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September 2012

Atheism Plus Even More

Sep 05, 2012 - Tags:

Youve heard about atheism, a state of being where an individual has concluded that there is no God, or gods for that matter. 

Then came Atheism (with a capital A, in case you missed it) which is essentially what I practice here. You can call this one militant atheism or anti-theism. This is the second wave of theism, made famous by some brilliant, eloquent, and lucid critical thinkers like the four horsemenRichard DawkinsChristopher HitchensSam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Brandishing bestsellers and taking the stage on radio, television, and other venues, they brought Atheism into the spotlight. 

What makes the second wave of Atheism different from atheism (with a lower case a) is that people like myself tend to get  vocal about not believing in God or gods or any kind. We get vocal because we are convinced, by the sheer weight of historical evidence, that religion and the belief in gods is dangerous. We might go so far as to suggest that religion is the enemy of civilization and anathema to our very survival as a species. The Atheist (or anti-theist) spends time and energy trying to convince his or her fellow human beings that we would all be much better off if religion wasn't part of the discussion. To support that argument, Atheists will directly confront religious belief and try to create an argument whereby the believer might be convinced to, at the very least, question their belief. With luck, that person will develop critical thinking skills and a healthy talent for skepticism resulting in a love of reason.

Plain old lower case atheists just plain don't believe in god and they may or may not see any reason to chat about it with any one. They're atheists and that's pretty much that.

Then we have Atheism+ which is Atheism with a little something extra. It's a community of Atheists that believe atheists (both with a lowercase and uppercase a) should concern themselves with other issues, such as women's rights, LGBT rights, social activism, poverty, racism, homophobia, and, oh yeah, atheism. It kind of like Atheism PLUS. You see? It has been described as a third wave of atheism, partly rejecting the second wave of old guys pushing bestsellers, the aforementioned New Atheism.

If you're looking at atheism and Atheism isn't enough and Atheism+ hasn't quite got the issues covered for you, you are in luck.

Watch and learn about Atheism More. It's Atheism Plus Way Way More.

Creationists Know Nothing

Sep 07, 2012 - Tags:

In one of CNN's "Red Chair" interviews, Richard Dawkins is asked about creationism and evolution. As time goes, I find myself increasingly convinced thay we shouldn't make apologies and shouldn't worry about offending religious people, paying special attention to those who deny science and reason, such as those who argue that the Earth is only a few thousand years old or that Noah boarded the ark with two of each species of dinosaur and other equally insane beliefs. Simply don't give an inch on this anti-intellectual nonsense. Call creation what it is, an attempt to explain the origin of the world from a more primitive age, by superstitious and uneducated desert dwellers. They didn't have the benefit of science and so, this was the best they could come up with at the time. They had an excuse, but we who live in the 21st century, do not.

Richard Dawkins is obviously of the same opinion and the following video presents him in full form. There's no mistaking the contempt he has for those who espouse the creationist view. He is completely unapologetic, saying flat out that "creationists know nothing" and that "religion has nothing useful to teach us".

Believe Homosexuality is an Abomination?

One of the things I like to do here is point out how those who claim to follow the Bible, or whatever holy book you choose, pick and choose the passages that support our chosen beliefs and prejudices. RIght-wing Christians are fond of pointing out, for instance, that homosexuality is a sin because the Bible says so, not because they have a personal problem with the Bible. And yet they allow their friends and neighbors who choose to do yard work on the Sabbath, to live when they should, according to the Bible, be put to death. The following clip from the West Wing does a fantastic job of making this point.

Islam's Anger is Islam's Shame

Sep 17, 2012 - Tags:

When all Hell broke loose in Benghazi, Libya, the first casulty was U.S. Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, who lost his life when protesters stormed the United States embassy. The violence has spread nearly two dozen countries. At least four people are dead, many more injured, as American embassies in Lybia, Egypt, with protesters chanting "Death to America". The reason for this spate of violence? A movie trailer on YouTube called, "Innocense of Muslims".

The first thing you notice about this film is that it's really, really bad, with production values that the average 8th grader could easily match. Anti-islam and anti-Mohammad message aside, the 14 miinute film looks like it's meant to be sort of like an Islamic "Life of Brian" spoof. Unfortunately, some members of the "Religion of Peace" apparently don't have a sense of humour.It's frankly incredible that a short film clip featuring Muhammad is cited as the spark that launched the latest wave of Islamic violence.  Think of it as the Mohammad Cartoon, version 2.0.

The link below contains the  clip which you can watch on YouTube. As I write this, the video (as seen on YouTube below) has 3.8 million views with 3/4 of the votes being 'dislikes.  Have I mentioned the production values are dreadful? Let's not mince words; this film, if you can call it that, is a piece of crap.

Innocence of Buddhists

Sep 30, 2012 - Tags:

Cox Bazar image from Reuters story linked here.It's not just American based Coptic Christian filmmakers (a generous term for the brains behind the incendiary "Innocence of Muslims") who seem to be doing their best to offend Islam. Now it's the Buddhists. It seems that a Buddhist, acting on behalf of all Buddhists, just as Nakoula Basseley was no doubt acting on behalf of all Americans and anyone who even remotely likes Americans, posted something on his Facebook page that was apparently blasphemous or offensive to Islam. Militant Muslims, offended as they often are, went after Buddhist temples and homes in Bangladesh, burning them to the ground and beathing up the Buddhists who had the audacity to hang around. 

Wait . . . Buddhists? Who attacks Buddhists?

Sure, they can be annoying, with their pesky smug Vegan superiority, always pushing their beliefs on me and trying to get me to eat less red meat. And yes, I get pissed off when they picket my local Montana's or Keg restaurant as I try to enjoy my medium-rare tenderloin. More than once I've gotten angry reading a "Cow Killer!" plackard as I try to chow down on bacon-wrapped goodness, but I would never attack them. 

Oh wait, maybe those weren't Buddhists. Now that I think about it, they might have been members of PETA.

But it doesn't matter. My point, whatever it might have been, stands.

Buddhists are always going out of their way to annoy and offend other people's faiths. They even go after people of no faith as the following quote illustrates. When the Dalai Lama gets on his high horse about Buddhism changing if science uncovers something that conflicts with Buddhism, he gets downright annoying. 

So you can understand why Muslims are going after Buddhists now, right?

Me neither.

If one religion can claim the mantle, "Religion of Peace", it's probably the Buddhists. Who knows? Maybe that's what makes these guys so offensive.

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Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.

Isaac Asimov