Monthly Archives: January 2012

De-Baptism in France

‘Off The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism In France’ by Eleanor Beardsley 

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier’s parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn’t even get credit at the bakery if you didn’t go to mass every Sunday.

LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he’d become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn’t believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized.

“They sent me a copy of my records, and in the margins next to my name, they wrote that I had chosen to leave the church,” he says.

That was in the year 2000. A decade later, LeBouvier wanted to go further. In between were the pedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, a position that LeBouvier calls “criminal.” Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records. When the priest told him it wasn’t possible, he took the church to court.

Last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favor. The diocese has since appealed, and the case is pending.

“One can’t be de-baptized,” says Rev. Robert Kaslyn, dean of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.

Kaslyn says baptism changes one permanently before the church and God.

“One could refuse the grace offered by God, the grace offered by the sacrament, refuse to participate,” he says, “but we would believe the individual has still been marked for God through the sacrament, and that individual at any point could return to the church.

French law states that citizens have the right to leave organizations if they wish. Loup Desmond, who has followed the case for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, says he thinks it could set a legal precedent and open the way for more demands for de-baptism.

“If the justice confirms that the name Rene LeBouvier has to disappear from the books, if it is confirmed, it can be a kind of jurisprudence in France,” he says.

Back at the church in Fleury, LeBouvier stands by his parents’ grave. When asked if the case has ruined his chances of being buried in the family plot, he says he doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s donating his body to science.

Read full article here
Source: www.npr.org 

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I am human, and I am a Humanist.

Hello, my name is Chris; I am human, and I am a Humanist.

I was young when I first experienced the ecstasy of love. My first love, the kind that many poets romanticize about, was nauseatingly beautiful. She was always happy, with a smile that would light up any darkness. We were young, we were naive, and we relished in our youthful disregard. As many poets would attest to, young love almost never last. It ended, as all things naturally would; nothing ends well, that’s why it ends. It was a tragic twist to a fairy-tale I constructed with delusion and immaturity. I learnt many valuable lessons from this – the most important one being that the human experience is eminent, more than any bogus religious-spiritual experience. In a whirlwind adventure, I met a girl who taught me about happiness; together we embraced innocence, lust, passion, and admiration; and at the end of it all, I was compelled to learn about pain, helplessness, and solitude. In a nutshell, it was life on a conveyor belt. It came as no surprise that my fall-out with religion coincided with this love tragedy. I began to question the certitude of Christianity, and realized that the teachings of the Bible was so out of touch with humanity that it can’t be true. The reckless arrogance of this God has almost nothing to do with the human experience, in fact, it’s a shackle that seeks to contain and control.

Once the seed of doubt was planted in my curious head, it was inevitable that I would set off on a journey plagued with questions to seek out the answers. Since Christianity was ineffective in answering those questions, I decided to study other religions. They were equally inadequate in providing any form of relieve for my humanistic doubt, instead, it become more transparent that religion is a man-made apparatus filled with vile hate and immoral beliefs. I went from a Christian, to an agnostic – out of weak hopefulness, to an atheist, and now confidently an anti-theist. There is no evidence that there’s a supernatural being, I am duly convinced of that. The greater struggle was to accept the fact that there is no afterlife, and to end all impressions and hallucinations of such. As an anti-theist, not only am I opposed to the idea of god, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am at peace with knowing that at the purlieu of life, where we find all the elements of what’s yet to be understood, lies not some omnipotent being with supernatural powers, instead, it’s the unconquered frontier of Science and Humanity.

When I denounced religion, I felt a burden lifted off my shoulders – the expectations, the structure, the system – it all disappeared into a thin, nonsensical air. I accepted the beautiful truth that I have this one life, and I need to make it count. As a human being, I must leave this Earth a better place than when I was born into it; at the very least, I have to try. Galvanized by this simple principle, my approach to this magnificent, humanistic world has allowed me to live my life in a more assured manner. My morality is not dictated by a Hebrew book that condemns homosexuality, or encourages misogyny and rape while hypocritically claiming itself to be above all else; my morality is based on my humanist belief that’s tangible and authentic.

Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view, or practice that focuses on human values and concerns, attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. It is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. Humanism is more than just a morality structure, it affects the way we perceive socio-cultural and political systems. Perhaps if Christian fundamentalists weren’t too pre-occupied with homosexuality and gay marriage simply because a homophobic Jew wrote it down some thousands of years ago, they could be redirecting their time and resources to more humanist projects such as providing a solid platform for orphans and underprivileged children to receive free and fair educational benefits. Maybe, just maybe if Muslim extremists weren’t blinded by the teachings of a war-mongering pedophile, they would not be flying planes into buildings and aimlessly committing suicide, celebrating the misguided sense of pride in martyrdom; instead the petro-dollars could be used to provide clean water for the world’s population.

Take a good, hard look around you, God has not done anything for us. Millions of children continue dying every year through diseases, natural disasters, or social circumstances. If you believe you have been blessed by your God, then you are undoubtedly selfish, delusional, and arrogant to assume that you are worth more than a dying family in Africa. The only way to save the world our children will inherit is to embrace the power of humanity, solving human problems with human solutions. Science and rationality is waging a war against religion and absurdity – and there’s only one end of the spectrum that makes any sense.

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Richard Dawkins: Education is the only antidote to religion

Evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins believes that education is the only ‘antidote’ to religion. “We need to protect children from being indoctrinated. It goes on to the next generation and then they see that their children get indoctrinated. Children are getting educated into the religion of their parents. We shouldn’t just assume that a child of a Christian becomes a Christian,” he says.

If children are taught, however moderately, that faith is a virtue, they are taught that they don’t need evidence to believe something; that they can believe something just because it’s their faith, then that paves the way for the minority to become extremists. If children are taught that they don’t need to defend their beliefs with evidence, then that does pave the way for extremism.

There seems to be a correlation with education. It’s certainly true within the US — the more educated people are more likely to give up religion. I’m sure that’s true in India as well.” A recent study done supports Dawkins’ statement, suggesting that religion might be extinct in nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Dawkins has often been called an atheist fundamentalist, the other extreme of a religious fundamentalist. His rebuttal: “A fundamentalist is someone who doesn’t change his mind at all. I’m open to any argument that has compelling evidence to support it, Science advances by disproving hypotheses and getting things wrong. In the case of the neutrino experiment — the suggestion that neutrinos may travel faster than light — if that’s true, it’s a revolution in physics. But there’s also a very good chance that that’s an error, not necessarily a deliberate one,” he says.

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Notable Atheist: Brad Pitt

“When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn’t a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self. I had faith that I’m capable enough to handle any situation. There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible.”

 

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Religulous: A Battle Cry

In ‘Religulous‘, Bill Maher’s ending monologue was a battle cry to the rationalists, to the free-thinkers of the world to be heard, to be counted for. It’s very important that we don’t hide in our cocoons as the world crumbles through the blatant pollution of religion and its followers:- 

“The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world could actually come to an end… Plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live.

The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge having in key decisions made by religious people. By irrationalists. By those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken.

George Bush prayed a lot about Iraq, but he didn’t learn a lot about it…

Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It’s nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith and enable and elevate it are intellectual slaveholders keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction.

Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it’s wonderful when someone says, “I’m willing, Lord! I’ll do whatever you want me to do!” Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas…

And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you you don’t. How can I be so sure? Because I don’t know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not.

The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that’s what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a littany of getting shit dead wrong…

This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves.

And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you comes at a horrible price…

If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers.

If the world does come to an end here, or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, let’s remember what the real problem was. We learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it.

That’s it. Grow up or die.”

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Notable Atheist: Seth McFarlane

“I’m an atheist, not to be a dick, but just cause it seems like the most likely scenario. But you’ve kind of got to envy the people who are living in this warm pillow… It’s a blessing, ironically, and a curse to be so pragmatic, because you know, you do miss that cushion that a lot of people seem to have.”

“Religion notoriously claims that they invented morality, they didn’t. Morality exists in animals.”

“Stay away from the church. In the battle over science vs. religion, science offers credible evidence for all the serious claims it makes. The church says, ‘Oh, it’s right here in this book, see? The one written by people who thought the sun was magic?’ I for one would like to see some proof that there is a God. And if you say ‘a baby’s smile’ I’m going to kick you right in the stomach.”

“They’re [Parents Television Council] literally terrible human beings. I’ve read their newsletter, I’ve visited their website, and they’re just rotten to the core. For an organization that prides itself on Christian values—I mean, I’m an atheist, so what do I know?—they spend their entire day hating people. They can all suck my dick as far as I’m concerned.”

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Atheism is a crime in Indonesia

BBC: Row over Indonesia atheist Facebook post

 An Indonesian man who said that God did not exist in a posting on a Facebook page for atheists could face jail.

Civil servant Alexander Aan, 31, is now in protective police custody after he was attacked by an angry mob earlier this week.

He may also lose his job over his posting on the social networking site.

Atheism is a violation of Indonesian law under the founding principles of the country.

Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation – recognises the right to practice five other religions aside from Islam, says the BBC’s Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta.

Local media said a mob attacked Mr Aan when he arrived for work at a government office on Wednesday.

Police said that according to Indonesian criminal law, anyone who tried to stop others believing in a faith could face up to five years in prison.

The Facebook page where he made his comments remains up and supporters have condemned police action against Mr An, calling for him to be released.

It’s ridiculous that a person is forced to believe in something that has no tangible evidence or scientific proof. To impose an imaginary supernatural being upon an individual is criminal in its own right, and to not allow him to tell the truth is an infringement on his freedom of speech. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the face of religion – the irrationality, the insanity, and most importantly, the stupidity. They are consumed with the lies and fantasies they have constructed in their heads, and are perfectly content with shoving their myths down other people’s throat, but challenge them with the faculty of intelligence, they revolt like neanderthals with wooden clubs.

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Notable Atheist: Hugh Laurie

“I don’t believe in God, but I have this idea that if there were a God, or destiny of some kind looking down on us, that if he saw you taking anything for granted he’d take it away. So he’ll be like: ‘You think this is going pretty well?’ Then he’ll go and send down some big disaster.”

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Women’s Rights in Islam

Gulnaz, 21, has just been recently released from prison after receiving pardon from President Hamid Karzai. Her crime – being raped by her cousin’s husband. The rape came to light when the unmarried Gulnaz became pregnant. The police came and arrested both Gulnaz and her attacker. Under Afghan law she too was found guilty of a crime known as “adultery by force”, with her sentence increased on appeal to 12 years. In prison, she gave birth to her daughter, Moska. For a single mother, unskilled and unqualified, there are few ways for a woman to survive in Afghanistan without family support. She will never be able to return home to her family. With her attacker not able to marry her, her family has been dishonoured, and it would be mortally dangerous for her to attempt a reunion.

Sahar Gul was married off to a 30 year old man for a dowry of about $4,500, at the age of 15. Her ordeal began when she refused to prostitute herself. For several months, she was starved and tortured by her husband and her family. Her injuries tell an inhuman story – burns to her arm and her fragile body, a swollen black eye, clumps of hair torn out. One small hand was scarred, where her fingernail had been pulled out. In an odd way, Sahar can consider herself lucky. She was rescued from the marriage by authorities; had she ran away from this violent marriage, she would have been found guilty of a “moral crime” as many other young Afghan women have been.

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg

These two cases are apt examples of how a nation engulfed in religion are morally corrupt. People often say, religion is not evil, people are evil. I beg to differ – religion is indeed evil. Granted, people are stupid, flaccid, spineless, and pathetic; but it requires the unwavering belief in religion to make them evil. A study of past civilizations would portray mankind as such. God doesn’t exist, and religion is as man-made as the toaster in the kitchen. The difference is, the toaster is not evil. Oppression of women is not a fresh topic when debating the tyranny of religion. Personally, I find it rather perplexing that any woman, with the slightest intelligence and self-respect, could be religious after just one quick read of any religious text. The Bible and the Quran were incontestably written and concocted by delusional men suffering from megalomania.  Hinduism and Buddhism has its flaws too in this manner. I am an egotistical sod, but it would take a vile combination of drugs, alcohol, and a sense of self-grandiose for me to write such misogynist principles.

O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has paid their cowers; and those whom they right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated with thee; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her – this only for thee, and not for the believers [at large]; We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess – in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:50).

Before I proceed, I would like to clarify that I am not anti-Islamic, I am anti-religious and an anti-theist, as Hitchens appropriately termed it. I hate all religion equally. The passage above, extracted from the Quran, should be held accountable for the countless crimes against humanity that Islam has perpetrated on victims such as Gulnaz and Sahar Gul – and countless more who have been buried and silenced. Rape in any way or form, is not within the moral confines of man. The stranglehold of Islamic laws in countries such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan has deemed a woman beneath a man, with her rights being dictated by man. Religion is evil; if religion wasn’t, rape would not have found its way into The Quran, a presumably “holy” text. Probably the most common argument from any religious nut is that: religious text must be taken contextually. Shove a dildo with rusted nails up your bum-hole, as your religious sphincter muscles ruptures, remember, rape is perhaps infinite times worst than that; how is that for context?

In an evil world of religion Sahar Gul could not escape her abusive marriage, as it would have been deemed a crime. In an evil world of religion, Gulnaz was sentenced to 12 years in prison for being raped mercilessly. In an evil world of religion, the voices of tortured and bludgeoned women are silenced by the word of an imaginary god, where egomaniacal men manipulate and exploit the tragedies that religion has imposed upon women simply because they were born into the wrong society. There is simply no place for such bigotry in the modern civilization. Unfortunately, religion is the vessel that refuses to drown in the sea of irrationality because we have become cowardice as a society, and in the process, we have failed the millions of people around the world who are being oppressed and persecuted.

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Notable Atheist: Daniel Radcliffe

“I don’t [believe in God]. I have a problem with religion or anything that says, “We have all the answers,” because there’s no such thing as “the answers.” We’re complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity.”

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Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011)

Christopher Eric Hitchens was a liberator of minds, a wordsmith that held his thoughts at the edge of a sword, and a combatant against the tyranny of religion. He taught us to never be silenced, regardless of how harsh it may be, and to always fight back with trenchant logic and rational.

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Notable Atheist: Katherine Hepburn

“I am an atheist and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.” 

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Virginia Lawmaker: Disabled Kids are God’s Punishment for Abortion

Republican Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall said last week that God is taking “vengeance” on parents who have had abortions by making their other children disabled. Speaking at a press conference against state funding for Planned Parenthood. He blasted the organization for supporting a women’s right to choose, saying that God punishes woman who have had abortions by giving them disabled children.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

What an evil and repulsive statement to make; I personally know children with disabilities, and it’s rather saddening to have an imbecile curse these innocent children and their parents on the basis of Christianity.

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Ricky Gervais: Why I’m an Atheist

A while back, funny man Ricky Gervais wrote an open letter to the Wall Street Journal explaining why he’s never found the idea of God to be especially persuasive; I think many free-thinking atheist would relate to this essay: 

Why don’t you believe in God? I get that question all the time. I always try to give a sensitive, reasoned answer. This is usually awkward, time consuming and pointless. People who believe in God don’t need proof of his existence, and they certainly don’t want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like “it’s true to me” and “it’s faith.” I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe,” comes across as both patronizing and impolite.

Arrogance is another accusation. Which seems particularly unfair. Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence -­- evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition. If it did, you wouldn’t get a shot of penicillin, you’d pop a leach down your trousers and pray. Whatever you “believe,” this is not as effective as medicine. Again you can say, “It works for me,” but so do placebos. My point being, I’m saying God doesn’t exist. I’m not saying faith doesn’t exist. I know faith exists. I see it all the time. But believing in something doesn’t make it true. Hoping that something is true doesn’t make it true. The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn’t. It’s not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you can’t have your own facts.

Why don’t I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, “Why don’t you believe I can fly?” You’d say, “Why would I?” I’d reply, “Because it’s a matter of faith.” If I then said, “Prove I can’t fly. Prove I can’t fly see, see, you can’t prove it can you?” You’d probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ‘’F—ing fly then you lunatic.”

This, is of course a spirituality issue, religion is a different matter. As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a god. I don’t think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a god. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different god, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It’s strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are. From what I can gather, pretty much the worst type of person you can be is an atheist. The first four commandments hammer this point home. There is a god, I’m him, no one else is, you’re not as good and don’t forget it. (Don’t murder anyone, doesn’t get a mention till number 6.)

When confronted with anyone who holds my lack of religious faith in such contempt, I say, “It’s the way God made me.”

But what are atheists really being accused of?

The dictionary definition of God is “a supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.

I used to believe in God. The Christian one that is.

I loved Jesus. He was my hero. More than pop stars. More than footballers. More than God. God was by definition omnipotent and perfect. Jesus was a man. He had to work at it. He had temptation but defeated sin. He had integrity and courage. But He was my hero because He was kind. And He was kind to everyone. He didn’t bow to peer pressure or tyranny or cruelty. He didn’t care who you were. He loved you. What a guy. I wanted to be just like Him.

One day when I was about 8 years old, I was drawing the crucifixion as part of my Bible studies homework. I loved art too. And nature. I loved how God made all the animals. They were also perfect. Unconditionally beautiful. It was an amazing world.

I lived in a very poor, working-class estate in an urban sprawl called Reading, about 40 miles west of London. My father was a laborer and my mother was a housewife. I was never ashamed of poverty. It was almost noble. Also, everyone I knew was in the same situation, and I had everything I needed. School was free. My clothes were cheap and always clean and ironed. And mum was always cooking. She was cooking the day I was drawing on the cross.

I was sitting at the kitchen table when my brother came home. He was 11 years older than me, so he would have been 19. He was as smart as anyone I knew, but he was too cheeky. He would answer back and get into trouble. I was a good boy. I went to church and believed in God -– what a relief for a working-class mother. You see, growing up where I did, mums didn’t hope as high as their kids growing up to be doctors; they just hoped their kids didn’t go to jail. So bring them up believing in God and they’ll be good and law abiding. It’s a perfect system. Well, nearly. 75 percent of Americans are God-­‐fearing Christians; 75 percent of prisoners are God-­‐fearing Christians. 10 percent of Americans are atheists; 0.2 percent of prisoners are atheists.

But anyway, there I was happily drawing my hero when my big brother Bob asked, “Why do you believe in God?” Just a simple question. But my mum panicked. “Bob,” she said in a tone that I knew meant, “Shut up.” Why was that a bad thing to ask? If there was a God and my faith was strong it didn’t matter what people said.

Oh…hang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that. I started thinking about it and asking more questions, and within an hour, I was an atheist.

Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my new found atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. I learned of evolution -– a theory so simple that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals and us –- with imagination, free will, love, humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.

But living an honest life -– for that you need the truth. That’s the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.

So what does the question “Why don’t you believe in God?” really mean. I think when someone asks that they are really questioning their own belief. In a way they are asking “what makes you so special? “How come you weren’t brainwashed with the rest of us?” “How dare you say I’m a fool and I’m not going to heaven, f— you!” Let’s be honest, if one person believed in God he would be considered pretty strange. But because it’s a very popular view it’s accepted. And why is it such a popular view? That’s obvious. It’s an attractive proposition. Believe in me and live forever. Again if it was just a case of spirituality this would be fine.

“Do unto others…” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

For more of Ricky Gervais, visit his website.

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Why He Hates Religion, But Loves Jesus

I have no idea how this video went viral over the last few days, but apparently, the world loves bullshit wrapped up in colourful paper with a ribbon on top. It’s a little catchy, with all the rhyming and whatnot, plus, the production work is higher than most YouTube videos. Also, the guy talking nonsense is not bad looking, I can see how Catholic priests would want to share some bodily fluids with him when he was 9 or 10 years old.

The context of this Religion versus Jesus is laughable. It’s a miserable attempt to distance the office of Jesus Christ and Christianity from the negativity of religion. Many brainless people would be conned into this mindset of Christ being above religion because this makes them feel empowered, stroking their Jesus cocks or fingering their Christ vaginas, as they lament on how they are free from the shackles of religion as their superior mind came to that conclusion.

Hold on, the core definition of religion is:

  1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
  2. Details of belief as taught or discussed

And Christianity is defined as:

  1. The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.
  2.  A monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings.

I think this douche-bag has just been disparaged by a few dictionary definitions. But if you are small-minded and feeble, go ahead, feel empowered with yourself for being brave enough to denounce religion while still being a Christian; because anal sex is not sex.

A response video from TheAmazingAtheist that’s worth a watch.

The Blow-up Doll

A guy goes in an adult store and asks for an inflatable doll.

The guy behind the counter says, “Male or female?”

The customer says, “Female”

The counter guy asks, “Black or white?”

The customer says, “White”

The counter guy asks, “Christian or Muslim?”

The customer says, “What the hell does religion have to do with it?”

The counter guy says, “The Muslim one blows itself up!”

[Source: Sickipedia]

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The Sad Tale of the Pious Zombies

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”Epicurus

I was about 10 or 11 years old, I remember hearing about some plane crash over the Middle-East on the radio. A few hundred people lost their lives, it was a real tragedy. I wondered to myself, “Why didn’t god do anything about the crash? He communicates with pastors and clerics on a daily basis. Why didn’t he simply pass the message on?” I genuinely believe that was the exact moment the seed of doubt was planted in my head. As a Christian child, I was told that questioning the power of god is blasphemous; even the Bible preaches strongly against it. 15 years on, I can now sternly say that the whole notion of not questioning god is a philosophical get-out-of-jail-free card that Christians wave around to snake their way out of dealing with reality. It’s probably similarly true with other spineless religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Essentially, that’s the control mechanism of religion. People cease to think, leaving everything up to god, and eventually, the masses become pious zombies who do not possess the simple, humanistic ability to question the world around them to seek out the answers that perhaps may not be all that spiritual after all. Imagine, there are Christians, Muslims, and Jews who think that the world is 6,000 years old, because their precious children books told them so. They exist! I have met them. And yes, they look exactly like what we always envisioned stupid people would look like. That disturbing cross between Danny DeVito and Rosie O’Donnell. No offense to DeVito, love him!

I was having a discussion with a friend over Science vs. Religion, on the topic of carbon dating, global warming, and the actual age of the Earth. This guy is a rather intelligent person in many aspects, and I would regard him as a rational chap. However, he’s a Christian. And it left me a little shocked when he said, “The science of carbon dating was invented by man, not god. That’s why it could be wrong.” I will say, I lost a little respect for this person, and perhaps I misjudged his intelligence. Friendship aside, that’s the common catchphrase for religious people. Science has evidence the earth is 4.54 billion years old, based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples; debunking any religious number, which coincidentally has zero evidence. My ultimate message to the cockroaches is rather simple: If Science has proved religion a hoax, and clearly in conflict with your beliefs, then stop using it. The next time you get cancer, don’t turn to science, turn to god. Belief systems are not principles of convenience, it’s not situational – pick a side and stick to it; at the very least then, I will respect you as you perish with some dignity. 

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Religion vs. Homosexuality

2 minutes of (mostly) religious idiots spewing nonsensical rubbish about homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not a “disease” or a “lifestyle choice” as these religious camels would like you to believe. Scientific and medical understanding is that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors. Research shows that homosexuality is an example of normal variation in human sexuality and not a source of negative psychological effects.

But hey, what has Science ever done for humanity right? Nothing! Science and evidence and research, it’s all a scam created by evil godless people. Praise the Lord; the imaginary, retarded one of course.

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Jim Jeffries versus God

“That’s why they always say ‘God bless America’. Because the world’s billions of years old, and America is 250 years old, and that’s when god decided to choose a team!”

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“Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.”

Richard Dawkins 

Anything But Idiots!

“Christians hate Atheists more than rapists.”

People fear what they can’t understand. They can understand rape, it’s a sexual thing. But with Atheism, even the slightest inclination that there’s no God scares their little minds. They are perfectly content with utilizing all the by-products of science in their daily lives, however, debunk their beliefs through the power of science, and every Bible-wielding rat turns into an extremist.

Anything but idiots, I say.

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“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

Christopher Hitchens

Hello

Hello there; good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

The world is a funny old place, isn’t it? We are born into it; we experience love, joy, pain and suffering along the way; and then we die. It’s beautiful, in its own undefined way. The underlying problem arises when small-minded individuals allow the fear of uncertainty to overcome their judgement and rationality – hence, the delusional abstraction of religion is there to comfort an ambivalent confusion. The concept of all religion is preposterous. Some  supernatural omnipotent being that created all of us, controlling us to a certain extent, while promoting misogyny, homophobia, rape, incest, pedophilia, racism, murder; refusing to lift a finger as hoards of innocent people suffer through natural disasters and tragedies. Ridiculous!

I love myself too much, I love my family, I love my friends, and I even love my pet dog. I would do almost anything to protect them from harm, and on that basis alone, I can’t believe in this ‘god’ figure. People worship him, pray to him, love him, devote themselves to him, and yet, nothing. There are people dying every minute – children and helpless adults – and if god is truly what he claims to be, then surely something would have been done by now. And for every little racoon that confesses to “feeling the presence of god in their life”, quit being so self-absorbed and vain! Your silly problems mean almost nothing in the grand scheme of things, and if you truly believe your toxic acne problem was cured by god and jesus christ, then you are simply a delusional mammal who needs to pick up a book besides the bible; or failing which, grab a pencil, slowly push it through your left eyeball, turning it ever so slowly, as you sip a cup of Hydrochloric acid, because you are a waste of earthly resources. Perhaps then, you could send me an email from Christian cotton-candy heaven and describe to me how delusional-paradise is.

Embrace rationality, embrace Science. We have not found the answer to everything, but until then, stop making assumptions, and stop telling lies to bridge the gap between what you know and what you don’t. I want my future son and daughter to grow up in a world where rationality and logical thinking are the basis for human behaviour. I want democratic, religious-free governments to be making decisions on my behalf, on their behalf. And most importantly, I want to prevail in a world where people are brave enough to accept reality, with the courage to be true to themselves, without needing to fabricate alternate realities just so they could appease their uncertainties.

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