Tag Archives: atheism

Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?

In 1936, a young girl named Phyllis wrote a letter to Albert Einstein, on behalf of her Sunday school class, with the simple question, “Do scientists pray?”

The Riverside Church

January 19, 1936

My dear Dr. Einstein, 

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered. 

We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.

Respectfully yours, 

Phyllis

———————-

January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis, 

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science. 

But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive. 

With cordial greetings, 

your A. Einstein

[Source: Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children]

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The 10 Commandments: A Parody Written in 3 minutes

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me… Because you know, I, God, am a jealous little controlling psychopath. 

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… But if you must, please, Instagram that shit. 

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain… Jesus Fucking Christ, do I really need to be telling you idiotic cows this? 

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy… Unless the football match is on, then fuck it! 

5. Honour thy father and thy mother… because you ruined their sex life the moment you were conceived.

6. Thou shalt not kill… Only I, the Almighty, can do that – especially the homos, kill the bum boys! 

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery… But by all means, take a few wives, heck, chain the bitches up and call them “concubines”. 

8. Thou shalt not steal… because stealing a loaf of bread is worst than rape, which is absolutely fine by the way. 

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour… Once again, this neighbour shit is way more important than rape and pedophilia.

10. Thou shalt not covet… Because you can see, but you can’t touch. *smiley wink face*

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Homosexuality is Sinful?

 

[Source: From Twitter @littleLishka]

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Common Misconceptions About Atheists and Atheism

Atheism has been garnering plenty of attention lately, mainly negative attention due to its position that disparages the beliefs of more than 80% of the world population. There are many outspoken Atheists – Dawkins, Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens to name a few – but Atheism remains very much an anathema within society. Spirituality, along with superstitions, is revered above all else, and to deny it is to declare war on personal beliefs. In this “war”, many absurd claims have been made about Atheists and Atheism. It is important that we confute these claims, filtering out the stupidity and foolishness just so we can move on to issues of actual significance.

Atheists eat babies
Probably the most ridiculous of all claims, but nonetheless, as an Atheist, I’ve learnt to turn every baffling statement into humour. This myth has its origins in blood libel, which is the (Christian/Catholic) false accusation that enemies of Christ murder children for ritualistic purposes. Christianity has a strong vampire-blood-flesh fetish, so it’s no surprise that the negative antipode of their claims would revolve around the exact same fetish.

A little note to theists, if you are inviting me over for dinner, I like my babies medium-rare, preferably with a side of steamed carrots and cauliflower, lightly salted. Thank you.

Yummy!

Atheists are satanist, devil worshippers
From an Atheist’s perspective, god – especially the Abrahimaic versions of god – is the bigger devil than the devil himself. He is misogynistic, homophobic, murderous, and cruel; all round not a very nice bloke. Not to burst the religious bubble or anything, but Atheism assumes the convincing position that there are no deities or any supernatural beings, which would include Satan or the devil. However, if I tried extremely hard to be stupid, I could understand the logic of this claim:  it originates from the religious arrogance that concludes if you deny god, you are on the devil’s side.

Atheists hate god
I’ll keep this sweet and short: We can’t hate an entity that does not exist; but the idea of god, along with the various fictionalized doctrines, will receive universal criticism from Atheists because of its detrimental effect on the human race.

Atheists are immoral
Morality (and its origins) is probably the most heavily-debated topic between the religious and the non-religious. I’ll shamelessly allow the words of Sam Harris to make this point for me, because he speaks my mind on this matter, a little more eloquently.

If a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won’t discover this by reading the Bible or the Koran — as these books are bursting with celebrations of cruelty, both human and divine. We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness.

We have made considerable moral progress over the years, and we didn’t make this progress by reading the Bible or the Koran more closely. Both books condone the practice of slavery — and yet every civilized human being now recognizes that slavery is an abomination. Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.

On a more personal note, my experience with charity has shown me that Agnostics and Atheists tend to be more helpful than religious people. The religious herd tend to have conditions attached to their morality, riddled with hypocritical questions such as, “Are the orphans Christians/Muslims?”

Atheism is a religion
I wrote about this a while back (link). To reiterate my view on this:

I am sure there are long, drawn out arguments regarding the issue, often with the semantics being manipulated to suit the case. 

I am a staunch believer in Occam’s razor, which states from among competing hypotheses, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions usually provides the correct one, and that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible until evidence is presented to prove it false. My stance on religion is rather simple and straightforward: Religion refers to the belief in a supernatural being, which in and of itself has some form of afterlife, may it be the Abrahamic heaven and hell concept, or Hinduism-Buddhism reincarnation cycle. These are all elements I reject, without having the need to dwell on the semantics and the complexities of the definitions.

Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Atheism: The belief that God does not exist.

As the famous line goes,”Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.”

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Notable Atheist: Lance Armstrong

On Religion

The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better–but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn’t care.

I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn’t pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsiblity to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn’t a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whther I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, “But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.” If so, I was going to reply, “You know what? You’re right. Fine.”

I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries–I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that’s someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.

Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe–what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.

To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.

Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn’t fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day gainst the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.

So, I believed.

From Lance Armstrong’s book It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, published by G.P Putnam’s Sons 2000. pp. 116-118

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Notable Atheist: Douglas Adams

On the burden of proof:

“I don’t accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me “Well, you haven’t been there, have you? You haven’t seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian Beaver Cheese is equally valid” – then I can’t even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof, and in the case of god, as in the case of the composition of the moon, this has shifted radically. God used to be the best explanation we’d got, and we’ve now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. So I don’t think that being convinced that there is no god is as irrational or arrogant a point of view as belief that there is. I don’t think the matter calls for even-handedness at all.”

On the arguments for religious ideas, contrasted with those for evolutionary biology:

“What astonished me, however, was the realization that the arguments in favor of religious ideas were so feeble and silly next to the robust arguments of something as interpretative and opinionated as history. In fact they were embarrassingly childish. They were never subject to the kind of outright challenge which was the normal stock in trade of any other area of intellectual endeavor whatsoever. Why not? Because they wouldn’t stand up to it. So I became an Agnostic. And I thought and thought and thought. But I just did not have enough to go on, so I didn’t really come to any resolution. I was extremely doubtful about the idea of god, but I just didn’t know enough about anything to have a good working model of any other explanation for, well, life, the universe and everything to put in its place. But I kept at it, and I kept reading and I kept thinking. Sometime around my early thirties I stumbled upon evolutionary biology, particularly in the form of Richard Dawkins’s books The Selfish Gene and then The Blind Watchmaker and suddenly (on, I think the second reading of The Selfish Gene) it all fell into place. It was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life. The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”

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“I don’t teach children religion because I refuse to impart something that’s littered with doubt. Only give children certainty. Life will provide them with all the doubt they’ll ever need. I shouldn’t contribute to that.”

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Apologies for the hiatus. Work has been hectic. Look, cat. 

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Notable Atheist: David Cronenberg

From an interview in Film Threat, February 1997.

Q: Most of your films deal with various characters’ personal spirituality, yet you have never dealt directly with religion.

A: The reason why is that I’m not interested. You’re absolutely right. For me, it’s not even worth discussion. It doesn’t interest me. It interests me only to be discarded. If I start there, I’m mired in a discussion that is very unfruitful to me. I’m simply a non-believer and have been forever. To discuss religion is to put me in a debate with myself. I’m interested in saying, “Let us discuss the existential question. We are all going to die, that is the end of all consciousness. There is no afterlife. There is no God. Now what do we do.” That’s the point where it starts getting interesting to me. If I have to go back and say, “What if there is a God?” then I’m doing a debate that is not very interesting. You have to create one character who believes and another that doesn’t. It’s not an issue.

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India’s god laws fail the test of reason by PRAVEEN SWAMI

From: www.thehindu.com

Police investigation of Sanal Edamaraku for debunking a “miracle” at a church is a crime against the Constitution.

Early in March, little drops of water began to drip from the feet of the statue of Jesus nailed to the cross on the church of Our Lady of Velankanni, down on to Mumbai’s unlovely Irla Road. Hundreds began to flock to the church to collect the holy water in little plastic bottles, hoping the tears of the son of god would sanctify their homes and heal their beloved.

Sanal Edamaruku, the eminent rationalist thinker, arrived at the church a fortnight after the miracle began drawing crowds. It took him less than half an hour to discover the source of the divine tears: a filthy puddle formed by a blocked drain, from where water was being pushed up through a phenomenon all high-school physics students are familiar with, called capillary action.

For his discovery, Mr. Edamaruku now faces the prospect of three years in prison — and the absolute certainty that he will spend several more years hopping between lawyers’ offices and courtrooms. In the wake of Mr. Edamaruku’s miracle-busting Mumbai visit, three police stations in the capital received complaints against him for inciting religious hatred. First information reports were filed, and investigations initiated with exemplary — if unusual — alacrity.

Real courage

Mr. Edamaruku isn’t the kind to be frightened. It takes real courage, in a piety-obsessed society, to expose the chicanery of Satya Sai Baba and packs of lesser miracle-peddlers who prey on the insecurities of the desperate and gullible. These actions have brought threats in their wake — but never from the state.

India’s Constitution obliges all citizens to develop “scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”. India’s laws, though, are being used to persecute a man who has devoted his life to doing precisely that.

Like dozens of other intellectuals and artists, Mr. Edamaraku is a victim of India’s god laws — colonial-era legislation obliging the state to punish those who offend the faith of others. Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises the actions of “whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons”. Its sibling, Section 295A, outlaws “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class”. Section 153B goes further, proscribing “any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities”. Alarmingly, given the sweeping generalities in which these laws are written, truth is not an admissible defence.

In the decades since independence, these laws have been regularly used to hound intellectuals and artists who questioned religious beliefs. In 1993, the New Delhi-based progressive cultural organisation, Sahmat, organised an exhibition demonstrating that there were multiple versions of the Ramayana in Indian culture. Panels in the exhibition recorded that in one Buddhist tradition, Sita was Ram’s sister; in a Jain version, she was the daughter of Ravan. Even though the exhibits drew on historian Romila Thapar’s authoritative work, criminal cases were filed against Sahmat for offending the sentiments of traditionalist Hindus.

Punjab has seen a rash of god-related cases, mainly involving Dalit-led heterodoxies challenging the high traditions of the Akal Takht. In 2007, police filed cases against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of the syncretic Saccha Sauda sect, for his purportedly blasphemous use of Sikh iconography. Earlier, in 2001, similar charges were brought against Piara Singh Bhaniarawala, after he released the Bhavsagar Granth, a religious text suffused with miracle stories.

Islamic chauvinists have shown the same enthusiasm for the secular state’s god laws as their Sikh and Hindu counterparts. Earlier this year, FIRs were filed against four writers who read out passages from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses — a book that is wholly legal in India. Fear of Islamic neo-fundamentalists is pervasive, shaping cultural discourse even when its outcomes are not as dramatic as Mr. Rushdie’s case. In 1995, writer Khalid Alvi reissued Angaarey — a path-breaking collection of Urdu short works banned in 1933 for its attacks on god. The collection’s most-incendiary passages were censored out. India’s feisty media didn’t even murmur in protest after the magazine India Today was proscribed by Jammu and Kashmir in 2006 for carrying a cartoon with an image of the Kaaba as one among a metaphorical pack of political cards.

Even religious belief, ironically enough, can invite prosecution by the pious. Last year, the Kannada movie actress, Jayamala, was summoned before a Kerala court, along with astrologer P. Unnikrishna and his assistant Reghupathy, to face police charges that she had violated a taboo against women in the menstruating age from entering the Sabrimala temple.

For the most part, judges have shied away from condoning criticism of the pious, perhaps fearful of being held responsible for public disorder. In 1958, the Supreme Court heard litigation that grew out of the radical politician, E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker’s decision to break a clay idol of Ganesha. Lower courts had held, in essence, that the idol was not a sanctified object. The Supreme Court differed, urging the lower judiciary “to pay due regard to the feelings and religious emotions of different classes of persons with different beliefs, irrespective … of whether they are rational or otherwise”.

‘Insult to religion’

Earlier, in 1957, the Supreme Court placed some limits on 295A saying it “does not penalise any and every act of insult to or attempt to insult the religion”. Instead, it “only punishes the aggravated form of insult to religion perpetratedwith deliberate and malicious intention” (emphasis added). The court shied away, though, from the key question, of what an insult to religion actually was.

Hearing an appeal against the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to confiscate Naicker’s contentious Ramayana, the Supreme Court again ducked this issue. In 1976, it simply said “the law fixes the mind of the Administration to the obligation to reflect on the need to restrict and to state the grounds which ignite its action”. “That is about all”, the judges concluded.

That hasn’t, however, been all. In 1998, the Supreme Court upheld Karnataka’s decision to ban P.V. Narayanna’s Dharmakaarana, an award-winning re-reading of the Hindu saint, Basaveshwara. In 2007, the Bombay High Court similarly allowed Maharashtra to ban R.L. Bhasin’s Islam, an aggressive attack on the faith. There have been several other similar cases. In some, the works involved were scurrilous, even inflammatory — but the principles established by courts have allowed State governments to stamp out critical works of scholarship and art.

Dangers ahead

Indians have grappled with these issues since at least 1924, when Arya Samaj activist Mahashe Rajpal published the pamphlet that led the state to enact several of the god laws. Rangila Rasul — in Urdu, ‘the colourful prophet’ —was a frank, anti-Islam polemic. Lower courts condemned Rajpal to prison. In the Lahore High Court, though, Justice Dalip Singh argued that public outrage could not be the basis for legal proscription: “if the fact that Musalmans resent attacks on the Prophet was to be the measure [of legal sanction]”, he reasoned, “then an historical work in which the life of the prophet was considered and judgment passed on his character by a serious historian might [also] come within the definition”.

In 1927, when pre-independence India’s central legislative assembly debated theRangila Rasul affair, some endorsed Justice Singh’s message. M.R. Jayakar likened religious fanaticism to a form of mental illness, and suggested that those who suffer from it be segregated “from the rest of the community”. This eminently sane suggestion wasn’t, however, the consensus: the god laws were expanded to expressly punish works like Rangila Rasul.

Perhaps Indians can congratulate themselves that the god laws have not been used to persecute and kill religious dissenters, as the ever-expanding blasphemy laws which sprang up in Pakistan. Mr. Edamaruku’s case ought to make clear, though, just where things are inexorably headed. If Indians wish to avoid the fate of the dystopia to the country’s west, its citizens desperately need to accept the right of critics to attack, even insult, what they hold dear.

In 864 CE, the great physician, Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakaria al-Razi, wrote: “The miracles of the prophets are imposters or belong to the domain of pious legend. The teachings of religions are contrary to the one truth: the proof of this is that they contradict one another. It is tradition and lazy custom that have led men to trust their religious leaders. Religions are the sole cause of the wars which ravage humanity; they are hostile to philosophical speculation and to scientific research. The alleged holy scriptures are books without values”.

Following a rich scholarly life, and a tenure as director of the hospital in Baghdad patronised by the caliph Abu al-Qasim Abd ‘Allah, al-Razi died quietly at his home in Rey, surrounded by his students. In modern India, his thoughts would have led him to a somewhat less pleasant end.

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Notable Atheist: Ira Glass

“I just find I don’t believe in God. It just doesn’t seem to be true, and no amount of thinking about it seems to make it true. It seems inherently untrue. And the thing that’s hard about honing that position is, as a reporter, I’ve seen many times how a belief in God has transformed somebody’s life. In all the ways I feel like you can witness God’s work here on earth, I feel like I’ve seen that. I’ve met a lot of people — it’s been the thing that’s changed them, that’s sustained them in a way that I wish I could believe. But I simply find I don’t and I don’t feel like it’s something I have a choice about. I could pretend I believe a God exists, but the world seems explainable to me without it.”

“I remember, even when I was growing up a little kid, it all seemed, especially the Christian version — arbitrary. That the entire universe would be created, and the system that was set up was: you could actually lead a perfectly good life, and a life organized around good deeds and caring for others, and yet if you simply didn’t accept Jesus himself, the Creator of the Universe would feel so vengeful about it that you’d be condemned to an eternity of torture. It just seemed like a really weird system. Like what difference would it make to the Creator of Everything? The whole thing seemed really arbitrary. Even as a kid, I felt like, “Well, if that’s the system: fine. I accept my damnation. I don’t think it’s a fair system. But fine.” I just don’t believe.”

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Religion: Of Mockery and Respect

Over the past two weeks, I was sounded out a few times for my lack of respect shown towards religion. Of the three incidents I could recall, two of them were Christians, demanding a little respect for Mr. JC and his sycophants. I made a couple of Easter jokes on Facebook and Twitter alike.

Exhibit A
I wish I had an epic weekend like Jesus did.

“Huh? Where am I? What am I doing in a cave? Oh my father, did I pass out for 3 days? I knew I shouldn’t have had that last tequila shot with Judas…”

RESPECT, is derived from the Latin word “respectus” meaning regard; as a noun, the word describes a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. As a verb, it’s the action of admiring someone or something deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Contemplating on the word admiration, respect is something undoubtedly positive, a humanistic elucidation of deserving praise.

Respect is earned, very much like any other societal concession; religion has done nothing to deserve any respect – pedophilia, homophobia, misogyny, murder, and rape are just a few arguments against this morally-corrupt system of belief. Religion, like politics, is not beyond mockery. If religious people want society to respect religion, the first step would be to sort out the ascertained flaws within the system they adhere to. Theists are keen to demand respect and tolerance from outside, but religion has done nothing to reciprocate the same level of respect and tolerance for basic human rights.

Granted, like all system of beliefs, we will find moderates and extremists residing within the same contextual parameters. Many moderates would argue that they do not condone the extremist stance of others within their organization, hence, demanding that their moderation be respected for its positive characteristics. Unfortunately, I will politely decline that notion. First off, why don’t the moderates focus that celebrated moderation on ensuring the collective they belong to demonstrate respect and tolerance for others, instead of whining and moaning outwardly, pathetically begging for sympathy from a society that has been diversified through education and rationality? Secondly, Christianity and Islam (for example) have a begrimed relationship with the LGBT community while struggling to respect a woman’s right to equality – these are just simple examples sans any elaboration and details. If so, What am I disrespecting? I would not respect a homophobe, I would not respect a rapist, I would not respect anyone that infringes upon the basic human rights of fellow human being. Aforementioned homophobic/rapist could be the most prominent philanthropist in modern history and I would still refuse to show that individual any form respect. Religion as an entity has proven itself to be a perverted despot seeking to control and manipulate the masses, while committing and advocating countless acts of terror throughout history. What about it proves itself worthy of respect?

Until then, I shall leave you with a pleasant joke I stumbled upon through my misadventures on the internet.

My town’s too poor to have a priest. Our nun has to use a strap-on.

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Why Do I Care?

A few weeks ago, someone asked me: Why do you care about what religious people think? Why can’t you just go on living your life, letting people believe what they want to? Why must you attack and fight against religion? 

About five or six years ago, while I was still a student at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), I attended an exhibition and talk on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at the university. I can’t recall the details of the event – the date or the organizers – but there was something I could never forget. There was this one photo of a young girl, probably aged 9 or 10 years old, sitting in a pool of blood and urine, with a discarded razor not far away. What bothered me was that the girl wasn’t crying, the salt lines of dried tears were visible on her face, but there was something horrifying in her eyes – they were dead and hollow.

I wasn’t vocal about my anti-religious stance back then, and neither did I become one right after that experience. As the years passed, I began rationalizing the world around me, coming to the conclusion that I am an Anti-Theist and a Humanist. Throughout this journey of discovery, I never forgot that horrifying image of that little girl. The eyes, those morbid eyes, never left me.

I am no hero or saviour, nor do I intend to be one. However, if there’s even one person in this world being subjected to such abhorrent evil, we must care. We must fight against it, we must annihilate the source of this injustice. There are many more malfeasance being perpetrated by religion – rape, murder, slavery, oppression, homophobia, and genocide, to name a few. I must oppose these moral crimes, not because I hate religion, but because I cherish humanity. If we don’t care for the weak and the innocent, the helpless and the oppressed, who will then? God? I don’t think so.

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Reason Rally: The Power of Reason and People

On March 24th, 2012, Washington, D.C. hosted the world’s largest secular event. The Reason Rally is a movement-wide event sponsored by the country’s major secular organizations. The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by a religiously-biased society.

Here are the two best quotes from the event, in my opinion.

Adam Savage, host of MythBusters:

“I have concluded through careful, empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me. Keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less then I ought, giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I am capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think and they still love me and I’ve concluded after careful consideration that this person keeping score is me.”

Richard Dawkins

“How is it conceivable that the laws of physics should conspire together without guidance, without direction, without any intelligence to bring us into the world? Now we do have intelligence. Intelligence comes into the world, comes into the universe late. It’s come into the world through our brains and maybe other brains in the universe. Now at last — finally — after 4 billion years of evolution we have the opportunity to bring some intelligent design into the world. We need intelligent design. We need to intelligently design our morals, our ethics, our politics, our society. We need to intelligently design the way we run our lives, not look back to scrolls — I was going to say ancient scrolls, they’re not even very ancient, about 800 BC the book of Genesis was written. I am often accused of expressing contempt and despising religious people. I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”

A tribute video to Christopher Hitchens that was broadcasted at the rally.

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Rape, Christianity, and Morality

Rape is evil, it doesn’t matter who you are or what the circumstances are. By no means, should rape, as a action or a punishment, be considered. It would take a morally-corrupt or a mentally-displaced human being to suggest and/or commit such an act. Theists often utilize the argument from morality as the basis of god’s existence.

In its most general form, the moral argument is that:

  1. Some aspect of Morality is observed.
  2. Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
  3. Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

As an Anti-theist, it’s rather obvious that every fibre in my body revolts an idea of such absurdity. If morality did originate from god, and we have all accepted that the act of rape is immoral – if you haven’t done so, this commentary will prove to be too feeble for the problem that you are facing as an individual – then let’s put the Holy Bible, the one and only book for Christians, under the microscope.

Judges 21:10-24: Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead 

So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children.  “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.”  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

    The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.”

    Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'”  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.  So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.”

Exodus 21:7-11: Sex Slaves 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.” 

Numbers 31:7-18: Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites  

“They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men.  All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle.  They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.  Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder.  They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived.  After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

     Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp.  But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle.  “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded.  “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.  They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people.  Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man.  Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.”

There are many more examples of rape in the bible, which can be found here. I am sorry, but for god, this so-called “almighty” to advocate rape in such meretricious manner is rather disturbing. And this is the source of your morality? Christians? In which part of a rational mind decided to ignore rape, a sickening crime, and concluded that you will worship this evil being? Or is rationality something that eludes all religious people? It doesn’t take more than one reading to realize the androcentrism, the misogyny, and the hatred of this god. Which leads me to my next suspicion – doesn’t it sound like a man, or a group of men, conspired to write this book? Put aside your brazen ego about Christianity, and religion for that matter, and ask yourself this simple question: Would god advocate rape?

I refuse to worship a hateful god, I refuse to subscribe to a religion that has no respect for my mother or my sister, I refuse to be part of the problem of oppression and infringement of human rights.

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Gore Vidal on Monotheism

Gore Vidal is an American Author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist, noted for his irreverent and intellectually adroit novels. A fierce and controversial figure, Vidal has often been a critic of American politics and established religions. 

The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal — God is the Omnipotent Father — hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is not just in place for one tribe, but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good. Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god’s purpose. Any movement of a liberal nature endangers his authority and those of his delegates on earth. One God, one King, one Pope, one master in the factory, one father-leader in the family at home.

The founders of the United States were not enthusiasts of the sky-god. Many, like Jefferson, rejected him altogether and placed man at the center of the world. The young Lincoln wrote a pamphlet against Christianity, which friends persuaded him to burn. Needless to say, word got around about both Jefferson and Lincoln, and each had to cover his tracks. Jefferson said that he was a deist, which could mean anything or nothing, while Lincoln, hand on heart and tongue in cheek, said he could not support for office anyone who “scoffed” at religion.

From the beginning, sky-godders have always exerted great pressure in our secular public. Also, evangelical Christian groups have always drawn strength from those who have been suppressed economically. African slaves were allowed to organize sky-god churches, as a surrogate for earthly freedom. White churches were organized in order to make certain that the rights of property were respected and that the numerous religious taboos in the New and Old Testaments would be enforced, if necessary, by civil law. The ideal to which John Adams subscribed–that we would be a nation of laws, not of men–was quickly subverted when the churches forced upon everyone, through those supposedly neutral and just laws, their innumerable taboos on sex, alcohol, gambling. We are now indeed a nation of laws, mostly bad and certainly anti-human.

Roman Catholic migrations in the last century further re-enforced the Puritan sky-god. The Church has also put itself on a collision course with the Bill of Rights when it asserts, as it always has, that “error has no rights.” The last correspondence between John Adams and Thomas
Jefferson expressed their alarm that the Jesuits were to be allowed into the United States. Although the Jews were sky-god folks, they followed Book One, not Book Two, so they have no mission to convert others; rather the reverse. Also, as they have been systematically demonized by the Christian sky-godders, they tended to be liberal and so turned not to their temple but to the ACLU. Unfortunately, the recent discovery that the sky-god, in his capacity as realtor, had given them, in perpetuity, some parcels of unattractive land called Judea and Sumeria has, to my mind, unhinged many of them. I hope this is temporary.

In the First Amendment to the Constitution, the founders made it clear that this was not to be a sky-god nation with a national religion like that of England from whom we had just separated. It is curious how little understood this amendment is–yes, everyone has a right to worship any god he chooses but he does not have the right to impose his beliefs on others who do not happen to share in his superstitions and taboos. This separation is absolute in our original republic. But the sky-godders do not give up easily. In the 1950s they actually got the phrase “In God We Trust” onto the currency, in direct violation of the First Amendment. Although many of the Christian evangelists feel it necessary to convert everyone on earth to their primitive religion, they have been prevented–so far–from enforcing others to worship as they do but they have forced–most tyrannically and wickedly–their superstitions and hatreds upon all of us, through the civil law and through general prohibitions. So it is upon that account that I now favor an all-out war on the monotheists.

Let us dwell upon the evils that they have wrought. The hatred of the blacks comes straight from their Bad Book. As descendants of Ham, blacks are forever accursed while St. Paul tells the slaves to obey their masters. Racism is in the marrow of the bone of the true believer. For him, black is forever inferior to white and deserves whatever ill-fortune may come his way. The fact that some monotheists can behave charitably means, often, that their prejudice is at so deep a level that they are not aware that it is there at all. In the end, this makes any radical change of attitude impossible. Meanwhile, welfare has been the price the sky-godders were willing to pay to exclude blacks from their earthly political system. So we must live–presumably forever–with a highly enervating race war set in train by the one God and his many hatreds.

Patriarchal rage at the thought of Woman ever usurping Man’s place at the helm, in either home or workplace, is almost as strong now as it ever was. According to the polls, most American women took the side of Clarence Thomas against Anita Hill. But then the sky-god’s fulminations against women are still very much part of the psyche of those in thrall to the Jealous God.

The ongoing psychopathic hatred of same-sex sexuality has made the United States the laughingstock of the civilized world. In most of the First World, monotheism is weak. Where it is weak or nonexistent, private sexual behavior has nothing at all to do with anyone else, much less with the law. At least when the Emperor Justinian, a sky-god man, decided to outlaw sodomy, he had to come up with a good practical reason, which he did. It is well known, Justinian declared, that buggery is a principal cause of earthquake and so must be prohibited. But our sky-godders, always eager to hate, still quote Leviticus, as if that loony text had anything useful to say about anything, except perhaps the inadvisability of eating shellfish in the Jerusalem area.

We are now slowly becoming alarmed at the state of the planet. For a century, we have been breeding like a virus under optimum conditions and now the virus has begun to attack its host, the earth. The lower atmosphere is filled with dust, we have just been told from space. The
climate changes; earth and water are poisoned. Sensible people grow alarmed but sky-godders are serene, even smug. The planet is just a staging area for Heaven. Why bother to clean it up? Unfortunately for everyone, Mr. Bush’s only hope of winning in the coming election is to appeal to the superstitious. So he refuses to commit our government to the great clean-up partly because it affects the incomes of the 100 corporate men and women who pay for him and largely because of the sky-god who told his slaves “to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Well, we did just like you told us, massa. We’ve used everything up. We’re ready for heaven now. Or maybe Mars will do.

Ordinarily, as a descendant of that eighteenth-century enlightenment which shaped our republic, I would say live and let live, and I would try not to “scoff”–to use Lincoln’s verb–at the monotheists. But I am not allowed to ignore them. They won’t let me. They are too busy. They have a divine mission to take away our rights as private citizens. We are forbidden abortion here, gambling there, same-sex almost everywhere, drugs everywhere, alcohol in a dry county. Our prisons are the most terrible in the First World and the most crowded. Our Death Row executions are a source of deep disgust in civilized countries where more and more we are regarded as a primitive, uneducated, and dangerous people. Although we are not allowed, under law, to kill ourselves or to take drugs that the good folk think might be bad for us, we are allowed to buy a handgun and shoot as many people as we can get away with.

Now, as poor Arthur–“there is this pendulum”–Schlesinger, Jr. would say, these things come in cycles. Every 20 years liberal gives way to conservative, and back again. But I suggest that what is wrong now is not cyclic but systemic. And our system, like any system, is obeying the second law of thermodynamics: Everything is running down; and we are well advanced along the yellow brick road to entropy. I don’t think that much of anything can be done to halt this progress under our present political-economic system. We lost poor Arthur’s pendulum in 1950 when our original constitution was secretly replaced with the apparatus of the national security state that still wastes most of our tax money on war or war-related matters. Hence, deteriorating schools, and so on. For some years, I have proposed that we hold a constitutional convention on the ground that it would be better to get the whole business out in the open for discussion. Unfortunately, every one of us has been conditioned by school and pulpit and media to believe that the original constitution is perfect even though it no longer functions except as a sort of totem like the flag. Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that’s the end of the constitution as a working machine. The thoughtful are also afraid that if the religious folk could review and revise the constitution, all our liberties would go. Certainly, they will try. But I don’t think they’ll win. Madison’s iron law of oligarchy is too strong. The Few, presumably enlightened about their rights, will guide the Many, as usual. In any case, it is better to lose our rights dramatically at a convention–thus provoking civil war–than to lose them gradually and furtively, as we are now losing them.

Another of our agreed-upon fantasies is that we do not have a class system in the United States. The Few who control the Many through Opinion have simply made themselves invisible. They have convinced us that we are a classless society where anyone can make it. Ninety percent of our newspaper stories are about winners of lotteries or poor boys and girls who, despite adenoidal complaints, become overnight millionaire singers. So there is still hope, the press tells the folks, for the 99% who will never achieve wealth no matter how hard they work. We are also warned at birth that it is not polite to hurt other people’s feelings by criticizing their religion even though that religion may be damaging everyone through the infiltration of our common laws. Happily, the Few can not disguise the bad times through which we are all going. Word is spreading that America is now falling behind in the civilization sweepstakes. So isn’t it time to discuss what we really think and feel about our social and economic arrangements?

The authors of a recent book, The Day Americans Told the Truth, gave it a try. Unfortunately, they revealed that 92% of those polled confessed to being habitual liars. This is a bit like the oldest recorded joke: a citizen on the island of Crete said, “All Cretans are liars.” Proposition: is what he said true or false? So the book’s information on attitudes may not be useful. But the pollsters should have examined the reason why people are so frightened that they must habitually lie about their true feelings and thoughts. Tocqueville suspected that the instinctive tyranny of the American majority would produce a terrified conformity. He seems to have been right. Certainly, nothing of any importance may be discussed in our political life.

Even today, with two anti-establishment candidates in the field, only Brown has begun to examine the amount of money that the national security state siphons out of the economy to pay for Pentagon, CIA, SDI–as well as the potential cost of the latest scenarios of possible upcoming wars in the future. Though the specifics of these wars are absurd, the implications are grim: because the Ownership will make those wars happen, as they always do, whether comically in Grenada or tragically in Vietnam. War is all that they know and all that they care about, because through the demonizing of this or that enemy they can keep the money flowing to them–while depriving the people at large of all those things that other First World people possess–from schools to health care. Now the war budget is the only subject for a political campaign at the end of what has not turned out to be the American century after all. In fact, the year 2000 will not only mark the end of American primacy but the end of the hegemony of the white race. We shall comprise about 16% of the world’s population in eight years. Let us hope that the other tribes, particularly those of Asia, in their triumph, do not treat us as badly as we have treated them.

Although we may not discuss race other than to say that Jesus wants each and every one of us for a sunbeam, history is nothing more than the bloody record of the migration of tribes. When the white race broke out of Europe 500 years ago, it did many astounding things all over the globe. Inspired by a raging sky-god, the whites were able to pretend that their conquests were in order to bring the One God to everyone, particularly those with older and subtler religions. Now the tribes are on the move again. Professor Pendulum is having a nervous breakdown because so many different tribes are arriving to live here and so far not one has had time to read The Age of Jackson. I think the taking in of everybody can probably be overdone. There may not be enough jobs for too many more immigrants though what prosperity we have ever enjoyed in the past was usually based on slave or near-slave labor–new arrivals who would work in the sweatshops much as they do today in every restaurant kitchen. No wonder the Ownership has always denied us a strong labor movement and that the 14% of the work force that is organized is constantly demonized as tools of the Soviet Union of yesteryear or of the Mafia today.

On the other hand, I think Asiatics and Hispanics are a plus culturally, and their presence tends to refocus, somewhat, the relentless white versus black war. Where I am as one with my friend Pendulum is that the newcomers must grasp certain principles as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Otherwise, we shall become a racially divided state like the old South Africa, while enjoying, of course, the new Brazilian economy.

For 30 years I have drawn attention to the fact that we do not have political parties in the United States. This always caused distress among the media who are in place to make us think that we have a choice every four years to elect a president who will represent the people at large. Instead, we get someone like Bush whose only program, other than war, is cutting the capital gains tax, the price demanded of him by his 100 angels and their friends. I am happy that, finally, my views have begun to seep into the public debate. Even the dullest newspaper reporter now agrees that there isn’t a lot of difference between Democrats and Republicans. Also my idea of limiting election campaigns to six weeks has been noted favorably, while there was actually a discussion on the admirable Crier’s program that if networks and cable and radio were to give free time for the candidates they would not need to raise so much crooked money. Sad to say, my noblest cause–the taxation of all religions–has not surfaced this year, while the legalization of drugs is a non-subject since drugs have replaced communism on the Pentagon hit list.

But to revert again to the unmentionable, religion. It should be noted that religion seemed to be losing its hold in the United States in the second quarter of this century. From the Scopes Trial in ’25 to the Repeal of Prohibition in ’33, the sky-godders were confined pretty much to the backwoods. Then television was invented, and the electronic pulpit was soon occupied by a horde of Elmer Gantrys who took advantage of the tax exemption for religion. Thus, out of greed, a religious revival has been set in motion, and the results are predictably poisonous to the body politic.

It is usual, on the rare occasions when essential problems are addressed, to exhort everyone to be kinder, gentler. To bring us together, oh, lord, in our common humanity. Well, we have heard these exhortations for a couple of hundred years, and we are further apart now than ever. So instead of coming together in order that the many might be one, I say let us separate so that each will know where he stands. From the one many, and each of us free of the sky-god, as secular law-giver. I preach, to put it bluntly, confrontation.

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Notable Atheist: Gore Vidal

 

“Once people get hung up on theology, they’ve lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.”

“The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.” 

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The Militant Atheist

I was accused of being a “Militant Atheist” recently, a label which I won’t object. There is this idea that being a “Militant Atheist” is no different from any religious extremist, I would beg to differ; allow me to explicate my stance.

Politics Without Religion
I couldn’t care less if you believe in some sky god – may he be Jewish, blue, or a fat bloke that sat under a tree a little too long. That’s your prerogative, as childish as all the stories are. However, religion should not be allowed to leave your doorstep. It should not encroach into anyone else’s life, especially in the political realm. I live in a highly religious and political country, Malaysia, with ethnicity and religion dictating the political arena. The once great nation of America is currently battling to maintain some sort of Secularism within its government. The simple fact that Rick Santorum, a politician exploiting Christian extremism, is given a podium to stand on is a joke. But beyond the laughter, lies a worrying problem – the sanctimonious claims of religion over politics. Religion, along with all its evil, has no right to determine policy-making of a nation. The first litmus test of any government is reason and rationality. Religion has failed that test miserably time and time again. Yet, despite lacking any reason or rationality, religious people are hell-bent on influencing politics and governments. Homosexuality, women rights, abortion, and even contraception, which shouldn’t even be debated on the basis of human rights, has become major political issues due to religious influence. I will not stand by as millions of people are oppressed through the hammer of religion, while being govern by them politically. In Saudi Arabia, women are marginalized, treated as second-class citizens because of Islam. Homosexuals are bullied and battered because of religion, even in first-world nations. If you can stay silent, go ahead, no one is judging you, but don’t judge me for wanting to fight against oppression.

Science Without Religion
When I was in school, I barely knew about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. It was only when I grew older, and gained the blessing of the internet that I started building my knowledge of evolution. The creation-versus-evolution debate has been long drawn out, and I shall refrain from contributing to it here. But life is rather simple, the theory of evolution has been proven to be true, while creationism stems from unsubstantiated fairy-tales. Religion has no right to hinder the progress of Science. Galileo was persecuted by religion for his support of heliocentrism, which is an absolute truth. An example in today’s world is religion’s hindrance of stem-cell research. I am sorry, but I support Science’s endeavours in finding the cure for diseases, because my utopia, which was formed without the delusion of religion, involves people NOT dying from cancer, AIDS, and any other diseases that might be curable someday. I am not saying this is the answer, but if this could be the answer to reducing human mortality, then we must pursue it scientifically until we reach an absolute conclusion. If there is no evidence for your nonsense, shut up, move to the back of the room, and let those with some form of answers find more answers, for the sake of humanity.

I maintain my stance that for now, I must take this Militant route. Someday, I’ll have children. And what if my son is born gay? Science says that 10-20% of the population are homosexuals. I don’t want him to grow up in a prejudice, hateful world, where he has to feel as if he doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as heterosexuals. For my future daughter, I must ensure that she is born into an fair and equal world, a world where mind-numbing religious idiots aren’t trying to dictate women’s rights. I want the best for my children, selfishly; and I want the best for the every child that’s born into this world. I will not apologize for being crude and verbally violent about your religious beliefs, as long as they are found loitering and lurking around the moral fibers of society. I will not silence my criticism, as long as there are innocent people being abused in the name of religion. Frankly, I couldn’t give two pancakes worth of care about you or your religion, but keep your “morality”, your faith, your beliefs, your god, and your nonsense in your own pocket. You shall not control and manipulate the socio-political system to please your imaginary friend, and as long as you do, don’t expect rational people to sit down in silence.

Besides, when was the last time you heard some one flying a plane into a building because of his Atheist beliefs, or waging a war due to Atheism? Militant Atheists rough it out on the battlefield of intellectuality, the one battlefield religion can’t seem to get a grasp of.

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Atheism, is it a religion?

A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate’s rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

“Atheism is [the inmate’s] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, called the court’s ruling “a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence.”

“Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion,” said Fahling.

The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described “secular humanism” as a religion.

Fahling said today’s ruling was “further evidence of the incoherence of Establishment Clause jurisprudence.”

“It is difficult not to be somewhat jaundiced about our courts when they take clauses especially designed to protect religion from the state and turn them on their head by giving protective cover to a belief system, that, by every known definition other than the courts’ is not a religion, while simultaneously declaring public expressions of true religious faith to be prohibited,” Fahling said.

Taken from WND.com.

Is atheism a religion?

According to Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.”

I am sure there are long, drawn out arguments regarding the issue, often with the semantics being manipulated to suit the case.

I am a staunch believer in Occam’s razor, which states from among competing hypotheses, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions usually provides the correct one, and that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible until evidence is presented to prove it false. My stance on religion is rather simple and straightforward: Religion refers to the belief in a supernatural being, which in and of itself has some form of afterlife may it be the Abrahamic heaven and hell concept, or Hinduism-Buddhism reincarnation cycle. These are all elements I reject, without having the need to dwell on the semantics and the complexities of the definitions.

Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Atheism: The belief that God does not exist.

As an anti-theist, I follow no specific philosophical creed or code, and almost every aspect of my life principle stems from my humanistic journey in life thus far. Granted, there are plenty more out there for me to experience – it’s a work-in-progress.

Therefore, I reject any notion that atheism is a religion, or remotely close to anything resembling it.

As the famous line goes,”Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.”

What do you think? Atheism, is it a religion?

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Notable Atheist: Roger Ebert

“I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state.” 

“My opinions have been challenged. I had to defend what I believed. I did some more reading. I discovered fractals and Strange Attractors. I wrote an entry about the way I believe in God, which is to say that I do not. Not, at least, in the God that most people mean when they say God. I grant you that if the universe was Caused, there might have been a Causer. But that entity, or force, must by definition be outside space and time; beyond all categories of thought, or non-thought; transcending existence, or non-existence. What is the utility of arguing our “beliefs” about it? What about the awesome possibility that there was no Cause? What if everything…just happened?”

 

“The truth hidden below the surface of the story is a hard one: Nothing makes any sense. We do not get what we deserve. If we are lucky, we get more. If we are unlucky, we get less. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. That’s the system. All of our philosophies are a futile attempt to explain it. Let me tell you a story. Not long ago, I was in the middle of a cheerful conversation when I slipped on wet wax, landed hard, and broke bones in my left shoulder. I was in a fool’s paradise of happiness, you see, not realizing that I was working without a net–that in a second my happiness would be rudely interrupted.

I could have hit my head and been killed. Or landed better and not been injured. At best, what we can hope for is a daily reprieve from all of the things that can go wrong. And yet, even so, there is a way to find happiness. That is to be curious about all of the interlocking events that add up to our lives. To notice connections. To be amused or perhaps frightened by the ways things work out. If the universe is indifferent, what a consolation that we are not.”

 

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The Struggle of Hamza Kashgari

Saudi Arabian writer and journalist, Hamza Kashgari has been arrested in Malaysia (on Wednesday, 8th of February 2012), while attempting to flee to New Zealand where he was seeking political asylum. He has become a criminal in his own country for comments he made on Twitter deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, despite apologizing and explaining his comments.

On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more,” read one of his three tweets that was later deleted.

Another reads: “No Saudi women will go to hell, because it’s impossible to go there twice.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, a US website, Kashgari said: “I was demanding my right to practice the most basic human rights – freedom of expression and thought – so nothing was done in vain.”

Blasphemy is a crime punishable by execution under Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

Malaysian authorities have yet to comment on whether Kashgari would be extradited to Saudi Arabia, but if the decision is made to extradite, death awaits him.

Read more here.

Yet again, religious fanaticism rears its evil head. The persecuted writer merely expressed his personal thoughts on Prophet Muhammad’s teachings, expressing admiration, displeasure, and doubt, while recognizing the misogynist nature of Islam. This is not an issue of atheism versus religion; this is a human rights issue. Is it wrong to express doubt? Aren’t we all merely humans? Is it punishable to stand up for women’s right in a country which treats mothers, sisters, daughters like second-class citizens?

Freedom of speech is at war with religion, unfortunately, the retarded religious masses seem to be winning at the moment.

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Notable Atheist: Björk

Question: “Given the chance, how would you change the world?”

“It’s a big question. Getting rid of religion would be a good start, wouldn’t it? It seems to be causing a lot of havoc.”

 

“I’ve got my own religion, Iceland sets a world-record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, ‘ourselves’. I think I’m in that group. If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.”

“I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

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“Only the very ignorant are perfectly satisfied that they know. To the common man the great problems are easy. He has no trouble in accounting for the universe. He can tell you the origin and destiny of man and the why and wherefore of things. As a rule, he is a believer in special providence, and is egotistic enough to suppose that everything that happens in the universe happens in reference to him.”

Robert Green Ingersoll

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Christians, Coconuts, and Cuckoos

The following tweet was from a Christian nut-job, sent to @GODisNOTrealBRO – who by the way is a solid bloke; follow him on twitter if you fancy seeing a smart person trample all over stupid people.

Christian nut-job tweeted, “Stop wasting your time refuting god when the evidence for his existence sits right there inside a coconut.

The statement above invoked both humour and frustration in me. Humour, because this Christian came to the absurd conclusion that his god must be real since there’s a little bit of tasty liquid inside a coconut. However, once the laughter and comicality settled, frustration seeped in. This is exactly the kind of buffoonery religious people spew to justify this almighty being they want to worship.

Look at all the beauty in the world around you, how can there be no god?

All the wonderful species in the animal kingdom is absolute proof that god exists.

Religious heads such as pastors, priests, imams, swamis, and monks, constantly use nonsensical rhetorical statements to peddle their laughable beliefs. They get away with pseudo-philosophical bullshit simply because they tap into this supernatural realm that people dare not question, no one wants to be blasphemous. It’s the catch-22 of religion’s control mechanism – we can say whatever we want, whenever we want, but question its validity, and god will be angered.

Before we proceed, allow me the words to clarify why in fact the sweet nectar within a coconut has nothing to do with God, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy; with a little help from wiki.answers.com: –

“Why do you think coconut trees live near a beach, a sea, or a ocean? When the dirt is wet the roots absorb the water. Then the water goes through the roots and the tree cleans the water from the salt, which causes the water to enter the coconut. 

But still you are thinking how does the water get in? The stem has a hole. Before you take the coconut off the tree, the coconut has a hole too, so the water goes through the hole and reaches the coconut. 

Finally, one more interesting point to note: younger coconuts have a lot of water and only a little of the white pulp and older coconuts have only a little water and a lot of white pulp. 

The whole process may be termed as osmosis or we can also say this is capillarity.”

What makes this whole Christian-coconut debacle worst is that instead of spending 2.5 seconds on Google searching for the scientific answer of coconut water/juice, this Christian decided to attack an atheist on Twitter with a statement that only proves himself an idiot. He could have utilized the technology Science has blessed him with to seek out the answers in life, but the nut-job decided that that’s a little too difficult, instead focused his time and energy on shouting at those who do not believe the same fairy-tale that he does.

I do not need the bible or Jesus to answer the questions of the world around me, I have Google.

It is frustrating and infuriating; simply because religious people stem from all walks of life. And on the surface, not all of them are utter fools. But then, through this faith system they have established over their lifetime, they have become blinded and narrow-minded. Yes, it is undoubtedly a form of stupidity, but the assumption is that after years of being brainwashed with religious mantra, instead of applying their intelligence to seek out scientific evidence, they fall back on the safety net of “god” and his “wonders”. My personal experiences with religious people whom I call friends have been such, where in most aspects they are quite apt and smart. However, once in a while, they will have a Jesus-slip or an Allah-slip – stolen blatantly from Freudian-slip – which reminds me that they aren’t that smart after all.

Carbon dating is based on a man-made Science, then maybe the Bible is right about the age of the Earth, and the Science is wrong.” I cringed when a close friend muttered those words. Friendship prevented me from slapping him with my leather gloves across his face.

As a child attending Sunday school, I remember my teachers telling me how God created the world and the universe, and he has a purpose for every single thing he created. They make you sing propaganda songs: “he’s got the whole world/in his hands/he’s got the whole world/in his hands”. That can’t be true right? Because if God does have the whole world in his hands, he’s either an irresponsible drunk who cares little for his creations, or an evil comedian with a fetish for hate and destruction.

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Notable Atheist: Rafael Nadal

Almost every bad thing that happens in life comes from some form of radicalism, it only unleashes problems that should be fixed. You are entitled to have your likings, sympathies, beliefs, but you should always respect the opinions of others, never insult them. The same happens with religion. You can be religious, or atheist, christian, muslim… whatever, but I think the atrocities that people committed in the name of religion are too much. For me, religion is the main cause of mortality in history.

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Religious Fanaticism

Excerpt from The Economic Times:”First Salman Rushdie, now Taslima Nasreen – end of cultural tolerance?” 

KOLKATA: The cancellation of the release of controversial author Taslima Nasreen’s autobiography at the famed Kolkata Book Fair has thrown the spotlight on the destructive clout of religious fanatics in a city once known for savouring cultural pluralism.

Last week’s incident, coupled with the Salman Rushdie controversy – when the Booker awardee had to call off his visit and then his much-anticipated video address at the Jaipur Literature Festival following security threats triggered by some Islamic groups’ protest – would go down as another instance of Indian authorities and parties kowtowing before religious rabblerousers.

While the Rushdie episode saw the political parties and the government, in the words of novelist Vikram Seth, “knuckling under” an “enforced disgrace because of power and politics”, the only difference here was that publishers went ahead with the launch of the book at the fair, despite the hostile attitude of organisers.

The seventh volume of Nasreen’s book ” Nirbasan” (Exile), which deals with her life after exile from Kolkata in 2007 and which almost nobody had read before the release, saw religious fundamentalists protesting against the launch.

Hours before the release function, the organisers telephoned the publishers, People’s Book Society, asking them to cancel the programme due to “logistical problems”. But later it transpired that some Islamic groups had approached the authorities and the city police against the book release.

A top official of the organising body, Publishers’ and Book Sellers’ Guild, confirmed the development and stoutly defended its decision to stop the launch.

“We cannot allow any such thing to happen inside the Book Fair premises which can hurt the interest of the common people coming to the fair. We cannot allow anything that may hurt the religious sentiments of any community.”

Be it Jaipur or Kolkata, political parties remained mum or played it safe, ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls where Muslims will constitute a key vote segment.

Read full article here

How long are we going to allow religious fanatics to dictate what we can or can not do?

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”. 

Why is it that we, atheists, humanists, and free-thinkers, must tolerate their religious views, but they won’t tolerate ours?

I am tempted to justify that statement by stating that perhaps they have a lower IQ level, hence making it difficult to form logical and objective analysis. Or maybe, it’s the arrogance of Abrahamic religious texts – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism – that perilously proclaims itself the truth, while mortally condemning all other belief systems.

There is no evidence that this “God” exists – none whatsoever! Religious fanaticism is the equivalent of a child murdering his parents in cold blood because they told him Santa Claus is a fictional character. For governments to give in to such insolence is dangerous, because it provides the fanatics a sense of justification to their lofty beliefs. Religious fanaticism is not a third-world problem, it’s a global issue that’s threatening to silence the intelligent and the rationalist, while celebrating the crazy and the irrational.

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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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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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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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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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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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