Monday, October 26, 2009

Wait... the world is NOT ending in 2012?

According to this article, a NASA scientist says the world is not ending in 2012.

I'm so glad we give NASA those billions of dollars a year so that they can clear up stuff like this! But wait a minute? How do we know that THEY are not in on the conspiracy? What if NASA is engineering this whole thing? I've heard they're testing a new heavy-lift launch vehicle. What kind of doomsday-inducing payload could it be carrying? Is it true that the space station is up there to provide a refuge for the only people who were chosen to survive, and that they'll come back to Earth after we're all dead and re-colonise? Or is the space station really a giant magnet, which is pulling that rogue planet into Earth's orbit so that it can collide with us? Aren't they just trying to spread misinformation about what's really going to happen in order to prevent us from foiling their plans?

You know, even when I try, I can't write shit as loony as these idiots come up with. Check out this site that a visitor linked me to, trying to convince me of the coming doom. He wasn't sane. Be sure to click around some of the links on that site to get the full experience and hilarity.

Note the ending of the first article I linked to:

"People are very gullible," he added. "It a sad testimonial that you need NASA to tell you the world's not going to end."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

De-conversion story 3

Another de-conversion story from a reader:

I'm almost 15 now, but I de-converted myself, with a bit of laughable help, when I was about 8. I attended a catholic primary school and had performed my first communion the year before, and was under the thrall of my lifestyle.

Having had the 'good word' ingrained into my psyche since my birth, quite literally, since I was taken to church frequently whenever my parents could manage it, I saw no reason to disagree(yet). Strange as it may seem, I was a young boy with a burning passion for knowledge. I had just about taught myself to read, and fortunately possess a partially photographic memory. Boastful as it may seem, it just helps to envision the irony of my devotion.

Anyway, I had begun to learn about evolution, and knew enough about science to know that, at a child's level, if it was in a science book, it was true. I also knew that if it was in the bible, it was true. At my level, despite steady immersion in both fields, I had yet to truly discover a conflict. That changed thanks to the TV, from a source that may cause some puzzlement: Ned Flanders.
I'll keep this brief: Ned and Marge were talking over the hedge, and Ned said(something like this): 'If romance is old then call me a caveman, if they existed, which they didn't.' Me: lol.
Later, as I came out of the shower(wierd but I think there a lot), I was shocked: cavemen were real. I knew they were real. I had read about them, seen pictures of their cave-art, and even seen a neanderthal's skeleton. And the bible said they didn't exist.

I suppose this is where many people have come to, and where the choice is made of which to reject. I made my choice through logic, and maybe it'll help someone else too now:
The cavemen existed. You can read about them, and you can see evidence of them all over. You don't meed to believe for them to exist(in the truest sense, that they will have some effect on the material universe, in some measurable way, like the matter in their bones.)

God doesn't exist. He has no measurable effect on the universe, and don't dare say that God working through people is his way of existing, there is enough neurological knowledge available to determine that if someone is hearing voices in their head, they are insane, not divinely inspired.

The main point: science doesn't need you to believe it to exist, but religion does. All do. They NEED you. Your mind is their lifeblood, and they will suck you dry. That is what tipped me.
Do I go for the one that actually exists, or do I go for the one that can only exist in my mind, if I imagine him, and will make me serve him, and will not benefit me in any way.
Sounds like a big heap o' crazy to me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, you had a personal experience?

Believer: "I had a personal experience which I can't explain, so I know it was (insert supernatural explanation here)."

Skeptic: "Oh, you had a personal experience that you can't explain? Well then, I believe you. I believe you because I know that you are familiar with and understand every natural phenomena there is, so if you can't explain it, it must have been supernatural. Not only that, but I also know that your brain is a more advanced version than a regular person's, and it cannot be deceived, hallucinate, or fail to properly perceive a situation."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Those Bible-burning atheist bastards! Wait.... what?

So on Halloween, some dumbass Christians in North Carolina, USA, are going to burn a whole bunch of non-King-James Bibles, along with other books and music on the topic of Christianity. Oh please, please burn some more things:

- Dinosaur Adventure Land
- The Creation Museum
- Ray Comfort's house (wait for his family to leave)
- The Institute for Creation Research
- local churches, synagogues, temples, Scientology centers and mosques (except ones with significant historical or architectural value)

A question for Christian readers, "Are they going to hell for this?"

You can read the short article here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Religion, atheism and charity

I received this message from a reader of the site:

"Can you do a post on charity? I've had this argument with my (religious) girlfriend many times but have yet to win it. She argues that most of the 'very bad' religious events in history really had more to do with non-religious things such as politics or discrimination. Fine and dandy, no problem with that. But then she goes on to argue that the major force of charity - what we would call nonprofit organizations today - is and has always been religious in nature. /That/ I don't really have an argument for."

OK, let me give it a shot. I want to address this from a number of different angles, so I'll break it up by point.

1. It's true that many charities are run by religious organisations. For that, we can be happy. It has been asked to me in the past, by religious people, why there aren't any "atheist charities". Well, the first reason is that atheists don't organise themselves on nearly the same level as religious people do. It has been said that trying to organise atheists is like trying to herd cats. They are independent thinkers by nature. And if you don't believe me, ask yourself why, if your particular country is X% atheist and Y% religious, you don't see X atheist buildings for every Y religious buildings in your town. There are some atheist clubs, sure, but not on nearly the same level, even per capita, as religious groups. I find even the concept of an atheist charity to be silly, because besides alienating a good deal of the population as potential donors, the only reason atheist groups exist is to respond to religious claims of the supernatural and to try to maintain a distance between politics and religion. Setting up a charity for the cause seems kinda pointless.

2. While many charities are religious, many are not, including some of the biggest charities on Earth. Some examples of secular charities (as far as I know) are the Red Cross (despite the logo), United Way, World Wildlife Fund and Doctors Without Borders. And don't try to argue that any charity started by a religious person is therefore inspired by religion, unless you're willing to admit that my charitable donations are inspired by atheism. And if you do take that route, I think you're a fool.

3. I want to question the motivations of religions for doing charity work, and to argue that most religious donors would probably give to charity even if they didn't have theistic beliefs. If you are religious and reading this, do you give to charity solely because of your religion? If the answer is, "No", then we're finished. But if the answer is, "Yes", then what kind of person does that make you? Doesn't that mean that you only act charitably in hopes that you'll get something in return (ie. in the afterlife), or that you only give because you feel obligated to in servitude to your imaginary master? If you think you only give to charity because of your religion, then that either makes you wrong, a liar, or a total jackass! Another point is that some religious organisations only provide their charitable services as a way to spread their religion to populations that don't currently embrace it. After the big tsunami a few years back, there were some Christian groups that provided aid to villages only on the condition that the villagers abandon their beliefs and convert to Christianity. Not exactly noble, is it?

4. I take exception to the argument about past 'very bad religious events' were not truly inspired by religion, but by politics or discrimination. Besides the fact that politics and discrimination often have a large religious component as their justification, any argument about how bad things couldn't have been caused by religion, but were merely using religion as a cover, is unfalsifiable, and therefore worthless. So when good things, like charity, happen and use religion as a cover, it's legitimate, but when bad things happen, it isn't really because of the religion? It's Ray Comfort's "no true Christian would become an atheist, so those people clearly weren't Christians", or "every sane person has a conscience given by a god, so anybody without the same conscience as me is insane". It seems like your girlfriend is trying to do major damage control, and brush the misdeeds of religion and religious people under the carpet. It's total bullshit.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This is not a religious website!

It's hard to name a website these days. When I began this site a little more than a year ago, I wanted my own domain name, not just a Blogger address. So I started searching for availability of some domain names. Because the web is huge now, it was really tough. I think AtheistPropaganda was about my tenth choice, as the other names I thought of were all taken. But now that I have the name, I really like it, and am glad it was available.

The problem is that some people don't read the site, but think from the name that I am a religious believer attacking atheists. They then email me, without ever having read a single post, wondering why I'm being so harsh on atheists. This has happened a few times, with the latest being just a few hours ago. My guess is that these people are spamming religious sites, going from one to the other, copying and pasting the same text into the emails to each one, without ever actually reading the sites. This is probably because reading a post or two would mean they couldn't email quite as many sites in the same amount of time, and they've got spamming to do!

So please, stop emailing me and accusing me of being religious!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A fake, you say?

So the famous Shroud of Turin, thought by a whole lot of Christian believers to be the actual burial cloth of their not-yet-demonstrated-to-even-have-existed saviour, has taken another blow.

It had already been carbon-dated by scientists and shown to have originated closer to our time than to the time of the supposed Jesus. They concluded it was a Medieval forgery. Believers argued that the tests were wrong, and that the image on it could not have been created through any means known to man, especially at that time.

I once saw a TV show on crop circles in the UK. The believers said that there was no way a crop circle like that could have been made by humans, it was too perfect. Some 'experts' agreed with this analysis. Then the program showed two men who claimed to be the pranksters who made the circles. They demonstrated how, using some wood and ropes, they could make the circles in just a few hours. That was enough time to get into the fields after dark and out before sunrise, leaving a 'mysterious' crop circle.

So what do we have in the case of the shroud? A scientist now claims to have made a full-scale reproduction of the shroud, using some fairly simple techniques and materials. Click here to read the article.

Whether or not this turns out to be legitimate, I can't say at this time. If confirmed (science tends to like to actually confirm things, unlike religion), it is just another embarrassment to the religious. Time and time again, they come out with their argument from ignorance that science can't explain this, and science can't explain that. And time and time again, given a little patience, science comes up with an answer. Why haven't these idiots learned their lesson yet? What the fuck is wrong with them?

If you're keeping score, it's now:

Science 1,453,390,446,128 Religion: 0

*It could be argued that just because this image can be reproduced, doesn't mean that the original was made in the same way. That is a fair argument. But it has now been shown that it is at least possible to reproduce the image, and so the argument that it can't be reproduced should be thrown away. Until the religious can actually provide some proof instead of just bitching about the results from science, guess who wins?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

If only her faith were stronger.....

The following is a true story out of Uganda in the last couple of months. I read it in the newspaper while I was there, and have been unable to find it online, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

A woman whose child (I forget the gender) died ran off into the countryside with the body. The police caught up with her days (weeks?) later. The body of the child was already partially decomposed. She said she had taken the body away so that she could resurrect it. She was motivated by the encouragement of her pastor, who told her that it was possible for her to resurrect the body, and that she should go on the run with it.

When she was caught, the pastor got into a lot of trouble with the police. He insisted that resurrection is possible, but that the woman's faith in their (Christian) god was not strong enough, so the gift of power to resurrect the dead had not been granted to her.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The arrogance of clergy

This is my favourite Pat Condell tirade! I'm not usually a huge fan of the guy, but we're in total agreement here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Do Christian Singles

After seeing a bunch of ads for Christian dating sites, I decided to give one a visit. I clicked on profiles of some nice-looking girls, and found this one. (I prefer brunettes.) Read it and see if you know where this post is going.

Are you thinking I'm going to laugh at this part?

"I was home schooled from 1st grade throught 12th grade. Then after I graduated, I went to a Bible college in Abbotsford, Canada B.C. I was there for a year. Then I took 3 years off, when my family and I moved to Wyoming to own a campground. We were there for 4 years. The last year we were there, I did one year of college online through Trinity Bible College."

Yes, I did find that amusing. I'm sure this girl has a well-rounded view of the world, after spending her entire life in Christian schools or being taught by her Christian parents. It seems she's trying to pass that off as a real education. There is no mention of her major, but it probably didn't involve critical thinking. I see a college that fits the description offers programs such as 'Bachelor of Worship Arts'.

So what's the real reason that I made this post? It's this part:

"I am so thankful to be alive! I was born three months premature and only weighed 2lbs. 4oz. I spent three months in the hospital and almost died several times. But through a lot of prayer and the grace of God, I am alive and well today!!"

Notice that she gives no credit at all to the doctors and nurses who worked on her, or the medical technology which aided her survival? All of the credit and her thanks go to her imaginary friend! Oh, and let's not forget the prayer!

If that's how things work, why don't we just throw premature babies into the rain gutter at the side of the road? If it's a god's will that they survive, then they'll survive! And if it's a god's will that they die, they'll die! Why do we bother to use all of these fancy machines, such as incubators, to keep them alive? Come to think of it, why do we intervene in medical cases at all? Why do we even put our food in the fridge? Won't our god protect us by preventing bacteria from growing on the food, or just keep us from getting sick if bacteria are present?

Sweetie, you're a good-looking girl, and you're welcome to send me naked photos of yourself (click the contact link at the top-left of the page), but I just don't think our relationship is going to work out if you're such a ditz.

I've posted on this kind of thing before.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is this kind of thing even news anymore?

I'm shocked! SHOCKED, I Say!

A Roman Catholic Bishop wanted on kiddie porn charges. Who would have thought? Why, oh why, can't I be as moral as these Christians? Please Christians, teach me how to be as moral as you! I am clearly lost, and need guidance to more effectively behave badly now and ask for forgiveness later.

And to you people who think this guy is going to have eternal bliss and I'm going to be eternally tortured, go fuck yourselves.

As an added note, "The former leader of the diocese of Antigonish is perhaps best known as the man who helped broker a $15-million settlement with people who said they had been sexually abused by priests in the diocese, in some cases dating back to 1950. That settlement was approved by a Nova Scotia court on Sept. 10."

Read the entire article here.