Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekend at Bradley's

Except the zombie in question is Jewish

Last weekend I headed down to Peoria, IL for the event being put on by the BU Skeptics. It was a whole weekend's worth of activities but I was only able to attend on Saturday. If you want a full run-down of what happened, Russell Glasser and Matt Dillahunty(who were a big part of the weekend, and hosts of the evermore popular show The Atheist Experience) have summed the whole thing up nicely.

I think fun was had by all, and it was definitely an experience to remember. I don't know where or when the video will be released, but I know there was a guy there with a camera and I believe he was affiliated with the college or the group. If I hear something I will post an update.

Since Matt and Russell did a great job with their recountings of the weekend, I will just post some pictures from the meeting for all to see. Enjoy!

Mclovin and company talking to Matt afterwards

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do We Need the Word "Atheist"?

Theists often ask me why I care so much about something I don't believe in. When I first started openly questioning religion, I couldn't answer that question. I knew why, but I just couldn't put it into words yet. The reason is because the claims and actions of theists can be harmful to people, on a psychological and physical level. I don't refute the claims of Bigfoot sightings because while I don't believe in them, I also don't believe that other people believing in Bigfoot will have a negative effect on society in general, or even that person specifically. A belief in god can have profound effects on one's actions and thoughts, cognitive dissonance notwithstanding.

All of that is well and good, but why does this community of people need to have their own label? The only reason there is a need to call attention to the fact that we haven't been convinced there is a god is because there are people out there trying to convince others there is a god. I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't wake up one day and decide to boycott God Inc.. I don't hate god, the same way I don't hate Bigfoot.

When I really think about it, I can understand why some theists might think atheism is this group that dissenters join when they are mad at god, or if they don't want to be responsible for their actions, allowing them to “live it up” with a clear conscience. Sometimes I hear some atheists speak as if they are speaking for atheists everywhere, and while it bothers me slightly because speaking on behalf of a group indicates that everyone in the group thinks the same way, and possibly because there is a doctrine that says they have to, I can't be too mad because usually atheists only speak in those kinds of terms for wholly accepted truths. The only example I can think of is when atheists tell theists that the only thing that all atheists have in common is that we don't believe in god.

The label of atheist is a necessity in my mind, and will continue to be until we reach a point where religions like Christianity are taken as seriously as religions like Scientology, and I don't see that day arriving anytime soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Problems with God

I've never read any of the holy books in their entirety. I've read bits and pieces of some, the Christian Bible more than any other, but not very much of any of them. I've had people tell me that if I've never read insert your favorite holy book here, that I can't possibly begin to comment on it's truth value. I'll set aside the idea that all of these supposed holy books have one thing in common: none of them have evidence to back up the miracles and deity to human communication that all of them claim to have happened. I'll do that because I can, for the sake of argument, assume that a god does exist and still have many monkey wrenches to throw in the gears that are their arguments.

There isn't a need to list them because even if none of those can convince you(and I know they won't) I can take a step back and say that even if any of those gods do exist, I wouldn't worship them. I would curse that god every day, telling him he is a coward like none other. I would dare him to show his face. Any theist who has ever heard me say that always replies the same way; when you stand in front of god, you WILL bow before him. I have always thought that could mean that I would either be so scared or awestruck that I would have to bow in his awesome presence or that he would force me to bow with his godly power. Maybe it's the tone of smug glee that comes standard with the aforementioned statement, but I really feel theists believe their god isn't above forcing someone to bow before him. That is a scary thought.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Lord is my shepherd(if shepherd = pimp)

About a month ago, I had to drive up to Wisconsin and spend a few hours inside a church. While I was there I saw two kinds of hymnal books; one that looked like every other hymnal I had seen in any other church I had ever gone to while the other was quite unique. Curious, I grabbed one from a pew and opened it up.

While seeing such self deprecating language is neither new nor particularly shocking, the cover of this book puts everything in a different perspective.

That's right folks, statements such as "I am not good enough for [Jesus] to come to me." are being spoken by children before they're to participate in communion.

I invite theists of all stripes to help me understand how a child that is being given information like that from trusted individuals at such an early age allows for the child to have a fair and objective shot at making unbiased decisions on spirituality or lack thereof.

Just a thought: The overwhelming majority of people that ever accepted the premise that supernatural beings could exist were children.

The Unicorn has spoken.