90 day Jane

Like Hemant and Shnakepup, I am convinced that the latest idiocy, “90 day Jane“, is nothing but another dishonest attempt by the religious to fight the “rise of eeeeevil atheism”.

Consider her description:

I am going to kill myself in 90 days. What else should i say? This blog is not a cry for help or even to get attention. It’s simply a public record of my last 90 days in existence. I’m not depressed and nothing extremely horrible has lead me to this decision. But, does it really have to? I mean, as an atheist I feel life has no greater purpose. My generation has had no great depression, no great war and our biggest obstacle is beating Halo 3.

“… as an atheist I feel life has no greater purpose”? Gee, that sounds just like what theists love to say about atheists… and what atheists either don’t say, or say literally; in other words, the lack of a “greater” purpose just means that we don’t have someone telling us what to do, so we have to (responsibility! scary!) decide for ourselves, come up with a purpose on our own.

Quoting Shnakepup:

Expect “Jane” to start laying the nihilism and hedonism on thick, all the while spouting off about how pointless it all is. Then, closer to the due date, we’ll see more and more posts featuring Jane reconsidering her godless, wasteful existence , and pondering if maybe there’s something more. Cue religious friend who sets her straight on the lie of atheism, and who tells her all the church has to offer in it’s place. Instead of killing herself on Day 90, we’ll see her changing her mind and deciding to live her life with Jesus! Warm fuzzy music plays and everybody learns a valuable lesson.

Indeed. Now, I wonder… as an atheist, I would never do something like this (say, “faking” a deconversion). Why? Because it would be dishonest, and the same love of truth that makes me an atheist prevents me from even considering something like this. The belief in “saving souls” for brownie points in heaven, even if you have to cheat, lie, and hurt people to do it, is, apparently, something very typical in evangelical Christianity.

EDIT: it was just an experiment, after all. Either that, or they aborted it because they can’t follow their plan to talk about the emptiness of atheism for 3 months and then “find Jesus” on day 90, because we were on to them on day 4. Nothing to see here, folks.

http://www.wayofthemind.org/

If atheists don’t believe in God, then why do they talk about him so much?

When looking at my website statistics, I found that at least two people arrived at this blog by searching for:

“if athiests dont believe in god then why do they talk about him so much”

Yes, “atheists” was misspelled. :)

But, well, since apparently some people are looking for the answer to that, I’m going to do my duty as an atheist :) and answer.

I can, easily, see two reasons:

  • We don’t believe in God, but we certainly believe in Christians. They’re everywhere, it seems. And while most of them are harmless, a number of them are annoying… or worse. Much worse. They bomb abortion clinics.

They do their best to hinder the advancement of science and the arts. They elect candidates based not on their competency, but on whether “he prays” (and says so more often than his opponent).

They try to interfere — and get laws to do it — in the sexual lives of consenting adults. They ban stem cell research and contraceptives, thus condemning millions around the world to disease and suffering, because of books written by primitive desert nomads thousands of years ago. So, yes, Christians are a problem.

  • Wouldn’t you try to help someone descending into alcoholism? Wouldn’t you care if you saw someone destroying their lives because of booze?

Well, in a way, religion is like alcoholism. It attacks the mind, the power of reasoning, it makes people believe in absurd things. It destroys lives – both of the alcoholic / believer, and often those of their family, too.

So it’s natural that some of us care — even about strangers. We don’t think we’ll ever “unconvert” fundamentalists; by definition, they’ve long stopped thinking about their belief critically — indeed, they believe that doing so would be a sin.

But some people may be at a “crossroads”, so to speak. They may believe simply because they’ve never thought about it; everyone around them believes unquestioningly, and they’ve never even heard of an alternative. So maybe an atheist can make a difference.

Obama on religion

 

[…] Of course, in the end God sends down an angel to intercede at the very last minute, and Abraham passes God’s test of devotion.

But it’s fair to say that if any of us leaving this church saw Abraham on a roof of a building raising his knife, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham.

Source: ‘Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address, 2006

More than good enough for me. Pity I’m not American, or I would, for the first time in my life, vote for a guy and be proud of it. (I’m assuming he’ll beat Hillary, by the way, which seems increasingly likely, according to the latest results.)

Contrast this with Mike “rewrite the Constitution so it conforms to the Bible” Huckabee, Mitt “secularism is a religion” Romney (yes, I realize he’s out), or John “Roe v. Wade should be overturned” McCain.

(To be fair, McCain seems to be by far the lesser evil amongst Republicans (which admittedly isn’t saying much, given who his current main opponent is), and would certainly be an improvement over Bush… but, then again, who wouldn’t? :) Unless an oddly convenient “terrorist” attack allows Bush to institute martial law and remain in power, things are sure to improve — not just for the U.S., but for the entire world — after November, regardless who wins the election.)

EDIT: removed the bold font emphasis on the original text. Sorry about that. ;)

Planet Atheism

Planet Atheism is an aggregator of atheism-related blogs. You can visit it here: Planet Atheism.

Personally, I find that it makes for great breakfast reading: by opening a single page in the browser, I can “read the news”, so to speak, from a number of very nice atheist blogs. If I want to comment on a post, I just click on the link and go to the post on the blog itself. Of course, that’s just me; there are, surely, many other ways to use it.

Have an atheist-related blog, where at least half the posts are about atheism, religion and related subjects? With a full (that is, not just small excerpts) RSS feed, if possible (though that’s not a condition)? Why not join?

Joining Planet Atheism

Simply email join@planetatheism.com with your blog’s details.

A link to Planet Atheism on your blog is also appreciated, though not mandatory.

What do you gain

Basically, more visibility for your blog. Planet Atheism is still relatively new, but I expect it to keep on growing both in number of member blogs and in readership, and any regular reader of PA will see your posts among those of the other members. If they want to comment, they just click on the link for your post, and will be taken to your blog, where they can do so. Anyone who’s interested in atheism can use Planet Atheism as a “hub”, and then go to any post he or she finds interesting to comment on it.

You also gain a page linking to your blog, which helps it in terms of search engine optimization.

Finally, I expect that other members of Planet Atheism will, themselves, read PA often, and they are likely to link to posts of yours that they find interesting. In other words, you get other atheist bloggers as regular readers.

Caveats

Anyone who reads your blog through Planet Atheism, of course, won’t see any advertisements you have on your blog (they will do so when they go there to post or read comments), though. This should not have an effect on any earnings you have, since your current readers won’t probably change their habits and will visit your blog directly. Besides, with the search engine optimization advantage I mentioned above, you should get more direct visitors from Google and other search engines.

Go to homepage: http://www.wayofthemind.org/

“Letter to a Christian Nation”, by Sam Harris

Yesterday, I finished reading Sam Harris (author of “The End of Faith”)‘s latest mini-book, “Letter to a Christian Nation”. The book is Harris’ reply to the criticisms he received after writing the first book, in the form of a letter (as the title suggests) to an average American “born again” Christian.

I highly recommend the book, though, again, the ones need it the most will dismiss is as “the work of Satan”.

One part of the letter incensed me – I didn’t believe such a thing was possible in the modern world. But there’s no end to human depravity, it seems. From the book:

Consider, for instance, the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is now the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. These pious men and women want to preserve cervical cancer as an incentive toward abstinence, even if it sacrifices the lives of thousands of women each year.

I was absolutely shocked as I read that. My only thoughts were: “YOU… FUCKING… MONSTERS!”

And there’s more:

[…]Reginald Finger, an Evangelical member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, recently announced that he would consider opposing an HIV vaccine – because such a vaccine would encourage premarital sex by making it less risky.

Now, please…

1- Don’t talk to me again about how religion and faith do “good” in the world.

2- Don’t tell me that such monsters are deranged extremists, not “true Christians”, and not representative of Christianity. The Bible agrees with them, which makes them more Christian than you are. And you agree that they have a right to those beliefs. It’s your “tolerant” idea that beliefs are “sacred” that protects such vermin from criticism and allows them to exist.

Sorry for all the anger, but this had to be said.

Homepage: http://www.wayofthemind.org/

Fundamentalists to “militant” atheists… and agnostics

Readers of Planet Atheism have probably seen this several times today:

Fundamentalists: believe 2+2 =5 because It Is Written. Somewhere. They have a lot of trouble on their tax returns.

“Moderate” believers: live their lives on the basis that 2+2=4. but go regularly to church to be told that 2+2 once made 5, or will one day make 5, or in a very real and spiritual sense should make 5.

“Moderate” atheists: know that 2+2 =4 but think it impolite to say so too loudly as people who think 2+2=5 might be offended.

“Militant” atheists: “Oh for pity’s sake. HERE. Two pebbles. Two more pebbles. FOUR pebbles. What is WRONG with you people?”

And, of course, it’s absolutely correct.

But I’d add another one in the middle:

Agnostics: 2+2 may be 4, or may be 5. Yes, it LOOKS like it’s 4, but I don’t have perfect knowledge, and I want to keep an open mind. Who’s to say the religionists aren’t correct? Who am I to know?

Yes, as long time readers of WotM are probably aware of, I really don’t like agnostics. Sorry if you’re one, but, to me, agnosticism is pure intellectual cowardice.

A fundamentalist theist believes “truth” is separate from reality, and, if they conflict, then reality is wrong. An atheist believes reality IS truth. An agnostic, on the other hand, believes reality is unknowable, and therefore evades the responsibility of trying to understand it. Anything goes. Reality is fluid, ever-changing, unpredictable. We can never truly know anything for certain, since everything we know, every law we take as true, may change tomorrow.

An agnostic — much like a New Age mystic — distorts the concept of “open mindedness” to an absurd level, where there are no laws, no rules, no hard facts, no reality — at least none that can be ever understood. To an agnostic, everything is possible, so nothing is ever certain. Taken to the extreme, nothing is ever even more likely than anything else.

Sorry, but, to me, this is no more rational than believing in an invisible bearded man in the sky, invented by primitive Bronze Age nomads, who, somehow, hates all the same people you do.

homepage; http://www.wayofthemind.org/

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