Category Archives: Atheism

We All Deserve Hell And Anything Better Warrants Profuse Gratitude

This is about the recent Baltimore riots and, more specifically, the reactions to it partly by people I know.  If you’re sick of hearing about this topic, be forewarned.  It is also likely to be long and meandering just like the conversation that sparked it.  I stayed out of the conversation because I did not want to interact with the kind of people which it attracted and I could not think of any constructive way to pithily say what needed to be said.  Plus, this is Facebook we’re talking about here.  Nuff said.

It all started with a friend posting a link to the Baltimore riots with the personal comment, “Looks like a great application for rubber bullets. There’s nothing that protects these people, as they are not “peacefully” protesting.”  Normally, I would let a tone-deaf and completely lacking of a shred of empathy comment go because, again, Facebook.  You have to pick your battles and the rest of the conversation got worse very quickly.  But since I’m here writing about it, rubber bullets kill people.  By making that comment, you’re basically condemning a certain amount of the rioters and likely some innocent bystanders to serious injury or death.  Not to mention, “these people”, seriously?  How you use words matter.  Using “these people”, “those people”, “you people” is using language couched in a very long history of racism.  You may not mean it as racist, but it sure makes you sound the part.  That a person would use language like that shows a profound lack of historical context at the very best.  How difficult would it to have come up with “these rioters”?

I continued to read the comments because I’m stupid.  What followed was, again, many comments that can, at the very best interpretation, be considered as showing a profound lack of historical context.  The one comment that really set my teeth on edge was from a person who apparently gets all her history lessons by reading Bill O’Reilly books because she said the following when commenting about how horrible these rioters are: “What did the black community in America do when Dr. King was shot? Murdered, some say, by the whites in power who didn’t want the blacks to be equal. What did they do? Burn down buildings? Throw bricks at cops? Etc? No. They MADE A DIFFERENT CHOICE.”  Holy fuck me with a sharp stick, Batman.  This comment shows just how completely Martin Luther King Jr.’s message has been usurped by the Right to attack any sort of violent actions by Blacks in America.  I felt sure that someone would have corrected that ahistorical drivel so I continued reading.  Not a single word.  For those of you that may be unaware, some of the worse rioting in American history happened after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  Hundreds of people were killed.  Not to mention, marches by the good Doctor also sometimes turned violent after severe provocation by police.  Police often are the instigators of riots either on purpose, Birmingham for example, or accidentally as some evidence out of Baltimore is now showing where it appears they prevented school children from getting home in a timely manner by cancelling bus and train routes that they use, thus forcing large groups to congregate in small spaces and then came at them with full riot gear.

The same woman also had the nerve to suggest that people would just ignore her opinion because she was white: “I’m not wrong. I’m just white, so my opinion doesn’t count, right?”  Um, no.  You are wrong because your opinions are so obviously based on a severe lack of understanding of the issues at hand that you should be embarrassed to even state an opinion.  This is a fundamental problem with humanity that causes many wrongs.  People feel like they need to have an opinion.  You don’t.  It’s ok to say, “Race relations in America have a complex and vast history and my life is too busy for me to even try to get into it so I’m going to just sit back and soak up the conversation about this topic I know nothing about.”  I don’t exclude myself from that criticism as, I’m sure, I am at times guilty of it.  That’s again why I try to pick my battles on Facebook to topics I know a fair amount about.

The conversation then turned Religulous.  The true source of these riots is lack of morals and loss of faith.  That sort of nonsense.  Things are bad now because of lack of faith in God, but things are better than they were then because of God.  My view is that things are as they always have been and very little has changed.  (*sarcasm* But Obama!)  Again, I tend to ignore stuff like this unless I have something useful to say and I would have this time too except that the original poster then said what you see in the subject line.  Here’s the entire context: “Most Americans believe that the world owes them something. Regardless of race, college students indicate that they deserve a job, those without means believe that they’re entitled to welfare, those without health insurance believe they’re entitled to health care, etc. Wealthy people and those in power feel they deserve the lifestyle they want, even at the expense of others. Most young people believe they deserve 15 minutes of fame. The fact is, people aught to care for one another and one another’s needs, but in the grand scheme of things, we all deserve hell and anything better warrants profuse gratitude.”  I am not sure I have ever heard a sentence more filled with poison than that last sentence.  That it is also couched in the context of a religion of supposed peace makes it all the more vile.  Anything better than hell warrants profuse gratitude.  Profusely grateful to whom?  I am poor and have cancer and my governor refused Medicaid expansion which means there’s no money to pay for my treatment and I’m going to die, but thank you government!  Profusely!  I lost my job because of the at best immoral and at worse illegal actions of a few people and the government rewards those people by bailing them out and not prosecuting them, but at least I get food stamps so I don’t die of starvation for a limited time dictated by a group of people who can not even begin to imagine the situation I am in, but thank you government!  Profusely!

There is an idiotic attack against Atheists that asks, If Atheists don’t believe in God how can they believe in right and wrong?  It’s idiotic because there are plenty of examples of Atheists being just as moral and upstanding as any Theists.  Not high praise, I know, but the point is Atheists are subject to the same mutually agreed upon morality as the rest of the world but just disagree with the source of said morality.  If religion in America is going to continue on the “we all deserve hell and anything better warrants profuse gratitude” track that it seems to be on, Atheists are going to win this morality battle just as surely as same-sex marriage proponents will win theirs.

I should also mention that I don’t mean to sound like the entire conversation was horrible.  There are some very intelligent and well thought out responses to a lot of what was talked about.  There are people, both black and white, that seem to get it.  We’re still a long way from the end of this particular conversation, though.

An Entertainment Complex In The Middle Of A Sewage System

Oh, Neil deGrasse Tyson, why must you be so awesome?

When giving a speech on Intelligent Design, he had a segment about how stupidly designed the entire universe is.  He went on to describe how stupidly designed humans are.  He called the human reproductive system “an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system.”  He also railed about the idiocy of using the same mouth to both breath, talk, and eat guaranteeing that a certain portion of the population will choke to death every year.  No engineer worth a damn would ever have created the human.

The larger point of the speech is that every well known scientist in history has proclaimed Intelligent Design in their careers to describe what they can’t describe despite the fact that someone came along later to fill in the gaps.  It’s even true today to a lesser extent.  85% of the top scientific minds in the world do not believe in god but what about the other 15%?  If the scientific community can’t even convert that 15%, what can they possibly expect to establish inroads with the general population who have no idea how science actually works.  The answer is you can’t.

You should watch the speech in its entirety.  It’s well worth it.


Happy National Day Of Reason!

The American Humanist Association has declared the first Thursday of May to be a National Day of Reason.  That’s today!  It’s the Humanist answer to the National Day of Prayer.  They are trying to get it recognized by the Federal Government and you can sign their petition if you so choose.  The idea behind the National Day of Reason is to get people to recognize that good works are not tied to faith and is meant to include all Americans in a way that the National Day of Prayer does not.

This year, the National Day of Reason has some Congresscritter support.  My favorite non-voting member of Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Michael Honda (D-CA) have issued statements praising the National Day of Reason.  So yeah, not so much support.  Yet.

To celebrate National Day of Reason, I think it’s important to list a few “controversial” but true statements.

  • Vaccines save millions more lives than they harm and they are most effective when the entire population is vaccinated.  To rail against vaccines is to put our most vulnerable in danger.
  • Evolution does not have all of the answers, but it is the only theory that is based on rigorous scientific study.  It explains what we’ve seen and it has predicted what we’ve discovered.  To actively disbelieve evolution is to be willfully ignorant of how science works.
  • Homeopathy is a scam that feeds on the fears of people looking for an easy cure.  To take homeopathic medicine is to drink tap water.  Literally.
  • Critical thinking skills are the most important skills to have if your goal is to make reality based decisions.
  • Being able to check your cognitive biases is the penultimate skill to have to make sure your critical thinking is sound.

Spread the Reason!

This Is What Happens When You Put Your Faith In One Man

Dan Piraro, author of the comic Bizarro, wrote a mildly amusing comic of two birds, one of them a cardinal wearing the Pope’s mitre and the other bird exclaiming to the cardinal, “You wish!”

Like I said, mildly amusing.  But he also writes a blog to go along with the comic.  And it is devastating in its succinctness.  Money quote:

Millions of people all over the world are so dedicated to the belief that this one man, elected by other men, is divinely ordained by GOD that they will do anything he says, no matter how foolish or dangerous. The most conspicuous of these dangerous edicts is the condemnation of birth control and condoms. If but one man in a very fancy dress said it was okay to use birth control, millions of babies each year would not be born into poverty and subsequently die of malnutrition and disease. If he encouraged the use of condoms, untold numbers of people would be protected from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, thus avoiding the suffering and death of millions more. These facts are undeniable and serve to illustrate in gory detail how dangerous the human inclination toward superstition can be.

Ouch.  Dan’s not the first to express such a sentiment, but he does so better than most.  Of course, people like Dan aren’t going to change the Pope’s mind.  I doubt anything would.  Religion’s control of an individual’s sexual identity is its main weapon in controlling the individual.  If you’re told that your natural thoughts are impure, you’ll inevitably believe that you’re impure.  If you believe you’re impure, you’ll believe you need the church.  If you believe you need the church, you’ll give them your money.  If you give them your money, they’ll spread their control to others.  And the vicious circle continues.

Fanatical Religious Nutjob Of The Day

The lunatics are in control of the asylum over in North Carolina.  Two Republican lawmakers are pushing a resolution declaring that the state/county/city has the authority to establish an official religion and write religious laws.  Clearly, these two are crypto-islamo-fascist Muslims hoping to stealthily bring Sharia Law to North Carolina.  They must be stopped!

Their laughable claim is that the U.S. Constitution only prevents the establishment of a national religion.  Smaller municipalities are free to do as they please in this regard.  I guess that means states can restrict speech as much as they want as well.  And your county can restrict who you choose to associate with.  And your city can prevent you from petitioning the government.

This whole affair stems from a lawsuit filed against a county that starts their commissioners meeting with a prayer.  They filed the resolution to show their solidarity with the commissioners.  There are many of these lawsuits being filed across the country.  The basic argument is that saying a Christian prayer at the beginning of a governmental meeting is establishing a religion and goes against the First Amendment.  Most of the lawsuits are fought against vigorously by the local governmental body being sued.

Thanks to these two bumbling lawmakers, though, this is the first one that has hit the national spotlight.  And it really gets to the heart of why the prayers are illegal and that fighting the lawsuits is a colossal waste of taxpayer money.  They are all but admitting that the prayer is similar to establishing a religion.  And there is plenty of precedent showing that the establishment of a religion is illegal no matter how far down the governmental ladder you go.  Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, North Carolina.

How Dare You Call Me A Bibliophile!

Ray Comfort, who you may know from “the banana is the ultimate creation of god” fame, took great offense at a person who called him/herself a bibliophile.  He threatened to ban that person if s/he dared to call any other Christian a bibliophile.  Oh, Mr. Comfort, why must you make it so easy?

To his credit, he did apologize after the person explained the definition to him.  (He thought that “bibliophile” was an Atheist slur against Christians and was a combination of “bible” and “pedophile”.)  It goes to show how intellectually incurious the man is, though.  Instead of using a dictionary that is literally at his fingertips, he decides to take offense and threaten a challenger.

Tim Minchin Has Seen The Light…

…and renounced his heathen ways!


Or not.

You Thought YOUR Mail Delivery Was Bad, Try Being An Atheist!

This is amusing.  A company from Germany named Atheist noticed that products shipped to the United States were very often experiencing delays without any noticeable cause.  The only thing that they did differently than any other company is they had “Atheist” labelled on their packing tape.  Could that be the cause?  To find out, they did what any good scientist would do; they ran an experiment.

They sent two packages to 89 individuals in the U.S. on the same day.  One had the “Atheist” packing tape and the other had unlabeled packing tape.  The two boxes should arrive at the same time, yes?  The result?  The “Atheist” boxes took 3 days longer to arrive at their destination.  Of the 178 packages they sent out, 10 were lost.  Only one of the lost packages had the unlabeled packing tape.  This shows a significant bias against “Atheist” branded packaging.  No states were immune from the bias.

They also did similar experiments with other countries and found no such bias.  The United States, apparently, has a unique bias against Atheists.  And, for now, packages sent to the U.S. will no longer have the “Atheist” packing tape.

Ah, The “History” Channel

So, the History Channel is apparently showing a “history of the bible” mini-series.  This dude sums it up for you so you don’t have to waste your time.  NSFW language.


No More Eating Babies

The word has come down from on high (or up from down low), atheists will no longer eat babies.  I fully expect many atheists to switch back to Christianity because of this edict.  Baby eating was one of the best parts of being an atheist.  For those of you just joining Mr. Deity, the woman is Satan and  the man she’s talking to is Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists.  The really crappy background noise is supposed to be flames, I think.