Tag Archives: religion

And why shouldn’t I be “prejudiced” against Christians?

I don’t agree with what Dawkins retweeted. This website with its platitudes did not make me see a reason to become more accepting when dealing with irrational bigots. The only parts that spoke to me were the point that if you can’t correctly explain someone else’s argument and have it accepted, then you don’t understand it enough to refute it. Active listening is a problem in our society. Of course, theists are bad listeners and very impatient so you will not usually get that far.

The other line I liked from the comments is that “Perfection is the enemy of the good” -Volataire. I take it to mean that we must choose our allies and work for small changes if we are to be progressive, rather than being ideologically pure isolationists/special snowflakes. It’s true I don’t agree with Sam Harris on certain things, while he is clear minded and has insights in others and shouldn’t be shunned simply because he doesn’t fit into a familiar box idealize.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dogmadebate/2017/06/reasonably-controversial-regressive-left-killing-atheist-movement/

So if I agree with that, then what is the problem you ask? I’ll tell you. Reddit and others tell you to attack ideas and not people. So It’s okay to attack Christianity or Islam but not Christians or Muslims. I question why not?

The two are interwoven. If you are a Christian you subscribe to Christianity.

You will potentially act in ways that hurt me. If an skeptical atheist hears a voice and sees visions telling him to go to an abortion clinic and blow up some doctors, he will dismiss it and get psychiatric help. A Christian might too, but he could potentially think It’s the voice of God. That alone makes Christians a threat. And generally Christians are predictable, irrational bigots, and are relatively lame to hang out with. I feel justified in disliking Christians and attacking them along with Christianity. The only argument that might stay me is that attacking groups of people and/or individuals can sometimes be ineffective or counter-productive.

Moreover. I do not respect their underlying epistemology enough to even respect a difference of opinion as I might with someone who looked at the same set of facts I did, and came to another opinion of politics. That’s just finding a difference of view when there is a margin of doubt. But with Christians their underlying facts are definitely wrong. And if I attack Christianity you will still feel insulted that I don’t respect your core values, and react as though I attacked you personally. Why keep up the pretext of not attacking them? For civility? As Hitchens quipped, “Civility is overrated.”

Funeral Poems suck when you’re an Atheist

Being an Atheist makes funerals with burials especially tedious. There’s an unbelievable amount of mysticism and ritual, and I realized that I don’t think our culture is as emotionally mature as the Pirahã tribe who don’t believe in an afterlife, and just calmly think “Well, death sucks, but it happens.” Their Amazonian tribe buries their dead without any ceremonies, and without a coffins.In our culture we have days of viewings, we beat our chests to show our grief, pray, sing, recite poems, write  melancholic speeches called eulogies, and pay priests hundreds of dollars to preach at a funeral and sometimes talk about someone they probably haven’t even met. We make food and take photos, we look at pictures of the dead, put on suits, have pallbearers wear gloves, and drop flowers on the grave, we greet dozens of people and send cards with condolences, and if they’re Catholic or it’s a military funeral there’s even more pomp to keep you from doing anything else on that Sunday. And it’s not even over yet because anyone who pays four times more for burial rather than cremation is going to come back to the grave again.

Anyway, I was asked to recite a death poem at a funeral for Christians. What should I have done? I was seriously tempted to just troll them and quote Euphrates, or use a Japanese death poem:

Continue reading Funeral Poems suck when you’re an Atheist

So many Christians refuse to engage with a person’s arguments seriously on their own grounds without saying, “Mark Twain was agnostic and he railed against God because he became bitter when his daughter died.” Or, “Your kid turned atheist? He is just rebelling and he will pass through that phase.”

You hear it in politics too. “You’re a socialist? That’s because you’re young and brainwashed by the prevalent liberal education at universities nowadays. You wouldn’t think that way if you held a job for 20 years and saw the government stealing the money you worked for. I bet you’re on welfare and want more benefits without working.”

It is annoying to have to defend your character whenever you throw out any kind of statement. When they do this it is reductionist, if not outright incorrect to focus on another person’s psychology or life circumstances, and make that the dominant factor for understanding their views. Many of us can absorb facts and coolly come to conclusions analytically. I guess they mainly jump to conclusions on emotion and in response to events their life, and when dealing with others they imagine others must have come to conclusions by the same processes? Example:

“Something bad happened to him/someone in the family died? Well it’s no wonder he turned atheist, and let’s forget about what he is saying because that is the real reason. How pitiful.”

They like labels, and you can’t defend “child rape suspects” on any issue around those people without the nagging implication that you yourself must be a rapist! If they could run the government freely they’d have you tick a label for every little form you do.

Fullsized image

“Please God, our church wants you to alter your perfect plan”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/march/pay-to-pray-scam-christian-prayer-center-refund-millions.html

Fun fact, you can make a ton of money by offering to pray for people. ‘Cas more voices praying means God is more likely to hear you right? The worst offenders are the Catholics who pray for the president, the pope, the whole world, and for the souls of the dead so that they may leave limbo and go to heaven rather than to hell (assuming they haven’t thrown away enough parts of the bible to have abolished hell!)

Isn’t it silly that people think that God has a perfect “grand plan”, and yet by praying they can safely alter his grand plan? It’s selfish really, and as a theist I originally tried not to pray for big things or very much because of that. It was when I started praying for big things and I didn’t get so much as a miracle or an unambiguous divine answer like “I got your prayer and the answer is no” written by ants on the pavement or mail delivered by doves, that my doubts accelerated and brought me towards truth.

I can only hope that when kids pray for someone to get better at a hospital and it doesn’t happen, that they begin to question their own religion rather than to embrace it in hopes of seeing someone again.

God feels no sentimental value for Earth

paper mario prophecy.gif

Theists claim atheists have nothing to live for yet they themselves often believe in a religion that predicts the end of the world by their God. How can someone say that someone has nothing to live for when they themselves believe the whole of human civilization will end thus rendering everything they’ve done in life meaningless?

 They would say that they trust God so much they think heaven will be so much better that blowing up this world won’t matter, and that they’ll go there ‘cas they believe in God & Jesus. If either of those 2 conditions is false then we will all cease to exist (not because of a cosmic accident, but because of the deliberating plotting of a genocidal cosmic Hitler), or hell awaits. It’s utterly incomprehensible.

Of course blowing up the rock we live on “very soon™” is a huge waste of committed time and resources. God did say we were special. But even if there were other worlds that were more worth saving, it shouldn’t render us irrelevant.

I think it would be admirable if God/the gods choose to protect a place that wasn’t particularly extraordinary, like biologists or archaeologists who try to preserve historical things. It’d be like if a god choose to protect a barren asteroid from being destroyed by Satan simply because he had memories of meeting someone he loved for the first time there.

Pure sentimentality would justify it, if God felt anything had sentimental value. The fact he doesn’t care about our homeworld implies he doesn’t really love humans or his creation that much.

If he truly loved humans (at least as much as he loved the dinosaurs), then he would at the very least do his best to protect the place where he had many memories of us, (even after we’re gone.)

It’d also be the compassionate thing to do, like saving a wounded kitten (or putting it out of its misery) when you’re not obligated to go out of your way for someone else. There’s really just so much wrong with saying we’re special, and then destroying our homeworld with the same haste that a kid knocks over a sand castle.

sandcastle gods.jpg

Snapshot of Armageddon. It will be just as lame. Satan isn’t even in the picture, ‘cas he’s been defeated; it’s just God, Jesus and pitiful little you.

Future problems with Islam and Qibla

What direction does a Muslim astronaut pray in if he’s on Mars? If Earth is straight up that’s gonna strain your neck. Why don’t Muslims ever pray straight down? How do you determine qibla if you’re in a wormhole?

qibla on earth

Praying in a direct line to Mecca when off Earth, and praying in a curvilinear line while on Earth is inconstant to begin with. Jupiter and Hydra have ten hour long days, so you have to wake up to pray more right? Hydra has a tumultuous chaotic orbit – every time you pray you’d need to figure out your bearings because up and down change constantly. Imagine if there’s ever a major nuclear war and Muslims emerge from a fallout out shelter after 40 years, to find they lost track of time and were praying in the wrong direction.

hydra day

Good luck finding which way Mecca is let alone Pluto.

I want to see Muslims on an astronomical body that rotates hundreds of times in 24 Earth hours. And if there was no relativity then following Salah (prayer) times on a ship closely orbiting a millisecond pulsar would kill Muslims with insomnia.

> Astronauts will eventually use an atomic clock that’s adjusted to account for the current time in Mecca.

Now what about the effects of relativity? Days on high gravity bodies take longer. Are muslims gonna stop praying if they live by a blackhole and days stop progressing? Will the new plan to pray according to local times on a clock, not the sun? Or suns? You won’t be able to follow Mecca time when weeks of of your life equal a day on Earth.

What about if the sun or Earth die? Will they pray towards the dust? Do astronauts adjust the prayer times in accordance with the local sun(s)?

But here’s another one: how do you get buried facing Mecca on Hydra, much less Mara?

So here’s the problem with prayer times. Either:

1. Follow time in mecca

2. Follow a system clock

Trouble is you can’t do both with relativity. Time dilation messes it all up. How many days on Earth pass for years lived by a black hole. Suspended animation on a colony ship also would result in sleeping through prayers towards mecca. Traveling close to the speed of light would make days in mecca speed by in hours or minutes on your ship.

For number 2, every single ship in the universe will wind up with its own time. All clocks tuned to absolute mecca time will glitch up and require offsets as the ships start accelerating and decelerating around stars. Two ships that left Earth at the same time traveling to the same destination at different speeds will still quickly develop different “Mecca clocks” and would pray at different times. If one crashed and had to be rescued by the other, the clocks would not agree and the crew would all pray at different times.

Praying together as one quickly becomes impossible in space.

mars and islam

Here’s another astronomy one. A fatwa was recently issued barring all Muslims from going to Mars. Would that stop you from going if the chance were there? Supposing even that space travel was a one way trip?

Not that I expect answers to those questions since Quranic thinking says the Earth is flat.

islamic science

Silly virgin saints

This story is so unbelievable. A girl is killed by the Roman emperor because she is so good at converting pagans. He orders her to be tied to a breaking wheel so her body may be broken, but when she touches the wheel it shatters! So he beheads her instead. Hundreds of years later her body is found, unchanged!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_of_Alexandria

She was a virgin too-which mattered to the writers of her obituary! Of course, there is no evidence she existed.