Monday, April 30, 2007


From the comments:
“@ AW - Jewbashing is ugly. please stop. It does not make you a better person. In fact belittleing (sic) any culture that you obviously don't understand only reflects bad upon yourself. Sit with a rabbi someday and ask him some of your questions. I think you'll be very suprised (sic) to know what he will respond.”

I have been called many things in my life, being called a Jewbasher is an absolute first. I am, in fact, an ex-Jew! I still value a culture that can produce both Einstein and Jack Black and respect the culture. I just don’t dig Yahweh and find the religion absolutely repulsive. Almost every Jew I’ve ever met has not read the OT and have been spoon fed the nice parts of the story while skipping past the ugly. However, I feel like I’m starting in the middle of a story, so let’s step back a little.

In the beginning… Two Brooklyn Jews married and had two children. The youngest they named Wager. They looked upon their creation and said that it was good. They moved to Arizona when Wager was four years old. Being Brooklyn Jews, they spent most of their lives around other Jews. Occasionally in NYC, they may have been the minority, but it was rare. The schools on the East Coast actually shut down for Yom Kippur and other Jewish Holy Days. In Arizona… not so much.

The Brooklynites did not do much to bring Wager into the Jewish religion. Wager was circumcised in a hospital on his third day, not be a Moyle on the tenth as tradition dictates. Hanukkah was celebrated but Sabbath candles were never lit. The female Brooklynite would occasionally say stuff that started with “Jews believe…” but she never had a Bat Mitzvah and is very ignorant of the actually Torah. The male Brooklynite was very wise in the ways of the Jewish religion and did not think it was worth passing on to his descendents. To this day, he classifies himself as “agnostic”.

Wager has never, ever admitted this to anyone before (not even his wife), but when he was four and a half, he actually believed he was speaking to God and Jesus on a regular basis. Shortly after a memorable airplane ride, little Wager learned that he could open up tubes inside his head to relieve the pressure on his ears. Whenever, Wager did this, a deep bass humming sound was heard within his head. At first, it seemed like a neat little trick but soon he was doing it frequently. Somehow, Wager was convinced that when he heard that deep noise inside his head, he was talking to God and Jesus.

One day, Wager told a friend that he talked to Jesus. His friend responded with a simple, “Jews don’t believe in Jesus.”

Wager was very puzzled so he asked the Brooklynites. The male Brooklynite stated that Jews believe that Jesus was a man who may have said some very interesting things, but was still just a man like the rest of us. From that day forward, Wager never talked to God again and acknowledged that the noises he was hearing was a direct result of him opening the tubes that connected his throat to his ears.

Years passed and there was no religious indoctrination. Wager’s sister passed her thirteenth birthday without a Bat Mitzvah. Then, one day, Wager was about ten years old and was at a street fair when he passed a person preaching. It was real fire and brimstone type stuff and the man was very passionate about the notion of salvation and avoiding hell. Wager had no idea what the man was talking about, but he was scared because he knew that he was not saved. Wager went unto the Brooklynites and declared that he needed to learn about God. The Brooklynites were overjoyed and enrolled him in the nearest temple.

At this point, Wager was a year behind in the process to become a Bar Mitzvah (son of the commandment). However, he was determined. Wager spent the entire first year learning how to read Hebrew and by the end of the year, he was able to read and write. Wager didn’t think the first year about what any of it meant, he merely went to temple as instructed and learned as he was told. Learning to read a new language was hard enough so there was no time to challenge the status quo.

By the second year, Wager was comfortable with the ritual of being a Jew and could read the Hebrew language but was unsatisfied when it came to what it MEANT to be a Jew. None of this was taught at his temple. Wager started to refer to it as a “Bar Mitzvah factory” and believed that he was acting like a trained monkey. He found it ironic that so much emphasis was being placed on learning how to read Hebrew so he could have a Bar Mitzvah in front of his friends and family who DIDN’T SPEAK A WORD OF HEBREW. It all seemed so pointless. By the end of year two, he felt that he was no closer to God.

As his Bar Mitzvah approached, Wager sincerely believed that there was no God. However, by now it was too late. Plans had been made, airfare had been purchased, a photographer hired, etc. Wager and the Brooklynites came to an agreement that he would have his Bar Mitzvah and then he would be free not to go to temple again. So Wager dutifully performed in front of his friends and family, made $2k, and never set foot in a temple again.

By the time Wager was sixteen, he was out of the closet and open about being an atheist. Numerous students tried to save him by taking him to a Bible study or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or whatever. All to no avail. One of Wager’s most respected friends at one point even invoked a form of Pascal’s Wager on him where he said unto Wager, “Wager – thou dost not partake in any activity that would be offensive to thine God. Thou dost not drink nor act in a promiscuous fashion. Since thou wouldst not need to change thine behavior in any way, why dost thou not start believing in God, you know – just in case?”

Wager stood fast in his beliefs and received the nickname “the benevolent atheist”. Since Wager liked the name “benevolent atheist” much more than his previous handle, “the six foot Jew” (Wager is 6’4”), he made sure that it stuck.

More time passed and Wager had met Mrs. Wager. They knew each other (chuckle) and a Baby Wager came along. Wager started thinking very long and very hard about how he would raise his infant son so as to avoid all the confusion that he had to go through. He thought long and hard about it.

One day, Wager got bored and put together a little essay. He looked it and said that it was decidedly mediocre but posted it on a blog anyway. A few weeks passed by and Paul accused him of being an anti-Semite and Wager found this hilarious.

Anyway, that’s my – I mean Wager’s story. I just wanted to clear up that I’m not anti-Jew specifically. I am anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-Muslim as I find all such Abrahamic faiths equally worthless.

Friday, April 27, 2007

God Hates Fags

Apologies for the use of the f-word, but I’m referring to a certain fringe group that likes to “protest” military funerals because we (I’m writing in the US) have become too tolerant of homosexuals and that will bring God’s wrath upon us. I realize that they are a fringe group and are not representative of all Christians. Thing is, Biblically speaking, they do have a leg to stand on.

What does God say about homosexuality? He is surprisingly clear for a change. One need only consult Leviticus 18:22 (KJV):

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

And Leviticus 20:13 (KJV):

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

The first quote shows that God sees homosexual sex as an “abomination”. The second quote shows how God believes we should deal with said abomination – we ought to kill them because they brought it upon themselves. See? He’s very clear where he stands and he clearly hates gay people.

The New Testament is nowhere near as clear as the Old Testament on the subject of homosexuality. Sure, you could quote Matthew 15, Mark 7, or 1 Corinthians but it doesn’t have the same zeal as the quotes from Leviticus. If you really want to hate homosexuals, your case is strengthened mightily by the OT.

Do you ever notice that it’s Christian and Muslim groups that have the biggest problem with the gay population? Have you ever seen a Rabbi calling gays an abomination or protesting gay marriage?

Here is why I find the Christian right gay hating thing interesting… When God comes to Abraham, he essentially gives only two rules. Rule number one is to acknowledge that Yahweh is the only God and rule number two is that male children must be circumcised.

That’s it. Just two rules to live by. This is way before God gave a laundry list of rules to his prophet Moe, he’s keeping it simple at this stage. Christians, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, fail to keep rule number one as they worship three distinct stooges – I mean gods. Additionally, circumcision has become optional for Christian born baby boys. These are THE most important commandments and the Christians ignore them.

What else gets ignored? After Jesus’ sacrifice, apparently kosher rules are now out. So, if you’re a Christian, go ahead and have a bacon cheeseburger. Other strange things that can be found in Leviticus (borrowing from and

"Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is apart for her uncleanness," Don't even look at a menstruating woman. 18:19

"Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with a mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee." No polyester blends for the holy. 19:19

After a woman gives birth, a priest must kill a lamb, pigeon, or dove as a sin offering. This is because having children is sinful and God likes it when things are killed for him. 12:6-8

Both parties in adultery shall be executed. 20:10

Don't do any work on the day of atonement or God will destroy you. 23:29-30

God tells the Israelites to make slaves out of their neighbors and their families. The "heathens" and "strangers" are to be their possessions forever. 25:44-46

So, if you really want to hate homosexuals, you have to hold fast to two versus in a very long book full of really strange and stupid rules. Then you have to pick and choose which rules you want to follow. Bacon cheeseburgers – good! Gays – bad!

Doesn’t exactly make much sense does it? I really have no reason to care about the gay issue. I have exactly zero gay friends so it doesn’t affect me in any meaningful way whatsoever. The only reason it bothers me is because the religious look to their holy book to damn a whole group of people, who historically, have never done anything to harm anyone. They then proceed to discard entire portions of said book and hold fast to the portions that allow this persecution. That’s why it pisses me off.

I do not speak for all atheists, but I do speak for this atheist. Here’s my take on homosexuality – there’s very little difference, morally speaking, in being gay or being left handed. Sure, most of the world is BORN right handed. Society more or less assumes that everyone is right handed. However, a minority of people are born left handed. That’s OK though because left handed people can be good or bad, they just do it writing with their left hands. So long as the lefties of the world work, pay taxes, and don’t hurt anyone – they’re all OK in my book. The same goes for the homosexuals, since I don’t believe in God or any of the stupidity found in the Bible, your all OK with me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Allow Me to Retort

There are a couple of possibilities regarding the study of the Bible.

Possibility 1: It’s all a bunch of rubbish. Put me in this camp. Speaking for myself, I sincerely believe that it was written by a bunch of primitive people in an attempt to explain the world around them. It fails miserably at doing that as well as providing an absolutely horrible set of morals.

Possibility 2: It’s 100% the real deal. Every dreadful act in here actually happened as designed by God Himself. In my humble opinion, this is absolutely improbable.

Possibility 3: It’s allegorical. Some of it happened the way it is described in the Bible. Some of it’s been exaggerated a little bit. You know, the Israelites went through the Reed Sea (approximately 3 feet deep) rather than the Red Sea. The allegorical camp will tell you it’s the symbolism and the message that matters not the EXACT details.

I’m sure that the only thing Bible Student (you honestly disgust me) and I will agree on is that those in the allegorical camp are wimps. If it’s allegorical, which parts are to be taken literally versus symbolically? Help me understand, if it’s allegorical, what am I supposed to learn from Sodom and Gomorra? If angel rapists appear at my door, I should offer up my virgin daughters??? What the fuck?

Bible Student’s explanation as to why God allowed the virgins to live is repulsive. To quote: “An exception from prohibition concerning foreign wives, since there would be no religious or social connection with the pagan nation. There were no heathen in-laws for the Jew to mix with, after the battle.”

It seems like the Jews were always pissed at the notion of the shicksa (a derogatory word for non-Jewish woman). It goes down to the root issue of an entire group of people believing they were singled out by God Himself to inhabit a certain strip of land. Here’s a hint to all Jews. God doesn’t like you. See the destruction of the second temple. See the Middle Ages. See the Spanish Inquisition. See the Holocaust. You are not special! Get over yourselves and start intermarrying.

Bible Student’s defense of the slaughter of the non-virgins is meaningless as well as failing to address the senseless slaughter of the male children. Why? Because they weren’t circumcised?

MJD says: “God never endorsed those wars anywhere in the Bible, neither did He personally tell anyone to start those wars. Yes, they were done in His name, but it doesn't mean that He told people to start them.”

Interesting. God doesn’t endorse these wars… Let’s see what our current president has said speaking to a group of top Palestinian officials:
“I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq…” And I did. And now I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go and get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis the security in the Middle East.’ And by God, I’m gonna do it.”
(Source: American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips, Introduction page xxxviii)

God apparently told President Bush to go to war with Iraq. There are some possibilities here:

1. President Bush doesn’t believe he has a personal relationship with God, but wanted to invade Iraq and wanted to provide a good story to his fundamentalist fan base.
2. God actually told him to do it.
3. President Bush thought about it, came to a decision, and then determined the decision to be of divine influence.

MJD, as long as the God I don’t believe in allows the President to live, He is allowing His questionable name to be dragged into this war. I’ll make you a deal, if God smites the President Old Testament style, I’ll shut down this blog. I’ll be specific too, no heart attacks, airplane crashes, cancer, or other natural causes will be accepted. I will accept a lightning strike or turning into a pillar of salt. Unless God smites the President, then he is guilty of ordering us into the Iraq war.

Here’s the thing, everyone makes a bunch of decisions daily. The President had to make a decision after he rhetorically blasted Iraq pre-invasion. It was either back down or attack. He might have struggled with this decision (he might have flipped a coin or he might have spent less than a second deciding). The voices guiding him, were in his head. However, being so steeped in Christian mythology, he might very well have believed his little internal discussion to be the voice of God. This is the exact reason religion scares me. When every psychopath starts believing their every desire is the voice of God (can’t prove that it’s not) what kind of society will we have?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

God on Trial

I’ve written a lot about how God is implicitly guilty of murder by refusing to show Himself, allowing different conflicting religions to attack each other, and failing to care for his Creation (both man and religion). Today, I’d like to talk about a genocide that God Himself commanded. If God were real, I think a real case could be made for Him at Nuremberg.

To set the scene a little bit… For those who have seen “The 10 Commandments”, one can easily pictured the righteous Moses pleading his case to Pharaoh and saying, “Let my people go!” Pharaoh was a bad man and brought the plagues upon himself and his country. We were led to believe that Moses was a good man who gave up his cushy lifestyle being raised as an Egyptian prince when he avenged a slave being brutalized by an Egyptian. After hiding in exile, he returned following God’s calling to lead the Hebrews back to their rightful place in Israel.

Moses had received “the law” and 10 commandments from God Almighty and was in the process of leading the Jews to the Promised Land. Here’s a little piece that you didn’t see in the movie. The following is unedited straight from the King James Version of the Bible. Numbers Chapter 31:

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.
4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.
5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

For those of you confused, let me translate…

Verses 1 – 6: God has a beef with the Midianites and tells Moses to go to war. Look, God has his reasons so I wouldn’t bring him to trial on any of this. War is war and there is a different code of ethics. They raise an army of 12,000.
Verse 7: They slew all the males. OK, getting harsher. They didn’t take a single POW? No one surrendered? Still, it is war.
Verse 8: Naming some of the people who were killed.
Verse 9: This one is important. The Jews had killed all the men (we’ll just assume that they were all combatants). Now they take all the women and children as captives. They also take all their cattle and goods for themselves.
Verses 10 – 12: They destroy the cities and bring the captives to Moses.
Verses 13 – 16: Moe is angry that the Jews took captives? This is where the war crimes really kick in.
Verses 17 – 18: I’m going to reprint it again here. Follow along with me:
“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

Moses commands his army to kill every male CHILD and all of the women who are non-virgins. As for the virgins, they are now to be kept as sex slaves for the Jews! Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. God, through Moses, just commanded genocide. The rest of the chapter rambles on about how to purify the army after the massacre and even more importantly, how to split up the goods stolen from the Midianites.

Anyone see the irony here? At a Passover Seder, there are endless readings about the suffering of slavery while in Egypt. Now that they’ve been freed, the Jews go out, massacre an entire people, and make sex slaves of the virgins! How much more repulsive and hypocritical can it get? Truly, God is the most evil and vile character ever written about in a work of fiction. If you can read this chapter and still worship Yahweh, you deserve each other.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Afternoon Silliness

Ever wonder what it would be like to spread the gospel of atheism in a very religious town? Someone beat me to it. I love this video…

Thursday, April 19, 2007

God Can Learn from Nobel

When most people here the name Nobel, they think of the Nobel Prize. There are actually six Nobel Prizes given out annually for outstanding achievement, in physics, chemistry, medicine/physiology, literature, economics, and the most famous – peace. The Nobel Prize is funded by the will of Alfred Nobel who made his fortune as the inventor of dynamite. Concerned about his legacy, he created the prize to acknowledge positive accomplishments and to leave behind a legacy beyond that of a “merchant of death”.

Many people responded to my first post with what I labeled the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” defense. Here is where God can take a look at what Mr. Nobel did. Dynamite is not intrinsically good or bad. It just is. Dynamite can be used to blast through a mountain and establish a tunnel that may save people a lot of time (good). It can also be used to blow people up (bad). Nobel realized the destructive capability of his invention and wanted to encourage people to do good things with the proceeds.

God allegedly created the world and allegedly commanded his prophets to worship Him. The arguments I’ve seen come back to me is that religion isn’t bad, it’s being manipulated to do bad things. I’ve said, consistently, that God created religion and religion is His responsibility. Seems to me that it is very much like dynamite. The good side is treat other people the way you want to be treated and whatnot. The bad side is kill those who don’t agree with you.

OK God, I’m talking to you now. You need to set up an annual contest to reward humanity for outstanding achievement. Take some responsibility for your religion! Otherwise your legacy turns into this (brought to my attention by my friend, The Kiwi):

Of course, I don’t believe God exists (and if He does he is evil). If you want to turn to the Bible for reasons God would never follow Nobel’s example, look no further than Genesis 11 aka The Tower of Babel (great blog by the way). Turns out if you read the story, this wasn’t God punishing man’s pride. It was about God preventing us from working together and progressing as a culture. Seems like God doesn’t want us to advance as a species. He likes us ignorant and fighting against each other.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Egg vs. Stoogehead

Master Jedi Dan,
First, let me thank you for your participation here. We’re going to disagree about a great many things, but you seem very passionate in your beliefs and eager to share. I would like to address your egg analogy. To quote:

“Despite what it says, the trinity can be understood. I'll give an analogy. An egg has three parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk. These three parts are different, yet together they comprise one egg. Just like the trinity, which is composed of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are different in some ways, and together they comprise one God. Just trying to help you out. :)”

Let’s see if we can both agree about two points regarding Christianity.

1. The God of Christians is the same God of the Jews in the Old Testament
2. Despite being a significant difference in opinion about Mosaic Law, Christians consider themselves monotheists (believe in one God) as opposed to polytheists (believe in many Gods)

Please let me know if you disagree with either of these points. The Bible has been accused of being ambiguous on many issues, but the issue of one God is very clear. Please see the Shema in my previous post or the first commandment in the Ten Commandments – “you shall have no other gods before me.”

Now if you believe Jesus to be divine (or that Holy Ghost character), it’s going to cause a huge problem because that would make Christians polytheists and Yahweh could not be clearer about His opinion on this. To reconcile this, the Trinity was created. See? Christians are monotheists and worshipping Yahweh. What we didn’t know before was that Yahweh was really three beings in one.

Master Jedi, here is where the egg analogy falls apart. Could you make an argument that the One True Egg is able to break apart, send the True Yolk to Earth, have the Yolk pray to the White while dieing, and reunite upon resurrection to become the One True Egg again?

This is why the Stoogehead holds up. If I were a monostoogist, I would want to believe that I could pray to Curley without offending Larry or Moe (forget about Shemp!) If Curley were to go off and do a Curley movie, he could reunite with the other stooges and be The One True Stooge again.

Of course, it would probably be more intellectually honest to just admit that I was a polystoogist and not need to come up with the Stoogehead to reconcile the fact that I am a polystoogist. What would be even more disingenuous would be to create the Stoogehead, claim to be a monostoogist, and then tell anyone who doesn’t understand how three separate stooges can really be the One True Stooge that their mind is simply inadequate to understand it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Stoogehead

I thought I would take a look at how a Believer (or Traitor whichever you prefer) views the world. I think Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics can all agree that the Christian religion worships the same God as the Jews. The Jews are very specific that there is only one God and captures this notion in the fundamental prayer of the Jewish religion, the Shema:

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God! The LORD is One!”

Please note the triple exclamation marks. The Jews were very specific in the first 2,000 years of their history. One God. Period. Christians worship this God. They also worship Jesus. They also ask that the Holy Spirit come to them as well. Now we have a problem. We’ve gone from one God to three gods. What to do! God was very specific – one God…

This brings us to the concept of The Trinity. Borrowing from a Believer:
“There ARE 3 distinct beings/persons/objects/entities who are each uniquely God AND there is only 1 being who is God. There are three persons, each being God, in one being, who is God.”

Got it? God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (side note – I really do believe in the Holy Spirit, He can be found by ingesting multiple cans of Diet Mountain Dew or other highly caffeinated beverages) make up the Godhead. They are separate, equal, fully God, but together comprise our knowledge of God. So Christians are not polytheists because they worship the Godhead – one God.

Maybe I’m dense, but it still seems like they’re worshipping 3 gods. Let’s see what a Christian group has to say…

“To try to comprehend unbegottenness (Father), begottenness (Son), or procession (Holy Spirit) leads to insanity, says the holy Gregory the Theologian, and so the Church approaches God in divine mystery, approaching God apophatically, being content to encounter God personally and yet realize the inadequacy of the human mind to comprehend Him.”

I feel much better now. According to the good folks over at orthodoxwiki, if I don’t understand it, it’s because it’s too complicated for my “inadequate” human mind. I’m not meant to understand the concept of the Godhead. All I need to do is repeat it over and over again. Cool!

Personally, I can’t subscribe to any thinking that requires me to say that I’m too dumb to get something. Ages ago, when I was in college, I was in a school that was on the semester system. I took Differential Equations and Linear Algebra in one class. I don’t believe in miracles, but let’s just say it was close to a miracle that I got a B in this class. I didn’t understand the material at all and kind of faked my way through it.

Later on, I transferred to a university that was on the quarter system. For whatever reason, the university decided to accept credit for Differential Equations but I had to retake Linear Algebra. I’d already been exposed to this material and somehow got through it, but when I took it for the second time, I actually got it. Everything made sense and I aced it.

The point being that in math and science one never says this is beyond comprehension and accepts it. If you keep studying and asking questions, the ability to “get it” is there. Can the same be said about religion?

I leave you with this thought inspired by The Trinity – it makes just about as much sense anyway. I am a fan of “The Three Stooges”, but I want to praise The One True Stooge. I believe The One True Stooge is comprised of three separate and equal stooges – Larry, Moe, and Curly (anyone who thinks that Shemp belongs in the Stoogehead is an idiot and does not deserve to know The One True Stooge). Anyone who watches the show can clearly see that the Stooges while individuals are really part of the Stoogehead. Offering praise to Larry actually praises the entire Stoogehead because they are part of the same entity. Got it?

Cool Atheist Books and Movies

For anyone interested, here are some very good books and movies on the subject of atheism:

Sam Harris:
Letter to a Christian Nation

End of Faith

This is the book that I am currently reading:
American Theocracy

No list would be complete without "God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins:

This movie is a must for any atheist/agnostic:
The God Who Wasn't There

Also, check out "Jesus Camp"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Honor Roll

Two great comments from the forum I'd like to call out:

Russell said...
Here's a thought. Take any natural disaster - the Asian Tsunami, for instance. Now, let's look at the reasons why it happened...

1. God made it happen. Therefore God is a violent, irrational, hateful entity not worthy of worship.
2. It was an act of nature and God decided not to stop it. God is a violent, irrational and hateful entity and therefore not worthy of worship.
3. It was an act of nature, but God couldn't prevent it and therefore he is irrelevant and not worthy of worship.
4. It was an act of nature, and God does not exist.

Glyn said...
Great bit of writing.

Regarding the commments (sic)....Yes we all know that Stalin comitted (sic) crimes agains (sic) humanity in the name of Communism.
But the quesion (sic) is - did Stalin have faith in Communism? Did he believe in Communism?

I'd argue that he did.
The problem is not theism - but faith.
Faith - blind faith. The un-questioning acceptance of something without proof is the mechanism which allows evil to occur.

The solution to theistic faith is not atheism. (Although atheism is a good start)

I'm not posting anything bashing me this time. A really good creative one will make the honor roll in the future. My blog my rules. If you don't like it, start your own blog!


I really did not anticipate this many comments on my post. Thanks to everyone who is participating. There are a lot of different camps out there from I’m a freshman in a junior college Philosophy course with poor grammar and poorer logic, those that agreed with me, and those who think I’m confused. I appreciate the comments – all of them.

That being said, I think there are two common themes that I would like to respond to. First, that God is not responsible for the atrocities done in his name. This is what I’m labeling the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument.

Let’s take a look at one of the comments I received on my first posting from Jania:

The God of the Bible is not an "asshole" because he refuses to "prove his worthiness." We have the Bible, which tells us EXACTLY what to do to understand God and Christianity and go to heaven. It's actually a lot easier than you think...not really worthy of constant bickering.

My ranting is mostly against fundamentalists like this who believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. If the Bible tells us exactly what we need to do to understand God as Jania claims, I would like to point out that the Bible does not require faith. In the Old Testament, specifically the book of Exodus, God gives Moses a staff that is able to transform from a piece of wood to a serpent and back again. If that weren’t enough, PROOF of God’s existence is amplified through the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and raining Manna from heaven. Folks, I’m pretty skeptical but if I saw a major body of water part, I’d probably reevaluate my position.

For those that aren’t too big on the OT, the New Testament gives us many miracles. Jesus walks on water, turns water into wine, raises the dead, feeds people, heals the sick, etc.

If one were to look to the Bible, you will see instances where God intervenes in the affairs of man and PROOVES His existence. He gave Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed very specific instructions as well as PROOF. Since he created religion and doesn’t mind the occasional proof, religion is still His responsibility.

Yes, some atheist regimes did some pretty horrible stuff, but none of it was divinely inspired. The God of the Bible should have been more than willing to bring out some old school fire and brimstone on Germany. It is disputed whether or not Hitler was a believer, but it is indisputable that Germany was (and is) a Christian nation.

God does not get to create religion and then take a two millennia break and not check in on his Creation. I don’t accept that one bit. The God of the Bible has infinite power and has been known to show Himself before, by refusing to do it for the last 2,000 years he is showing himself to be cruel, callous, and evil.

Second, I’ve been challenged on my assertion that religious beliefs are inherited from one’s parents. I’ve provided absolutely zero justification for this claim so I have rightly been called on it. Nice catch. When I have some time I’ll do some research and see what I dig up.

Thanks to all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

First Post

I have been an atheist since I was twelve years old. Most of my friends are atheists too, so sometimes I forget that most people have a belief in God. I’m not much for political correctness and rarely censor myself, but I don’t go around provoking religious people. There is very little to be gained by arguing with those who have faith. Their beliefs cannot be proven and they are not going to believe me regardless of my arguments against faith. I don’t usually have the time and energy for a senseless disagreement where neither side gains anything but annoyance with each other.

On a beautiful summer day, I found myself at a party talking to a friend. I had mentioned how some Mormon missionaries were out in my neighborhood and said something about wanting to convert “them”. At this point, a girl who had been eavesdropping turned to me and asked, “But what would you offer them?”

“I don’t have anything to offer. Maybe some more free time on Sunday.”

To which she replied, “I would prefer hope and salvation over a few hours back.”

I removed myself from the situation, it wasn’t my party and I didn’t want to cause a scene. The debate we would have had comes down to Pascal’s Wager. To sum it up, Monsieur Pascal theorized that belief in God was rational based on game theory and probabilistic outcomes.

To Pascal, there were two choices – believe in Christianity (I’ll address this later) or not. Along with these two choices are two possible outcomes – go to heaven or don’t.

Pascal's Wager
Go to heavenExtremely good outcomeVery bad outcome
Don't go to heavenHarmless outcomeNot a benefit

As we can see, an atheist can’t go to heaven (or at least according to Christianity, heaven is gained by faith not works). The two possible outcomes for our atheist is God is really and won’t allow the atheist into heaven or God is not real and our atheist doesn’t go to heaven because heaven doesn’t exist. Either outcome for the atheist results in a losing proposition.

For a Christian, their faith is justified in the next life and they get to go to heaven which would be an extremely good outcome, or their belief was wrong and there is no God and no heaven in which case they are no worse off than the atheist. Even if we assign a very small probability of God existing, the benefit is so great, Mr. Pascal would have you believe, that the only rationale choice here is to be a good Christian. Since this is the only way to heaven and the reward is so great, a rational person would have to be a Christian. Who wouldn’t want a little “heaven insurance” at the cost of a few prayers and a few hours in church? You’d have to be crazy not to, right?

Hey, thanks Blaise, but your little game theory diagram is woefully simplified. The problem isn’t choosing between Christianity and atheism. How amazingly Eurocentric of you to lay these out as your only two possibilities. In Western cultures, the choice comes down to the big three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Muslim. Even within these faiths there are Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, and Orthodox Jews. Muslims have the Sunni and Shiite denominations. Christians? There are Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Baptists, Lutherans, Mormons, etc.

That’s just the Western World. The Eastern World has Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and that’s just to name a few. The choice isn’t so easy between Christianity and atheism, is it?

Now ask oneself why one has chosen their faith? The most likely reason is because it was the faith inherited by their parents. They have been indoctrinated into the faith at an early age before rational thinking has been established. In the theists basic desire to be perceived as good, they absorb their religion and cling to it as true. Still, one could ask what harm does religion do? For starters, it divides humanity rather than unites, see the following list of just a few of the atrocities done in God’s name:


  • Detailed genocide against rival tribes throughout the Old Testament

Christians against Jews

  • Spanish Inquisition
  • Crusades
  • Holocaust

Christians against Muslims

  • Crusades
  • Bosnia

Muslims against Christians

  • Crusades

Shiite against Sunni

  • Iraq

Protestant against Catholic

  • Northern Ireland

It is without exaggeration to say that millions of people have died because they have different unproved religious beliefs inherited from their parents along tribal lines. Now imagine that Earth was invaded by an alien force with superior technology. Imagine, if you will, that humans were kept in cages and forced to fight each other to the death for the amusement of the aliens. Would you kill your fellow man and hope to gain favor with the aliens or would you resist by any means necessary and strive to regain human dignity? Which is the more moral option?

I propose as my answer to Pascal’s wager, two choices and two outcomes. The choices come down to theism (of any religion, not just Christianity) vs. atheism. The outcomes include going to heaven or not going to heaven.

Atheist's Wager
HeavenInherit the “correct” beliefs from parents and go to heaven at the expense of every human who inherited the “wrong” beliefsStand up to a corrupt God and demand dignity for the entire human race beyond my tribe
No God/No HeavenWorship a non-existent deity and not be rewarded in the afterlifeConcentrate on this life and focus on the issues that matter

If God only rewards those who follow the “correct” faith and faith is inherited from one’s parents, then the God who refuses to prove his existence is playing favorites over his creation based on tribal lines pitting groups of humans against each other just like our aliens. If, by chance and chance alone, one is born into the right religion and curries favor with God Almighty, then this person is actively collaborating with the enemy of humanity. The atheist may find himself in hell for his disbelief, but at least he is not a traitor. Until God accepts that religion is His responsibility and can provide some real proof and guidance as to His plan, He is completely unworthy of our worship. To continue to worship a deity that arbitrarily divides us as a species, rewards a chosen few for their faith in which there is no evidence, and has deliberately chosen not to intervene when His name is used inappropriately is no different from collaborating with the alien cage fighters. By dividing humanity amongst different sects with conflicting ideology and allowing war in His name, God is evil. To worship a deity like this is to commit an act of treason. Unless God proves his existence and changes the outcomes, we as a race owe it to ourselves to not worship Him.