fun than most gods but how about a rabbits that excrete chocolate, the pet we would all like to own. All those kids for all those years knowing beyond doubt that Santa and easter bunny were real, so much faith and still we parents shop for gifts and eggs. Nothing is more childish than thinking faith is a good argument except having father in adult imaginary friends.

RELIGION.

So many people try to palm off their belief in a god as not being religion. Statements like “I’m not religious, I have a personal relationship with jesus” are just plain stupid. Working from this particular example, Jesus is a mythical character associated with one specific set of religious doctrines (and edited to fit islam), anything associated with jesus is christian and christianity is a religion. Other arguments are put forward by people around the idea that you are not part of a big church and only attend sermons and do bible study in a house or a hall you are not somehow involved with religion. Quite well known for this variation on stupid was a preacher named Banana Man, sorry, Ray Comfort. Ray, a christian preacher with a small christian congregation but a congregation none the less, claimed to not like religion and to not be religious. Talking to these people you can always find a specific variation of god with a specific religious doctrine behind their ideology. Sometimes they even claim to be atheist probably under the common misunderstanding that atheism is a belief. Regardless of what you imagine your relationship is with your fictional friend, if you have one called spirit or jesus, without religious doctrine you may very well not have that specific variation of friend. You are religious and the variation of friend tells us which religious foundation.

CATHOLICS.

This is a good one that should have Catholics hopping mad. To try and justify their own beliefs and separate themselves from catholic dogma many christians claim catholics are not christians. A christian is quite simply someone who believes in the mythical character jesus which catholics most certainly do. The biggest difficulty for these catholic denying christians must be the fact that the Roman catholic church collated and edited the bible they use as their definitive reference book. Other than the eastern orthodox churches all christians are little more than catholic cultists (itself a cult of earlier jewish beliefs, which are an amalgamation of earlier known beliefs).

BORN AGAIN.

Bloody ridiculous unless you popped out of a vagina for a second time. Being “born again” would be easier described as confirming your brain washing as it is mainly a undertaking of people already religious but need to take that one extra step towards labelling themselves clinically insane. They demand that they believe in adult imaginary friends much much much more than everyone including other christians who they describe as “not proper christians”. Born again christians have serious problems and extreme indoctrination method with which to instil them.

PROPER CHRISTIANS.

Now I am not a biblical scholar but I know the bible says you shouldn’t judge others. I would even go one further and say that it says only god can judge, and yet, so many christians judge this way. The obvious case at hand are the many atheist who once had some variation of religion, some prominent ones were training as ministers, at least couple I know of were priests or in seminary to become priests. How christian do you need to be to be christian? Still some christian judge the christianity or former christianity of others to try and devalue their becoming anything but christian. How dare you devalue someone else’s life in any way, more so, how dare in front of your invisible friend do his job? If someone says they were atheist I am wary but I don’t right away say you were not a real atheist even though many a born again christian see their earlier christianity as being atheist. What I do is ask the person about their earlier atheism and work out the actual condition of their belief. Only then do I let them know if they are lying about having been atheist or have for some reason unknown to me developed a mental illness. I don’t have an invisible friend who claims the job and yet I still consider the other persons position with some care. I hope nobody minds me holding the higher moral ground over anyone who tells someone they were not a proper christian for simply changing sides.

My relationship 1RELATIONSHIP.

I detest hearing this, not so much because it is stupid and wrong but because it lacks respect for family and friends of the person saying it. Hearing someone say “I’m not religious, I have a relationship with jesus” says to me nothing short of, “I am an idiot who thinks my imagination more important than my family”. The christian religion is having an imaginary friend called jesus so you get no medal for understanding your own beliefs but then you want to bring that imaginary friend to a level equal to or higher than the real life people you are meant to love and care for. How can I respect you for even suggesting such a thing? Your imaginary friend can not hug or kiss you, your imaginary friend can not nurture and feed you, still you want to dismiss the people who can and imply they are of no more value than your imagination. You my friend, your with the relationship with your own imagination, you are a class one idiot.

As an atheist I have one very real life with very real people who get from me 100% of the love and care I have. If my family don’t feel loved and cared for it’s only my fault, no imaginary friend detracts from my ability to work harder on my relationships. No imaginary friend takes my time nor his representatives take my money, all my resources are for my family. If I have spare I have and do give to my friends and broader community. No imaginary friend gets to claim its importance over real life flesh and blood people, my family have it better than your just on principle and I feel for them being related to such an emotionally stunted human being.

proudly purple AATHEISM / ATHEISTS.

This may be long.

1) atheism is a belief.

A dictionary, a good dictionary, will define atheism as “a lack of belief in the existence of gods”. I had a software dictionary that got this wrong and I no longer install it on peoples computers for them, if you can’t get a simple one line definition right your dictionary is rubbish. This dictionary now offers 2 definitions, they may have the correct one now because I complained often but they still have the old one offering atheism as a “doctrine or belief”. These words are as far removed from atheism as gods themselves and in line with some very misleading theist argument. The point of defining atheism as a belief is to bring it down to the same level as theism. This offers two basic and incorrect outs for undereducated theists, one is the idea that it is easier to deny another belief, all you do is say “it’s wrong, I’m right”. The second is related to the idea of atheism being a serious threat to belief, if atheist can live without gods why can’t other people? People changing between beliefs is easier to accept because they may return if you can convince them they are wrong, if they stop believing and life continues without god, the problem of getting them back is escalated and for most people impossible. I for one can not see a time in which my mind is still functioning where I could convince myself to believe something I know to be unnecessary and a lie.

2) atheism has doctrines.

There are no doctrines involved in atheism. No rules, no doctrines, no leaders, no churches (just some people playing churches to keep the social feel), no definitive writings, no authorities. There are individual atheists who do all the things humans do, following, accepting without question, accepting authority and playing church but every atheist is an individual, not drawn together by doctrine but by one single thing, a lack of belief in god. There are many people who have written about atheism and many good quotes from their writing but no one person or writing can be said to represent atheists. If I look at my own reading I like Smith who views atheism as I have all my life, I also like Dawkins and as a biologist the man is brilliant but Dawkins got some things wrong with his atheism. This is how many of us read and view our atheism, everything is open to question and blind acceptance is not required or even demanded. The other things with these books is that they are not read and interpreted for us once a week by someone who’s only qualification is often that on book or books about that one specific book. Atheists read everything, as I write I have in my bag The Happy Housewife (a christian book from 1975), a copy of the Muslim Teens Handbook and in this pad device I am reading The Necessity Of Atheism. I don’t always read on religion and atheism, this is just a good time to sample, I also like reading fiction and science.

Atheism is only a counterpoint to the philosophical proposition of god/s and as such atheism runs out of things to say as fast as theists run out of arguments for their god/s. Every few months I see the watchmaker fallacy come to life yet again, this time a house, next time a car but always the same argument. How can atheism find new refutations for the same warn out arguments that have been waved about for hundreds of years? We don’t have our own doctrine to build on, only the same iron age religions and their extremely pathetic modern counterparts.

3) atheists just want to sin or be immoral.

There are more than 300 rules in the bible alone on how to live your life, not suggestions, god given commandments. To live by them all may drive you insane and most certainly make you a criminal. Christians ignore these rules though the bible makes it clear all of the rules are of equal importance in getting to heaven. It seems even christians don’t put much value in the concept of sin and like we atheist choose their own morality.

For catholics this even less important because all they need do is say sorry. Not mind anyone they wronged, only to their imaginary friend.

To my knowledge most religions and most followers have similar blind spots in their beliefs that they choose to ignore as it suits them.

For an atheist sin is easy, there is no such thing. Sin is an imaginary illness created by an imaginary friend to which it is the only imaginary cure.

When an atheist does bad and atheist put their life on the line. With one life to live there can be little reason to want to spend it in prison or devoid of friends and family. It is simply easier to be a good person. When a theist does something bad they see forgiveness and life forever in a magical wonderland, sometimes because they believe the bad they did was in their chosen deities name. Being bad must ideally hold less meaning for the theist than the atheist.

4) Atheists are satan’s…

Who cares what we’re meant to be, that particular god entity is no more real that the other one. We may as well agree that we act in the name of Frosty the Snowman.

5) atheists just want to rebel.

I am a little rebellious. I questions, I don’t stand for flags or anthems (but have pride in many things about my country) and I don’t always vote the same way. This is not what theist mean though, they mean rebel against their imaginary friend. Again we come to the fact their friend is imaginary. How anyone could seriously think I was trying to rebel from their personal imaginary friend I just don’t know.

Taking this argument to the next logical step, what about the law. Atheists have to accept personal responsibility for their action, there is not asking forgiveness or blaming you imaginary friends evil twin. Studies and statistics can be used to show this has an element of truth because it has been shown that atheists make a considerably smaller proportion of prison populations than they represent in the general population. Figures from both Europe and the USA have crossed my desk showing this to be true. Given this it would seem statistically that atheists do in fact respect law, just not mythical ones.

6) atheists don’t exist.

Having never in my life believed in any god, uttered a single prayer and believing the only thing that could get me to believe would be insanity, I find this offensive. I may punch the next person who says it to me and risk the assault charge I find it that offensive. Fancy having the balls to tell anyone they don’t exist, to simply with one simple phrases deny a person any value. To take away any good they have done, to imply they have no place in the world. I know atheists exist, I am not christened or baptized and even have my for skin (sorry if you were about to eat :p). No religion has even be allowed to claim me and I was raised without religion. I am most certainly atheist and my life has value and has had value to many people (I hope mainly positive).

I am not easy to offended but his offends me every time it’s stated. I am slightly offended that I even have to write about it.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

NOTHING.

1) Universal nothing.

Lets start with one simple fact, atheism is not science nor does it require science. Theism is a purely philosophical proposition and atheism is counter argument on purely philosophical grounds. Without doctrine trying to keep us ignorant, having a open and educated mind may be an advantage to atheists, but, not a requirement of atheism.

Science is in part to blame for this one but theists are to blame for its continued use in the form they use it, knowing full well they are lying. This idea of nothing being nothing has been refuted time and again, continuing to use it is simply lying for jesus.

Nothing as it was proposed would be better phrased as nothing-we-as-yet-understand. There are many theories about what was before the big bang but we don’t have a solid case yet (that’s fine, not knowing and saying so is better than guessing the answer, ie. god). To our knowledge and in our experience a state of nothing is not possible and we have no reason to think it possible. Science suggests that all of the matter and energy now in existence has always existed and we have as yet no reason to think otherwise. Only the state of existence may have changed becoming the universe we now know.

To the theist nothing sounds better because claiming science can’t possibly have it right, nothing exploding and becoming the universe is just stupid, is a far better story to tell (a lie). They’re right that nothing becoming everything is stupid but for those of us not trying to rob people of their hard earned wages by selling them lies, god is nothing. By our understanding that means god is nothing did some magic and from the nothing came the universe. Nothing is not a scientific position, it’s a theist one.

We know this claim means they think god is something but if that were true where is god now? Any real god should be somewhere in all of our scientific knowledge but god as theists would have it remains a nothing. Not one scientific paper accepted in academic circles says “and then god”. Theist would have us believe this is a conspiracy but if god was valid god would then be required to prove the next step in research. Science doesn’t just forge ahead ignoring past findings, it can’t. Worse it has to prove past findings or find itself basing its research on incorrect foundations. Back in the early days of science, in Darwin’s day, people were building entire scientific works on incorrect assumptions and when the original assumption collapsed so did the entire tree of research. Modern science doesn’t make that mistake as often and it discovers the problems very fast when it does.

If for one second I was to take up the case of god and run with it it would simplify down to this. There was god; god had nothing and no friends; god made some spirit friends but they had no substance; trying again from nothing he made a universe of pretty things then put some new friends on one of the pretty things he made from nothing; not knowing how to have friends made mistakes, putting things where he shouldn’t, like apples he didn’t want eaten; rather than being a good friend and guide the friends he created he punished them for his mistakes; over time he punished, threatened and killed his friends on mass demanding they play his way or burn forever (at least as kids most of us just took our ball home when the game wasn’t going our way).

I am an atheist, I don’t need science to be atheist but ask me again which nothing option makes more sense and I have to side with science every time.

2) god nothing.

This idea is something I don’t see as often as I once did but for the entire history of religion nothing has ever been forgotten. Some arguments may change form but they keep retuning regardless of how bad they are.

This idea presents itself in the form of “without god I am nothing”. It fits with many other top is already covered, the universe, atheists, life, none of it would exist without god making it. All the efforts and the suffering of humanity become cheap and meaningless with this one statement. I studied formally for a total of around 20 years of my life plus informal learning to get where I am and yet in a single breath the theist says your knowledge is from god. Why the hell then did I have study, I fall apart in exams, it wasn’t easy for me to get through my education. Why did I bother when I could have it seems just prayed for knowledge.

Any of us who know people or have met people with home schooling or from less educationally advantaged countries, places where they do pray, we know it to be bullshit. I would like to meet the theist who had not one day of education, never seen a book and prayed 6 hours a day. I find children wonderful, I chose to give up my trade and now entertain kids for a living, I love the fact I can tell stories and make terrible jokes that my audience will react to with none of the adult inhibition we all learn. I think that christian would have a child’s mind, in short burst I may enjoy his company, I could make terrible and very simple jokes about things he understood, smelly feet maybe. I couldn’t stay long, the best thing about entertaining, I don’t have to keep the kids at the end of the day :).

Without god I am exactly like everyone else with an open mind. I am a biological entity doing my best to get through life as best I can and willing to consider every option as I do. The other difference between me and someone so tied to an imaginary friend they can’t manage life without it is that I am not wasting my one short life on imagining something better, I am work to make it happen now and beyond for myself, my partners and my children.

MonkeyMadnessTRUTH

Personally, I don’t believe 90% of preachers would know truth it if it tripped them up, kicked sand in their face, gave them an additional kick while they were down and screened I their face, “I am truth”. I have seen so many preachers present arguments and have it ripped wide open and yet the next week they are out repeating he same argument word for word. This level of dishonesty, as it must be in the preachers who claim to be the knowledgeable members of their community, is inexcusable. I can excuse it to some degree in run of the mill sheep theists but I have personal experiences that tell me dishonesty is not a rare commodity in the religious at any level.

Still when a believer says truth, their honesty towards their fellow man is not normally what they mean. What they mean is some sort of atheism, science breaking truth, a thing so true only believers can find it.

Buddha was the highest of all people – and gods – according to buddhists, he became enlightened and nothing was beyond him. He became a super-god above all people and gods. He achieved this contemplating his navel for a very long period, this great revelation, this great revelation, and still it took us the better part of the next 6000 years to discover the true nature of electricity. The stuff that flashes in the sky, stuff buddha would have seen, was beyond buddha’s navel contemplating ability. Considering your imaginary friend to be the source of truth is no different to navel contemplation. It was not until we did the work of generations, learning, testing and discovering the truth of our existence that we started to learn what it was. In not one in our learned truths has god been a requirement, worse, it has often been a hindrance.

There is no truth in religion, religion more often maintains levels of ignorance. There are people in this world with no better qualification than having studied one particular variation of mythology and passing themselves off as educated. These people are often happy to present themselves as experts on everything or as knowledgeable representatives of their community, exercising that communities political and social power. A number of these people have never even studies a second variation of mythology let alone all competing mythology. Even then, if they knew every mythology known to man, it would only qualify them to tell fairy stories. This isn’t truth, this is nonsense.

OPEN MIND

This one is laughable. I never had to give religion much thought when I was younger. I was allowed to learn on my own and I chose to do Religious Instruction and go to Sunday School (sorry mum, so I could go she has to sit through 3 hours of catholic Sunday sermons, she is still non-religious, but was raised anglican, it was a torture she undertook just for me) until both became boring. Oh I got told all the cute kids stories they tell while missing the death and destruction of the bible, but I never took it as anything but art class with fairy tales. I had better thing to do with my life. I had a mad aunt who insisted we went to church if we visited on Sundays and I remember complaining a lot if it even looked like we would visit on a Sunday. My mum thought it good manners to go so we went a few times, just to polite we had to go and act like we knew the songs and pretend to sing along. In my 20s I returned to looking at religion and considered every one I could find looking for something of value and failing to find it. We all have that point in life where we go from invisible to contemplating our mortality and for me it meant considering as many philosophical perspectives and scientific facts on the topic of death as possible. I considered what religion was presenting and I have been atheist all my life.

Many atheist don’t have the luxury of my secular upbringing, many come from very religious backgrounds.

To say that atheist have a closed mind is to ignore the fact many of us were once religious and every one of us has religion shoved in our face at some point in our lives. It ignores the efforts of many religious people to promote their beliefs everywhere they go and all the bumper stickers that must have made someone rich. It ignores the fact that the bible is the number one selling book ever, the first book ever printed and a copy was once in almost every hotel in the world (everyone I stayed in but it seems to be less frequent). Even the morons and joho witlesses have to admit that not many escape their door knocking. Christmas, easter, passover… I could go on all day with the many religious holidays and events we all suffer (I hate carols, simplistic rubbish music and played everywhere) during our lives. You can’t not consider religion.

Forget what telling an atheists they have closed their mind says about your efforts to make your beliefs known, it says your god is impotent when it comes to making itself know. Are you sure you want to admit that?

Looking from the atheist perspective, looking back over this blog post, looking at what it means to be atheist, considering how inescapable religion is and how ignorant and denialist the religious can be, it is laughable to think we atheists are the ones with closed minds.

Open your minds, take in everything and learn to evaluate it.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

I should cover quickly some of the incorrect, misleading and deliberately false statements made about atheism and atheists. There are a number of people wheeled out as evil atheist killers that history to show how immoral atheists are but the historical evidence doesn’t support the claims of “killing for atheism” made against them, some are not and can never even be considered atheist. I need to address this before moving on because I am certain there have been atheist killers but atheist or theist, a persons belief is not always the reason for their actions, only the excuse they use. In the case of atheism atheism is never to my knowledge, or any historical reference I know of, the excuse for killing. With no atheist doctrine saying we should kill it would seem to be impossible to say someone killed in the name of atheism, it is far more common to find people actually reporting that they killed in the name of their chosen doctrine (political or religious). I want to discuss moderates but first I have to dispelled some of the false information in the world today.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

The the politics l ideology of Marxism and some of the people accused of killing for atheism is a big one so let’s start Marxism itself. Karl Marx was a remarkable and prolific writer, brilliant economist and renowned philosopher who formulated the ideological basis for what we know to be communism. Marx, regardless of how people may think of him, was a very clever and thoughtful writer who like most theoretical economists was an idealist. His choice of ideal came to be the power majority, the working classes. It is often said that communists are atheist and this may be true to some degree but when a theist use this argument they use it dishonestly as an excuse to accuse atheists of being mass murderers without morals. Karl Marx, the father of communism did indeed suggested that to change there needed to be bloody revolution and no power but the worker state be allowed to retain the states power. Communism as Marx saw it is blood soaked but that is not atheism. Marx recognized the power of the people running the state with their military and police forces and said the masses need to rise up quickly and violently to overcome them and that is the heart of his writing on churches and religion. Oddly enough many christians still think the same way as Marx. Look towards the USA and who shouts the loudest about having guns to maybe one day take over the state, you will find a whole lot of christians in that mix. Marx also recognized the power of the church on people and said they need to fall to refocus peoples attention on the state, replacing god with state being his intention. There is a suggestion that state imposed atheism is a best option but the intent is to direct people to believe the state comes before god. Again a very christian ideal, in the christian bible a guy names jesus said something similar when the suggested you pay Rome what is rightfully Rome’s. Technically and theoretically, on the division of power, Marx was not wrong churches wield a great deal of unwarranted unelected power in our societies. In practice communism like capitalism and all pure forms of economic theory has the ability to turn ugly when people come to be part of the equation. What we find looking at Marxism is that its not really atheism he was arguing but the replacement of god-religion with state-religion, the state to effectively become a god to the people. What happened when people were added was personality cult and power grabbing not dissimilar from any other human power structure. When it comes to the anti-theism of pure communism it is about breaking down powerful church organizations and far less about destroying personal belief. Power as the focus of the anti-theist ideology, both Mao and Stalin, major players in communism, allowed religion to exist where it benefited them and their cause. Marx may have been and is well noted as being atheist but atheism was not his goal nor the reason behind his writing. At worst Marx’s outsider perspective as an atheist gave him a clearer view of religion and how it held and wielded power on which to build parts of his socio-economic vision.

Next let’s address the one person who was surely atheist in his destructive years, he man made clear his lack of belief but he wasn’t always that way or educated that way. Joseph Stalin may be best described as a mad monk turned politician. We can’t ignore how a person learned to hate enough to be willing to kill on mass or how he came to decide it was political necessity. I have some Marx in my personal library (I have many historically important books) and have read other of his works. He does suggest that because of the nature of the wealthy to have military and police strength the only way for radical change is revolution but that can’t be the only factor leading to mass killing post revolution Stalin undertook. I have read Marx and other philosophies of the time and I don’t want to kill or think of people of other races as lesser than myself, lessons easily learned from many of the philosophers of the 19th century theist and atheist. Atheism as I have previously mentioned has no doctrines so “kill everyone” can’t be atheist doctrine, I would need to adopt an ideology (or go insane) to want to kill and my atheism has not given me any special

I own a copy of this historical book and can read how christian Hitler was. What's your ignorance based on if you believe he wasn't.

I own a copy of this historical book and can read how christian Hitler was. What’s your ignorance based on if you believe he wasn’t.

reason adopt any ideology in its entirety. Stalin identified as atheist but the ideology of communism is not atheism. Somehow Stalin not only became atheist but adopted communism as his ideology. Stalin’s formal years of education are well known, Stalin was well educated and on his way to the priesthood when he turned to politics. Is it here perhaps that he learned to hate, to refute god and with communism thrown in gain the power to enact his hate. Every one of us is the culmination of our life’s experiences and it is lucky for christians that we will never know how his training as a priest changed Stalin or why he became a power hungry paranoid killer. In the end we know Stalin was insane with his need to retain power and under pressure internationally to renounce communism (which may have enhanced the need in him to retain power through killing). We know the historical fact of Russia, the revolution, the progression from communism to Leninism to Stalinism and how dirtied ideology of worker state became. We know Stalin’s actions were in the name of communism but nothing he did was in the name of atheism though he was openly critical of religion. We also know Stalin was the atheist was the same man who knowing the power of the church, reformed the Russian Orthodox church to build public support in the fight against Nazi Germany (and gaining Vatican approval). It is impossible to know what drove Stalin to be who he became but we do know atheism and christianity both played roles in his life as a communist.

Leading on from Stalin, Adolph Hitler. This one is easy. I have a copy of Mien Kampf in my personal library and the man is well documented as being Roman catholic. His speeches, articles, books, radio recordings and film stock all show a man declaring his christianity and his work being that of god. It is hard to work out why so many theists bring Hitler up when trying to tarnish atheism. There are some writings at the end of his life, as his world collapses, where he expresses doubt but still no outright rejection of belief. Until the faith shaking realization there may not be a god on his side in the war he started, Hitler is very much a Roman Catholic christian. His doubt can not be seen as atheism and nothing in his life suggests he fully understood, if understood at all, the concept of no god only the wrong gods. Not only is Hitler well known but the vatican gave him the power to choose German church leaders. The pope of the time, like many people of the time, did not like the separatist nature of some communities – especially some religious ones – in their midst which was often expressed as anti-semitism (though WWII all but ended gypsy existence in mainland Europe and Hitler also targeted homosexuals). At that time in history it was a very christian thing to hate anyone not christian and white with violent intent if not actions, WWII rocketed us along the road less hateful.

Pol Pot. This man is a mixed up creation. Like Stalin his actions were communist but his level of non belief is an unknown from the information I and most people can access. Pot was born buddhist and educated christian, he later became communist and for reasons unknown (as they can’t have presented that much of a threat to his power) took to killing people in quite horrible ways. I am not even going to guess where Pot got his mindset but it was a sick one he managed to get away with. Pot’s communist empire fell and the people who followed him to power allowed him to live out his life basically unpunished. Certainly unpunished for the level of suffering he caused. I am not even sure how to judge the people who failed to punish Pot or what their beliefs may be, I am certainly willing to say that their beliefs or lack of beliefs may not be the criteria best used to judge them.

Mao Zedong, China’s hero, was a buddhist before becoming communist. Revolution in China with it’s population and poverty, the 1936 invasion on China by the Japanese who killed far more Chinese people than all the people Hitler had killed in his lifetime, and the problems of western support of imperial China, nothing about a Chinese revolution was going to be clean. There were certainly strange policies leading to death in China, the Great Leap Forward was meant to revolutionize agriculture as had been done in Russia and ended up starving million to death. The following youth movement implemented to boost support after such a failed policy kills many more. To say that Mao meant to kill people in villages would I think be over stating his actions, it was simply a very bad poorly implemented policy and a power structure slow to change. Bad politics is not atheism any more than it is buddhism. I can’t get in the head of the long dead chairman but today the Chinese people love him, even those who suffered now credit him with bringing the country from abject poverty and foreign domination to the level of potential first works country. Admittedly his record is whitewashed in China, something that may backfire on the regime if the people ever learn how whitewashed; a problem for another day. Would I be happy to say China today is atheist, an evil atheist nation? No. The China of Mao practices a blend of atheism, ancestor worship and buddhism. Hospitals have Chinese medicine wards where pseudo-medicine is practised, pseudo-medical pressure point massage is huge business and crackers go off daily to scare of spirits and bring luck to businesses. Western religion and its powerful churches may not play a part but I don’t know that we can judge Mao’s actions or China as being atheist, only communist.

Why theists play these games is beyond me but pushed for an answer I would say they hope their followers don’t read. It takes a 30 second google search to find historical references that refute many of the claims so the people they are talking to must not even read that far (which I guess is why Answers in Genesis and Conservapedia exist, to save googling information you don’t want and re-enforce the lies some preacher told you).

This line of argument is foolish because it doesn’t take long for an atheist to dig up examples of religious killing. People who did directly say they killed for god are easy to find; Adolph Hitler afore mentioned, any number of people currently in prisons world wide, and some of the most repulsive periods of human history such as the dark ages, various which hunts and the fictional flood of Noah Abrahamic theists believe in. It isn’t just the people (and fictional gods) committing the crime who present the public face of religious killing, finding people defending the murderous actions if other believers (or their god) is as easy as breathing.

When you build a false argument that is easily refuted you don’t do yourself any favors. The theist argument puts believers who have a simplistic view of the world in danger of presenting these arguments in places where they will be presented with the facts and counter argument. I have met many an atheist who said that learning the truth of things they had been told by a religious leader was what made them question their beliefs. By presenting these arguments you weekend your own cause, honesty is and will always be a better weapon in the battle to save theism from its long slow death.

Again I do not understand why these arguments exist, I for one prefer honesty in all things. The people who originally built them must have had the intelligence to research their subject and must have known that being caught in a lie can be detrimental. I can only guess stupidity and education are lacking in the people they aimed it at. I guess it also shouldn’t surprise me, I have known most of my life that religion targeted the young, stupid and the vulnerable. The young and stupid would certainly be more susceptible to this level of argument from an authority figure.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.