Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Be honest about your religious beliefs

*Iowa State Daily column by Ian Timberlake*

It is humorous to hear someone claim they are Christian, only to find out later through winded discussion that they really don’t believe much in the biblical text. Isn’t that what it means to be a Christian? Following the teachings of the Bible? If not, then what separates a “loose” Christian from a “loose” Muslim, or Jew, or Greek Path?

Nothing.

If you claim a religion because it symbolizes a way to live out your life but you don’t adhere to a majority of the unique (I stress “unique”) teachings, then you are just living a falsehood, especially if you claim only specific teachings. An atheist, agnostic, or deist that gets their morals and “teachings” from things like “the golden rule”, are no different than a “Christian” who chooses what to believe out of their religious text.

Someone who believes in a higher power, a god, if you will, but does not subscribe to a belief system or rejects the idea of a god that intervenes, would conventionally be called a “deist”. Today, those that call themselves “liberal” or “progressive” Christians, are most likely a deist or undecided/indifferent believer. They have just failed to come to terms with it or lack the care to do so.

At what point is the Bible to be taken literally or metaphorically? Everyone has a different account, unless you take the script at one hundred percent face value and you don’t boil your child in mother’s milk because it says so, a line that can be taken literally and metaphorically.

If the entire text is so metaphorical and malleable, what is the point in choosing that religion? It has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with how you were raised. Don’t tell me that humans didn’t have the capacity to restrain themselves from murder until they reached the foothills of Mount Sinai, or that you would suddenly go on a raping spree if you didn’t believe in a god. Morality can be just as easily explained with evolution as biology can.

Apologists might say that religion can be different for everyone, giving way to such malleable interpretations that literally are opposite that of the religious text. If you are against homosexual marriage, something that the bible speaks very little of and without reference to Jesus, then you most surely must be against divorce, or sex before marriage, or haircuts. And for the owning of slaves and ownership and control of women.

Which leads me to find humor when I see an online dating profile that claims “Christianity — and very serious about it”, but lists “casual sex” as to what they are looking for, has tattoos, and advocates for feminism.

At what point do you stop and say that you aren’t living Christian? Or any other religion for that matter.

I’m an atheist for many reasons. Atheist is often defined as a “freethinker”, which the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics defines as: “[A]n individual should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.”

I didn’t really call myself an atheist until the middle of high school and even then, I wasn’t so outspoken about it for fear of negative reaction. Although before then, I don’t ever recall having a reason to believe in a god like the Christian one that so many people in my demographic followed. It seemed silly to me that so many people were reading the Bible in bits and pieces. As early as elementary school I remember being confused by this.

I am an atheist, and I have read the Bible cover to cover… not many people I know, who claim Christianity, can say that. I find that a bit ironic.

What I ask of you is to question exactly what it is you believe and to be honest with yourself. If you claim Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, own up to what it instructs. If your metaphorical interpretation isn’t remotely in line with the literal, it likely isn’t the way it’s meant to be interpreted.

If your interpretation of the Bible is so loose that you “pick and choose” or take it as a broad swathing metaphor, you probably aren’t any more Christian than an agnostic or deist because the difference between that and any other broad swathing religion is zilch.

 

 

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Spectacular 40 Year “Blue Marble” Anniversary Video

This is a spectacular video put together by people involved with the space program, past and present. It focuses on the implications Earth has had on humanity just by simply seeing it from above, and not within. Take the short time out of your day to watch this video and please pass it on.

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What Is Time & Is Time Infinite & How Does Time Relate To The Universe

For many years I’ve tried to understand the concept of “time” and how it shapes us and the universe as a whole. Sure, time is trivial to understand when we talk about it in terms of the environment in which we live, but that doesn’t really mean anything when we are on a universal (and fundamental) scale. To put it quite simply, humans created the unit of time. Time is not something you can go out and measure quantitatively (as of yet)… this is why it’s known as the universal independent variable. In order for one human’s path in space to intersect with another human’s path in space, an order of time must be created otherwise the head of your paths are unlikely to meet together. Many years ago we used moon cycles, sun locations and stars in the sky to tell us an order of time. I won’t get into a lot of the history of the creation of time because it doesn’t correlate with my argument, and you can look it up yourself.

The Universe

Understanding time has plagued humanity almost as long as we’ve had cognizant brains. The reason lies with beginnings and with ends. Obviously, when talking about time, it is impossible to avoid the deterioration to the ultimate question… “why are we here” and “where did it all come from”. What I am going to do is attempt to give my explanation to time and the answers to the question postulated above.

Humans are action-reaction creatures. It is how we learn, how we understand, how we decide and how we act. From the moment we are born we become a sponge for information. We witness an event or an action and become of the consequences thereafter. This endless process is what shapes us and our mind. We literally are made up of our experiences. The point being, humans inherently know there are beginnings and ends to everything because it’s intrinsic in the world we are raised in. Naturally, it leads people to wonder why the universe had a beginning and what was the action that caused it. This is where we could get biblical (which is not the purpose of this article). But both sides of the spectrum use arguments of relation to “getting something from nothing”. As in, “the big bang was something from nothing”… or, “god is something from nothing”. I’ll leave the biblical portion of the article to that.

What we fail to recognize is the notion of infinity. BUT WAIT! This is not another argument for infinite time! Anyone with any form of intelligible thought process has heard somebody argue a universe that exists outside that of time, whether religious or not. I do not believe in a universe that has a time line that extends infinitely in both the early and later directions. I speculate that everything in the universe is happening at once.

That’s right, there is no timeline, or rather, it is a timeline of no length. Let me put it into perspective here. If I were to write this entire article fading from the color red to the color blue, would you be able to tell me which letter was purple? The answer is no. But that still isn’t precisely a good analogy. The events in our day are all superfluous, there is no strict beginning or end to events in our day-to-day life. Our brain perceives beginnings and ends to make sense of things because it’s the natural process as to how we learn. But every single little sub-atomic particle in the entire universe is behaving superfluously with each other at any point in “time”, removed from however you divide it, there is no literal beginning of anything, it’s all arbitrary. Which means it’s possible for everything to be happening at once. The only confusion is how we clarify which event happened after another event. Einstein showed how time and space are relative and it has been proven that the faster you go the slower time appears (look up the Hafele-Keating experiment). In fact, without relativity, our GPS satellites wouldn’t work. If time is relative, then maybe we are locked in this mentality of thinking time is an actual thing… simply on the basis we exist at speeds exasperatingly less than the speed of light.

Ultimately, I think the questions, “why are we here” and “where did it all come from”, are invalid questions to ask. It might be an extremely complicated and far out reaching version of the question, “what is the color of the number 3″. That question is a non-question. And we may not be intelligent enough of a species to understand that or see why this is the case. Again, this is just a speculation. But without the existence of “time”. Then there is no beginning and there is no end. There will definitely be an end to humanity at some point in the future, how far out we don’t know.

Ultra zoom in (this shows you where we are in the universe): Click

What existed before the known universe very might as well be another universe, in constant contraction and expansion… or dissipation. Which then begs the question, “what is beyond the “edge” of our universe?” Well, recently, there has been a lot of data coming in from research astrophysicists have been doing that leads us to believe there could be other universes butting up against ours. There are unexplained bubbles of energy all around the “edge” of our universe that come out to be exactly what we would expect if another universe (not too different from ours) were bumping into us. Knowing this, we can speculate an infinite amount of universes, all with their own laws of physics and chemistry and biology. But we would never be able to witness this or go there because time and space and physical law limit us from crossing that “edge”. In our universe, space is expanding, but we can’t go where space isn’t yet and we also can’t see where light hasn’t traveled yet. Which means we would never ever, ever, be able to witness first hand another universe whether one existed or not… only by 2nd hand witnessing would we be able to infer.

I hope this wasn’t too cloudy of an article. My roommate and I talked about this and the like for nearly 2.5 hours trying to come to an agreement of opinion and/or understanding. If you wish to ask a question about my opinion, or leave a comment, feel free to do so below.

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Believe In Psychic Readings? Watch This.

Professional illusionist, Darren Brown, is interviewed by Richard Dawkins, world-renowned evolutionary biologist/intellectual about psychic readings, the paranormal, tarot cards and more. This video is part 1 of 6, if you wish to watch the entire interview just click to the next part at the end of each video.

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The Passive-Aggressive Religious & Famous Atheists

John Lennon - The Beatles

Countless times I have been told by religious people (friends included) that I have no moral structure, don’t know love, don’t have a purpose, and more. The absolute worst is when a religious friend makes a remark that is condescending when they don’t even realize what just came out of their mouth. There have been times where a religious female friend of mine finds out I’m dating a new woman and I get an unintentional passive-aggressive grilling as to how I’m treating said woman I’m dating. It’s almost like my religious friends are assuming that because I don’t believe in their religion, I lack the care and integrity of others, including the people of whom I’m dating. This stuff comes out of the mouths of friends of 4+ years, and it still astonishes me. It makes me question why I’m friends with them (or why they’re friends with me)… but then I realize that without that delusion, they are great people and fun to be around.

“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as Patriots. This is one nation under God”.

- George Bush

Ricky Gervais on Atheism

I am an agnostic-atheist. Agnosticism, is often mistaken for a belief… but nobody can be only agnostic. You are either an agnostic-theist, agnostic-atheist, gnostic-theist, or gnostic-atheist. Realize that there are very few “true” atheists… someone who claims to know that a god does not exist. Most people who claim to be “atheist”, are of the form agnostic-atheist. I, therefore, believe we will never answer the question as to whether a higher power exists or not but that the answer is most probably that one does not exist. This is a form of “Freethought”, which is more fundamental to my beliefs:

Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. – Wikipedia

Here is a list of famous atheists:

Woody Allen, John Lennon, Robert Altman, Daniel Radcliffe, Abe Lincoln, Isaac Asimov, Bill Nye, Barry Manilow, Peter Atkins, Kevin Bacon, Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Kari Byron, William Shatner, Penn & Teller, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Mark Twain, John Adams, Douglas Adams, Seth Green, Jodie Foster, Bruce Lee, Rafael Nadal, Bertrand Russel, Ivan Pavlov, Mark Zuckerberg, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Portman, Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, Marie Curie, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris, Thomas Edison, Stephen Gould, Steven Pinker, Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Dave Mathews, Sir Ian McKellen, Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Christopher Reeve, Gene Roddenberry, Susan B. Anthony, Lance Armstrong, Ricky Gervais, Warren Buffet & Bill Gates (have donated over $70 billion to charity), Ernest Hemingway, Charles Schulz, Richard Branson, Keanu Reeves, James Cameron, Arthur C. Clark, Stephen Hawking, Sigmund Freud, Kathy Griffin, Seth MacFarlane, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Orwell, Charles Darwin (later life), Brad Pitt, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ayn Rand, George Carlin, Matt Stone, Pat Tillman, Kurt Vonnegut, Roger Waters, Gene Wilder (yes, Charlie Chocolate), Steve Wozniak, Rodney Dangerfield, Marlon Brando, Hugh Hefner, Billy Joel, Sarah Silverman, Ted Turner, Ted Williams, Charlie Chaplin, Larry King, Helen Mirren, Katherine Hepburn, Ray Romano, Joe Rogan, Edgar Allan Poe, Hellen Keller, Ben Franklin, Frank Zappa, Robert Frost, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Pierre Laplace, Napoleon, Walt Whitman, Thomas Huxley, Andrew Carnegie, H G Wells, Frank Lloyd Wright, James Joyce, Howard Hughes, Confucius…

… and many many more. Feel Free to comment and/or share below.

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How To Live Impeccably Above Yourself

The Dalai Lama once said the following after being asked what surprises him the most.

‎”Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present; The result being he doesn’t live in the present or the future; He lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama

A little while ago I came across something on the internet that contained a list of ways to make your life impeccably above average. Don’t look at this as one of those silly “self help” posts or therapy sessions. Most everything on the list is something every human being in the world can rather easily improve upon. This list I wrote down on 2 pieces of paper and have posted above my computer desk so that I can see them every day. Make sure to read through all of it and remember that it’s not about making you better than everyone else, but about making you better than yourself.

  1. Exercise daily.
  2. Get serious about gratitude.
  3. See your work as a craft.
  4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
  5. Keep a journal.
  6. Plan a schedule for your week.
  7. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life.
  8. Say no to distractions.
  9. Drink a lot of water.
  10. Improve your work every single day.
  11. Get a mentor.
  12. Hire a coach.
  13. Get up at 5 am each day.
  14. Eat less food.
  15. Find more heroes.
  16. Be a hero to someone.
  17. Smile at strangers.
  18. Be the most ethical person you know.
  19. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence.
  20. Savor life’s simplest pleasures.
  21. Save 10% of your income each month.
  22. Spend time at art galleries.
  23. Walk in the woods.
  24. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you.
  25. Forgive those who’ve wronged you.
  26. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades.
  27. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.
  28. Have 5 great friends.
  29. Become stunningly polite.
  30. Unplug your TV.
  31. Read daily.
  32. Avoid the news.
  33. Be content with what you have.
  34. Pursue your dreams.
  35. Be authentic.
  36. Be passionate.
  37. Say sorry when you know you should.
  38. Never miss a moment to celebrate another.
  39. Have a vision for your life.
  40. Know your strengths.
  41. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack.
  42. Be patient.
  43. Don’t give up.
  44. Clean up your messes.
  45. Use impeccable words.
  46. Travel more.
  47. Honor your parents.
  48. Tip taxi drivers well.
  49. Be a great teammate.
  50. Give no energy to critics.
  51. Spend time in the mountains.
  52. Know your top 5 values.
  53. Shift from being busy to achieving results.
  54. Innovate and iterate.
  55. Speak less. Listen more.
  56. Be the best person you know.
  57. Make your life matter.
If you so wish, add more to your own list, or comment about what you see in this current one.
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Where Were You During Apocalypse May 21, 2011?

Just thought I’d post a real short comment about this so called “Rapture“. First off, I find it hilarious that all this bogus ‘doomsday’ stuff always comes from the religious. Second, you wouldn’t believe what I’ve seen people do to prepare for the coming of the angels who are to make all of humanity repent. I work at an outdoor gear store and we sell military Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) as well as Mountain House backpacking food. We had people coming in months in advance buying out our entire stock of MREs and mountain food. We’ve gotten pallet after pallet of the stuff, literally thousands of units of ration food and it’s all selling out. Mere coincidence? NO! These people tell everyone in the store why they are buying it and that we need to prepare!!!

Sometimes I question the sanity of so called sane people. Einstein really got it right when he said, “There are two things in this world that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity… and I’m not so sure about the former”.

I can just picture somewhere in the world a group of religious nuts sitting in a circle holding hands and chanting prayer at a rapid yet hushed tone for hours on end… completely surrounded by a dimly lit room of candles and incense. If only those people would stay there and not join society again when the end of the world isn’t really the end of the world.

Where were you for the end of the world? Or better yet, what were you doing? I was at work and then went home and started aerospace work.

Timbo

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Ricky Gervais On “Why I’m An Atheist”

Why don’t you believe in God? I get that question all the time. I always try to give a sensitive, reasoned answer. This is usually awkward, time consuming and pointless. People who believe in God don’t need proof of his existence, and they certainly don’t want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like “it’s true to me” and “it’s faith.” I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe,” comes across as both patronizing and impolite.

[UPDATE: For more from Gervais, go to Does God Exist? Ricky Gervais Takes Your Questions]

Arrogance is another accusation. Which seems particularly unfair. Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence -­- evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition. If it did, you wouldn’t get a shot of penicillin, you’d pop a leach down your trousers and pray. Whatever you “believe,” this is not as effective as medicine. Again you can say, “It works for me,” but so do placebos. My point being, I’m saying God doesn’t exist. I’m not saying faith doesn’t exist. I know faith exists. I see it all the time. But believing in something doesn’t make it true. Hoping that something is true doesn’t make it true. The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn’t. It’s not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you can’t have your own facts.

Why don’t I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, “Why don’t you believe I can fly?” You’d say, “Why would I?” I’d reply, “Because it’s a matter of faith.” If I then said, “Prove I can’t fly. Prove I can’t fly see, see, you can’t prove it can you?” You’d probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ‘’F—ing fly then you lunatic.”

This, is of course a spirituality issue, religion is a different matter. As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a god. I don’t think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a god. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different god, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It’s strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are. From what I can gather, pretty much the worst type of person you can be is an atheist. The first four commandments hammer this point home. There is a god, I’m him, no one else is, you’re not as good and don’t forget it. (Don’t murder anyone, doesn’t get a mention till number 6.)

When confronted with anyone who holds my lack of religious faith in such contempt, I say, “It’s the way God made me.”

But what are atheists really being accused of?

The dictionary definition of God is “a supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.

I used to believe in God. The Christian one that is.

I loved Jesus. He was my hero. More than pop stars. More than footballers. More than God. God was by definition omnipotent and perfect. Jesus was a man. He had to work at it. He had temptation but defeated sin. He had integrity and courage. But He was my hero because He was kind. And He was kind to everyone. He didn’t bow to peer pressure or tyranny or cruelty. He didn’t care who you were. He loved you. What a guy. I wanted to be just like Him.

One day when I was about 8 years old, I was drawing the crucifixion as part of my Bible studies homework. I loved art too. And nature. I loved how God made all the animals. They were also perfect. Unconditionally beautiful. It was an amazing world.

I lived in a very poor, working-class estate in an urban sprawl called Reading, about 40 miles west of London. My father was a laborer and my mother was a housewife. I was never ashamed of poverty. It was almost noble. Also, everyone I knew was in the same situation, and I had everything I needed. School was free. My clothes were cheap and always clean and ironed. And mum was always cooking. She was cooking the day I was drawing on the cross.

I was sitting at the kitchen table when my brother came home. He was 11 years older than me, so he would have been 19. He was as smart as anyone I knew, but he was too cheeky. He would answer back and get into trouble. I was a good boy. I went to church and believed in God -– what a relief for a working-class mother. You see, growing up where I did, mums didn’t hope as high as their kids growing up to be doctors; they just hoped their kids didn’t go to jail. So bring them up believing in God and they’ll be good and law abiding. It’s a perfect system. Well, nearly. 75 percent of Americans are God-­‐fearing Christians; 75 percent of prisoners are God-­‐fearing Christians. 10 percent of Americans are atheists; 0.2 percent of prisoners are atheists.

But anyway, there I was happily drawing my hero when my big brother Bob asked, “Why do you believe in God?” Just a simple question. But my mum panicked. “Bob,” she said in a tone that I knew meant, “Shut up.” Why was that a bad thing to ask? If there was a God and my faith was strong it didn’t matter what people said.

Oh…hang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that. I started thinking about it and asking more questions, and within an hour, I was an atheist.

Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my new found atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. I learned of evolution -– a theory so simple that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals and us –- with imagination, free will, love, humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.

But living an honest life -– for that you need the truth. That’s the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.

So what does the question “Why don’t you believe in God?” really mean. I think when someone asks that they are really questioning their own belief. In a way they are asking “what makes you so special? “How come you weren’t brainwashed with the rest of us?” “How dare you say I’m a fool and I’m not going to heaven, f— you!” Let’s be honest, if one person believed in God he would be considered pretty strange. But because it’s a very popular view it’s accepted. And why is it such a popular view? That’s obvious. It’s an attractive proposition. Believe in me and live forever. Again if it was just a case of spirituality this would be fine.

“Do unto others…” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

You May Also Like: http://iantimberlake.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/the-un-society-of-atheism-why-theists-are-more-unholy-than-atheists/

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/12/19/a-holiday-message-from-ricky-gervais-why-im-an-atheist/

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Richard Dawkins Interviewed by Revelation TV

Very interesting interview/debate on Revelation TV with renown atheistic author Richard Dawkins. This video is long but it provides a deep insight into the thoughts of both a theist and atheist, well worth it.

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The Un-Society of Atheism: Why Theists Are More Unholy than Atheists

Atheism is not a belief… it is an un-belief. You can’t generalize atheists because by the very fact it is an un-society makes it impossible to categorize them. The only thing that one atheist shares with another atheist is the fact that they both agree to disagree on one subject area of life on Earth.

I’m going to go with an old adage… If I had a nickel for every time I heard of an atheist being belittled and publicly scrutinized amongst a large audience or amongst their peers, I would be able to buy all the rights to the Bible. Atheists are likened to be violent, unintelligent, prostitutes, addicts, murderous, thievs, criminals… like it’s written in code. I have heard people say this to my face before they knew my beliefs. I have as well heard it after they knew my beliefs.

Actually, I had a friend tell me to my face that they wish all the atheists in the world were locked up because they’re no good child molesters. I saw the irony in this and laughed (if you got that, you’ll laugh too). I responded by saying, “I’m an atheist”. When hearing this, he sort of cocked his head and looked at me without saying a word for several seconds then mumbled with cherry red shame something like, “I had no idea”.

Now in that instance I said I was an atheist… when I usually don’t refer to myself as an atheist. I don’t like associating myself with a direct idea because the perception of these associations classifies me for better or for worse depending on the person. Because it then implies that I need to live my life under certain guidelines of that association. I don’t believe in small government because I tend to vote republican.

As far as intelligence goes, there are actually many documented studies out there from many places with large and small sample sizes that show that the less religious you are, the more intelligent you are. Example.

The absolute biggest problem I have is when a theist will refuse to get into a relationship or move a relationship further simply because of religion/non-religion. This, in my eyes, is the worst atrocity of religion. The denying of undeniable love and affection simply on the basis of what one believes when neither truly knows the answer.

I read in an About.com post, numbers from a Minnesota University study that showed that atheists are the most discriminated, despised, distrusted people in America.

This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society…

    Atheist: 39.6%
    Muslims: 26.3%
    Homosexuals: 22.6%
    Hispanics: 20%
    Conservative Christians: 13.5%
    Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
    Jews: 7.6%
    I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group….
    Atheist: 47.6%
    Muslim: 33.5%
    African-American 27.2%
    Asian-Americans: 18.5%
    Hispanics: 18.5%
    Jews: 11.8%
    Conservative Christians: 6.9%
    Whites: 2.3%

I Google searched this study because the author didn’t provide the in text source and had a hard time finding it but found many, many hits that related to the discrimination of atheists in American society. You can try and find the exact study if you like, that is not as important to me as my point.

My problem is the extreme level of hypocracy amongst theists of all kinds. I want you to look at every war in history and tell me how many of those were fought because of religious ideas? This one is said a lot but that’s because it is a serious question to be answered. If atheists are as violent as they are claimed to be and as vindictive and murderous as likened, then why is it that nearly all religions in the world will fight simply for the notion of spreading their belief that much further? That alone is hypocritical and then you introduce the things in the Bible that say it’s a sin to kill another human.

There is no stopping in showing the unbelievable level of hypocracy amongst theists. And what really frustrates me the most about it is that there is almost this idea in the religious that they have a “get out of jail free card”. This is where the title of my article comes into play. Theists know that as long as they believe, their sins can be forgiven and their “pathetic (said from theist)”  lives will eventually be rewarded in the afterlife. Whereas the believers use atheists as a scapegoat for persecution simply because they are “living a sin and will forever be condemned to hell”. Mind you all this stuff is buried in children’s minds from the time they are born and begin going to church.

I got into a discussion with a fairly close friend and colleague about this and I asked him, “Do you believe that I am going to hell?” He sat in silence pondering the correct way to answer this question for at least 10 seconds and responded by saying, “yeah, I guess so”. I don’t believe in hell, but this still bothered me. Because here I am sitting with a friend who has known me for years and knows the life I live yet he is still willing to proclaim that I am going to hell simply because I don’t believe in his religion… even though he knows that I am no more “sinful” than his self.

This article isn’t meant to be against religion. In fact, I am not against religion except in the fact that it is forced upon in children from the day they are born and aren’t given the option to decide for themselves. In many ways, I believe religion is good for many people. It is perfectly fine with me if you want to believe in a god, you just sure as hell better start giving the respect of “freedom of religion” like atheists do to you. Chances are at least 1 in 5 of the people you regularly interact with are atheist, they just are too afraid to outright say it for fear of loss of relationship.

Atheists don’t discriminate against those of other religions. They don’t fight over religion, they don’t care. I could argue how atheists are the most peaceful of all people in the world and I could make a bulletproof case of it. Atheists don’t have anything against theists, except maybe the discrimination they receive from them. As far as I can tell, atheists are living more godly than theists are.

Additionally, both the religious and non-religious need to understand that there is no argument to be had. The ideology of religion and non-religion is based off things that cannot be compared. The two are literally on separate worlds. An atheist can’t argue against religion using science and logic on a system that has the power to neglect using such thing as faith and omnipotence. And theists can’t argue against atheists using things like the complexity of life and the universe can only be godly.

To put it simply, I don’t hope you “see the light” and leave god behind. Keep what you believe in, that’s called confidence in choice. Just don’t be arrogant and hypocritical enough to believe everything you’ve been told atheists are. The level of integrity and distrust that creates towards your religion isn’t worth it.

Feel free to share your opinions, “like” it or share this page with the links below… this kind of stuff is good to talk about and open up about.

- Timbo

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