George has written me so much, I decided to dedicate a page just for his insightful articles! Unfortunately, George died in March of 2014. Is words live on here……
I feel that there is nothing in our universe that is supernatural. People whom I
speak to, often believe that organized religion is a fake, but that there are
still spiritts and forces “out there somewhere”, that shape our lives. I wholly
disagree. I find no evidence of anything that exists that can’t be explained by
science. I got a letter this week from an old high school friend, who says that
Sam Harris means well, but that he just doesn’t understand. As an Atheist. I
have no doubt that religion is belief in the impossible and that there is
nothing supernatural that occurs; no miracles; no spirits; no satan; no heaven;
no hell; no god of any kind. I get upset when people suggest otherwise, and I
think the bible is mostly “tall tales”. I think I have to defend myself against
those who believe in the bible and in Creation and profess to believe in the
existence of even SOME of the items in the religious “Sears catalog”
Subject: Why can’t I own a Canadian?
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstances
The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US resident, and posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan, James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian)
Today I was pleasantly surprised by a letter that appeared in the LA Times from an Evangelical Christian college professor, scorning Robertson’s recent comments on the Haitian catastrophe, as being “evidence of Haiti’s cursed status thanks to its “pact with the devil” in the 18th century”, saying such remarks by Robertson were nasty, ignorant and heartless. The writer went on that Roberson’s comments, and indeed the man himself, are an utter embarrassment to the evangelical Christian community and he hoped that Robertson is roundly condemned and removed from any position in which he may claim to speak for the Christian faith or community in any way, shape or form. He is an immoral and delusional nut job and does not deserve to remain a public figure. Many Christian groups are already working to help the Haitians and portray a more accurate picture of Christian charity in response to human suffering, rather than Robertson’s callousness. Atheism tries to bring truth to the world community, by telling it “as it is”. We have no visions of supernatural forces acting on us to shape our lives. We don’t believe in “curses or blessings”. If one considers what Robertson said, that a problem in the 18th century was now being punished by a disaster in the 21st century, it doesn’t even make any sense, even if you WERE a BELIEVER. If what he said was true, then God would be punishing people of today for something that people centuries ago did. If God cared, he would have punished the evil-doers, not the innocent people of today that had nothing to do with it.
Most of the United States thinks that invisible and silent spirits are watching our every move and that soon, a messiah, who is at least 2,000 years late already, is now going to come down from “heaven” and convert guns into plows, so we can all become farmers and grow rutagabas or something. This messiah will then dig up all the graves and bring all the dead back to life so they can wander around, probably as zombies and scare the shit out of us all. We, the “crazy” people who don’t harbor such insane beliefs, are supposed to respect and revere our intolerant religious brethren, who run around in funny clothes, perform ceremonies that commemorate past events that never happened and pay homage to an imaginary diety that no one has ever seen or heard. Yet, they mistakenly think that WE are the nut-cases. Unable to tolerate even the mildest suggestion that they reconsider their beliefs in the impossible, the unproven and the so-called miracles and fairy tales of ancient civilization, if they had their way, they would kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I am thankful that atheism is even allowed to exist in this not-so-free country, that isn’t smart enough to pull itself free from the mild insanity of religious belief and the lure of the economically-driven mass religious hysteria that infects our society. [End] Sometimes I think I overdo it. It’s just so difficult NOT to say what we feel once in a while. No one seems to care that there’s no proof or evidence. The cunning trick of religion is that you have to die first to “understand” what it can do for you. How slick. I know I’m repeating myself, but what drove me away from religion was the fact that the pious don’t see anything wrong with the fact that god is “excused” in this life, for NOT doing anything and nothing can be proven to show that there is a “hereafter”. Greg Laurie, “charlaton extraordinaire” is coming to town to rant at the Harvest Festival, about what the lord will do for you; poisoning young minds with religious beliefs. I wish we were strong enough to “harvest” the freethinkers in our midst, who don’t know that our movement exists. Religion is such big business. It should not be allowed to thrive tax-free, over a certain amount of revenue. What is sin? Do atheists have a different point of view about what is sin, compared to religious people? What are the sins and how do we stand on them?
Sometimes the desire to shake religious people from their imagery and what we feel is their baseless beliefs, we try to explain the atheist view. As we all know, there are certain risks or cautions we should observe in promoting atheism. One of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation is called Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is . It was taught by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills. Vipassana aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. The purpose of this non-sectarian technique is total healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering. Vipassana is not a theistic branch and does not believe in a creator. The focus of everything is on the individual mind. In its teachings, though, Vispassana recognizes that the notion or belief in god is the focus for some people’s deepest source of meaning, deepest source of value, deepest source for purpose in their life and deepest source of hope. For some people the understanding of god is so important they would rather die than give up their notion of god. And for some people the only way they cope with life’s tragedies is their belief in god. It’s somehow their belief in god that lifts them out of severe tragedy and tremendously painful times in their lives. So to talk about god needs to be done with respect, or at least with care and understanding. Of course, when someone writes a book on atheism, most if not all the readership will be atheists, so the author need not tiptoe around. But I think care must be taken when confronting someone’s belief system. To not do this could cause a very negative, even hostile response. Of course there is the other side of this coin, and it happens more often that religious people impose their belief system on all the rest of us. Having a national holiday cellebrating the mass of Christ and then Easter and he is risen are examples. If we try to suggest this to those around us,even the most intelligent of them might go so far as to accuse us of being anti American, such as with our opposition to “In God We Trust”. They just don’t see it. To many religious people, Christmas is as American as Apple Pie. Worse is when religion becomes politics, first subtly and then blatantly under Bush, with his right wing supporters and evangelicals. In some countries, atheism can result in imprisonment or murder. And let us not forget the suffering Jews have gone through for thousands of years for their difference of religious opinion. The message I am trying to make is that we may be totally correct in our views about atheism, but we should be cautious about who we talk to about it or try to convince, not knowing what their reaction might be, and realizing how important religious beliefs, however impossible and foolish they may be to us, might be to them. — On Mon, 8/3/09, Bruce Gleason wrote: From: Bruce Gleason Subject: [skeptics-164] must read article To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Monday, August 3, 2009, 3:37 PM Just read a short article by Daniel Dennett – see http://www.atheistalliance.org/Commentary/Is-religion-a-threat-to-rationality-and-science.html Add a comment to our message board if you like b — Please Note: If you hit “REPLY”, your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list (email@example.com) This message was sent by Bruce Gleason (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Backyard Skeptics Meetup. To learn more about Bruce Gleason, visit his/her member profile To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here Meetup Support: email@example.com 632 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA
Theists are so absolutely nuts. This week’s gem, sent to me was: “I don’t care what kind of logic you have. You have your beliefs (no I don’t) and I have mine (that’s for sure). I’m just looking forward to some day, meeting up with my wife in heaven and going on with our life in eternity.” (Well, good for you.) There’s no way to deal with them. Atheism has nothing to offer them replace the fantasy that they have been taught to believe in. You can’t even discuss atheism with most people. They just think we’re crazy. “Heaven? Why of course there’s a heaven. We wouldn’t be going thru all this for nothing, would we? That’s impossible. It couldn’t just all end. That doesn’t make sense.” (To you, maybe) I guess you just have to come to the conclusion yourself that it is religion that doesn’t really make sense. After all, isn’t the worship of an invisible force that doesn’t do anything and allows tragedy to occur on a daily basis, just a tiny bit suspect? Don’t they get tired of endless “faith” in something that isn’t there and doesn’t respond to prayer? When they finally begin to suspect that there is nothing out there, then the light finally comes on and truth begins to take over. But it occurs to too few and those that really believe the myths and fantasies are lost to any argument to the contrary. It’s really a shame.
One of my religious friends sent me the message below. I have to say that I admire Kevin Rudd’s courage to tell the Muslims to get lost, but I don’t think I’m too happy about the rest of it. I didn’t understand. What is this thing called “God”? Who invented it? Where does it live”? What does it do? What does it look like? What language does it speak? Who talked the Australians into believing in it? What has it done for the Australians? Christian principles are probably OK but what did “God” have to do with them? Is God a only for Christians? Let me get this straight- You can’t hear it, touch it, see, or even prove it exists, but yosupposedlyly founded a nation on it, though you don’t know what it is. You can’t expect any prayer to it to be answered; in fact you don’t even know if it can hear prayers; nor respond to the astronomically large numbers of prayers that must occur every second; and yet you want to tell another group of believers of some other philosophy, that they can’t live in your country unless they respect your imaginary beliefs. You believe in a bible, but refuse to admit it is the word of man, and not of supernatural origin and you tell everyone that only YOUR bible is the correct one, though your God doesn’t seem to have any opinion on it, one way or the other. As a matter of fact, your God doesn’t seem to have an opinion about anything at all, except what you tell us is his opinion, from words you fish out your bible. You claim to be tolerant of other beliefs, but your message doesn’t really indicate that. What you really should be intolerant of is “belief” in the supernatural. Ain’t religion fun? Let’s invent a set of beliefs and tell everyone that only our beliefs are OK. Then, let’s claim “tolerance” but kick everyone else in the ass who wrote a different set of beliefs and doesn’t agree with ours. After all, we’re the Good Guys. Richard Dawkins said that the Jews eliminated “multiple gods” and brought it down to just one god; but that was still one too many. This past week, the Pope said that they will resume their old and useless efforts to convert Jews to Catholicism. Now, there’s a pointless project that will piss off an entire culture.
I could understand the entire world being atheist, except for a few ignorant, superstitious fools who believed in the strange things that religion teaches them to believe in. We could all make fun of these idiots who talk about people living on after they are dead and praying to a non-existant spirit that you can’t hear or see, and expecting him to respond to millions of prayers all over the world, simultaneously. We could tolerate a few crazies who think there is a Pearly Gate and an Almighty and a Satan, and we could try to get them to accept life the way it really is, instead of talking to the dead and waiting for the day they die so they can join them. Unfortunately, the world is backwards. Those who believe in the impossible and unproven are the vast majority, and we, the rational few, have to endure their hatred and intolerance of US because we can’t accept their fairy-tales as reality. What a world.
I am just overwhelmed that in the 21st century, the world has not let science overcome the ancient “sacred world of unproven belief”. Those of us who don’t subscribe to beliefs, always seem to have to kiss ass to those who do, although the reverse is NOT true. There is a universal hatred for those who question faith in the “almighty”. But if there is a “Good Lord” then there is no excuse why millions have died because of religious differences; difficulties that a compassionate God could have cleared up in an instant, but he apparently, like a little hostile child, He doesn’t feel like it. Religion ignores everything that God COULD do, but doesn’t care to, to make this world better. In effect, religion has an “excuse” for everything that happens; good or bad. Some believers have had some good experience that falsely “confirms” their belief in a deity. Without such irrational beliefs, though, the distinct possibility exists for many of us, that God, even if He exists, is simply NOT THERE for us. We are taught that we must have faith. For the majority, endless “faith” is enough. For the questioning mind, it isn’t. Proof of God is long overdue. Even Jesus is supposed to have come back to us within one generation. He’s very late. The bride waits at the altar (of faith), but the groom has shown that he isn’t coming, so goosebumps begone. I watch the starry-eyed faithful, confident and happy that they are secure in their religious beliefs, ignoring the obvious; turning their back on the evidence; convinced that only they know the truth. These people; great masses of humanity; are lost to even the suggestion of rational thinking; having lived in a world of make-believe their whole lives and getting support from everyone around them. Nothing would be more wonderful than to learn who is right; the believers or the non-believers. It is up to the believers to prove their theory, though, and that will never happen.
A letter from a Christian to an Atheist
God bless you my son. Keep up the good work and keep sending us your money. We don’t do any charitable work, as we don’t have any money left after we buy our new cars and big diamonds. Jeeeeeeeesus wants and expects us to look good. It is for HIM that we spend our donation money in total abandon. By our lavish lifestyles, we can show Jeeeeeeeeeeesus how much his people love him. I am sure that it warmed your heart to seethat Seal Beach approved “In God We Trust” last week. It is only we pastors who know what that phrase actually means, however. It means that if we can keep lying to the public, proclaiming that god is out there doing good deeds that affect a few individuals, while ignoring the larger world issues entirely, we can keep making the churches the best income-producing enterprises in the nation. We don’t have to tell the truth. F–k the truth. The public is so brain-washed that they wouldn’t believe us anyway. Besides, Atheists don’t have anything to sell. We sell “afterlife”. It’s a wonderful product. We don’t have to prove it. There are no witnesses to talk. We don’t have any milestones to meet. We don’t have to pay taxes. We don’t even have to work, except to count all the money. Did you know that when TBN has their “donation drives”, the leaders often go into the counting room and pick up pocketfuls of money, yet uncounted. How would you like to have a business like that? Let the poor people who sent in their rent money suffer. Ah, what a wonderful life we have. Too bad you atheists haven’t figured out how to “sell” yourselves like we do. The trouble with you guys is you’re too honest. You can’t offer any “perks”. The public hates you because you tell them that religion is bullshit. It doesn’t matter if it is. They just don’t want to hear it. You think that “honesty” will some day catch on. It won’t. Lies and cheating will always win over truth. It’s such a joke. We have nothing but fairy tales and you can’t get anyone to believe it. Atheism actually makes the church grow stronger, as we have a common enemy and we can ask for more money to beat you guys down. Keep up the good work. Try not to be too mad at us when we curse you out. It’s just good business.
I was thinking about the church’s giving approval, probably 100s of years ago (or whenever it occurred) (do you know?) to remove some reference in the bible about “the world is flat”. Of course, they had to do that or be totally ridiculed, but the thing that strikes me is that bible fans refer to the bible as unerring, which of course, it isn’t, and its being the word of something called god. If god actually created the heavens and the earth, then he would have had to do it from some vantage point in space. From virtually anywhere in space, an observer would instantly see that the earth is a sphere, not a flat surface. Such an error would be absolutely impossible, and to me, is a proof to me that if someone thought the earth was flat, then it had to be someone on the earth’s surface, which did not exist before god supposedly created it. Therefore, to even suggest that the earth was flat is a fatal error to any logical person. God could not have made such an error and, to me, is another proof that god did not write or dictate the bible. The creator of the earth would never refer to it as flat, as any vantage point away from the earth would show its true shape. The bible had to be created by man; not god, and is therefore, subject to human error and is not holy in any way. The keyboard on my Toshiba laptop failed. Certain keys stopped working. I took a chance and searched for a new keyboard on Ebay ($23) and installed it myself. I am typing on it right now. So often in this world, the reward goes to the person who has enough courage or initiative to step out into an area that is not familiar to them. My point of view is that very often, just taking a look at something that is broken or making a noise, reveals enough information to save a big repair bill by allowing you to repair it yourself. Most people shy away from the unknown. Even my own dad used to say, when I wanted him to help me work on my car, “I’m not a mechanic. What would I know?” And then he would go back to watching a ball game on TV. The real truth of it was, as I learned later in life, that he wasn’t about to take direction from ME. If he couldn’t be the boss, he wouldn’t have anything to do with the problem. The result was that he never helped me with anything, nor ever allowed me to teach him anything about anything. He refused to let me show him how to use a simple electronic calculator, preferring to do all his work manually. Kennedy and Goldberg, both neighbors, worked together for the Department of Sanitation. Each night they came home to their respective wives, and Goldberg’s work clothes were clean and Kennedy’s were filthy. Mrs. Kennedy noticed this and asked how this was possible? Kennedy said he didn’t have a clue. Mrs. Kennedy pressed the issue and insisted there had to be some reason. “Darling,” she said to her husband, “you both work together every day. What is it that you do that you get all dirty and Mr. Goldberg stays clean?” “I don’t know.” “Well tell me, honey, what do you do in a typical day?” “Well, we get a work order and we drive out to a site where there is a clogged sewer pipe. We open the manhole cover and I go down inside with a bucket, shovel the shit in and send it up to Goldberg.” “Really? You do this every time? You mean Goldberg never goes down into the sewer, only you?” “Yeah.” “Well darling, that’s it. Why don’t you ask Mr. Goldberg to go down into the sewer sometimes, instead of you going down inside every time?” Kennedy says, “No way. I ain’t never going to stay on top and have to take shit from a Jew.” I actually worked for a company in Fountain Valley for two years. It was a little company and I shared an office with their only salesman. We seemed to get along fine. We never had a disagreement of any kind. Being a problem-solver type person, when I heard some kind of difficulty the salesman had, particularly when related to some product detail, I frequently spoke out and I thought I was helping. I guess it didn’t matter to him. The issue with him was that he hadn’t asked for my help and was annoyed when I spoke out. One day, he needed something and I interjected into some conversation he was having, that I had some extra parts in the lab. I thought he would be pleased, but he actually got mad and yelled out, “Why do I have to sit here and listen to some Jew stick his nose into my business all the time?” I yelled back, “Because some gentile can’t figure his way out of a paper bag half the time, and I stupidly think he needs my help. Pardon me. It won’t happen again.” The entire office went silent. Then everyone laughed and business went on as usual. I thought I was going to get a fist in the face, but not another word was ever said. (Me, the Jewish Atheist? If they only knew. I probably would have gotten fired for being an Atheist; under some other ruse, of course. It’s almost OK being a Jew. After all, we heathens only killed Christ and we’ll get “ours” when we die, but being an atheist? That’s much a much worse sin to our religious neighbors.)
A friend sent me an email joke about Jesus and Satan. God gives Jesus and Satan a computer test, which requires a lot of typing, but before the test is over, there is an interruption in the electricity and the two computers lose power. Satan loses all his work and curses about it. The power comes back on and Satan’s typing is gone, but not Jesus’. “Why does Jesus still have all his typing and mine is gone?” he complains to God. God replies, “Jesus saves.”
My friend is fairly religious. There is no swaying him away from his beliefs in the supernatural. I tried to show him that if he thought about it or read about it, he might not be so sure of himself, instead of just being the blind sheep that he is, but you may as well speak to a rock. For an intelligent man, he really disappoints me. In response to his joke, I wrote one of my own, 3 different ways:
A Jew, a Christian, a Moslem and an Atheist were talking. It was a beautiful day with a brilliant blue sky. There was one cloud. Winds gradually pushed the cloud around and changed it’s shape.
The Jew said, “Look- it’s a Star of David. It’s a sign from God. We must all pray.
The Christian said, “Look, now it’s a cross. It’s a sign from God. We must all pray.
The Moslem said, “Look, it’s a sword. It’s a sign from God to wreak more havoc on the Jews.”
The atheist said, “Look, it’s a cloud.”
The day slowly drew to a close and twilight slowly faded into night.
The Jew said, “And God brought the day to end so man could end his daily toil. Praise the Lord.”
The Christian said, “And God turned day into night . Praise the Lord.”
The Moslem said, “Yeah. Whatever those other guys said. Praise Allah.”
e Atheist said. “It’s getting dark. Time to go home for dinner. ”
The little atheist boy parked his bike and walked over to his 3 friends, a Jew, a Christian and a Moslem. While he was talking, the bike disappeared.
The Jewish boy said, “Evil lurks everywhere, but God must have his reasons. We should pray.”
The Christian boy said,”It is the work of Satan; to steal someone’s possessions. We must pray.”
The Moslem boy said, “It is Allah’s will. He wants you to walk on your own and not use mechanical contrivances. We must pray.”
You already know what the Atheist boy said. “Shit. Some #$% stole my bike.”
Looking up into the night sky, one star appears brighter than the others.
The Jew, the Christian, the Moslem and the Atheist all notice it.
Make up your own joke.
Moral of the story: When there is no evidence of any kind and no fear of contradiction, we can call it whatever we want. It is the greatest scam of all- The taking of “nothing” and making it into “something”. We can’t disprove “nothing”, so no one wins. The gullible people outnumber the rational people because of the imaginary “perks” such mindless thinking provides, like “Jesus Saves”. If you don’t have to show any proof, you can offer anything you want.
A lady goes into a butcher shop to buy some T-Bone steaks for dinner. “How much are the T-Bones today”, she asks. The butcher says, “$6 a pound, but I don’t have any more.” The lady goes down the block to another butcher shop and finds the T-Bones are $7 a pound. “Hey- The guy up the street only gets $6 a pound. Why are your steaks $7?” “Listen lady, I always meet the competition. if I didn’t have any more, you could have them for $5 a pound.”
If you don’t have to prove it, you can make any claim you want.
As I read today, of another pedophile priest, I can’t help wonder why it doesn’t dawn on the Catholic world that Catholicism is either a fake, just like all the other religions that depend on belief in the supernatural or you can cheat all you like, as long as you don’t get caught. Atheism is the only truthful way to be. We don’t ask anyone to “believe” or to have faith in what we have no proof of. We don’t ask people to swear that they believe in immaculate births, resurrections and ascencions into, what is that place? heaven? Where is it located? Can we buy a postcard? And if you don’t swear to it, you get kicked out of the “club” and then you can’t go to that place, even if no one knows where it is (or IF it is). Hey- don’t worry about such things. That’s why they invented “faith”. You know it isn’t possible, so we’ll stuff it in the area of “faith”, where we don’t have to question how the impossible is somehow possible. We non-believers all live our lives and never see a single miracle. We never have a single vision. We have no anticipation for a messiah, coming down from heaven in sandals. I mean, really, at least Florsheims or Bally’s. Why would a guy want to wear sandals? And our lives are not any less rich because we don’t waste our time imagining what we are going do lounging around a heaven in the sky. In the first place, I am scared of heights. That is no place I would want to live, anyway. We don’t ask forgiveness because we commit the alleged sins in the first place. The priests who molest children can only have one of two thoughts in mind, 1) That nothing really happens to you if you commit a sin, or 2) That they only have to ask forgiveness and go about doing whatever they want to do in total abandon. What a cool scam. Just ask for forgiveness. To hell with the victim, whoever he was. How does your forgiveness unburden him from whatever suffering he is going thru? Isn’t “forgiveness” really an unworkable solution; no solution at all? Who would fall for that? Is there a “Victim’s Repair Station”, also? I never heard of it. That’s the real problem. Screw the bad guy. Where is his punishment? You mean, he just keeps whatever he stole? Heaven must be filled with crooks and scoundrels. So, since the priests seem to have this bad habit of playing “doctor” with small children, isn’t it apparent that the priesthood must be rife with these kind of people? Who would trust one? And if (1) above is true, then what? Doesn’t that invalidate the whole religion? Doesn’t it suggest that all religion is imaginary? Nothing happens to you no matter what you do? I’m glad I’m an atheist, so I don’t have to ponder such questions.
I don’t support Prop 8. These are some of my reasons:
1. If gays were born that way, why does the church have the right to try to prevent them from equal rights to marry? What joy does it give to “religious” people to prevent others from enjoying their lives when it doesn’t affect them at all?
2. There are 2 million gays in California. They don’t interfere with anyone’s life. How would that change if we let them marry?
3. Religious people have said in the Register, that God would make the oceans boil and would cause earthquakes. If I didn’t think that was so ignorant, I would laugh. Maybe people actually believed those things 1,500 years ago, but it is now 2008.
4. The church would have us make “hating gays” a state-sanctioned activity, by putting it in our constitution. They should grow up and face the truth. Gays are here to stay. There is no place in modern society for gay hatred or hatred of any other minority. There is no societal risk or cost to allow gays to marry. For the same nickel, we could all live in peace.
5. The chuch would have us believe that hating gays is something in the bible. If God didn’t want gays, why did he make so many of them? The bible is not the law of the United States, nor any other country. If there is a God, he should appear in person, (do not send a “prophet”, do not refer us to some 2,000 year-old book) and tell us what he wants from us and we will all do it. Enough of this “God is invisible and silent” snow job. It is two thousand years and you’re still waiting for a messiah? You gotta be kidding.
6. The church says that gay marriage will destroy traditional marriage. The 50% divorce rate of traditional marriage has already done a lot more damage than the 2% of the population that is gay could ever do.
7. How does kicking gays in the ass, accomplish anything good? The church always seems to come out against social change. Aside from its charitable activities, It seems to oppose everything that would advance society, maybe for fear it would contradict something in the “unerring” bible. It opposes the use of condoms in aid-stricken countries. The church has opposed cateract surgury in India, saying that if a person is blind, it is God’s wish. Atheists have to perform cateract surgury in India.
8. The church refuses to admit that gays were born that way, instead, they refer to being gay as “the gay lifestyle” as if it is a temporary choice. They can’t allow the idea that gays were born that way because then they would have to admit that gays were created by God. How can you even vote on whether or not you agree with God’s creations? We cannot judge God by voting on whether or not we agree with Him.
9. The church is now threatening to publish the names of all those who contribute to NO on Prop 8. They can’t win based on honesty and fact, so they resort to unethical tactics.
10. The church tries to tell us that gay marriage will harm the children by telling them that being gay is acceptable, suggesting that children can change their sexuality at will. It would be more effective to throw pedophiles out of the church, don’t you think?
11. The newspaper also tells us that the church hates gays because if we allow gay marriage, then we will have to approve “plural marriage” (3 or more people), and suggested that it wouldn’t stop there. The unethical proponents of Prop 8 would have us believe that we are so stupid that if approve Prop 8, that we will have to approve everything else. Marriage to a goat or maybe a garage door would be next. Ooh, the splinters.
12. And in conclusion- And what is the point to this whole argument? There is none. Treat gays like human beings. Come out of the darkness of ancient hatred and persecution of others because they are different. Let gays marry who they wish. Stop hating people for their sexual orientation. Stop thinking that sex is sinful. Stop calling it a lifestyle. There are a lot worse things in this world to worry about than who someone wants to make a lifelong committment to.
Last night the History Channel had a documentary about the trickery in the temples before and then, including Christianity. They said the purpose of the temples was entertainment and to create fear and awe in the onlookers, who would be told that this was “proof” that various gods were present. The temples were kept dark and the people could only look inside but not get near enough to touch anything, so all sorts of trickery was possible. There was a particularly inventive man named Henon who was a brilliant inventor of his time and knew how to utilize air pressure, steam, magnetism, levers, gears, and chemistry, to make gadgets that would woiuld appear to violate all known principles. His work was purchased by the priests both to amaze, delight and to frighten visitors into believing that supernatural forces were at work. Some of his inventions included:
1. A metal horse statue and a man with a sword. The man would appear to slice the head off the horse, but an intricate set of interlocking gears inside the horse’s neck, allowed the sword to pass through the horse’s neck. Gears would rotate and unlock as the sword slowly moved across the neck and would re-lock after the sword had passed. The sword would them be inspected by the crowd and be seen to be a solid metal sword.
2. A metal stautue of a chariot, horses and driver was inside a small structure with a roof and floor. The chariot faced a large statue of the god. Under control of the priests, the chariot, driver and horses would move forward towards the bigger statue of the “god” and then lift up into the air and be suspended with no apparent means of support. The trick was accomplished with enormous pieces of magnetic lodestone that were hidden inside the structure of the base and roof and were caused to move, making the chariot, made of some ferrous metal, follow.
3. In the churches, statues of the Virgin Mary were made to “bleed blood” with the help of tubing and remote pressure vessels that would be filled with water that would be heated by fires lit by the priests. The resulting steam would force the red liquid to come up and out of tiny holes drilled in the area of the tear ducts.
4. Chemicals would be added to foods that were served at the temples that would cause the visitors urine to turn a frightening red color. The priests would invoke prayers to “cure” the “victim” and give them another drug that would turn the urine back to normal color.
5. A mechanism was devised so that the faithful could insert a coin in the top and out would flow a small quantity of holy water. This was the first vending machine and made a lot of money for the churches.
Sadly, all the descendants of the “believers” in trickery and fraud are still living among us, trying to tell us that their unsubstantiated superstitions are “truth”. Regardless of its crooked beginnings and its proven reliance on trickery, smoke and mirrors to frighten the gullible public into believing the impossible, religion is as strong as it ever, proving the adage that “there’s one born every minute”. Apparently, with the majority of the public, void of any intellectual curiosity when it comes to religion, even the ability to question one’s religious upbringing is a very rare trait, indeed.
This morning, I took “Did Man Create God” ( a great book by Dr Comings) to a McDonald’s and there was a whole table with Korean Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were intrigued with the book and several of them took turns “hitting on me”. I was polite but I didn’t want their Awake magazine nor did I want to come to their church to argue with them. I don’t think I’m informed enough to do that. They were trying to tell me that everything that grew from the earth was god’s work. I told them I thought it was Mother Nature. They mentioned satan and I said I was surprised they fell for the fairy tale idea of satan, which is hardly worthy of a children’s book. I told them that I lost faith when my family was killed at Auschwitz and my lack of faith was confirmed several times later, and most recently, from the 911 disaster. I said, “Don’t tell me about a “good book with bad advice” or a “good lord that allow evil things to happen” or “an almighty” who is silent and invisible. And PLEASE don’t tell me about something called heaven when there are no witnesses in these thousands of years since they started talking about it. How can you tell me what happens when you go there when no one has called from there or sent so much as a postcard? There are no witnesses, Jehovah’s or anyone else’s. And NO, I don’t know who or what created the earth and maybe it was a god of some sort, but everything after that, all the stories, all the bibles, all the miracles, all the spirits, angels, ghosts and the idea of a messiah coming to make peace on our warlike earth, to me, is the stuff of pure fairytale. She said, “You should ask these questions when our people knock on your door.” How can I ask questions from people who, to me, are living in a dream world? I could never buy it when I was a child. Now I certainly can’t go for it as a cynical old man. There is nothing you can prove to me by vague logic. Everything bad, you blame on something called satan or on “free will”. You have an excuse for everything and a real proof for nothing. Good luck to you. Come back when you can show me something that is undeniably a miracle; like a brake job on your car without the touch of human hands or mending a broken window by prayer. Better yet, why don’t you come to MY meeting and ask YOUR questions of the rational-thinking people who agree with me? (What I really thought is – They’ll cut your feeble arguments in little pieces and feed them to the birds, but I didn’t say that.) They picked up their materials and replied, “Goodbye, sir”. And I said to myself, “What? I actually drove them off? I can’t believe it.”
To my religious friends: I think of you often. I wonder why you think the way you do. Is it that your God WON’T appear to us or is it that he CAN’T. Whichever one you choose, isn’t it clear that after all these centuries, that it makes no difference? The end result is the same. If we have waited these 1000s of years and God has not appeared to us, WON’T and CAN’T are the same thing. Doesn’t it occur to you that all the making of excuses for why doesn’t ever show himself, is simply a smokescreeen? Whatever reasons they give for God’s being invisible or silent or non-intervening, isn’t it suspicious, at least? Without allowing yourself the benefit of hearing an opposing view, you haven’t even been given the tools to think correctly. Instead, you pray to something you think is there; worship something that you cannot see; swear to miracles that are not possible; and put your faith in old books that would put us in prison if we followed their instruction. In your world, you take an idea and call it “infallible” and then try to stuff the real world into its boundaries. It does not hold up to the light of day. And you think you are going WHERE after you die? You better do it BEFORE you die because you might not get there if you don’t. Isn’t religion amazing? It teaches you to believe in the incredible, but puts all manner of verification conveniently out of reach of the living. You refuse to listen to any argument, so, like a child throwing a tantrum to get its way, you can think you are right, for the time being. I have news for you, though- You have a big surprise coming some day. Nothing is nothing. You have yet to discover that simple idea.
The Orange County Register newspaper reports that Paul Crouch, President of TBN makes $419,500. His wife, Janice W. Couch makes $361,000 a year and his son, Paul F. Crouch Jr. makes $130,082 a year. The Crouches are among the highest paid chief executives of religious nonprofits. TBN is the world’s largest religious broadcasting company. They pay a law office $164,200 a year and are a 501 c-3 corporation, although they consider themselves a church. TBN preaches “prosperity evangelism” where they urge the public to give and say God will give generously back. In 2006, TBN took in $200.7 million, spent $141.1 million and stashed the other $59.6 million. Their net assets are $839 million. What the OCR article did not mention, was how any of the money was spent.
The greatest puzzle in the history of mankind is it’s insistence on the triumph of religious belief over truth, over science, over common sense and in spite of any evidence. In OCR’s August 5th, Opinion column a writer says that we haven’t even begun to see the explosive power and fury that will be unleashed because of gay marriage. Will our shy, ever-silent and invisible deity reveal himself over the trifling issue of gay marriage? When and where will this happen, so I can bring my camera? So much turmoil on this earth could be ended instantly if God would appear and bless us with His infinite wisdom. But, alas, He does not do this. Not wars, not genocides, not plagues or disease, not immense criminal acts. not slavery, not cruel dictators, not anything has ever caused Him to appear to us. So, the idea that the seas will boil (a letter which appeared recently in the OCR) and now, as to the threat of having His power and fury unleashed upon us because we allow gay marriage, I offer a sincere, “Ho hum”. I cannot think of anything less likely to occur or more outlandishly foolish to suggest.
I wonder how we could make atheism an accepted thing, as if it was a religion like all the others, and that we could offer it as an alternative to people who are searching for the truth, and have some kind of ad on the religious page of the newspaper. But- We don’t have legitimacy because we have no voice. We are all little groups, acting on our own, with no political clout, whatever. If people are supposed to be tolerant of other’s beliefs, then they should be tolerant of those whose belief is that only of truth and evidentiary proof. There is no reason NOT to accept atheism, except for the bigotry of organized religion. It is hard enough for them to convince the public that what they are selling is the truth, without atheists claiming it is all lies and taking away their bread and butter. The trouble with atheism is that it takes away all the myths and doesn’t replace it with anything. We don’t give away “eternities of heavenly bliss” or free robes and sandals forever, and a free seat in some big arena somewhere where you can sing songs of praise to God forever, although it is not known why anyone would want to do that or believe that such an absurdity was possible. But, nevertheless, we don’t offer them a “good deal” as the car salesmen do, if they join us, so we remain relative outcasts because we offer no advantage to make the switch. People are always looking for a bargain. Atheism doesn’t have any, and Islam and Mormonism offer even more than Christianity. People don’t really care about truth. What they care about is what’s in it for them. That’s part of the reason why only 17% of the nation is atheist. What can we offer them? A lifetime, free of wasting your time going to church? of praying to something that doesn’t exist? freedom to allow choice based on logic instead of whether or not a “soul” is present? freedom to accept anyone who is kind, instead of basing your friendships on your religious choice, freedom from hatred and intolerance? Look at the atheists. We have everyone represented among us. No one asks what church you belong to. No one judges you because you were a member of one religion or another. No one shuns you because they were taught to hate “people of your kind”. No one tells me that I killed Christ. No one has a secret agenda that holds a part of them aside; a side they can’t reveal or discuss because you are a different religion. To me, atheism is as close to perfection as one can get. Why can’t we show the rest of the world what truth and sincerity are? We have no axes to grind. We don’t ask anyone to believe in something except truth and scientific fact. We need no angels and miracles to give our life meaning. We live day to day without the threat of hell or the promise of heaven to repress our thoughts and imagination. And nothing happens to us that doesn’t happen to anyone else. No bolts of lightening come out of the sky to punish us for not being religious.
What is a “devil” and what relationship does it have to atheists? Have you ever seen a devil? Where does he live? If he isn’t visible, then how do you know he exists? Atheism has nothing to do with the devil. Only religiious people believe in such fairy tales. Atheism is not about believing in anything except the truth. That’s why the church hates atheists, because atheists challenge the church to all of its fictional stories and to the many errors in the bible. Simply stated, Atheists don’t believe “miracles or the supernatural”. If religion could prove God exists, there would be no atheists, but in the last 2,000 years, no one has succeeded. We are told to worship God, though no reason is given. Religious people think God is so good, but even in this past two weeks, why did he let 80,000 people die in Myannar and 70,000 in
China ? What possible reason would a good God have to kill so many innocent people? Religion wants us to see the world as surrounded by devils and gods and miracles and dead souls wandering around and heaven and hell looming up at us. Why is this necessary? It’s even against the law to teach such nonsense in public schools. I think religion is the taking of “nothing” and claiming it is “something”. This is a brilliant idea. No one can prove anything. But everyone is so anxious to go to heaven that they line up to say, “I believe”. Smart people, including atheists, only believe in the truth and the Golden Rule. They don’t need any imaginary concepts to prop them up and help them live. Some atheists think that religion is actually a form of insanity. The need to “believe” has already been traced to a particular genome in the brain. Maybe someday, religious belief will be treatable by some drug.
Watching Natl Geographics last night, it was about the Jews escape from
Egypt ; the plagues, the crossing of the
Red Sea , etc. It was an attempt by modern-day scholars to find evidence and explanations for the burning bush, the plagues, the exodus of the Jews, the inundation of Pharoah’s army in the
Red Sea . It was theorized that a translation error was made in that “Red Sea” was actually “Reed Sea”, a swampland area in the Nile Delta; that the separation of water could have been the moving out of the water, prior to a tsunami that was caused by a distant specific volcanic eruption; that the burning bush was a gas leak in the ground that caused the bush to become charcoal, but retain its shape, and various other explanations for the miracles. The conclusion was that there such things, although possible, were highly improbable and that “not a shred of historical evidence” existed, of any of those things actually happening, except in the bible, and that the scientists’ conclusion was, in all cases, that the miracles never occurred, but were simply the agrandizing of old myths, carried forward by tribal elders and made into more interesting stories by changing and inventing facts to enhance the story-telling. There were books kept by the Egyptians of their history and not one mentions the plagues, the release of the Jews, and the subsequent loss of the entire Egyptian army, as claimed by the bible. It would have been detailed somewhere other than the bible, if such disasters had occurred. An American scientist explored the area in the Nile delta, where he thought the army might have fallen and actually found old bronze artifacts, but of every small piece of bronze found, not one single piece was ever found that was large enough or uncorroded enough to be identified and linked to anything. The conclusion of the scientists on the NatGeo program was that there was no proof that any of the stories related to the Jews in
Egypt were true. The only facts that were verified by Egyptian writings were that some Jews lived in
Egypt 1500 years before Christ and that there were many Jews living in
Israel in 400 AD. Everything in between is more than likely, pure, unsupported myth.
Once one becomes conscious of the fact that what we heard from our mother, that God is watching us and he remembers everything we do or say or think, and that we’d better be good “or else”, and this absurdity is drummed home by otherwise respectable and educated people who earn their living by “selling” religion to the public, we find ourselves in a world that believes something that, logically and scientifically, makes no sense at all. So called “miracles” stopped happening as human knowledge increased. Not only has “Eternal Life” never been proven, but in the 1,000s of years this childish idea has been around, there is not the slightest clue or evidence that it is anything more than a fairy tale. Where could it exist? What could be more perfect a “cover” for the impossible, than “you have to die first to go there”? How would you go there? As a child? As an adult? As a failing, aged person, as when you might have passed away? How would you communicate with the other “souls” who didn’t speak your language? There are so many unanswered questions that defy any explanation, that a logical person would have to reject the entire idea as being impossible to imagine. And if there were a God, why is it that he doesn’t answer prayers? Or step in and save the innocent? Or teach us how to live better lives? Certainly the bible is so flawed as to not be dependable; since it implores you to murder your children; to keeping slaves; to selling your daughter and so many other horrible acts that anyone who really believes in the bible, probably hasn’t read it. Many good things are done in the name of religion, but the bad things very much outweigh the good. Just the simple fact that every religion thinks that only “their believers will go to heaven” makes them intolerant of every other religion and the source of endless wars and stife in the world. Why do we need religion? What would happen to the world if there was no religion? The Pope recently pointed his finger at the atheists for having caused millions of deaths, which he explained to mean the Communists. That doesn’t nearly equal the damage done to the world by Christianity and its fervent adherents. The dark ages were Christianity’s hey day and is said to have pushed back scientific progress, 500 years. The prohibitions against DNA studies alone, are estimated to have caused untold damage to scientific knowledge that might have substantially increased human life span, were it not for the pro-occupation with the fantasy that fetuses have “souls” imparted by God, at the instant of conception. Can anyone imagine such an idea actually being accepted by intelligent human beings? What is a “soul”? Who puts it “there” and where is “there”? Why haven’t doctors ever located one? And if those ideas aren’t offensive to the intelligence we are supposed to have, I offer you the argument that God does nothing to prevent crime or injury, neither to individuals, nor to entire nations, because he allows us the have “free will”. Isn’t that grand? So nothing, not prayer, not compassion, not good will, not pity, not anything will get God to do anything to stop or promote anything, now, later or ever, because we supposedly have “free will”. If a criminal wants to murder children, he has the free will to do so. If the Muslims want to fly passenger planes into skyscrapers, they have the free will to do so. If the Nazis want to murder 6 million Jews, God does nothing. So what does God do that we pray for? What compassion does he show for “his children”? After what amounts to a god-less life for all of us, believers or not, where we are told that God does not interfere in human events, thereby leaving us essentially “on our own” from birth to death, now the religious people want to believe that God will judge them at the time of their death and let them enter something called heaven? Why would any trusting person believe that? The only thing we can depend upon is that God, if there is such a thing, will do what he has done throughout our lives, absolutely nothing. Not a blessed thing. Oh yes, when the believers finally discover that death means death and nothing else, they will come up with some other malarky, like “God has free will also, to judge you or not judge you, as he sees fit. Many people don’t go to heaven or to hell either. They wander around in limbo, because God has decided, in his great knowlege, to do nothing. This is the “do nothing” theory. It has not become known yet, as no one has proven that God actually does that, since spirits can’t be seen. If spirits will ever be seen, you can bet your life that some explanation will come forth as to God’s lack of concern or action and the religious people will continue to praise God for what, we do not know, and continue to pledge their faith in his righteous “nothingness” and his failure to do anything, ever .
2-7-08 – – a review of a book reviewer
Did you see that awful article by Paul Campos in the Register a couple of days ago, where he makes fun of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al? What a bunch of religious double-talk. He said that If an angel of the Lord would appear in front of Dawkins, that Dawkins would not believe that he even saw him because atheists do not believe in angels. So his eyesight would fail? He wouldn’t believe what he saw with his own eyes? So all those angels that are walking around the streets are invisible to atheists? I think
Campos is telling us that atheists would never believe in the truth, even if it was lie. I guess angels do that stufff all the time. I just wasn’t aware that it ever happened recently, or in the last few years, or actually at any time in the entire recorded history of mankind, but what do I know. That just proves to me how ignorant I must be; you know, the last to know, and all that. I guess
Campos reads a different newspaper, like Angel Watch or something. I just don’t happen to suscribe. Can you imagine anything more crazy?
Campos must think angels are here all the time, just like vampires, like Santa Claus and like the tooth fairy. Everyone knows that, don’t they? Except if you’re over seven or eight years of age. Gosh. I’m convinced.
Campos sure makes a point. I hope he sits on it. That naughty Dawkins. Angels just don’t get no respect. Those bad old atheists. They don’t believe nuthin.