I don't believe because I enjoy living in reality.
I also enjoy the company of others who have made the choice to live in reality. They are far more free to think, have ideas, and embrace change.
Like every other major change in my life, when I seriously considered the possibility that there might not be a god, I made a few pro and con lists. This included one comparing theists to atheists. (at the time I made the list I believed there was a god). Unfortunately Atheist came out as more emotionally stable people. I'm not calling it black and white, my mom AND in-laws are happy Christians, but over all atheist scored higher in areas I was seriously struggling.
Most of all I wanted to be happy, and I couldn't as long as I was going to receive nothing but circular reasoning. That shit drives me crazy. CRAZY crazy. Christianity, for me, was like taking a bad birth control pill. My boss is taking some that expired YEARS ago and all of the sudden she is making no sense at all and appears to be powered only by emotion. It's creepy to watch when she used to be so calm and reasonable. It reminds me of how I felt as a Christian.
When God is the answer, it is much easier to bottle emotions up and not deal with them. I mean, get in a trance and feel a magic release, but it really doesn't leave until you learn what you need to from it. At least not for me. I don't know that I'm right at all, but I feel like I'm making a good guess here.
Sure, not all Christians are emotionally retarded, but I most definitely was, and a whole lot of other people around me were, too. Many church members seemed to have temporary and sharp feelings of bliss, but 98% of the time it's depression, just waiting for an answer from god instead of thinking and figuring things out for yourself. I even faked all that Christian joy, because in order to spread the word of God it's important that you appear to be happy.
Then I lied about feeling happy for many years so that I wouldn't be a bad Christian. What if you were the only Christian a person ever met and you were sad around them too often? That person might not be as open to hearing the word of God.
Raise your hands and say it with me now, "When we all raise our hands and sway back and forth with our eyes shut it puts us in a suggestive state."
This applies to every religion. They all do it. First you sing or dance, then you sit down to hear someone talk, then you sing again. How about instead of telling people what to think we start teaching people how to think for themselves?
Shit, every time I make a good point I remember a Bible verse that wins against my point. The bible sure did take care of the nasty problem of people who have other ideas about life. The Bible says they are fools, so they must be fools! It reminds me of Lisa Simpson in the creationism class, when Ralph said, "Now Lisa's the new Ralph" The smart person is the fool, and that is all I needed to hear years ago to think there's probably a better life out there for me. Far, far away from the people who call me a fool for doing what it takes to find happiness.
Oh, yeah, the list goes on. What with the lack of proof, etc. Whatever. Observing the people around me was enough to help me make the leap. The science education is just more cake on the cake.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I don't believe because I enjoy living in reality.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
The Ethical Atheist's Ten Commandments, found here.
1. Thou SHALT NOT believe all thou art told.
2. Thou SHALT seek knowledge and truth constantly.
3. Thou SHALT educate thy fellow man in the Laws of Science.
4. Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of god.
5. Thou SHALT leave valuable contributions for future generations.
6. Thou SHALT live in peace with thy fellow man.
7. Thou SHALT live this one life thou hast to its fullest.
8. Thou SHALT follow a Personal Code of Ethics.
9. Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation between Church and State.
10. Thou SHALT support those who follow these commandments.
Visit the website for discussion on these. :o)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I've found that during the times when I had no one to talk to I got a lot more accomplished emotionally when I talked to myself instead of talking to god. First, and most important, I found people I was able to talk to by first talking to myself.
And sure, sure, when you talk to god you're really just talkin to yourself. The difference for me was that when I talked to myself I didn't have faith that someone else would work out my problems for me magically.
Also, it never prevented me from opening up to people because I was taught that god will work through other people in my life, so I was always aware of people who were willing to listen.
And anyway, there is NO community like the church community, except maybe your own family. EVERYONE at church knows all your business. All it takes is one person finding out one thing about you, and everybody knows by next Sunday. Awww man. Church is like high school on crack. I had Christian friends at school and I'd go to their youth group events and just hear gossip all night. I started preaching out against the gossip at my own church, but they fought hard to keep it by saying they didn't gossip. I starting blowing my metaphorical "rape whistle" whenever someone attempted to engage me in gossip. I was better than them.
Prayer for me didn't stop me from opening up to people. Everyone already knew my business and told me about what I should be doing different all the time. I didn't even have a chance at keeping my shit to myself. At that point it doesn't matter that they praise you for the good things you do. It's been made clear to you that an entire community of people will know and judge every mistake you make. Who cares about an occasional high-five. I will pick privacy over praise ALWAYS. Again, I think that's another point for me, the atheist.
To answer the question from a Christian perspective, it is impossible to even consider the option of not confiding in other people.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Why why why why why would anyone ever say, "there is this thing called '___[insert anything here]____' that you are ignorant of, and I forbid you to educate yourself on the matter. Here is a tree that grows this knowledge just in case you're the rule-breaker I made you to be."
Seriously, was God not sure if they would choose ignorance over information? Is it possible that he could create a being that could be self-aware, but desire to do nothing about it?
Here I am happy and safe. God tells me that if I break a rule, I will learn about something new, but I will be punished. My first thought is, "what is it like to be punished?"
How do I, as a human being, learn?
The only conclusion I can come to here is that God doesn't know what he's doing. Or maybe it was the man who created God that didn't understand what he was talking about. I gotta go with occam's raisins on this one. Either way, I look good, so whatever.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I'm enjoying a new group on flickr called "Do You Believe?". I'm so shaky every time I make a comment. The regulars are going to get to know me, and that's still something I'm getting used to. Coming out atheist helped me finally feel comfortable around other people. I knew if too many people found out, my mom would find out. I knew she would still love me and accept me and treat me like an intelligent person, but I also knew it would break her heart, because "what about heaven?". I didn't want to make her feel that way. I didn't want to be the cause of more sadness or worry in her life. She's had enough problems she never deserved.
You know, and just like coming out anything else, I had to be confident enough in myself to have the conversation. I had to know what I could say to her to make everything okay. I told her that I was a happy person, the thing she said was most important in life. I told her I was able to live my dreams, and they weren't evil, and they made me happy. It's the biggest motivator for me to keep up this blog, my photography (hey guys, I'm booked for a month with the e-mails still pouring in), give children the tools they need early on to find happiness (yeah, I know 'em, my mom told me). I want to make her proud, and I want to do that by doing what it takes to remain happy. It's WORK. It's hard work. I can't explain away needless suffering. I'm not that arrogant. maybe? whatever.
So I'm reading over there and it's inspiring. I love hearing the old way I thought, because it's a reminder of how much I've changed and how much easier my life is now. Not because I can do whatever I want, I pretty much do all the same things I did as a Christian. I did the best that I could, and I still do. My life is easier because I'm not sitting around all the time trying to make sense of the bible. I'm not getting glares from the parents of my friends. My husbands parents are both Christian and they adore me. I love them, too. If we had a Christian relationship they would not like me. I was an annoying Christian. It's why I'm so comfortable annoying people I like now. I'm used to it. It's comfortable.
I asked a lot of probing questions that an atheist might ask their youth pastor. Only I honestly didn't and still don't understand. I approached it believing 100% that it was all real, because why would all these people say it's real if it's not? That's insane. And when I learned something that contradicted something else I would ask a questions and everyone would get pissed off and shake their stupid, old, wrinkly fingers at me. I don't like the circular logic. I don't like how they think their history is more correct than real history. It's creepy.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Pay no attention to the babbling woman. She's just trying to be a scientist. Isn't that cute?
I've thought about it more. Like, neither of my parents were in to crafting like I am, but my grandparents were. Neither of my grandparents have ever been able to draw well, but my dad was an outstanding clone artist, like I sort of can be sometimes (by accident). I can sing well, but my voice is sort of boring and makes people sleep, just like everyone else who can sing in my family.
It makes my skin crawl when people (like it's just people in general? no, I'm talking about my family. They can't read stuff this tiny, though) talk about something I'm good at and say, "She gets that from her _[blah blah blah]_." Basically they are saying, and sometimes put it this bluntly, "I didn't get that gene, so I can't do that."
Whaaaaa? It is very clear to me why I like the things I do. I like crafting more than any other thing I do. More than photography. My earliest experience with happiness revolved around crafting. It was the week or two (or three, if I could convince my parents) in the summer I spent with my grandparents. Away from my father. My grandparents spent all of their spare time making art together. My grandpa is a carpenter and my grandpa paints the things he makes. Most often with the cheesy stuff your grandma buys at the local bazaar. The holiday stuff. Oh, but I didn't understand what kind of art it was, I was just having a blast making a mess and being allowed to touch things I usually didn't get to touch. I still have the first painting I made on a wooden gingerbread man. I know for certain that my grandma helped me.
This is something my grandparents made for me to keep my rings in when I was five. I had so much bling. Now it's where I keep my drug blunts. Just kidding that's not where I keep my drug blunts. The people that I felt most secure around where my family members, and I was happiest crafting with my grandparents, and I've found happiness through creativity ever since. Nature vs. Nurture: one point to nurture here.
Let's try again. How about singing? Is it genetic that I sing like my family members? Or is it because I heard them sing more often than I heard anyone else (not counting Bert and Ernie)? I learned how to sing from them. So I sing like them. End of story, jerk. Two points nurture. One point nature for affecting hearing and the shape of your throat or belly or whatever you sing out of. Vocal boards? That doesn't sound right.
As far as the identical twins having the same jobs and marrying men with the same name when they've never met... A point my husband threw at me when I was on my nurture rant. I think I'm ready to take a stab at it from my point of view. I'm not educated as well as I should be to be making guesses, so if it sounds nice don't automatically believe it, please.
It's obvious that physical traits are passed down from generation to generation, but I don't think that means that our desires are passed down in any other way than we have similar bodies. So my hands are like the hands in my family, and my eyes are, as well. I have a steady hand and I'm a spatial genius. (I informed my husband after testing that I only test above genius-level in one of the six or whatever categories, "I'm a spat-ial genius." I scored very low in Words or whatever it was called.)
Nature vs. Nuture fight: over. The two work very well together. We like to do what we're good at, and we do those things around little humans we made in our image. They see us doing it during the time they are learning what it means to be a human, so they do it, too. However, just because they have the body for it does not mean they will have the desire for it. These two identical twins figured out something they were able to do, and they enjoyed doing it because they weren't raised by anyone who restricted them from doing what they excelled at, something parents see in a child (yes, even an adopted one) and encourage early on so that they can say their child is better. Sometimes because they are loving parents doing it for the right reason. Sometimes. My entire point after all this is just that there isn't a desire gene being passed down. Natural ability means my body is better suited for this than your body, not that my brain possesses something magical that yours doesn't.
Marrying men with similar names, or the same name, is nothing more than coincidence. And there is still no creativity gene to be found. Join me later for part three when I try to figure why this ever irritated me in the first place. Oh yeah, that whole god thing. By now I hope I've at least made a good point against any ability being a magic gift from a god.
I saw miracles, too! I believed they were miracles with all my "heart".
I've been sitting here deleting and retyping this same sentence, and I feel like a real jerk for saying this, but it's the truth... I just wasn't educated well enough to understand what was really happening. I'm no genius now, but I've educated myself enough to understand that every miracle I saw had a fairly simple explanation.
Here's what DIDN'T happen. I didn't lose faith and then look up information to explain the miracles. I found this information when trying to learn about other things that had nothing to do with gods or miracles or magic.
Beware: Learning has evil side-effects.
Posted by Ishy at 13:20
Monday, March 3, 2008
Can I say again that I can only speak from my experiences? I think that should be made clear, if it isn't already. Like, when I start yelling at some imaginary Christian, I usually have a Christian in mind. I've met thousands of them. I was surrounded by them for 19 years. Most of those being the typical person's observing years, when we rely on other people to teach us what it is to be human. Childhood. :o(
Sometimes I wish I had been given a choice, and then other times I'm glad to have had the experiences. As time passes I'm more likely to say I'm glad for the lesson I learned. I don't mean to yell at strangers, but this is meant to be a place to observe my reaction, for those who never left their observing years. We can still learn about ourselves by observing others, there is no cut-off age. IM HAPPEH 2 GIV BAK 2 TEH INTERNETS WUT THEY GAEV 2 ME. Sorry for that last part :o(
I hope the freedoms of the internet remain. You can get a better art education on the internet than in most public schools. I don't actually know if that's true, but it sure sounds right. I went to public school and I was taught a from a lesson plan. On the internet I can pick something that interests me and learn everything about it and see pictures of it done the right way. I learned how to make fake dred locks that look real on the internet. First of all, I found perfectly detailed tutorials with every piece of information you need, updated regularly with a comments section for strangers ideas. THEN! and this is the best part, I joined a community on livejournal where people posted their creations and I could see all the different ways hundreds of people have been creative using the basic rules. OMG I learned the process and was overstimulated with ideas all for free. Beat that, Painting 101.
I do have to give it up to high school for the awesome ceramics class I got to take and retake for three years just to throw clay on a wheel. You can't do that on the internet... Er, I guess you can if you can afford the equipment. Yay for youtube. High school still has a chance to win, though. I got to take the jewelry class and work on equipment that you can just buy and use without proper training. Or at least you shouldn't if you enjoy having hands and eyes.
The internet has taught me how to crochet, knit, make dreds, etch glass, paint on glass, create the look I want when making wired jewelry, use polymer clay, pop art, customizing a blythe doll (including sanding her face to get the right expression), and on and on and on and on.
More important is the creativity. Hours looking online at things I like. I'm totally not wasting time, I'm seeing image after image until I pull a few things together and create something new. Whoops I thought it was new. Look, there's already a site devoted to it. Sweet, they can tell me what tools are best.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
This is the weirdest thing I've heard in a while. Apparently, you can't imagine things you've never seen. Like... She knew it was an angel (or jesus) that she saw because all the angels she had ever seen were fat babies with wings. This was not a fat baby with wings so clearly she wasn't imagining it. She had never seen anything like it before so clearly it wasn't a hallucination. "you know?" she says. I just ... walked away.
I can't even come close to understanding this logic. I create weird shit I've never seen before. In my head, on paper. It's not magic. Try telling that to someone who's convinced that the imagination is not her creating things, but a god creating things. Real things. And those weird things give her weird feelings, too. A point that she uses as proof.
It's like I'm from another universe. A universe were we don't believe what every charismatic person tells us. What a bizarre day.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I have a friend who's been driving me crazy. She talks about my natural artistic ability, and complains that she doesn't have it. I reacted without thinking about it, taking offense to her claim of natural ability, because I felt that I had worked really hard to get to where I am artistically. Then I spent the last month thinking non-stop about artistic people having natural abilities. I've been accused of arrogance, and I had to investigate.
I work with children from the age of two until they are five. I have them to myself at the ages of three and four, but the time before and after I'm still involved with them. In the beginning I am an authority figure that steps in when they are misbehaving (when the teacher in the toddler class starts going crazy at about 11:15 every morning). Towards the end I'm the adult that they seek out when they do something creative, because ultimately it is my opinion that matters more than any other adult when it comes to art.
I've been seeking out children that could be candidates for this so called natural ability towards creativity, and I have so far found no evidence that it exists. What I have found is that every human is born with the ability to be creative, and they either exercise it or it dies. I've been trying to find science-related evidence to back me up or contradict me, but I'm guessing I'm not searching the right way, because I've found nothing. :o(
I've tried to come up with other possible ways that creativity could be anything other than a "muscle" that needs to be exercised, but I can't. All I can see is that the more I try, the better I get. The more I practice, the better I get. The more I exercise creativity, the more creative I become. I find that when I'm labeled "naturally creative" I get extremely pissed off. You might as well be saying, "You didn't work hard to get to where you are, it just came naturally to you."
The desire came what seemed like naturally to me. I saw adults that were creative, and instead of saying, "I wish I could be creative, too" I invested a lot of time and effort to become one of those people. I believe this is called Self-Actualizing.
Now when self-esteem and comparison comes in to play I have to say I'm no where near as creative as I'd like to be, but I'm working at it. I don't think I'm awesome, and that makes people angry because they think I'm being cocky. WHAT? I am so confused. Okay, so yeah, I know how to use glue and I have the patience to start over and over and over again until I have a straight line, but I'm telling you I'm going to be a lot more awesome than this, and don't you dare chalk it up to natural ability. I am devoting all of my time to this. I started teaching preschool because I knew that it would be a m-f job with a small income I could count on, but more importantly I would have the freedom to spend my time practicing creativity. Where better than a preschool? The preschool classroom is set up for creativity.
All of the toys are made to exercise creativity, but kids struggle when they aren't show the way. All my class did was make guns out of legos and shoot each other with them until I spent some time showing them what else you can do with legos. They took those ideas and used them with other toys, and created things I probably would have never thought of on my own. We learn from each other. This is why everything I make is licensed under creative commons. (With the attribution to feed my ego. :o))
I hit the jackpot. All day the kids ask me to draw pictures for them and now after two years I can finally draw a unicorn that I would call cute and that would be difficult for the average person to draw. I could not do this two years ago. Back then if I wanted a cute unicorn I would ask my husband to draw it.
As a result, now, the kids that sat and watched me draw all day are also able to draw what I can draw. Their hands aren't as steady yet, but they saw it over and over and they know all the steps and they can draw amazingly for four-year-olds. The kids that have gone through my class ALL draw better than their older siblings. Each and every parent now thinks they have a kid that is naturally creative, not like their older sibling who is not so creative. I don't argue with them because what am I going to say, "Uh actually they are just copying me. Kids do that. They watch adults and mimic them." It starts out that way, but the real treat is when they start being creative on their own, which usually happens after they leave my class. My favorite creation so far was by a girl that I had taught to draw dinosaurs and unicorns. After a few months away from me she came to me with a dinosaur that had a horn and wings . She called it a "unisaur". I now draw unisaurs all the time. I also started drawing caticorns and other mixes of animals. It wasn't MY idea, it was a child's.
I didn't see this coming. This job turned out to be the best thing for exercising my own creativity. The kids copy me and I copy the kids and it becomes easier to do things that were once extremely difficult for me. It's practice, not magic. Creativity isn't something we do on our own. It isn't an inner natural ability that some magic god gave you because you are specially made for it. Let's stop wishing and start playing together.
I'm open to any science opposing this, by the way. I just came up with it by observing and coming to conclusions, so there is no way I can say I am correct.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Smaller Version of the Solar System Is Discovered
"Astronomers said Wednesday that they had found a miniature version of our own solar system 5,000 light-years across the galaxy — the first planetary system that really looks like our own, with outer giant planets and room for smaller inner planets."
On one of the planets they found halflings that are similar to humans, but have evolved from birds. They're version of the neanderthal (an animal similar to them that some halflings bred with) had wings.
Okay, okay, I'm fibbing. Science sparks the imagination like that. The EVIL imagination.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I'm enjoying Tommy's post. I noticed a lot of his posts made me think, so that's neat.
For the first time I'm at an age where I can understand politics and I'm very interested. I get the feeling that some sort of political work is in my future. My far, far future. I get that feeling because it's one of those deep desires. I haven't figured out where it came from, but I think it's Malvina Reynolds. My grandma(or maybe someone else) used to sing one of her songs to me. Magic Penny. I might be wrong, but I think that song is the seed for my desire to be involved with humanity. I recommend it if you have children. You can buy it on itunes for 99 cents. If you do I also recommend her song Little Boxes. My preschool class loves it. Most of them call it their favorite song, but that might be because I dance around all happy whenever one of her songs comes on. I also play it on the piano for them. We bond because of that song. I had no idea as a child that her songs met a political need. I think Little Boxes says something very powerful. It was a major statement at the time. I have something like 13 covers of the song, in three different languages. I'd like to sing it in spanish. There are a whole bunch of new covers because of the show Weeds on Showtime, but I'm still missing a lot of those. There was a spanish version done and I want that so I can use correct diction. It will happen.
Here's a video from the show's intro.
During the second season they had a new person singing this song for every episode. Also, it's a great show.
When I listen to her sing, or talk, I feel like I can relate to her voice more than any other (as far as who I'd like to be and what kind of a footprint I'd like to leave.) I'm trying, but it's a hard road. I have to be all creative and junk. Exercising creativity is damn hard. Drawing is not hard, painting is not hard, beading is not hard, sculpting is not hard. Exercising creativity is hard. The manuals for it are JUNK, too. If I master it I'll totally write book about how my way will work for everyone. Whatever.
Why People Believe Weird Things explains science pretty clearly, but I cannot expect religious people to read books about anything but the praise of magic. (No, no, not all theists boycott books, but let's be realistic... most do.)
Hypothesis: A testable statement for a set of observations.
Theory: A well-supported and well-tested hypothesis or set of hypotheses.
Fact: A conclusion confirmed to such an extent that it would be reasonable to offer personal agreement.
I think the average theist is confusing a scientific theory with a hypothesis. You can choose to believe that a scientific theory is a guess, but that doesn't make it true.
It doesn't. It doesn't. It doesn't.
Also, you don't get to change definitions to help prove your superstitions. That's not how it works. The truth is, it's 2008, and The Origin of Species came out in 1859. That 149 years! Evolution has been very, very, very, very, very, very well tested in the last 149 years.
1. Just because you don't like the results of these tests doesn't make them any less valid or true.
2. Just because you've been brainwashed and closed off from the results of these tests doesn't mean they didn't happen.
3. Just because you choose to be ignorant of the facts doesn't mean they don't exist.
Educate yourself. Do your own research. Read up on both sides of the argument, not just one, and not just The Origin of Species, because that's 149 years old. Ignorance is popular, but that doesn't make it right.
How many, many times our mothers tell us not to be sheep. Would you jump off a bridge if your friends were doing it? How about we change that to: Would you close your mind to new facts and information if your friends were doing it? Same god damn thing, knock it off, brats.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Okay, I never got anything but a shocked look from Christians as a child, but maybe someone can disprove me now.
You know how God doesn't show himself anymore? Uh... I was scared as a kid because I thought it was entirely possible that Satan finally took control of humanity and threw God in to Hell. How do you know you aren't all worshiping Satan? It would sure explain the absence of God all this time. I guess at any rate you want to worship whoever is in control of heaven so you can get your virgins and shit. What's God able to provide you with in hell? Uh-oh.
Now you still have the option to stop all this make-believe and join us over here in reality... Or you can take your chances with evil heaven.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
No one is going to lose their job simply because they watch this movie. You can tell who this movie is targeted at. No one should need to be scared in to watching a movie about science. If you do need to be terrified in a trailer in order to watch a movie about science then you're probably not someone who knows a lot about science. If you don't know a lot about science there's really nothing stopping you from believing this garbage.
The reason they aren't allowed in scientific journals is because this is not science. It's philosophy at best. It's theism. Scientist are trying to learn about things they see and feel, these guys are trying to learn about things they don't see that can't be proven. Hello? Knock knock knock. Hi I'm science and I'm here for you to learn about what proof we have for what.
A theory is an idea. The idea is tested, and it is either thrown out because tests cannot prove it is true, or the tests consistently back up that idea as true. A theory can be tested until it consistently, 100% of the time proven true. Like... gravity. So say you get an idea (a theory) but it's lacking any proof so that means it is not considered equal to another theory that not only has A LOT of proof, but contradicts yours in many ways.
Get more proof and you'll get published. Simple as that. SIMPLE AS THAT.
Posted by Ishy at 14:27
Thursday, January 24, 2008
HOLY SMOKES! There are less atheists in prison than there are Mormons. SUCK IT, theists. SUCK. IT.
"Note that atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%)."
Statistics are what they are. I'm not saying these numbers are proof that atheism isn't evil. Atheists are proof of that.
Posted by Ishy at 18:51
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
In the January/February 2008 issue of The Humanist magazine (pg 17) I read a short article titled The Post-Theological Umbrella by David Niose. It talks about humans in the "pre-theological" stage moving to the theological stage as a "natural development of extremely advanced animals."
The article explains that we came to a point in our development when we were smart enough to ask deep questions, but not smart enough to answer them. The proof that it is normal for any advanced animal comes from the Neanderthals, who "buried their dead and had religious relics that suggest that they also asked deep questions that required theological answers."
This all makes sense to me until I'm asked to describe myself as "post-theological" instead of atheist. I'm seeing articles in magazines and blog entries all over the place telling me to call myself something different in order to avoid the icky feelings theists get when they hear "atheist". This article, like the others I've read, mentions the 2001 ARIS survey. This study revealed 13% identified as non-religious, but only 1% call themselves atheist. Post-theological doesn't sound bad to me, and that's where I get confused. I've been extremely happy with being just an atheist all this time.
The point of this article is for all of us to come together and pick one name to fight under, other than atheist, or changes in culture regarding theism vs. atheism will take much longer. I'm having a hard time thinking this through, because I've only been an atheist for three years. I'm still super pissed about being brainwashed as a child. I can't tell if it's anger or reason that tells me I should just stick with atheist and fight the fight. I don't want it to take longer than it needs to and theists are having huge success with renaming creationism. Should we do what they are doing and rename in order to try to gain a warm-fuzzies face?
Monday, January 21, 2008
"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 blind-folded fear."
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind."
"Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religions."
"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
George Washington, address to Congress, 8 January, 1790
"To give opinions unsupported by reasons might appear dogmatical."
George Washington, to Alexander Spotswood, November 22, 1798, from The Washington papers edited by Saul Padover
"... the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion"
-Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, written during the administration of George Washington, signed by President John Adams, and ratified unanimously by the United States Senate.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I had an outline hand-written for all of my other posts. I'm only 26, though, so I'm just reflecting now on the last few years of my life. The magic years.
When I met mark I was nineteen. He was the best friend of my best friend's brother. It wasn't until I was thinking about changing who I was spending my time with, to smarter people, that I seriously thought about talking to Mark. I was traveling a lot and I would spend pretty much all my time in the hotel on the internet messaging my friends on AIM.
I started messaging Mark with a serious goal. I knew we could be friends because I knew at one point in my life I used to be really smart. Maybe that would come back to me. Maybe it was like riding a bike. (It wasn't). When Mark moved from living with his friends to an apartment alone, I decided it was time to strike. I invited myself over.
Another absolutely wonderful person to add to my collection! I went from not saying a word around him for hours to aggressively invading his head. Mark and I went through the same childhood. We could relate in a way I have never related with another person. The differences of our lives outweigh the similarities, but when it comes down to it, we were both brainwashed. We were both treated like our honest curiosity was a threat. We were treated like we were evil for asking questions. We never felt a connection with the lord on high who was and is and is to come.
My favorite memory while dating Mark was when we were at his parents' place in Eugene. His older (by 17 years) sister was there, and we were talking about when Mark lost his faith. He told them about how it felt to honestly believe for years and years and years and never feel the holy spirit. He never felt a connection to god. He believed with all his heart and never felt it. His sister mentioned that it might have been because of his doubt in god, and maybe if he gave it another try... I explained it was the other way around completely. He had no doubt that he would feel the same thing the other Christians felt, because he was told he would. He had no doubt until he had actively tried to feel it for years and didn't. He had doubt because he had not felt, not the other way around.
I asked her, "How many decades are you supposed to wait before you feel a little tiny something?" I think it meant a lot to the family to hear that. They understood that it was nothing on the part of the atheist. We tried. We gave ourselves to Jesus and he ignored us. I'm not going to live a lie and pretend that god has a plan for me. When I became atheist, and I made a plan for myself, only then did things really start to work out for me. God's plans are stupid. God's plans are awful.
I have never heard someone call something "God's plan" that wasn't something any nit-wit could have come up with. You know? God's plan is never intelligent. God's plan is never to teach really important lessons of love and compassion to all people. God's plan does not involve peace. God's plan is just man's selfishness, all dressed up like a whore.
The problem for me is when I know what different body parts do, and I know about how the human brain is capable of a panic attack... I know, then, that it is capable of feelings on the opposite end. I know what it's like to feel manic, and I do not relate that to god. It's a man-made state-of-mind. Theists refuse to recognize what the human body is capable of. They refuse to learn, and read, and study. They are extremely ignorant to any science that isn't 50 years old.
In 50 years gay marriage will be the norm. Just like woman can vote now and only a crazy person would say they shouldn't have that right. Remember how women couldn't vote? Remember how there were slaves? Remember how the Bible supported both forms of bigotry. I'm going to try to make this as obvious as possible so that Christians can understand. Woman can vote now because there is nothing about it that harms anyone. Slavery is illegal because there is nothing harmful or evil about NOT owning humans. The opposite cannot be said.
Let's look at homosexuality. It doesn't harm you. You might THINK it does, because it's against your holy text, but come on, grow up. Think. Learn. Progress. It doesn't hurt you, it only hurts them. They are the humans who are having rights taken away from them, not you. You are thinking like a bigot. You are equal to the generations that fought to keep woman from having rights. You are equal to the generations that fought to keep slavery. You are taking away the rights of other humans because you somehow are so much better than them that you get to decide based on your theistic views. That, my friend, is bigotry.
If you think gay marriage will hurt you, you are wrong. Has my marriage with my husband hurt you in any way? If your answer is yes, then perhaps you have a case. My marriage is exactly what you are afraid of letting them have. It's godless. It's an expression of love and nothing else. We made no promises to god nor man. We did it on purpose, too. The reason we got marriage was to prove that a godless marriage hurts no one. We are here to show you what it will be like if gays marry. It will be no different. Our marriage has affected your faith, your marriage, your relationship with god, in no way.
Please, let's stop filling our hearts with hate in the name of god. I don't think that's what he was going for.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
When I became agnostic I was having a hard time shaking off the guilt. I started studying the history of religion to gain some perspective. I didn't know why, as a Christian, I hadn't already received this education, until I read it. Either history is a lie or the bible is a lie. I choose to believe what the nerds come up with, they're usually right. And they're constantly in competition with each other to know more facts. They're pretty strict with each other about using the word fact. You can only use it when something is a fact. So right there you see proof that you can trust them. Simply observe them and use your brains, people. They aren't evil liars.
You know who are evil liars? Nevermind.
I didn't date these two years. I flirted and went on a few dates, but few got a second chance. I decided I'm not going to settle. There absolutely is someone out there who I will want to spend a lot of time with. I'm not going to settle for a pretty face.
Instead I spend my time going on blind dates debating religion with theists who don't dare ask me on a second date. They don't understand why I need to know up front what kind of magic they believe in. I eventually trade blind dates for more time searching for atheist friends. I want a community. I'm agnostic, but only because I didn't really understand what it meant to be atheist. And because magic is poetic so I enjoyed hanging on to that. It helped with the loss of Jesus and the fact that people were wasting their lives for gods. I would continue to be agnostic until I experienced the magic in atheism. That's another post. Quit distracting me.
I was still rebuilding my self esteem when I met #3. He didn't much like talking about deep stuff. He was maybe agnostic, but refused to talk about it because it didn't matter. I kinda liked that idea. What I didn't know turned out to be dangerous with him. I still had had no good example of how a decent man treats a woman. I had no way of seeing the signs, and I was brainwashed again. He made me feel selfish for wanting to be a photographer. A job that kept me from being in town for more than a week out of every month. It was not a straight week, it was three days here and four days there. I wanted to be an artist. I was making A LOT of money. I was good at it and people remembered my name and requested I come to their town the next time my company sent a photographer. I climbed to the top. I was a manager, training other photographers. I set my own schedule, I got to pick whatever place in the United States that I wanted to travel to. I liked Alaska best.
He made me feel terrible for not choosing to be poor and be with him instead of doing what I love and what I'm good at. It's not like he made it worth my time. He liked to smoke and play guitar. He didn't like reading. He didn't like to talk about thinky stuff. My friends told me to dump him. I told me I was not worth loving so it didn't matter. No matter what I do I just make boys that love me mad. I'm just trying to do my best. No one else will ever be better than what I have now. I can't do any better. I am a failure.
When I felt my worst he waited until I left for a month-long trip. I called him after the two-day drive to tell him I got there safe and he dumped me. He wouldn't tell me why and changed his phone number and blocked me from e-mailing or messaging him. A while later he posted on his livejournal that he did some research and decided I was a Narcissistic Sociopath. He even joined a support group.
I felt like life was not worth living. Not because I could not be with #3, but because life was not getting any better. I didn't want to play the game anymore.
I spent a lot of time traveling after that. Town to town. No relationships. I spent six months alone in my thoughts. In the first month I became an atheist. I decided magic was getting me nowhere, and I needed to learn more about myself and how I can stop making these mistakes. I needed to self-actualize, and let no man get in my way. My photography changed and I started capturing pictures with crazy facial expressions. I started making a lot more money. I started feeling lonely. I wanted to make more friends that I thought were smarter than me so that I could continue to be challenged and gain some much needed wisdom. That's when I remembered Mark.
Oh nineteen, how I love thee. I decided that the best thing I could do was find some happy people and study them. When I really started paying attention, I noticed a pattern. Happy people who didn't wear a big fake smile usually didn't go to church. Most people are happy to identify with a religion without understanding it's dogma. Wow. Try talking to these people as a Christian and they shrug their shoulders at you. Try talking to these people as an atheist and it's the same. They have no idea what they believe, or what they're supposed to believe, they just follow the herd.
It immediately became important for me to see atheists at play. I was told I was in for extreme amounts of evil, but I wasn't convinced. Christians were wrong about a lot of things. People seemed willfully ignorant in general.
I met this girl at work who invited me to her birthday party. She had purple hair and swore a lot. She smoked and drank. Perfect. I decided, once again, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right. So I went to her party and I was shocked. I was in a new world I had never been around. These people were friendly. I wasn't dressed like them and they still accepted me and were extremely nice to me. The birthday girl's best friend was my boss, TD. I started hanging out with those two every day.
We roller skated, we played with fluffy kittens, we sang songs, we bought toys at target and played in the back yard. We drank and smoked and hugged. We never did anything evil. In fact, it was a common interest of ours to make other people happy. TD and I shared that trait. I fell head over heals for TD. She loved me for who I was. She never judged me or told me how to live my life. She never talked about religion. I had so much fun with her that I forgot that the original plan was to learn about atheists. One day I remembered to ask, and found out she was an atheist. She believed that when we die that's it.
The most wonderful, loving, caring, selfless person I had ever befriended... The first person to lift me up from the floor and dust me off and encourage me to do what I dreamed... The first peer that ever believed in me, was an atheist.
Whether it was true that she was the only atheist like this didn't matter. (FYI there are LOTS more like her) What mattered was that Christianity had kept me from feeling happy, and made me feel guilty for wanting me to feel happy. Christianity not only took away from my life, it forbid me to talk to those who could change my mind. It's not because atheists are evil, it's because atheists make sense and are nicer than Christians. They have more compassion for humanity. They do their best to be awesome humans, because there is nothing else. They aren't evil at all. Christianity lied to me. It scared me in order to keep me from learning the truth.
I haven't been tricked, either. I've been happy. All this time I've been happy. I do what I want to do now, without fear that god will hear my thoughts and be ashamed of me. What do I want to do? I want to self-actualize. This is my greatest goal. I want to make other people happy. Not by changing them, but by being there for them and listening to them. I declared myself agnostic at this point. The creation is more important than the creator. To live like it's not is foolish.
I graduated high school. I got a job at Nordstrom. I was just killing time until #2 graduated from the police academy. We were going to get married then. Pop out some babies. He was thrilled with my plan to be a housewife. His mother is one. I didn't want any of this. I was convinced it was the Christian thing to do.
My dad pulled me up to the attic one night. It was were he spent all of his time. His computer was there. That night he told me there was nothing I was doing to make him proud. I'm a failure. When strangers ask he says he has only one child, his son. I'm not doing anything to make him proud. I'm not Christian enough. He said, if I can't change my ways by tomorrow and quit being so lazy, I am to leave. I'm not welcome in his house as long as I am the way I am. Straight A's. I never called in sick to work. I never missed church. I was constantly studying the bible. I was doing my best to deal with living a life I never would have chosen for myself. I was a failure.
So I moved to San Diego, California. I left my family and all of my friends to live with #2's Pentecostal Grandmother. I did it because I was such an emotional wreck I couldn't even attempt to get my own apartment in Portland. My mom most definitely would have stopped my dad from kicking me out if she had known about it. All she would do was try to counter everything my father did. She did a good job, but come on, it was god's plan? God's plan is retarded. I don't need extra help feeling worthless. It's hard enough just being human.
My boyfriend's dad was just like mine. His grandma was crazy. She accepted me, though, so I did the pentecostal thing. I wanted to feel accepted. Anywhere. It didn't matter to me that they sounded insane. #2 informed me that we would be living in California, in spite of the fact that I told him firmly that I wanted to be around my grandparents and my mother. I didn't feel like California was home. I felt alone. He said it was best for me if I wasn't around my father.
I saw myself in a flash. I saw who I was going to become. I saw that I was going to hate the rest of my life, and I broke down. I just stayed in bed for a few days crying. My boss at the book store told me that she had hired me back when she did because she needed me for the next month's inventory. She said I was breaking my promise. I told her, "I've failed everyone. Even myself. I don't care anymore."
I moved back home that week and my mom made a rule that my father was not allowed to speak to me unless she was around. I told on him every time he broke it and stared at him blankly when he did. He eventually stopped talking to me. I came back to find that all but one of my friends had moved away. The day I went to meet him for lunch (plans we had set up a month earlier), I found out that he had died in a drunk driving accident three weeks prior.
God hates me. I decided it was time to change how I was living. How I was living was not working out for me. There's got to be a better way.
What a rough age. Things started getting too confusing. I started giving up on questions I could not get answers to. I gave in. By this time I believe I had forgotten that I ever denied the holy spirit. It didn't matter anyway, as I did not mean it. A just god would know the difference, and would understand why I am so angry with him, and would agree that there is no reason for children to pay for the sins of their great-grandparents. That much was obvious to me.
An important thing happened this year that changed my life in a lot of ways. I met my second boyfriend. My first I had met at school, and he only started attending church with me because it was important to me and he got to see me dress up and spend more time with me. Watch me. Make sure no one was after me. I eventually stopped inviting him because he was creepy and I wanted to be alone.
Somewhere something went wrong in his head. He started masturbating outside my bedroom window at night. I didn't know he was there. My window was too high to see in and I hated outside light at the time, so I had tacked my favorite fabric strips over the window. He would tell me about it the next day, acting as if I should feel special about it. I stopped calling him. I avoided him at school. So he would call my house and find out from my little brother that I was at the library and he would go and watch me read.
I spent a lot of time at the library. He spent a lot of time watching me. He changed his classes to be in my classes. He started getting angry when I talked to other people. Not just boys. I tried explaining to him that I thought he was wonderful. He was magic on the piano. He could sing. He was interesting to talk to. He didn't need to follow me around and be creepy. That pissed him off, and I eventually had to have some man sit in the classes we had together to protect me. I didn't feel I needed to be protected, but my mother sure did. I agree with her now.
Anyway that's a lot more than I wanted to write about him. My new boyfriend. He was ... not what I was attracted to. My dad told me if I dated him he would buy me a new wardrobe. This guy was two years older than me. Eighteen. My mom told me that mentally I am probably older than more eighteen-year-old boys, so I decided it was okay. I would do it for a new wardrobe, and I would dump him if I didn't like him, and after I got my new clothes. When I started dating him my dad told me I don't get the wardrobe because it's stupid for me to even think that someone as awesome as him would be interested in me.
I dressed like a boy, and I had buzzed my head not that long ago. I did not look like the perfect Christian girl. I told my dad to suck it because god loves me for who I am, not for how pretty my dress is. My mom got that smile I was always fighting for. The one she got when I said things that she couldn't get away with saying to my father. I lived for that smile.
It was about this time, when I started dating #2, that I discovered that the things I am good at are foolish to pursue a career in. My talents become worthless, useless, and are stopping me from being a proper Christian. I'm told over and over by my father and #2's parents that doing anything in the arts, as a Christian, is not a noble or smart thing to do. There are roles I need to play as a Christian woman that don't involve me learning about culture. WTF art is evil?
Fuck it, I'm going to be a housewife. It's the only thing I feel like I can do well as a Christian. I decided that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right. I bought books on raising children (something I had no desire to do) and I researched public schools vs. private schools vs. homeschooling. I decided on home-schooling with a lot of community classes to fulfill the social needs of my children. I spent hours working out the plan for my life. I was going to graduate in two years and all my plans were wrong, and I felt like I had very little time to learn a lot about things I had never been interested in.
My future makes me feel hopeless. The only happiness I find is in friendship and dance. I would have never joined the dance team, with it's blond-haired beauties, if I had not been desperate for something to numb the pain of life. Prayer wasn't doing a goddamn thing. I danced with emotion. I danced like I was finally free of this life. Two years went by, staying with #2 because what difference does it make which white Christian boy I choose? I'm not even attracted to white boys. Another thing I felt ashamed of.
It finally made sense to me why life was so awful. If it weren't for the pain, how would I have ever fully understood how wonderful dancing was. So there is a reason for the suffering. The reason is to make the sweet that much sweeter. Thanks, God. You truly are awesome. (seriously) I'm not embarrassed. If anything I think it's awesome that I can recognize how ridiculous this sounds now. If God is all powerful, he could make it possible for us to be happy all the time, and still understand what happiness is. He could go POOF here ya go, children. Enjoy.
He could, but he doesn't. If you could end all suffering, would you?
Oh whoops, I forgot I already denied the holy spirit so I have to go to hell. It's the only thing that is unforgivable. Actually, if I'm going to be honest, I did it when I was eleven. I don't think I've ever told anyone this. I was sitting on my bed crying about how god lets kids starve in other parts of the world. I was angry at god, and had recently heard a sermon about the only thing that god does not forgive. I was really angry that no one had told me sooner. All this time there was one unforgivable thing that would send me to hell and no one had told me. I said in a whisper, "I deny that god exists." I felt happy for a while. Things made sense. Then it was Sunday and I asked a lot of people, "What if you say it but you don't mean it?" and I was told that it was best not to say it whether it only means you have to mean it or not.
I was also told everything in that last video by everyone I asked. I told them I believed in God, but they apparently thought I wasn't scared enough if I was asking these questions. I did still believe God existed, I was just so angry with him that I didn't want to spend eternity with him. I decided at eleven that I was happier to burn in hell, but I will continue to worship him just to show him how much better I was than him. I never changed my mind about that, but I also never, ever, ever told anyone.
Anyway it's all pointless to think about anymore. There are no gods. Not even one.
Friday, January 18, 2008
bagpiper2005 (47 minutes ago)
Asemodeous (31 minutes ago)
So I posted:
ishkamina (4 seconds ago) ---------------------------------------------------
This is ridiculous! I had to step in. This is was my first time. I decided I wouldn't just pick fights. Not quite yet. I just joined a forum in December. I've only recently become an active atheist (when I realized how much better things could be without all this bigotry). I'm learning everything I need to know before I start picking fights. This time I just couldn't believe my eyes.
We could do without the constant preaching of hate, all sugar-coated like it isn't really hate. I believed it for a long time, and I don't expect anyone that is brainwashed to notice all the sugar and spin. I felt bad for people older than me for a while. I feel like admitting what I believe, states that I think they've wasted their lives. It's because I really... I really do believe that. I mean, unless they've not let Christianity stop them from self-actualizing, but that is super rare.
How many, many choices they make because it will please the lord, and not please themselves. It's really sad to live like that. I know. I've done it, and I've seen and loved a lot of people who have done it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all learn from these experiences and grow as humans, yada, yada. Is it really important that you master the ability to cope with suffering? I'd rather be sensitive to suffering, but that's just me.
And another thing! What's with scientist being all evil? I have an in-law family member that posted a blog about evolution being a huge lie that all the scientists were in on to disprove god.
Holy...............................................................Shit. *drops jaw*
Let's talk a walk in reality, shall we? Which of your peers enjoyed science as a kid? Was she evil? Or was she quiet? Was he evil? Or was he awkward? There is a difference. I remember back in reality when I met a jerk on a blind date he usually wasn't intelligent. He usually didn't like the learning. These people who like to learn things about the earth... they're just finding things. They try putting the puzzle together the best that they can. And then Christians come along and say, "Hey Asshole, I find your "science" offensive!" Those are finger-quotes, obviously.
What? Hey I was just over here minding my own business, ... ... finding some bones. ...Is it cool if I write something about this skull I found? No? ... w...w...w-why? Oh, because you're holy book is wrong. Well I can't do anything about that, but I can tell you about this neat fractal I foun- no?! O... K...
When we can make what god can make, what use is god? A human is the first step, what will stop us from learning how to create a planet? Perhaps we can create it to look 4 billion years old when it's really only 2 thousand. Why not? Then we can clone humans and see how long it takes before we get bored with them. Just mess with them long enough so that for the rest of their existence they'll hear stories about when god used to interact with us. He doesn't anymore, but he used to. I hear he created us in his image.
We best remember to throw in really confusing and terrifying revelations. We should probably get some guys on acid to write it. Make sure they know that if they don't worship us, "we brought you in to this world, and we can take you out." Or burn in hell or whatever torturous thing you guys come up with. Otherwise they might not worship us, cuz let's face it, we aren't really worth worshiping. If we can make something complex, does that make us worth worshiping?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Some say religion is harmless. Then why did it ruin my self-esteem? Why did it make me feel worthless and evil? Why is it so terrifying? Why does it encourage women to stay with abusive men? Why are there more awful deeds done in the name of a god, instead of in the name of rational thought? Hitler was not an atheist, though Christians LOVE LOVE LOVE to say he was. Here, read this or this or this. Or you can conduct your own search. Or read anything that came from Hitler's mouth. "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." He was not an atheist, and neither were his followers. End of story.
On top of that, the theists love to call atheists evil all the time, even though there is no proof of it. Oh, wait! The Bible! The Bible says anyone who rejects god is a fool that does no good. Just look a few posts down on my blog, I already cited the verse. So instead of learning about atheists and just how moral they are (in my experience they are less hypocritical when it comes to morals, and far less bigotry is involved) they choose to take the "word of god" as proof that atheism is evil. Uh, .... hahaha? No.
So it's not harmless. Right? I mean Hilter is only one man, but I'd say that whole event is proof that it is, in fact, NOT harmless.
But what about your average Christian that's at home minding their own business? I find this even worse. To let the people who represent you go on like they do, while you do absolutely nothing about it, is also VERY harmful. Best believe that if the majority of popular atheists (and especially Humanists) were representing me with bigotry, hate, and a quest for oppression I would say something. I would do something. We all would. The truth is, Dawkins is smart. I haven't read every last word of his, but I can tell you that what I have heard and read I do not disagree with. He was amazing at TED.
The rest of the Atheists are doing a really good job of expressing themselves using reason and logic. Show me the top five most popular Christians. Do they believe that people are equal? If they do they are in contradiction with their holy text, that insists often that a woman is to submit to man.
Atheism only explains that I don't believe there is a single god in existence, and their never has been. Humanism explains that I am not evil because of it. I'm angry that I have to label myself a Humanist. It seems obvious. I use my brain, so I understand empathy. I have feelings and I understand that every other human does as well. No color of skin, no birthplace, no income, NOTHING makes me automatically better or worse than anyone else. Not even gender. What I do with my life and the choices I make determine how good of a person I am. What stops me from sinning? Well first let's address sin. I agree with Robert A. Heinlein 100% when he says, "Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense."
What stops me from hurting other people unnecessarily? Uh, how about it's ridiculous to do so? Tell me that the only reason you are moral is because god tells you to be moral and I say you are an IDIOT. If you think on it for even a second you can realize that you probably shouldn't treat other people in a way you do not wish to be treated. The golden rule was around long before the Bible. Do you know why? BECAUSE IT'S OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WHO USES THEIR BRAIN.
Seriously. I challenge all Christians to stand up for their fellow man and stop the lies that atheists are without morals. I challenge all Christians to take down the bigots that represent them. I challenge you to start caring about humanity just a little bit and stop sitting around doing nothing. Praying won't change the minds of your leaders as well as using your voice will. Tell them you care about other humans, let them know. Obviously they don't, or they wouldn't preach hate. These leaders teach your children as well. They set an example for/inspire young impressionable Christians. If they don't really represent your views, fucking say something! Or nothing will change.
If you are not outraged by Christianity, you are not paying attention.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
You fit in with:
|Your ideals mostly resemble those of an Atheist. You value objective proof over intuition or subjective thoughts. You enjoy talking about ideas and tend to have a lot of in depth conversations with people.|
Take This Quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
Edit: This makes me think this was written by an atheist. Or at least by someone who understands atheism, because I usually don't score atheist unless I say I want to murder babies. So I went back and took it as a Christian. Or so I thought.
You fit in with:
|You ideals mostly resemble those of the Hindu faith. Spirituality is very important to you, and you value family, friends and life above other things. You have incredible faith, and will live a very worthwhile life.|
Take This Quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
Okay so where was I? Let's talk about something after age fourteen. My story isn't that interesting until I hit fifteen. All of the sudden a whole lot of things started making a lot more sense around fifteen. Not a shock to you, but it sure was to me. I was really really really confused as a child. The terrible thing was that I was aware of it. Nothing nothing nothing made sense no matter how often I thought about it. It was because I was accepting a reality that wasn't true. Things that were real, that I could touch and see, contradicted the magical world of religion I was living in. Why does mommy stay with that man (my father) when he is so abusive? Because the Bible says she must. Why does God want my loving mother to suffer? It is his will. It is meant to be. This is the way life is. I hated life for a long time. I secretly hated God and felt ashamed of it for a very very very long time.
I remember this time very clearly, because I had been waiting for it for the longest time. At a very young age my brain could not make sense of my mom telling me, "If you are pregnant at age ___ I will know I failed you." I don't remember the age, probably something that ended in teen. I thought about that for years and years and years and even though she explained it I still didn't understand. I couldn't see it from her point of view because I had never been not a child. I could not grasp it. I remember the thing that bothered me the most was that it was possible that I would be ignorant enough to make a choice that would cause me to have something very bad happen to me. Like obviously I can't raise a kid if I don't have money to buy a house and buy it food. I understood THAT part. Quite well, in fact, because I had thought on the subject for so long. (and in the end decided that I did not want children) It bothered me so much that I wanted to do my best to not be ignorant. Then when the day comes that I fuck up colossally I can at least say, "I didn't fail myself because I did my best."
Anyway I didn't understand why it would be her failure and not mine until I started understanding what sex really means, besides baby-making. I understood completely what her expectations were and why, because my brain and body were almost totally getting along. You would think my plan to avoid ignorance would continue, but I kinda get stuck at this point because I got a whole new set of problems to work out. This takes up all my time, so I have a lot less time to sit around and ponder the meaning of life.
It was at this time that the brainwashing took over. I didn't have time to think any differently, because I was too busy getting a boyfriend behind my parent's backs. Oh did I mention I was waaaaaaay behind the majority of my class. I was one of those kids that was terrified of my father so I didn't get to ease in to it like the rest of the kids. I didn't get to have a boyfriend when I was 13 (not that I would have tried to, now that I remember my self-esteem), but it was a rule. All the other kids had boyfriends and girlfriends that they just held hands with. Then four years go by, all this time they are learning how to interact with each other, and at fifteen I enter the scene. I enter at a time when I don't have any idea what they have all learned and I'm going to believe what ever they tell me. So if my boyfriend tells me everyone is doing it, I'm going to believe him. My brain didn't accept that as a great reason to do it, but what if I had had those years of experience to learn? I feel the chances of me getting pregnant would have dropped dramatically. The rules for me should have considered that, but they didn't.
Instead I was taught touching before you are married is a sin. If you sin and then don't repent before you die you will go to hell. Holy shit, guys, I'm terrified. I'm fucking fifteen and I'm terrified and I don't know what to do.
So I turn to God.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I'm a humanist, it's true. And I'm all about hugging. I'm just the grumpy one off to the side that's still super pissed about being brainwashed. SUPER PISSED. I'll calm down. This will be interesting in a few years to look back on. I'll be ashamed. I'm still claiming atheist until I don't feel like theists have so much power. I'm scared, okay? I'm over reacting. I don't feel so bad about it. Anger is the only place I'm finding the passion to tell my story. Oh shit, my story! I was telling a story. I got so side-tracked, I'm sorry. Okay, so we left off with something about something. I'll have to go read and figure out the last thing I talked about hearing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Get it? It's brainwashing.
I love this. It's from 2006. Why can't people read this and realize god is not going to be what brings this nation together? It's not working. Get it out of politics. GET IT OUT.
"• The Authoritarian God (31.4% of Americans overall, 43.3% in the South) is angry at humanity's sins and engaged in every creature's life and world affairs. He is ready to throw the thunderbolt of judgment down on "the unfaithful or ungodly," Bader says.
Those who envision God this way "are religiously and politically conservative people, more often black Protestants and white evangelicals," Bader says.
"(They) want an active, Christian-values-based government with federal funding for faith-based social services and prayer in the schools."
They're also the most inclined to say God favors the USA in world affairs (32.1% vs. 18.6% overall)."
| || Lazy|
Why are these my only options? I wasn't surprised, though. If you're a christian, you're a sinner. You're evil. Without Jesus you can only be lazy, inflexible, dominating, or manipulative when dealing with others. Without Jesus you are a loser. Without Jesus you suck. Want to hear how awful you are over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over? Just join the cult! They have plenty more to contribute to your low self-esteem. Why? Well without a low self-worth you don't really need them. They'll tell you that, though. Only they say they call a healthy view of yourself "vanity." Any success you may bring to yourself through hard work and dedication you could not have done without Jesus. Oh maybe you can do it without Jesus, but remember you're not ever accomplishing anything on your own, if Jesus isn't helping you, it's Satan who has tricked you into thinking you did it on your own. Or something. Perhaps it's not what they SAY they teach, but it is most definitely what I learned at church.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Seriously? SERIOUSLY!!!!?!?! I'm not a scientist and I know what peanut butter is made of. I also know that they are looking at it with the naked eye when any new life would be microscopic. ANYWAY the new life would be killed off by preservatives. SERIOUSLY RIDICULOUS. Wow. Let's keep count how many times creationists get science wrong, eh? I'll need to quit my job.
To accuse me of being dumb enough to have fallen from grace because of satan offends me. Only a fool would deny the holy spirit. (Psalms 14:1*) There, now I'm offended before the theist has a chance to be offended.
When I say bullies I mean voting to keep gays from having the same rights as the rest of us and promoting the idea with bumper stickers that shout, "I heart bigotry!"
Sorry, I just can't see how denying humans their rights based on something about them that doesn't harm anyone is not bigotry. When I think something is gross I don't try to outlaw it. It's ridiculous. It's religious oppression.
Ha, I even looked up "oppression" and it is exactly what I mean to say. I also looked up bigot and it too is the word I want to use. Tell me, evangelical theist, do you want me to make laws based on my religious beliefs? Would it be appropriate if the tables were turned and I gathered my atheist brothers and sisters to outlaw a theist's right to wed. We could make up some ridiculous reason, too. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, jerk.
*Psalms 14:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.
It feels really good to be proud of who I am, even as a minority. It's hard, guys, because you religious people are bullies. A lot of us don't come out because it will affect our jobs. I'm lucky enough to work with kids, who love me and are happy in my class. They are happy to be in my class. All of them. They are happy because I am consistent, and I am consistent because I just do what my mother did. I let them learn from their mistakes, and I explain to them what just happened and why. Every time I throw in a quick lesson on empathy and why it is an important thing to have. I'm half way through my year with this class and they all behave for me like they will behave for no one else. I'm calm with them, I never tell them to stop crying, I actually tell them that when they are done crying I would like to speak to them, but for now I will just sit next to them. I sit by them and I let them cry and I never tell them to stop and I never leave them. Unless one decides to grab the broom and play pokemon, then I run from the crying child without warning. Sometimes you just gotta stop them. All I ever say is, "Nice try."
I don't understand why people can't calm down and stop yelling at their children. It's so rare that a parent doesn't immediately start with the threats. Kids don't need to be threatened. They don't. This is either denying that small humans learn by watching large humans, or you just don't care about giving your child the opportunity to be happy. Just make the kid shut up, am I rite?
It is not acceptable to have children with a selfish purpose. While a kid would be swell and all, I don't have the money or the time to have a child and still do the things I want to do. I feel that my plan to step in to the lives of 15 kids a year and make sure they learn about what happiness is, is far more important than me having my own child. I wouldn't be able to do what I do if I had that much responsibility. Mothers look at me like I am evil when I say I don't have plans to have any children. They asked. It's not like I'm just walking up to them shouting, "I don't want to have children!" Thought they look at me like that's exactly what happened.
The thing is, atheists aren't awful people. Here I am, I devote my time to figuring out happiness and I'm honestly doing my best. I'm not just one unique atheist, we are all like this. We find our happiness and peace of mind in our brains instead of by faith. And I'm not saying that those with faith are not using their brains, but I am saying that we use our brains, plus that part that you explain with faith, we like to take it one step further and explain it by using only logic, no magic. We aren't terrorists. We aren't without morals, we simply replace faith with proof.
Furthermore, no proof of nothing does not make something. It only means that we have no proof of nothing. That is not proof that there is something. something is proof that there is something. The end.
Edit: I also often let them know if I feel like they are fake crying to try to get their way, but I only say it once and very calmly. If they can tell me why they are crying I will believe them. One time one went on to explain something I didn't know happened where his feelings got hurt. I hugged him and apologized for accusing him of crying for gain. He said, "I love you, Kamina" and I held him until he felt better. You don't have to control children, they are emotionally very smart. If you explain how things make you feel they will be considerate of your feelings. My class asks me if it's after ten o'clock yet so they can start hammering with tools. They don't want me to get a headache. They did that on their own, I didn't make it a rule. I just mentioned to one kid that it hurts my head until I finish my coffee. He asked me what time I finish my coffee and he went around to all the kids and told them about what I said. They all agreed they don't want me to get a headache. Amazing. I certainly didn't expect it, but I just wanted to let people know that kids don't need a lot of rules, they only need to understand that other people feel like they do for the same reasons.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Satan called me today to offer me Super Brain Power. Hell yes, I accepted. The package includes Rational Thought 2.0, +20 Charisma, and free books for life. I'm thinking RT 2 is going to be nothing new, but I feel awkward just thinking about the charisma. Watch out theists! This version no longer requires me to wear the mark of the beast.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I've heard several times that the old testament is old news. Let's focus, then, on the new testament in the bible. It's the new and improved word of God.
(1 Corinthians 11:5) But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonoureth her head: for it is one and the same thing as if she were shaven. (6) For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn: but if it is a shame to a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be veiled.
I've never been to a christian church where women covered their heads.
(1 Timothy 2:11) Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. (12) But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.
Your new testament still hates women. How else could this be translated, I wonder? I've been sitting here trying to think of a way to spin it, but I can't.
(2 Timothy 3:6) For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts,(7) ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Silly women, always learning too much for their own good.
(Mark 4:11) And he said unto them, Unto you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables: (12) that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest haply they should turn again, and it should be forgiven them.
Jesus is an arrogant asshole.
(1 Corinthians 10:9) Neither let us tempt the Lord, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents.
How do you tempt the Lord?
Oh man. I was just going to pull some of the verses I found interesting, but now that I'm looking at The Skeptic's Annotated Bible I see that there is no end to this. I give up. This is ridiculous.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I feel like I need to introduce you to my mother. She wasn't the one doing the brainwashing. My parents had a rough marriage. They stayed together because my dad had control, and my mom believes in keeping promises to god. My mother is a saint. My mother is the reason I made it out of christianity and found happiness at such a young age. My mother la la la I hear beautiful music in my head when I say, "mother."
When I was eight-ish (it's hard to remember) I realized that I had a lot more fun shopping with my mother than I did at church. I experienced happiness most often when god was not involved. Like when I created something. I didn't feel like any outside source helped me. I felt like I thought about something and it made sense. I created it. No one gave me magic ideas. No one guided my hands, they were working just as well as they usually do. My eyesight was the same. God was not there when I was at my happiest.
I knew my mom wouldn't lie to me, so there MUST be this God. I spent a lot of time saying to myself, "If God is true, then that means..." If god really is true, then that means I really can only find happiness through him. Satan tricked me into having a happy childhood without god. Eventually the devil worked through my mother to give me true happiness.
Anyway, I'm eight in this story, remember? So I ask my mom why there are so many religions that all claim to be the only way to heaven, that all claim to worship the correct god? I don't remember her exact word but it was something like, "Only god can answer that." I very clearly remember her answer to my follow up question "How do you know non-denominational christianity is the right choice?" She very quickly and confidently replied, "I don't."
She went on to explain that there is no way to prove which religion is the right one. "Maybe they all take us to the same place and we are fighting for no reason. I chose christianity because it makes me happy. You might grow up and decide you believe something else."
"Would you still love me if I decided to be a mormon?" My mom laughed for a while and finally said, "I will love you no matter who you choose to be. I may feel sorry for you, but I'll love you."
She never told me what to think. She never ever made me feel stupid for asking a question. She is the opposite of my father in most every way. She knows I'm an atheist and she is very proud of me for finding the answers to my questions, finding people who think like me that I can love and be loved by, and for being happy. Most of all she's proud of me for finding happiness. Most of all I love her.
When I was entering my teen years my dad was spending 4+ days at church a week. So much time that I was lucky enough to avoid a lot of family time that we would have had together if not for the church.
My dad was running the sound system on Sundays, at weddings, at choir practices and performances, and at any event that asked for a microphone. He was the only one who could do it, and any adult he tried to teach totally freaked out when it came time to exercise the brain. He also led the youth group, taught Sunday school, and hosted camping trips. When he was at his busiest the head pastor called him in for a meeting. It turns out he wasn't doing enough. He was letting down his fellow christians and the lord almighty. Hallelujah and Amen amirite?
Our family left the church to visit an affiliated church up on some hill they called Mount Scott. You know it's a rich neighborhood when it starts with "mount". This gave our pastor an opportunity to explain to Jesus just how much work my father was doing.
Visiting another church for an extended period of time is not a good idea. At least, not if you have humans around that are still exercising their brains. I'm talking about your children. It's a bad idea that they learn that other churches preach other things. Mount Scott taught us that giving money to the church was the most important responsibility you have as a christian. Every sermon, every sunday, every gathering, we learned about giving money to the church. It was the main focus. At first everyone was friendly and welcoming, but as soon as we became regulars we were invited to learn about rich christians. They go for networking and only for networking.
The youth leader was a hip cat in his twenties, sporting new dread locks and a hand-made bible cover. There were pool tables, video games, instruments, foosball, and air hockey. At first glance I thought it was all too awesome.
Then we sat down together. I was invited to tell my story about how I found the Lord and when I was baptized and when I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and why. Really? Shit. I mumbled something embarrassing, I'm sure. Every church I visited with a friend was like this. If you have to tell your salvation story over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, what's to stop you from believing it? It was when I was old enough to be constantly invited to tell this story that I really started to believe it was a choice I had made, even though it wasn't. I told the story a countless amount of times and was praised by my peers and elders each and every time. My mother and my grandparents were the only people that praised me for anything else. Religion made me feel like worthless scum, and religious people praised me just enough to keep me desperate for more.
If you have kids and you want to brainwash them to the best of your ability you ought not let them learn that other churches teach other things, and train them to start telling their salvation story as a child, so that it's not such a shock in their teens. Don't let them visit other churches, though, they might learn too much about reality.
We eventually made it back to our home church when things calmed down. From what I remember our pastor never apologized. Why would he? He was only passing on a message from God.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I googled "I love Jesus because" and here are the results:
I love Jesus because He gives me victory every day of my life
I love Jesus because He loves me
I love Jesus, because he first loved me!
I love Jesus because he saves those who hurt him
I love Jesus,Because He first loved me!
I love Jesus because he is the best fire insurance in the world. He gives me lots of great stuff that I don’t really deserve at all.
I Love Jesus Because he first loved me.
I love Jesus because of what he meant to my father and particularly my mother.I love Jesus because he(God) made this awesome world we live in, and everything in it.
I love Jesus because He loves me
I love Jesus because he sacrificed his LIFE for all of human salvation
I love Jesus because He took someone as yucky as me, and saved me.
I love Jesus because He first loved me a sinner
I love Jesus because He loves me
I love Jesus because he is my favorite father in all of my life
I love Jesus because he teaches me how to be fully human
I understand that the lines in bold print are also from the bible and many songs, but I only pulled the quotes from the lines that didn't give credit to the bible or a song. This is what people say?
I remember being in Sunday school, being put on the spot to answer questions like these. "Kamina, why do you love Jesus?" What was I thinking about while I was searching for an answer? I was thinking about what the right answer is. I was searching for a bible verse to quote. I was trying to remember if my mom had given me an answer to the question. If I had really loved Jesus these thoughts wouldn't have been the only thoughts running through my head. No one ever asked me why I loved an other dead people I had never met. If you asked me why I loved my mom, I never would have come up with, "because she loved me first." Okay, maybe if I was three, I would.
To take an underdeveloped brain and try to convince it that it should love someone who is dead seams a little wishy-washy to me. Like, let's say God is real. Okay, so god is real and I want to tell my child about God. Well I would tell them all of the wonderful things God did for ME. I would set an example. I wouldn't expect the child to comprehend these abstract ideas and believe them. Not only that, but you need to say that you believe them over and over and over. Week after week you will recite verses that confirm your love for something your brain has not even developed well enough to understand. By the time I was ten I was able to answer this question instantly, not because I had been introduced to any critical thinking that helped me decide for myself, but because I had heard the lines over and over and over and over and over and over and over. I could still look a christian in the eye and tell them why I love jesus. I would mean it just as much as I did when I was ten.