Showing posts with label atheist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label atheist. Show all posts

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So, You Have a Relationship with the Creator of The Universe?

How fortuitous! There's this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, eternal being which has the power to create entire universes and all of the life within them, and this being has decided to bestow upon you, one lowly human out of around 7 billion lowly humans, the very distinctive honor of having an ongoing relationship with him/her/it.

So, having made the decision, for seemingly no reason at all, to grant you this honour, this being enters your heart, hunkers down in one of your aortic valves, and remains there until the day you die, guiding you, helping you, being your spiritual guide, your confidante, your friend. And then, upon your death, this being grants you the even bigger honour of living with him/her/it for eternity in his/her/its eternal amusement park.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ask an Atheist Project: magx01

In this blog, you, the reader, get the chance the read several varying atheistic takes on common questions asked of us godless heathens by god fearing folk. We are going to all be answering the same 13 questions, and then we are each supposed to choose a random 14th question to respond to. In addition to this, you are also going to be able to read the take of a (reasonable, intelligent, atheist friendly) Islamic theist (Vestsao) answering from the perspective of an atheist. Sort of a "walk a mile in his shoes" sort of thing.

Ask an Atheist Project: Syko Shadow

In this blog, we are going to be answering 13 common questions addressed to atheists by theists of all faiths. The responder for this segment is Syko Shadow, the ghetto American atheist, as opposed to magx01 being the pasty white Canadian atheist (that's for putting me on that deathlist!)

Let's begin!


Ask an Atheist Project: RelaxGodFolk

In this blog, you, the reader, get the chance the read several varying atheistic takes on common questions asked of us godless heathens by god fearing folk. We are going to all be answering the same 13 questions, and then we are each supposed to choose a random 14th question to respond to. In addition to this, you are also going to be able to read the take of a (reasonable, intelligent, atheist friendly) Islamic theist (Vestsao) answering from the perspective of an atheist. Sort of a "walk a mile in his shoes" sort of thing.

Ask an Atheist Project: Vestsao

In this blog, you, the reader, get the chance the read several varying atheistic takes on common questions asked of us godless heathens by god fearing folk. We are going to all be answering the same 13 questions, and then we are each supposed to choose a random 14th question to respond to. In addition to this, you are also going to be able to read the take of a (reasonable, intelligent, atheist friendly) Islamic theist (Vestsao) answering from the perspective of an atheist. Sort of a "walk a mile in his shoes" sort of thing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rescue Me Seasons 1-5 Review

NOTE: I am going to attempt to review a television show for the first time ever. Having never done this, in addition to not being a huge TV person and having no expertise in the areas of television production, acting, etc, I am not going to be writing a technical review, nor will i be writing a terrible deep one. Hopefully it isn't too lacking and you can glean a few things from it. Let me know how I did, if you're so inclined. If you do give the show a shot after reading this, please, post back and tell me how it went, positive or negative. Just don't sue me ;)

Okay, Rescue Me review:

Monday, July 12, 2010

In Defense of The Anthropic Principle

As stated here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle the anthropic principle is the idea that the observations of the physical universe must be compatible with the life observed in it. The principle was formulated in response to the fine tuning/argument from design type arguments, which assert that the universe seems to have been created just for us, as all of the natural laws, and all physical constants contained therein, are conducive to life. The anthropic principle basically counters this contention with a well, duh. Of course it's all conducive to life. If it wasn't, we would not be here to make such observations. You cannot observe conditions of a given universe of you do not exist.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Crackdown 2 Reviews are In. Still Confused! Rent or Buy? ALSO, Gaming is a Relgion...My Religion.

Crackdown 2 Reviews are In. Rent or Buy? Also, Gaming is a Relgion...My Religion.

NOTE: This blog was intended to be a short discussion of my feelings regarding whether I should rent or purchase Crackdown 2, as I am feeling uncertain on this point, and the slate of reviews that have just come out don't seem to have helped in this regard. However, it ended up blossoming into this monstrous post regarding a bunch of other stuff including this big realization that gaming is a religion, and that, furthermore, gaming is MY religion. I, the most avowed atheist in existence (lol), an ardent antitheist, who blogs about his disdain for religion on a regular basis, have realized that I am indeed religious!

So, I will do this in sections. Look for the large, bold, red text to signify a new section, and sorry for the rambling. Hopefully the content more than makes up for the form....and the content.....lol!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Re: Atheist Billboard in North Carolina Defaced - by Syko Shadow

Magx, in your Last Blog you made a very good point about how divisive the "Under God" graffiti on the secular billboard is, but you didn't bring up another issue in the story of the stupid motherfuckers defacing a billboard to get their jollies off insulting free speech:

Whenever someone like me from the ghetto does any form of graffiti, it's considered vandalism, labeling all graffiti artists as delinquents and thugs. Even if it's really good-looking art, like a mural or some real gangsta shit, it's looked down upon by mainstream America. However, when some dipshits with a box of Crayola scribble "Under God" on a secular billboard (NOTE: not atheist, simply secular. There is nothing atheistic in that billboard), the same people who previously got up-in-arms about ghetto graffiti are suddenly rallying behind this theistic outpouring of stupidity, despite the fact that the billboard incident is in fact an act of vandalism. I guess it's more than acceptable to be a fucking "delinquent" when you're trying to disparage minority groups, such as atheists. Or maybe it's just people in the ghetto who aren't allowed to pull shit like this. It wouldn't surprise me if such a double standard existed, especially if it is done so "under God."

Atheist Billboard in North Carolina Defaced. NEWSFLASH, PEOPLE: "One Nation Under God" is DIVISIVE!!!!

I was sent a news story by a friend over MSN tonight. The story is entitled 'Atheist billboard defaced on N.C.'s Billy Graham Parkway' and it can be found at the following link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts2936?b

An excerpt from the story:


Unknown vandals unhappy about atheists' billboard in Charlotte, N.C., spray-painted "Under God" on the ad, the city's atheist association discovered Monday. The defaced message will remain in place until after July 4, the group reports, which is the soonest that workers can furnish a fresh billboard image. Here's how the vandalized billboard now looks:



The billboard reads, "One Nation Indivisible," which is the phrase preceding the 1954 insertion of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, reports the Charlotte Observer's Tim Funk. The billboard was erected on Billy Graham Parkway last week. (Graham is, of course, the state's famous evangelical preacher.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Draw Muhammad Day: A Post Hoc Analysis

Note: This is an older post that I had sitting around in draft form. Excuse the slightly belated timing.

Here's a barely literate post from a jackass I unfortunately have to deal with on occasion on an internet forum speaking about Draw Muhammad Day:

I am all for freedom of speech, whether it will insult billions of people or not, since i can tolerate it. i, along with billions others are not stupid enough to start threatening people over it or send death threats over it or even kill a few of it. because we Muslims werent TAUGHT to react like that. but the moment some of you start taking the piss out of us INNOCENT people just because of a bunch of minority dumbasses, then its clearly obvious, that whatever shit your doing, was simply not gonna work. coz like i have been saying all along: you can express freedom of speech, but insulting people is not the RIGHT and FAIR way to do it.

Now, this is the type of sentiment I have seen expressed quite a bit since all of this has come to light. People who claim to be all for free speech (before adding conditions to it; cleary they don't actually grasp the concept of 'free,' but I digress) stating that Draw Muhhamad Day is not an exercise in free speech but rather a day meant to do nothing but insult and enrage.

These people have missed the point entirely.

Granted, I do concede that for many, Draw Muhhamad Day, or DMD, as I will refer to it going forward, was an excuse to insult and enrage. But for the rest, DMD represented exactly what it was purported to: a day dedicated to free speech and the exercise thereof. Well, that, and more. Much more.

See, the people making these sort of claims with respect to DMD don't seem to grasp the other point of the day at all. The day was dedicated to the exercise of free speech, yes, but also, and perhaps just as (even more?) importantly, it was dedicated to consciousness raising, to borrow from Dawkins. The message needed to be sent and reinforced: Non Islamic people do NOT live by Islamic law. We are not bound by it, we do not recognize it, and we are not duty bound to heap upon it any reverence or respect. In fact, we're free to admonish it and heap disdain and insults upon it and its followers if we so desire. The point is, no matter how far one does (or does not) take it, the message was that YOU say drawing this man is verboten. Okay, fine. That applies to you, but you do NOT get to dictate to the rest of the world what we can and cannot do.

They do not consider themselves bound by Christian or Hindu laws, correct? What makes them think an atheist or  a Christian would be bound by the laws of their religion? The point was to drive home this very, well, point (awkward phrasing FTL). Basically, DMD was supposed to:

  1. Drive home the idea that we are not bound by Islamic law. 
  2. Demonstrate how silly it is to be mortally offended by a drawing. It's completely silly.
  3. Exercise our free speech and show those who would like to take it away that we will not allow them to do so. 
  4. Show people that free speech means free speech. Free speech is only free if it is not restricted, and so, if you must reign in or attenuate your speech in any way, then it's not free. Sure, self censorship is fine, and perhaps even ideal at times, but note the preface: Self. Being FORCED to censor oneself violates the very idea of free speech.
  5. To show all religious practitioners that the days of religion getting a free pass are numbered. Any and all ideas should be up for scrutiny, and any and all religious commands are apt to be disregarded, especially by those who aren't in the religion to begin with.  
I'm not advocating that anyone go out of their way to insult a large group of people. At the same time though, sometimes the end justifies the means, and if we must offend a group of people en route to making an important point, then so be it. And, frankly (here comes the insulting part) if a bunch of adults are going to get offended at a stick figure drawing with a man's name above it, they seriously, seriously need to step back and re-evaluate things. They're nothing but irrational, emotive, reactionary morons at that point, especially if they think a death threat is warranted.

And to think the whole ban on drawings came out of the concept of idolatry (yes, just like xianity). How the hell does anyone think idolatry is relevant to someone who disbelieves in god in the first place?

Talk about irrational belief......

Monday, May 17, 2010

Atheism 101 (Resources for those New to the idea of Atheism)

Some of My Resources for People New to the Idea of Atheism

One of my very first posts here was entitled Atheism is a Religion? and The Burden of Proof.

I just went back made a few changes to that post. The new version can be seen here:

http://magx01.blogspot.com/2010/01/atheism-is-religion-and-burden-of-proof.html

I have added a few things and fixed up a few trouble areas. I believe this post will be much more useful to anyone stubling across this blog who may be interested in atheism in any regard, but is new to the idea and quite unaware of the sort of Atheism 101 type concepts. I have added some things to this end, like an operational definition of atheism.

Also, for anyone who fits this description, you may also want to check out:

http://magx01.blogspot.com/2010/02/youre-not-agnostic.html

and perhaps:

http://magx01.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-are-atheists-so-angry.html

Thanks, and science bless ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Descartes Walks Into a Bar.....

And the bartender asks him, "Evening sir, may I interest you in a drink?" to which Descartes relpies, "I think not." He then disappears.

By the way, if you don't get the joke, see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum


Also, my next blog post (or perhaps a post or two will come before it, but it's definitey upcoming!) will be a defence of the Anthropic Principle. See you then, Sephiroth ;)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Presuppositions, Frameworks, and Argumentation.

Video on this topic:


And yes, I was having a horrible hair day that day, sue me ;)

Okay, so I have been intermittently been thinking about this topic for some time. The thing of which I am speaking is debate on the subject of relgion. Now, while this could actually pertain to any subject, I would like to frame this within the context of religious discussion. Namely, that which takes place beteen believers and non believers.
So, believers and non believers have two completely different worldviews, or frameworks, from which their arguments on this subject are deployed. Each of these viewpoints, or frameworks, contain beliefs that are fundamentally subscribed to. They are presupposed. For example, the believer will pressupose the existence of god(s). Any discussion regarding religion always takes place with this presupposition in effect.

An atheist will pressupose things as well. For example, if I am to discuss evolution with someone, I absolutely enter the debate with the presupposition that evolution is a fact. Or, to tie in with the example I gave for the theist, an atheist will pressupose that certain arguments for the existence of a deity are false. Speaking for myself, I outright reject the TAG, cosmological, and teleological arguments for the existence of god, and thusly enter into any discussion about them with the idea in mind that they are insufficent/flawed/unacceptable.

So just what the fuck am I driving at here?

Well, presuppositions can change, although it is (notoriously) difficult. So my question is as follows:
Which do you think is the more effective method of argumentation? Working within people's given frameworks, and trying to change their mind on enough non pressuposed issues until one day the presuppositions themselves naturally come under scrutiny (or they are willing to actually consider them)

aka The Top Down Approach (as it was named by my friend and excellent Youtuber http://www.youtube.com/user/RelaxGodfolk

OR

Going right for the presuppositions, knowing that if you strike right at the heart of the matter and are successful, everything else will presumably fall in line?

aka The Bottom Up Approach (also named by my friend and excellent Youtuber http://www.youtube.com/user/RelaxGodfolk

To elucidate this, as an atheist, would you think I'd have more success refuting a theists' notions on several different particulars until their very belief in god comes into question, or going right for the presupposition, knowing that if I can remove the certainty, the rest will crumble the second the belief in god does?

This of course, as I stated, can be applied to anything. Politics is another big one. This does not have to be about religion.

One thing to add was something I stated in the video: Does the fact of whether or not the ideas that follow from the presuppositions are logically consistent/follow from the belief (aka not non sequitors) change the ideal approach? I would think that it does, in that, if Y follows from X, it might be more prudent to go right for X, since you will have a harder time attacking a position which is seemingly steeped in solid logic. And of course, the opposite would be true (in my view, of course). If Y does NOT follow from X, then it is easier to tackle Y. So, if Y and Z both do not logically follow from X, and you strip them away, X is more susceptible to scrutiny (aka the top down approach).

I would love to get some feedback on this, both from theists and atheists. I think this is an interesting topic than could benefit from anyone, on both sides of this debate. Actually, forget that context, anyone, period, in terms of ANY debate. Sometimes I get too steeped in the theist/atheist thing, but what can I say? It's the area of discussion with which I am most fascinated, opinionated, and well, according to a few people.....obsessed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Letter to a Christian Nation

Well, more like letter to a religious world, but that's not a particularly catchy title, is it?

;)

So, here is a short and simple, but important message from me to the religious:

If you follow what you believe to be a peaceful, loving religion, live as though that were true. Don't hate on or discriminate against gay people, atheists (or gay atheists....haha), people of a different religion, etc, and don't put up with a priest, preacher, pastor, imam, monk, family member or anyone else pushing those types of ideas. Call them out on it. Challenge them. Don't provide cover for them because you share their religion. Make it difficult and uncomfortable for them to hold (and especially promote) such views. Don't give them a free pass because you're of the same religious belief.

The same way I don't tolerate bigotry from my atheistic brethren, you should do the same. When people like Pat Robertson say the disgusting shit they do, the voices of contention seem to be largely atheistic. Ditto for the sex abuse scandals, and all sorts of other things. Let's change that. Stand up and say NO to these people.

Gay people are people just like you and I. The only difference is whom they are attracted to. That's it. Does that sound like something worthy of hate? No. Wanting to stop them from marrying someone they love is cruel and wrong. Don't be a part of that. Atheists? We're people too. Don't buy into the rhetoric that's out there, and if you're in church or synagogue, mosque or school, and you hear the religious leader talking nonsense about us, say something. Don't let hate filled ignorance exist uncontested.

We're not immoral as a people. We're not ''evil.'' We're just like you. The only difference is belief, and really, you should understand that too. Take your position on the gods you do not believe in, and that how we feel about your particular god(s). Does that sound evil to you? The reason they spread such nonsense about us should be quite obvious: we're seen as a threat. They figure if you guys mingle with atheists, you are at risk of losing your religion, and they can't have members leaving in large numbers. Think about it.

Also, about religion in general....I won't get into a long diatribe here, but allow me to say one thing: religions always get to people when they are very, very young, and they almost always villify/demonize the nonbelievers.......doesn't it seem as though they are working very hard to ensure people buy into the ideas they're espousing? Think about it. If you want people to join your group and share your beliefs, and this belief is generally predicated on something as potentially tenuous as faith, doesn't starting really young and demonizing nonbelievers make sense, in a manipulative sort of way? How many people would be religious if they were
first exposed to the religion at say 20, as opposed to 4? That's all I'll say for on that for now.

Thank you for reading, and science bless ;)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Way to Access The Thoughtful Gamer!

This blog can now be reached via the url http://www.thethoughtfulgamer.com/ which means there are now two direct routes to soul corrupting atheism and morality destroying video games :)

Just thought I'd let you know :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm now a Youtube Atheist,

Well, I Made my foray Into the 'Youtube Atheism' thing, for better or for worse...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Article about someone leaving the JW Cult

An article entitled ''The knock at the door that turned my parents into brainwashed fanatics - and nearly cost my life'' was published yesterday on dailymail.co.uk. It details a woman's struggles with a JW family, and what happened to her when she ultimately left.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1250078/The-knock-door-turned-parents-brainwashed-fanatics--nearly-cost-life.html

Small excerpt:

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that blood is sacred and that accepting a transfusion - which is likely during many operations - is a sin. Frightened and in pain, I was told by the doctors that I was in grave danger if I refused a transfusion.

The anaesthetist, clearly agitated and upset, even said to me: 'Do you realise you are going to die and leave your babies without a mother?'


Before I could protest, Dennis, an elder I had known for a few years, was at my bedside. He was in his 70s and from a Brighton congregation - all Jehovah's Witness elders are males. I genuinely thought: 'Dennis is coming to help', yet here he was clutching a form stating I would refuse a transfusion and telling me to sign.


I glanced over at my parents and my husband Bob, hoping they would say something, but they stood by obediently, saying nothing while the elders took over.


It still hurts to think we were all so brainwashed that they could have stood by and watched me and my babies die.


I was in absolute turmoil. I knew that if I didn't sign the forms I would be banished from the movement and from everyone I loved and would be left without the support of my family.


I didn't want to die, but Dennis simply stood there, pen reaching out to me and I knew what I had to do. I signed.

Read the article, and then post your comments here. The only thing I can say is that I know someone who went through a similar experience, and to this day she struggles with guilt. This guilt has persisted for decades. You see, her daughter was dying and she ultimately relented and allowed her to get a blood transfusion, and this set the stage for her being segregated from the rest of the JW community.

Her own husband chastized her for it. He had been pushing for her not to, saying that if their daughter was to die, that was 'God's Will.' They ended up divorcing, and she is no longer with the JW organization, but still stuggles with the guilt and constantly worries about hell.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You're Not An 'Agnostic.'

We're all agnostic. If your answer to the question ''Do you believe in a god'' is yes, you are a theist. If it's anything but yes, then you are currently an atheist.

Theism=Belief
A-theism=Lack of said belief

Gnosticism=Knowing
Agnosticism=Not knowing.

We all either believe or not, but no one ''knows'' for sure. Hence, the agnosticism part. Whether or not you believe is a matter of being convinced by the evidence. ''What evidence?'' you may ask.

Well, pick a religion.

You know the ''holy'' books, the arguments, the stories, etc etc? That's the evidence. If you don't find any of them compelling enough that they have convinced you of their veracity, and none of the non specific arguments for a deity like the cosmological or teleological argumets have convinced you, then you're an atheist.

If they have convinced you, then you're a theist, and are either a deist (convinced by the nonspecific arguments, but not by a specific religion), or you were convinced by a specific religion and now are a Hindu, or a Christian, or whatever.

You cannot just simply be 'An Agnostic.'

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Research: Atheists 'just as ethical as churchgoers'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7189188/Atheists-just-as-ethical-as-churchgoers.html

Few excerpts:

People who have no religion know right from wrong just as well as regular worshippers, according to the study.

People who did not have a religious background still appeared to have intuitive judgments of right and wrong in common with believers, according to the findings, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

The team looked at several psychological studies which were designed to test an individual’s morality.


Dr Hauser added: "The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments

 You can read more at the link I posted above.
 
To this, I think the only thing I can say is, "duh!" To any reasonable person, this is quite obvious. However, unfortunately, there are many people out there who feel that someone such as myself, has no moral compass.
 
They could not be more incorrect. Hopefully now, at least a few of these people will be stripped of such notions. The notion that one needs religion to be a moral person is incredibly outdated and misguided, and it's time to put it to rest.