Bad Theism · Inoculation Against Indoctrination

Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 0-3: Sights and Sounds

Tonight starts another brand new series that I hope you will all enjoy. In Inoculation Against Indoctrination I will be speaking of what a religious upbringing does to the brain, and how it changes as a person grow older or when they enter the faith. I was raised in a fairly strict Pentecostal home, though I can say that I knew others who come from an even more strict family. Yet, I from what I’ve read of others stories and how religious faith works in general I think a person from any faith will see parallels to their own upbringing.


So you’ve just spent 9 months in the womb, you squeeze yourself into the world of the non umbilical connected entities and where do you find yourself. Well, outside of what I hope is a hospital, it’s a good chance that you were born to religious parents. You don’t even have control of your own head before they parade you to church, synagogue, or a mosque. Some of your very earliest memories will probably be within the walls of your own faiths version of a temple.

Before you are even able to talk you hear songs and see people acting in strange ways. Everyone wants to touch you while closing their eyes and mumbling a bunch of random sounds. If you are born with a penis, one of your first painful experiences was probably of someone lopping off a piece of it. Unfortunately in some parts of the world, if you are a female you may have to go through an even worse form of circumcision at some point in your life.

So you’re laying there in your mother or your fathers arms and you hear people sing the hymns, you hear the voice of the religious leader as they speak, you hear prayers and testimonies. All of these things are flowing into your infant mind and shaping how you view things that are normal, even though you might not be making many memories, what your mind does collect will have a great deal of influence over how you view faith as you grow older.


Once you’ve gained control of your head and your limbs, mastered standing and maybe walking around a bit, and begun talking a bit you find that people are trying to get you to say new words all the time. If you’re born into a fundamentalist Christian family, one of the words that people around you try to get you to say is “Jesus.” Aroud this time you are probably christened or “dedicated to god”, which is a ceremony that basically says you are owned by god and your parents are simply your guardians here on earth.

Around this time you begin mimicking your parents and those that you see in your religious environment.  The more you mimic the adults the more praise you receive by those around you. Praise is good and it feels good and so you mimic more and more. Maybe your family sees your wonderful mimic skills as actual faith and so they post videos of you on YouTube like the one below.

You’re beginning to speak more and more. At around three years old you are taken from your parents when at church and placed in Sunday school with other children your age. Not much in the way of learning is done but their are games, toys, and songs. You really like the songs and they are easy to remember so you sing them throughout the day. Little do you know that you’ve spent your entire life, readying yourself for the next stage, when indoctrination truly begins in the minds of most children raised within the church. The only thing that you know is…

“Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little Ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong.”


For the next article in this series, click here:Inoculation Against Indoctrination: Ages 4-6: Jesus Loves You

Weekend Tube

Weekend Tube 01/26/18

Good evening Heathens and Hell-Bound Friends and Foes alike.  Welcome, once again, to your one stop shop for some great videos to check out this weekend. There’s going to be a few more videos this week than last because it was a pretty damn good week for videos. If you think I’ve missed anything, let me know. Just so you all know….the ranking is pretty well arbitrary but helps move things along. Also most of these videos are recent but at the same time this article is about the videos I enjoyed the most this week not necessarily the ones that were made in the past week.

#10 Professor Stick: “Outrageous Coffee Treatment is Outrageous”

Holy shit….literally…. I loved this video because it’s informative and because I’ve tried doing a coffee enema in the past and well…it was a really bad experience and I also shot coffee all over my bathroom….but yeah….Coffee enemas are pretty much shit….

#9 Godless Engineer: “ASAPScience Fails At Mathematically Proving God Exists”

I cannot possibly tell you how hard I laughed at the question, “Why is god wearing a tiara?” Godless Engineer returns to the list this week with a very funny take-down of a very stupid video. Also an extra 10 points for the fucking awesome Ninja Turtle Beanie.

Number 8: Holy Koolaid “Testing Psychics with Science”

Holy Koolaid is a fantastic channel with a lot of great videos. In this video he talks about the claims of psychics and how we might test those claims. Spoiler: Psychics are full of shit but it doesn’t stop them from using people each and every day.

Number 7: Paulogia “Genetic Entropy. We’re all DOOMED! – Creation Today Claims”

This is actually from a series of videos, all of which are excellent. Paulogia is great at taking down Creation Today’s arguments and his deadpan style is absolutely hilarious at times. I think you are really going to enjoy this one.

Number 6: Cosmological “Bad Analogies Don’t Prove God”

New to Youtube, Cosmological gives Paulogia a run for his money when it comes to the deadpan style of humor. He really knows his stuff and still manages to bring a lot of humor to the table. Check him out and if you like it subscribe, I hope to see much more from Cosmological in the future.

Number 5: Robert Lester “Cults and Context – a response to Cult Apologists”

Robert Lester has become one of my favorite Youtubers over the last few months. His videos are full of information. In this video he speaks about the death of Max Spiers a known conspiracy theories. Of course his death has spawned even more conspiracy theories.

Number 4: No Sacred Cows “Ten Questions For White Nationalist”

This video appears for two reasons. 1.) It poses some great questions that any White Nationalist should be forced to answer and 2.) I think he will be shocked to have made the list. I really did enjoy this video nonetheless.

Number 3: Anti-Ordinary “RE: WHAT IF THE EARTH IS FLAT?!”

Anti-Ordinary was included in last weeks article but in a video with Godless Engineer. This one is cheating a bit since it’s 6 days old but hey it’s my list and I only say it this week. She does a great job at picking apart the flat earth arguments and is pretty damn funny while doing it.

Number 2: Godless Engineer “Only Real Christians Believe Vigilant Christian Mario”

Godless Engineer Makes a second appearance in this video where he confronts a No True Scotsman fallacy head-on. I loved this video but I don’t know if I like his Beanie more… I gotta find out where he gets these because they are just awesome.

Number 1: Aron Ra “Systematic Classification of Life – ep20 Eucynodontia”

Okay, so I’m a science nut and AronRa is an absolute monster when it comes to explaining science. You get more information in a 12 minute video from AronRa than you do from some textbooks, which he is only too happy to point out. This is another series of videos so take some time and check it out.

Video Of The Week: Godless Cranium “The Indoctrination of the North American ‘Indian'”

If you want to watch a powerful video then look no further. I also have to say that I really learned some things that I didn’t know about the treatment of native tribes in both the US and Canada. This is a heartbreaking video and one that I think almost anyone should watch.

Well, those are the videos that I enjoyed the most this week. If you felt there was a video that I missed and should have been included, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy these videos. If you aren’t subscribed to these channels and enjoy what you see, please subscribe. If you are able consider donating to some of the folks Patreons as well, creating content is time-consuming and of course, time equals money.

Unmasking Doctrine

Unmasking Doctrine #1: The Inspired Scriptures

Welcome back to my blog heathens and hell-bound friends and foes alike. Tonight we are starting a series that’s going to be a bit different. Unmasking Doctrine will explore the “fundamental truths” that were taught in the Pentecostal church that I am most experienced with, The Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God Church has 16 fundamental truths that all Assemblies of God Churches must adhere. Their statement of faith even says “these are non-negotiable” and so if you were born and raised in the Assembly of God church you will find these things to be almost second nature. To simplify things I will refer to the Assemblies of God as simply the AoG from here on out.

So a little background if you are unfamiliar with the AoG…

The AoG is the largest of Pentecostal denominations in the US, claiming to have over 3 million members in the U.S. and over 60 million members worldwide. Started in 1914, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the assemblies thank much of their beliefs to the Azuza street revivals, a revival occuring in 1906 Los Angeles. The Pentecostal movement itself owes their existence to these revivals. Anyway with over 13,000 churches in the US the AoG is pretty damn big. If you’d like to know more about this click here. I’ve also included this documentary if you’d like to know more about the Azusa Street revivals.


With that out-of-the-way, let’s get started…

According to the first fundamental truth is…

1.)The Scriptures Inspired

“The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.”

It then lists several scriptures from which we can find this fundamental truth:

  1. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  2. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
  3. 2 Peter 1:21

So basically what the AoG is trying to say is that if it is in the Bible, it’s inspired by god and so can be useful in learning how to live a good life and teach us how to be the best people we are meant to be. What many in the Assemblies fail to do though is actually read their bibles. If they did they would see that much of the Old Testament is absolutely atrocious, has no real moral value, and if someone did actually live their life according to its tenets they would most likely be a psychopath.

Another thing that the AoG doesn’t tend to teach its congregants is that the scriptures used to justify this “fundamental truth” are not speaking about the New Testament at all. The new testament wouldn’t even exist until long after these scriptures were written and were not commonly accepted by all Christians for another couple hundred years. These scriptures are not referring to the Christian bible at all but are actually referring to the Old Testament, because Christianity is an off-branch of the Jewish faith.

Now what makes this even more interesting is that most Pentecostals reject the Jewish faith almost entirely believing that the church has taken the place of the Jews as god’s chosen people. Sure they will praise Israel and do anything to see that Israel succeed but this is for an entirely separate reason that we won’t be getting into tonight. Even funnier is that the Jewish faith rejects almost the entirety of what the AoG teaches.


The Scriptures Are True?

So if these scriptures were referring to the old testament claiming that it is inspired, true, and good then we must accept a few things.

  1. The Earth is Young.
  2. Snakes used to walk and talk.
  3. The Earth is flat
  4. The stars are either angel eyes or lights glued to the firmament.
  5. The firmament exists…
  6. We owe all pain, suffering, hard work and death to eating a piece of god’s fruit.
  7. Millions of people took a two-week journey that lasted over 40 years.
  8. Millions of people traveled for over 40 years without leaving a trace of evidence.
  9. A donkey talked to its owner.
  10. The devil and god made a bet over just how bad they could make one mans life.

I could go on but for brevity I’ll just state that the Old Testament is absolutely chock full of bullshit, bullshit that owes much of itself to older faiths that existed centuries before the books of the Old Testament. Going through the Old Testament is a lot like reading a book of Mother Goose’s Fairy Tales with slightly more murder, rape, and other awfulness.

Probably the most damning evidence against the claims of divine inspiration is just how wrong much of the old testament was about the physical world that we live in. Either it wasn’t divinely inspired or god is incredibly stupid. He doesn’t understand how rain works, doesn’t understand that space exists, doesn’t understand how animals get stripes, doesn’t understand the wind, doesn’t understand the evolution of language, doesn’t understand chromosomes or genetics, germs, reproduction, or a plethora of other topics. If this being does exist you wouldn’t trust it to make ramen on your stovetop let alone worship it for how wise and awesome it is.

Scripture is Good?


The second of this “fundamental truth” is that the scriptures are all for our good. Maybe they aren’t all true but maybe the inspiration comes in the form of character building ideals. So lets look at the things you have to accept as good and inspiring.

  1. God takes no personal responsibility.
  2. Slavery is divinely ordained.
  3. Beating your slave as long as they don’t die is fine.
  4. Selling your daughter into slavery is economic.
  5. Murdering disobedient children is cool.
  6. Stoning homosexuals is great.
  7. Burning Witches builds character.
  8. Murdering folks in a neighboring town is amazing.
  9. Sacrificing your child is cool if god ordains it. (Before you say he didn’t let Abraham follow through with it, I’m not referring to Abraham or Isaac)
  10. Killing an entire city because someone touched a magic box is completely reasonable.

Once again I could go on but I think you can see by just these examples that not all scripture is good and it definitely won’t build our character. We have a place for people who adhere to these types of things, it’s called prison. If you knew anyone who actually followed any of these things you’d run the opposite direction, luckily enough this brings me to my last point.


The Bible is Divinely Inspired….except when it’s not

What makes this first “fundamental truth” so hilarious is just how much of the Bible the AoG actually doesn’t follow. Mixed cloth is fine even though prohibited, gluttony is practiced by almost every evangelist and yet it is also prohibited, tattoos and piercings are common among the youth and young adults even though these are abominations to god. Eating a rare steak is cool, eating pork is cool, shellfish is cool, rabbit is cool…if there is one thing that congregants in the Assemblies are good at, its cooking anything and everything that moves.

This isn’t really an issue with just the AoG, Cherry picking is rampant in the Christian tradition, it’s the only real way that you can continue saying that the scriptures are all true and all good. I also realize what the argument against me will be, they will claim that I am also cherry picking but here’s the difference. They are the ones claiming that it is all inspired and good, if I can find one example where it isn’t inspired or good then it nullifies their initial claim.

Think of it like this:

A man has 100 cows and he claims that all of the cows are black. If I can prove that even one of his cows is white he can no longer state that they are all black. He could still say that most of his cows were black but the claim that they were all black would be untrue. Well, the AoG is saying the opposite, that the entire bible is white and I’m saying, no…look at all of the shades of grey and all the truly dark scriptures that I have found. Your claim is untrue and this is why.

False information is harmful….but don’t take my word for it…


To continue on to part 2: click here:Unmasking Doctrine #2: One True God



Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #18: The Mind

For last weeks Wednesday Woo, click here:Wednesday Woo #17: Karma and Morality.

When one hangs around New Age circles for any amount of time, their main concern with consciousness, the mind, and individuality becomes quite obvious: they wish to be rid of it all. Now, I have mentioned this subject before, particularly when it comes to the dangers of losing one’s individual freedom, but this time I would like to focus your attention on the concept of “losing the mind” AKA “becoming pure consciousness,” which translates to a method of peace that essentially turns your mind to goo. The dangers of this idea should be quite evident, but those who desire to attain spiritual enlightenment silence the alarm bells.

lose mind.png

“Being a human being is a tough state, especially if you have an awareness of that nagging voice within.”

Human beings cannot achieve this “no mind” of course, but that doesn’t stop New Agers from pretending. I say pretending simply because they claim to be at peace, yet when faced with criticism of their ideas, they tend to fall down from nirvana cloud nine in order to give me shit, telling me that I must open my mind to their woo, without any clue that I had already done so, much to my own despair. This is a hypocritical role in which they partake, and either they lack the cognitive ability to be self-aware (because they don’t expose themselves to adequate stimuli), or they are liars. Either way, I see no moral direction in the practice, since any negative or critical thought that arises is cast aside for more pleasant, yet ultimately meaningless platitudes.

Being a human being is a tough state, especially if you have an awareness of that nagging voice within. I cannot blame people for wishing to escape such a thing, however there are better methods in which to do this. It’s ok to take a moment to relax from the inner critic – listen to music, do something creative, learn a new, challenging skill, etc., but to abandon such stimuli leads to your own brain’s demise. What I find really disconcerting about running away from stimuli for a fake inner peace is, these folks say they wish to be more creative, yet critical thinking is the pathway toward greater creativity.


If you have yet to read Darwin’s Apple, I suggest you check it out. It explains religious ritual, as well as prayer from a more evolutionary correlation of trying to deal with the agony of having higher order consciousness. Being aware of the self, as well as being able to predict future events such as one’s own death brings existential problems. It makes sense that human beings would wish to escape, but the reality is: there is no escaping death. All there can be is a momentary lapse in memory. No amount of belief in energy living on forever is going to change this fact, but believing your energy will last forever places a person in a state where they never have to face any mental challenges that would better their lives while they are here, not to mention, offers no moral guideline to how to treat others.

“It would be chaos – with no technological advances, because intuitions have a tendency to be absolutely wrong in practice, thus any invention would fail.”

If one is willing to sacrifice their own individuality to attain a fake sense of peace, they will push others to do the same, which they do, and wish for everyone to “wake up” to the nonsense they have adopted. Consider the implications of a society run by people who refuse to be challenged, think karma is for real, are skeptical of science, and think that their own personal truth is the actual truth. Seems like woo-woo-Jesus would like such a society…


It would be chaos – with no technological advances, because intuitions have a tendency to be absolutely wrong in practice, thus any invention would fail. Without critical thinking, brains would be mush, so no one would even bother to care for advancement anyhow. Language and writing would decline, because New Agers consider words as meaningless, but poverty would advance, since karma/reincarnation as a moral compass provides only a way of looking down on those who weren’t born into successful circumstances. In fact, you don’t have to even imagine such a thing, since OSHO did his own experiment in mindlessness, having created a small society, but a society nonetheless, where people abandoned their minds, only to be traumatized. Many of them were never the same.


“Shoes and minds must be left at the gate.”


Keep your mind healthy, for it is pertinent if you wish to live a good, moral, healthy life. Read books that challenge you, play games with people, and begin practicing critical thinking for your own sake. Get mental stimulation, after all, a good mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Finely Tuned Bull****

For the last Bad Theism article, click here: Bad Theism: Apocalyptic Mindset.

“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

– Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy


I want you to think about the game of 5 card stud poker. The odds of getting dealt a royal flush are fairly low, only 649,739 : 1 or .000154% and yet we all know that royal flushes are dealt from time to time. Now think of Powerball, the odds of winning at Powerball are 292,000,000: 1 and yet each year a handful of people win the big one. You actually have a better chance of getting struck by lightning while getting eaten by a shark than winning the Powerball and yet people still win.

The reason I bring these things up is that simply due to the fact that some result might be rare, it does not necessarily remove the possibility of that the result will occur. The universe is both really big and really old, these are facts that I won’t be arguing during this article. What I will be discussing tonight is the so-called fine-tuning argument.

Theists would have you believe that simply because the odds of life existing are astronomically low then there must have been a god in order for life to get started. The fine-tuning argument attempts to do just that. To put it simply:

The conditions of life are rare and the physical constants are fine-tuned in such a way that allows for life to exist and thrive. If things were only slightly different the universe as we know it would not exist and life itself would be impossible. Due to the finely tuned nature of the universe, a tuner must exist that set things into motion. (Theists will then add to this the anthropic principle and state that the tuner must be god)


From what we currently understand, life in the universe is rare, so rare that we have literally only found it in one place so far…here, Earth. Yet the more we understand the conditions that make life possible, and find planets that seem to have those same conditions, the likelihood that life exists in some form elsewhere in the universe becomes much more likely. Yet is this evidence that the universe has been finely tuned for us to exist and that god is in control?

I would say no…I would state that the universe is not finely tuned for us but that we are finely tuned for the universe. What I mean by that is due to natural causes, our evolution has led us to be a creature that is perfectly capable of thriving in our current environment, namely, this small blue dot in the vacuum of space. Remove us from this tiny environment and you will find that the universe is not finely tuned for our life at all.

Second, I want you to think about the supposed nature of god. God is supposedly omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, or in other words, all-powerful, all-encompassing, and all-knowing. God is said to exist both without and within the physical universe. Now…if a being like this were to exist, then what reason would there be for all the physical constants and any of the finely-tuned aspects of the universe?

If god were to exist, then what would be the point of the speed of light, the constants of gravity, or electro-magnetism. Why would our bodies require a precise amount of oxygen in order to live, why would our bodies need food and water in order to survive. A god could, and if he was all-knowing and all-good, could create a world where absolutely none of this mattered.

If by chance our globe existed in the orbit of mercury and yet we still thrived upon it, I would then make a guess that something was keeping us all from catching fire. If our bodies existed as they currently do and yet we lived on a planet with a sulphuric atmosphere, I might then consider the possibility that an outside force, such as god was keeping us from dying in that deadly environment. However, neither of these things are true. We are adapted to the environment in which we live, as every other species of animal that has ever existed on this planet has been. If it wasn’t adapted to life here then it wouldn’t survive long enough to propagate and spread its genes.

Basically what I am saying is that the physical constants of the universe actually point in the opposite direction, towards a universe from natural causes rather than from a god.

Let me give you my opinion on what a world, with a god, would look like…


For starters the whole globe idea is just unnecessary, so let’s flatten out the earth into plane with hills and shit but clearly defines borders. We’ll make it a circle because circles are cute and split it into four sections. In each section I’d place an angel that would control the wind or some shit…

Now this flat plane isn’t just going to float in the vacuum of space and so I’m going to give it some pillars to act as legs which connect to something but who knows what…I mean….I’m god…maybe they connect to me…. After I get those legs in place I’m going to float my creation in water, jest a big damn ball of water and in order to keep my flat plane dry, I’m putting a giant dome over the plane…I’ll call it the firmashit or something catchy…

Now, obviously I’m going to make plants need water and animals need water, so there has to be some way that the water on the outside can get to the land within. Springs will do pretty nicely but I’m going to have to put in some windows just in case I want to kill everything as quickly as possible. So that giant dome is going to be covered in windows that I can open or shut whenever I want.


The people on this plane are going to have a hard time building me temples if I don’t give them some lights, so on the dome I’m going to put a shit load of led lights, I’ll call them stars. They aren’t going to give much light so I’m going to need a couple of big bulbs, one for day and one for night, that will circle around the plane. These lights will be nice just in case I need to fix them in place so that one group of the people I created can win a battle against another group that I also created…totes cool!

Anyway, then I’m going to sit back and wait for that sweet smell of burning flesh to float up to me…I absolutely love the smell of burning flesh because I’m a sociopath…

You know what….I just realized that my world would be the exact type of world that the bible describes. See the people who wrote the bible had absolutely no understanding of any of the sciences and so they just accepted what they had been told. Other groups had believed the same thing for thousands of years before old testament, why mess with perfection. This is the world they believed that they existed in, and so it was perfectly natural to believe that god created it all. As our understanding of universe and the world around us expanded, this story became less and less realistic to the point that even the craziest of apologists doesn’t really try to support much of it anymore.


We learned that there were other planets, the lights in the sky were stars, our own sun was a star and the moon wasn’t even a fucking light. We learned that there was no firmament, no windows, no pillars, no water outside either. We learned of gravity and the fact that our Earth is a spinning globe in a universe filled with other spinning globes. We may not know all the answers to abiogenesis but we do have a fairly good understanding of how evolution shaped life on this globe.

God continually got smaller so that he could fit within the gaps of what we don’t yet know, and now he can only exist in the small gaps created by an awful argument like the one we’ve spoken of tonight. The universe isn’t finely tuned for us, we’re tuned to the universe or else we wouldn’t exist. Simple as that. If we weren’t tuned to the universe and yet somehow we still existed, then maybe you’d have a leg to stand on in your idea that….god dun it…





Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: Apophenia and Pareidolia

Before I get started, if you are new to this blog perhaps you would be interested in my journey from Pentecostal minister to evangelical atheist, preaching the good news that god almost certainly does not exist and so you can quit worrying about hell. If interested you can find the beginning of my journey here, My Journey Away From Faith: Part 1.

So let me give you a scenario…

Imagine it’s 30,000 years ago and you’re walking through the woods late at night. You really shouldn’t be out here but those berries were so damn good that you just couldn’t stop eating them and time got away from you. As you’re walking you hear the leaves rattle, you hear a twig snap, and something catches the corner of your eye. It could be a large nocturnal predator, it could be a hunter from the next tribe over, or it could simply be the wind. Do you continue along your way, run in the opposite direction, or try to find your way into the nearest tree? If you make the wrong choice you might not survive and so you choose to climb and wait things out. As soon as you find a good seat in a large branch you look down to see a wolf making its way through the brush below. You made the right choice and live to see tomorrow. Good job!

Now why did I bring up this scenario?

Well, humans have great instincts, it is what has allowed us to survive as long as we have and yet those instincts can also play tricks on us. These tricks often come in the form of apophenia and it’s sister phenomena pareidolia.

Apophenia – The tendency to make connections or perceive patterns in seemingly unrelated things.

Pareidolia- The tendency of the mind to find patterns where they do not actually exist.


stick figure

The picture to the right is a man…but wait…no it’s not. Yet anyone reading this blog will be able to recognize that the figure made of simple shapes is a representation of a man.  It’s a series of straight lines with a big circle on top, a couple small circles for eyes, and a rounded line for a mouth. Yet find me a single human being that truly looks like this, if you could I imagine that person would have an incredibly hard time standing up. Yet, this is a very simple example of apophenia, the circlepicture itself has absolutely no connection to what an actual human being looks like and yet we are all able to recognize exactly what the image represents. Take the pieces apart and the image loses meaning entirely, hence we do not recognize the circle to the right as being a head. Nor would we recognize a single line as being a spine, an arm, or a leg. Only together do we see the pattern as meaning something possibly useful.

A more detailed example of apophenia is what I gave above in the story of the primitive man and the wolf. A series of sounds and a slight amount of movement was enough for the person in the example to recognize the possible threat of a predator. Taken on their own they would not be anything to really worry about yet together they become something that is enough to cause the fight or flight response to kick in.  This can be of great use is you are trying to evade predators or neighboring tribes but it can also work against us and build ideas of monsters in the dark, dragons in caves, and leviathons of the deep. We will discuss this more later.


Most of us have experienced sitting in the grass on a warm spring day looking up at the clouds. One looks like a dragon, one a rabbit, and another looks like a spaceship, yet do they really, the truth of the matter is more often than not they do not. Another example of this can be seeing images in wood grain, hearing footsteps or voices in an empty house, or seeing a phantom out of the corner of your eye. Some examples of pareidolia can be pretty convincing…

The interesting thing about this phenomena is that it is greatly subject to suggestion. Take the cloud example, you look up and your friend says, “That one looks like a dick.” You try to see what he’s talking about and so he points in the general direction, describes what he is seeing and eventually you do see the dick in the clouds…isn’t life grand.  The reason for this is that our minds are constantly seeking patterns, and it can be both really good at this as well as really bad at it. Suggestion helps us seek out the patterns easier and so once one person sees it, two can see it, and even thousands may at some point see the exact same patter….going so far as to eventually worship that pattern.funny-pareidolia-jesus

Hello Jesus, why are you hiding on this dogs ass? That’s a silly place for you to hide….

As I said before our minds are constantly attempting to find patterns in the things we see as well as the things we hear, but due to pareidolia, our minds can make connections where there is absolutely no connection to be made.

Earlier I mentioned monsters in the dark, dragons in caves, and phantoms in the corners of our eyes. While some of these may seem silly, most of us can remember a time when we have been horribly frightened by something that was not actually there, this happens often when we are children yet can still occur no matter how old we are.



Monsters in the Dark

Humans are not known for their nocturnal vision, we are diurnal creatures and so for our eyes to work well we need a decent amount of light. In low light situations our minds grasp at any shape it can find and then builds upon that shape to give us an idea of what is there in the dark. A full hamper in the corner may take on the shape of a beast with numerous arms once the light goes out. A pair of shoes under a bed can become a vampire to the child brave enough to look under their mattress. Our eyes are shitty at night and yet our  minds try their best to make sense of whatever sensory information we get, it’s a crap shoot but it worked out enough as a survival tactic for thousands of years that it still sticks with us today.


Dragons in Caves

Caves are dark, sound travels strangely through the walls of a cave, and at the mouth of an open cave the wind passing by the entrance can sound like a growl or a ghostly wail. Secondly, as you venture deeper into a cave the temperature can be much warmer than the temp outside the cave, giving the idea that something hot must exist within the confines of the cave. Dragons breathe fire and so obviously a dragon would make a cave warmer than it is outside. Many caves have insects which use light to attract their pray and a glowing bug or two can look an awful lot like the eyes of a beast if fear has already crept into your mind.


Phantoms in the Corners of Our Eyes

Our eyes are really shitty….I mean they are the only eyes that we will ever have and so they work as well as they can but they aren’t all that good to begin with. I’m blind in one eye and it took me years for my brain to compensate and learn how to judge depth in a decent way. I still would not be a good choice for a softball team or any activity that requires good depth perception.

Our eyes also have a fairly narrow field of actual vision. The rest of what we see is actually populated by the brain and so anything outside of that field is up to the mind to figure out. I think we’ve all had a time when we thought we saw something out of the corner of our eye but when we turned to see what it was there was nothing actually there. One might come up with gargantuan ideas of ghosts haunting our house, never quite being fully seen but always there. Our eyes are just not built to get 360 degrees of information and this is due to our need to focus on the task at hand. If you are trying to track a deer, you need to be able to see the deer, you don’t necessarily need to see everything around the deer and so our brains fill in the gaps.


Apophenia At It’s Worst

The volcano destroyed half the village last year. This year we killed 5 virgins and guess what, the volcano didn’t destroy the other half of the village. Killing virgins must satiate the volcano’s need for blood and so each year we must kill virgins to keep the village safe.

Last week Johns boat was destroyed by a wave, we saw a large shape in the water that had to be a sea serpent and john drowned and was almost certainly eaten by the beast. Dave was smart, he killed a chicken and rubbed its blood on the bow of his ship and no waves or serpents affected him. Dave also came back with a massive load of fish and so the chicken blood must have worked really well.


Pareidolia At It’s Worst

I heard a voice in the wind that told me to write the words of the lord. Here are the rules that this voice led me to write down. No Lying, no murder, and no goats in milk…it’s strange but I hate lying, murder, and I really hate goat and milk stew….it’s fucking disgusting.

I saw a light break through the clouds and standing upon the clouds I saw a man who told me the world was going to end soon….


Both of these phenomena have their evolutionary strengths which allowed them to continue being passed down in our genes. Yet they are built for humans that live in the wild and so the more we began to gather together, the less reliable our instincts were. They began playing tricks on us, making us see monsters, demons, gods, and demigods in every aspect of our lives.

It’s my opinion that much of religion and religious believe are derived from these phenomena. Someone saw something, suggested it to others who claimed to see the same thing, they built beliefs around what they claim to have seen, and religion was born. The wind, the rain, the sun, disease, all things could be explained by patterns that their minds found.  Over time huge legends were built, books were written, and doctrine created and religion thrived.



Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: A Note About My Deathbed Conversion

This is slightly a response blog to this blog here: The Common Atheist.

Dearest Future World,

Perhaps you have heard that upon my deathbed I made a miraculous conversion. The family is praising their god for the supposed choice that I made at the last-minute. I’m singing with the angels now, I’m in a better place, I’m with god in heaven…or so you’ve been told.

Allow me to expand upon the good cheer that my family is sharing to let you know why this conversion came about. There are four reasons that I can think of off the top of my head that they are sharing this information with you.

Reason 1: They are lying

It makes them feel better to believe that I am still alive in some other world. In their deep grief they have come up with this scenario where I gave my life back to the lord just before my final breath and so I am still with them in some way. Don’t hate them for this but know that they are simply doing anything to alleviate their grief. I too have lost those that I loved and wanted more time with them and yet death is the end. I no longer exist anywhere outside of my various rantings on here and within the minds of those who loved me. Give them time and maybe one day the need to lie will subside and they can accept my nonexistence.

Reason 2: I Just Wanted Left Alone

As I was dying I had so many people visit me telling me that I needed to worry about my eternal soul and that I needed to make matters right with the lord. I got so annoyed with it that I finally pretended to go through the ceremony just to get folks to shut up and leave me alone. I love my family but damn they can really be pushy at times. I ate the cracker, I drank the juice, I said the prayer and then finally I got some peace away from their worries. Death sucks but being hounded at death is even worse.

Reason 3: Death Is Scary

As the time grew near I began to realize just how soon my life would end. The pain and anguish that I’ve been through over the last few months or years has left me in a state where I simply want some form of release and yet death is an unknown. Will it hurt? Will I go peacefully in my sleep? The closer I get the idea of non-existence becomes scarier and scarier and I keep getting told that just in case there is an afterlife I should make myself right with god. I know that I don’t want to experience anymore pain and even though I realize that my chance of picking the correct god is 1 in 3000, I’d play my wager just in case. My mind is in flux due to the pain and the effects of the pain killers. I am not myself anymore and I can no longer see through to a rational and logical end.

Reason 4: My Mind Is Gone

Hello world, in the last few months or years of my life the old me died and a new me was born. Dementia or disease has clouded my mind and I no longer have the ability to think rationally in the way I did when I was younger.  I live in absolute terror from lucid moment to lucid moment. I do not know who it is that visits me, I don’t know why they cry and why they beg me to consider the things I do. I want my mother. I need my father. I don’t trust these people. Am I sick or are they trying to kill me? They speak of this god and in my mental state he seems wonderful. I no longer remember the bible, the old or new testament. I am simply told that there is a place where my mind will be clear and I will no longer be terrified all the time. I just want my mind back.


These are the reasons that I might make the choice of a deathbed confession but know that at this point in time, with a rational and logical mind I see no reason to believe in something that there is absolutely no evidence of. If you hear of my conversion, know that it was not this person who speaks today that converted, it was someone who was annoyed, sick, or out of their mind. Always remember that grief could also lead my family and friends to simply lie about my conversion as they have done with many in the past.