I’ve been drawn into an interesting discussion on a few other blogs. It started the other day while watching the TODAY show as I dressed for work. Matt Lauer had his panel of “experts” addressing controversial topics of the day, and one of them involved “outsourcing” Christmas obligations, like shopping, card sending etc, and the propriety of doing so. In the course of the conversation, Nancy Snyderman said she didn’t like the religious element of Christmas, in effect, it’s what ruins it for her. It was a short exchange, not well fleshed out, but it was clear there was a disagreement between Star Jones, who felt “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” while Snyderman did not.
Atheists are often accused of being too outspoken, too militant, to strident. Our mere presence in society offends many people, all of them religious in one way or the other. Our existence is a reminder that the religious worldview is not the only one, that there is some possibility that they might be wrong about their beliefs in the supernatural, which beliefs forms a major component of how they deal with the day to day exigencies of life. We’re simply telling them that their beliefs, their vision of reality, could be wrong. Since there is an underlying current of insecurity in those beliefs, we make them nervous.
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.
One of the major lines of demarcation and a constant source of disagreement between theists and atheists is that of Life. Primarily human life, but in general, all life. How did living things get their beginnings, how did we come about as a result of creation? It’s one of the great mysteries of…ummm…life. How life began.
And of course, most theists believe that life began when their particular god created them. Christians believe the story in the Bible about Adam and Eve, either literally or figuratively. In either case, it’s a supernatural being that consciously and affirmatively decided to create that which we call life. Other religions have their own creation myths, but they all share a beginning story that attempts to explain how we got here.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing, especially when I see that someone else has done a much better job at it, in a more succinct way, with fun graphics and sound.
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.
Harold Camping Admits Rapture Prediction May Have Been a Mistake
The Washington Post reports that America’s favorite Rapture-loving nonagenarian, Harold Camping, is now admitting the obvious: That he may have made a mistake when he predicted that the world would end on May 21 and October 21 this year.
Isn’t the fact that it didn’t occur, twice now, proof positive? Why the hedge?
Rick Perry prays for rain to help drought inflicted Texas, way, way back in April, and the drought is worse than it was in April. Damn, is this not the stupidest, the silliest thing you’ve ever seen a Governor do? From the official State of Texas issued Proclamation:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on those days for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.
It’s now so bad, fires have destroyed whole neighborhoods in Austin, the State capital. Let’s hope he doesn’t issue a proclamation declaring a day of prayer to rid the state of locusts.
God seems to be really fucking up in the oversight department. First we have that earthquake on the east coast which, according to Michelle Bachmann, was to let us know that god disapproves of our current fiscal policy. Then Hurricane Irene forces the cancellation of the Jimmy Buffet concert in Bristow, VA. This is serious shit! Since I had tickets, I can only presume god was pissed off at me for that time I…well, that’s between me and him.
Now, a drought so bad, despite pleas to god for just enough rain to make it go away, it’s clear he has a different agenda than Rick Perry. I hear those people in Austin, the Texas version of San Francisco, can be a little light in the loafers, if you know what I mean <wink, wink, nudge, nudge> so maybe god’s actually trying to destroy the city.
Obviously, if he was going to fix the drought, his aim is clearly off. We’ve had so much rain here in Pennsylvania, this is shaping up to be the second wettest season in weather-keeping history, yet Texas needs the water. What the fuck is god thinking? That because Texas is south of us the water will run downhill?
Or maybe, just maybe, god’s laughing at Rick Perry for being such a twit in the science department, coming out in favor of Intelligent Design as science and all. He’s saying “if you think prayers make rain, let me show you how nature actually works.”
Perhaps everyone in Texas should stop praying for rain. Because either god is incompetent, or Rick Perry is.
And we all know god doesn’t exist.