Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Think The Thinking Atheist Likes Halloween

While searching YouTube for a particular video on the history Halloween I found last year, to share here, I found it and a few others.

This is an excellent rundown of the history of Halloween.  That one's the reason for this post.  Although, I wish I had remembered to post it 24 hours ago.  But if you're so inclined, he's also got a couple on ghost stories:

A Contest Needs Your Atheist Ideas

Atheism Resource is holding a contest on their Facebook page:
Dear Fellow Heathens, 
I am proud to announce our first user based contest. 
So, what is the contest about?
We want to hear from YOU. Do you have a quote that you came up with? Have an argument you think is insightful? We want to read it. But, we want it to be pasted on a picture of you, the contributor. So, break out your best image, quote, and Photoshop skills. We will pick five finalists over a period of five days and post their picture (one per day). Whomever receives the most likes by the end of the contest wins. 
Now, what do you win? Atheism fame? No. Something to put on your resume? Not if you live in America. What you will win is a $25 donation to any secular charity of your choice. 
How do you post? Simple. Take an image of yourself, post your legible quote on it, upload it to, then inbox us the link. We will choose one per day to share with the community, and their likes will decide who takes home the interwebz trophy, and we will do some charitable good in the process. 
Good luck!
- The Atheism Resource Team
I've probably come up with something worth submitting at some point.  If only I could remember any of it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

So-Called Moderate Christians Do Not Get It

We've all heard moderate Christians chastising Fundamentalists for not being "true Christians".  They say their god is about love, not hate.

Writer Rachel Evans recently "A Year of Biblical Womanhood", in order to defend people having faith:
And though Evans says that she did the experiment playfully, it was meant to bring attention to a larger point — that there are more ways to be a woman of faith than what some evangelicals have selected from the Bible.
"I hate that the Bible has been used as ammunition [against women]," said Evans, "It blows my mind."
In writing about dealing with religious bullies, Jennifer Hancock wrote about the Bible's stance on pride:
No one knows what God’s will is or if He or She even has a will. NO ONE! Anyone who claims to know is either lying or deluded. If people are trying to gain social status because of their perceived piousness, they are guilty of the sin of pride because they have made it clear by their actions that they care more for their social status than they do about God’s teachings. The Bible is very clear on this. God doesn’t like pride. He loves the humble.
They're saying it's the Fundamentalists who are wrong, but they're also admitting those Fundamentalists are getting their hate directly from the Bible both Fundies & moderates believe is divinely inspired.  So, who is getting the religion right?  The Fundies who take their holy book at its word, or the moderates who ignore most of it?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Religion In The Brain

An interesting study has been done, showing some differences in how the brains of the religious work in comparison to atheist brains.  
... Dr. Newberg believes that for the brain, praying to God in the Judeo-Christian tradition is similar to talking to people. ... While observing atheists meditating or "contemplating God," Dr. Newberg did not observe any of the brain activity in the frontal lobe that he observed in religious people.
 Many theists like to claim atheists actually do believe in their god.  If the people making such claims were susceptible to facts, this study would put those claims to rest.  I would love to see the same study done on schizophrenics to see how their scans compare to the scans of believers in prayer.

I like the study, but I'm not a fan of the silly comment at the end of the clip about it:
And if God only exists inside our brains, that does not mean God is not real.
Uh . . . yeah, it does.  Things that only exist in your brain are what is commonly known as imaginary.  Unless I'm mistaken, things that are imaginary are not typically real.

(found via @Alyssa_Milano)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Not All Atheists Are Good People

One of my least favorite things about religion is how they often blindly defend each other for heinous acts.  One of my favorite things about being an atheist is that I'm free to call out bad behavior wherever I see it, including from other atheists.  

Since the recent tragic suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, many are showing off their lack of moral integrity, including some atheists.  For instance, some of the people running the Atheist Gamer Facebook page, are not only showing no compassion for this victim of bullying, but are defiantly defending their hate of a victim.  They're engaging in the very behavior that led to her death.

They are most definitely not the kind of atheist I ever want to associate with.  These are just two examples of many, and they've received plenty of support from fans of the page.  They can all be proud of themselves for being in a class with The Amazing Atheist, who's made himself known for this kind of shithead behavior.  It's like he wants to be King of the Bullies.

Unfortunately, there's no effective way to stop assholes from being assholes.  They'll continue to be the bullies they are, especially when the anonymity of the Internet, and the ability to stay in a bubble of people who agree with you, shield them from accountability.  The least we could do is stop rewarding their bad behavior.

When you see someone engaging in bullying, do not ignore it.  Call it out.  Publicly if possible.  Unlike the pages of bullies.  Unsubscribe from their channels.  Unfollow their Twitter.

Bullies will bully.  But we don't have to let them get away with it.


My life has been pretty heavy on the atheism in the last year, especially since the Reason Rally.  But it's not my entire life.  For instance, last weekend was Nuke-Con, a gaming convention that's been in Omaha for 10 years. but I hadn't heard of it until this year.

I was looking forward to it this weekend both because I love table-top gaming and because it was something secular, nothing to do with religion.  It's nice to step back from all the drama of politics and activism every once in a while.  That's not to say I have any desire to stop being an activist.  I absolutely have no desire to stop my activism.  Besides, even if I wanted to, I don't think my conscience would ever allow it.

Then I get there and see this.


I'm torn.  On one hand, I am annoyed with the Christian insistence on pushing their religion in every venue they can.  But on the other, I'm considering copying the marketing method.  Especially since, with the gaming community as an audience, I suspect atheists would get more return on investment than Christians.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

300 Proofs Against God

One of the perks of being part of an active local atheist group isn't local at all, the online presence.  We're an active, in person group, but we also have a fairly active Facebook group that also has people in it from outside Omaha and even outside America.  For instance, the source for this post was shared by someone in Morocco.

Someone has compiled a list of over 300 disproofs of God's existence.  Here's a few of my favorites:

  1. [Arbitrary passage from OT]
  2. [Arbitrary passage from NT]
  3. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  1. God is hate.
  2. Hate isn’t blind.
  3. Ray Charles is blind.
  4. Therefore, Ray Charles isn’t God.
  5. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  1. My toaster isn’t God.
  2. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  2. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  1. Ask theists how the universe came to be.
  2. Regardless of their answer, ask how they know this.
  3. Continue process until the theist admits he doesn't know the answer to one of your questions.
  4. You win!
  5. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  1. God doesn’t exist.
  2. [Theist's counterargument]
  3. No he doesn’t.
  4. [Theist's counterargument]
  5. No he doesn’t!
  6. [Theist's counterargument]
  7. NO HE DOESN’T!!!
  8. [Theist gives up and goes home]
  9. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  1. There are no absolute moral standards because God doesn’t exist.
  2. Theists say that there are absolute moral standards.
  3. But that's only because they want to condemn everyone (especially atheists) but themselves as sinners.
  4. Therefore, there are no absolute moral standards.
  5. Therefore, God doesn’t exist.
  1. I would have to go crazy to believe in God.
  2. I am not crazy.
  3. Therefore, God doesn’t exist
See the full list here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jesus Bumper Stickers And Non-Believers

"If you don't believe in God,
Does that make Him
any less real?

Are you a believer in Jesus
or just a fan?"
To answer those particular questions, "No" and "Neither".  My lack of belief does not make your god less real.  It's actually the other way around.  Your god not being real causes my lack of belief.  Regarding Jesus, I am neither a believer in Jesus nor a fan.

Signs & bumper stickers' like this used to bug me.  To me, they're Christians flaunting their religion, saying "Look how Christian I am", as if that makes them right or better than us non-Christians.  But now I like them.  

I've recently noticed a trend in the message involved.  These things very often target non-believers.  If they're so secure in their faith, why are they so threatened by those of us without faith.  Could it be that something inside them knows we're the ones who are right?

They'll continue to focus attention on us unless they somehow figure out how counterproductive to their goal such a tactic would be.  I don't see them figuring that out.  But I do see them hurting their own cause by provoking non-believers to poke more holes in their arguments.

Their fear of us being right will only show people that we are.  Thanks for helping atheism to grow, Christians.