I spent so many years thinking all these silly vestments, and hats, and rituals, and incense and ringing bells and holy days all meant something. But it’s all just a way to make the flock feel like there is some significance to the equally silly pretensions underlying all religion. It’s just an elaborate smokescreen to paint a veneer of respectability over a much more insidious process happening outside our view.
My good friend JohnEvo (a/k/a The Ancient Atheist, tho’ he’s not so ancient) sent me a link to this video. This is a really good example of the contention that religion has simply become a big business. Here we have a doctor, one schooled, presumably, in science and the necessity of basing the application of medicine on evidence, who’s simply shilling for a book he wrote that supposedly presents evidence for human resurrection. He travels the Extreme Christian circuit of talk shows, web sites and other forms of media hawking his book. The video blogger who created it makes a good case that there’s big bucks in the process, which, to understate it, somewhat diminishes the credibility of the claims.
I must give a plug to an organization I’ve joined here in Central Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Nonbelievers. Last night I was invited to speak to them at their monthly meeting, and for a free meal, I agreed. Actually, I would have done it without the fine culinary compensation, as I found the meeting to be pleasantly enjoyable, and the members quite congenial, despite my initial trepidation brought on by irrational stage fright. I’m used to speaking in a courtroom, or arguing cases before a panel of judges, but addressing a crowd, albeit as cozy and intimate as this was, tucked into the back room of a local restaurant, was still a new experience. But in the end I’m glad they asked me, as I discovered that as long as I’m talking about something I’m qualified to talk about (in this case – me), the term “verbal diarrhea” actually has personal meaning. I needed the humbling experience. It’s good for my
If you go to the YouTube link, there are links from the creator of the video to his sources.
(Not sure I’d miss the entertainers.) 😦
We spend a lot of time here on the Atheosphere debating the fine nuances between the religious worldview and the atheist worldview. From our Point of View, the religious just don’t have a clue, and they think the same of us. We think that a rational, skeptical, humanistic, evidence-based way of grasping reality is the way to go, or as my grandmother used to say, the cat’s pajamas. Theists think that having faith, blind or otherwise, in an unseen and unknowable supernatural entity is also the equivalent of wearing sleepwear manufactured for members of the feline persuasion. In effect, we are debating opposing views of reality.
One of the raging debates in the atheosphere, not to mention the rest of the reality based community, is what atheists should call themselves. One might say “Well, duh! Atheists!” However for a number of reasons that has become more and more unsatisfactory.
I want to thank everybody who responded to my last post, The Christian Double Standard, and to Gabe for his contribution. I asked Christians to give me their take on the scenario, and query, set up my my correspondent (and Gabe, if you’re reading, I’d love to hear your take on it too). I actually received quite a few responses, primarily from the WordPress Tag system, and I think it was a good set of responses. It didn’t change my mind at all, and probably didn’t change too many Christians either, as this particular dialog goes on daily, with little change in the demographic positions, but is intellectually stimulating nonetheless.
Since this is the beginning of my second year of blogging, this seems like an auspicious occasion to dip into the mailbag and review a few of the letters I’ve received over the past year. (They’re actually emails, but mailbag still works as a metaphor.) Some of them are complimentary, some not so, as you might expect from a blog of this sort, but I don’t shy away from criticism, so I’ll reproduce the good with the bad, warts and all. With one semi-exception (explained below) none of these ever showed up in comments.