It is not cynicism that motivates me. It is optimism that the whole of humanity shall someday overcome the tyranny that is religious belief and superstition.
If something I say or link to offends you, then I ask you to stop for a moment before responding, and ask yourself why you feel that way. Be willing to follow that train of thought all the way to the end of the line.
I believe the religious are more than what they have allowed themselves to become. I wish to see all people willing to question the world, question their senses, question their sensibilities.
It frustrates me to see people deliberately clinging to ignorance. Sometimes this is expressed as anger or contempt. These are fleeting. The pervading emotion is simply profound sadness.
If you are reading this, then know that I do have some measure of “faith.” Not the baseless belief in supernatural entities or meaningless rituals, but confidence that each of us possesses the capacity for introspection.
A materialist world view is not the bleak and monochrome existence that many would have you believe it to be. It is vivid, full of spectacular colors, amazing phenomena, and so many layers of depth and complexity that merely learning more about it can become both a quest and a goal.
The strength and will to improve the world comes from within. You have only to look, and realize that the power you find there is purely your own.
Discarding superstition is indescribably beneficial to the human condition. Not only does it negate the fear of death… it eliminates almost all sources of prejudice (racism, homophobia, etc.) and enables one to regard everything in life on its own merits. The ultimate consequence tends to be a greater regard for the wonders that this world has to offer. Rather than the bleak, grayscale perspective that is projected onto atheists by the faithful, the colors of the world are all the more vivid when one takes the time to learn why and how they got there.
Christopher Hitchens is dead.
I was going to attempt to write something eloquent about my feelings on the matter, but I really just don’t have the words.
I think I will purchase a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black this evening and drink in his honor.
Here’s to you, Mr. Hitchens. I wish I’d had the honor of knowing you and your work sooner. I can only offer up my gratitude, far too late, for enriching my poor life.
It’s been quite the morning.
I am not, as the saying goes, a “morning person.” However, I can get up, get out of bed and go through my morning routine without feeling like I’m on the verge of passing out. In that regard, I seem to be doing better than a lot of people. I have what I consider to be a more significant issue, though. Once my mind starts going into anything less than a purely active state, I begin to nod off. I’ve never found anything that consistently counteracts this. I’m not a coffee drinker–indeed, I can’t stand the stuff–so that’s of no help. My wife has prepared teas for me, to see if the caffeine would help. I take caffeine pills to help me stay awake and alert. I still can’t stop myself from starting to drift off behind the wheel. So, I’ve had to tough it out. No one’s gotten hurt yet, but probability dictates that eventually, something bad is going to happen. Read more…
Miracles are, by their very definition, impossible.
- A miracle is an event which cannot be accounted for or explained by any scientific (or “worldly”) means.
- Anything that happens can be documented.
- Anything that can be documented can be measured and/or quantified.
- Anything that can be measured/quantified can be explained by scientific means.
- All of the above are factual statements, irrespective of our current ability to accurately capture data on any given event.
I am an antitheist.
You do not believe as I do, probably.
You would condemn me, for I am…
Pro-equal rights for ALL people. Pro-civil liberties.
Pro-freedom of thought. Pro-free speech.
Pro-freedom of the press. Pro-Enlightenment.
Pro-small business. Pro-honesty.
Pro-empowerment of women. Pro-abortion rights.
Pro-environment. Pro-green energy.
Pro-privacy rights. Pro-sexual freedom.
Pro-secular government. Pro-rule of law.
Pro-religious freedom. Pro-freedom from religion.
Anti-Christianity. NOT Anti-Christian.
Anti-Judaism. NOT Anti-Jew.
Anti-Islam. NOT Anti-Muslim.
Anti-religion. NOT anti-believer.
Anti-religious oppression. Anti-outlawing of religion.
Anti-lies. Anti-excessive force.
Anti-monetized politics. Anti-corruption.
Anti-quick judgments. Anti-supernatural explanations.
Anti-suppression of information. Anti-religious tyranny.
Anti-thought crime. Anti-suppression of speech.
Anti-human rights violations. Anti-genocide.
Anti-atrocity. Anti-animal cruelty.
…so would you condemn me?
I do not believe as you probably do.
For I am an antitheist.
I have a bit of a memory problem, and as such, large chunks of time will simply vanish from my mind until dislodged by some random bit of association. As a result, the timeline of these posts is likely to be a bit scattershot. I will now tell you of the one person I’ve ever known who both wore her Christian faith on her sleeve and was every bit the “good Christian” that they all seem to claim to be.
In early 2001, I found what I truly consider to be my first “real” job. I was working as, basically, technical support for the business-to-business web site of a decently sizable banking institution. I was single, out of school and the schedule was lovely: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Best of all, pay was semi-monthly, meaning that I was paid on the 15th and the last day of each month. This meant that it was simple to set up automatic payments for most of my bills and know that the money would be there. All in all, things were pretty good.
It was a big place, which meant my contacts were mostly limited to members of my own department. One of these was a woman, named Marcia. Contrary to the urgings of the Peanuts center of my brain, this was pronounced as “Mar-see-ah.” She was a black woman, looked to be in her early forties, and rather strikingly defied the walking stereotypes that were on display around the floor. I realize that sounds terrible, but I’ve always felt that if one dislikes stereotypes, one should actively work to prove them wrong, rather than legislate them out of existence. At any rate, Marcia had something of an “Aunt May” sort of vibe to her, though certainly not that old. She did have reading glasses and I recall that she did like the little shawls, though.
Marcia was a very unassuming woman. She was soft-spoken, nice to everyone she met (that I knew of), and simply of a gentle disposition. If office politics were getting to me, she was the one I could speak to for some perspective and a friendly ear. She knew my beliefs and never judged me for them. Her desk was not ostentatiously decorated. She had some pictures of her kids, one Christian devotional quote thingy (one that was of particular significance to her), and that was it. She wore a very simple cross around her neck.
She never presumed to call herself a good Christian. In fact, she never spoke of her faith at all, unless asked. She didn’t even allude to Christianity, other than in the literary sense (suggesting I “extend the olive branch” to someone with whom I was at odds, for some reason or another). I always admired her, and in a maternal sort of way, I think I kind of loved her. She was, in a very real sense, the kind of woman I wished my mother was: always warm and open, non-judgmental and willing to listen. I wish I had not lost contact with her.
I dare say, if all Christians were like Marcia, then the world would genuinely be a better place. There would be no need for the “New Atheist” movement. Perhaps we could still attempt to live and let live. But sadly, I don’t think there is any going back.