Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Beware Echo Chambers

Beware Echo Chambers
A while ago I mentioned that Atheists don’t gather weekly to pray to the universe or some such other nonsense, but I do think even we Atheists need to be cautious about our gatherings whether in person or on line in social media. If we only ever hear opinions that are compatible with our own, then we may have begun living within an echo chamber.
Life in the Echo Chamber can sneak up on you and it can exist wherever folks gather and reinforce each other’s beliefs often leading to the feeling that there are no other ideas and certainly no great number of other people who see things differently. That group think while useful for getting things done, is dangerous to take to heart too deeply. Even Atheists need to remind themselves of this and take precautions.

I think this may be one of the reasons why some Atheists are so out and so confrontational. At the very least when you have to make the arguments against religion or religiosity regularly, it means you’re at least listening to the opinions of the other side. It’s also probably why I often feel that the religious lack skill in making good arguments or quite simply don’t think logic is a necessary component of their arguments and I often hear other Atheists confirming this impression.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Comedy, Race and Recent Events
Look at all the civil unrest! and during the holidays too. There’s no doubt that the news often portrays the world as an ugly place so much that I could be embarrassed for us if there were aliens receiving these news reports and assessing humanities intelligence based on our emanations of babble into space. Sadly, there’s only slightly more evidence of aliens, or rather probabilities of alien life, than there is of the existence of “God,” still their existence is just as unconfirmed and other types of life we could find in the universe, though alien, may not meet our expectations of intelligence. If extraterrestrial intelligences do exist they may be so far away as to live out their whole existence and expire as a species before receiving any of our signals anyway.

So it’s okay for us humans to look at our lives here in an introverted sort of way, we can be self-involved since there’s no God or aliens watching us and any improvement we make from our self-analysis will only benefit us.

Why am I speaking about us as a species? Why am I not talking race? And pointing out all our racial prejudices? Why aren’t you talking like me? I wonder why more of us aren’t talking about us like we’re ONE species as I’m doing? Why don’t we eschew this “race” idea along with the “god” idea?
Why? Because we humans are lazy and our thinking is just so much easier with handy categories to subdivide the species into for our own personal convenience, so we use these labels to create mental definitions of: in groups and out groups, of good guys and bad guys, of attractive mates, and unavailable mates, unhealthy mates, or taboo mates, etc. etc.

Why is this a problem? well mostly it is another case of a tool that’s often misused and abused, like guns. Sadly our thought processes don’t come with a handy disclaimer declaring them null and void if used contrary to manufacturer guidelines!  We all need to learn and practice using our brains in smart ways. Humanity needs to learn to think, to life hack our brains to our advantage, instead of shackling our future to entrenched cultural ideals, where we end up looking back at history and think it’s a good thing we have short lives so older entrenched stupidity can die off. Instead we should be training ourselves and our youth to think for themselves, to analyze their thought processes and always seek to improve their lives by improving themselves and their own personal habits. 
We have natural tendencies to create habits, so create healthy habits! Yes thought processes are the most fundamental of habits and you can change them, it just might be harder and take more energy than most people want to invest. Hence the laziness of humanity - the only thing we really ought to be embarrassed about, especially if we continue on doing stupid things while ignoring evidence of our own senses, of our scientists, of proven facts that indicate a change in our thinking is needed. If we continue doing that, then yes we ought to be ashamed.

But the thing about shame is it might well be the first step in changing, except some treat it as the end! the anathema, that no recovery is possible. What nonsense! There are no bad behaviors that can’t be recovered from, that improved behavior can’t earn accolade even, if we’re willing to allow that possibility. The idea that forgiveness is divine only, is stupid. The reason we forgive someone who has hurt us isn’t because God mandates it, but because it’s the healthy thing to do, otherwise you tie yourself to the pain and allow the victimization to continue.

Like Taking back the Night, or Reclaiming the bad words, we need to take back our brains from the media, the salesmen/politicians, -anyone who is trying to tell us what to do or what to believe.
Now speaking to life and habits, what sort of habits, or lifestyles do you suppose develop for Comedians? 

They break into the business by doing stand up in bars and clubs, restaurants and other public places where there’s drinking and sometimes lots of smoking. They are performers, who might suffer from nerves before a performance and need to self-medicate to compensate for nerves or for late nights, grueling tours, excess drinking, or just not feeling their mojo that day. 
Bar culture is full of alcohol induced personalities leaking the full measure of their prejudices, and if functional alcoholics are present they may even sound reasonable while spewing bullshit. Culturally, alcohol seems to grant license to all sorts of bad behavior, which if you’re in that atmosphere all the time may start to seem like normal, even appropriate behavior. Is it any wonder then that those who spring from that experience often provide distilled examples of humanities worst impulses?

Don’t mistake me, I’m not excusing anyones’ bad behavior, only pointing out the probable sources that may have created it, encouraged or protected it from censure. Most people, even those who work in that atmosphere, know the difference in mood, in behaviors because they don’t spend all their time there. They may not consciously express knowledge of the differences, but they feel them on a gut level and most behave accordingly.

Now before you think I’m proposing some prohibition on drugs and alcohol, try instead to accept that drunkenness doesn’t ever excuse behavior, only explains it, and we did try prohibition already didn’t we! However, it’s not unreasonable to remove the idea that being under the influence excuses bad behavior. Hold people accountable for their behaviors and they’ll find ways to modify those behaviors and still enjoy themselves as well. And holding people accountable doesn’t always mean arrests, it could just mean other people who are witnessing bad behavior speaking up and shaming the perpetrator.

So if anything I’ve just said here sounds too simple, too pat, then you’re under the mistaken impression that I’m here to do all your thinking for you.  Time to step up and use that brain you have for something other than just consuming our culture.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In Memory of the loss of Life in Jonestown Nov 18 1978

I remember when this happened.  I was just a kid and it was a chilling sight and news that I wish we'd talked about more, but I was probably too young for that talk.  Or my parents didn't want to deal with such a tough subject.

Cults are no joke and I'm not joking around.  If you can't leave your religion you may be in a cult:

Get Help if you can.

Now I may be an Atheist but that doesn't mean I equate all religions with cults.  Hyperbole aside, most religions and most religious people are not going to make you drink poisoned kool-aid, but that doesn't mean they aren't unhealthy in their own ways.
Your health, your decision.

Cults are a different matter altogether.  In a Cult your health is not your decision - it's the decision of your religious leader(s).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Ebola Fugue state

Run in Circles, Scream and Shout - "the Sky is Falling! the Sky is Falling!!"
Run in Circles, Scream and Shout - "Ebola is coming, Ebola is coming!!"

I find myself sickened at how many people in this country can't be bothered to do even the most basic or  minimal of research and are content to take Faux news word or are listening to fearmongering people who also don't have the facts.  Don't contribute to the Media fugue state and the misinformation wheel that's torturing so many today over Ebola.

To learn basic stuff about the Ebola Virus Disease Read these sites not the newspaper:

Want to see a comparison chart on how Ebola stacks up against other infectious diseases, take a look here:

Ebola isn't as infectious as a lot of diseases, the reason it's scary is because it's so hard to survive once you have it, especially if you don't have medical assistance, basic nursing even makes all the difference - as in having some one helping you stay hydrated.  Get it??? just someone helping you drink water can help or having an IV drip, even better.  Still, the chances of getting it are slim in the western world, so I think everyone should calm the fuck down.

Now there's a lot of people who think that the 21 day quarantine is an absolute necessity, and if it keeps you from having a coronary to think of me wandering about right after returning from one of the nations suffering this deadly outbreak, then I'd be willing to endure, provided I'm financially compensated well for my lost productivity, and I don't have to stay in unheated tent with no books, internet or TV while you finish having your panic attacks.

I've no plans to go to one of these countries right now, but I'm willing provided my above stipulations are met for the return quarantine.  I'd even be willing to help with the medical staffing, though I have no experience in nursing and I'd want a thorough training on the protocols etc. of course.
And guess what, the military staff going will be receiving that training.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Thought

Whether it has pagan or religious roots, I happen to love the fun of Halloween.  There is one small fly in my ointment for Halloween however, and that is the penchant for most of the costumes for women to be all whored up.  Now I understand that these costumes may be doing double duty later on in bedrooms across the US, but should this be trending into tween's costumes too?

Ok maybe I'm too sensitive but this reminds me too much of the tween and younger pageants - and what is the value to those kids again?  What do they get for all their effort? What lesson do they learn from those competitions?  It says something about what we value if nothing else, and science isn't what we value.  A young girls competition for the best science project will probably never get the press that these pageants get or a reality tv show either.  Pageants do though, so what does that tell you about what we value?

So not to sound like a conservative dress nazi, but where do we decide the line between fun and inappropriate lies for halloween costumes?  And do you want to even think about how bad it could get?  Are you shocked that an Atheist thinks about these things too?

And for another related subject

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Incongruously Definitively Obligated

Oy vey!, so I have to define what an Atheist is for you? 

Fine, for some excellent definitions go here: 
I tend to think of anyone who says they’re Atheist as meaning that they are not believing in God but it just means a lack of belief in God or Gods. Now that may seem a bit weird and not terribly helpful delineation, but the critical bit is the “lack of belief” vs actively believing that Gods don’t exist. 
He makes a very good point.

Many Atheists just quietly go about their lives not talking about God, not acknowledging their status as atheists because they don’t have belief in one or many Gods. This doesn’t mean they’re agnostic, though they might define themselves that way just to avoid the stigma that seems attached to the term “Atheist” but it does mean that they lack belief, (or for the religious – faith). 

Now this means that the only people who don’t have a little bit of Atheism in them, are those crazy folks who manage to believe in all gods at the same time (I haven’t met one and don’t anticipate that I will). Those folks believe in all the pagan gods of Zeus, Aphrodite, Loki, Thor, Isis, Amen’Ra etc. etc. as well as believing in all the flavors of the Abrahamic religions, and any other gods you could name. So which ones don’t you believe in? (no that doesn’t make them Pantheists – that’s something else, so go look it up.)

Yep, if you’ve chosen a faith and excluded all the other beliefs as false, then you have a little bit of Atheism in you. So I guess the question is? Are you okay with your lack of belief in those other gods?, with having a little bit of Atheism in you? Or do you now believe you’re going to start eating babies? Or are you now a tool of Satan!!! Or is that little bit of Atheism in you trying to get out? Maybe it’ll come out like a chest bursting alien. . . yuk! Truly, you should be careful what you choose to believe.

Atheists just take it one step further and they have a lack of belief in any gods, even yours. They may have many reasons for this lack of belief and of course there are some who believe that there are no Gods at all, and that the mysteries yet remaining in our natural world are simply not yet explained by science, that we all just have a lack of knowledge. There is no proof yet of either the existence of God, or the nonexistence of God, but there is a preponderance of evidence mounting against the existence of God, and if a God does exist, it’ll be nothing like what has heretofore been imagined by human beings.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Grim Truth

Grim Truth - Existence or Non-existence of God?

Who cares. . . whatever. It really doesn’t matter one way or another. If there is a God he’s too busy to be bothered with us. We’re too tiny and insignificant to matter unless our penchant for procreation and expansion leads to us becoming too big for this universe (seems a ridiculously long way off), until then we’re just the proverbial tiny cluster of cancer cells that haven’t yet grown into a significant tumor in the flesh of the Universe, and might fail to grow beyond our fragile ecosystem because of stupidity and greed.

Too grim for you?
More grim than an eternity of burning pain from eternal fires that never manage to burn all of your flesh away?, or some other manner of eternal torture?

More grim than being shuffled around like cattle, starved, tortured, experimented on and then finally killed, all for just being of a different religion and cultural background?, (and for a political need to unify a nation for war?)

Is it more grim than being stoned to death by your family just for not covering up your hair?, (which apparently sends mind controlling lustful thoughts into men. . .?!)

More grim than having your parents decide that you can’t get your appendix surgically removed, because God would be offended, and it’s decided that you have to be healed by prayer? (So your last minutes of life are surrounded by people who claim to love you, them murmuring to their invisible friend instead of getting you the readily available help that you need?)

More grim than being exiled from everyone you ever knew and loved, just because you happen to prefer being with the same sex, and are honest about it too? (and oh yeah, some religious cultures execute for that too. . .)

Is it more grim than being put in an isolated boarding school full of sadists and bullies (the staff and "teachers") who starve and drug and torture their "students" for years, all just because your super religious family doesn't want their child to have an opinion on God that's different from theirs?

That’s just a couple of the grim examples of what religious folks have done, and don’t get me started on Jihads, Crusades, Witch Trials and the Inquisition. 

Really, the non-existence of god would be a far friendlier world for us all, if God were really responsible for these atrocities. Unfortunately, all that hate and blood is on human hands rationalized maybe by what those people held to be true, but still it’s not on God’s hands because no God did these things.  God is innocent, if he/she exists at all.

So grow up Humanity! Start taking responsibility for what you do, for the killing, the cruelty, the torture, and the bullshitting.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wonderfully Dark

I Love it, especially the attention to the history of Ornament.

This Land is My Land

Friday, October 10, 2014

No one is defined by a single term

Finally! below is a link to an article that provides a good summary on the various points of views amongst non-believers.  If you need a starting point on where you are this is a great way to figure it out.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Memeing of Life

The Memeing of Life

Blogs an such online places like here, F’book, Pintrest, Reddit, Tumblr etc. they all thrive on the Meme’s, but what is a Meme? It’s funny usually, yes?! It’s always bite sized. No long discourse or reading required to “get” the joke, so what makes a Meme so appealing? And why do we all seem to be so addicted to them?

Definitly go to that link – it’s a short article, much like the subject, but to put it in an even smaller nutshell: a Meme is an idea with a life of its own and it propagates through our culture transforming people’s thoughts or even ideologies and often is being transformed as well, as it travels from person to person.

You might liken it to a mental parasite if you happen to dislike the Meme in question, or you might call it a mental symbiote if you view the meme in question a little more favorably. Or you just might laugh and send it on to some other folks you think would like it, and or put your own spin on it first and then send it on.
Meme’s also bind people together, in a sense they can become shibboleths or serve as sign post in jokes that define a community. In fact I think they serve more in this sense then as a means of educating or sharing ideas. Here’s a few from the Atheist/Non-Religious community, going back in time we have:
 The Flying Spaghetti Monster  FSM – a Joke religion. Our current favorite fake religion jokes on the creationists beliefs and has fun details about life with wenching and beer.

Invisible Pink Unicorn – a joke religion
This one is very 90's

 A joke religion used as a satirical device and to prove to religious that they can't really prove the existence of god.  

Bob and the cult of the subgenius – a joke religion started in the 70's and is also making fun of alien abduction and other hippie dippiness.  Emphasis on the commercialism of mainstream religions.
Satanists – a real religion - possibly started as a joke 60's 70's   They start from a point of Atheism and go from there.

Now though it might seem similar don’t get Tropes confused with Memes. Tropes are literary devices, like annotations meant to inform writers and readers alike. Names of Tropes might seem Meme like but they’re definitional and meant to apply to multiple applications / works of writing. So in a sense Tropes are more like Archetypes than Meme’s.


Archetypes are symbols, rich with history, and allegory. Concepts like the Trickster and the hero, snakes and apples etc. – okay all of these have more applications than just literary but I’m focusing there for convenience, however, my head is about to explode with all these different terms!!!
So many different words and ways to analyze our culture, maybe it’s necessary?!, maybe just because there are so many different cultures, writitngs and means of communication now? Well anyway, let me have a little face plant time. . .

So maybe Archetypes are the really old tropes, you know the oldest – Snaaaake! -
 wink, wink, nudge nudge!
Monty Python bit

And Tropes are now more from the wiki links simple word descriptions based on real world examples, here have a plot coupon, - ah hah! I saw what you did there! analysis with jargon to please us writer geeks and then Meme’s are Meta billboards for our oh so short attention span culture that allow us to talk about difficult subjects with a deflecting sense of humor at play.
Whew! Glad that’s done, (note how I’m using Meme’s to illustrate the other two concepts!!) now go back to your regularly scheduled life of meme’s which is indistinguishable from what we were just doing.. .

Friday, September 12, 2014


Apocalypse Stew: Where are we heading?

So though we’ve defined Atheism as a lack of belief in Gods, Atheism has of course become more than just a point of view concerning religion. Whether or not non-religious choose to identify with Atheists, there are often issues in the world that we all hold in common esteem. Human rights, health, science and knowledge about our world – just to name a few, and there’s also still so many unanswered questions about our universe, or our own minds.

For instance, there is that wishful thought of a soul, - that question has so far eluded proof. We all have wondered what dying will feel like. It doesn’t help to know that we’ll all get to experience it eventually. Death can’t help but sound like an unpleasant experience, and our lack of personal knowledge about it may be making it seem much worse than it actually will be, kind of like your anticipation of going to the Dentist when you’ve never been before but heard stories. . . Since many of us will probably be brought down by a slow degrading disease or organ failure brought about by “old age” there is a real likelihood that you’ll get sick of enduring the discomfort of life and will actually welcome the end. As I said before, we value time and energy, if you’ve got time but no energy and no ability to do anything except a drug induced sleep, is that really a life worth living?

Brain death is unavoidable, but with technological progress going the way it is, many are wondering when Scientists will develop a way to copy a person’s mind – as in down load it into a computer. Oh no! don’t think that’s transplanting your awareness out of your body and into a computer, even if an ambulatory android like computer, no you’ll still get to endure death in your physical, human body. If the copy is made of your brain though while you’re dying. . .will your copied mind then have a valuable insight into what death feels like? Will that memory be worth keeping, will your copied mind want to re-experience it? Or will it be something best forgotten? like the pangs of birth?
Sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it? Sure, but then I remember watching Star Trek Next Generation, Deep Space Nine etc. and thinking their little tablet books for writing and reading looked like an awesome thing that I wanted, but devices like that seemed a long way off back in the 90’s, am I right?! This is why many of us say we’re living in the future!
The prediction of the Singularity
There’s this future event predicted – some people will call it an apocalyptic event, but it might not be, it might actually be both the best and worst thing that ever happens to our species, but what it is really, is just the natural extension of Moore’s Law.

It’s called the Technological Singularity. It’s a point at which the combination of AI, bioengineering of humans and computing power lead to development of ever increasing artificial intelligence and further technological development progressing beyond human beings’ capacity to understand. Think about that for a moment.

What will it mean for humanity? Other than the very real possibility that we could retain copies of the deceased’ minds on a computer hard drive? Imagination soars at the possibilities and then there’s the fear.* This technological event is important particularly because we cannot speculate with any confidence about what will become possible. One thing seems likely to me though, and that is finally the existence of disembodied people, as close as we may ever get to ghosts or spirits. These disembodied voices or formerly living citizens of the world may only ever exist in a virtual reality, it might not be a viable expense to have large numbers of android people walking about but if we do, it may seem more like the television series Dollhouse with temporary downloads for specific missions or duties.

One thing I must point out is that if human minds are transferred into android bodies, then the questions of the rights of these transhumans will become an issue with the still living humans. This is of course assuming nothing bad happens with our development of AI. 
Let’s hope Humanity can be a good collective parent to the incipient higher intelligence because unlike humans parenting humans, the AI will be able to check our “facts” instantly, and so will know exactly when someone is trying to bullshit them. If they also have access to the collective memories and experiences of the copied human minds, then they’ll probably not be as prone to being talked into an illogical corner, - a la Captain Kirk’s strategy with computers from Star Trek.

How the AI develops its consciousness, whether it has empathy for humans? or if we try to control its development with programing? All of these things will inform how this event will develop and what life will be like afterwards.

Chart of AI Components

*Take a look at Science Fiction. People have been speculating about horrific things coming about in the future due to technology for years. There’s a tremendous fear of technology running through so much of our culture and it shows up in most Science Fiction, especially movies and television.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Acting as Primate?

Please don’t mistake me, I’m only a synecdoche. . .

This doesn’t seem like it really should be necessary but here goes – I am only human and anything I say here, or share, any references or annotations I include, are not meant to be the sum of all knowledge to be found on said subjects. I am not a “professional” a “Subject Matter Expert” or any other type of “Authority”. So that being said, any annotations I do provide should of course be taken as only a first step. A beginning in getting your own take on a subject I’m posting about. Another words, don’t take my word for anything, do the research yourself, - educate yourself. Don’t accept anything I say as Gospel/Fact/Truth without verifying it yourself. If you do decide to skip verifying, don’t blame me if you embarrass yourself.

That being said, I am of course also no more typical of today’s Atheist than any other pea in a pod might be of all vegetables. And though I might quip that I’m 98% chimp that doesn’t mean that I think I’m a good representative example of all primates*. Though I might be an adequate example of Homo Sapiens.
(*If Alien Abduction is really happening who knows what Aliens might be looking for, maybe to an Alien I would be a good example of a primate – to them I’m sure both would be considered “Earthlings” … I can’t help but remember some old joke I’d heard years ago- Aliens: “We’ve been anal probing earthlings for 75 cycles now, and the only conclusion we’ve come to is that 1 in 4 don’t seem to mind.” (Wish I could remember whose joke it was, since my memory has probably changed it a bit, I’ll have a tough time searching.))

As for any instances where I’m wrong? Well I’ll own that, - I did say I’m only human. You should have known what you were getting into from the start, I mean, you’re on the Internet!? What were you thinking? Did you think just cuz something’s written down that must mean it’s a fact!? There’s lots of bound pieces of shite called books too, some of them are probably useful, truth filled, but how do you know? All it takes is money/resources to “publish” a book. It could say anything in there, like that all women are descended from one woman who was made out of a piece of some guy’s rib cage. . . 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Why wait for an Afterlife?

Calling all Science Blind Religious:
When you finish plugging your ears and singing your invisible friends praises so loud that you can’t hear anything remotely resembling facts, the Universe will still not care about you, the Cosmos will still be too vast for you to grok, and your unavoidable ending will still be imminent.
 What will you do with your incredibly short life? We Atheists think you should live it as if God doesn’t exist, even if you insist on believing in Gods and your religion’s promised “after-life”.

Now before you say “impossible” I ask, just what do you think Atheists are doing with their incredibly short lives?

We may not spend our Sunday mornings or other days of the weeks in prayer or other religious gatherings but we do socialize with other people, and work at jobs: pursue causes, do hobbies, shake our heads over headlines, and we write music or do other creative things for the joy these activities bring us. We have friends and date nights, children and pets. We have to go to the doctor and pay taxes just like everyone else. And we end up taking the big dirt nap just like religious folks.

(And yes there are Atheists in foxholes, risking their lives even though they have no expectation of another life after death. (If anything, Atheists wonder why the religious are hiding in the foxholes, since they must surely believe God will protect them, right?))

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Depression and the Stupid sign so many wear on this subject

The last painting he did before he killed himself.

Depression and Suicide

This is no laughing matter.  I only touch on this subject because of two reasons, the Christian religion’s penchant for claiming that those who kill themselves are going to hell, and the fact that so many seem to believe that all Atheists must be pessimists and depressed all the time since they don’t believe in God.

When religiosity drives someone to make the claim that a depressed person who killed themselves is in hell or was a coward and deserves to go to hell, at that point in this modern age I think whoever is hearing this from them should just hand them the stupid sign a la Jeff Foxworthy’s comic riff, and then stop listening to them.  Unfortunately, as revealed by this recent sad loss of Robin Williams, it seems that some of these stupid people are in the media and are influencing large numbers of people with their ignorant babbling.

People need to educate themselves about this serious mental illness and other related disorders that are caused by brain chemistry that has gone awry.  It takes so little effort to learn about this disease, and then to use your empathy and to try being compassionate, to try to understand how those who suffer from these afflictions might be feeling.  Instead, we get religious judgement, what was that Christians’ about “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone?”

With shit like this happening, with people being this stupid it is surprising I’m not more depressed myself.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Alpha and Omega?

Alpha, and the Omega

 - ah moral boondoggles. .   

In the beginning there was a massive cloud of dust coalescing, . . no, no .. .before that, no keep going back, ah, a big bang! Possibly not the only, but the only one we know about, so far.

Of course we don’t know what we don’t know yet do we? So maybe scientific advancements will give us evidence of another universe like a beautiful bubble next door, or maybe it will reveal what caused the big bang, or maybe the universe is inside of something else, maybe many layers like some epic fractal matryoshka doll, or some other thing that we don’t have a word for yet.
Thinking like this we could imagine that we’re as tiny on a macrocosmic scale as we perceive the smallest microscopic particles are to us. (Horton hears a hoo, Anyone?) Do you feel small yet?, because just from what already has been revealed about the massive size of the Universe, I know I can’t help but be filled with awe. We are, from what scientific observations have shown, very small, very insignificant. The scale is so vast that if discovery of another Universe requires us to travel to the edge of our own then you won’t have to worry about it happening anytime soon because on that scale we won’t be the same species by the time we do manage to cross that distance, if our species hasn’t snuffed out like a birthday candle. Yes life is that fragile when you think of things on a cosmic scale. When you think like that, the time evolution takes to happen seems like a summer romance. 

(Here have a video or two to help you feel the awe of the size:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014



Atheists don’t deny being human or having emotions and all the baggage that comes with being human either. What we don’t do is expect our entertainment to be true to life. We might enjoy a morally grey area or a villain protagonist being successful sometimes, but we never expect our reality to be indistinguishable from stories. 

Actually, true stories, no matter how accurate, always have holes or bias and slant often leaving little room for an interpretation other than what the author intends – unless they are really inexperienced with story-telling. What? You think I’m calling people liars? Well if the shoe fits. . . (Rashomon!) The components, the ingredients for crafting a good story are well known and satisfaction from hearing a well presented story has been documented too, but some people are better at presenting them than others. The fundamental thing that gives a story power though, is how it grabs the reader emotionally, how it inspires our empathy and of course, if you like a character who is suffering because of something a villain did, it’s not surprising you’ll want them to get justice in some way. That’s not just Karma, that’s our sense of right and wrong, or our morals in action.

And of course Karmic stories feel good! The villain gets punished, the hero exalted. To not have it go that way invariably creates the “it’s not fair!” disappointment in the audience but, who said life was fair? - that is just as much a part of our culture, an acknowledged difference between reality and fiction, the very definition in fact. If there weren’t tons of evidence against the existence of God already, just the fact of people indulging in that feel good Karma about their God, would be enough to raise red flags for those of us who accept that life is a gamble, and not fair.

Truly! We non-religious are wondering why every random bright spot or mishap has to have some deep meaning for the religious! A horrible natural disaster causes tons of suffering, and you’re sitting there thanking God that he spared you and your loved ones. What the hell!? Why do you have to make it all about you?!
Arrogant ugly American’s spout political nonsense with the tag line of “God Bless America!” really? Why should God favor one nation over another? (or your team over the other sports team?) Calling on God for his blessings or thanking him for what is really luck or just results from earnest hard work speaks to a very egotistical and ignorant view of the world. A view that ignores just how many other people are suffering, and how equally worthy they all are of blessings and good fortune that the religious egotists think God is conferring, when in reality it’s all just luck, skill and for nations, levels of societal economic success. And this view, this religious pomposity shows religion for what it is: rationalized nationalism and rationalized racism.

So yes, Atheists as human beings, have brains which encourage certain behaviors, urges, including an inclination to look for patterns, to want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and to believe in something bigger than ourselves. However, none of this precludes an Atheist’s ability to be in awe, or to have feelings of spirituality and connection with something bigger or greater than themselves and yet we do not feel the need to worship it or call it “God”. Because, guess what, we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and we do feel connected to it and purposefully aware of it too. All of humanity is a part of this world, a part of this biosphere we call Earth. There’s a lot about this world that we’ve already learned, quite enough to be in awe with, quite enough to feel connected to, and no worship or faith is required to feel this awe.

So to say Atheists can’t exist if they can feel awe or spiritual about anything, to quote polls that hang their results on a couple of leading questions, to point to a few aspects of the study of the brain and consciousness to support your argument belittling what the anti-religious stand for – this all says to me that what we have here, is sensationalist religious pandering, and someone who completely misses the point of what we mean when we say we are Atheist.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson quote

Words, words, Words!
The facts are yes, Atheist, and Atheism are just words. Words we use to describe a point of view, and an opinion about the nature of the universe that we still have questions about, we still have questions, while many of the religious’ claim to have all the answers. Words are useful for communication but if you’re going to doggedly refuse to learn what they mean and just hitch them to whatever misconception matches the particular case you’re trying to make, then maybe Human’s

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Harry Potter and the Religious Worry Warts

Harry Potter and the Religious Worry Warts

The debate has inspired at least two satirical Internet urban legends. In 2001, The Onion, an American satirical newspaper, published an article entitled "Harry Potter Sparks Rise in Satanism Among Children," which said that the "High Priest of Satanism" had described Harry Potter as "an absolute godsend to our cause."[24] This article was actually copied into a chain letter and circulated among Christians as "proof" of their views.[25] The following year the Canadian daily the National Post released a similar spoof article in its satirical column Post Morten, saying that "Rowling—or, as she shall henceforth be referred to and credited as, Mrs. J. K. Satan—said that as she sat in a coffee shop one grey day, wondering what to do with her empty, aimless life, it hit her, 'I'll give myself, body and soul, to the Dark Master. And in return, he will give me absurd wealth and power over the weak and pitiful of the world. And he did!'" This article was also copied into a chain letter and released as "truth" onto the web.[26]

With ridiculous behavior like this, I really don’t need to work hard to find humor in Religious’ activities.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Atheists on the Internet

There's many of us on the Internet - makes me wonder if Net Neutrality fails to take if that will make it harder for Atheists to afford to be out here.  So for now enjoy the youtube videos that do exist.

This channel has good and funny pointed videos:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dichotomy or Incongruity??

"The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is

that someday they might force their beliefs on us."

[Mario Cuomo]

Dichotomy or Incongruity???
One question that I have is why is there a big increase in the religious agenda in US politics in the last 40 years especially? The US was founded with separation of church and state as a strict ideal and over the last century there have been attempts to chip away at that foundation and with things like additions of “in God we trust” supplanting “Epluribus Unum” on the currency and “under God” supplanting “Indivisible” in the pledge of allegiance. Because of these things and no doubt other grey areas, it looks to some as though this is a Christian Nation or at least a godly one. These are just a few examples, just symbolic changes, and the Fundamentalist Christians are now using them to claim the US was founded as a “Christian” nation.

Conservatives in this country can’t get elected to high offices any longer without the approval of the religious right it seems, (otherwise John McCain would be president instead of Obama) and we have a huge gap financially developing between the truly wealthy and everyone else. It’s so wide a gap that many are claiming the middle class is disappearing altogether. 

So I ask why and I propose the answer: some have decided to try to use religion as justification for their wealth and for the continued promotion of laws and policies which keep them wealthy.

"How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when

one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit,

he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an

authority which declares 'God wills it thus.' Religion is

excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."

[Napoleon Bonaparte]

The fact that we have the unfortunate works of an Atheist – Ayn Rand author of “Atlas Shrugged” that have stimulated a whole bunch of other people to be supporting her weird social Darwinist policies in government, only serves to confuse the issues and give the religious right something Atheist to point to in their defense. The conservatives and religious’ use of Ayn Rand as cover should not protect them from the justified defense of separation of church and state.

(And it should be noted Ayn Rand never adequately addresses why the poor who are starving to death, aren’t rioting in her world – but then perhaps her world is the just the point of view of the wealthy elite in the Hunger Games. As in: if we don’t see it, then it didn’t happen, and we don’t have to care, which is a very un-Christian view of the world. If any such Religious right politicians have not in fact read their New Testaments but have read Ayn Rand, then that explains why they have this huge blind spot. Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament was clearly against the tyranny of wealth. In fact if you had Jesus and Tyler Durden from Fight Club in the same room it would be fun to see which one would win in the fight over how to unshackle the world from rampant consumerism – but I digress.)

To put a personal spin on this, I remember meeting in the early nineties a young woman who had done volunteer work for an organization called “Fundamentalists Anonymous” (FA) This organization was trying to help people who were trapped in a Fundamentalist Church, to help them get out – it was almost like rescue from a cult as in these folks felt they could not just stop because they would lose everything, spouses, children, homes, all their friends. Anyway my friend related one story of a time when she spoke with one of these people trying to get out. She said they told her their church in all its efforts, witnessing, revivals, indoctrination etc. their church as a part of a larger organization of their faith, had a plan and an overall goal of controlling the US government by the end of the century. 

Yeah sounded like wacky conspiracy material to me as well,