The value of religion

January 3, 2016 by

I understand that belief in a god might have some value.

And that the same could be said for going through the rituals of worship services- whether a god is believed in or not.

I know the value of community that can be had by belonging, and by believing in something/someone watching out for you.

After my daughter died, my parents- who are active church members- got many sympathy cards. I got 4. I think. My parents were offered lots of food (they turned down the offers because we all had to travel to the services and the food would have been wasted). My parents’ church did give me a Thanksgiving box, probably because my parents were involved.

I got lots of love and support from online acquaintances and friends, but almost none locally.

So, I see the value.

I just can’t become a part of that community when I don’t believe in their imaginary friend. As much as I might sometimes want the support system that comes with it. I know from previous experience I can’t keep my mouth shut when absurd claims- lacking in scientific understanding, historical evidence, or simple logic- are made. I can be a pain. So I might not get much support anyway.

In this area, if you want a social life you must belong to a church, be a sports fan, or worship government. I do none of those so I am on my own.


“Vote the Bible”

December 19, 2015 by

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said “Vote the Bible”?

What? Vote the Bible? Why not rape the Bible? If you can vote Biblically, then you could do anything Biblically.

If you are going to try to justify one act of aggression with the book, why not try to justify other acts of aggression with the same book?

It’s disgusting that anyone could even believe such a thing, and then openly advertise their ignorance for everyone to see.

But, that’s why they are delusionoids.

Comfort in atheism?

November 23, 2015 by

Worst week of my life… and I’ve had some doozies in the past.

My young adult daughter was killed in a car accident. Her death was quite probably instantaneous- she may not have even seen the other car coming in time for it to register. The loss of my beloved daughter hurts- as it should.

This, of course, brought out the religious crazies, with their “god’s plan”, “god knows your time”, etc. Not actually helpful.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate those who say they are praying for me. In a situation like this, no one can fix it. I see prayer as a desperate attempt to grasp at straws when you can’t actually do anything. I accept what they offer in the spirit in which it is offered. What else can I do?

But, surprisingly, my absence of faith in superstitious things has brought me some comfort.

Unlike religious people, there’s never the fear she’s burning in Hell. I don’t have to question why god would allow such a thing to happen. I don’t even have a reason to get angry at god. Things happen.

I know her suffering is over. She’s not thinking of me, or watching over me. She’s just gone. To her… there is no more her. Just as it was at the Big Bang, and so it will be when the last proton that was once a part of her body decays in trillions of years. She is no more. Period.

Someday I will be the same.

That’s not to say I don’t have memories of her. And pictures and videos and gifts she gave me. I have those things, and I treasure them. I still love her, and always will.

I also cry because she’s gone. I will miss her all the rest of my life. I feel insecure about life, and suffering. I hurt along with the Christians in my family. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.

But to say that Christians are somehow saved some of the grief atheists are doomed to suffer is ridiculous. They may (or may not) hide it better- and that varies by individual- but I’ve never seen a consistent difference.

Who’s stalking whom?

November 1, 2015 by

When I read a person’s religious blog post or Facebook post, I don’t comment. I just move on to something else.

However, I notice religious people simply can’t bring themselves to do the same. Or so it appears.

Anywhere they think they can insert their religion, they do.

Constantly, after I comment on someones science post, or their religion-mocking post, religious people come running.

I posted a nice picture of myself wearing my Halloween costume yesterday. Nothing evil or Satanic, even. But the very first comment was to tell me that I was now going to spend eternity in Hell. Because I wore a costume on Halloween, which meant I was participating in a Satanic ritual.

My reply was that any Supreme Being who would see this as the deciding factor isn’t one I want to be near, anyway. And after the Christian made more comments about those who celebrate Halloween, I posted the following meme:

Once again I laugh at the “Christian persecution”.

When I was a participant in their religion- and fully lived it- I never felt persecution (even though I was constantly surrounded by those saying how persecuted we were). Once I came out as an atheist, the persecution truly began. But it’s worth it.

I constantly read Christians commenting about how atheists are always trying to push their opinion on Christians, in rude ways, and can never just let them express their faith in peace. Really? That’s not what I see happening, not in real life nor online (although I know atheists may comment on things after I have moved on). But post one “atheist” (reality based) comment and see who comes out of the woodwork.

I’ll continue to be the bigger person; the more polite person. Unlike the majority of those Christians who dissolve into profane fits when someone continues to point out the gigantic holes in their premises, I won’t call them obscene names or wish eternal torture on them. I won’t tell them that after we die we’ll see who’s right and they’ll be sorry (after we are dead, neither of us will be seeing anything nor feeling anything).

But, when minding my own business and being confronted with in-your-face religious people, I will not be silent. I’ll just be polite while making them look like idiots.

Islam and Christianity both suck

October 14, 2015 by

I actually hate Islam, but Christianity has a more tangible negative effect on my day to day life, simply because there are no Muslims right around here trying to impose their views on me. But I am surrounded by people calling themselves “Christians” and imposing Christianity-based laws on me all the time.

For example: this is a “dry county”, and the one next door (in another state, actually) bans alcohol sales on Sunday. The anti-alcohol troops have managed to drive every “local” bar but one out of business in the past few years. I’m not even a drinker, but I see the negative effects with regard to social life. If you aren’t into sports or church activities, you are out of luck around here. Thanks, in large part, to the Christians.

But it could be worse.

I suspect that each individual Muslim would be worse for my life than each individual Christian- that if there were equal numbers of Muslims and Christians around me, the Muslims would be the greater threat to my life and liberty- but that is only a guess based upon my prejudices.

It still doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better than it is.

Feeling smart isn’t always pleasant

September 17, 2015 by

I really don’t want to feel smarter than most other people. It seems arrogant and elitist.

Yet, other people seem to work so hard at making me feel smart by comparison. It seems they work at being stupid, and reveling in it.

Just yesterday I was texting back and forth with someone. She was expressing the desire to punch people for annoying her. I understand the feeling, but that doesn’t mean carrying out the act would be right. I said so. It got us into a debate over the initiation of force.

She kept saying she “reserves the right” to punch a**holes. I told her she can’t “reserve” a right which doesn’t exist, and she doesn’t need to reserve a right she already has- such as self defense.

Her argument came down to the fact she really wants to punish people who annoy her.

I told her that’s revenge, and revenge isn’t right, but since most people approve, they would probably support her… but it was still wrong.

She said everyone is entitled to their opinion, including her.

I agreed. Everyone IS entitled to their opinion, but some opinions are still wrong. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

I think most people don’t know what an opinion is.

Star Wars is better than Twilight” is an opinion- one I happen to agree with, but that doesn’t matter. It’s still an opinion. “No one has the right to initiate force or violate property” is not an opinion. It is reality. It is Natural Law. You can disagree and come up with excuses and try to make up exceptions, but the fact doesn’t change. If you have an opinion that is other than that, your opinion is wrong.

She didn’t like that. She said she wasn’t wrong.

So I asked that she explain herself, show me why she isn’t wrong in order to convince me.

She said she can’t, because she doesn’t want to think about it.

She then told me I have wrong opinions, too.

I asked her to list them.

She gave me the example of one choice I have made.

I pointed out that that’s not an opinion. It is a choice I made- and it might be a wrong one- but it’s not an opinion. In fact, I am of the opinion my life might be better if I changed that choice. My opinion may very well be wrong.

She also said I am wrong about “laws” being harmful, and said traffic laws keep people from killing each other.

I pointed out my opinion that people get trained to not pay attention to traffic, and use traffic laws and signals as a crutch. That this makes people worse drivers in the long run. Then I backed up this opinion by telling her of the cities which have eliminated traffic signals (the face of the traffic “laws”) and made their streets safer and commute times shorter.

She said they must have lied. But she didn’t want to see any documentation.

Anyway, what really bothers me, and makes me feel smarter than I want to feel, is that others don’t want to think. They can’t be bothered to actually learn things, think about things, and then alter their beliefs and behaviors based on the new information. In fact, they avoid the new information like the plague. They have their opinions, but don’t want to examine them. Is it laziness or fear they might discover their opinions are wrong?

So, yeah, I don’t like feeling smarter than most people. But they seem to try so hard to make sure I do.

What religion is good for- seriously

August 24, 2015 by

I am on religion overload.

Friday morning there was a death in the family. An elderly great-uncle. So all weekend there were gatherings and a funeral- all of which (of course) turned into church services and a chance to tell each other how wonderful god is, and joke about what the dead guy is now doing in heaven. The consensus is that he’s playing piano, cracking jokes, and explaining baseball to god.

I was nice and didn’t laugh in anyone’s face, nor did I say anything reasonable to them. As soon as the crazy would start coming out of someone’s mouth I clammed up.

I did have a realization.

Religion keeps the stupid people content and comforted.

I realize that religious people can be otherwise intelligent, but you can’t overlook the exception.

Someone who is a realist about machinery, weather, cause and effect, and things like that can put it all aside where their religious beliefs are concerned. It’s bizarre.

I understand that people need comfort. Delusions can help.

I also understand how seeing the dead body and not seeing how something like the animation and life can simply end- just like children learn that mommy is still there, hiding behind the blanket while playing peek-a-boo- leads to the feeling that the life is still somewhere when it isn’t seen in the body anymore. Stories are created to explain where that life goes when you can’t see it.

I also believe there is a bit of mutual faith propping going on. It’s easier to keep believing something odd if everyone around keeps repeating the same ideas to each other. It sounds less crazy if everyone around it saying it. Or, it does to some people.

Believers don’t

August 23, 2015 by

I have a really hard time grasping that otherwise reasonable people actually believe religious things. In fact, I suspect that very few of them do.

I think they are afraid to face the fact they don’t believe it. I think they are afraid to admit to other religious people they don’t believe it. I think they are more afraid of making their god angry by admitting they don’t believe (and therefore going to Hell) than of wasting their life by living a lie.

It would damage their personal relationships and their social life to admit it- I know this first hand.

I recently watched this video and was struck by what MacNutz did for the dying woman. A woman whose religious faith didn’t help. Sure, most (if not all) the Christians I know would say she obviously wasn’t a real Christian, or her faith would have comforted her. Easy to say when you aren’t in her place.

The draining power of Stupidity

June 1, 2015 by

Today, I am drained. Emotionally spent.

I have encountered too much stupidity in the past few days. Both religious stupidity and political stupidity. It’s been almost more than I can handle.

Especially when I try to be nice, but The Stupid piles on me because I can’t pretend their stupidity is just as valid as anything else. And I do try.

I don’t seek it out, but it’s everywhere around me.

I have avoided some discussions and walked away from others. But that doesn’t help because The Stupid is still out there, taking its toll on civilization. Grinding up society. Sacrificing individuals.

Days like these make me want to just give up and watch The Stupid die from their stupidity. But I’m not that uncaring. In a few days I’ll be back to normal. I suppose.

The Creationist’s complaint

May 26, 2015 by

Was at a museum recently, and one of the people in my group was commenting about it as we left. Said she enjoyed it all until she came to the displays on evolution. She’s a Creationist. And a teacher for area-wide “public schools”.

If you are a Creationist, you are not qualified to teach kids science. Period.

It’s just like if you don’t believe that adding positive numbers together results in a larger number than either of the ones you added, you aren’t qualified to teach math.

You can have an opinion (which is WRONG) about those subjects, but you’re an idiot and not qualified to pass yourself off as any kind of teacher figure.

I wanted to ask her “Explain all the reasons you choose to discount science, besides the Bible”. Because I have a lot of independent reasons I believe that evolution occurred, is occurring, and will continue to occur as long as life as we know it exists.