Nov 10, 2011

My Five Favorite 'The Thinking Atheist' Videos on YouTube

My fellow non-believers and I often find ourselves challenged and/or reprimanded for not having the same beliefs as others do. It is an all-too-popular belief that because we don't accept at least one of the thousands and thousands of interpretations of the hundreds of religious documents presented throughout history that, we are somehow, "evil."

If only there were some sort of a resource so that we can know we are not alone in this life. Well, there is. They call themselves 'The Thinking Atheist.' And I'm here to share with you five of their presentations which have re-affirmed my belief that humanity just might have a chance at making it, after all.

The Center of All Things
- I want to open up this introduction to 'The Thinking Atheist' with this particular video, if for no other reason than, perhaps an explanation might help to clear up some confusion about atheists in general. It's not that we have a hatred for those things religious. We only seem angry when others insist that mankind hold itself back out of fear of offending a deity who has not been proven to exist. Religion has served its role in humanity's history. But it is now time for us to move on.

Woman, Be Silent! - The Thinking Atheist Radio Podcast #33 - As the title suggests, this YouTube presentation isn't so much a stand-alone video, but a recorded radio podcast on an extremely important topic. For far too long we, as a species, have failed miserably in cherishing women. This presentation puts into perspective just how terrible the fairer sex has been treated, and how the treatment has been justified by dogma.

Ghosts, Ghouls and Bats in the Belfry - The Thinking Atheist Radio Podcast #31 - Also a recorded radio podcast, this presentation from 'The Thinking Atheist' brings up the topic of the silliness of hauntings and other paranormal claims. I especially wanted to share this episode for my own personal reasons, and found it will probably benefit those struggling with similar issues as I have. The discussion proves valuable.

Divine Protection - It's about time someone comes up with the examples of real-world scenarios demonstrating just how illogical the concept of "Divine Protection" really is. The questions asked in this video is a genuine eye-opener for anyone courageous enough to be honest with themselves.

Welcome To This World - This presentation is not just a well-done presentation, it is - in fact - the greatest summation of religious philosophy I've ever heard. If any believer never hears or sees any other presentation from 'The Thinking Atheist,' I hope they experience this one. Could there possibly be anything wrong with helping the religious leaders of the world to simplify their own message into a digestible bite?

Sources: Embedded

Originally published on

Nov 1, 2011

Everyone is noble

The old man was already seated at his table, as usual. It seemed to me, no matter how early I tried to be, he was already there for each lesson. The thought passed through my mind that he might always be there. As I sat and the waitress brought me my coffee, he began his lesson for the week, in his usual catch-me-off-guard sort of way.

“Everything everyone does, ultimately, is from a noble place in their heart.” For once I had no immediate, smart-ass remark. I thought perhaps he had gone off the deep end finally, as old as he was. After a few seconds of silence, the response which I knew that he knew was coming, did. “What? That makes no sense.” “Of course it does,” was his reply. Based on every other meeting I'd ever had with the old man, I knew he'd eventually win. So, rather than argue, I chose to remember that I knew absolutely nothing, and I prepared myself to learn something, yet again.

“You mean even a homeless drunk on the street, who chooses to stay drunk all the time, rather than contribute to society, is acting from a noble place in his heart?” He said, “Remember, I said 'ultimately.' And you must also remember what 'noble' means. Do you remember?” My head nodded in agreement before my brain was aware it did, in fact, agree.

“The drunk you reference, is he so different than you, when you smoked grass all those years? Why did you smoke so much pot?” After a bit of honest self-analysis, I remembered I was trying to hide from my own pain. “I was hiding from my problems,” I replied. “You were hiding from an onslaught of mental anguish. You were trying to cope with your own failures, shortcomings and previous bad choices, were you not?” Through the stinging harsh truth, my eyes confirmed he had me pegged. The kindness in his eyes reminded me he understood. Once again, I opened the door for another lesson as difficult and painful as it would be liberating. The old man never disappointed me there.

“Is a person not, at least, valuable to themselves, and therefore deserving to manage whatever pain and suffering they may be struggling with?” He saw I was listening actively, and continued. “Although they may be going about in the wrong way, that 'drunken bum' (making air quotes) means well. He's just misinformed. He's merely unaware of a better way, like so many. Like you were once.”

“Thieves steal, because in their confusion about life, it seems to be the fastest way to fulfill a need. Killers kill from a desire for some sense of justice, as perverted as it might seem to us. Liars lie out of a need for self-protection. Bullies on a playground abuse others, as hard as it may be to understand right now, out of a yearning for love, understanding and friendship.”

“So, how could they be shown a better way?” I asked in my naivete. “That's not the point of today's lesson,” he answered. “The point of today's lesson is for you to learn how to cope with what seems to be stupidity from others.” Taking another sip of coffee as I wrestled with the thought, he continued, “Until you learn to completely master your own emotions, forget helping others. You would only amplify the problem – and that's not why we came here. Learn how to not hate your enemies and you'll never waste a drop of energy. That gives you more resources to win the battle ahead of you.”

The waitress, in all her glory, somehow knew this week's lesson was over and brought our check. He grabbed it before I could. “My turn,” was all he said, smiling. Since he grabbed the check, I left the tip. It was the perfect yin and yang arrangement.

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