Fuck all prophets

rights

I remember writing something about the conviction and imprisonment of a Pakistani women around two years ago for blasphemy. This disgraceful act of discrimination is not only utterly ridiculous, but is a crime in itself, perpetrated by religious bigots.

Asia Bibi’s appeal against the death sentence has been rejected by the Lahore High Court. You can bet any number of stinking prophets, that the Pakistani judicial system is clearly not impartial, but influenced by the insane ideology of the clerical overlords.

This is an outrage and must be condemned by every rational, thinking person in the world. Pakistan is not the sole violator of human rights in the religious domain; there are many other countries most notably in the Middle East and Africa which also amazingly still treat religious beliefs with more deference than they do human rights.

This just has to stop, and all the Peoples of the world need to do more to bring down the hegemony of religious fundamentalists, and the clergy.

Ideas do not have rights, only people do. Thus religious beliefs do not deserve special consideration; absolutely no ideology does. Blasphemy is therefore the invention of some cowardly bastard, hell-bent on protecting and defending the indefensible.

Photo Credit: The Skeptics Guide To The Universe.

An Apostates Experience

TwitterApostate

I seem to have caught the tail end of a new phenomenon sweeping the world right now –  people who have left or disowned their religions are posting their reasons on Twitter. It’s been tagged as #AnApostatesExperience.

Apostasya defection or revolt is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy (or who apostatizes) is known as an apostate.

Apostasy is not necessarily confined to the abandonment of the worship of deities; it could also apply to political beliefs or any form of ideology or ideological belief. While all these forms of disaffiliation is extremely desirable and to be commended, religious apostasy seems to cause the most consternation, with certain faiths (well one in particular) disturbingly outlawing such a practice, on pain of death in some parts of the world.

When I visited the #AnApostatesExperience Twitter page, I realised that most if not all the posts were in reference to Islam. That’s not surprising because when you hear the term apostate, it’s usually with reference to the Islamic faith. People of other faiths have been leaving entirely or converting to other religions for thousands of years, and it does not so much as raise an eyebrow (these days at any rate).

I abandoned my faith many years ago, and ever since have been abandoning one form of belief or the other as evidence surfaces to prove what a load of claptrap it was. I have never been threatened with death; ridiculed and questioned yes, but there was never a hint of a threat. Why does this have to be the case with religion? Why do the apologists for religion demand special attention?

Religion thrives on fear, and that is probably the worst of its many failings. Hence I encourage all my fellow apostates to abandon without fear but with pride.

The evolution destroyer

proofevolution

His name is Joshua Feuerstein. Joshua must believe he’s an absolute genius because it took just three minutes for him to destroy hundreds of years of work by biological scientists.

That three minutes of assumed genius is contained in this video posted on his Facebook page.

The reality off course is that Joshua is a monumental ass. He preaches a very dangerous ideology that will wreck the future lives of potentially tens of thousands of children by tainting their education with pure unadulterated bullshit. Joshua wants science to be kept out of our classrooms. Here’s his starting point:

Evolution is not a science. Never has and never will be. Why? Because it cannot fit within the parameters and parentheses of science for one simple reason: It was never observed. That’s why it’s not science. That’s why it’s called the theory of evolution. One man’s theory.

By embracing such a fundamental misunderstanding of what a scientific theory is, its little wonder the rest of his blasé rant goes pear-shaped. A scientific theory is not something that a scientist just simply asserts. A scientific theory is “a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena.” [one variation].

There’s really no point in debunking the rest of his bullshit, but it’s done fairly well here on Patheos.

If you value honesty and collecting just the facts, I advise that you steer well clear of this guy. And if your kids are going to any school that heeds the demented advice of such corrupters of the truth, get them the hell out.

The future is in science, not fairy tales.

Irreverence FTW!

ideology

The primary reason for creating this blog was to deliver irreverent commentary on the strange beliefs that people cling on to for dear life. I had a second blog which I used to cast derision on the shitty things that politicians do.

I decided to merge the two because ideology and politics seemed like a match made in heaven, and it kinda made sense for me to take the piss on both these forms of lunacy on the same forum.

After a while I decided that since there were so many other things that were of interest to people, I would not limit myself to just writing about strange beliefs and dirty politicians. And so the part about “… just about anything else not as perplexing or vile…” was born. However of late I have not focussed nearly enough on the irreverent bit and seemed to drift off into posting a lot of stuff about everything else.

Nothing vex’s someone more than when you try to burst their ideological bubble. It may seem cruel, and I sometimes feel a little remorseful afterwards, but the eventual benefits of making someone see things differently, even if a little, is to my mind worth the effort. I have had lengthy debates arguments here with some of my commenters. Nearly all invariably grow weary and never come back; a fairly large number exit with the traditional, but very annoying parting shot “I’ll pray for you.” Yeah, you will not believe how many people are praying for me. I’m truly blessed.

I am all too familiar with the adage that you’re not going to convince someone to change their mind by poking fun at their beliefs. Fuck that! Sometimes it’s the only way. The other benefit is that I too have learned from this process. I harboured many ideological beliefs, some of which have been modified, others turned completely on its head, more still totally discarded.

Anyway, I think I’m gonna start being irreverent again with my very next post. Until then…

Religion rots the brain

Well, actually it does not

But making ludicrous claims has been the forte of mankind since time immemorial. And most do so to further their own insidious political, social, economic and religious agendas.

Take this asswipe from Saudi Arabia for instance: Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan who is styled as a judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association claims that women who drive cars will cause damage to their ovaries and pelvis.

saudisheikThis misogynistic claim was made in support of a ban on women driving cars, which is now being challenged by Saudi female activists. And it does not require rocket science to figure out that the roots of this absurd ban on women driving originates in archaic religious literature.

Men have for thousands of years hidden behind or perverted cringe-worthy doctrine of a religious or political nature to spew forth vitriolic bile that aims to keep women and mankind in general in check and subservience. This should not, and must not be tolerated any longer.

Heed my words; you abide the words of clergymen, politicians and other ideologues at the risk of your own well-being, not to mention sanity.

Just Kiss

The self-appointed wardens of the invisible gods are at it again, and they will continue to dictate how you live your life, who you should worship and how not to mention how many times a day or week, how to dress, what to eat and what not, how to copulate, who to associate with or not, and a lot other things too mundane to mention.

smooch

This time they don’t want people kissing in public… in Turkey at least. There’s probably other places in the world besides, and it won’t be too hard to guess where.

Brave people in Ankara had to stage a protest this week in defiance at the railway station where a young couple who DARED to kiss in public were admonished. Apparently it’s immoral to kiss in public, but perfectly acceptable to indulge in atrocious acts of violence, in DEFENCE (?) of an invisible god.

I say fuck ‘em. Let’s not continue to abide these hypocritical holy men. Let’s all just kiss, wherever the fuck we want.

The time has come to give the kiss of death to the insane ideologies of archaic religions and their holy men.

Iconoclasm – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Bamyan - Statue of Buddah *Author: Marco Bonavoglia

Bamyan – Statue of Buddah *Author: Marco Bonavoglia

Iconoclasm (noun)

(1) a challenge to or overturning of traditional beliefs, customs, and values

(2) the destruction of religious images used in worship, or opposition to their use in worship. [Encarta]

There are two sides to iconoclasm – the good and the bad, but I’m going to suggest a third characteristic – ugly, which is also bad, and should be viewed as such by all sane people.

Good Iconoclasm

Challenging established beliefs, customs, traditions and values is good. It is the act of embracing new knowledge. Scientific discovery is dependent upon confronting old ideas and beliefs and leads to technological innovation, which overall is good for the progress and advancement of the human race. Skepticism and critical thinking are the natural by-products of good iconoclasm, or is it the other way around?

The reason why we don’t have people suspected of witchcraft being regularly burned at the stake is because of good iconoclasm. But isolated incidences still occur in some parts of the world; the parts that resist change to new ideas. However things are significantly better in the modern era.

Bad Iconoclasm

The wanton destruction of religious artefacts, including those of archeological significance is barbaric, backward and symptomatic of a retarded mindset. In recent years there have been several incidences of the senseless destruction of these objects. The bombing of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban and the desecration of tombs in the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu by Islamists, come to mind. However, history is littered with the malicious destruction of places of worship and religious artefacts, by various proponents of the world’s religions.

Off course it is not only religious fundamentalists who carry out these senseless acts of devastation. Other bizarre ideological beliefs whether political or social, have also been the prime motivator for the same inane act of destruction.

Ugly Iconoclasm

I don’t suppose this category actually exists, but I’m going to stick my neck out and propose it by providing an example.

Nohmul is a Mayan archeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula near Belize. Recently a pyramid dating to around 250 BCE was found to have been almost completely destroyed by building contractors, who were using the gravel and limestone content for constructing a nearby road. The owner of the excavation equipment was revealed to be a local politician, although it has not been proved that he ordered the destruction of the pyramid.

A Boston University Professor who had worked on many archeological sites in the area commented that “bulldozing Maya mounds for road fill is an endemic problem in Belize.”

This type of iconoclasm is rooted in greed. Defacing priceless treasures of our human heritage to make a quick buck.

So there you have it; my word of the week…

And the sickness continues…

In my last post, I wrote about the level of sickness that makes certain Christians marvel at the power of a god who can prevent a cross-shaped block of concrete from destruction in an earthquake, but is somehow powerless to stop the death of flesh-and-blood human beings.

I’ve recently received a follow-up e-mail about the Haitian earthquake which just proves that these people are so ensconced in their religious fantasy world, that they are incapable of seeing how insensitive these mails are to the victims of that disaster. The despicable contents of the mail should leave all clear-thinking people infuriated:

Lord, I just want to say THANK YOU, because this morning  I woke up and knew where my children were. Because this morning my home was still standing, because this morning  I am not crying because my husband, my child, my brother or sister needs to be buried out from underneath a pile of concrete, because this morning I was able to drink a glass of water, because this morning I was able to turn on the light, because this morning I was able to take a shower, because this morning I was not planning a funeral,  but most of all I thank  you this morning because I still have life and a voice to cry  out for the people of Haiti. Lord I cry out to you, the one that makes the impossible, possible, the one that turns darkness in to light, I cry out that you give those mothers strength, that  you give them peace that surpasses all understanding, that  you may open the streets so that help can come, that you may provide doctors, nurses, food, water, and all that they need in a blink of an eye. For all those that have  lost family members, give them peace, give them hope, give them courage to continue to go on! Protect the children and shield them with your power.
I pray all this in the name of Jesus!!!

To all my friends please continue to forward this so that we can pray together for the people in Haiti .
We here are truly blessed!!!!!

Surely you would have to be brain-dead to not question how it is possible for the “one who makes the impossible, possible,” to somehow lack the power to prevent this catastrophic orgy of death and destruction. Surely the average person can see how grossly insensitive it would be for an all-powerful entity to now “open the streets so that help can come” to those, said entity abandoned to the fury of mother nature.

What kind of piss-poor belief system makes a person actually think that prayer can magically provide “doctors, nurses, food, water” and even “in a blink of an eye?”

How is it possible for people to have so little self-respect, and an utter sense of worthlessness, by spending their lives grovelling on their knees, in dumb-struck awe of a sick ideology?

The problem with religion, cults, ideology, atheism even

I recently read through [well almost :-)] a 62-page document on atheism, titled Thank God, There is No God, by a fellow-atheist. It contained the usual arguments about belief and non-belief that you would find in hundreds of books and on-line resources; nothing new.

However, after going through the document, I came to realise what is most probably the real problem with religion and even atheism. While religion is dogmatic beyond a shadow of a doubt, atheism is slowly following the same path. Atheists have the same fascination for non-belief as theists have for their various religions and cults. We make the same mistakes as believers; having discovered the real possibility that a god or supernatural entity probably does not exist, we become mesmerized by this idea, and wind up being stuck in the same place, unable to move further. I should know; I’ve been guilty myself.

While the discovery of non-belief (atheism) should have been a mind-liberating event, too often we atheists are guilty of becoming fascinated with, and entwined in the very concept. Atheism should be the springboard to greater things like critical and liberated thinking, understanding humanity, and accepting that thinking must change with the receipt of new information.

It is for this reason that I can now admit that there was a time I was convinced that belief in a god was indicative of irrational thinking. But recently, thanks to another atheist friend, Daniel S, and a book I’m reading [by Sharon M Kaye] on critical thinking, I’ve come to accept that “human beings are born with the natural ability to reason logically. But we are also born with the propensity to make logical errors.” I now realize that critical thinking enables one with the tools to minimise or eliminate the logical errors we make while thinking.

You live and learn, but therein is a new problem; you don’t unfortunately live long enough to learn enough.

I’m Having Second Thoughts About Being An Atheist

Now don’t get me wrong; I haven’t had an epiphany or earth-shattering change in my way of thinking. And I don’t intend returning to the religious fold any time soon, or ever. I’m merely considering that maybe attaching the label, Atheist to myself is not exactly such a good thing. Allow me to explain…

Over the last month or so, I’ve been having a debate with some guy (I will just use his first name, Daniel) on Atheist Nation, over the “ideology” associated with Atheism. Atheist Nation is a closed/members only group for Atheists, but Theists and in fact anyone are welcomed as members. Our debate concerned the apparent degeneration of Atheism into just another patronising, arrogant and self-important ideology which had slowly assumed the mantle of intolerance that Religionists display so proudly. Daniel went on to assert that world-famous authors such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens were fanning the flames of intolerance and zealotry in Atheists by their “hypocritical” criticism and condemnation of religion and its followers. Daniel maintained that by insulting all Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. collectively we were stooping to the same level as any unthinking, uncritical, religionist. Daniel, by the way is an Atheist, but actually prefers the term skeptic which is also favored by Michael Shermer, founder of The Skeptics Society and editor of Skeptic magazine.

The point, which I admittedly, at first failed to come to terms with, and which, Daniel was trying get across in often lewd terminology, was that religion itself was not the problem, but the ideological thinking behind it, more specifically the uncritical, dogmatic and irrational approach to reality by the adherents of religions. Atheists it seems, were being led to believe that religion itself was abhorrent because of the centuries-old antagonism and strife between the various religious faiths, and the despicable fundamentalist behaviour of many of its followers.

Daniel also pointed out that Dawkins equates Atheism with superior intelligence and thus relegates it to an elitist world-view, but I think this is a bit harsh on Dawkins. I am confident that Dawkins’ sincerity is beyond reproach. However, the insinuation remains and the best defense I can offer on behalf of Dawkins is that it was certainly not intentional, and he should not be held responsible for an individual’s interpretation of his work. What is important here is that this should serve as a warning to Atheists; that they, in their interactions with Theists, should be careful of giving or creating the impression of intellectual superiority, and a smug attitude.

It’s also true that Atheists and Theists face the same problems and challenges every day; we just deal with them differently. Instead of coercing Theists into adopting new “tools” for dealing with reality, we just need to make them aware of the choices and let them decide for themselves. I still however, favor the use of (respectful) dissonance to stimulate or provoke a change in thinking in Theists, but not in any way that could be construed as proselytizing. I know Daniel wont like it, but I don’t think it is that hard to do this, without succumbing to the behaviour described earlier.

I had this idea all along that Atheism was going to save the world; that we (Atheists) were going to save the religionists from themselves. But, we were going about it all the wrong way; by succumbing to near-fundamentalism ourselves. I now see how we Atheists could indeed become that which we were trying so hard to irradicate. It’s hard to believe that this could be true, but if I apply the critical, rational thinking I advocate, then I have no choice but to accept that it could be so.

So back to the label of Atheist. When accosted by a religionist, will I be able to just say “I’m just a skeptic, I lack a belief in God, the burden of proof is on you.” Or will my perverse desire to “kick some ass” come to the fore? Time will tell.