Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Atheist Charity in India

I'm traveling in India at the moment and have an anecdote I'd like to share.

I often get religious visitors on this site asking sarcastically where all of the "atheist charities" are.  I try to explain to them that it seems silly to me to start an explicitly atheist charity, as I cannot see the purpose.  Besides alienating a good deal of the population, there is as much reason to start an atheist charity as there is to start a charity for people who don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster.  I then try to explain that there are many non-religious charities in the world, which we refer to as secular charities.  Some of the world's biggest and most well-known charities belong to this category, such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, the World Wildlife Fund, etc.  It's also worth noting that the largest giving team on Kiva.org is the Atheist team, with the Christian team a distant second place.  I've written about this topic of charities before.

So I just met an Indian lady who runs a charity which is doing work that I feel is critical to the future of India both economically and environmentally.  I won't explicitly identify the charity or its work, in order to protect the innocent.  She is a lady who volunteers her time selflessly and who is passionate about the work she is doing to help improve and preserve her country.  She confessed to me that she is an atheist, and her two partners in running the charity are also atheists.  I was immediately intrigued by this admission of atheism by members of a society which I had considered to be one of the most religious on the planet.  I asked her if she was able to freely express this to her own society, and she said she could not.  She told me that Indian people don't like people who don't pray, and her two partners fake religious belief in public by participating in prayers.  She told me that it could be dangerous both to herself and to her work if she was identified publicly as a non-believer.

Another interesting point is that despite being non-religious, this lady uses religion to further the goals of her charity.  She works with some of the most uneducated people in the world.  I'm talking about the kind of people who have no schools in their villages and who know very little of the world outside of those villages.  So she uses one thing these people do know, their religious myths, to relate to them and to put the charity's work into terms that they can understand.  She pretends to share their beliefs in order for her charity to function.

One can never tell just how many atheists there are in a society which will punish lack of belief.  And those atheists are capable of doing good work just because they care.  I care too, and I have just become a significant donor to this particular charity.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A test of your faith

A new campaign in the United States is predicting that the biblical rapture will take place on May 21st, 2011.  They're beginning to put up billboards in various parts of the country.

I'd like to propose a test of faith for any Christian (or anybody else, really) who believes this is true.  Will you sign over all of your possessions to me?  Will you enter into a legally-binding contract that says that I become the owner of everything you own on the date of May 22nd, 2011?  You will have already been taken up in the rapture, so you will have no need for them.  I could probably use them to barter with the remaining unsaved masses for things like food and basic protection.

I'm serious here.  Will you do it?  If not, then you really don't have faith in this, do you?  Deep down, you know it's total bullshit and are only pretending to believe in order to cover your own ass, hoping that the omniscient god of the bible will not see through your pathetic ruse, if the events do take place.  If yes, please contact me using the link in the left sidebar and we'll make arrangements to have the legal paperwork done.  Serious offers only, please.  Don't waste my time.  Also, the contract must not contain any conditional statements such as, "If the rapture has already occurred....."  This is unconditional.  I become the owner of everything you own on the date of May 22nd, 2011, regardless of what may or may not have occurred previously.  Period.

**I should add that I do not want your debts, or any live creature that requires care, such as a pet or child.  On the plus side for you, I may donate some of your assets to the very same charities that will be helping your foolish ass when you're left penniless and without a home.  I may even allow you to remain in your home, if you can find a way to pay me my monthly rent.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You think you're some kind of genius or something?

I was watching this live via the web broadcast and was waiting for somebody to post it to YouTube.  It had to go on my site immediately.  It's one of the most amusing and one-sided demolitions of a moron that I've ever encountered.

Listen to what happens when a Christian calls The Atheist Experience show and tries to argue about the immorality of lustful thoughts, why atheists don't run around with guns raping people, Christian punishment, and then asks the hosts if everybody else is too dumb to figure out that Christianity is bullshit.  Fun stuff!

Christians, if you don't want to get laughed at so much, stop being so incredibly stupid!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Top Evidences for Creation!

A reader sent me a link to this site and asked me to address it.  It's some moron's list of what he believes are pieces of evidence for biblical creationism.  Let's get started by addressing the 13th and final 'evidence', which should establish the intellectual dishonesty of the author immediately.

13.  The Bible is true. The history of the Bible is true. The words of the Bible concerning our origins were given to men to write down, by God, who was the only living being present. We were not there! God said He created the universe. God said He created all living things. We know that life is much more than chemicals. God put His life into Adam and that life has been transferred from generation to generation all the way down to us!

Well then, that settles it!  The Bible says creationism is true, so there you go!  We don't need no fucking evidence!  That was the site's big finale.

1. The instructions for how to build, operate, and repair living cells represent a vast amount of information (estimated at 12 billion bits). Information is a mental, non-material concept. It can never arise from a natural process and is always the result of an intelligence..... Modifying the DNA via mutation can never produce new genetic information to drive upward evolution, just as spilling coffee on the newspaper, thereby modifying the distribution of the ink, will never improve the story.

Ah, the Atheist's Riddle.  I just happen to be the author and host of Google's top-ranked page when somebody searches for "atheist's riddle", ranking even above the riddle's actual website, so why don't I just link to that?  Also, the last claim about mutations not being able to create beneficial mutations is false.  I know one example off the top of my head, despite not being a biologist, and that is the upgrade from 2-colour vision to 3-colour vision among old-world primates (including us).  I'd also like to reference the TalkOrigins.org - An Index to Creationist Claims.  Check out here and here if you want some actual examples of beneficial mutations, backed by scientific papers.  The author of the creationist website is ignorant and/or lying.

2. Non-living chemicals cannot become alive on their own..... The “Law of Biogenesis” states that life comes only from prior life.

Luckily for me, I just did a post on this.  So exactly which kind of biological entity is your god?  Also, check the TalkOrigins site here.  The creationist author does not know what the Law of Biogenesis is or when it applies.

I'm starting to get bored now.  The next 2 items in the list are basically "design is apparent" and "irreducible complexity".  Both arguments have already lost in science's court and lost in the court of law in the Dover trial.  I'm wondering at this point if anybody else has noticed what I've noticed, which is that none of these claims, except for the ridiculous #13, are actually evidences for creationism, let alone the creationism proposed by the Bible, even if they are completely true.  They are attempting to use an argument from ignorance and false dichotomy to avoid proving their case.  If evidence for evolution collapses tomorrow, that is not evidence for creationism, biblical or otherwise.  Prove that YOUR story is true, you fucking cowards!

Want to see another example of an argument from ignorance?

12. Many creatures reproduce asexually. Why would animals abandon simpler asexual reproduction in favor of more costly and inefficient sexual reproduction? Sexual reproduction is a very complex process that is only useful if fully in place. For sexual reproduction to have evolved complimentary male and female sex organs, sperm and eggs, and all the associated machinery in tandem defies the imagination.

Gee, I can't imagine how this could have happened, therefore rather than trying to figure it out, I'm going to claim "goddidit".  That's good enough for me and my intellect.

Let's close with,

11. Language separates man from the animals. No animal is capable of achieving anything like human speech, and all attempts to teach chimpanzees to talk have failed. Evolutionists have no explanation for the origin of human language.

See this post.  The author is also equating language and speech, which is bullshit, as any sign-language 'speaker' will tell you.  Animals may not be able to speak like humans (or maybe they can, in their own way, such as dolphins), but they can use language.  This is a proven fact.  They're not as good at it as we are, but they can do it.  The foundation for future development is there.  The creationist author is again lying and/or ignorant.  Also, the last assertion about no explanation for human language, even if it is true, is an argument from ignorance, an intellectual lie, and does not support creationism, biblical or otherwise, in any way.