Indistinguishable from fiction

When we see thinking that is wrong we have to say, in the kindest and most helpful tone possible, perhaps, that it is wrong. For example, the earth is roughly 4 billion years old. If someone wants to claim it is 10,000 years old, they need to be told they are wrong. The writings of superstitious Bronze Age mystics can’t be taken as credible evidence for such a theory given the overwhelming evidence for a very old earth. The two theories are unequal by a long shot.

When I dismiss the Bible as “the writings of superstitious Bronze Age mystics” I am not trying to be disrespectful, I’m trying to be accurate. A depiction of the authors of the Bible as holy men in direct contact with god is fanciful in any rational sense. The same is true with the notions of heaven, hell, original sin, divine conception, resurrection, Doom’s Day, and so on. They are indistinguishable from fiction. None of it meets any of the standards that we have for considering something “believable”. Every religion has as much direct evidence as the ancient Greeks and Romans had for Zeus and Venus. I’m not trying to be unkind, I’m stating an obvious fact.

But I recognize that this fact still befuddles many people. They believe in god and they believe in an afterlife and they are not at all ready to listen to what I’m saying. That’s fine. I’m not on a mission of conversion. I think it is important that people think rationally — religion is a corruption of the mind in this sense. It helps keep the door open to dogmatic, arbitrary and wholly unsupported thinking. Furthermore, such beliefs are considered to be “off the table”. Under the guise of respect we treat fanciful mythology as perfectly acceptable.

Why? The more you think about it the more it boggles the mind.

I must add my standard atheist disclaimer: I don’t know if there is a god or not and I don’t know what happens when you die. I’ve calculated the odds of each and found the likelihood vanishingly small. My calculation is subject to change. There is no faith in my position.

(This started as a comment.)

Indistinguishable from fiction

At least 65,000 Catholics are retards

From Fox News:

Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama’s scheduled May 17 commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, saying the president’s views on abortion and stem cell research “directly contradict” Roman Catholic teachings.

It’s hard for me to even comment on this. How weak is your goddamn faith if you can’t hear THE PRESIDENT OF THE FUCKING UNITED STATES SPEAK AT YOUR UNIVERSITY.

Jesus Fucking Christ, these people are idiots.

At least 65,000 Catholics are retards

True Christians

From an interesting article at People for the American Way (via The Minnesota Independent)

“Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden sends a clear message, true Christians need not apply in the Democratic Party,” said Dr. Gary Cass, Chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. “Instead of picking a true Christian, Obama, a fake evangelical, has selected Biden, a fake Catholic.”

The CADC proclaims its mission is to “advance religious liberty for Christians by protecting Christians from defamation, discrimination, and bigotry from any and all sources,” but that apparently doesn’t apply to those it considers “fake” Christians such as Obama and Biden. It might seem odd that an organization founded to protect Christians from defamation would among the most frequently and vocally defaming Obama’s faith, but only if you don’t understand that Cass’s mission is reserved solely for those he deems “true Christians” who have proven their faith via “actions and [holding] the beliefs personified by all of us who proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as Savior: the need to be re-born in Christ and the affirmation of historic Christianity, having a demonstrable and proven record of support for traditional Christian morality.”

It’s hilarious that an organization with the words “Christian Anti-Defamation” in their name would defame the Christian faith of Obama and Biden.

I’m an atheist but I’ve read the New Testament several times, back when I was a Catholic, and these “true Christians” seem to me like the people who Jesus would rightly reject as hypocrites.

Beware of people who tell you what God wants. They are always delusional or liars.

True Christians

The real lesson of the Westboro Baptist Church

Here’s the deal — almost every thinking person thinks the Westboro Baptist Church is completely full of shit. They are evil, intolerant little fucks who put words into God’s mouth and act as if they have the complete and utter backing of the most supreme being in the universe, even as they spread hate and intolerance throughout the nation.

The problem is — they are no different from any other religious sect. ALL OF THEM make assumptions about what God wants and what God likes and doesn’t like. I don’t believe that any of you know what God wants. I don’t believe that any of you have some direct line of communication to God and I don’t believe that an ancient, tortured text like the Bible includes the true word of God in any way, shape or form.

So religion is arbitrary. It’s made up.

Now if you take as your initial premise that there is a God and that he did create and does interact with us pitiful humans, things get complicated. If you pull this initial premise out of your ass, it changes how you think about this stuff. You are assuming there is truth and you need to find those things which support it. You pick and choose from the Bible and make your own cafeteria-style faith based on your intuitions. It’s still just as arbitrary as the Westboro Baptist Church.

People accuse atheists of being moral relativists, but really it is religious people who invent a confused and contradictory morality out of thin air. This is why we have extremist Islam, fag-hating Christians and cults like the Mormons who have sex with minors and systematically abuse women.

Yes, many religious people are good people and many religious organization do good things in the world. But it’s all based on a house of cards and a fictional God and we are right to reject it.

The real lesson of the Westboro Baptist Church

PZ Myers is a great man

This is awesome:

The Great Desecration

Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanities’ knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma

PZ Myers is a great man

Catholics not allowed to pray for GLBT people

Uproar over prayer service for gays grows

The archdiocese is now dictating to people who they can and cannot pray for.

WWJD? Seriously, what the fuck would Jesus do? He would be at this prayer service.

As an ex-Catholic atheist, I see St. Joan of Arc Church as one of the few good Catholic churches left in the world.

Catholics not allowed to pray for GLBT people

Speaking of annoying

The Liberal Debutante posted Why Atheists Annoy Me. I’m sure she is a very nice, smart person but I find that article completely annoying because it repeats all the same, lame criticisms that atheists are constantly barraged with by theists. It gets even worse in the comments.

It’s annoying because the other side of this little debate is full of ridiculously self-righteous people who believe they are going to heaven and we are going to hell. They, in their weird little minds, literally have God on their side. If you take as your initial premise that your actions are sanctioned by God and those on the other side are damned by God, we are not going to have a real conversation. Thus, we don’t. Atheists do a great job of talking to other atheists and theists do a great job of talking to other theists. We virtually never really talk to each other. (I’ll point out as an exception my excellent interview with Ernan McMullin.)

So, to quickly run down her list, lectures are not annoying, conferences are not annoying, Dawkins is not annoying, intelligence should not even be on that list, atheists are probably the most open minded people on earth, to a degree that is shocking to many theists, atheists are positive and spirituality is a feeling that is always better explained with non-supernatural explanations.

Dear Katie, if your life is a monoculture of atheism, yes, you should be annoyed. If it’s not, please go back and delete this post!:) It’s the equivalent of writing a post called “Why Women Annoy Me”. Some women are annoying. Some men are annoying. Some theists are annoying. Some atheists are annoying. The list goes on and nothing good comes from it.

Speaking of annoying