Weekend Tube

Weekend Tube 02/09/2018

Good Evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike. It’s time yet again to provide you with what I consider the best videos that I watched this week. I hope you enjoy them, share, and subscribe to these great channels. Holy Crap it was an awesome week for videos!

#7 Jackson Wheat: Evolution of the Flagellum

I find this video fascinating. Learning about evolution thrills me to no end and Jackson Wheat does an incredible job! I was introduced to his videos just this week and I wish I had learned of him sooner. Check out some of his other videos and please subscribe if you enjoy them.

#6 Rationality Rules: The Atheist’s Burden of Proof – Debunked (And the Definition of Atheism)

Rationality Rules debunks, though it won’t do any good, the idea that theists attempt to promote: That atheists have to prove god doesn’t exist. He does a great job of pointing out that it matters who is making the claim, not necessarily what the claim might be.

#5 The Bible Skeptic: What Genesis Got Wrong: Part 1

The Bible Skeptic is just an excellent video maker. His videos have a quality to them that are just astoundingly beautiful. They will remind you a lot of classic PBS Documentaries. Incredibly informative, lots of visuals, and a Ken Burns style presentation. I hope you will give this channel a view.

#4 Godless Engineer: The State Of Atheism in 2018 With Red Pill Religion

Holy crap does that guy hate us. Seriously though, Godless Engineer tears apart the arguments posed by Max, namely that atheists ARE AWFUL, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD PEOPLE!!!!! ARGHHHH!!!!!! lol

#3 Logicked: Faith beats evidence because God has trust issues

Logicked does an excellent job in this video of debunking the idea that faith trumps doubt. It’s also hilarious which is a big plus. Check it out!

#2 Godless Engineer: KC’s Corner: The 5 Worst Unsanitary Religious Practices Still Being Used || KC’s Corner

Ok, so let me let you in on a bit of a secret, I’m somewhat of a germophobe, I’m much better than I used to be, but religion has some really gross traditions. EWWWWWW!!!! This is a great video that exposes some of the worst of the worst, and grossest, traditions in the faith. Also MAJOR bonus points for mentioning Ric Flair and Mick Foley!

#1 Godless Cranium: MercifulServant Thinks They’ve Exposed Atheism

Though he didn’t make video of the week this time, I’m sure he will totally understand. This video is amazing and if it weren’t for GM Skeptic and Anti-Ordinary, one upping him and going for my feels, he would have had his three-peat.

Video of the Week: Genetically Modified Skeptic: I’m and Atheist Activist in the Closet

Wow, just wow, it’s pretty surprising that such a well-known atheist on Youtube is in the closet when it comes to his friends and family. This makes the video of the week because, while I’m not necessarily in the closet, none of my family or co-workers really know how much I do when it comes to activism, and so I really relate to this video. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Video of the Week: Anti-Ordinary: The Problem With Karma!

That’s right, there are two videos of the week, deal with it. I honestly could not decide between these two videos. Anti-Ordinary provides a truly emotional story that leads us to truly question the healthy nature of a belief in karma. Thank you so much for sharing your story it really touched my wife and I.

Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #17: Karma and Morality

For last weeks article, click here: Wednesday Woo #16: Astral Projection

One of the most important aspects of life for us social animals our relationships, and in order to maintain good, loving relationships, we must have some sense of integrity. In fact, one of the largest debates during humanity’s enlightenment period was how to conduct ourselves morally. This debate remains alive and well, and is still a very poignant when it comes to progress. Our moral concepts drive us past the instinctively selfish states toward more harmonious goals and achievements, simply because of concern for the best in human well-being. Those who follow the gurus of New Age teachings tend to leave their innate sense of humanity behind, instead choosing a path that encourages selfishness and an utter lack of concern for other people. One of the most important aspects of life for us social animals are our relationships, and in order to maintain good, loving relationships, we must have some sense of integrity. In fact, one of the largest debates during humanity’s enlightenment period was how to conduct ourselves morally. This debate remains alive and well, and is still a very poignant when it comes to progress. Our moral concepts drive us past the instinctively selfish states toward more harmonious goals and achievements, simply because of concern for the best in human well-being. Those who follow the gurus of New Age teachings tend to leave their innate sense of humanity behind, instead choosing a path that encourages selfishness and an utter lack of concern for other people.

Obviously this is not a man who wished to transcend his own selfish desires in order to achieve the best possible morality. Instead, he was more concerned with having as much for himself as possible, surrounded himself with the very rich, and duping them out of millions of dollars so he could satiate his own folly. This is a definite step backward in terms of any serious moral argument born from the enlightenment. While Osho claims to have abandoned the teachings of the past, he certainly seems to be living in accordance to the concept of karma, which is a philosophy utilized by his native India in order to maintain the hierarchy of power and poverty in the country. The caste system is an atrocious, undignified ideology, which highlights consequences being passed on through reincarnation as opposed to actual human effort.
Karma
Basically, karma works as follows:

1. “It’s your own fault, even if you don’t remember why.”
If you’re poor, sick, or being abused, well, tough shit! You should’ve never done the stuff you don’t remember doing. It must have been horrible, so let’s treat you like crap until you learn not to do the things that we have no evidence of you ever having done.
2. “What you do now impacts the future.”
Kind of self evident, but again, this is a grain of truth in a bag full of shit.
3. “We get what we deserve.”
There is no evidence for this, but those who maintain that karma is the medium through which justice is served don’t feel they need evidence, and can selfishly justify treating people like crap while leaning on the idea of “act now, pay later.” What a wayward way of thinking!
4. “Let’s assume that nothing we do matters.”
Of course, this is pretty much where the idea of karma logically leads, although it does contradict the above notions of impacting the future, and getting what you deserve. Perhaps this is the only pillar of the entire philosophy. What kind of real morality assumes nothing at all matters?
5. “Nothing is random.”
Once again, there is no evidence to back up this claim, and only serves as a way to confirm a bias that upholds the monstrosity that is the caste system. This is a religious concept that creates a boundary between the rich and poor, us and them, those who “deserve” horrible lives and those who do not. I see no way that a person could truly hold these beliefs while maintaining a moral way of life. The belief in karma should be abandoned if we are to achieve the best possible course toward human well-being. The struggle to end this type of karmic discrimination has been going on for a long while now, and hopefully, for the betterment of their own people, those who stand against the caste system shall be victorious. The question I have is, do we really want to maintain these ideas of karma that have spread so much horror in the country from which they derive? 

When I was a New Ager, I struggled with accepting this idea, so I had to redefine karma as “lessons we learn in life” as opposed to its actual meaning. I knew about the caste system, and despite wanting to accept the New Age type of enlightenment, a part of me just could not accept karma without changing it to suit my own terms. This was one of the cognitive dissonances I had to face ultimately, and as soon as this concept broke down for me, I began to notice the horrible things people in my “tribe” were saying about other people, as well as world events. The last straw for me was seeing a friend of mine complain about videos being shared on her timeline about the Syrian gas attack that showed children writhing in pain and struggling to breathe. Her issue with it wasn’t about how horrible it was that human beings were made to suffer in such an agonizing way – no, she was bitching because it brought down her “good vibes”.  This made my jaw drop and my blood boil, and upon recalling this event, the hypocrisy and lack of concern still makes me angry. This was a woman who talked nonstop about loving others, yet where was the love?
New Agers say they abhor religion, but this isn’t really the case, they consider all religions to have some sort of truth, which of course is just cherry picking. The truth is that these ancient holy books have very little actual truth in them, and if one follows the logic of old religious concepts like karma, we take a step backward morally. I think we can do better, and in order to do that, we need to leave behind the cruel philosophies of “holy” books.

The Diary Of My Mind

The Fear of Heaven

So tonight I wanted to talk a little bit about heaven. Heaven to me is a good book, a rainy day, a warm house, and a good blowjob…but I’m not as flexible as I used to be…

Anyway in all seriousness the idea of heaven has always bothered me to some degree. Thinking back there was never really a time that I was a Christian due to the hope of heaven, I was a Christian more so due to the fear of hell, however, heaven was just as unappealing to me. Now you might be saying, but heaven is the perfect place to exist where there is no pain, no sadness, no fear, and no death. All of your friends and family are supposedly there and you get to spend eternity with them. Yes, I know the stories of how wonderful heaven is supposed to be but let me explain why it is truly awful when you think about it.

Eternity Is A Long Time

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For starters, let’s talk about life. Humans live on average between 70 to 80 years and then we die. The vast majority of people on earth will tell you that life is short and in the grand scheme of things it is but think of all the time you spend during those 70-80 years doing absolutely nothing. Life is so damn boring that we all spend several hours each day in our beds, simulating death, to stave off the horrific boredom that life can be at times. Now I want you to think about eternity, not 80 years, not 800 years, 8000 years, 8 million or 8 billion years but a never-ending eternity.

Can you imagine the amount of time that you would spend in an eternity doing absolutely nothing? It would equate to slightly less than an eternity. So the sheer boredom of heaven would equate to a hell given enough time. Any sane individual would lose their mind after a few millennia and spend the rest of eternity as a gibberish spewing sponge laying on a street which is for some reason made of gold…

Nothing Would Ever Be New

new

One of the things that I was told about heaven is that when we get there we will know everything. The primary reason for this is that learning is a struggle and since there are no struggles in heaven, we will never have to learn anything. Basically if you want to learn kung fu, you’ll instantly know kung fu. Heaven is promoted like that scene in the matrix where Neo is learning skills and so they are simply downloading information into his mind.

Even if we were able to learn in heaven we most go back to the original issue, eternity. Given an eternity worth of time you would be able to learn absolutely everything there is to know and still have an eternity left over.  So imagine spending trillions of years twiddling your thumbs not able to learn or experience anything new. Nothing exciting happens because there is no fear or risk in heaven and so you sit there, content with the knowledge that even though your are a crazy person spewing gibberish while lying on the streets of gold, you are a well informers gibberish spewing mess.

Endless Worship Would Fucking Blow

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So imagine visiting a friend’s house and every few minutes your friend expects you to thank him for allowing you to visit his home. Would you want to visit that friend? I think not and yet the bible speaks of believers endlessly praising god in heaven. Forever, thanking him for creating the place that is supposedly better than the first place he created which he somehow fucked up by giving humans free-will. That to me sounds a bit crazy. As Christopher Hitchens called it, “a celestial North Korea.”

Now I understand what some might say that you won’t actually be worshiping god 24/7, you’ll praise him while you go about your life and duties in heaven. However going back to the first two points, this would become hellish. Imagine the universe as a gigantic prison, you want to escape but have no hope of ever doing so, maybe on Thursday you try hanging yourself but after decades of hanging by a rope feeling no pain or discomfort you get down and thank god for giving you a place to exist free of the ability and right to die.

Choice Does Not Exist In Heaven

choice

So let’s look to the beginning or what Christians say the beginning was like. A perfect world with no pain, no death, no suffering, no want, no fear, and yet humans fucked it all up because we exercised free-will and brought about our destruction. Now let’s fast forward to heaven and we are faced with two options…

A.) Humanity exists in heaven and still has free-will which would lead to the possibility of a second fall of man and so the whole cycle would begin again.

or

B.) The humanity that exists in heaven are automatons that have no freedom of choice and are incapable of making any decision that might bring the whole thing down.

Those are your choices and since heaven is supposedly never-ending it would appear that the only real choice is option B. So while you might exist in this perfect realm you would have no freedom or ability to rebel and would be bound to an endless life of forced worship and servitude.

Pain and Suffering Actually Improve Our Lives

Two options with blank road signs

Pain and Suffering suck, but when pain and suffering end we experience happiness and contentment. Think of all the times you have heard an elderly person speak of the good old days and they will often be talking about one of the hardest portions of their life which gave way to a better period of life. Using my life as an example, I look back at my twenties and see how hard I struggled. Today in my mid-30’s my bills are paid, my life is less stressful, and I am able to enjoy my contentment with life more fully now than I could when i was 20. If I hadn’t gone through what I had earlier in life I wouldn’t be as happy with my life now.

In heaven there is no pain or suffering. You’ll never go through a struggle and make it out to the other side. You’ll never gain life experience and be better off than you were in years past. From the moment you reach heaven you will be as perfect as you will ever be.

On top of this I have often heard heaven referred to as a land of a cloudless day. Well fuck that, I’m light-sensitive and the days that I like best are cloudy and rainy. Most people don’t like rainy days and so when the clouds break they experience joy with the coming sun. Imagine a life where even the simple joy of experiencing a change in the weather no longer exists… Change adds sweetness to life and yet it will be completely non-existent in heaven.

An Eternity With Some Folks Would Get Old Really Quick

atheistforgiveness

So imagine you find yourself in heaven, you’re all prepared to spend a few thousand years soaking up the sun when you find that your annoying neighbor converted on their deathbed and so now you get to spend eternity with the neighbor that always threw their leaves onto your lawn. Does that sound like fun, no? Well it gets worse…

Imagine you’re a small child that was murdered, you’re running and playing on the streets of gold when around a corner steps your murderer. A prison chaplain prayed with him before his death and so now eternity is spent with your murderer….oh joy!

Pedophiles forced to live with those that touched them. Abusive spouses spend eternity with the spouse they abused. People that pronounce Parmesan Cheese as Par-me-sian….Heaven is going to be filled with absolutely awful people.

A Child Who Hates Heaven

Noah's_Ark_NES_cover

I remember being a young child and asking my mother what heaven was going to be like. She told me it would be a wonderful place filled with joy and peace. I asked if there would be toys in heaven and she said there would be but that they would be toys that weren’t violent in nature, so no toy guns or anything like that. I asked if there would be video games and she said there might be but they would all be based on Bible heroes and religious in nature. I looked at her and at the ripe old age of 7 told said….”Oh so only the boring ones….”

I remember spending a great deal of time contemplating heaven while I grew up and it always just sounded awful. As I stated one of the only pro’s that I saw for heaven was that it wasn’t hell and hell was a place that we desperately needed to fear. No one would want to go to hell a place of eternal punishment and torture and so I believed, and expected to get to a place so boring that I might at least spend eternity as a gibberish spewing crazy person balled up upon the streets made of gold.

 

The Diary Of My Mind

New Years Resolutions

It’s a new year and a new me. I’m going to lose weight, get fit, and finally get around to reading the collected works of Tolstoy. This is going to be the year that I finally show the world the real me, no more putting on heirs. Last but not least I’m going to right all the wrongs I’ve done in the past year. I’m going to quit smoking, drinking, and definitely stop using meth.

Ok seriously, I’m more than likely not going to do any of that and no I don’t actually use meth. These are just some of the resolutions that people make at the beginning of the year and which they will more than likely fail at. Resolutions are choices that you make in regards to other choices that you will have to make in the future, the idea is to set goals and carry them out throughout the year. However, there are some simple problems to this idea.

Number 1: Changes Take Huge Amounts of Willpower.

Let’s say you decide to give up chocolate. This means that from that point forward you are going to say no to the sweet and delicious brown stuff. Now you might be able to say no today, tomorrow, and for the next six weeks you don’t touch an ounce of chocolate. However, at the beginning of week 7 you get some bad news, you get a pay cut at work just days after learning that your rent is being raised by one hundred dollars. Stress sets in and your mind goes on autopilot attempting to alleviate your stress. The next thing you know your gut is filled with chocolate and you have the horrible guilt of failing your resolution.

Number 2: Willpower does not actually exist

How many of us have had this conversation with ourselves. “I’m going to the party and I’m only having two drinks at most.” Then you get to the party and the first drink goes down smooth. You opt for a second and you think to yourself, one more won’t hurt. Three drinks feels roughly the same as two and so obviously a fourth isn’t going to bother you. Ten drinks later and you’re singing the lyrics to the Golden Girls in front of your co-workers and finish the night off by telling Dave from marketing where he can go stick it.

The problem is that our subconscious minds do much more of the work than we believe our conscious minds do.  Anyone who has had a problem with addiction can tell you that they have absolutely no problem saying no, it’s just that over time the brain begins working out reasons for why one more drink or one more time is no big deal. Our conscious minds end up going with what the subconscious if feeding us and we find ourselves in all sorts of situations that we never planned on being in.

Number 3: We don’t quit what we still enjoy

For humans to stop any habit, the negatives have to far outweigh the positives. This is why a single person might not give up their addiction while a married person with children might. It’s the same reason why a person might restart an addiction they had given up years earlier, if life changes, so too does the way our brain interprets our actions and deeds.

Think of it like this, Serial Killers often go dormant for years, yet one day their brain kicks on the need to kill and they resume their past behaviors. Obviously I’m not talking about things as serious as serial killing but the things we enjoy can come into and out of favor with our subconscious minds. People quit smoking, they quit drinking, they quit drugs but they don’t do so because of some arbitrary decision made on New Years Eve.

As long as our minds continue to associate a behavior with the positive aspects of that behavior we will continue to indulge in that behavior.  A drug user will continue to abuse drugs until it reaches a point that they view the negatives far outweigh the positives.  Interventions can at times work because they are a mega dose of negative aspects.

As another example, I have a weight problem. I’ve always had a weight problem for nearly as long as I can remember. As soon as I went through puberty I began to pack on the pounds and while I have reached a state of equilibrium on my weight it is definitely not a healthy weight. However, I still eat loads of foods that are completely unhealthy, I drink soda by the gallon and I don’t exercise like I should. Why? Because the negatives haven’t outweighed the positives yet. Food brings me pleasure and has had a calming affect on my mental processes for nearly twenty years now.

Basically put the only thing that has really got me thinking about changing my eating habits is that the negatives are starting to build up. I’m on the brink of high blood pressure, and my family has a history of heart disease on both sides. I’m not as young as I used to be and I know that if I don’t make changes soon I will have even more health issues in the near future. I’ve begun eliminating some of the salt from my diet but it hasn’t been easy, in fact it’s really hard. Eliminating salt makes food not taste as good, which in turn tones down the pleasure that I draw from it, which then leads me to grab the salt shaker. One day I believe I will get this under control but it will not be due to some decision I make at the strike of midnight on New Years eve.

Conclusion:

This is why I don’t make resolutions. The failure tends to lead to more indulgence in whatever behavior I had planned on eliminating. Instead I attempt to make small changes throughout the year to test the waters. I won’t get overnight results but I will see results as time goes by.  I eat far more fruit now than I ever have, it’s been a challenge but over time I’ve begun to enjoy it and so the fun my brain receives from fruit has increased and the likelihood of choosing fruit in the future has increased.  I’ve eliminated a good amount of sugar from my diet in exchange for 0 calorie natural sweeteners. At first these foods didn’t taste as appealing to be but after a while, and I do mean awhile, I have become accustomed to them and my brain now receives nearly the same amount of enjoyment from them as it did or does from sugar.

As I said, life changes happen because we no longer get enjoyment from those things we need to change. It doesn’t generally happen overnight but takes time and effort to retrain the brain. Setting unrealistic goals will only stifle the progress that you may have experienced naturally throughout the coming year. Learn as much as you can, do as much as you can, help others as much as you can and just try your best to enjoy life.

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

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.

maslow

 

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.

General Information

Update: Weekly Format

So now that I have finished the entries to my journey, you might be wondering, where does this blog go from here? Never fear, this blog will still be chock full of daily content for your viewing pleasure. Entries will mostly follow a weekly format as described below.

Monday: Extra-Biblical Teachings/Crazy Christians/Strange Bedfellows
Tuesday: An Aspie In Iowa (Posts dealing with Autism/Aspergers)
Wednesday: Wednesday Woo & Strange Questions
Thursday: Arguments Against Atheism
Friday: Free-Thought Friday & Eat Me
Saturday: Something Different Saturday
Sunday: Satanic Sunday & A Pentecostal Atheist Bible Study

I will also write various posts as they come to me. I love writing and will continue to fill this blog with interesting tidbits that you might find both entertaining and informative.

Thank you so much for following this blog and for your continued readership, I appreciate each and ever one of your comments, your likes, and your questions. It has been a wild ride so far and I have loved every minute of it. You readers are fucking awesome!

Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #5: Theist Mindset

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

For nearly 30 years I was a theist. If you have followed this blog you will know that I was a Pentecostal pastor, raised to believe that I was an end times prophet. With that in mind I should be fairly well able to describe the theist mindset. Some will of course state that I was never actually a believer, they will assert that only a non-believer could ever really leave the faith and if god had actually touched my heart I would still be a believer. These arguments are used by those in the faith community to immunize their own beliefs from true scrutiny. Others will say that this is only my experience, which is true, but I think you will find that my experience is shared by many who have left the faith and so I feel it is good to share.

dinosaursGrowing up I always loved learning, that might seem strange to hear from someone who was a fundamentalist but it is true. Having Autism means that I have very focused interests with History, Archaeology, and Paleontology being a few of those interests. From as early as I can remember, dinosaurs were a huge part of my life. I still read any new article that I come across involving the subject.

So it might also come as a shock that I both believed in a young earth as well as admitting that dinosaurs made this fact an impossibility. How could this be true? How can someone hold two separate contradictory thoughts and believe them both just as firmly?

If you have ever partitioned a hard-drive than maybe you will realize just how this was possible.  A partitioned hard-drive can act as two completely separate hard-drives, each with their own programs, operating systems, and faults. The same was true for my mind as a theist.

evan.jpgMy brain was partitioned. The vast majority of my thoughts were logical and reasonable.  There was however a portion of my brain where logic and reason were not built into the operating system, this was my faith center. In that portion of my brain all of the things from the bible were completely reasonable; the 6 day creation, Noah’s ark, the tower of babble, angels, the devil, demons, etc…

It is my opinion that the majority of theists are of the exact same mindset. Part of their brain is closed off to reason the other is completely open. This is why when something forces both parts together, the believer can become the non-believer in a short period of time. The same can also be true in the reverse, some non-believers can become believers in a short period of time.

UnicornWhat proof do I have of this phenomena outside of my own experiences? Ask a theist if they believe in leprechaun’s, fairies, unicorns, or big foot? Some might, but the vast majority will state that these things can’t exist because they are completely illogical. Then ask if god fits into this same scenario and their mindset will switch. They will state that god is completely logical and apparent to anyone who actually looks…

Go one step further and ask about Zeus, Dionysus, Hercules, or any other god outside of the one they believe in. They will more than likely go back to the logic and reason center stating that these God’s cannot exist because they are illogical and make no sense.

How else can this be explained outside of the closed off portion of the mind?

So what can you do with this information? Sadly the answer is, not much. If religion was a matter that could be reasoned away from then I have a hard time believing that it would have existed to this point in history.  Like myself, I believe that the easiest way to break the barrier between these two portions of the brain is through life experience. Most often this comes in the form of a traumatic event.

Traumatic events have a way of refocusing the mind in ways that were impossible prior to them. This is especially true in the areas of faith. Think of it like this, what is “Free-will?” Free will was in essence an idea created to explain and answer the reason for suffering in the world. From ancient Greece, the philosopher Epicurus, came up with the following problem.

Epicurus_bust21.) If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
2.) There is evil in the world.
3.) Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does not exist.

This problem has been the bane of believers and theologians for centuries. So the theologian introduced the idea of free-will, or that man shapes this world outside the ability of god, god cannot mess with free-will or else humans have no real choice in whether to serve him or not. So the equation becomes…

1.) If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
2.) There is evil in the world.
3.) Free-Will Exists which allows evil to exist.
3.) Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does exist.

The entire idea of free-will is centered around the need for an out for god. If free-will does not exist and we are much more like the animals that we believe ourselves superior to, then god is the reason for suffering and he cannot be a good and loving god. In many cases a believer can be perfectly happy with the free-will equation until a traumatic event occurs that appears to be no fault of their own.

For me this came in the form of my cousin’s suicide and the idea that a good and loving god sent him to hell. I was no longer capable of accepting a good and loving god in the equation. God became dark, distant and evil. My mind began to open where it had once been closed and I was finally able to use logic and reason on the subject of faith. Once this became possible, faith fell apart and what remained was one departitioned mind.

I try to remember this in the conversations that I have with theists. Many are quite intelligent, logical and reasonable, in all areas outside of their faith. They are who I once was for a long period of my life. With this in mind my discussions and debates with theists became much more civil and caring. I no longer resort to anger when someone challenges me on the facts of my former belief. They have to claim that I was never a believer in order to still keep the disconnect within their own minds in place. One day they might be in the same shoes as I once was and I would like to be there for them if that becomes the case.

 

Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #4: All About You!

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

Today’s post is going to be all about you, the reader. First off, I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to read my blog. You have absolutely no idea how good that makes me feel and how happy I am each day to reply to your comments, whether that is here, on Twitter, Facebook, or through e-mail. Every day you remind me why writing my story is worth it and hopefully it will help others who are going through the same type of situations as I once was. Thank you!

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Secondly, we will be coming to the end of the “Journey” posts very soon. It’s been a wild ride going back through my memories and putting them down for you to read. This hasn’t always been easy, the amount of stuff that has come up over the last few weeks that I had suppressed or thought I had forgotten has been immense. Reliving some of these stories has been incredibly painful but I feel better for having gotten them out into the open. Thank you for the kindness and love you have shown me through these rough moments that I have shared.

idea.pngThird, just because the “Journey” posts will be ending does not mean that this blog is soon to be over. I have many ideas running through my mind for future series and entries. Some of those ideas are listed below:

  1. A Pentecostal Atheist Bible Study: Showing you exactly how I was taught to interpret passages and scriptures during my upbringing. (This will definitely be humorous and scary at times)
  2. A guide to the different types of Christians you might meet and what arguments work best for each.
  3. Extra-biblical Teachings: Things that I was taught to believe even though they had absolutely no biblical backing. Conspiracy theories run rampant throughout the Pentecostal faith.
  4. Crazy Christians: Entries describing some of the stranger folks that I have met throughout my life and time in the ministry who believed in very strange things outside the normal bounds of regular Christianity and Pentecostalism. (Snake Handlers, Poison Drinkers, Poo Eaters, etc…)
  5. A personal blog describing aspects of my life not touched upon by the “Journey” posts as of yet. I’ve left out quite a bit that I didn’t feel was crucial to my journey and think you might find some of that just as interesting.

These are just some of the ideas that I have had over the last few weeks.

Fourth, I want this blog to be about you. What type of things would you find interesting to read about? Are there some aspects about faith or my life that you haven’t understood and wish I would expand upon those thoughts?

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Lastly, Free-Thought Friday is your opportunity to have your voice heard. If you are interested in writing a guest entry, let me know. Either message me through here, Facebook, or Twitter and tell me you’re interested. I’ve enjoyed all the submissions I have received so far and love to share your stories.

Once again, thank you! You all have made writing this blog worth it. I cannot possibly thank you enough.

THANKS!