Religion makes people ignorant, and worse, it trains them to love and adore it. They actively fight to stay ignorant, even to the point that they put their children at risk. Just look at history, read up on the child crusades. Look at the presen; the children who hold up the “God Hates Fags” signs, the children being trained in Africa to be soldiers, or suicide bombers for ISIS. Another example would be creationists in America; they are genuinely setting up their children for failure if they teach them creationism over evolution. Seriously, why would it ever be a good idea, to listen to Ken Ham over Stephan Hawking?
Religious people love being ignorant, to the point, which they are willing to kill; and for what, a book, which more often than not, is a book they have not even read. It is no surprise that atheists, have been found to be more knowledgeable of the Bible than Christians. How can someone dedicate their life to a book they have not read; does that mean that they dedicated their lives, to a fictional book title and a violent history?
I have a feeling that people read that last paragraph, and responded in one of two ways, either you enjoyed or hated it; if you were in the category of “hated it”, I wonder if you hate it, because of what I said, or if it is because it could be the truth. The sunken costs fallacy can be used to justify a lifetime invested into a single book, but to read it and find out that that life was wasted, is just too much to bear sometimes. Better off never reading it and keeping that investment sound. Continue reading “Ignorance Loves Ignorance, the Religious Wall Around You”
My Anti-theist Friend, Marchal: “God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.”
One of my favorite people to converse with about religion is my good buddy, Marchal. I met Marchal in college, and like me, he was getting a bachelors degree in psychology. We lost touch after Heidelberg, but we recently rekindled our friendship. He contacted me after he read a couple blog posts, he was excited to share with me that he too, is an atheist. Marchal has an interesting story as well, and I would like to share with others, some of the conversation that we recently had.
After Heidelberg, Marchal went to Ohio State University, where he received a PHD in psychology. Marchal did not spend any time in the field though, because after he graduated he co-founded a start up company and has been traveling the world ever since. He has spent more time in other countries, than he has in his own, over the last couple of years.
“What is the most frustrating thing when it comes to dealing with religious people?” Marchal asked me.
I already mentioned on here that I am trying to transition from the job that I’ve had for 6-7 years now and plan on trying a new venture. Instead of playing poker for a living, I am going to play writer. Right now is an exciting time for me. I feel as though I am currently going through the most intense emotional workout camp that I have ever experienced. Throughout the course of writing my first book, which will be mostly autobiographical , I will be continuously challenged. It is tough work sharing personal experiences with others, especially on the kind of scale that I have so far in this blog. I will go deeper in the book, and hopefully it will reach an even bigger audience. Why not? Why would I want to stay at the same level? Don’t I want to push myself? To get through it, I will want to be the strongest type of person I know: a child.
I don’t know how I am going to deal with the intensity of continuously being vulnerable. Throughout this blog I have, on various occasions, ripped myself open to see what is there. Just looking at oneself in this way is tough. It is real, honest, and it forces one to look at themselves in the most vulnerable way. I am not good, I am not bad, I just am. I am whatever I am. I can cover myself back up and ignore what I saw, or I can accept my past and build on it. I prefer to look at it as an opportunity for a lesson. How can I improve myself? My 8 year old self knew I was not perfect, but I was determined to get better. At 28 years old, I hope that I am as wise as my 8 year old self was in this regard.
Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors of all time. I usually do not get sad when a celebrity dies, due to the lack of a personal connection. Williams’ death stung a bit more than I expected. I didn’t know him personally, only through his movies and whatever else you can find on YouTube. My favorite stuff is what he did live, like when he was on Inside the Actor’s Studio. James Lipton just let him go and I don’t know who was happier about it, Williams or the audience. Multiple times he thanked the audience and James Lipton for letting him perform. There are two reasons why his death stung so much: he was an amazing human being and the fact that it was suicide. Shock was my first response, as I am sure many others can relate to, but the shock wore off rather quickly. Everyone has a “spark of madness” according to Williams, which is a good thing in many ways. Williams had more than a spark though, and I think he would agree that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. His death caused quite the stir when it happened; that is what happens though, when someone is loved by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. When he died, there were people who laughed as they watched his movies again, people who cried because he would not make any more, and there were people who condemned him because he committed suicide. His death makes me wonder, when will humanity destigmatize suicide?
Brittany Maynard, who is recently married, has terminal brain cancer. She was told she would have 10 years to live, but then the tumor grew significantly and her time became much shorter. She and her family made the choice to move to Oregon, where she is allowed to “die with dignity.” And no, this does not imply that everyone who does not choose this route is not “dying with dignity.” Its not one extreme or the other.”Dying with dignity” means that a person has the legal right to choose how to end their life when facing a terminal illness. And no, this does not mean that people are for suicide in general. Believe it or not, but there are more than two ways of looking at things. Life is not all black and white, in fact the majority of it is lived in the grey.
Thank you. Thank you for using the little time that you have remaining to bring attention to the “death with dignity” debate. I can only imagine the kind of physical, mental and emotional stress that you are currently experiencing. My imagination is not the same, nor could it be even close to the real thing. When I read about your story yesterday, my heart began to fill with an ocean of sadness. It began to swirl with emotions and thoughts as I tried to comprehend the depth and gravity of the situation that you currently find yourself in. It’s a natural reaction, to view another’s situation from your own perspective. Empathy is how we connect to one another; it’s our deepest form of love and understanding. In the vast depth of human emotion, it can be easy for anyone to lose their way. The strong emotional current can swell around us and we become lost in ourselves, lost from the initial response of love that we naturally feel for one another.
I recently watched the video of your appearance on the show Real Time with Bill Maher, with guests Sam Harris, Nicholas Kristof, and Michael Steele. It was Maher’s show though, right? Couldn’t really tell from the video. Honestly Ben, I think there is a lot for everyone to learn from this encounter, which is why I am spending my time writing this open letter to you. Let’s get right to it, because too many human lives are at stake.
I am going to be very critical of you in this letter, because like many other people in our society, you are looking at this issue completely backwards. Before I start with that though, I want to make sure to say I believe your heart is in the right place. It is clear to anyone who watches the video that you truly care about people. You are deeply concerned about how we homo sapiens treat one another, but what you are failing to understand is so are Maher and Harris. Having your heart in the right place is not enough, and if you can keep an open mind while reading this, I think you will understand why.
What was your mindset going into this discussion? Based on your non-verbals, voice tone, and overall defensive demeanor, which was neither provoked nor warranted, it appeared as though you came into this with some preconceived beliefs about Harris and/or the issue at hand. I’m not completely familiar with the structure of Bill Maher’s show, so correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the new guest supposed to get a couple of minutes of uninterrupted air time before the other guests join in?
Harris only had thirty seconds before you blurted out,
Its my birthday, I just turned 28, and am spending my night in. I just moved back to Malta two days ago. I am living with a friend that I only met once previous She lived with my Canadian friend, and two others, in Amsterdam. I met her when I visited him last year and she seemed cool enough then. I was looking for another adventure anyways, so why not? Plus I really enjoyed my stay here before. We spent some of the night just talking and getting to know each other. She follows the Facebook page, so she has a decent understanding of some of my views on things. It was great because we were able to share and discuss one another’s thoughts. It’s a great way to get to know each other. Plus then you can learn what each other wants to improve upon and in turn help each other grow. Basically, it will be us making fun of each other’s insecurities, in a way that helps one another overcome them. She is going to try to take on, the impossible task, of helping me learn a language (I had to go to speech class growing up, for english, my native tongue. I had to chuckle at the thought of my friends faces, as they read that, who have tried to help me learn another language before.) It was a great chat, but she had to go to bed. She has to get up early for work and she was tired.
No topic, when handled correctly, is above mockery and ridicule. For some reason there are a lot of people in society today that believe “I’m offended by that” is a valid point, as if the other person should immediately stop what they are doing or saying based on disagreement alone. Being offended does not mean that one is right nor does it mean that others should stop what they are doing. It is the last line of defense that people tend to use when they are unable to come up with valid reasons for their argument. It’s similar to people using faith as an argument for mythology. As comedian Louis C.K. said, “Offending people is a necessary and healthy act. Every time you say something that’s offensive to another person, you just caused a discussion. You just forced them to have to think.” Discussions are good for humanity; it’s how progress takes place. Sometimes people are going to be offended, but life goes on.
My journey from theist to Atheist was a long and hard one. I did not lose my faith. Rather, it was a conscious choice to remove it from my life. There were many little “ah-ha” type moments along that journey and one of the biggest ones was when my view of Noah’s ark changed. I admit, I used to love this story, my god loved me so much that he saved us from the massive worldwide flood. The part I loved the most was that he saved all the animals (well, maybe not all, but two of each kind was enough to satisfy my young and vulnerable mind). I always had a soft spot in my heart for animals growing up and that was the main reason why this fairy tale appealed to me . As a young lad I even had to leave the room when the ant died in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
How is religion the answer to religion? 13 years after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York a piece of rubble from ground zero is still being debated. The piece in question is a cross beam that has been placed in the 9/11 museum. Recently a federal appeals court tossed out a lawsuit from American Atheists contesting the cross beams entry into the museum unless there was equal representation for Atheists and other non-religious people who died in the attacks on 9/11. The arguments for the cross beam staying in the museum are that it is a historical symbol used by some first responders to increase their faith as they searched for survivors. The court also stated that the cross-beam is a secular piece (even though a cross is the definitive symbol of the Christian faith). The panel also noted, “That the Rev. Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest, welcomed all faiths to a Mass he held regularly at the cross during the rescue effort. Jordan was one of the defendants named in the suit.” Continue reading “Is the American Tragedy of 9/11 a Valid Excuse to Force Religion on Non-Believers?”