Thursday, December 24, 2009

Apparently I've Reached the Big Time

I got the "honor" of being trolled by that jackass David Mabus. If that name isn't familiar, he is the guy who rants about how evil atheists are, and mentions Nostradamus. Here is his comment, in full. It seems to be the same screed he has been copypasting on several sites.

Looks like your website is under attack from supernatural forces...

First of all: Nostradamus demolishes "atheism"

__________________________________________________ __
wait, wait...

I forgot something...

you little shits even talk about me....



Sing from the rooftops:

"Atheism is dead!"



these little insignificant fools try to use science to destroy every mystery in the universe...

but not this one! 
 Oh yay me! Im popular enough to get trolled... lol.

Is there a way to block a commenter on here?

If Religions Were Real

So THIS is what 2 Kings 2:23-24 would look like! I like it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Was Inspired by Greta Christina's Meme of the Day to Do My Own Today

To be an atheist is not to positively affirm the non existence of god, but to not positively affirm the existence of god. Even if it were a declaration that there was no god, it would still be reasonable. I can confidently say faeries, unicorns, and pixie dust don't exist to the same level that I can about god. They have just as much evidence.

Site Redesign!

I changed the layout on the site. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ok... This Post is Just to Brag!

I've been constantly tweaking my pc ever since I upgraded to 7. I am impressed now. My pc Idles at ~470mb ram(the extra 30 mb and cpu spike seen here were from the img capture program. it usually sits at 0-2% cpu.

I am happy with my results! All the features of a 2009 operating system with the memory use of 2001's XP.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Love the Onion

Sumerians Look On In Confusion As Christian God Creates World

"I do not understand," reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. "A booming voice is saying, 'Let there be light,' but there is already light. It is saying, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' but I am already standing on grass."

That is awesome!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Conversations I've Had in the Last Week

I've had 2 interesting discussions with Christians this week. The first was me 2 friends, 1 Wiccan, and one Christian. I cant remember what we were talking about, but the Christian said we were a Christian nation. I countered with the fact that Jefferson, Paine, and Adams, to name a few, were all non Christians, and were founding fathers. In addition to this, the first amendment makes it clear that we, as a nation, have no religion. The counterargument that the Christian said (after saying that she was a history major, so she knows what she was talking about), and the Wiccan agreed to, was that we were a Christian nation because of the Puritans. Because the Puritans came over here, and slaughtered Indian tribes, we are a Christian nation... apparently. Nevermind that couple hundred year gap between those events and our nations founding. By the time our nation was founded, the Enlightenment had begun, and because of this, many of our founders were openly skeptical of Christianity. I gave up on the argument once it began to devolve into "no you are wrong."

The second discussion I had was at a Christmas party on campus. I was hanging out, waiting for my friend to get out of class so I could bring him home. As I was waiting, a couple of girls came over and asked if I wanted to come to the party. I went, and began talking to people. I saw one guy with a picture of Christ Pantocrator on his shirt. I started chatting with him, discussing the history of the image on his shirt(turns out I actually DID learn something in art history) and it drifted into a theological discussion. He told me he was a reformed Calvinist, and I let him know that I was an atheist. He began asking me how I live knowing my life has no purpose. I told him my life has plenty of purpose. My life purpose is to be happy, make others happy, enjoy my time here with my friends, and hopefully, make a significant societal contribution. He said that because that purpose was not eternal, it was meaningless. We continued talking, but nothing else meaningful was said. I ended up leaving soon thereafter.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Carnival of the Godless #130

Welcome to Carnival of the Godless 130!

Paul Fidalgo presents Newsweek religion columnist calls atheists 'adolescent regurgitators' posted at Secularism Examiner. In the post, he comments on Lisa Miller's Newsweek column that is little more than an atheist bash fest.

Eric Michael Johnson presents Friday Rant: "Militant" Atheists and Freedom From Religion posted at The Primate Diaries. It details how inaccurate the description of 'militant atheists' is. Those atheists and their militant acts like having an opinion!

Michelle Bell presents Marriage, or why I really really want same sex couples to be able to marry. posted at The Gaytheists, saying, "Essentially why straight people that don't buy into the traditional marriage, even just a little bit, should be supporting equal gay marriage rights. Could be classed under the idea of separation of church and state, as the main political arguments against gay marriage have no basis in actual reality and more basis in outdated patriarchal religions that get their panties in a knot about things that threaten their supremacy."

Jeff Satterley presents Infallible Failure: Dealing with Death posted at Infallible Failure. It is an interesting piece on how an atheist deals with their own eventual death.

Asha presents Gods Unvanquished posted at Scientific Blogging - The world's best scientists. The internet's smartest readers, saying, "Hi,
I am starting a new series on evolution and morality. In it I hope to make the case for looking at morality from a purely biological point of view.

Andrew Bernardin presents Sunday Sacrilege: God is a Mighty Duck posted at The Evolving Mind. It is a satirical post on seeing signs of god in random objects.

Gary Williams presents An Evolutionary Argument for Atheism posted at Minds and Brains.

Neosnowqueen presents No Love: The War on Christmas posted at Winter Harvest. She shows how opposing Christian exclusivity in the holidays could be good for the Christians.

Michael Fridman presents CS Lewis, Morality & Intuition as a Scientific Tool -- a Nadder! posted at a Nadder!. It is a critique of CS Lewis's argument from morality and a look at how religious thinking often uses intuition as a scientific tool in order to appeal to people's "common sense".

Want to host? Fill out the carnival submission form.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Im Starting My Own Religion!

I am convinced that all supernatural activity is caused by the Hat Guy! All hail Hat Guy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

God Believes the Same Things I Do!

I read about a series of studies in PhysOrg that showed that what a person feels that their deity believes is lined up with what they believe. Not only do they line up, but if yours change, you suddenly have a 'better understanding of god' and now know what he really wants. One study showed that we use the same part of the brain that we use on our own beliefs for god's. It seems our brain knows he is something we made up ourselves, and not a separate being. Now if the brain could just convince the conscious. Many religious will say that the reason is because their beliefs are molded on their god's views. If so, god must have no idea what he wants, because the beliefs of his followers are always changing. Take time to read some of the Digg comments. They are interesting.

Saw this in the comments, and had to include it:

“You can tell you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do” - Anne Lamott

Sunday, November 29, 2009

GHASP! Sex is Good for You!

I stumbled upon several reasons that sex is good for you (like you needed any convincing... actually, on second thought... the abstinence only Christians probably do)

1 Less heart attacks and strokes
2 Lowers blood pressure and stress
3 Reduces depression
4 prevents osteoporosis
5 Keeps colds and flu at bay
6 Prevents prostate cancer
7 Relieves headaches
8 Improves sleep
9 Keeps you fit
10 Prevents incontinence

read the full article here for explanations on how and why.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Overcoming Adversity Through Dance

Greg Mozgala is a 31 year old man with Cerebral Palsy. This story particularly touches me, as I also have CP, albeit a rather non-severe case. Anyway... he went through 12 years of therapy, and it did not do enough. he walked with a severe gait for years. 8 months of dancing has nearly removed the gait entirely. This amazes me! There was one thing that got my attention however:

"She introduced Mr. Mozgala to a tension-releasing shaking technique, and it was immediately revelatory."

I want to know what this technique is. I could potentially use it to help my Cerebral Palsy. Does anyone know?

via New York Times

Monday, November 23, 2009

Using Faith To Push Choices of an Elected Official

In a post over at Friendly Atheist, I saw that Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat Representative from Rhode Island, has been barred from taking communion at his church. Apparently his support for abortion rights as a public official make him an unfit Catholic. The act of preventing him from taking communion is pressuring his political position with denying him a holy sacrament. A tax exempt organization should not be allowed to politically pressure(they are not technically allowed, but as is so common, religious privilege gets in the way of justice). I hope this story gets accurately picked up by the media, and the Catholic church is held under criticism for these actions.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Facebook Fan Page!

Just created a Facebook fan page for this blog!

I figure it will be an easier way for many people to keep up with the blog, and make sharing easier.

Churching an Atheist: Respect Your Leaders

Church was interesting today. When I got there, I had a discussion with a member of the church named John. We had a civil discussion on why I don't believe. I explained that I had began an inquiry into other points of view, because only hearing one point of view doesn't allow one to hear a dissenting opinion and see if they could be wrong. He was one of the very few Christians(I could count the number on one hand) that have agreed with that. The rest have said something to the tune of "that is dangerous" or that it is from Satan. Then again, I expected such an intelligent response from him. he is a brilliant man.

The sermon was given by Robert, my personal favorite of the people on the sermon rotation(possibly because he is a bit of a geek like me). It was over the point that we should respect our leaders, but not revere them to the point where their actions are what makes ones belief in god. He makes the point that they deserve respect for being a leader, and because they were appointed by god. I disagree, because a leader deserves no inherent respect just for being a leader. They deserve the respect that is given to any human being, and earn or lose it based upon their actions thereafter. And to say they were picked by god seems rather foolish. I don't think he would accept the priests who use their position as a tool to rape children was chosen by god. He does, however, make the valid point that being a leader puts you in a spotlight that practically begs you to be attacked. Finding fault with the guy who is visible is much easier. Just look in a tabloid to see how true that is. He makes the point that we shouldn't nitpick on the things we see as a problem with our leaders. I agree that we should not nitpick and gripe over every little thing we hold as a problem, but we also should not discard any potential serious issues on the fear of being 'nitpicky.' He then transitioned into the point that we should not revere our leaders to the point where we do not think for ourself. This is very true, and common of many people. Blindly accepting what your pastor says, or what Glenn Beck says, or Keith Olbermann, or Obama, or Richard Dawkins is a stupidly ignorant act. Inquire for yourselves, and do not blindly accept what you are told. He gave a brief history on how for over a thousand years no one other than the priests had access to the bible, so they couldn't examine it themselves. He made the point that many people feel they do not need to read the bible, because they have the preacher to explain it for them.

Class was largely uneventful. It was over chapter 3 of 1st Corinthians. The only interesting thing was a comment. John, the speaker, and the same one I talked to before class, made the comment that if people are too hardline in their beliefs, they can become incapable of changing their viewpoint. If new evidences are presented to them, they will either try to incorporate it in what they already believe, or throw it out. I immediately thought "Isn't that what fundamentalist Christians do in regard to evolution?" I did not say this, because I learned last time that such things are not tolerated. There were a few other comments, but I cant quite remember them exactly, and I don't want to paraphrase wrong and make anyone look unduly bad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Great Quote From a Friend

My friend Dave said this to me a few minutes ago, and I felt it was great, worth posting for sure.

"God has no moral basis, allowing the corrupt to prosper. While those with dignity and morality are left to defend themselves against odds far beyond what should be faced. Those who do not see this are either blind or too naive to acknowledge reality for how it truly functions. May he be held responsible for the lives that he has failed to save and those he's embellished, who are not worthy.  If I am doomed to hell through his flawed judgement, so be it. I will no longer shake upon the thought."

Are Religious Visitors Questioning Their Belief?

I read a fascinating post at Greta Christina's blog. In it, the case is made that many religious visitors to atheist blogs are looking for someone to challenge their belief so that it can be tested, to see if it is really rational to believe what they do. I can say I was that way. It wasn't blogs for me, but books. I read The God Delusion because I felt it was foolish to only hear the church's side of things. I felt that if I was in an isolated bubble from other arguments, my faith was falsely propped up. It was looking into a lack of belief that was a stepping stone to atheism.

I agree that we need to be patient with the religious believers, because they may be honestly looking for other ideas. If they spout stupid fallacies, such as that atheists have no moral basis, or that since we can't prove with certainty, we can go ahead and just assume god, then we have to be patient with them. This is all they get at church. If they are serious about expanding their knowledge and looking at other viewpoints, then patiently explaining the flaws in their argument may help them. Now, if they start ignoring or insulting you repeatedly, they are probably a troll, so feel free to ignore them, or, if it is your blog, block them.

What do you think? Are many of the religious people on the blogs sincere, or just trolls?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

5 Tribal Stages of Atheism

I read the following at Andrea_TheNerd and had to post it here:

1. Atheist finds herself in a world dominated by religion (often Christianity or Islam). Shefeels alone and misunderstood and often angry at her circumstances, and seeks out similar people for protection and companionship.

2. Atheist forms a protectionist bubble around himself (into which only similar-minded people are allowed), from which he can sit and pass judgment on everyone outside it. He doesn't want to step outside his bubble to enact change, he simply wants the Powers That Be to leave him alone. [Edit: or as one commenter put it: I know what I think, and f- you all.]

3. Atheist sets out to struggle with what she sees as the force of opposition. She prefers to work on her own in this, seeing "winning" each encounter with a theist as a personal goal for herself to achieve. She is easily disappointed by the perceived lack of competence in other atheists at similar encounters with theists.

4. Atheist is motivated to join up with other atheists to act as a social force against the religious majority. He'll often donate his time and money to political organizations focused on separation of church and state, and attempt to motivate less passionate atheists to join his cause.

5. Atheist sees her atheism as part of the greater good of humanity. She is less concerned about personal survival or winning against an opponent, but instead focuses on personal fulfillment and communal harmony in a world without any gods.

Im not sure where I am on this scale. Thoughts?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Violence and Video Games

Just thought I'd post this. It speaks a great amount of truth.  Just because I have been playing violent games since I was 4 doesn't make me a maniac.

Looks like I Won't be Going to Skepticon

My stepdad is not allowing me to drive there. So unless one of my readers knows someone In the Kansas City MO area, or someone who will be passing through here on their way, I won't be able to go.

Belief Without Evidence

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." - John 20:29

This verse has always troubled me. It is saying that it is a virtue to believe in the absence of evidence. This makes me fear that there is nothing we can do to combat the religious nutballs. Regardless of the evidence we bring, they will just go "Nope! I have faith!" I will never understand how someone can go 'There is zero evidence for my claim (there is even evidence against it) but I will believe it anyway!'

Is there anything we can do to reach people like this?

PS - Sorry for the lack of a 'Churching an Atheist' post yesterday. My mom did't wake me for church. I suspect that was deliberate, because of my actions last week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

God is into Porn!


A Christian Doing Good

I often rail on Christians for doing evil things, but not all of them suck. Case in point: Pastor Joel Miller is fasting for 30 days to raise 30,000 cans for a local food bank. That is amazing! I was only ever able to fast 56 hours, and that was a liquid only, so I had juice and stuff, whereas Miller is only drinking water. It makes me smile to see good done, regardless of religious affiliation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How Can We Effectively Satirize Faith?

I saw this article at Friendly Atheist. It makes a point that satire is an effective way to point out flaws in an argument while not angering those who support it, because they are too busy laughing to see they just got owned. The article references Jon Stewart's Beck satire. I'll post it here because
a. if you haven't seen it, you should.
b. if you have seen it, watch it again! it is funny!
c. we all need laughs

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project

Daily Show
Full Episodes

Political Humor
Health Care Crisis

Now.... where were we? Oh yes... satire as a means of pointing out flaws. To satire effectively, you have to be close enough to the real thing to be recognizable. The question though, is how we get close to the flawed logic of faith without invoking Poe's Law? Any ideas?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Threats Over a Billboard...

Apparently a landowner was threatened over the following billboard being on his property:

It bothers me for many reasons:

  1. threatening the land owner for the billboard seems like a stupid course of action. If you are going to threaten someone, you could at least threaten the right target
  2. threatening ANYONE is a rather poor action choice. Instead of threatening someone, talk to them. Hell, hate them if you want, but to threaten them is over the line.
  3. To think that such a docile billboard can be received negatively shows how far our culture still has to go. This billboard does not say that there isn't a god, and it doesn't insult those who do believe in one. It merely says that if you feel this way, you are not alone. This message is very important, to me especially. I could have used a message like this while losing my belief in god. I felt alone, scared, depressed, like I was some abomination. I had no support I could lean on. I couldn't take living the lie. The depression that the lying caused was tearing me up. I was beating myself with a belt just to feel something, and crying myself to sleep every night. I was on the verge of suicide. I was planning to go to the gun store in a few days the day I ended coming out to my mom as 'agnostic'. This provided a wave of relief over me, being open. If this billboard helped just ONE person know that they were not alone, and that there is help, then it is worth every penny in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Received a Letter Today...

It was from a member of my church. I will not post it, partly for length, and partly for other reasons. This letter pointed out, and rightly so, that I was being biased in my coverage of the church's lessons. I never intended such bias, and am truly sorry for it. My goal is objectivity, not polemics and being a jackass. I come off as thinking all Christians are complete bumbling fucktards apparently, and that is a message I do not wish to convey. Christians are wrong to believe in a magic sky fairy like they do, but that doesn't make them complete morons(eg Ken Miller). In my recent posts, I have been that which I have despised. I have been an angry, belittling jerk who picks fights with people who have done nothing to deserve it. All I have done is pick on them for being different than me.

Another comment from this letter, one that hit me deep, was how I treated my mother in my posts on her position on me going to skepticon. Apparently I came off completely unloving towards my mother, and like I had no respect for her. I did not mean for this at all! I love my mother, and I know she loves me. There is nothing I would take back from those letters, but I do admit I was rather angry while writing them, and none of the love i feel for my mom was being expressed.

If this post isn't fully coherent, that is because I am in a introspective out of it state.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Churching an Atheist: Open Discussion Unwelcomed

Went to church again. Started with singing songs. It is interesting listening to the songs from the 'other side.' The song 'I am Thine, Oh Lord' seemed a little morbid for kids with the words "Draw me nearer, nearer to thy precious bleeding side" and the song 'Have Thine Own Way' had me thinking about Burger King.

The sermon was over Jesus' "If you've been angry, you are guilty of murder" comment in the beatitudes. The preacher started by saying we need to ask God to change us, and make us nonjudgmental. But if that happened, how could Christians hate gays? They HAVE to be judgmental and angry. He also made the comment that everyone is made in the image of God, and it is that reason that we don't murder. Not the fact that it is deplorable, cruel, and inhumane, but because the Sky Fairy says so. He then made a funny quip that he is German and Irish, and was thus born angry. I chuckled at that, being mostly German and Irish myself. He goes into a rant on how my generation is angry, insulting and disrespectful, ignoring that what he just said was an angry disrespectful insult. He begins talking about an argument he had with his wife, and how he talked to God, asking for her being wrong to be forgiven, and How god talked back to him. Im not sure if he believes that God actually talked to him or not. I'd like to assume it was metaphorical, but there are whack-jobs who believe that. Not that it really matters, as a delusion is a delusion. He then ended by quoting a verse from The Message Bible, and then bashing it for not being suitable for deep textual analysis, as if anything other than the original Greek and Hebrew(if even that given the huge gap from story to written record) would be suitable for real analysis.

After the sermon, classes are offered. I went to one that goes through various kook theories(ESP, mind reading, ghosts etc.) and shows why they are false. Surprisingly, the reasons offered for why these things were false were relatively sound(there is a rational explanation for how it happened, the scientific tests show no evidence of it, no one has ever successfully shown it to be true). It was on the lack of evidence that it is true that he even played a short clip by James Randi. It all was very good, but the speaker seemed to overlook that every critique he offered applied to his God and his bible.

I waited until after class to bring this up with the speaker, in an attempt to not appear disruptive(I am on their property during their worship time, so I have to obey their rules). I mention that the things he mentioned apply to the bible, and he responded with 'no, the bible is the word of God.' I brought up that he is using what the bible says about itself to prove itself. He simply responded with the fact that you HAVE to(which I agree with, because there is no other reason to believe it) and thus it is ok. He then brought up a useless non sequitur of 'who is the god of the atheists?' I replied that we do not have one, and he just said 'yes you do, who was the first atheist?' I couldn't form a reply to that because it made no sense. It was then that one of the people who had been in the class(who happened to be a church elder) accused me of 'pushing atheism' by asking how those arguments don't apply to the bible. I responded that I was not pushing atheism, but merely trying to start a discussion that allowed all parties to learn something. The associate minister walks in to unplug the tv we used to watch the Randi clip, and asks me to not bring up debates in the future, because this is their time to worship, and I should not get in the way. I agreed that I should not disrupt, and made note that I actively avoided it by having a one on one with the speaker. The associate minister asked me to not do that again, and said he had gave my mom some books for me to read(Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig, and I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L Geisler and Frank Turek). Not sure if I'll read them. Craig is the idiot who just redressed Aquinas' first cause argument in slightly different terms and felt he had proven God. Strobel... well... having read the Case for Christ, and the Case for a Creator(great systematic chapter by chapter debunking here) I don't expect the Case for Faith to be any better. The other book I have no knowledge on, but the title reeks of ignorance.

Have any of you read them? If so, let me know what they were like.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What do Dracula, Frankenstein, Zombies, and Jesus Have in Common?

I'd have to say Jesus is the scariest. His followers are deadlier, creepier, and scarier than zombies, vampires, and Frankenstein combined.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Churching an Atheist: It takes Faith to be an Atheist?

I went to church tonight. I know, you are thinking "Why in the fuck would you do that?"

The reason I went was to get my mind of some things. I figured that there would be no better way than challenging some Christians in the nature of their theology. It was interesting. The lesson started by asking us questions with 2 answers. The first answer was 'from Satan' and the second was 'from God' and, as I expected, I was 100% satanic. The teacher(Devin) asked how we should deal with hardship, and of course someone(Brittany) said 'praying to God.' Devin said that was a good answer, but I asked him how you account for people like me who asked God for help again and again and again and felt nothing.  Brittany responds 'take it on faith that God will help.' I start to chuckle, and Devin correctly noted that that was unlikely to sway a skeptic like me. Yet, after getting that right, he fails by making the old 'atheism takes as much faith as believing in god does' which I brought up after class to him.

I told him that Atheism is not a matter of faith. He stated that it does, because being certain there is no god is just as much a mater of faith as being certain there is a god. I told him that that is not what an atheist is. An atheist is anyone who does not positively affirm the existence of god. I then stated that assuming nonexistence until evidence of existence is the rational way to go. After all, you wouldn't believe in a two horned purple unicorn just because I said so, would you? He responded with a 'but you take history books on faith because you weren't there' argument, which is foolish. Saying that a reliable well documented source takes faith to believe in the same way that the words of a bunch of ancient goat herders does is quite a stretch. It was after this that I had to leave.

I intend for this to be a weekly feature, on Sundays(or the occasional Wednesday), entitled "Churching an Atheist"

EDIT: remembered something after posting. I had a member of the group admit to me that they didn't believe in god. That first dissenting voice makes the second easier. I will keep their identity secret because a few members of the church may read this blog.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Update on the situation with my mom

I talked to her about the note she wrote, and she said that it was hard to talk about the subject without crying, because she is disappointed. She said that she went full circle in letting me go, from 'hell no, you can move out if you want to do that' to 'whatever, he's 19' to 'he can go, but think about it.'

She wants me to think if it is something I really want to do. she thinks it is a rash decision that i might regret later, saying 'Why did you let me do that?' What she doesn't seem to get is that I would never regret an attempt to expand my intellectual horizons, even if it fails.

In any event, I will give it serious thought as she asked. Don't foresee changing my mind though.

Good and Bad News

First the good: I get to go to Skepticon! WOOT!

Now the bad: My mom is a religious nutball(to borrow a phrase from Mojoey). Then again, we've all known that since I first asked to go to Skepticon, didn't we?

I asked again, since she said she would do some 'soul searching'. She said she'd let me know the next day. I come home the next day, and, lo and behold, what do I see on my desk but this letter(my responses are bellow it, numbered, corresponding to superscript numbers):
            I can’t express enough how much it breaks my heart to see you stray away from God.  I am heartbroken and I love you.  I know what will be presented at the convention (here is what one internet site had to say) : “The speakers will provide many of the reasons that belief in god is not only indefensible, but harmful to society as a whole.  Our presenters will suggest ways to combat faith in government and in general. They will also rebut many of the common arguments in defense of belief in god.”  This will be extremely harmful to you spiritually.
Im not spiritual, so why should I care if it damages that?
 I know you think this is your belief, but I remember you being very different.  I remember you being zealous to attend church and to be baptized into Christ.  Was that all a show, or is this all a show?  Have you changed, really? 
 Both my Christianity and atheism were sincere. I truly have changed. alot. Im much happier now, due to no longer having cognitive dissonance from trying to make the bible and fact coexist.
 Eternal salvation and forgiveness is nothing to tamper with.  Seriously consider your spiritual options.  Don’t make any rash decisions just because your friends think this way.  Dare to be different, and stand out in the world.
My friends DON'T think that way. I have lost more friends for being openly atheist than I have gained. How exactly is it being different by following a belief followed by 76% of the USA?
 I know not all Christians, including myself, want to be too different from the world, but can you at least try?  Don’t let some Christians give all Christians a bad name. 

            I know you feel you are making an intellectual decision based on the literature you have read.  I can’t argue with you here, because I have not read all the literature.  As you have currently come to believe that the Bible is false, perhaps some of the literature you have read is actually false.  Consider this as an option.
It could be wrong, but all the evidence points to it being right. If it turns out to be false, I will accept that.
  The air we breathe cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelled, or touched, yet it most certainly exists.  The force of gravity cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelled, or touched, yet we know that it exists. 
You feel air every time there is a breeze, and feel gravity when ever we come back down after a jump.
Emotions, values, beliefs, and thoughts cannot be found by using any of our senses, yet they are as real as rocks and trees.  Emotions can be “felt”, but this feeling is not physical.  Thus, simply because something cannot be found through the use of the five senses does not mean that it does not exist.
  There are things beyond the human senses that we know exist, but we know they exist because of empirical evidence. Not some goat-herders writings, but science.
  I realize you may not feel God in your life right now, but He is there and still loves you and is willing to forgive you.  I still think God has a plan for you. 

            I’m not only worried about your spiritual well-being, but Tommy’s[my brother] as well.  For this reason, I will not allow any atheist talk around him.  As his mother, I absolutely will not tolerate it.
I accept that. It is her right to raise her kid that way. Now, I will have discussions with him if he so desires, but I won't bring it up, for now.
            Now to answer your question, “Can I go to the convention?”  First, I want you to know that I don’t want you to go because I believe it will harm you and take you farther from God.  That being said, as an adult, you must now make your own decisions. 
Finally something we agree on!
I will always love you no matter what, and I pray for the time when we will share in a common faith and love for God again.  Please make your decision carefully and remember that just as Jesus’ door is always open, all you have to do is knock, so will mine.

UPDATE: I talked to my mom.

I've found my Halloween Costume for next year!

It is awesome!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Carnival of the Godless #129

I would first off like to welcome you to my blog, as im sure 90% of you haven't been here before. It's a nice place, and just crazy enough for a carnival. Anywhoo... where was I? Oh yes...

Welcome to the 128th edition of the Carnival of the Godless! I hope you enjoy it, and find the posts as fascinating as I did.

Michael Meadon presents On the Evils of Religion posted at Ionian Enchantment. It is a neat post, detailing the view that it is the traits of religion, not religion itself, that is the great evil.

Eric Michael Johnson posts Science and the Worship of Truth at The Primate Diaries, which details the problems with the old 'science is a religion' canard.

Zhu bring us It's Okay Not To Believe from Correr Es Mi Destino. He shows why prosthelytizing is pointless.

Rick Foreman has Moses Goes Down (in flames) In the Promised Land at Waiting for the Singularity. He tells us of just how lacking evidence is for the Exodus.

Reed Braden presents God IS Allowed in Schools and Secularism is NOT Hatred posted at The Gaytheists. He points out that God is not barred at school on a personal level, and that secular edducation is not an attack on christianity.

Michael Fridman shows the flaws in Arguing For God's Existence From Objective Morality at a Nadder! He brings us a retort to William Lane Craigs 'objective morality' proof of god.

Jeffrey Stingerstein brings up Martyrdom and the Victim Mentality of Christians posted at Disillusioned Words. He gives his perspective on just why exactly that Christians have a martyrdom complex.

That's it for this Carnival! Hope you enjoyed it, and found a few new blogs to follow. Submit your posts for the next one here!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Atheist Trap

This is just pure AWESOME!

via Friendly Atheist

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Relating to my Last Post

Seems to fit in well with my last post

Christian Inconsistency

Many Christians are very hypocritical in their beliefs. They claim the bible is the inerrant word of god, and that, because of that, it is the absolute standard of morality. I will cover that in a later post. For now, I will focus on the hypocrisy of  how some verses seem to be more inerrant than others. For example, the above picture refers to how Leviticus 18:22 is devine eternal truth for saying
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
 yet a few chapters later in 21:5 it says
Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies
 yet every priest and pastor I know cuts their hair. Hell, some even get John Edwards style $200 haircuts. That money could be better spent feeding the poor. But who feeds the poor. I mean, the only people who do that are stupid commie liberal hippie douches like Jesus. And no self respecting Christian wants to be like that liberal pussy.

a few more ignored verses:

Women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. (1 Corinthians 14:34)
This verse is ignored, as evidenced by.... well, the fact that women speak in church. This verse is not completely ignored though. It is used to justify the fact that women are to be subservient and to obey the man. So, not only is this verse not taken for what it says, but it is twisted to mean what the Christians want.
"One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the congregation of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 23:2)
 This one is of personal interest to me, because i was born out of wedlock. Yet, I was allowed into the church just fine. Christians will say "That is the Old Testament, done away with by Jesus." The problem with that is that Jesus himself said
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Mathew 5:17-20)
This is a sign that ALL of the bible is to be followed. Yes, that means you should detest homosexual behavior, but it also means you shouldn't eat shellfish, pig, and consider women to be dirty for 7 days after their period, just to name a few.

If Christians want to be homophobic bigots in the name of 'following the bible' they need to start following the inconvenient verses as well.

UPDATE: saw a youtube video today relating to this

Friday, October 23, 2009

Windows 7 Review

Im now using windows 7(after staying up till 3:20 am in the morning yesterday setting it up). I really like it. It is the fastest and easiest to use operating system I have ever used. It required some tweaking(less than any other os though), but this is expected given that I want it to fit me perfectly, and now it does.

7 is faster and more responsive. My bootup in Vista was around 1:15, and 7 was just 37 seconds(although to be fair, Vista was a used install, and 7 is brand new). It uses less ram too. It idles at around 940 mb of ram, as opposed to just over 1.5gb ram in vista. this, combined with a better desktop manager, speed everything up a lot!

Jumplists are great. being able to right click my browser icon and open a page from the history is neat. The new taskbar is a little big, but im used to it now. I like being able to reorganize window order on the taskbar.

All in all, the new features are great, but the massive drop in resource usage is the big plus.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Windows 7

I have been hitting it heavy on the Atheism posts to start with, but, as I said in my introductory post, I am also a nerd, and will write about Tech. I decided today to make my first technology post about Windows 7. For those of you who don't know, it is Microsoft's next version of Windows, set to release Thursday. Windows 7 has many perks over Vista:

  1. It's shiny! - The new Aero tweaks make 7 look cooler. One neat difference is that the taskbar and the title bar stay transparent when maximized, which was sadly lacking in Vista.
  2. It's faster - it starts up quicker and is more responsive. A new desktop window manager driver update makes it use less memory as well.
  3. Libraries - Having 1 music folder that displays everything from several locations is useful.
  4. New taskbar - the new taskbar is very different from Vista's. It will get it's own post after I install 7 on thursday. It now puts all instances of 1 application in one icon. Yay for saving space! It also has a dedicated Show Desktop button.
  5. Jump lists - little popups that come up with a right click on a taskbar icon. these can contain anything the developer chooses. Frequently browsed web sites in Internet Explorer, favorite songs in Windows Media Player
  6. Tons of little things - Easier control of User Account Control, better wifi management, being able to easily 'snap' a window to 1 side of the screen.
All in all, 7 looks great. I cant wait for Thursday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Coming and Going of Faith

I am a stubborn individual. I don't change my mind easily, but when I do, I go with it 100%. As a young child I wasn't very religious. I believed in that Jesus guy that my mom read to me at bedtime, but I also believed in the tooth fairy. I went to a Catholic church, but was too young to really understand it. I stopped going to church at 5 years old, because my mom split up with her then boyfriend(what a devout faith... held together by someone else's attendance, which was in turn held by his mother's insistence). After that, it wasn't really a subject until my cousin's fire and brimstone hell talk, mixed with insistence of an impending rapture scared the shit out of me.

After that, I insisted that we find a church. We did, and I latched to it. As a socially ostracized 14 year old, who could not find acceptance from his peers due to a disability, I would have taken any acceptance. I probably would have agreed to fellatiate a priest if it would have given me a group I could call friends. I began going regularly and loved it. I soaked up all the bible I could, learning all I could about it. To quote the 'good book' itself:
in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. - Philipians 3:5-6
I was like Paul, a religious fanatic. I learned all I could about the bible. I was that annoyingly overt Christian who prosthelytized and preached to anyone who would listen.

It was because of this 'full throttle' faith, I knew a lot about the bible, which enabled me to see it's contradictions. I realized that there is no solid evidence to prove the bible, and, in fact, plenty of evidence against it.

Once my Christianity waned, I became a deist. I realized that science explained our universe's nature, and how humans came about, yet fell for the fallacy that because we don't know the origin of life, or how the universe began, goddidit! I soon realized that such logic was flawed. You can't insert god into any gap you find and call it evidence. It was then that I became an agnostic, based on the view that because we have no evidence either way, we should just leave it as a giant cosmic maybe. The problem I found with this was that it could be applied to anything. I could use that argument to 'prove' the Flying Spaghetti Monster, UFO's, Bigfoot, or, my personal favorite, Russell's Teapot. It is logical and scientific to begin with a null hypothesis, aka 'It doesn't exist until proven otherwise.' It was then that I became an atheist(although, if we are going by the actual meaning of the word, I was an atheist as soon as I didn't ascribe to theism).

Looking back, I am thankful for going to church. It showed me the flaws in religious thinking that I otherwise may have ignored in stubbornness. I feel like there is something I'm forgetting, but if I remember, I will post it later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I've Been Added to the Atheist Blogroll!

Yup, That's right, Nonreligious Nerd has been added to the Atheist Blogroll. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a collection of atheist blogs from all around the world. You can see the most recent updated blogs in my sidebar. To join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

Excellent Commentary About Prop 8 Lies

Via: Gaytheists

Friday, October 16, 2009

Atheist Beliefs

I saw this of Friendly Atheist here, and it got me thinking. Religion is an apathy tool. It allows you to be lazy and do nothing, yet not feel bad. Starving children? pray about it. Thousands dead in a tragedy? Give a heartwarming sermon. Without the 'get out of guilt free' card of religion, we, as atheists, are typically more motivated to action on the causes we care about. We strive to better ourselves, instead of praying a magic sky fairy will do it for us.

Religiously Fueled Hate

This picture sums up my experiences with many Christians. They shun and disapprove of me because I fit into many of those items.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Honest Inquiry by Christians?

When you see the above picture, who do you think made it? Secular Student Alliance? nope. Secular Coalition for America? guess again! would you guess a Christian group? Neither would I, but that is what happened at Purdue. A Christian group put up a sign saying "I hate religion because..." for the purpose of understanding the nontheist viewpoint. This is surprising, given how many christians 'understanding' of atheism consists of "I understand that you are wrong!" I applaud this group for doing more than that, and actually caring about our reasons for unbelief.

Via BlagHag

Would you stone your child to death for swearing at you?

The bible commands it, among other things, which Christians selectively ignore.

Credit goes to Gaytheists for the link.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Abstinence 99.99% Effective

Just saw this, thanks to a friend, and I had to post it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Living in a religious home.

Im an atheist living in a religious home. It is a struggle. Here is my situation: My mother, who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible, is a member of The Church of Christ in the town where I live. She and my brother go every Sunday. Then there is my Step-Dad. He is vehemently opposed to organized religion, and see's all religious people as filthy hypocrites. Yet, strangely enough, he reacted most negatively to me not believing in god. He got mad, and called me a hypocrite, for reasons I still do not understand. My mothers reaction was 'Ok.' followed by denial, and demand that I drop the subject if ever brought up.

Knowing how my situation is, I was wary of asking to go to Skepticon II. but I was tired of hiding who I am, and I wanted to go, as it is by far the closest a meetup has ever been to my location. So I asked my mom if I could go, and her response was "You know I don't approve of that!" To which I responded "I know, but it is part of who I am." She then asked me why I didn't believe, and I responded with the fact that there is, at the very least, lack of evidence for God. She then asked if I believed that Jesus had actually lived, because that "has proof outside the bible." I responded that if she was referring to Josephus, his writings on Jesus consist of 2 references, 1 shown to be a fraud, and the other to be rather vague. At this point she just said "Whatever, I don't want to talk about it!"

She then shifted into saying that she didn't know if she could allow me to do something like expressing myself (in a way that didn't fit her dogma) while living in her house. In essence she said that I cannot be who I am, because It bothers her. She did say she would "do some soul searching" and let me know if I could go to skepticon. So I remain hopeful. I will let you all know if I can attend.

UPDATE: I can go! Sadly, it is not all good though.

Frist psot!

This is the all important introduction post! I'll keep it short and simple, and tell you what this blog will discuss:

  • Atheism, agnosticism, humanism, and the recent events effecting these groups, as well as other related groups.
  • Technology. I'm not just an atheist, I am also a geek. so occasionally there will be tech posts, but this is first and foremost about atheism
  • Random Shit: I have a life, and some of the events therein will spill into this blog.
Also, as I'm sure you can tell by bullet point number 3, there will be swearing here. It will be kept to a reasonably low degree, but I offer this disclaimer here and now so you don't expect this blog to be PG.

Another post coming soon!