Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Should We Call Non-Believers?

By strict definition of the term, Atheists do not merely have a passive lack of belief in god, but actively deny his existence. The proof for this definition can be found in any reputable defining publication, such as the Merriam-Webster dictionary which simply says an Atheist is one who believes there is no deity.

However, as of late, those who call themselves atheists would have you believe that they simply have no belief in a deity, not that they are making a claim that there is not one. This is obviously a wiser choice, since the existence of a deity cannot be proven or unproven. However, it falls into the definition of agnosticism more than it does atheism. Agnostics simply claim no belief either way...a wise position to take on any fantastical, unprovable claim.

But what is the common ground between agnostics and atheists? Neither believe in a deity. At first, an agnostic might say, "Whoa...I think there may or may not be a god, and am undecided."

Well, if you are undecided, then you do not currently have a belief that there IS a god. So therefore, you don't believe in god.

Atheists don't believe in god. Agnostics don't believe in god. That's the bottom line. We should have a term that encompasses all who do not believe in god. And refer to that collective intelligence as a single group.

Nonbelievers? Unbelievers? Nontheists? Brights? Reasonists?
None of these are very catchy.
Any ideas?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Worst Superhero

Friday, May 28, 2010

Which Religion Should I Choose?

In the Beginning....

May 13, 2010

...there was void, or chaos, or nothing, or everything and nothing, or darkness, or a sky world, or heaven, or heaven and earth together, or heaven and water together, or six heavens and six hells, or a supreme formless Entity, or several Entities, or some combination thereof with various modifications.

In this primordial Initial State, either Allah, Jehovah, Purusha, Brahma, Manitou, Chaos, a Spirit, the "King Above the Sky," the "Holy Supreme Wind," the Dreamtime gods, a supreme formless Entity and the Archetypal Man, the Goddess, a small bearded man or some other divine, or supernatural, or superhuman, or extra-human being (or beings) or elemental essence or concept that I might have overlooked...

...either dreamed, spoke, caused, made, planted seeds, gave birth, brought forth, formed, sacrificed itself, was sacrificed by others, or some other such action or series of events that eventually resulted in the creation of the universe as we know it.


Later, in some cases, either Athena, Chimalman, Hera, Hertha, Isis, Juno, Mary, Ostara, Shin-Moo, Sochiquetzal, or some other virgin mother whose name is lost to us (or whom I may have overlooked), may, or may not have, given birth to other gods or god-men like....

...Krishna, Serapis, Mars/Ares, Buddha, Dionysus/Bacchus, Jesus, Adonis, Apollo, Heracles ("Hercules"), Bali, Hesus, Odin, Prometheus, or dozens or more others I missed, many of whom were either crucified or executed in sacrifice for mankind.

From there it gets more complicated. In fact, if I were to continue, it may become entirely incomprehensible.

What I attempted to do is combine stories from many of the various beliefs of the past and present. The point is to show how many there are (and these aren't all of them by a long shot).

They can't all be true, so how do I determine which one to believe in? I've been told my "eternal soul" might be at stake and I don't want to bet on the wrong horse, after all. Should I pick whichever one is the oldest? I don't know which one that might be because many were passed down orally for many years before they were written down. The oldest ones might have been lost by now anyway. Should I pick whichever one has the largest number of adherents? I'm not sure that would be right. There have been times in the past when more people believed something different from what they believe today. Christianity has the largest number of adherents now, but that wasn't always the case. Did the truth change at the moment the believers in Christianity exceeded the believers in whatever religion was more popular before it? At some point in the future, if Islam overtakes Christianity in the number of adherents (considering it's growing faster), would that make a difference in whether or not it's true? Also, since the majority of the world's population doesn't believe in Christianity, would that outweigh the fact that it had the largest number of adherents? And what if people stopped believing in it entirely?

Okay, I just sent my Southern Baptist brother an email. I asked him, hypothetically, if in 5,000 years (more or less) no one believed in Christianity anymore, would that mean it was wrong?

He said no.

Although this in no way constitutes a scientific survey by any stretch of the imagination, I suspect this would be the opinion of most believers. But, obviously, there have been many things in the past most people believed that turned out to be wrong, so I can't decide which religion is correct based on its number of adherents.

(I guess that rules out two of my other questions: can I dismiss all the religions no one believes in anymore simply because no one believes them? And, should I choose a religion by picking whichever one was oldest and still has adherents?)

Should I believe in whichever religion is the most recent? Since new religions keep popping up, I would expect to have to change my beliefs every so often. That doesn't seem to be very smart.

What if I picked based on what my parents' believed? Would that make sense? I guess that's no way to tell which one is true for sure. It appears that believing what your parents' believed has resulted in people coming to many different conclusions. I think Einstein was a pretty smart guy...should I choose based on what he believed? I know there have been other very intelligent people that had other beliefs, so I can't go by that. What if I picked based on what most people around me believed so that I won't be shunned or ridiculed? I don't think that would be very courageous or any more likely to result in me choosing correctly.

Should I pick based on which one I like best? Would that be the best way to decide which one is true? I know from experience that the truth about something is not always the most appealing thing I might want to believe. What if I pick one I really like and it turns out to be wrong? I might spend eternity in hell-fire or something.

Maybe I should believe the one that makes the most terrible threats against not believing in it? If I do that at least I'll know I won't suffer the worst fate among all the options... The problem with that is that there are several of them that seem equally bad. Also, what if a new one comes along that threatens nonbelievers with something worse?

What if I just come up with my own? Evidently some people have done it, why not me? But I suppose coming up with my own wouldn't necessarily make it true (no matter how fun it might be).

What if I put a list of all the gods I know down on paper, close my eyes, and ask for guidance before I put my finger down somewhere on the page without looking?

Hold on...

It looks like the old Korean god JoMulJu wins! Believers have always told me to ask for guidance and put my faith in something and I would get an answer. If that is true, JoMulJu is the One True God!

Hmmm...The problem with that is it seems when other people do it they get other responses. Maybe that isn't the best way to do it either.

Are there any of them that seem to have anything special about them, something to recommend them above the others? Hmmm...

Let's see... Several claim that their prophecies have been fulfilled, so I can't go by that. There are many that claim a Son of God figure, death and resurrection, healings, revelations, miracles and such things, so I can't go by that. We have already ruled out judging by whichever one is the oldest, has most adherents, is oldest that still has adherents, is most recent, is most threatening, is most appealing...

What else?

Can I judge based on the effects various religions have on adherents? Maybe that is the something special I could look for? Buddhism might be the least violent, but then there are the Quakers and Jehovah's Witnesses. Christians might have the most material wealth overall, but that seems like it might be contrary to their own scriptures. Jews seem to have survived as a people for a long time despite facing some really harsh attacks over the years. Islam seems to be more dynamic lately. It seems there are unique things about each one, but how do I pick which unique thing is more important (or relevant)? And is being unique in some way any more likely to make something true?

Can I eliminate some religions based on how silly or absurd they seem? Some of them seem pretty strange: a god vomiting the sun, a god being impregnated by an obsidian knife, a god placing land on the back of a golden frog, a god making a woman out of a bear, a god making a man out of clay, a god making a woman out of a man's rib. You can find everything from winged horses and virgin births to "stopping" the sun and parting the seas. Actually, most of them are filled with hard-to-believe, miraculous or supernatural claims.

I guess if I had to pick one that seemed the least absurd, Buddhism might come out on top (or maybe some of the ones I didn't cover, like Jainism or the Baha'i Faith). But some may make the argument of fideism: credo quia absurdum, or I believe it because it is absurd. So I might not be able to rule out something just because it seems absurd.

Can I judge by their holy books? I've read most all of the holy books of the major religions. They all seem to have internal problems for which their adherents have to do tortured and convoluted back-flips to explain. Another problem is that if I pick any one of them, I will find their adherents interpreting the same holy book differently, which leads to different sects within each of the various beliefs.

That compounds my dilemma. Even if I pick one religion out of so many, I'll then need to pick among the different sects. To use just one example, there might be just enough difference between the Baptists' and the Catholics' requirements for salvation that it would significantly affect my fate. And then there are all the different Baptists, and the different individual interpretations even within the same congregation... But I'll not worry about that right now.

Some people claim to have had personal revelations from their god, but you can find people claiming personal revelations in every religion that has adherents. I've had my own epiphany moments, but I've never had some supernatural being bestowing revelations upon me even when I was open to receiving them. The only person I found I was talking to when I prayed as a kid was myself. Even if I did have some god come down and talk to me, how could I distinguish it from some mental delusion (or some powerful posing demon, leading me astray)?

So how do I pick? If I want to bet that one of these is correct, if I want to bet that there is some absurd or supernatural explanation (rather than a natural one that we don't yet understand), how do I decide?

See, it isn't a 50/50 chance here. It isn't like I can just bet there is a God rather than bet there isn't in order to cover my ass (Pascal's Wager); I've got to decide which supernatural explanation of the various religions is the correct one, and I've got to consider the possibility that there is a correct supernatural explanation that no one has conceived of yet--or that there could be some correct supernatural explanations that might never be conceived.

I know there will be some believers that read this and think they have some convincing reason for their belief that I didn't cover. I've been studying this most of my life and I haven't seen or heard a convincing one yet. There is nothing they can say about which I haven't heard something similar regarding another religion. If there is something they think is unique about their religion, then believers of other religions have some other unique thing they can say about their religion as well.

"True" believers of any of these religions should try to talk to the "true" believers of some of the other religions. If they spend some time listening to the other believer's argument, I'm sure they will find things that will seem absurd to them, things that don't make sense, and things that appear outrageous. That is how they all sound to me. If they can understand why it is they don't buy what a "true" believer of another religion is saying, they will begin to understand why I'm not buying what they are saying.

I'm sitting here in a kind of default position, not actively believing in any of these religions--just like a newborn baby. I've been told I should take a "leap of faith" in one direction or another into belief, but how do I decide which way to leap? It seems to me that leaping in the wrong direction might be worse than not leaping at all.

I don't actively have to do anything not to believe something, I don't have to believe one thing to not to have a belief in something else, and I don't even have to know with absolute metaphysical certainty if something is true (or not true) not to believe it.

What would cause me to take such a leap into belief?

I would have to be provided some compelling reason, and, as Carl Sagan supposedly said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Until and unless someone or something provides me with that evidence, I see no reason to move from my default position.

I don't have to prove that all these beliefs (and the gods that go with them) aren't true. If people ask me why I don't believe in God, I have a right to ask them which one they are talking about. Since some people have a different idea about what they mean by "God" (eg: Nature, a "force" as opposed to a being, "All That Is," etc.), I think I have a right to ask them to define what they mean so I will know what they are asking me. If they don't want to define what they mean, then how can I know what they are talking about? I don't possess any mind-reading abilities.

If they can describe what they mean, then I might be able to answer them. If they can't, then the best answer I can give is that I've not seen any compelling reason or evidence that would motivate me to take that "leap of faith" into belief in any one of these many supernatural options.

On the most basic level, theism is "a belief in a god or gods;" a-theism is "without a belief in a god or gods."

I guess that makes me an atheist.

Joseph McDaniel Stewart is the vice president of FreeThoughtAction and manages the website for UnitedCor. He also serves on the American Humanist Association's media committee.

Thursday, May 27, 2010



Theists, and others, use the word "faith" to mean many different things. Faith can mean trust in someone for example. But when it comes to religious belief, faith means belief in something despite a lack of evidence (or, in many cases, belief in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary). Is this kind of faith rational?

"I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose." - Clarence Darrow

It makes just as much sense to have faith in Mother Goose as it does to have faith in a god. Many theists think that faith in Mother Goose would be ridiculous while faith in God is not. This is because they have been conditioned, often from birth, to have faith in their god and not to have faith in the many other equally plausible magical creatures. When someone says that faith is the reason that they believe in something, what they are really saying is that they have no valid reason whatsoever for holding their belief, but they believe anyway because they feel like it. Faith is nothing more than wishful thinking.

If one person can use faith to justify a belief, another person can use faith to justify a diametrically opposed belief. For example, faith provides no way of discerning who is correct when someone says that they have faith that God created the universe and someone else says that they have faith that the Invisible Pink Unicorn created the universe. Since it is clear that faith cannot be used to reliably justify any belief, we have to conclude that faith is irrational. In fact, in the entire history of human civilization, the only methods that we have been able to come up with for determining whether or not some claim is true are reason and objective experimentation that is repeatable, i.e., the scientific method.

Some theists claim that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a theist. Nothing could be further from the truth. An atheist's lack of belief in gods is not a result of having faith that gods do not exist, but a result of lacking faith that gods do exist. Some atheists don't just lack belief in gods, but actively believe that gods don't exist. This belief does not come from faith, however, but from reason and evidence. Rational freethinkers, whether they be atheists, agnostics or other, invariably reject faith as epistemological nonsense.

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." - William Kingdon Clifford

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To the Moderate Religious

Moderate Christians (as opposed to fundamentalists) do not believe that the Bible is necessarily a literal account of historical events. To them, such things as Adam and Eve, Noah, etc. are just stories meant to convey an overall message.

In a video called The Four Horsemen, Sam Harris made a great point. He said that Moderates never admit to how they came to stop taking these stories literally. How is it that they came to be moderate? They have lost faith in the literalism of the text. Just as atheists have no faith in the whole of it.

How can they criticize atheists for not believing in the Bible, when they themselves have stopped believing in it to some degree?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

No Need for Bibles

Christians really only half-heartedly gesture toward the Bible as the foundation for their beliefs.

There are countless beliefs, practices, and ceremonies that have nothing to do with the Bible. From dates of religious holidays to making the sign of the cross, religion is about MAN's ideas and traditions. The older, the better. For some reason, antiquity has great merit to modern man.

When people say "ancient manuscript" or "ancient remedies" it is often to imply that they are somehow better, because they are old. As if ancient man was so much wiser than modern man.

That is sad, because the very opposite is true. Next time someone uses the term "ancient" make a mental effort to realize that "inferior" could be used in its place.

Back to the main subject of this post. Religion gains it's strength and reputability mostly on the basis of how many other people believe it. It doesn't even matter what the religion professes, if everyone around you claims to believe it's true, you automatically have the tendency to go along with them.

Imagine for a second that everyone around you had no belief in the Bible, and treated it as nothing more than mythology. Nobody went to church, or said prayers, or celebrated the religious holidays, except for you.

That fact alone would cause you to seriously reconsider your religious convictions, wouldn't it? If everyone looked at you like you were crazy for believing the Bible, I guarantee your belief system wouldn't last long.

So my point is that religious faith has nothing to do with the Bible, or any spiritual "truths" or divine inspiration. It has solely to do with the sheer volume of people who believe.

And THAT's why religions WANT you to believe. That's why they proselytize belief; why belief is SO important. The MORE who belief, the stronger everyone's belief becomes.

A shared belief acts as validation where no real validation can be found.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Proof That America Was Not Founded On Christian Beliefs

In a treaty of peace between the U.S. and the subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, the following is written:

Article 11: As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

The treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

Good Quotes About Religion

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
--Steven Weinberg

"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof."
--Christopher Hitchens

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason"
--Benjamin Franklin

"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."
--Thomas Jefferson

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
--Edward Gibbon

"Where knowledge ends, religion begins."
--Benjamin Disraeli

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
--Isaac Asimov

Friday, January 23, 2009

James Randi Is The Man

And once again, great minds think alike.

Religion Is A Virus

In this article, Tufts University professor, Daniel Dennett, describes how religion is like a virus.

Key points:
  • Religious ideas survive and thrive using a process similar to natural selection
  • Religious tenets have been adopted to help ensure survival of the belief--such as: believing without proof (faith) is a virtue, humans shouldn't question God, etc.
  • Religion gives it's followers a powerful placebo effect
  • Atheists should not cater to, or tolerate religion.
  • Religion is on the way out.
I believe religion is indeed on the way out. The internet helps in this, as it enables truth and logic to expose the silliness and irrationality of ancient beliefs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shame on Religion

Some ask, "Why dispute religion when it does no harm?"

Well, there are many instances where the false beliefs of religion do cause harm.

Here's one example:

A man who is (by all outward actions and appearances) a good person, loses a child in a terrible accident. Being a religious man, he cannot understand why a loving god would allow such a terrible thing to happen to him.

The only way that others can justify this to him, is by telling him that God has his reasons.

Now, more terrible things happen to this fellow. His house burns down, he loses his job, etc.

Now his fellow believers are starting to think that God's reasons are to punish this guy for something! So on top of all the misery being suffered by this guy, he is now looked down upon by his peers as being unclean!

A real life example: when New Orleans got wiped out by hurricane Katrina, many religious fools blamed it on the lifestyles of those living in New Orleans! The holier-than-thous believed the poor people of New Orleans got what they deserved!

This is one small example of why religion should be opposed, and not just tolerated.

More than any other thing, religion breeds hatred.

Miracle on the Hudson

A plane that crash landed in the Hudson river is being hailed as a miracle, because nobody died.
First of all, nothing miraculous happened. An uncommon event? Yes. With a good outcome? Indeed. But were any laws of physics broken to support a claim for the miraculous? No.

Isn't it funny how, when something good happens, it is so easy to explain how and why God works? Yet when something terrible happens for no apparent reason, believers are forced to say that God works in mysterious ways that nobody can understand.

How can you have it both ways? Either God is reasonable, and you understand Him, or He isn't and you don't.

A reasonable person should be able to see what is going on here: it's simply rationalizing in order to support an illogical belief system.

One cannot logically attribute good events to God because it makes sense (it makes sense to save people from harm!), and at the same time claim that God's ways cannot be understood (where was He on 9/11/01?).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Political Pet Peeve

One thing always annoys me come election time: the people out there encouraging strangers to vote.

"Get out and vote!", they beg. "It's your duty, and you need to exercise the hard-earned privilege!"

But could they really be so ignorant as to think that randomly encouraging others will help their cause? Are they so naive that they think everyone stands for what they stand for, and will thus vote accordingly?

Why implore the general populous to vote? There is an equal chance that they are against you as there is that they are with you, so why not just shut up about it?

You should only be encouraging people to vote who agree with you on the issues you value.

If you indiscriminately encourage strangers to vote, you're not using your brain properly.


Legal Logic


If the bible were to be taken literally, then one should be able to move a mountain if they had faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Has any such thing ever happened? Has anyone ever told a mountain to move, and then had it do so? If not, then it must mean that faith doesn't literally work that way, or nobody truly has ever had such faith.

If the verse were true, and people truly believed it, then these "true believers" should be making miracles occur on a daily basis, based on faith alone.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Harp Zombie


Crazy Abe's

This is my favorite. A work of sheer comedic genius, if I do say so myself.


Mad God


I've discovered the site where you can quite easily create your own comic strips.
So I played around and came up with a few. It is an enjoyable challenge to try to get a point across in the span of a short comic strip.

Here is the first I did. Just hover your mouse over the side to scroll it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Friday, June 6, 2008

Comfortable Sacrifice

Here is further evidence that there is no truly selfless act.

If and when you help a person in need, the only reason you do so is because it satisfies yourself, or makes you happy. If you did not gain something from the act, you would not do it.

For example, say you donate a can of soup to whatever charity that collects canned goods. That soup you gave hurts you financially a little bit, but not enough to make your life uncomfortable. Most people only give what they can bear to part with. So how is that admirable?

Why stop at the can of soup? If you really want to give and you really want to sacrifice, give half of the food in your house. Devote half of your grocery budget to the needy, and learn to live on rice and water. Who does that? Nobody I know.

Why? Because it hurts too much. It's outside the zone of comfortable sacrifice. And comfortable sacrifice isn't really sacrifice at all. Nobody gives so much that they make themselves unhappy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Great Minds

Many have debated Einstein's beliefs on the subject of religion.

A little-known letter that he wrote, which should clarify his beliefs, is going up for auction this week in London.

The news article on it is here.

Some key quotes from the letter are:

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."


"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."

My thoughts exactly. I guess great minds do think alike!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why Faith Works

Faith does work sometimes, but it's explained easily. Two words: placebo effect.

Placebos are used routinely by pharmaceutical companies to test the effectiveness of their drugs. It is a widely known fact that the brain can have an influence on the body. Expose a person to something they truly believe is poison ivy, and they can have an outbreak. Belief at work.

Concurrently, if they know it's not really poison ivy, they will not have an outbreak. This would be a non-event "caused" by the lack of belief or faith.

Psychosomatic illnesses can be healed if one has enough faith in the element of healing. Nobody will ever be able to regrow a leg, however, based on faith alone, because it is not a psychosomatic malady.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life Expectancy

What is it that everyone wants? What is probably prayed for most often? Longer life. Everyone prays that they live long and happy lives, and that their loved ones do as well.

Now you would think that if prayer had any power, then the fervent prayers of the deeply religious, god-fearing people of yesteryear
would have had some positive impact on their life-expectancy.

Today's population is less religious than ever.
Yet our life expectancy has increased dramatically and steadily over the last century or two. That is due to modern science and medicine, not God.

If anything should highlight the futility of prayer it should be the statistics represented by the above chart. Prayer will not extend your life. Only science and medicine will.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jesus Died For Our Sins?

That's not as noble as it sounds. Dying is easy. Everyone dies.

Why didn't he live for our sins?

I can think of far greater suffering that has been endured by mere mortals than what Jesus had to go through.

Any parent who has lost a child would have gladly endured the suffering of Jesus if it would have saved their child.

Sure, he suffered. But maybe it should have been for 100 years. Shouldn't it have been the greatest suffering endured by any person ever? His suffering and death was for the salvation of ALL mankind for Pete's sake. And he only suffered for the last few days of his 33 years.

I'm not impressed.

The All-Knowing

There is a problem with an all-knowing God. Not a problem for me, but a problem for those who believe in the concepts taught by religion such as sacrifice and reward and morality, etc.

If God knows all, then he knew all that would happen with his creation before he created it. He planned it all. Just like an architect plans a building...he knows exactly what it will look like before it is built.

If God knew all that would happen throughout all time before he created the universe, then he put his stamp of approval on it. So everything that has and will happen is by God's plan.

Is your brain screaming "Free Will" ? Well, I've discussed how that is an illusion in a prior post, but I'm willing to explore it further.

Every choice you make is made for a reason. You choose to eat pizza instead of fish, BECAUSE you don't like fish. You CHOOSE to go to a job you hate BECAUSE you need the money. So where is this so-called freedom? You are merely fulfilling wants and desires. And would not an all-knowing god KNOW your wants and desires even more intimately than yourself? He put them there after all. He IS the designer, programmer, and builder of you.

So worry not, ye believers. Your fate was decided before the universe was even created. Your final resting place in heaven or hell was planned by your creator.

Heavenly Reward

It is a common belief that perfect happiness awaits those who go to heaven.

This poses a problem.

It is also a common belief that those who suffer greatly in this life receive a higher reward in heaven.

How can that be? Is perfect happiness perfect, or isn't it? Is Mother Theresa happier than Joe Schmoe who simply did the bare minimum to get into heaven? If she is, then that implies that there is something about Joe Schmoe's existence in heaven that makes him not perfectly happy....which opposes the assumption that Heaven = perfect happiness.

Here's another problem. The thing that made Mother Theresa WHO SHE WAS, was her caring for the sick, poor, orphaned, and dying. This is what fulfilled her and made her happy. So, if there are no sick, dying, poor, or orphaned in heaven, how can she be happy? There is nobody to care for. The essence of who she was can no longer function.

Is she somehow reprogrammed, or stripped of her essence upon entering heaven so she no longer has the desire to help others? If not, then she will forever have an unfulfilled desire, and thus, not perfect happiness.

See, there are many problems with the concept of heaven, that most people don't even consider.

Ponder heaven for a while, and you will see that it is a superficial concept, akin to the fantasies and wishes of a young child.

Fair Play

If God is not fair for those who are living, why should one assume he is fair in the afterlife?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mysterious Ways

The religious among us can go on all day about what God wants, how we should please him, what makes him angry, and on and on.

But when asked why didn't God save an innocent child from suffering, or prevent some massive disaster, or some other questions that reveal a distinct absence of a loving god, they respond that God works in mysterious ways, and we cannot know his mind.

If his ways are so mysterious, stop preaching about him.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Absurdity of Prayer

The concept of prayer is absurd whether you believe in God, or not.

Prayer is asking God for something you want. Sure, it could be thanking Him, or praising Him, or talking to Him in general, but the basic premise of prayer is to gain something you want.

There are many beliefs about how prayer works. Claiming that you need to have enough faith is a convenient back-door rationalization to explain away why you didn't get what you ask for.

Here is why this one is B.S.: Imagine the "Creator" of all things sitting on His throne in heaven. He hears a request from a mother to save her child from a life-threatening disease. God considers the faith of the requestor....oh...too mustard seed short of enough faith. Sorry, the child has to die.

Scenario 2: An 8 year old girl asks for a pony. It's hardly possible to have more faith than a child. They haven't lived long enough to know any better. So God sees the request come through, and sees it needs to be approved due to the pure faith of the requester.

Does that seem reasonable? I don't think so either. So let's just rule out the whole faith-based argument.

Another rationalizations for prayer failing: It's not God's will.

So if it IS God's will, it will be done and there is no need to ask. If it's NOT, then asking does no good.

Maybe if enough people with strong enough faith all ask for one thing, God will "change His plans" and grant it. I guess we can rule this out, since millions have been praying for world peace since day 1, and it's never been granted.

Prayer: "God, please watch over me on my trip, and see that I arrive safely."
God: "hmm....well....I WAS planning on you dying in a horrible crash, but since you asked nicely, I guess we can avoid that. Good thing you asked! ;)"


Prayer: "God, please let me win the lottery."
God: "The Faith is strong with you! Curse you! Must....grant.....wish....."


Prayer:"God! WHY? Why did you let my dog get hit by a car?"
God: "Cut me some slack, how did I know you didn't want that to happen? You never asked Me to protect your dog. Besides, I can't be bothered with such trivial matters unless your faith is at level 27, minimum."

I hope the above scenarios highlight the ridiculousness of prayer.

If you claim that prayer is simply good for mental meditation...I'll buy that, but that's all it could be good for, unless you believe in the type of God I portrayed in the above scenarios.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Eternal Life? Maybe :)

You may be surprised to see that I consider the possibility after previous posts, but read on, as there is a logical basis for this thought.

The very fact we are here now....that there IS something at all in this universe is proof that there always has been and always will be something.

The laws of the universe have brought about the world and life as we know it today.

Since we are dealing with eternity, or infinity... all that is possible WILL occur, no matter how improbable. Infinity trumps all improbable odds.

So, in theory, all that has happened will happen again. If there is a truly random element to existence, then all possible deviations of what has happened will happen again as well....and not only happen again, but happen again an infinite number of times!

This should go without saying, but since you cease to exist after you die, there is no perception of time. You never notice the billions of years between existences. Not that there is a "you" to "notice" time passage, but you catch my drift.

What's the Point?

After reading the preceding entries, one may wonder, "What is the point of it all? Why bother? Meaninglessness is so depressing."

To them I would say:

1) Ultimately, you do what you want despite knowing it is all meaningless. Knowing something does not necessarily cause you to act differently. The perfect example of this is diet and exercise. We all KNOW it's good for us, but all to often we don't exercise or eat right.

2) If you know a movie will end, and has a predetermined ending, does that stop you from going to see it? No. You go to the movie to enjoy the experience as it unfolds.

3) Should death with no afterlife be depressing? No. Are you depressed when you think about your non-existence back before you were born? Did it make you sad to not be with loved-ones before you were born? Was that a cold, dark, lonely time? No. It was nothing.

In my next post I will actually explore the possibility of eternal life :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Life Is An Illusion

Since everything is simply a result of nature's laws at work, things that we call "alive" are just results of chemical/physical reactions of matter. We have come to use "life" as a term that does nothing more than categorize such things so we can quickly grasp what someone is referring to when speaking of "life".

Proof of the illusion can be found by examining things that tend to fall within the definitions of life (by the way there IS NO universal definition of life) yet are clearly things we don't consider alive. Take fire for example. It grows, consumes oxygen, reproduces, responds to stimuli etc. Yet we don't think of it as alive.

A computer program can be made to grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, etc. Yet that's not considered alive either.

Since there are such wide varieties of physical and chemical reactions in the universe, we can't make one concept applicable to only some and not others.

"Life" is just a term that early man used to describe himself and other things that showed similar characteristics (eating, sleeping, breathing, etc.) As more things were considered, the definition became harder to pin down. Because nature doesn't care how we categorize it or define it. It just is.

So when these reactions stop taking place, "life" as we know it is over. "Life" after death thus becomes a ridiculous concept. If everything I say, do, and think, requires these physical reactions to be taking place, what is it that could possibly go on "being" once these reactions stop? It would be like saying once a fire is put out, it moves on to a higher plane of existence where it continues to burn. Or, once a tuning fork stops vibrating, it continues vibrating somewhere else.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Love Does Not Exist

Well, it's a catchy title, but needs qualification.

"Love" as a defined word, exists. But "love" as some sort of power unto itself does not exist.

It's hard to define love. Every person, in fact, makes their own decisions on what they believe love is based on how they have heard the word used throughout their lives. We are brainwashed by books and movies our entire lives to believe that love is something bigger than ourselves.

Here is how it is an illusion: in truth, you don't "love" another person, you "love" how they make you feel. Those chemical reactions are capable of taking place inside your body without that other person. That's why it is absolutely possible to love many people. You don't run out of it or spread it too thin, it's simply the way others make you feel inside.

Another proof of this is: "love" is memory dependent. If you suddenly lost your memory, you would not love anyone you heretofore loved. This is because you would not remember how they had made you feel inside. Memory is nothing more than chemical/biological processes taking place in your brain.

This is why wedding vows are ridiculous. You are promising to always love someone as if it's a choice. You can't choose to love something. It has to make you feel good inside. If you got hit on the head and forgot everything about your spouse, but saw a video of the wedding where you made your vows, could you then immediately choose to have all the feelings of love for that person? No.

Wedding vows, under the law of reason, should therefore be modified to something like: "I promise I will TRY to love so and so....", or "I sure HOPE I will love this person forever.", etc.

If at some point in the future, you find out that everything the person said and did was a lie, would you still love them? If, in truth, they had been acting all along in order to "win" your love so they could inherit your money, for example, could you choose to love someone who was not who you thought they were? Course not.

People can be so charming and act so deceptive in order to win a spouse, that they completely mask their true selves. This is why divorce is so common. Sometimes, people just stop liking each other.

It's not until you've been with your spouse a few years that you begin to know who they truly are. Even then, people can go through dramatic changes in their lives. Just look at how different you are now from when you were a kid, a teen, etc.

I used to LOVE Sesame Street. Now? Not so much. What happened?? I CHANGED!

So love is just a word made up to describe feelings....aka chemical reactions in your brain.

Now TRUE LOVE is something different. It is a power unto itself and is a bond that no man can set asunder. It is often found by SOUL MATES. SOUL MATES are souls that are constantly being reincarnated, and seek each other out in each physical incarnation. EVIL is a force that seeks to keep SOUL MATES separate....just because EVIL likes to make people sad.

The above paragraph was written in a sarcastic manner in order to highlight the absurdity of the existence of such capitalized forces. It was not intended to be taken literally or to reflect the true thoughts of this blogger. This blogger takes no responsibility for you reading and then believing such nonsense, and hopes that you will use logic and reason to notice the non-existence of such things.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Proof That You Are Brainwashed

Newborns are the only ones capable of viewing the world as it truly is. Pure sight, sound, and feelings without judgment.

We, on the other hand, are so programmed by our surroundings that it is nearly impossible to see without bias.

Who among you can look at these words and see just shapes without meaning? If they were written in Chinese, they would be meaningless to most of us who are unfamiliar with that language. But once you learn something, you can't simply unlearn it. Which is why we should be careful about what we teach or children. It is so easy to shape the human mind. Religions are adept at molding minds. Society in general molds minds.

See this thing: :) ?

20 years ago it would have been nothing more than a colon and a parentheses. Now, it can only be seen as a smiley face. You've been programmed. You can never see that as anything but a smiley face ever again.

The best you can do is be aware of the programming and learn to see programming attempts.

News is a perfect example. Persons delivering the news talk in a way that is different than ordinary conversational speech. They inflect in ways that are designed to make themselves sound more believable and authoritative. If not careful, we can easily fall into the trap of automatically believing what they say just because of the way they said it. They could read ingredients for chicken soup in such a way as to make it sound important and menacing. Be aware.

Remember the New Jersey Governor announcing that he was a "Gay American"? He did it with such authority and voice inflection that it barely raised an eyebrow. He could have said that he liked to do the Chicken Dance naked while watching Teletubbies and it would have been just as well-recieved.

And notice he include "American". He didn't say "I'm gay." That would have been laughable. But simply saying "Gay American" gave the revelation an air of superiority and pride, making the admission more acceptable even though the message was the same. See how you were manipulated?

So think for yourself. Question everything.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Reasoning With Lesser Humans

Are you an idiot?

Nobody will ever honestly answer "yes" to that question.

Yet, clearly we all know that the human race is filled with idiots. Idiots who don't know they are idiots. And you can't convince them that they are idiots either. No matter how powerful your case against them, they cannot be convinced that they are idiots. They see the world through their own boundaries of perception.

That's why message boards can be so annoying. You start to try to reason with one idiot, then several more eventually chime in, and the whole undertaking becomes a pointless waste of time.

That's the beauty of blogs. You have the power to turn responses to your posts on and off.

I'll leave mine on for now, until the idiots start to chime in.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It All Boils Down To This

Ready for the ultimate truth of humanity?

Here it is: we are nothing more than biological robots.

Everything we are and do is a result of chemical/biological reactions. Everything that makes you think otherwise is an illusion. You are a slave to your own wants, and you can never be free from them. They are your "programs" that you must follow.

When you have followed the path of reason long enough, you eventually come to this truth. When you have swum the sea of humanity and slowly risen above the societal mind and societal beliefs, you will breech the surface and see everything quite clearly. You will see a few others swimming with you at the surface, but the majority of society is below you, unaware that there even is a surface, let alone how to get there.

It is then that you start to see the lies and deceptions all around you.

It is then that you can free yourself from them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nature Is Cruel

And people are ignorant.

At this very moment, countless millions of creatures are dying on the planet. From the deepest depths of the oceans, to the far reaches of endless deserts, and everything in between, organisms are completing their cycle of life.

Nature is never merciful when it deals its final blow. Animals in the wild do not die peacefully or pain free. They are victims of starvation, disease, or predation. The most merciful of these is predation because it is the quickest. Of all predators, Man is the most merciful.

Hunters grant their prey the quickest most pain free method of death.

Animal rights activists such as the folks at PETA are extremely narrow minded and naive when they criticize hunting. If they really care about animals, they should be grateful for the hunting community. There is not a more merciful way for an animal to die in nature.

So the next time you step on a bug, pause to consider that you just blessed a creature with an instant, painless death, nod your head knowingly, and whisper, "You're welcome."

Saturday, March 8, 2008


My gift of superhuman insight and my B.S. detector allowed me to rise above years of religious brainwashing. It is now quite obvious that most religions are nothing more than superstitions contrived by man. We should all know you can't put blind faith in the teachings of men.

Religion is not necessarily a bad thing. If it brings you happiness, embrace it. If it brings you misery, reject it. Sort of like a movie. You go to enjoy the show, and leave the theater feeling good. But if you then devote your life to becoming a Jedi Master, then you'll just waste your life trying to force-pull the remote off the coffee table..

Why Reason?

I read a post once that asked the question: "Why put so much value on reason, as opposed to, say, feelings?"

The first response was perfect: "Would you like a reasonable answer?"

Jesus Loves You

But don't feel special--he loves everybody...kind of like a puppy.