Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: Where do I Stand on the “Atheist” Debate?

Confused Man NBLet’s talk a bit about terms…oh yeah and I still do write blogs…it’s been awhile. I’ve been so busy getting my channel up and running that having time to sit down and write a blog has been pretty much non-existent.

I am an Atheist-

So anyway, let’s talk about terminology.

Some folks will say that Atheist simply means a lack of belief in god or gods, and I believe they are correct. Others will say that Atheist means a positive assertion that you do not believe in god or gods, and I believe that they too are correct.

How can both groups be correct?

Let’s look at the opposite side of the coin.

A theist makes the assertion, “I am a theist.”

Well, what do we gather from that statement? Not much really. The theist could be saying that they believe in a specific god, such as Jehovah, Allah, Krishna, Thor, or Zeus.

They could also be saying that they believe there is a god that is not really defined by any of the specific gods mentioned but is still Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent.

On top of those they could just as well be saying that they believe in god as a natural force that flows throughout all of nature.

Lastly, they could even be arguing for a concept of god, something that attempts to prove the god hypothesis is plausible or probable. This last one I like to call the William Lane Craig method.

Stating that you are a theist could literally mean a plethora of different ideologies, ideas, or perspectives. It does not state anything about what the theist actually believes personally.

So let’s get back to the original argument, that both groups are correct. If you do not believe in a god or gods, you lack belief in a god or gods. If you lack belief in a god or gods, you do not believe in god or gods. I really don’t understand what the major issue is around the terminology. The only time that making a positive assertion means anything at all is in terms of a formal debate, outside of that they are simply your own personal statements.

Angry Man NB.png

Burden of Proof

This gets me to the burden of proof issue. In a debate the burden of proof goes to the person making a positive claim. So whether you say, I believe in god, or I do not believe in god, you would be making a positive claim and would technically take on your back the burden of proof. However, how bad of a thing is this?

I do not believe in Unicorns.

That didn’t hurt me a bit to make that statement and yet many would balk if I were to say, “I do not believe in god.” Why is this? We have precisely just as much evidence to support the god hypothesis as we do the unicorn hypothesis, and yet has anyone ever been told…“AH! But you can’t prove unicorns don’t exist!”

Do you know why you don’t hear people saying this? It’s simple really….that statement would be ridiculed, laughed at, and you would become a laughing-stock. No one would take you seriously if you tried to force folks to prove Unicorns don’t exist and yet I claim that the same should be true for god.

Do I have evidence that there isn’t some planet out there where a horse like creature with a horn exists? No, do I need that evidence to laugh at the Unicorn believer? Fuck no.  I’d laugh and move on with my day, the same that I would do for any other ridiculous belief such as this.

I do however think god and unicorns are separated by one big difference.

laughing man2

Argumentum Ad Populum

The only real difference between any other ridiculous claim and the god hypothesis is the number of people who believe in god is far greater than the number of people who claim to believe in unicorns, leprechauns, and other myths or conspiracy theories. What I’m saying here is that by stating atheists need to defend their lack of faith a person is committing an Argument ad Populum fallacy.

How dare I?!?!?!

Well, from all that I have gathered the only reason that an imaginary god is treated with more respect than the other ridiculous beliefs out there is because the majority of people feel like it should be treated with more respect than those other beliefs.  So basically we are stating that atheists, in order to claim that they do not believe in god, are required to present more proof than you would have to present for any other mythical or imaginary figure. How much evidence do I have to present to prove that unicorns don’t exist? Absolutely none because there has never been a unicorn as presented to us in mythology. It is perfectly fine for me to take it for granted that unicorns do not exist.

I would say that it is also perfectly fine for me to take it for granted that god does not exist.

Happy Man No Background

Where do I stand?

I am perfectly happy stating that I do not believe in god, I also do not believe in any god concept that has been presented to us since the dawn of our species.  I am a positive atheist, a 6.99999% on the Dawkins scale, and what would be called a philosophical atheist if we going to go with more academic terms. However, when asked I will call myself an agnostic atheist. Why would I do this? A couple of reasons…

1.) We cannot expect everyone to be academic and highly classed in philosophy.
2.) I am a layman atheist. I want to be approachable and easy to talk to.
3.) The modern colloquial usage of that term is the most prevalent in society today.
4.) The actual terminology is only truly important in terms of debate or academia.

So I refer to myself here, as well as on my channel, as an agnostic atheist. Meaning that I am a person who lacks a belief in god but does not know for certain that god does not exist. Technically I’m also an agnostic unicornist, an agnostic leprechaunist, and an agnostic educated flat eartherist. I lack belief in those 3 things but I cannot prove with absolute certainty that they do not exist somewhere in some form within this universe.

In Conclusion

I’m not one that puts a lot of stock in terms, I really don’t care what people call themselves as long as we can both have a simple understanding of each others position. I lack belief in god and I do not believe god exists. If that causes a major problem for you, I suggest you move on from the topic. If you accept my terminology and we can then move on to a productive conversation, let’s do it.

Hopefully, this will be the last time I have to talk on this topic because it really is unproductive. Much love to you all.

The Godless IowanConfused Man NB

 

 

Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: Embracing Anti-Theism

Good Morning Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike.  That’s right, I said morning. I’m going to switch things up and try posting my articles earlier in the day. Yay me! Anyway, if you’d like to read the last article in the Deep Thoughts series, Click here:Deep Thoughts: Gender and Sexuality.

So tonight I want to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my heart. You see, a lot of people get matters confused a bit and tonight I’d like to clear things up a bit. I don’t write this blog because I’m an atheist. I’m an atheist because religious people wanted a fun word to use in order to describe someone who lacks a belief in god. My atheism does not equate to anything other than that, I lack belief in a god or gods. Theists still won’t get this, they will deny it and argue against it but it’s true. Hell, you can even be a religious atheist, Jains and Buddhists are for the most part atheists, in that they don’t believe in an actual god that controls the world and our actions in it. They are faiths that believe humans have control of their own spiritual lives. They are spiritual but they are not, for the most part, theists.

I write this blog because I’m an anti-theist, a title that I was wary to take on because it seems to carry with it negative connotations but tonight I’m putting all of that behind me. I’m an anti-theist 100% of the way. The reason for this is as follows.

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1.)Religion has lost it’s usefulness

Before we had answers to many of sciences mysteries, religion allowed people to live comfortably in a world that spent the majority of its time trying to kill them. It helped explain volcanoes, storms, famines, droughts, deaths, eclipses, and a plethora of other phenomena. However, we’ve progressed, we can explain all of those former things. We’ve been to space and know that the earth isn’t a giant disc surrounded by water. We know that angels don’t control the winds or that volcanoes are not caused by wrathful gods.

Over time god began to fill smaller and smaller gaps and yet the reach of religion continued to grow. We now live in a highly technologically advanced world where numerous people jump on their magical phones and argue that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that light existed before the sun, and that the entire globe was covered in a flood. If you think I’m just talking about Christianity, realize that there are more Muslims who eschew creationism than there are Christians in today’s world.

Religion is holding us back as a society. When schools are prevented from teaching actual science because it contradicts a 1,500-year-old collection of stories, there is something desperately wrong with this picture, which leads me to my second point.

poison

2.)Religion Poisons Everything

Christopher Hitchens is pretty famous for making the claim that “religion poisons everything” and as a person who came away from faith I can say that I couldn’t agree more. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time that I have spent simply trying to sweep away the indoctrination of my childhood. Love the sinner hate the sin is really nothing more than an excuse to hate the sinner. It’s a platitude that is used for no other reason than to allow religion to still spread half-filled dogma while seeming to be slightly more progressive than in years past. Give us a gold star, we no longer burn witches or stone homosexuals….yay progress!

The poison of religion goes much further than that. For example: I love my parents, but to them I will always be the child that is going to hell. My mother weeps because I am not still clinging to that old-time religion. To my mother I will always be someone who has embraced evil, and no matter how much she loves me, I will always be someone tainted with the sins of this world.

I’m not going to let liberal faiths go either. They like to think that they get a free pass because they now kind of like homosexuals, they don’t promote the idea of hell anymore, or they put on soup suppers to help the community once a month. The facts are, they have the same stench of the more fundamentalists faiths. Sure it’s nice that they’ve progressed but to those that they have hurt in the past it reads a bit like the following sign…

coc

Now you might be saying,

“Come on, religion can’t possibly poison everything?”

To this I will give you Hitchens Challenge:

The point being, for every good that we have as a society, it is the good of mankind that has propelled us towards that ideal. There is a reason that religion no longer promotes slavery, people stopped wanting it to. There is a reason why many liberal faiths accept homosexuality now, people wanted it to. There is a reason why television, radio, the internet, and all sorts of technology have been embraced by even the most devoutly religious…they wanted to. We are far better than our religious faith allows us to be, which is why it takes us so long at times to disregard the evils of religion.

isis

3.) Religion kills people

I was very religious for a good period of my life and during that time I had to get rid of the real me. I had to pretend to be something that I am not. Thankfully, the things that I had to hide were not as serious as the issues that many others in today’s society. Religious children who are born homosexual or trans are far more likely to commit suicide than those who are born in non-religious families. Women die because they are forced to seek back alley abortions in countries or states that don’t fully support the right to choose, for mostly religious reasons. People are beheaded, thrown off buildings, or blown up simply because someones god supposedly wants them to be mad at people who follow a different fairy tale god.

thrice

In today’s society there wouldn’t even be the grotesque practice of gay conversion therapy if it wasn’t for religious institutions. This practice that seeks to destroy what a person was born to be, is inhumane and despicable. People who go through this type of therapy are made worse, never better, their actual humanity has been tortured away from them and in its place is often times a shell. Luckily some people are able to overcome this practice but it often requires years of real therapy and medication.

Let’s think about another situation, the Middle East. There are both political and religious struggles that are occurring there. The handling of the Middle East after WWII was disastrous, even more so when religion pushed rulers to simply say that land should belong to a certain minority simply because god says it’s theirs. Apocalyptic cults long sought to have Israel renewed to a state, because Revelations speaks of Israel as a nation, so that Jesus could return and destroy all the evil people like me… I’m not saying that the Middle East would be sunshine and rainbows if religion didn’t exist but I have a hard time believing people would be fighting over a junky few thousand square miles without religious faith involved. One would think if Islam, Judaism, and Christianity ceased to exist, people might realize it’s not that great of an area to live and they would move on.

religion and science.jpg

4.) Religion Dulls the Mind

I want to be clear, religion does not make you stupid, I know plenty of smart people who are very religious. However the areas of life in which they are smart are delegated to areas deemed proper by their religious faith. I don’t know many creationists who are incredibly intelligent microbiologists. I don’t know many Pentecostals who are clinical psychologists. I’m hard pressed to find a snake handler that is also an expert in archaeology.

Now you could say, well they just aren’t interested in those things, to this I say bullshit. Even when I was at the most religious point in my life I still had a great love of science, but I couldn’t enjoy science without also feeling a severe guilt at questioning the validity of biblical claims. It was torture not being able to enjoy life to the fullest, and having to stifle my interest in science to only those aspects of science that I could work into my religious faith. I am not unique, my story is not uncommon, my life was not my own when I followed faith.

Tonight I’ve laid out a few of the reasons that I am an anti-theist. None of these things have anything to do with my atheism, they have everything to do with how i view religion and my belief that it is harmful, barbaric, and archaic. Note these are not my only reasons, I could write another article or two describing all the reasons I now embrace the anti-theist moniker.

words

This blog is over 1,500 words, not because I’m an atheist, not because I have faith, but because I’m an anti-theist and seek to expose religion for the evil and immoral system that it truly is.

Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: Gender and Sexuality

Tonight’s featured image is from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Good evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike! If you’d like to read the last article of this series, click here: Deep Thoughts: Apophenia and Pareidolia. Tonight I figured I’d take it easy and touch on something that there is little to no conflict about, Gender.

So let me talk a little bit about myself, I’m 34 years old, married to the most wonderful woman on earth and I couldn’t possibly be happier. However that wasn’t always the case. I used to be a fairly hateful and bigoted person, or let’s be clear, my religion taught me to be hateful and bigoted, so that’s how I acted outwardly. I’m pretty ashamed about this part of my life because it is the complete other end of the spectrum that I find myself in now.

One of the big issues of the day is how we view gender and sexuality. When I was a minister I taught that homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgendered people were sinful and rebelling against god. The bible is actually pretty clear on the subject of homosexuality and being a fundamentalist we followed it closely. No, I wasn’t as bad as the Westboro Baptist church but I definitely held bigoted views towards members of LGBTQ community.

Now, let’s delve a bit deeper. I am not the stereotypical manly person…

  • I hate loud engines
  • I cannot stand working on my vehicle.
  • I didn’t spend my teenage years in the endless search to get laid.
  • I have no handyman skills.
  • I like musicals.
  • My wife routinely has to open pickle jars for me and I don’t even feel bad about it.

Now, over the years I’ve had numerous people accuse me of being gay. So much so that at one point in my life I really did question my own sexuality. It was a rough period of my life and not a time that I think of fondly, I was incredibly depressed and my life sucked in most respects. So I questioned my sexuality. The conclusion that I came to is that I’m straight and do you know how I came to that conclusion? I’m not sexually attracted to dicks….dicks are in no way attractive to me…

I realized, sexuality is all about attraction, that might seem strange but for someone who was called gay all the time growing up it was a pretty astounding realization. However, understanding my sexuality doesn’t really describe my gender very well. Biologically I’m a male, I have a penis. Mentally I do not enjoy almost anything that any other male around me enjoys. For the most part, the things that “manly men” enjoy I find incredibly asinine and entirely not enjoyable.

When I was diagnosed with Autism and it was explained to me what the spectrum was and how two people can be on the spectrum but display entirely different symptoms something clicked. I realized and understood not only the autism spectrum but the gender spectrum as well. Two people can be born with the same sexual organs but be on entirely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to gender.

I want to give credit to Anti-Ordinary from YouTube for providing the following graphic on one of her videos.

genderbread-person-3.png

The following is how I understand these things to mean. Please don’t take this as an authoritative take, this is simply my understanding of the subject at this point. If I am wrong, I have no problem admitting it.

Biological Sex

Biological sex is fairly simple to understand, it’s what’s between your legs. Though some are born without a clear biological sex, most of us can be said to be biologically a boy or biologically a girl. I don’t think I need to touch on this very much, it seems pretty simple to me.

I am biologically a male.

Identity

This is what people identify as – male, female, or androgynous. This has to do with how you view yourself. Some people born biologically male, identify as female. Some people born biologically female, identify as male. Still others who are born with either sex might not really identify as male or female. Note, this does not have anything to do with who you are attracted to, that might be a bit hard to understand but we’ll get to that later.

I identify as male but mostly androgynous.

Expression

Expression is how someone portrays them self to the world. A biological male can express them self as a female, in the way they dress, talk, or act. A biological female can express them self as a male in the way they dress talk or act. Once again both biological sexes can portray them self as androgynous portraying neither male or female characteristics to the world.

I express myself as male.

Sexual Attraction

Sexual Attraction is of course who you are attracted towards sexually. This is who you want to fuck. Remember back when I said that identity had nothing to do with attraction, well this is where we are going to explain that. A biological male who identifies and expresses them self as a female could still be completely attracted to only females. Some people are not attracted to the biological gender and might not be attracted to anyone. Many, but definitely not all, autistic people find themselves as nonsexual and have no attraction towards either sex or sex in general.

I am sexually attracted to females.

Romantic Attraction

Romantic Attraction is who you want to find yourself romantically entangled with. usually your romantic attraction and sexual attraction are fairly similar though this is not always the case. Someone might have a sexual attraction for both men and women but only want to be romantically with a woman. Other people may be romantically attracted to intelligence and can only see them self in a relationship with someone intelligent but they might not have a problem with a sexual encounter with someone of sub par intelligence.

I am romantically attracted to a brilliant woman who happens to be my wife.

So below I give you the same graphic with black dots where I find myself.

where am i


Now I’d like to talk a little bit about how my views have changed. Once I took god out of the equation and began to look at people outside the lens of my own particular doctrine, I found that I could no longer hate people of different orientations than my own. It no longer made sense for me to continue with the same mindset when I no longer believed in the faith that had forced me into that mental state to begin with. Remove the faith and you remove the hate, I don’t say this from just my own perspective, I’ve known hundreds of people who have expressed these exact same sentiments.

Lastly, I feel a deep sense of regret. I regret that I promoted an ideology of hatred for nearly a decade. I regret every sermon that I ever gave on the subject of sexuality and gender. I have personally sought forgiveness from people who I know that I hurt when I used to express these views. I’ve not always been a good person. I realize that and I try my best to no longer be anything like the person I once was.

What has been wonderful is the amount of understanding that I have received from those I once looked upon with disdain. I can’t think of a single person who has refused to accept my apology or who hasn’t understood the deep indoctrination that I had been through. I have gained a lot of friends who at one time I never would have had because my faith was preventing me from seeing them as human beings like myself. This is the disgusting nature of religious faith, it is fed to children from the moment they are born that it’s god’s way or the highway to hell. That type of mindset does not allow growth, it doesn’t allow anything to challenge its assumptions, and it breeds even deeper hatred the longer you are a part of the faith.

Religion poisoned my view of other human beings and for that I agree with Hitchens when he said, “Religion poisons everything.”

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.

Apophenia

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.

Pareidolia

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.

Examples:

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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.

dragon.jpg

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.

phantom

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.

volcano.jpg

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.

prophet.jpg

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….

Conclusion:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Hitchens

Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: Why Am I An Activist?

Many of the arguments that atheists receive come along the lines of this rationale…

“Okay, I get it, you’re an atheist, why don’t you just shut up about it and let me believe what I want to believe?”

Well, the reason I won’t shut up about it and why I write on this blog is that I wish we could get to a point where I didn’t have to talk about the topics that my blog entails. I’d be perfectly happy to write a blog about video games and movies. Hell, when I consider the amount of views I got for my blog about the Legend of Zelda, I could probably make a fairly good living writing blogs along those lines. However, we don’t live in a world where I could feel comfortable writing a blog about the nonsense that I do to entertain myself.

world

We live in a world…

  • Where Religion threatens to invade education nearly every single day.
  • Where Freedom from religion is not seen as equal to freedom of religion.
  • Where Atheists are murdered on a daily basis simply for rejecting the god that their leaders say to worship.
  • Where the vast majority of our elected leaders believe in an imaginary man who gave us a rule book, and they vote according to that rule book.
  • Where the leader of the free world states that god is in control of things that we should take the reigns of and fix

These are just a few reasons why I write this blog. I’m not doing it to become famous, I’m not writing it because I have some grudge against religion, I’m doing it because religion has a grudge against anyone who does not adhere completely to their delusional worldview.

When I first set out to write this blog I did so for completely therapeutic means. I needed to get the story of my deconversion out there so that I could move past the hurt I was experiencing and the regrets that I had for following and promoting a faith that I now consider to be absolutely repugnant. This blog was my means of getting through the struggle of leaving the faith and finding my new voice in a life not controlled by an all-powerful being that was constantly watching and looking out for me.

What this blog has become is a voice for others who have shared the same journey that I once did. This blog has led me to start a group on facebook for recovering theists, the Clergy Project, it’s allowed me to help others find that same route. One day I awoke and was called an atheist activist and I nearly laughed before realizing that this is actually what I had become. I’m an activist not because I want to be but because that’s just what you become when you see a need and you do your part in the effort.

So if you’re reading this blog and wonder why I just don’t simply shut up about positive atheism and living free from delusions, the reason is simple…

I won’t shut up because you want me to.

Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts #1: Sharing A Sob Story

So today marks the beginning of another recurring article that will appear on this blog, Deep Thoughts. This article is meant to be a side jog from the rest of the articles you will find here. It won’t be regarding religion, atheism, or autism but will instead deal with topics that have been on my mind recently. Some articles may involve science, psychology, philosophy, cosmology, physics, as well as a plethora of other topics that I might find interesting.

Tonight we are going to talk about sob stories. I’m not talking about your personal life story, I’m not denigrating the stories that others might have shared, what I am dealing with are those stories on social media that are written in such a way that pushes for likes and shares. These are the stories that only exist for the purpose of spreading like a virus.

For Example:

So…..let’s talk about what is wrong with this video….namely murder…

Now it might come as quite a shock to you but a doctor cannot kill a human being for the purpose of organ donation. I know that might not seem fair but doctors are not generally in the murder business. However if you watch the video you will realize that between the father leaving his daughters hospital room and her waking up from surgery, the dad had to go on a long drive with the doctor, the doctor then put the father down like Old Yeller, harvested his heart, transplanted it into the daughters chest, and then booked it for the border before the police could catch him. The only reason this is shared, and it has been shared an awful lot, is because people are fucking dumb and they don’t take the time to think things through.

My next example is a little more questionable…

So we’ve all seen online numerous posts about people who lived short lives. Maybe they got cancer or had a heart issue that took their life. Of course their death isn’t really the point of the story but the real point is that they left some sort of feel good message that is meant to make you consider your blessings and enjoy your life a little bit more. Truth is once these are shared the person who shares them moves on with their life and more than likely never thinks of the random dead person that the story was built around.

Here’s the deal, we all know that life is short and even so we will live as if we have nothing but time on our hands. Reading a sob story online does not equate to you living a better life, it won’t make you consider anything nor will it make you a better person. It will simply become a share on your wall. Why? Because you have absolutely nothing vested in the person’s story that you shared. The exception being if the story is about someone you personally know that affected you in some great way.

Think about it. If you went to work on Monday and found out that a co-workers mother passed away you would probably feel bad for the co-worker. You might get them a nice card and tell them how sorry you are for their loss but you wouldn’t really give a shit about the woman who died. She’s an unknown, you don’t have any emotional connection to the mother and so her death would be meaningless to you outside of the added work it might put on your shoulders since your co-worker is out to attend the funeral.

Now, imagine your own mothers death. Maybe it has already happened or perhaps she is still alive, however I guarantee the feeling that goes through your mind is ten times more intense than the feeling that would go through your mind with your co-workers mother. You know your mom, she was there for a significant portion of your life, she aided you and raised you. Her death is going to take a huge chunk out of your heart and perhaps you will be lost without her for months or possibly years to come.

To bring this to a personal story, my cousins suicide affected me greatly. I had grown up around him and we had been friends throughout our childhood. When he died I had to totally rethink my own life and choices, it changed the way I saw things and over times completely changed my life. What you don’t know of this story is that not long before my own cousins suicide one of my congregants had a grandson that committed suicide. I felt for the person in my congregation, tried to comfort them as best as I could but never really gave the grandson a second thought. That seems cold but I think if you truly think about it you will see that it’s just how we deal with the world around us. Imagine a life where every single death that you heard of affected you to the same degree as the death of an immediate family member, what kind of life would that be?

The last thing that I want to touch upon are the bane of my existence…they are the type “Amen” posts or one like equals one prayer posts…

A few examples

 

 

Now these seem rather benign but if you’re like me the same person continually posts these things. Now why on earth would people share these? Well…because they get a lot of shares and likes. Seriously, who is going to scroll past a baby? What good Christian is going to scroll past and admit to loving the devil? Unfortunately not enough…

I guess my point is that if you really want to be a better person and you want to change the world then go out and do something. No ones life has ever been changed because you shared a Facebook sob story or meme. You are simply being an annoyance to your friends and family who are smart enough to see through the bullshit that you somehow can’t see through.

If you are old enough you will realize that none of the things that I have spoken of are new. These type of things were shared on e-mail when that was a new technology and before that many of these things were sent around in the form of a chain letter. DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN OR SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN!!!! Seriously, stupid people used to buy stamps and then share these things in the actual mail before digital technology became the norm. How weird is that???

So in conclusion people share these because it makes them feel like a better person. They didn’t scroll past the baby and they made sure to type amen and prove their love of god, so they can now go about their day being the shitty person they probably are and no longer feel bad about it. In a way sharing these types of stories is really nothing more than a form of mental masturbation, it doesn’t do or help anyone and yet you keep on doing it because it feels good and helps your prostate.