Tag Archives: humanism

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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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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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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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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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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The Sad Tale of the Pious Zombies

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

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

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

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

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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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