BS News · Uncategorized

BS New #1: Bringing Back the BS

Those that know me personally may remember when I used to run a satirical news group on Facebook. Back then I would try to do  quick write-up of the day’s top stories along with some simple silliness to help pass the time. I thought it might be fun to bring the satire back in a new article for this blog. I’m not sure how often I will do this article but I hope you enjoy it.

So without further ado, I present to you a year of bullshit.


 

2017 began like many years after an election, depressingly somber.  The Republicans were happy to have won the presidential election and it only took selling out any value they once pretended to have. The Democrats were upset that their candidate had lost and would spend the next several months angry at anything that looked like a third-party voter or a Bernie Sanders supporter.

Hillary Clinton spent the first half of the year lost in the woods. With only a handful of selfies to prove she still existed.

Donald Trump came to power with a bang and had the largest inauguration audience in the history of the world. This is of course if you believe that every person in the audience was actually several toddlers standing upon each others shoulders.

A temporary ban of Muslims from Seven Arab countries was initiated, then struck down, then reinstated, then struck down again only to be reinitiated and struck down once more. Finally after many months the Trump administration was successful in banning a single telemarketer names Akbar from phoning the White House during dinner time. Trump is quoted as saying this is a “victory for all Americans and is bigger than anything Washington or Franklin ever did during their times as President.”

With all the talk of fake news during and after the election, journalistic integrity was of the utmost importance to most Americans, so much so that CNN toyed with the idea of presenting an actual news program.

The world was shocked to find that everyone you have ever known in the media, TV, movies, or tide commercials was in fact a rapist.

The Russian scandal continued when in an interview the president admitted to trying Putin’s cock but that he definitely did not inhale.

The Jews and Palestinians continued to argue over who their daddy loves best.

Alabama voters fought hard over whether or not pedophilia was OK, in a narrow victory it was decided that it was not.

Nearly all Americans will receive a tax cut with the new republican tax plan. Of course in 2027 this cut will reverse and become an increase, plus if you feed the new tax plan after midnight it might end up killing your grandmother.

Your drunk uncle is almost positive that he has found Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails after he spoke with a gay frog that was busy building the border wall.

Lastly, many Americans will enter 2018 horrified to find new election commercials plaguing their TV.  The good news is that according to one such we can now say Merry Christmas any time we want. We can also say go fuck yourself to anyone who thought we couldn’t do this in the past.

Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday: A Response of Sorts

I’m not one to do response blogs but I felt like this one is warranted. I will not be referencing the blogs that I am responding to as I have no interest in starting some sort of back and forth war with theist bloggers. That’s not the point of this blog and so if you are interested in finding these blogs just search the tag atheism and read through a few of the posts written by believers.

Over the past few days I’ve read numerous blogs by theists who believe they are clever by adding Atheist or Atheism to their blogs. As a small side note…Theists….no one has ever decided to convert to your faith because of the tag you place on a blog. It actually just leads to atheists reading your drivel and then wondering how someone survive and write a blog without a single working brain cell.

Anyway, today I’m responding to blogs which make a claim along the lines of the following…

“God’s power would be shown on Earth if more people had faith.”

elijah

My first criticism to this is that it runs completely counter to the biblical narrative. Reading through the old testament we see countless tales of God using his power in great and mighty feats due to the faith of a single human being. A few examples of this would be Abraham, Noah, Elisha, Elijah, Ezekiel, David, Daniel, etc… According to the scriptures, god has absolutely no problem showing his power in the world of men even if the faithful are down to one or two people.

paul.jpg

So the obvious argument is going to be that all of the examples I gave were from the old testament and that the new testament brought about changes that nullify the former examples. Well a look at the new Testament we find the apostles working numerous miracles amidst non-believers. We also find Paul who is constantly using the power of god to prove his ministry in one way or another. So even in the new testament the power of god was not confined to times when believers were the majority. So to take the theists claim at face value is to nullify the scriptures that their faith is supposedly built upon.

My second criticism of this is that it is simply a poorly thought out argument. If your god is so small that he can only perform wonders if the majority of people believe in him then he is not a god to be followed. Think of it like this. If your employer only paid you on weeks that everyone had perfect attendance, you probably wouldn’t stick with that job for very long. If god requires faith as some sort of currency which builds his power, then your god is nothing more than a trickster who gathers his power from those weak enough to worship him.

For my last criticism of this argument I’d like to point out that when you use this argument you are actually arguing for the reverse as well.

The statement…

shrugged

If people had more faith, then god’s power would be shown.

is the same as saying…

People have no faith because god doesn’t do shit.

What you are saying is that while it’s true that god doesn’t do anything to warrant faith in him, we should simply give faith in a hope that he might one day actually do something. This is like putting your money into an investment that constantly loses money out of the hope that one day more people will invest and it will all be worth it. Maybe one day the Amish will take over and carriage sales will fly through the roof but it still isn’t enough of a chance for me to start investing in carriage sales today.

God
FAMILY GUY: Peter and the guys go on a quest to find God and ask Him to stop interfering with the outcome of professional football games in the all-new “3 Acts of God” Time Period Premiere episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, March 9 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. FAMILY GUY ™ and © 2014 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Now, theists, I understand your point of view better than most would, as a former Pentecostal minister I understand how you feel. You go to church each Sunday, you read your bible, you pray, you give your tithes, and yet still you see no evidence of god actually working in your lives. Maybe your marriage is falling apart, you just lost your job, maybe you are depressed or longing for some otherworldly feeling of faith, and so you are looking for answers to why this feeling is outside of your grasp or why god won’t fix your marital or financial situation.

So what are you doing…

You make excuses for why god’s power can’t shine through the darkness. It’s obviously not the more logical answer that god doesn’t exist because, let’s face it, you’ve invested so much of your time and energy into this game that you can’t just accept that answer. So the reason is clear to you, the blessings that you seek from god would be granted to you if it wasn’t for all of these evil sinners and atheists in the world today. It’s our fault that god can’t do anything and if only we would recognize the need to worship a god that can’t do anything, then your life would be fixed and the world would be perfect.

Sorry…it just doesn’t work that way. Life is a mixture of good and bad times. We live and we die. Marriages fall apart, jobs come and go, life goes up and life goes down. God doesn’t fit into the equation because there is no need for a god to fit into the equation. Life is both good and bad for theists and atheists alike. Your faith or lack thereof has no bearing on the quality of life and while I know you will simply scoff it truly is that simple.

Oh….and I cleverly used the tags Christianity, Christ, and Bible in an effort to deconvert you all….did it work? LMAO

 

The Diary Of My Mind

Tis The Season

So if you have lived in the western world for any number of years you will have heard someone speak about the true meaning of Christmas. When they state this they are of course speaking of the birth of Jesus and the start of the Christian religion. Some will go even farther and speak out against what they see as the evils of Santa Claus and Christmas trees.

For Example this nutcase:

To many Christians Christmas is a solemn time of year. A time to reflect on all the blessings that god has bestowed on them throughout the year, a time to enjoy family, and by remembering the birth of Christ they also remember that the bible speaks of Christs return to lead all the good to heaven and the evil to hell.

As strange as it may seem, even when I was a minister I hated the Christmas story. For one, the way it is taught is in many ways a lie, and two it’s just a story that is boring as fuck.  Yet, as a minister…I was basically forced to give this story in a sermon at least once per year, which almost always turned out to be one of the worst sermons given the entire year. Allow me to explain…

The Christmas Story Is A Lie

No where in the new testament is it ever hinted that Christ was born on December 25th. The whole story actually points to it being sometime between late Spring and early Fall. So why to Christians celebrate the birth of Christ in December? Because in the 5th Century the church dictated that December 25th was the date that Christ was born…which also happened to be when Pagans celebrated the Solstice…isn’t that odd?

Seriously though, it’s odd that in a religion that specifically states that lying is a sin, why would they choose to lie so openly about something that is so easily proven as false? The biggest clue is that the shepherds were in their fields the night of Christs birth, something that no shepherd in that area would do in the middle of December. The reason for this is that in December, it’s cold, it’s rainy, and it’s dangerous to have flocks out in the fields during those months. It also makes no sense considering that during December the fields used for grazing would be all but barren of vegetation during that time of year.

The Christmas Story Is Boring

The most astonishing thing that occurs in the Christmas story is that a virgin gives birth to a child…that would be something but the facts are it’s not an original story. Numerous other mythologies include a virgin birth in one form or another; Mithras, Zoroaster, Laozi, Buddha, Qi, and hell, the Catholics even teach that Mary was born of Virgin birth.  So basically if you’re forming a religion, sex is something wicked and gross, and you can’t have a godhead that includes semen, so make the mother of god a virgin and you have yourself a religion…

Much of the rest of the story is a complete plagiarism of other mythologies as well. Mary and Joseph’s escape into Egypt in order to prevent Herod from murdering the Christ child is very similar to the story of Moses, a story that is included within the Christian biblical canon.

Imagine if George Lucas had built a career around Star Wars, and the only real idea he ever had been build a bigger Death Star. wouldn’t that be odd? Wouldn’t you think that fans would catch on and over time they would become bored with the same story over and over and over again?

Wait….

Anyway, so the story of Christ’s birth is a virgin gives birth in a manger, some shepherds hear about it, a bunch of astrologers, who should have been stoned if I’m not mistaken, show up, give him gifts, then a talking donkey and his ogre friends save storyland from the evil lord Farquaad. King Herod kills a bunch of kids since he has shitty astrologers who couldn’t see a bright fucking star in the sky. Mary and Joseph run to Egypt to escape Harod, who then dies while they are in Egypt, what luck, then they return home and no shrekone ever questions why this Jewish kid is still alive when every other male Jewish child within a few years of his age is dead. Imagine being a Jewish girl of the time, finding out that the only male eligible to marry is the son of God and for some reason celibate because once again sex is icky.

The story is nonsensical, screams of plagiarism, and is just so damn boring.

Early Christians were so unimpressed by the Christmas story that they banned it entirely so that they would never have to hear the birth story read at a candle-light service. Ok so they actually banned it because it’s 100% pagan in nature; Christmas trees, Yule logs, gift giving, tinsel, mistletoe, etc….

The only reason Christmas and Christianity is so synonymous, outside of the name, is that Christians wanted to be able to be included in the festivities without feeling as if they were committing some grievous sin of idol worship. So over time all of the traditions became assimilated by the Christian faith, and then today they have the audacity to act as if you are celebrating Christmas wrong for not speaking of Jesus.

Think of it like this…

window

You have a neighbor who really likes your TV. Your friend states that your TV is evil but secretly he stands outside your window and watches you enjoying television each evening. One day you come home to find him sitting in front of your TV and refusing to leave. So you buy a second TV and when you turn it on he gripes at you for not changing the channels correctly and for tuning in to the wrong programs.

That’s a pretty good representation for Christians attempting to promote the true meaning of Christmas. A pagan holiday, celebrated for centuries while Christians looked on and remarked about how evil and yet how fun the festivities seemed. They then took over all the traditions and tell others that they are doing it all wrong.

Well….isn’t that special?

christians

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and yours in whatever way you do or do not celebrate. Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!

 

Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #15: On Higher Consciousness

For last week’s Woo,  click here.

I had a conversation the other day with a man who maintains adamantly that consciousness can in no way stem from the human brain. His reasoning was built on the fabrications built by multiple pseudoscientists, and he was happy to name every single one of their publishings, one after the other in pursuit of my concession to his claims. He was quite disappointed, but we did end the confrontation peacefully, despite the fact that I still had so many questions, specifically regarding what he deemed as the source of consciousness, and why he felt so strongly and personally about the subject. Now I am left to my own speculation, which is quite imaginative to say the least:

Perhaps he feels consciousness arises from magical pixie dust that is spread throughout the ether.

Or maybe he thinks all energy of the universe conspires to make sure Pee Wee Herman can distinguish between himself and his own porno stash.

It’s also possible he considers conscious awareness gets its source from unicorns who emit beams of thought to us from their magical horns.

But most likely, his belief stems from a total misunderstanding of quantum physics…

But quantum physics does nothing to explain a consciousness incapacitated from brain damage. No amount of “studies” on *NEAR* death experiences produced can explain the vegetative state, nor can they negate a multitude of evidence that damage to the brain causes changes in personality.

Now while there may be many things we still have yet to know about consciousness, there is no need to fill in the gaps with wild claims. As neurology progresses, we shall learn more about our sense of self, and it will be an exciting endeavor as we peer through the marvelousness that is higher order consciousness. While speculation about these things may be fun, it can be harmful to assume that damage to a human brain cannot possibly change identity. I have known folks who suffered from head trauma, which subsequently altered their sense of self, behaviors, and ability to function at the same level before their injury. If the source of their consciousness stemmed from somewhere other than the brain, then why did the brain being damaged alter who they were? This is a worthy question to ask the New Agers who tend to separate the brain from the self.

From my perspective as a skeptic, the simplest explanation is the most likely, hence the higher functioning consciousness human beings utilize has evolved over a long period of time with genetic and environmental factors working in unison as contributors to developing the human brain. We had to be inventive and anticipate the future in order to survive, and this implies a deeper understanding of our own mortality – we realize that death is inevitable, and that can be an unsettling concept. We try to rationalize our own death in order to escape the fear attached to such an idea, as well as the pain that arises when we lose the company of those we adore. It’s the human condition to occupy the spaces of boredom, happiness, sorrow, and a deep sense of loneliness that accompanies higher order consciousness.

Assumptions regarding the perplexity of one’s self awareness and inner dialogue play leap frog with logic. While human consciousness may present itself as the end-all be-all that permeates everything, there is no way we could possibly know for sure, but nonetheless, the woo crowd takes this ball and runs with it. They claim that since observation is key to translating reality, that it *must BE* reality itself, and from this follows eternal life. The reasoning is that consciousness is energy, and energy only changes form. But of course, entropy isn’t considered as a portion of this idea, because that would be deterioration, which is a negative cherry these folks tend to avoid.

Panache

The cattle finds these sweet patches throughout New Age fields to be euphoric, but in truth is a misunderstanding of what we know of consciousness, and acts as if scientific inquiry yet touches the subject. We have discovered magnificence within the field of neuroscience. Like I said in a previous article, these folks long for the comfort of some sort of hive-mind, but have yet to question the implications or efficiency in their reasoning. Herds have immunity to being reasonable.

Example of this:
Elf.png

“I am all that is real…”

Kinda doesn’t follow the whole “death of the ego” concept. The incongruities just keep piling up with the enlightened crowd, don’t they? But you can bet your bottom dollar that when faced with the problems in logic, they will add some special pleading into the mix to make these ideas work, because the aim is to believe we are more than mere animals subject to mortality. It makes us feel better to think this way, at least until the frail reality of life hits someone over the head, and we must rely on the hard-working neurologists to help them recover. I am so thankful we have medical professionals and scientists to come to our aid! To me, that is way more of a comforting thought than any nonsense the woo folks can conjure.

An Aspie In Iowa

An Aspie In Iowa: Trumpets and Screeching

Tonight we went to my daughters middle school band concert which included a choir and string orchestra performance. I’m under the weather as well so it was bound to be an interesting experience.

First off, being a middle school concert it wasn’t quite as bad as an elementary school concert. There was little to no screeching from the children who sang but it still wasn’t a great musical experience. The band was amazing, really surprised by just how good they were and I was very proud of my daughters performance. She played her trumpet great and it reminded me of when I was a young kid playing the trombone in the same type of concert. I loved playing the trombone and unfortunately due to a bad decision on my part in my early 20’s I no longer have my instrument.

School concerts are hard on me because there is so much about them that I do not enjoy. Having to sit uncomfortably for over an hour, very close to other people I don’t know, who smell funny….seriously it might sound weird but people that I don’t know smell strange to me. I think it is a heightened sense of smell that comes from my Autism. Anyway I hate going to these concerts but I know that my children love having me there and so I go…I’m exhausted afterwards but I go.

So now I’m sitting watching Star Trek and trying to decompress from the social activity that I just put myself through. Star Trek has the ability to almost instantly calm me regardless of the situation. It’s always been that way for as long as I can remember.

Does anyone else experience this with their focused interests? I think it’s healthy that I put myself through these situations from time to time but afterwards I feel as if I ran a marathon. Is that just me or do some of my readers have the same experiences?

General Information

New Articles On The Way

So I’ve been writing again which is good and I hope you’ve enjoyed the newest articles from myself, Jennifer, and all the others who have submitted entries. I’ve had some new ideas that I will explore over the coming weeks.

1.) BS News report

This is a satirical take on the news of the week from my own unique point of view.

2.) The return of A Pentecostal Atheist Bible Study

3.) Deep Thoughts

Subjects may include science, medicine, paradoxes, riddles, basically anything that gets me thinking.

Anyway, keep on the lookout for these new articles as well as other posts in the future.

Thank you so much to everyone who has read so far, I appreciate you all.

Side note: What would you like to see more of in this blog. Any suggestions and help will be greatly appreciated.

Matt

The Diary Of My Mind

Nostalgia: How I Wish It Could Be Like It Never Was

Let me tell you a story…

red shed

When I think back to my childhood, a memory sticks out very clearly. It was a warm summer day. I was playing in the backyard in my sandbox. To my right stands a swing set, and to my left a large red shed. My parents walk out the back door with something in their arms, a puppy. I jump for joy at the thought of having a dog and my brother sits gurgling making some sort of weird noise since he wasn’t old enough to talk yet.

Now, why am I bringing this memory up? Because most of it my mind made up…

  • The shed was green, it had always been green.
  • I had no sandbox at that house.
  • My brother wasn’t old enough to have been outside with me.
  • My parents gave me the dog for Christmas.

Now, how on earth is it that I have a distinct memory in my head of a completely different set of circumstances? Even today it is hard for me to believe how wrong I was about all of the details of this story. I have no memory of it being Christmas when I received the dog, I still clearly remember a sandbox where there was no sandbox, and I can still see the red shed even though it had always been green.

The reason for this is that our memories are not actually that great. This isn’t a knock against the human mind but a truth that we remember what we actually need to remember and the mind fills in the blanks with what it believes to be the most likely scenario in any given situation.  The important portion of the story that I related earlier is that when I was young my parents bought me a puppy. Everything else surrounding that memory was deemed unimportant to my mind and so it simply played fill in the blank with the rest of the story.

This leads me to bring up something that each of us experiences from time to time in our lives, Nostalgia. Now one of the more interesting points about nostalgia is that at one point it was considered a serious mental disorder. People who suffered from nostalgia had a deep longing for the past, so much so that it could bring about crippling symptoms of depression and anxiety. Today we no longer see it as a mental disorder but I still say that it can have devastating effects on those who choose to live life through the eyes of nostalgia.

I grew up in the 1980’s during the Reagan administration. My parents, being staunch conservatives, raised me to believe that America had never before been better, and never would be better, than it was during the 1980’s. The truth of this matter is a mixed bag. The world did experience the end of the cold war which led to peace of mind for many who had lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation, but at the same time homelessness increased, wages lowered, and the economy took a major hit due to the failed trickle down policies of that administration. Thus the bright and shining 1980’s for my parents was the dismal and dank 1980’s for my grandparents.

“Make America Great Again” was the slogan of the Trump campaign and it was based entirely on the Reagan campaign of the early 80’s. A certain group of people do honestly believe that we were once greater than we are now and if we can only retake the reigns of society and hit the brakes on progressive reforms we will once again see our greatness shine. However this is 100% based on nostalgic feelings for a time that never actually existed in American history.

This nostalgia centers around the idea that America once took care of itself. We produced everything we needed, our factories were filled with workers, and everyone made more than enough money to raise a family on. The truth though is that the time period Americans are attempting to seek out wouldn’t have existed if not for the rest of the world. By this I am talking about WWII and the decimation of factories across Europe and Asia. When the other industrial nations were digging out from a horrific war, American business boomed. The war never touched our soil and so it was easy to begin manufacturing enough for both domestic customers and abroad. Unfortunately for the American worker, Europe and Asia rebuilt their manufacturing capabilities and when that happened our labor force took a significant hit.

So are these folks who wish for a return to the past also wishing a return of a horrific decades long world war which leaves the rest of the world incapable of producing anything? I sincerely doubt that. However without the same circumstances we cannot hope for a return of manufacturing jobs, which highlights my point, we are wishing for a set of circumstances that never actually existed apart from just after WWII.

contrails
(Contrails left in the sky after the Battle of Britain)

Nostalgia can take on many other forms which lead the mind down dangerous paths. This on the sky when you were a child. What color is the sky? I would assume you think of a healthy shade of blue without a cloud in sight. Your mind doesn’t recall the contrails left by airplanes flying through the air and so you remember a clear and sunny sky. This leads many to make the claim that the government is using chemtrails to pollute the air, they will state confidently, “There weren’t any of these chemtrails when I was a child.” No, you don’t remember the contrails because your mind didn’t think they were important enough to remember.

Most of us have had the experience of breaking up with someone only to feel badly about the break up a few days later and wish it had never occurred. Maybe you were in an abusive relationship or know someone who was in an abusive relationship. You finally break free and yet for some reason we feel the need to reconcile with that person, knowing full well that things will not get better, but our minds attempt to trick us into believing that simply being with the person was better than not being with them.  This is nostalgia once again playing its wicked games with us or the person you know who went through this.

It has been said that “The past can be a wonderful place as long as you don’t stay there.” While our memories of certain events can be false, the lessons we learn from the past can stick with us forever. We should learn from the past and not yearn to retake what we believe once was. Humanities hope is in the future, in the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge, in the way we see our fellow humanity.  Let the past remain in the muddied waters of our minds and attempt to make the best possible future we can together.

The Diary Of My Mind

Perceptions of Reality

“Cogito ergo sum” – René Descartes

So tonight I want to talk a little bit about perceptions of reality.

To start I’d like to say what this post is not going to be about, the idea that perception equates to reality. There are many charlatans out there who will try to teach you a various forms of solipsism, the belief that the only thing which we can be totally sure of is our own perception of reality. This isn’t necessarily untrue however it gets muddy when this form of subjective reality comes into contact with objective reality. Nearly all forms of new age spiritualism and religion attempt to equate their own subjective realities with actual reality and that is the point of this article.

When I was a minister I could look at anything and come up with numerous reasons why it reminded me of God. I would claim that any time I was sick it was due to evil forces attacking me and attempting to keep me from doing god’s will. Each time I recovered it was miraculous and only due to the power of god coursing through my veins. In other words I lived almost completely the subjective reality that I had chosen to reside in.

Many would say that there is no harm in allowing people to live in their own subjective world of delusions, however I can tell you first hand that it is dangerous. I have autism and never would have sought out psychiatric care while I was a member of the faith. Psychiatry was seen as sinful and a worldly obsession bent on drugging the masses and preventing us from seeing and doing god’s will. I believed for a long time that I was oppressed by demons which prevented me from being social, kept me focused on very narrow interests, and didn’t allow me to experience the world in the same way that everyone else around me did. It wasn’t demons though, it was simply that I had been born with autism and now that I know that I enjoy life much more fully.

My story isn’t the worst of these scenarios. Mothers and fathers let their children die because of the belief that modern medicine is unnecessary and that god has the power to cure any illness. Every day parents abstain from having their children vaccinated because of the false belief that those vaccines cause autism or any other number of ills. Numerous cats have been killed due to their owners attempting to feed them a vegan diet even though they are carnivores and cannot survive on a plant-based diet. Children kill themselves because of the guilt they feel simply by being born gay and having been taught of a god that considers them an abomination.

The truth is that regardless of what you believe, reality exists, and attempting to live outside of actual reality can be and is dangerous in many ways.

Christopher Hitchens is known for saying that “Religion poisons everything.” I agree with this quote but would like to state that the majority of religious people are fine and upstanding human beings who will never harm another person outside of their own indoctrinated faith. Now indoctrination is bad alone however it is benign compared to what religion can do in the mind of someone who is already mentally ill.

(FILE PHOTO) Andrea Yates

In the book of Genesis we read of the story where Abraham is told by god to kill his son Isaac. Now the end of this story is of course that god spares Isaac due to his father’s faith and obedience. Yet, I wonder how different would the story be read if Abraham actually had killed his son Isaac? What if Abraham had never heard god give him the second message? Would believers then view this story differently? A quick google search will come up with numerous people who have been murdered over the years because god told them to do it. If we are to accept Abraham’s story as truth then why don’t we view these others in the same way?

Many believers will say that God never intended Abraham to kill his child and that it was always a test. Either the story would have gone as it did in the Bible or Abraham would have refused and god’s blessing would have went to the next person who was obedient. However, another story in the bible tells us that god has no problem with a parent killing a child.

In the book of Judges we read of Jephthah who was “a mighty warrior.” Jephthah promises the lord that if god will allow him to slay the Ammonites, then the first person he sees upon his return home will be sacrificed to god. God is totally into this idea and allows Jephthah to win the battle. Upon returning home Jephthah is distraught when the first person he sees happens to be his daughter, an only child. God being merciful allows the daughter to live for a time but eventually the story says that Jephthah does what had to be done in order to appease god. Why is this story not taught as often as the story of Abraham? Both stories teach of obedience, faith, and trust in the lord, however in one story the child lives and in the other god enjoys the sweet smells of burning daughter flesh.  I would say that the reason this story is not as well-known is due to the fact that we all understand that child killing, no matter who requests it, is not a good thing in any sense. We all, or at least the vast majority of humans on earth accept this as being objectively true.

Is it any wonder why we now view those who believe god asked them to kill their child or some other person as being mentally ill? Those who do not view reality in the same terms that we do are understood to have some form of malfunction, they can be dangerous to themselves or others. Yet, religion is often times exempted from this scrutiny. There are churches where it is taught that drinking poison and handling snakes isn’t dangerous as long as you have enough faith. There are churches and new age gurus promoting the idea that vaccines are dangerous which puts everyone at risk. I would wish to live in a world free from these forms of dangerous indoctrination.

toys

1 Corinthians has a scripture that will always stick with me.  Even today it’s words are as powerful to me as an atheist as they were to me when I was a believer.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” – 1 Cor 13:11

It’s time that humanity puts their childhood behind them. In so many ways we have grown and progressed as people, still in others we attempt to hold on to our toys and childish beliefs. The majority of us from the western world were raised to believe in Santa Claus, yet to find an adult who still earnestly believes in Santa would not only be shocking but would make you question that person’s sanity altogether.  This mindset though is exactly what people of faith find themselves in today.  The whole world of science is telling folks, “Santa isn’t real, there is no evidence of Santa, no matter how hard you believe there will be no presents under your tree unless someone else buys them for you.” Yet people still hold on to this belief that Santa will one day return and fix all the worlds ills, mainly by tormenting all of the naughty children for all eternity.

Religion is dangerous and it does poison everything. We could have a world away from the childish superstitions of humanities past. The world is becoming more secular and religious faith is waning, all we need to do is put away our childish things and become the grown humanity that we are meant to now be.

Wednesday Woo

Collectives

For the last Wednesday Woo, click here.

 

“Resistance is futile…”

“What you resist persists…”

A big issue I have with New Age beliefs stems from their absolute core value of shedding the ego, which is the individual who thinks independently of the collective, has the ability to reason, and critically push back at any argumentum ad populum. It’s a very easy trap to fall into, since human brains are wired for tribalism, but the New Age way of thinking goes far beyond this, and into the unification of all humanity. Of course, they have their work cut out for them, especially since another core belief is an abhorrence of any group that doesn’t concur with their own sense of purpose and reasoning, thus giving these ideas incongruence.

This way of thinking tends to overlook the present for the splendor of a future realm that is free of suffering, since mankind causes the majority of its own demise, it seems to make sense at the surface. However, when one places more emphasis on an expectation, especially one derived from assumptions, they fall into a pit of disappointing inferiority.

Nietzsche points out:

Wait a minute, doesn’t the New Age belief encourage creativity and seek out one’s inner genius in an effort toward betterment? That is the claim, but when it comes to true unification and loss of individuality being toted as a prime way of letting go of not just one’s own suffering, but all of humanity, then mediocrity ensues. What’s really ironic to me is when they call people who do not agree with all their assumptions “sheeple” and discuss herd mentality as if they are beyond this phenomenon while being completely immersed within it. The cognitive dissonance is astounding, and the wish to be a slave to unity goes against every principle of freedom western society has erected. That is the key – an absolute rejection of western ways of thinking: the enlightenment, rise of philosophical thought, political revolutions, and scientific progress for an appeal to the ancient.

Another aspect of this, which was pointed out in the Nietzsche excerpt, is the state of mind the average New Ager occupies: a deep self-loathing that is projected toward humanity as a whole due to their own feelings of unimportance in the world. Granted, there are outliers to this, but more often than not, you will see sentiments of hatred for one’s own humanity when hanging out with those who claim enlightenment. After all, they do hold themselves in higher authority consciously, but an expression of deep-seated discontent toward their own humanness simply cannot be helped. But their own motivation to ascend the ladder of being keep them driven deeper into the realization that they are not supernatural beings capable of more than humanly possible. They find themselves perpetually stuck in their own existence, and wishing to escape to a future landscape where their suffering is avoided with a wave of their magical hand. Once again, this is a set up for disappointment.

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Failure is an inevitable portion of life – a way of learning our capabilities. It takes courage to face, and sometimes lots of tears, but it is a worthy effort if you, as a free-thinking individual are going to find your niche. If one attempts to escape their own distinctiveness, they lose traction of the very thing they strive for: excellence and self actualization. Be present, and be you.

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This week’s entry is a bit short, but I’m kinda running out of ideas to discuss. What I really wish to do is give a voice to other people who have found issues with woo thinking. Send us your story on Facebook or Twitter (either in the comments or a message) and I will put them in a blog for others to read.

An Aspie In Iowa

An Aspies Guide To The Holidays

A few weeks back I wrote a few tips from the atheist side of things and I thought that I might come back to this topic from another important aspect of my life, Autism. The holidays are both wonderful and horrifying to many of us on the spectrum. We love to give, to receive, to spend time with family but at the same time all of these things can cause us a lot of stress and anxiety. So without further ado, here are some tips for Aspies during the holidays.

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1.) Know your exits

With the holidays come social gatherings and in any social gathering it is important to know your exits. If things get a bit to stressful, or you find yourself headed towards an overload head towards that exit. An exit isn’t meant to imply you are leaving but that you are heading off for a moment to regroup. If it’s warm enough I will step outside for a few minutes and if I can’t do that I’ll head to the bathroom. Anything that you can do to get yourself back under control can be very helpful.

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2.) You don’t have to eat that

Another thing that comes with the holidays is food, some of which is probably fairly disgusting to you. Forcing yourself to eat things that you don’t like can add a layer of stress to the holidays that I don’t believe a neurotypical could understand. Eat what you like, pass on what you don’t. If someone offers you something that looks unappealing, thank them for the offer but pass on their offer. If the need arises, and it might, you can always pretend to have a food allergy which prevents you from eating whatever is being offered.

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3.) Remember people don’t like the truth when it comes to gift giving.

If you get something that you don’t like…the answer is not to say you don’t like it…no matter how correct that answer might seem to be. Just smile and thank the person for the gift and then if it is something you truly hate you can always attempt to sell it or take it back after the holidays. A person giving you a gift is more about the idea that they thought of you than about what is actually given, at least that is what I am told…however I’ve had people give me gifts that were so foreign to who I am that it almost offended me that they would give me that type of gift….even so the best option is to pretend you like it and move on.

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4.) Steer Clear of Truth Serum

If one thing leads me to make inappropriate comments it is alcohol. If I’ve had a few then I am likely to tell people exactly what I think of them and so during the holidays I avoid any type of drinking. You probably know yourself fairly well and maybe one or two will help calm your nerves and allow you to enjoy the festivities more fully. However, know your limits.

 

5.) If you are unsure about what to get someone ask

Sure, I might think getting Star Trek stuff for Christmas is the ideal gift. However, this might not be the case for others around you. If you are unsure then the best option is to ask. One of the big problems that I have faced in life is how neurotypical people seem to pick up on what other people like and are easily able to get them something that they might enjoy. I’ve never been very good at picking out gifts for people and before I started asking I had several awkward experiences…Note…it is never ok to buy a loved one a vacuum for Christmas…you live and you learn…

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6.) Look for others who might also be on the spectrum

I have a cousin who is also on the spectrum. At thanksgiving he was sitting all by himself and not talking to anyone. I noticed this and asked him what his interests were. At first he didn’t say much but the second we got onto the topic of “Star Wars” he was as happy as could be. His mother told me after the dinner that it was the happiest she has seen him in a long time and that he had told her that he had never enjoyed a holiday gathering more than that day. Life is confusing, being on the spectrum can suck at times, and so sticking together and having a good time is important.

7.) Have Fun!

Try to have fun. Get through the holidays and then unwind with your favorite activity, tv show, or movie series. One of the best parts about the holidays is that they only come once per year. Try not to stress too much about them and yet at the same time realize that the holidays are stressful for everyone. Love your family, enjoy your friends, but always keep your mental well-being in mind.

Have a safe and happy holidays!