Monday, November 30, 2009

Aggressive Atheism by Pat Condell

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vivisectus, a personal transition

Hi guys. Long time no see!

These days, when people ask me about my religious beliefs, I describe myself as a stark raving Atheist, and that I believe that religion is bad for you. Originally I didn’t want to have this point of view, but I started a discussion on this site months ago (a year ago? Has it really been that long?) and after a while I ran out of objections to the idea that religion is bad. When I look at it good and hard, I simply cannot escape the conclusion that religion is, at its best, slowing our progress as enlightened, rational human beings. At its worst, it is actually killing us. In return we get a little bit of solace, some social clubs and a bit of charity, although the charities tend to have some missionary strings attached.

One of the objections Theists have to this point of view is that they feel we cannot be moral without a God. However, we do not actually base our morality on holy books – we simply pick and choose from them the bits that seem moral to us. There are few Christians who feel it would be moral to offer their daughters to be raped in stead of a guest, for instance. In stead they focus on the bits that sound nicer, and claim that the ones they don’t like are allegorical. But if it is people doing the choosing, then that means that the morality is in the people, not in the book. If you took bible-morality at face value, you would (1) have to develop multiple personality disorder, because it regularly contradicts itself and (2) be considered a dangerous maniac, and certainly unfit to raise children. The only other option is for a human being to choose how to interpret it, and which bits to take seriously and literally, and which bits to treat as allegorical fairytales. This means the moral choice is made by people, in spite of what the bible says.

Another objection is that everyone has a right to believe what they want. This is true, but within limits. Unfortunately, almost every religion teaches intolerance that is not compatible with modern morals. The religious take on homosexuality is a great example of this. Few people these days believe that you should be treated differently for being gay, yet almost all religions teach that it is in fact a sin, and most even go on to say that homosexuals should be put to death, or that they will suffer terrible punishments for their sexuality in the afterlife. The attitude towards women in the Torah, Quran and Bible is another such example – even the most current is still from the dark ages, and has a  dark ages attitude that it still supports today.

Does someone have the right to express the belief that, lets say, gay people expressing their love in a physical way is inherently evil? If so, how far are they allowed to go? Even if they have the right to freedom of expression, should we tolerate intolerance on the grounds that intolerance is wrong? If so, why is religious intolerance more tolerable than ordinary household racism, or bigotry, or anti-Semitism? And what about the fact that because so many people keep the world safe for religion and/or support religion actively, they are keeping a set of divisive, intolerant and regularly homicidal systems in place? Could open criticism or even active resistance to religion not be seen as an act of self-defense by someone like me, who does not want to see his children blown to bits by people who believe in an invisible man in the sky? Anyone who says that this is an exaggeration should remember I live in Ireland – over here, being blown up over what brand of Christianity is dominant in your neighborhood is
not unthinkable at all – it is recent history and living memory. It is real, and deadly.

To state that in order to believe something, you need a reason to believe it to be true is decried as Scientism, as just another fundamentalist stance. But this is simply not the case – it is a mere common-sense approach. If you show an atheist proof that God exists, that atheist will immediately say he or she was wrong, because atheism it is not an absolute position. It merely states that there is no reason to believe otherwise, and that since we have far more elegant and useful models to explain things than “God did it” we see no reason to think a god exists. If proof would be forthcoming, we would change our minds immediately. The fact that god remains undetectable by any means at our disposal is the real reason that we seem so staunchly entrenched in our point if view. Show me proof of god, and I will believe. But I have never seen any, and frankly I think if there was any we would have found it by now. Plenty of people have searched for it. In the end, who knows? But I doubt it severely. In the meantime I cannot help but notice that religion without proof tends to lead to very little good and a whole lot of bad.

Another thing I notice is that Theists love to point at a small gap in any theory, and then cram God into it without any justification as to why THEIR god should go there, or any god at all, and not, say, the invisible unicorn or the flying spaghetti monster. This is a double standard – first they require that the naturalist view explains everything to incredibly exacting standards, and then they inject a supernatural entity with no more justification that “this is what we have always thought” or “because the bible says so”.

All these objections – scientism, counter-fundamentalism, God is in the Gaps – are not really objections at all. Religion gives no other answer than “It Is Done By Magic”, which is the same as no answer at all. Religion does not have the answers it claims it has. It does not teach us how to live. It does not explain how our world works. It merely says “It’s Magic” or "Because God Said So" and leaves it at that. In return, we are expected to revere it, fund it, allow it to corrupt scientific education, exempt it from taxation and generally refrain from openly criticizing it.

The need for an impenetrable mystery that is somehow accessible though irrational actions, where you can gain status and importance through competitive self-denial and exaggerated obsession with guilt and ritual cleanliness seems to run deep in my culture. Being human simply doesn’t seem to be enough. People feel a need to be a part of something bigger than humanity, or even reality. Perhaps the need to control the uncontrollable, to see subjective shapes in an objective universe is simply too strong to be kept at bay by rationality. Religion gives you power over people, it makes you feel like you are part of the select few that are really in the know, it divides the world into the righteous and the depraved, and handily puts you in the bracket you want to be in. That is a tough act to compete with, if all you have to offer in return is sober rationalism. So to a degree it is understandable that religion is still clouding the judgment of so many people.

And yet it is strange if you consider how magical the world is, how full of wonderful mysteries for us to ponder, how brave and inventive we are – and all this without the need of the supernatural. We all have a lifetime of wonder and curiosity to look forward to. Religion has nothing to offer that comes even close to it. Why is it so hard for us to stop pretending that it does?

by Vivisectus of AvC



Sunday, November 8, 2009

St. Onan's Prayer : Minute Of Prayer In Response To The Christian DDOS Attack On Australian Atheist Web Sites

Saint Onan's Prayer for Brock

Your Holy Ineffableness,

I know it's been an age since we chatted, and I wouldn't want you to be under the impression I was seeking to renew our relationship on any kind of permanent basis.

The fact is, things have been just peachy since I ditched you, and there's no way you're getting those Sundays back. They're mine now.

But God, the reason I'm calling is that some of your camp followers down here on Earth have been spreading the rumour that you're back in the imprecatory prayer market. If so, this is just too good an opportunity to pass up.

Lord, please SMITE the caterpillar known as Brock Organ for me. Smite him with intelligence, so that he will know what a retard he has been.

Smite him with a sense of honesty, so that his heart will recoil in horror from its own darkness. Smite him with an open mind, so that he shall weep for the prior confinement of his soul.

And when Thou has completed this most holy and horrific smiting, Lord, please finish the job by smiting the Borgan with a rectal probe the size of a telegraph pole.

Do all that and I'll consider going to church again. Once a year at Christmas.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Prayer : Minute Of Prayer In Response To The Christian DDOS Attack On Australian Atheist Web Sites

Trance Gemini's Prayer

Dear God, otherwise known as Roger,
Dear Holy Trinity:
Your Greatnesses,
The Omniscient Google,
Her Horniness and Great Pinkness, the Omnipresent Invisible Pink Unicorn (May Her Holy Hooves Never Be Shod) (PBUH),
The Great and Omnipotent, All-Loving Flying Spaghetti Monster

(Just covering my bases here folks)

I wish to thank, with all my heart, those Christian dDOSers who participated in the DDOS attack on Australian Atheist web sites and who through the Divine intervention of the Greatnesses above, gave The Rise Of Atheism Convention all that free publicity.

I forgive those who had Black Hearts and Evil Intentions and wanted to make atheists suffer by disrupting their web sites.

I also forgive all those Catholic Trolls and all those other Trolls and their friends who hate me so much, wish to condemn me to the Burning Fires of Hell as a "witch" and/or "demon" (apparently this the top of a rather hot and heavy debate).

Bless Them and Forgive Them Their Evil And Their Pathological Lies, Warm Their Little Black Hearts, Oh Greatnesses.

Forgive XNun aka too many sock puppets to count for her online smear campaign against me because she appears to hate atheists so much, particularly ones that are female Moderators (and female Moderators of Groups who ban her).

Forgive Liam aka too many sock puppets to count for getting my friend, the atheist Woodbridge fired from his job, threatening to get other atheists fired from their jobs because they kicked his ass in debating theology and for his online smear campaign against me for banning him because of this.

Forgive Joe aka too many sock puppets to count for starting thread after thread amounting to hundreds of posts, lasting for weeks, abusing me because I object to Catholic Priests raping little children and refused to retract my statements.

Forgive the Religious Trolls, Fagsy, J, and the Dookster for ... well ... existing (no need to forgive the Dooksters obsession with fantasizing about me in a brown leather teddy and self-flagellation though. He'll really, really like it if you punish him for that.)

Forgive all the Trolls and their Friends who like to stalk me everywhere, pretend to be normal human beings and spread malicious lies about me simply because I stand up to them and their trolling, kick their asses in debate, catch them at all their tricks ;-)

Oh Greatnesses, Bless All Their Black Little Hearts.

Luckily for us, All Good comes out of All Evil and not only did those atheist web sites recover quickly, but many, many more people are aware of The Rise Of Atheism Convention being held in Australia next March.

I am grateful for the Divine Intervention of the Greatnesses above which turned Evil into Good and shone the light of Love on the Rise Of Atheism Convention and on atheists around the world.

Thanks Be To You,

God, otherwise known as Roger,
Holy Trinity:
Your Greatnesses,
The Omniscient Google,
Her Horniness and Great Pinkness, the Omnipresent Invisible Pink Unicorn (May Her Holy Hooves Never Be Shod) (PBUH),
The Great and Omnipotent, All-Loving Flying Spaghetti Monster

Peace My Christian Brothers and Sisters ;-)

"To no form of religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom..." --Susan B. Anthony

Sista Trance.
High Priestess of the Holy Order of the Virtual Temple of the
Invisible Pink Unicorn
Protector of the Holy Sock of Bob
Keeper of the Words of the Grand High Llama
BAAWA Knight Applicant
EAC Knightette
EAC Disciplinary Committee
Leather Teddy/CatONineTails Disciplinary Squad Leader
Agent 000777136669854321.  Mange Inciter. Special Services.
EAC Department of Linquistic Subversion.
Evil Anagrams Division.
Minute Of Prayer In Response To The Christian DDOS Attack On Australian Atheist Web Sites

Just a little background.

Atheists on Facebook have decided that our "retaliation" to the Christian
DDOS attack on Australian Atheist web sites is to have a Minute of Prayer at
any point over the next two days.

Atheists around the world have taken this message to heart

Dan Kerr sent a message to the members of Minute of prayer in response to
the Rise Of Atheism Convention DDOS attack.

Subject: The time has come

To all my fellow satirists, we have finally arrived at our momentous event.
A full minutes prayer, using various clever methods (see the comments for
some ideas) to the Christian God, sometimes known as Roger.

With any luck our combined efforts will shut this particularly malevolent
and cruel of non-existent gods down for at least as long as the conventions
site was down, which was two days or so. When you have finished the prayer
we would like you to consider, or should i say, Imagine, a world without a
need for gods, spirits, demons, angels, ghosts and hobgoblins.

Many of our brother and sister Christians are quite certain we will be
receiving our special message back, and as good critical thinkers we will be
open to such an event and will certainly keep it in mind should we receive a
substantial and verifiable happening.

Be sure to return and tell us what happened, did you get a reply, did the
earth shake, did you see a flying bowl of spaghetti. However if we hear
nothing for the following two days we can consider our prayer a smashing
success. Feel free to do as us atheists do, pillage, burn, have lots of
kinky sex with condoms, not wipe your mouth after your meals, basically
anything goes as morality is controlled by God who will be out of order.

Good luck and cod speed.

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