Tag: atheism

Interesting how churches are trying to stay relevant

So around the Metro area of Atlanta I note a number of different churches are proclaiming how all are welcome, including the LGBT community.

Look churches had their chance to be more inclusive and they failed miserably at it. As a result many churches are seeing attendance decline and they’re tripping over themselves now trying to be supportive. As if or Ut Si.

I walked away from Catholicism for two reasons, well three. First my studies in religion led me to realize it was a man made creation, not that of a divine being. The second was the anti-gay screeds by certain popes. And the third is the biggie, how they covered up the sexual abuse of kids And even today they keep trying to backpedal. Sorry that ship has sailed. Firstly I don’t need to get up early on a Sunday morning, nor do I need to tithe my money to any church.

As you may have guessed from this blog – I’m an atheist. Don’t believe in heaven, hell, god, Jesus, the whole of it even the devil. In fact I’m more a nihilistic atheist in other words one who thinks meaning, morals and everything are just human constructs not to be followed or believed. An old friend of mine said it, what we’re seeing now is the dying gasps of religion in general. They’ll go down either kicking and screaming or try to appear to by more accepting. It’ll fall flat. Just look at the rate of religious none in the different regions of the U.S. in the northeast a full quarter of the population doesn’t believe in religion. Even the region I’m in now the southeast where the none is 13-15% Belief is fading away.

Pondering the non-existence of God

Or at the very least, that the latest god doesn’t have the powers of omniscience and omnipotence. For it begins in Genesis 3.

Let’s break it down, when you think about it if the snake was the serpent was the devil let’s go back to who created the devil in the first place. It was God – so there goes omniscience. And God couldn’t stop Eve from being beguiled by the snake? There goes omnipotence.

My favorite verse is Genesis 3:22 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

Now this is the Old Testament, there’s just God and the Holy Spirit. Is that the Us he’s referring to?

So in just this one little thought experiment we find this a puny god. It’s not omniscient and not omnipotent. So why call it a god at all?

Therefore god/God does not exist. That was easy.

How to do religion

You know by now I don’t believe in god/God/gods. None of them even existed or were real.

But it hit me, I grew up Catholic. Catholic churches are sight, sound, scent factories. Think about it, all the stained glass, the lighting, the incense that was burned on certain days, and the fact that the mass was said in Latin up until the 1960’s. And think about it, in that time before Vatican II or before the invention of the Gutenberg Press in the 15th century  – the churches must have been quite the scene and rather mystical because the mass wasn’t said in local vernacular.

But we live in the 21st century – some 600 years after the invention of the printing press. And so we have greater access to information, from books, libraries, and the web in general. And there are much greater spectacles on the web than a church could ever, in so many words hold a candle. Think about it we all have LASERS now. Either your net connection comes to you as light via a LASER  or you have a CD-ROM reader on the computer, or any number of things. That makes the net possible and well, that has done more to enhance science and destroy religion over time. And I’m so on board and good with that.

So if religion wants to survive it has to stop with the Old Testament bullshit but they’ll never do that. It is precisely why in the 18-29 age group – fewer and fewer are turning to the church. And as I said to someone recently – what irks me more than anything is the proselytizing – I mean come on, if your god is so great why do you have to tell everyone about him/her/it?

The cat is literally out of the bag vis a vis the Catholic church and even on Christianity, Islam, etc. All of the Abrahamic religions are based on what I term extreme amounts of woo. In other words, it’s all made up, the fevered imaginings of bronze age people. We’re 20 centuries or so past that and it’s time we start behaving as such. Because using a bronze age collection of texts as your basis for live is pretty much asinine.

Sed solum hominibus non est deus – which is “There is no god but there is only mankind”

 

Discovering Ones Atheism

So I’m watching this:

And my experience is much the same as that of Ms. Sweeney and Dr. Dawkins.

It started just after I was 7 years old and had made my first holy communion. I must have been about 8 years old when I was like, something isn’t right about religion.

It wasn’t until it was time for my confirmation that I acknowledged that something was definitely rotten in Denmark. I recall telling the priest at the interview just before we were confirmed that I had a very difficult time with the concept of faith and that the whole entirety of religion I’d learned up to them was no solace and more to the point it was all so much bovine effluent.

They confirmed me without a hitch. Of course just prior I was resistant to being confirmed in the church. I knew it was all horse shit or equine effluvia and had pretty much stopped going to church at this time. But a judicious bribe was paid me and so I went through with it, for the memory of my dead mother.

But I realize that not everyone had the cognitive capacity to just come out and admit they don’t understand or don’t believe in a God that could be so petty and tyrannical and pretty much an invention of bronze age mind or minds.

And of course just a year or so prior to my confirmation my mother had died. When the priest told my father and I that my mother couldn’t be given the rite of burial by the church it was the only time I respected my father. Because my father’s reaction was to pick that SOB priest up by his neck until such time as that priest capitulated.

So all of that meant my faith was gone. It didn’t help that the entirety of my primary and secondary education was in Catholic schools where they did things like teach us critical thinking skills and then try to get us not to apply them to the Bible we studied a year or so later. Yeah, right.

No wonder the Christians are getting so strident

It’s because they know they’re losing the game. I mean we all know atheist like myself number about 1 out of 5 people, or a full 20% of the population.

But a new article says that if you include the un-churched, never churched and skeptics it’s more like 38% of the population. That’s why Christians in the U.S. are getting so strident. They realize we’re nearly at the tipping point for religious belief to go into the dustbin of history.

I think as a society we’re finally figuring out that we’ve essentially been sold a bill of goods that wasn’t true. And I think one of the best ways to break ones belief is to read the entirety of the texts within the Bible. You have a lot that openly contradict other texts, some that is plain fantasy, and some pure psychedelic stuff in there. It’s fiction, all of it.

The Evolution of my Atheism

The whole thing started around the time I was eight years old. By then I’d made my first Communion and was attending a Catholic school. But I figured I may as well not rock the boat to much and so didn’t say much about it for about seven years.

By that time I’m fifteen years old and taking classes prior to my Confirmation in the Catholic church. During the final weeks we all had to do a one on one with one of the parish priests. I sat in front of that priest and boldly told him I didn’t believe or believe in any of it and had a very hard time reconciling the concept of faith with what I’d learned of science and logic at that time. The funny part of course is that they went right ahead and confirmed me anyhow. How’s that for hypocrisy!

And over the years that followed my father and I would get into discussions about religion. The thing is, my religious education while I may have parroted a lot just to get my ass through it, I actually learned a hell of a lot. And so when my father would say off the wall shit like “Even the Bible says black and white people shouldn’t be together.’ I’d counter that having read the ENTIRETY of the texts of the Bible I didn’t recall that particular choice nugget being in there. At this point the conversation would devolve with my father blatantly stating “You never believed in God anyway.” to which I’d respond “You’re absolutely correct, I do not believe in a fictional being.” and the upshot of this would be the rest of the car ride in silence, and sometimes on special occasions were I the one driving I’d offer to let my father off by the side of the highway if he so pleased. 

I think that went on maybe two or three times. Then he’d drive his own car or I’d ride with someone else, etc. So it’s not a surprise that he and I don’t talk to each other anymore. What’s the point when you know it will eventually degrade into accusations of your disbelief.

There were however times I questioned how he could believe in a God who took two wonderful women away from my father due to early deaths from cancer. He once admitted that it did sort of shake his faith but my father being the follower that he is, he went right back to it so he can bitch about the pastor, etc.

Of course my atheism has gotten me in hot water on other occasions. At one place of employment the boss was a fundie Catholic. Four of six members of his staff including me, we were all atheists. I find that in the I.T. realm there’s quite a bit of atheism for some reason.

And I love,absolutely love debating why people still believe with priests. It’s a trip. They’re so brainwashed that they cannot see what is right in front of them.

I look at it this way – we’re pressed enough for time as it is. Why waste the time believing in a non-existent deity? And then of course recall that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had their pantheons of Gods who’ve faded out with history. Why not God and Jesus Christ, the latter of who the evidence is increasingly pointing to the non-existence of even the so called Prince of Peace.

I also look at how religious belief has retarded progress over the eons. We still fight the battles today what with the contraception thing with the churches and the health care reform act. But it goes further – I have a firm belief that every boy and girl by age 1 or 2 should be vaccinated for HPV. But of course the religious idiots (And don’t get me started on the anti-vaxers) say that it’ll only make it more permissible for kids to have wanton misdirected sex. But then we have states with abstinence only sex eduction where the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases are SKYROCKETING. How’s that working out for them one has to wonder.

The best advice I can give anyone who has doubts about their religion is to actually READ the entire Bible. Don’t cherry pick, read it all. it is only when you do that you start to realize the contradictions inherent in the text.

But I’m encouraged by things like Skepticon, The Atheist Experience out of Austin, TX etc. These people were all once very religious and they were able to lift the veil and see that it was all so much pulled out of someones ass.

 

Nones/Atheists now count 19% of the U.S.

None aka atheists now number a full 19% of the United States.

There is a line in the linked article about the downward pressure on atheism that says “…disproportionately young, often single, and highly educated..”

Of the more significant parts of that is the highly educated people. The more educated you are, the less likely you are to believe in a higher being or power.

And here in the northeast I’d say we number closer to 25%. All your well known and significant institutes of higher learning are in the Northeast and on the West coast.

Imagine – one in four who do not believe in a god. That’s fantastic.

I’ve long been an atheist – since I was a teenager. I went to the best schools in the local area, so it’s no wonder I don’t believe.

And in my career, which is in the I.T. field – the last place I worked had six people in my unit, 3 of us atheists. So in that case 50%.

I’m glad that religious belief is fading away. It’s nothing but a waste of time to be honest.

They Should Have Known

I was thinking back to my elementary and high school years. The signs were there early on that I struggled with the whole faith thing until the moment of clarity hit when I was about 15 years old and doing the confirmation classes.

That was when I point blank told the priest that I didn’t believe any of it. I was confirmed Catholic regardless.

Part of that had come from studying the Bible in a high school religion class. Yes, 12 years of Catholic schools. During the class I continually brought up the numerous inconsistencies and the fact that St. Paul aka Saul of Tarsus was a misogynistic and homophobic bigot. Also played the part of contrarian a number of times because by this point I knew that not just a chapter or verse was pure bovine effluvia, but the entire book. Everything. It’s all a fairytale.

I could do the whole sit/stand/kneel/make the sign of the cross by rote memorization. Basically an automaton. Even now I still recall the prayers and all the gobbledygook required in a Catholic mass.

Another one, they should have known that something was up when I rarely went to confession. I especially never went to confession when you could do it face to face with the priest. Probably a good thing too, known what we know now I probably would have been abused if I mentioned to the priest that a neighbor boy and I were getting it on.

It got to the point where later in life when I’d be at a wedding or funeral, when the Eucharist would be trotted out I’d step up. My little point of rebellion even back then. Then of course they switched to where the priest would lay the host in your palm. A few times I dropped the fucker on purpose. Caused all sorts of commotion, they altar boy would sweep up the dropped host and I’d get a new one.

Didn’t matter if I’d sinned or not. I knew that it was a cracker and that it didn’t magically turn into the flesh and blood of Jesus H. Christ once it hit my mouth. Actually I knew it turned to a sugar since the amylase in our saliva has that effect on certain carbohydrates.

Once I’d moved out of the parent house I never set foot in a church again other than for weddings or funerals. Then again even when I lived with the parents after 16 I never went to church. They tried dragging me to Christmas eve ceremonies but I did it once and that was enough.

I just don’t have a religious bone in my body. They should have known. All the signs and portents were there clear as day.

My father figured it out though. I recall one conversation during a car trip when he point blank said “You never believed in God anyway.” Yep, right on the nose.

As I like to tell people the mistake was sending me to Catholic schools starting in the period just after the approval of the Vatican II accords. It’s when the church got highly liberalized, priests and nuns doffed their garments and habits for secular clothing, the theology wasn’t as strict.

Another thing, being that the high school I attended was a college preparatory institution they taught logic and critical thinking skills. As I’ve said many a time, a dangerous combination is religion and logic/critical thinking.

Atheists roll ads on 800 buses in the UK

This is amazing. I wish we could be so cohesive here in the United States. I know there are a lot of us that are atheists but it truly is like herding cats to get us organized. However we are seeing pockets of atheist organization in certain parts of the country.

Watch the video attached to the article, particularly toward the end when they have Richard Dawkins say a few words.

The signs on the buses say “THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.”

Dawkins and the interviewer thought that the word ‘probably’ was to make it not sound so strident. I’m all for being strident, so much so that here’s my fuck you to the Abrhamic religions in the form of an upraised middle finger.

Fuck Organized Religion
Fuck Organized Religion

You got it, religion deserves no respect from me so instead it gets my utter contempt and scorn. I’ve had enough of the religious bigots trying to tell me that my life and love aren’t valid and that I’m going to burn in hell if I don’t repent. I’ve even had one fuckwit tell me that God was losing patience with me.

I want to see Christians in particular fed to the lions again. I blame the Romans for doing a half assed job the first time around.

Then of course I wish someone had dealt with Mohamed and his sidekick Allah. Al Lah is the Moon god which is why the crescent is one of the Muslim symbols.

That’s the thing, you don’t see Jews proselytizing. I did see one Rabbi appear and testify against marriage equality in RI but that’s just the Old Testament. That’s pretty much been debunked a million times over.

If you’re religious stay the hell out of my life. I don’t want your brand of crazy.