Showing posts with label free thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free thought. Show all posts

Jun 8, 2014

Perp Francis the Talking Mule Sure Is Getting Desperate

COMMENTARY | Way back in the day, when the world refused to accept anyone else as “God's elect” or any claims of dominion over them, the ancient Jews invented the religion of Christianity, in an attempt to bring all Gentiles under the control and enslavement of their archetype, thereby usurping Human psychic energies under the control of a select few.

As Christianity was inflicted upon Humanity via the Inquisition, free-thinking rebellious souls refused this template for the mindset required for obedient slaves, so, Islam - under the just-as-mythical Elijah Muhammed - was the next attempt at preventing humanity from discovering their own spiritual power.

And, for quite some time, those select few did enjoy unchallenged power over the world. The latest monster-at-the-helm is known as Pope Francis.

Then, with the invention of the Internet, the free flow of information began. With this knowledge – the revelation of who is behind the world's ills - all of Humanity has been exposed to the truth of their own enslavement. This knowledge has shaken the very foundation of power, enjoyed for far too long by those who saw the non-Jew as nothing more than “goyim.”

Now, those who would bring back the Dark Ages – given the chance – are finding themselves facing the very real threat of irrelevance. Their false guilt has failed. Their threats of Hell as punishment for the “disobedient” has failed. Their false claims of “love” are exposed as nothing more than the type of love a farmer would have for his cattle.

They are desperate. They are scared. This is good.

According to Alarabiya News, the Vatican is hosting Islamic prayers at the Vatican, for the first time in history This author cannot help but see this as an act of desperate solidarity against the free-thinking Human minds which will no longer accept their own enslavement and the abuses suffered for so long. We have had enough.

The National Catholic Register announced this event last Friday and this author is only surprised to have missed the announcement. This event comes as a follow-up to the meeting between Perp Francis the Talking Mule and the Nation of Israel last May.

How can any thinking Human not be thrilled by such news? It seems, finally, we are witnessing the death-throes of an abusive, monstrous, vicious and tyrannical reign of the very people who would destroy evreything and everyone they can not control.

And, mark these words down – They will not control us. We are not your cattle.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect those of any agent, employee, member or sponsors of this website – or quite possibly anyone else, for that matter.

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Originally posted on Bubblews here.
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Jun 1, 2014

Sunday Bible Study; John 12:24 (KJV, Red Letter Edition)

BLASPHEMY | I awoke particularly early this morning, around 3:00 a.m. In spite of not having gone to sleep until around midnight, I was wide awake and not going back to sleep. Since I was visiting a friend who had a small collection of books, it seemed the perfect companion with my coffee would be some good reading.

Over to the bookshelf I went, I wanted to find something more than the collection of religion-themed books. But, for some reason, I was drawn to a generic marketing book titled “The Seed Principle.” There was no author listed and it seemed to be another mass-produced book distributed to keep crutch-goers paying their “tithes” obediently.

(You know, the old “send me money and Gawd's gonna bless you” tactic used by prosperity-pimps like Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar – not exactly the kind of works I normally read and still, I was compelled.)

Not understanding why I was even considering reading this woo-woo, I asked my Guides and Guardians why I was spending as much as one irreplaceable second of my life reading this, trusting them anyway, knowing they've never failed me before and something good was coming.

That's when it happened. Picture a block of text on the page standing out clearer and more vivid than the rest of the page. In typical fashion of not understanding the gist of the texts they pretended to work with, the pretenders who put together this particular book made the error of using a quote from the bible, seemingly, just because it contained the word “seed” and in spite of having nothing to do with money or prosperity in general. The quote was from The twelfth chapter of John, verse twenty-four.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Here's the verse itself.

What a wonderful gift, this little line of text. It reveals much. I think, if professional preachers and apologists can use the bible to justify the scam of Christianity, it can also be used to dismantle Christianity, thereby helping at least one more fellow slave escape, hopefully.

Within the referenced verse, we have the words of Jesus himself making a statement which not only seems to be a non-sequitur to the rest of John chapter 12 but also, completely inaccurate.

When a seed is planted, the seed itself does not die. Were a seed to die, there would be no germination. No germination – no plant.

It seems to me, were this Jesus character to be anything more than just another man with anything more than the common knowledge of the era, he would have known this. Personally, with the way this particular chapter flows – as just one example – the whole story strikes me as a reverse-engineered fiction in the first place and Jesus nothing more than a convenient marketing device.

I find it particularly strange how the bible itself lacks any knowledge not available to any human who paid close attention to life. No “god” needed. This one, individual point is enough to demonstrate the bible is not, in fact, “divinely inspired” in any way. Others may try explaining it as "human error" or something "planted by Satan" to distract the faithful. But, before you do, would such an explanation not further demonstrate the bible to be as fallible as fallible can be? "Verily, verily I tell YOU," if we cannot rely upon the words of Jesus himself to be truthful, then WHY continue referring to this book as "infallible? Why?

It is time we humans finally find the courage to stand up in the face of tyrants-in-the-name-of-god once and for all, challenging its so-called infallibility. It is anything but.

And now, I must wonder if those apologists and crusaders will try again to demonstrate the mental acrobatics necessary to explain away this point and continue in their suspension of disbelief - or will I more likely see myself ignored by the devotedly self-deceptive masses, yet again? Bring me your best. I want to understand and invite you to try. If your god is a god and he made the human mind, then surely he would understand why I need evidence and would make it available to people like me.

This post was originally shared on Bubblews.



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Jun 4, 2012

Islam is Dangerous, Outdated and Should Be Rejected by All

COMMENTARY | Of all the world's religions, Islam has proven time and again to be one of the greatest threats to modern thought, freedom and life. Compared to the dangers of Islam, Christianity is relatively benign - and I say that as an atheist, myself.

Reuters reports of Hamad al-Naqi, a Kuwaiti who was convicted of "insulting the prophet Mohammed" and given a 10-year sentence for this victimless crime. Al-Naqi is losing a decade of his freedom for insulting a dead man. Also, there were some in the courtroom who wanted him executed for this so-called crime of "insulting" a mere man some 1400-plus years dead. Somehow, I'm of the impression no dead man feels the sting of any insult and even if he did, is it worth taking a man's life over?

Islam is a danger to society and humanity for other reasons too. Consider the point in Sharia law that calls for the death of anyone choosing to leave Islam. It matters not if said apostate is a convert or born into this brand of faith. Allah is considered so great that, should you choose to not follow him, your life is moot, your value as a human being null.

Some Muslims will argue this law is not stated in the Quran but rather in the Hadith and Sira. The fact remains many Muslims are comfortable with the idea of executing apostates and infidels. This is not acceptable within modern civilization. Any group that uses death threats to retain membership has no place in modern life and is a direct threat to individual freedom.

We must remember the violence in response to a Danish cartoonist's publication of images of Mohammed in 2005. Altogether, the protests resulted in 100 deaths and the controversy lasted until as recently as 2012. Any religion with such vehement hatred for free expression must be kept in check.

Add to these points the recent, numerous "honor killings" in the West - and elsewhere - oppression of women in general and a disdain for any open discussion questioning Islam and we have a religious cult scarier than anything Christianity could dream up.






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Jan 16, 2012

The Bible is Anti-American-Video

When someone says a comment such as mine, that the Bible is anti-American, I can imagine the sounds of panties getting into bunches all over the country. But it's true, just the same. All feelings aside, that book is not a source for any guidelines of a free and just society.

Let's be clear: I'm not saying goodness ia anti-American. I'm not saying morality is anti-American. The people of America are – in fact – some of the best, most moral and even generous people who have ever lived. This commentary has nothing to do with any of that though.

Read that book. I won't accept anyone saying “but I have.” If you can try telling me that book has anything to do with liberty and freedom, then I can call bullshit, because you've obviously never read those legends about the brutal dictator of a sky god humanity once worshiped. I hope you enjoy the video.


Come visit me on DonPennington.info.

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 DonPennington.info.

Oct 22, 2011

Five things you should know about atheists from one non-believer's point-of-view

Over the years I've seen a lot of statements made by the religious of society about atheism. With the advent of social networking bringing people closer together world-wide, now seems a good time to explain a few things about which there are many baseless assumptions. Admittedly, my position on this topic can only be written from my limited, human, individual perspective. Later in life, I may very well find myself to be completely wrong, but I doubt it. I'd love to hear from my readers. Comments are welcome. Attacks will be laughed at.

We atheists are individuals, just like you. We don't all agree. One of the most pervasive assumptions I see made about we non-believers is that we're all Communists or Socialists. While it may be true of some of us, it's also true that there have been a good number of Christian and/or Muslim and/or Jewish and/or Hindu Socialists and/or Communists. A person's political belief system may be tied in with their religious beliefs/non-beliefs somewhat, but it's not always the case. Adolf Hitler embraced Christianity. His Nazi army even had belt-buckles with the slogan “Gott mit uns” emblazoned on them. Would you consider him a good person, based solely upon his religious beliefs?



To expect all individuals within any demographic to be the same is just silly and ignorant. I used to assume that all believers fit into specific categories in other aspects of life too, and fell for the “no true Scotsman” argument like so many others. But fortunately, I came to learn there are good and bad people within any group in life. Assuming that all atheists want a totalitarian government is like saying all white people have blue eyes – it's obviously not true. Like the joke says: “Blanket statements never work.”

Most of us are not anti-church. I love the idea of a stronger community. It just so happens to be what keeps us alive as a species. To know that groups of people, otherwise unrelated, get together and share time with one another – well – that's just wonderful! I also like the good things people do for one another within churches. I even have a favorite church myself!

They saved my life once, and they didn't use guilt or brainwashing or threats of fire and brimstone for eternity to do it, either. I've seen – first hand - the good things people can do for one another and churches do serve a purpose of being a “central clearinghouse” for such activities. They can, anyway. Unfortunately far too many churches express a doctrine of fear, ignorance and hate. It's those things which we non-believers (and a good number of believers) can't stand. I also do not think religious people are necessarily stupid. I just believe they're mistaken.

We do good too. I've seen the accusation that atheists are not charitable. That's simply not true. Just to name a couple of charities based on something other than a hope for reward in the after-life, we have this list from a friend. Just because we don't share the same dogma doesn't mean we don't feel empathy. Love is just as biological as the need for food.

Most of us recognize there are still a lot of mysteries about the universe. Here's where I'm most likely to catch crap from my fellow non-believers. I believe in the existence of life on other planets. I also believe there are certain forms of energy which we as humans do not quite understand yet, and they warrant study. No, I don't believe there is any sort of invisible sky-pimp ready to pop people into a place of eternal torment for not sprinkling goat blood in the middle of the temple floor. But I do believe that ancient peoples would sometimes use the term "God" or “the spirit realm” as an analogy to try and answer some of the other mysteries of life within their very limited scope of knowledge.

If you doubt whether we humans have any sort of as-yet-to-be-understood qualities try this. The next time you're sitting behind a stranger (at the library or a restaurant or wherever) stare at the back of their head. Keep staring. Focus on them. Shortly, you'll see them start scratching the back of their head, they'll begin looking around and eventually, they turn to make eye-contact with you. As a control, only do this with someone sitting by themselves, as to eliminate the possibility of a companion telling them “Hey, that fat guy sitting behind you is staring at you.”

We also have yet to fully understand intuition, and then there's that ability we all have to “sense” whether someone can be trusted, after nothing more than the first handshake and eye contact. Do I think this is anything “metaphysical?” No. Do I think it's anything “spiritual,” (as in the religious use of the word)? No. I do, however believe there are many, many wonderful and amazing things about being a living creature we have yet to understand fully. That's the beautiful thing about science, though. We welcome mysteries as something to be solved. As we learn more and realize we were wrong previously, the knowledge base is updated.

Most of us know more about your religion(s) than most of you do. I'm not saying this as any sort of in-your-face type of insult. There's a study supporting my claim. Last September 28, 2010, the Pew Research Center reported that out of all categories of belief systems, atheists and agnostics got more correct answers out of the 32 questions posed in a survey about religion. It makes sense, actually. If more people would just stop listening to what folks tell them about their religion and actually read their religious texts they'd likely see the documents as the invention of primitive, Iron Age nomads that they are. Then, we can get on with the business of treating each other properly. I know it was a thorough, cover-to-cover reading of the King James bible which finally helped me to choose to not believe in anything not verifiable.

Oct 15, 2011

Religious Bigotry Raises Its Ugly Head Again

FIRST PERSON | For the life of me, I just don't understand the reasoning behind insisting on inflicting my own personal beliefs on everyone else around me. But, then again, I am an atheist. In spite of what readers may hear from the media and from the pulpit-of-their-choice, I'm not out to wreck your religion. I'm just one of millions who wants to live my life in peace. I simply have no need for a God. Life itself is fascinating as it is.

Mankind has lived with one form of mass religion or another over the centuries and we've finally reached a point wherein we non-believers are not burned at the stake just for questioning the church. Still, we find ourselves chastised by Conservatives on TheBlaze.com for doing nothing more than demanding secular government and real science being taught in our tax-funded schools.

At the end of the above-referenced article, the author asks "Will a growing list of non-believers attempt to influence elections here in America as well? While Christianity is still somewhat of a litmus test here in the U.S., there's no telling what the future holds as secularists continue to grow in both numbers and boldness." Sorry, Mr Hallowell. Article 6 of our Constitution prohibits a religious test for those seeking office, and that's the point. We are not a theocracy.

Some of us in this world find it terribly unjust to live under the thumb of someone else's religious dogma. We are the ones disgusted by a politician's pandering to the religious of society in order to score votes. Sadly, in the minds of many, the biggest crime committed by we secularists and humanists is doubting the claims made by those referencing some sort of divine authority. Here in America, we've had thousands and thousands of political leaders who claim to be acting under some sort of religious authority - all the while selling out their fellow countrymen time and again for their own political aspirations. Evil is as evil does, my friends.

We atheists are just as flawed, human, and likely to screw up as any other person is. So, why the problem with someone running for office, based on their religious beliefs or lack thereof? Does the God who demanded 9/11 be committed have any good answers? No. Does the Almighty who told the Pope to shelter pedophiles have any solutions? Not likely. So, let's try hiring our elected officials based on what they can do for the country, and not because they pretend to hear some spiritual voices. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic. My sponsors only ask 5 seconds of your time first, and then, speak your mind!


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Aug 11, 2011

Breivik doesn't let Islam off of the hook: All Muslims should read this

Just because the entire civilized world agrees that what Anders Breivik did in Norway was horrible does not, by any means, let Islam off the hook. Muslim leaders are still a bunch of assholes for what they do to their own people.

When Muslim church leaders anywhere demand their obedient followers to sexually mutilate young girls for those primitive religious customs, it's still twisted and sick. When the Qu'ran commands that women be subjugated, as if they're some sort of property and not people, it's still sick. Honor killings have nothing to do with honor.

When violence is committed in the name of Allah-the-imaginary-sky-pimp, it's still nothing more than pointless, murderous violence. Just because some fool in a turban and a dirty beard tells you the voices in his head say it's a good thing, doesn't mean it is.

Just because some old pervert in the desert hundreds of years ago wrote down that it's good thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifo be terrible to others, doesn't make it so. Just because your religious leaders tell you that a book was written by Allah, does not, in any way, shape, form, or fashion mean they are telling you the truth.

I have often criticized Christianity, but only because I was raised a Christian. I was raised a Christian because I was born in a part of the world where Christianity has been the dominant religion. Were I to have been born in the Middle East, it's very likely I would have been raised under Islam, just like the majority of Muslims everywhere. I can only hope that I would be as critical of the bullshit and myths of Islam, as I have been towards Christianity.

Muslims need to understand something. Back when Christianity was as young of a religion as yours is now, they too used the “convert-or-die” marketing approach. In those efforts, a good amount of very terrible things were done on the church's behalf to others. Although those atrocities were committed in the name of the church, they were still very wrong. Those of you Muslims being led to believe violence in the name of Allah to be proper have also been led astray. Your leaders have lied to you, too.

If your God (or your God's spokesperson anyway) is telling you to advance your cause by violence, it is not because your imaginary sky fairy (or his spokesperson anyway) is “mighty.” It is because your God (or his spokesperson anyway) is insane. You do not have to obey, just because they tell you to. Resist the insanity.

Ask yourself this, my Muslim friend: The next time you're in your mosque, and some man is standing in front of you saying he is speaking on your God's behalf; is it really that deity speaking through that man? Or, is it a man telling you he is?

Suppose I were to tell you the spirit of Elvis Presley were speaking through me? Even if I did a real good impersonation of his voice, and had his moves down pat, and even knew facts about his life, does that mean it's really Elvis Presley speaking through me? No. It just means that is what I'm telling you, and nothing more.

So, your prophet Mohammed told you he was inspired by some angel to write down what he did. So what? His claims can neither be proven or disproven, so that worked out for him as a pretty handy way to get a bunch of gullible, primitive desert nomads to hand over their fortunes, their daughters, and very often their lives, to a cult. And now that I have planted the seed of doubt in your heads, it is time for you to begin to question the validity of your religious beliefs as well. Just because what Breivik did was a terrible act, doesn't mean you folks have been any better.

Updated: Although this video was written to Christians, I feel it also applies to Islam. you should understand why your "Submit or be destroyed" bullshit is so readily rejected.

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Aug 10, 2011

Five reasons I believe Jesus never really existed

This topic is not written for the purpose of changing anyone's religious beliefs. If you disagree, and believe differently than the author, fine. But the points made here are based solely upon evidence as found in various biblical references, and other historical books.

The goal here is to help those who have finally come to realize that Christianity (religion in general, actually) is not likely true. If you feel differently, that is certainly your prerogative. Just don't expect me to repeat myself in a debate. I'm not interested in further discussion.

But if, by some strange chance, any reader does have solid evidence in argument to this topic, feel free to share it below. If there really is evidence (not emotions, squishy feelings, or mere "belief") then feel free to share. I, and many others, would be highly interested.

Do not copy this work. Link back to here, please. It's quicker, easier, and legal that way. Up to 1/3 rd of the piece is allowed for a preview in your link. Thanks.

1. Nobody agrees on when he was born.

If Jesus ever lived, he must have been born, by a miraculous fertilization, or not. Birth is a necessity. If he was born, there must be a specific time when he was born. Records not being what they were at the time, it might be understandable if the time were off by, say, as much as even a couple years. That would be reasonable, indeed.

Instead, we have Matthew saying Jesus was born when Herod was King of Judea. Luke states that Jesus was born when Cyrenius (Quirinius in Roman history) was Governor of Syria. Between the reign of Herod, and the reign of Cyrenius, we have the entire reign of Archelaus, son of Herod. This span covers a difference of ten years, alone.

But, let's say readers accept ten years difference in record keeping as acceptable. Fine. The Encyclopedia Brittanica states "Christians count one hundred and thirty-three contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth." Wow! And here ten years seemed contradictory! 133, separate, debatable years, each credited by someone, somewhere, as to when Jesus Christ Himself came into the world! Might you think such a dispute as to when he was born is perplexing?

2. Nobody agrees on where he was born, either.

Was Jesus of Nazareth, of Nazareth? Or, was he of Bethlehem? The bible tells of the parents of Jesus traveling to report for a census called for by Augustus Caesar (which is not verified in historical records itself, by the way) with his near-due wife, when the Roman custom for such a thing was that the head of the family alone reports, at his place of residence. The Book of Luke claims that Joseph left his home in Nazareth unnecessarily, and crossed two entire provinces to make it to Bethlehem unnecessarily, and took his pregnant wife on the verge of giving birth, again, unnecessarily.

In order to be considered a descendant of King David, Jesus would have needed to have been born in Bethlehem. The historian and biblical scholar Renan stated quite plainly that, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was constructed "in a roundabout way." In addition, many biblical scholars also believe that during the age within which Jesus would have lived, the City of Nazareth did not even exist! But, we can discuss that later.

3. The "Gospels" Were Not Written In His Language, Nor By Anyone Who Would Have Known Jesus.

Jesus the Christ is said to have been born a Jew, as were his followers. The region of the world where he is said to have lived, worked, and occupied, was primarily Nazareth. During the historical time frame when he was said to have lived, the languages spoken by the people in that region, and the culture within which he lived spoke mostly paleo-Hebrew, Aramaic, along with some Phonoecian, and Chaldean.

Yet, no part of the Gospels were written in any of those languages. They were written in Greek, approximately 150 years after he would have lived. Furthermore, there is no evidence any of the Gospels were ever translated into Greek, from any other language. Not only were the Gospels not written in the tongue one might expect from such a figure as Jesus the Christ, they were not written by any of the known apostles. In fact, noone knows exactly who it was that authored even one single line within the four Gospels. Now, some may say that Paul is known to have written his epistles. Remember, I said noone knows who wrote the four Gospels. But, since you bring up Paul...

4. Paul knew nothing of the miracles of Jesus, and never met him.

Some even doubt whether Paul ever even existed, himself. But for the sake of this topic, let's say he did. Paul would have lived during the time when Jesus would have lived. He likely walked the same streets which Jesus would have probably walked. He would have been a member of the very church Jesus is said to have decried for being "scribes, pharisees, and hypocrites." It's a safe bet that Paul would have heard much about a man rebelling against the church, and traveling about the country performing actual miracles, and being followed by "the multitudes."

Yet, look into your bible and see for yourself, if Paul claims to have ever met Jesus as anything other than a phantasm. Add to this the documented fact that Paul also does not speak of the virgin birth, any of the miracles of Jesus, nor even any details of his crucifixion. Everything Paul speaks about Jesus is in an after-the-fact manner, and resembles not one line, not one detail of any part of the four Gospels. Perhaps, just perhaps, it's possible the miracles of Christ were just not invented yet, when the epistles of Paul were written. It's not just Paul.

5. There is no evidence of Jesus, outside of the Bible.

For those not satisfied that the bible is full of contradictions, myths, improbabilities, and fiction, let us also look to history, or the lack thereof, about Jesus.

The age in which Jesus is said to have lived was one of scholars, thinkers, and men who wrote accounts of everyday, common folk. In "The Christ" written by John E Remsburg, there are no less than forty-two inquisitive, inquiring, intelligent writers who documented facts, figures, names, and activities of everyone from commoners to royalty. Some of the greatest writers in history came about during this time in history.

Many consider Philo the greatest Jewish writer in history. Not only was Philo prolific, and active, he was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived for many years after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus. As well, his home was in Jerusalem.

If Jesus ever existed at all, performed the miracles he is said to have performed, been followed and adored by thousands, and even challenged local authorities to such a point the Roman authorities were willing to circumvent legal customs and kill him as an innocent, surely, Philo would have recorded at least one fact of this man. Yet, there is nothing of Jesus, in anything Philo ever wrote. Not one thing.

Josephus was said to have written "The Antiquities of the Jews," wherein Josephus is recorded as saying "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

Oddly enough, this passage does not appear in any copy of "Antiquities of the Jews" for the first 200 years of the book's existence. None of the early Christian Fathers knew of the passage. Had this passage existed in the earliest versions of the book, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, or Clement of Alexandria would have referenced it once, in at least one of their many documented controversies against their Jewish opponents. None ever did.

This particular passage is not known of until Eusebius, the first historian of Christianity, early in the fourth century, is believed to have added them, and sloppily at that. In his "Evangelical Demonstration," are these words: "Certainly the attestations I have already produced concerning our Savior may be sufficient. However, it may not be amiss, if, over and above, we make use of Josephus the Jew for a further witness."

Josephus wrote highly detailed accounts of people of minor importance, yet he is strangely brief about the most amazing man who was ever supposed to have lived. In the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Dean Farrar "That Josephus wrote the whole passage as it now stands no sane critic can believe." Bishop Warburton denounced it as "a rank forgery and a very stupid one, too." Who do you believe about Jesus? Your local preacher, who stands to gain when you pay your tithes, or historical scholars, many times willing to die before betraying the truth of history?

Just because it's highly probable that Jesus never really existed, there is no need to abandon most of the principles advanced as his teachings. Just because Jesus will one day be understood to belong to the same category as all other mythical characters, there's still billions of good reasons, for us all to be good to one another, for goodness' sake.

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Jul 14, 2011

How an atheist can empathize with the slightly-more-primitive sorts in society, and why they might want to

Being an atheist myself, I once was mad at religion-in-general. It angered me to be in a world where “faith” was considered a virtue, and actual, real-world laws existed (not all, just some), which affect my life, based solely on religious preferences. I was ticked off over the violence, and the fraud committed in the alleged name of (insert relic here). But, no more.

Gone now, are those days of being mad about the religion of others, forcibly being a part of my own reality, since now, I own my own reality (we can haz cookies too) and am the absolute master of all I accept. No more will I, as an atheist, be cruel or crude to the hopelessly mystical/mystified. Such anger is all together too much of a waste of much-needed resources like time and sanity/focus/bearing.

We non-believers might want to consider the predicament most people are in, as well as that of humanity in general, over these last few million years, or so. First off, even if humanity, as a species, has been saying there are no imaginary sky daddies up there for 3,000 years, the realization itself, is still relatively new to most of the world. We've had a million times as many years as a primitive creature, than we've had as a modern, self-aware being, and there will be growing pains.

Over time, even the most religious of people, will come to one day understand that, as they rant they will be ignored. They'll find themselves speaking to only the trees, and their personal shill followers, as the rest of the world merely continues on. There's just no more need to hate the various religions of this planet. They cannot help it.

Imagine being (as your ancestors were) a primitive human, coming into those first few glimmers of self-awareness, tens-of-thousands of years ago. Perhaps during one evening of those all-too-random moments, you notice a particularly pesky, flying insect – and you swat at it. It's ability to maneuver as a response to its tactile senses of the currents of air happen too fast for you primate brain to process, and it appears the bug exists and doesn't exist, all at the same time. A formation of thoughts towards all-things-”spiritual” was actually the best guesses ancient man had at the time towards those things of nature which we could not understand.

Thus this same guessing process happened towards other mysteries as well. Couldn't explain the Sun? God ®. Why do the leaves fall, when it's cold? God®. Where did all of this come from? Obviously, God®. The problem isn't really so much with people having made their best guesses, until they learned better. What causes a problem for those of us who've crawled out of the box is when the guessing mechanism is mis-used by those with a taste for control of others, at various times through history.

From this day forward, I've no desire to attack the people themselves, who've been drawn in by the false security and the optional illusions of God®. But when a false statement is made to, or about me, I'll still respond. I just won't be going at it with a heavy hand. I'm sure those folks at ThinkAtheist are relieved to hear that Dad's not such an angry ass anymore. They win.

It's worth being kinder and gentler to the religious sorts in society. Just because they're following the traditions and customs they couldn't help but be raised up in, doesn't preclude the fact of most of them are the kindest, most well-intentioned people humanity has. Heck, even I can see some of the good things churhes have acheived, regardless of their reasons- or other errors made. Jimi Hendrix had so much right. We're all just misunderstood.
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May 12, 2011

Pat Condell: First President of Planet Earth?

I always enjoy what Pat Condell has to say about current events, society, politics, and religion. Whether it's a reply to a gum-slapping fool, or fresh perspective on the death of Osama bin Laden, Mr Condell is obviously one of the web's true "critical thinkers," and I'm grateful for him.

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Apr 2, 2011

A to Z April Blog Challenge April 2, 2011 B Believing in yourself is related to how much you like yourself.

There will be plenty of times the only support team you'll have in any solo venture will be yourself. This position of self-reliance will determine how successful you're willing to let yourself be. Like Mark Twain said “A man's got to accept himself...” I'm paraphrasing.

Whether a business person is willing to go through all an entrepreneur must go through is going to determine how often a start up capitalist is willing to take themselves to make their venture work. So liking yourself is of the utmost importance.

Remember that taking shortcuts, cheating, or otherwise competing in the most honorable ways possible, are whether you feel good about yourself or not. Take every chance and make the decision you know you'll feel good about making, in order to keep liking yourself, more and more each day, incrementally.

When an adventurous, heroic capitalist is embarking on an adventure of any sort, for profit and glory, one must always be their own best ally.

Mar 30, 2011

Atheism is not the enemy

Atheists are not anti-church. We atheists, the author being one, wish to convey one simple message both to the world at large, and to the churches of the world which decry us: We, are not your enemy. Non-believers are simply people who no longer choose to go along with any imaginary gods of any brand. We follow nothing with no evidence of existence.

But, in no way are we free-though inclined types against the idea of churches: As they do serve a purpose of excellent community centers. A church with a playground, and competent staff nearby makes for a fantastic place for children to play during the day. So much so, in fact, many churches find themselves opening up as a daycare, to legally and properly operate as such a facility. How can any atheist in their right mind be against a young family, able to access day-care, and both work?

Let's not forget food. Everything about a church screams “Food!” Even volunteer work helping a church, usually involves food. Get-togethers at churches quickly become pot-luck dinners. Weddings become receptions. Even funerals become a meal together, but maybe not everyone eats.

As the third and final point on why non-believers, whether called atheists or not, are not against churches: Emergencies and disasters. How many more tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricane, or other disasters does society need to see how fast a team of church ladies can get organized? Care packages, emergency blanket packs, and boxes of cookies are what some people live to do for the world. Churches allow that type of emergency-prepared mind-set an organized outlet for expression. We atheists deeply appreciate, and often participate with local churches, for this reason.

We non-believers have often availed ourselves of help from churches at times before. The obvious need for society to keep its churches, especially opposed to bigger bureaucracies from government, is due to such obvious needs the local church serves to fill for the community. There are no plans to ever do away with religion. We only ask public policies and laws reflect reason and sound judgment.

Mar 29, 2011

Image of Eva Longoria Miraculously Appears on my toast!


Notice, there is no boring look of imagined guilt on Eva Longoria's face. A toast miracle!

Most people are amazed when they imagine an image which, if you twist it just this way and that - and get it in just the right light – you might see a bit of extra toasted area of bread that might look like the edge of the side of someone's nose, and then say it's “Jesus,” or “Mary.” Well if people can get excited over those deals, I should flip over my piece of toast, which has a picture of Eva Longoria.

Not only can you see in the undeniable evidence above, the image is that of Eva Longoria, it is in full color. Apparently, before color, there was black and white. And before there was black and white, everything was in "toast." So, the only pictures we may have of Jesus or Mary come in either “toast and white,” or “paneling.”

Were our miracle an image of Charlie Chaplin, we'd have black and white. Fortunately, our miracle-on-bread is an appearance of a recent celebrity, and being Eva Longoria, we get a full-color miracle, with background. Next, we can only hope for Johnny Depp on a grilled cheese.

Notice also, our vision of the lovely Eva Longoria. Since she was born after the invention of “cool,” we enjoy her striking a rather lovely pose, and looking good. Since Jesus was born before “cool” was invented, all he really does in his toast and white pictures and post-cards is just stand there, looking at you, and tasting delicious. But an Eva Longoria miracle might be worth keeping.

There's no way Ebay is getting anything other than prints of my appearance-on-toast. If, for any reason, the photo isn't visible at the start of this post, see it here!

Mar 13, 2011

Three big screw ups for atheists like me

Being a non-believer, aka an atheist, I've encountered a variety of situations where I've been harassed, attacked, and ostracized for not having the same beliefs as those around me. Upon looking at my past experiences, all I can really hope for in the future is to learn from those experiences, and not repeat my mistakes. I've noticed a pattern in my own life which I must change. There's simply no point to expecting “the world” to change to suit my whims. The burden is on me, rather, to adapt to my environment.

Big atheist screw up number one: Discussing religion honestly This one gets me every time. Someone (anyone...co-workers, family, friends, random strangers) comes along and brings up any certain religious figure. In my stupidity I respond with what I believe to be an educated response, all the while failing to realize this individual is not looking for anything other than the pre-programmed response.

See, what I normally do is make the mistake of expecting others to “see” what appears so obvious to me. But it never works. We end up parting ways, each of us considering the other a fool for not agreeing on what seems so logical to us. (The difference being I don't consider them evil and demon-possessed – just tragically gullible.)

Take, for example, last night. I met a co-worker for the first time. At the point of introducing ourselves to one another, I learned she's not from Louisiana. Out of curiosity, I asked “What brings you to Louisiana?” She says “God.” For once, I didn't ask any smart-ass questions like “Really? What kind of car does he drive? I came in on a Greyhound.” I simply kept my mouth shut. No need to smart off. Let her have her beliefs, if she wants them. Her beliefs are too deeply-rooted for me to ever affect them, anyway. (Admit it. You're picturing Jack Nicholson yelling “You can't HANDLE the truth!” Aint you? Yeah, me too.)

If someone is ever looking for the truth about the fraud of religion, they'll probably be on the ThinkAtheist blog anyway, where we can discuss free thought openly and honestly. But out here in the world, where the hyper-religious get hyper-vicious, it's just best to leave them to their own.

Big atheist screw up number two: Not playing along. Since a non-believer understands there are no invisible sky-fairies flittering around “up there,” just who in the heck are we worried about offending by not being completely honest, anyway? Ourselves? Big deal! Just give 'em what they want to hear. It's what their preachers do.

This is tied in with the aforementioned Big atheist screw up number one, referenced above. Most people just aren't ready for the plain, brutal truth. They've been told for years that non-believers want to do terrible things to them, such as eat their babies, or to enslave them to our benevolent alien/demon/robotic overlords. They're scared of us, and for no real reason.

The last time I was dumb enough to be completely honest with a mystic, I was on a job where someone else began discussing religion. I blurted out “I am an atheist, and don't want to waste my time with this.” (Paraphrasing) Little did I know what kind of a threat I announced myself as to these folks around me. One co-worker did warn me a certain other co-worker was a practicing minister, and that I should be careful. It was from that day forward, I found myself entirely alone in my work, and alone in the break-room.

Nowadays, I know better. When I'm on the job, my co-workers will even enjoy the occasional “Oh my God,” and “amen” from time-to-time. There's noone to be truthful to about it all, so why not fib a little, when necessary? The truth only gets people like me hurt. I've learned to play along. Direct, insistent questioning of my beliefs will only elicit a response of “I don't discuss my beliefs on the job.” Play along.

As for my personal life, I've actually encountered many very accepting people from within the church. The love of my life is a believer, and I'm fine with that. I've no desire to change her, or to tell her how she must believe, because it's her life and not mine. There's even a sister, whom I cherish, who is devoutly religious. But in neither of these two cases are they trying to ruin me for not believing as they do. On-the-job religious discrimination is always a different critter, though.

Big atheist screw up number three: Accepting the label of “atheist.” The brilliant Sam Harris explained it the best. “If you don't believe in astrology, are you labeled a 'non-astrologer?'” (I'm paraphrasing again. Sorry Sam.) So, as a non-believer, am I to accept the label of “atheist?” There are times when the label is a little easier to spell than one of “A-Guy-Who-Simply-Asks-For-Evidence-Of-Why-You-Want-My-Obedience-Devotion-And-Money.” So, sure, I'm not exactly offended by the short-hand of a label. I'm no more offended by the label, than different denominations of Christians would be, were they both labeled “Christian.”

But labeling myself as an atheist, on purpose, is akin to a military target painting themselves for enemy bombers. With all of the myths and pre-conceived notions about “those evil atheists” I just find it much easier to no longer identify myself so readily.

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