Videos

Proof that God is Good! Musings From the Ginger Stranger…

Musings from a strange man under the lamplight trying to prove that god is good. Remember God doesn’t want action, he expects intent and then action…

Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp-Q3d4Z92M&t=42s

Godless Iowan Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheGodlessIowan

Godless Iowan Tee-Spring Store:
https://teespring.com/stores/the-godless-iowan-merch-store

Streamlabs Store:
https://streamlabs.com/thegodlessiowan/#/merch

Support the Stream:
https://streamlabs.com/thegodlessiowan

Videos

Weekend Tube: Faithless Forum Edition

Hello Hell-Bound Friends. Tomorrow 1-9pm, if you’re in Dallas, I recommend you check out the Faithless Forum. Tickets are still available, only $20 dollars, and it is going to be a great time. However if you are like me and live in the Butthole of America, you’re not going to be able to make it and so I’m bringing the forum to you with my favorite videos from each of the guests. So let’s get to it.

GM Skeptic: Why You Lose By Being Religious

To be honest, making this list is harder than most because of the excellent videos on each of these channels. However, GM Skeptics was probably the hardest to select just one from. His content is all interesting, profound, and powerful. Check out this video and get hooked on his channel just like I did. Enjoy!

TellTale Atheist: Jehovahs Witnesses Justifying Shunning

Ok so maybe I was wrong because going through TellTale’s catalog was just as hard as going through GM Skeptics. A former Jehovah’s Witness, Telltale has an amazing story to tell and a lot to draw from. His videos flow very well and are each unique and interesting. There really isn’t a bad video to jump into his content. Subscribe to his new Science channel as well!

Godless Engineer: How a Jehovah’s Witness Questioned and Left his Faith

There are videos that Godless Engineer makes that are more entertaining, funnier, and more informative than the above one. However what Godless Engineer does is takes folks like me, and Fenrir in the video above, who are just starting out and gives them a major boost. He is all about building the community and helping small channels succeed. It’s amazing what he does and I think he’d be proud knowing I picked one of these videos on his channel for today’s list. Go subscribe today!

KC’s Corner: Jehovah’s Witness Elders Tell Us How to Stay Clean For Jehovah

KC can also be found on Godless Engineer’s channel and just as much can be said about her contributions to the community as with Godless Engineer. New to making videos of her own she hit the nail on the head with her first video and really set herself apart. She’s honestly one of the nicest people you will ever get the pleasure of meeting and is both brilliant and hilarious.

Anthony Magnabosco: Street Epistemology: Nick

Magnabosco can chat with anyone, he has a natural charm that seems to make folks enjoy talking to him. His street epistemology series teaches the finer points of leading someone towards questioning their own beliefs. Anthony Magnabosco is a modern day Socrates in my opinion, and I think some of the folks he interviews comes away with the same type of mindset as those who spoke with Socrates did in Plato’s stories.

Allie Jackson: How to Approach Hateful Thoughts and acts towards

Allie Jackson(Atheist Republic) is the one on this list today that I am less familiar with but nonetheless what I have seen of her talks and videos have been excellent. This talk discusses how to deal with some of the things that we atheists meet with on a daily basis and some great advice is provided. Check out Atheist Republic’s channel for more of Allie’s content!

Prophet of Zod: What if Everybody Wanted School Prayer

What doesn’t Prophet of Zod do? I mean seriously, he makes great response videos, has awesome interviews, and even has some great animated shorts on his channel. It’s really impossible to narrow him down to a specific style because he really does it all. Zod is an amazing creator and a really good guy, I’ve enjoyed getting to know him recently and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in the future.

Holy Koolaid: Atheist State of the Union 2018

This is the video that made me a content creator on YouTube. I watched this, looked at Missus Snarky and said it’s time for me to tell the world my story.  9 days later i was on YouTube. So Holy Koolaid holds the distinction of being the voice that “led me out of the darkness” of sorts and since then I have made so many friends and learned so much. I wouldn’t be making videos if it wasn’t for this video and for that I will always be thankful for Holy Koolaid.

Honorable Mention: Suris the Skeptic: My De-conversion from Christianity

Not officially in the line-up but deserving to be on the list today is Suris the Skeptic. A few weeks back I was introduced to Suris by Don Michaud on Twitter. Since then I have grown to call him a friend. He makes awesome videos and is there to help. If you want to know why my audio magically got better, it’s thanks to Suris! He will be roaming around meeting all the people tomorrow. Which is good because I have no doubt that one day soon he will be a headliner at conferences like these.

Fiction and Stories

Free-Thought Friday: Losing My Christianity: Part 3

First off, I want to apologize for not getting this post up sooner. In all honesty I thought I had already done so.

For the first part: Click here: Free-Thought Friday #4: Losing My Christianity: Part 1
For Part two, click here: Free-Thought Friday: Losing My Christianity: Part 2

Now, on to the article, the third and final part.


 

After about a week, we arrived back home to Texas, and rested for a couple of days from the trip. One night, mom and Thomas decided to drink some vodka, and celebrate their new relationship. It was very annoying, because living a trailer, I got to hear all the noises from their elation, which I found repulsive, but tried to ignore. The next morning I had plans to go to the movies with a friend of mine, so I asked mom if she could drive us. She said she didn’t feel like it, so I would have to cancel. But Thomas stepped up and offered to take us, assuring mom that it was absolutely no problem, and it would give them some more alone time while I was gone. She agreed, so we got into the truck and went to pick up my friend, who lived pretty far into the country along a very curvy road.

“Stunned that I wasn’t dead, I got up from the pavement to assess the situation.”

As I said before, Thomas liked to drive fast, and saw that I found it rather fun. He commented that going this fast, seat-belts would be practically useless, so we didn’t bother to wear them. Being more level-headed than we were, my friend opted for the belt. At 80 miles per hour, we flew down the road, until we came around a sharp curve, when suddenly there was a white car going much slower than we were. Thomas hit the brakes, but it was too late. The truck slid sideways, and we began to tumble. Everything was in slow motion, and I recall the scene very well. The truck flipped 3 times, and I had been thrown out the passenger window, and landed on the ground. Last thing I remember before passing out was seeing the truck about to fall on me. I woke to the sound of my friend screaming and crying. Stunned that I wasn’t dead, I got up from the pavement to assess the situation. I saw my friend, and checked to see if she was ok. She seemed a bit scratched up, but fine. The one alarming things was: I couldn’t find Thomas. I frantically searched for him while the sound of the arriving ambulance sirens rang in the distance. As they pulled up, I spotted his body, lying facedown in the water of a nearby ditch. I was absolutely horrified as the paramedics surrounded me, trying to get me to lie down. Frantically I denied their request, saying, “He’s in the ditch! GET HIM FIRST! He’s going to DROWN!” They didn’t seem to be heeded my command, so I started cussing them, “FUCK YOU! HE’S IN THE GODDAMN DITCH, ASSHOLE! I’M FINE, SO LEAVE ME ALONE… HE’S NOT FINE!” It wasn’t until I heard my mother’s voice that I obeyed their requests to lie down and let them examine me. I was still yelling for them to get Thomas, and pointing in that direction until they started moving toward him. After they looked me over, they told me they were going to put me in the ambulance. I refused, saying I was fine enough to just walk home, since it was only about 1/4 mile away. Mom told me this wasn’t happening, and after a few stern words, I conceded and got into the ambulance alongside my friend, who was still screaming. Now I could focus on getting her calm on the way to the hospital, but I still wondered what became of Thomas. Was he even alive?

The ambulance arrived at the hospital, and I got probed and prodded in various ways for them to find out of I had any significant injuries. Mom was there to ensure that I allowed them to do what was needed. They wheeled me to radiology, where x-rays revealed I had cracked my coccyx, which is the bone at the base of the spine. I was feeling better after meds, but we still had no word on Thomas. I was worried, but knew we would find out eventually what became of him. Having been sent back to the ER bed after x-ray, suddenly I heard a loud wailing. It was my mom’s voice, and after some time passed, she came and told me that once I was discharged, we were going down to Houston where Thomas had been life flighted. Apparently one of the medics had told her that he wasn’t going to make it, and he had gotten Thomas’ brain matter all over his hands. This was so upsetting – finally someone was in our lives that seemed to actually care for us, and now he was dying. After I was discharged, mom stuffed me in her other truck, groggy, hurting, and still a bit in shock, and rushed down to Houston to where he was. When we finally arrived and received an update on his condition, the doctors told mom that Thomas had sustained a closed-head injury, and at this point we couldn’t be sure of the outcome, since he was in critical condition, but it wasn’t as bad as the medic had conveyed before. All of his brain matter was intact, but the swelling was life-threatening, and he was in a coma. Apparently he had still been drunk from the night before, and that’s what led to his poor judgement while driving two teenaged girls to the movies.

Her friend was really nice to me, and took very good care of the various wounds that were missed at the hospital, as well as made sure that I tried to move around despite the pain, so I could regain my ability to walk.”

After having been in a wreck, and visiting two different hospitals all day long, I was tired, hurting, and ready to go home. Mom decided she didn’t want to go too far from where Thomas was, so she called up a life-long friend who resided in the area to ask if we could stay with her a while. Her friend agreed, so we went there. I couldn’t even walk on my own until a week later, so I pretty much stayed on her couch while mom frequented the hospital where Thomas was. Her friend was really nice to me, and took very good care of the various wounds that were missed at the hospital, as well as made sure that I tried to move around despite the pain, so I could regain my ability to walk. For her I shall always be thankful, and feel very lucky that someone was there for me when my mom seemed to abandon me. After about a month of staying there, I decided that I wanted to go home. Mom didn’t want to go, but I insisted she take me there. Mom opted to stay in Houston, so once again, I was alone, and felt totally abandoned. It was during this time I began a real rebellion against the idea of god, and stopped praying altogether. After all, what kind of loving god would have allowed so much of my suffering? I had always believed, always prayed, and remained faithful to the idea my entire life. What good did that do me? It was quite apparent that no one loved really me, and my parent didn’t seem to care about my wellbeing enough to offer guidance or take care of me when I needed it the most. Why did god give me parents that abused and abandoned me?

“You and me against the world,” was never true…”

Six months, and many surgeries later, Mom brought Thomas home. He wasn’t able to speak, walk, or eat on his own. He required constant care, and after a year or so, he regained some abilities, but was never quite the same. He had no control over his emotions, and would have angry and sometimes violent outbursts. I had begun to discover the opposite sex, and would take advantage of mom being stuck at the house with Thomas by running off, getting drunk on occasion, and hanging out with friends whenever I wanted. Some of the guys I knew were already atheists, so we would discuss the god concept quite often. I still maintained outwardly that I believed for a while, but had so much doubt and could no longer reason with them as to why I would still hold the belief. God had not kept us safe, but our decisions to leave did, and he certainly didn’t help maintain my relationship with mom. “You and me against the world,” was never true, but a platitude to momentarily make me feel better. Not long after I had turned 15 years of age, I decided to pray one last time, just in case there was a god. I wanted him to know that I was angry with him for putting me in abusive situations, giving me parents that didn’t give two shits about me, and for never once answering a single prayer. After that last prayer, I knew I was an atheist. I never went back to a belief in the Christian god, and have sought comfort in real explanations about things, lots of cognitive behavioral therapy, and delving deep into understanding life through science and philosophy as opposed to nonsense.


 

Jennifer writes the Wednesday Woo feature here most weeks. She is the love of my life and amazes me how she has coped with what she went through as a child as well as how she came away from new age beliefs later in life. I hope you have enjoyed reading this part of her story and I am so proud that she told it.

Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Angels

Good evening heathens and hell-bound friends and foes alike. As always, if you’d like to read the last Bad Theism article, click here: Bad Theism: The God of the Book Deal. Tonight we are going to talk about the helpers of god, the Angels.

First, I want to give credit where credit is due, I owe the idea for tonight’s article to Saint Brian the Godless who tweeted today.

BrianSo thank you Saint Brian!

Anyway, let’s get right down to it.

Angels, if we are to believe the bible are a race of beings that god created to serve him. Angels are kinda like the beta version of man. In the bible angels can come in many shapes and forms, however they seem to have a handful of purposes.

  1. Worship God
  2. Kill Kids
  3. Control the wind
  4. Act as messengers

Anyway, what separates Angels from man is that they lack free-will and since they are immaterial they have no need for a soul. Now, like many other things that Christians believe, there is actually not all that much in the bible to back up these claims, however these are fairly well accepted since they make things easier to understand. Without the idea that angels lack free-will they could have another fall at any point and create absolute chaos.

homer

Now, remember, Lucifer supposedly rebelled against god and was cursed to one day spend an eternity in hell. As the saint above questioned, how could something without free-will rebel? They couldn’t, it’s not a possibility and makes absolutely no sense. If Lucifer was created, along with the other angels, with the sole purpose of serving god then there is no way that a being like that could choose to rebel.

But lets look at this from a couple of other directions.

stupid-god_o_428781

How bad of a creator is god? He created two races of sentient beings and both turn against him? This would be like if every version of the Windows operating system tried to kill Bill Gates.  Imagine if an inventor built two separate inventions, a hair straightener and a curling iron. Now imagine if the straightener decided to curl hair and the curling iron decided to murder puppies. That inventor would find himself on the street, to forever be the laughing stock of other inventors whose inventions actually do what they were built to do. Yet, for some strange reason, god gets a pass even though he absolutely sucks at creating sentient beings that do what they are meant to do.

shrugged

The second point that I’d like to make is what is the purpose of angels existing at all? Is god omnipotent? Is god omniscient? Is god omnipresent? The vast majority of Christians would answer yes to all three of these questions and yet if the answer is yes then the existence of angels is unnecessary and would actually point to a malevolent god if one were to exist.

Why do I say this?

SpGFuqr

Omnipotent

If god is omnipotent, or all-powerful, then he would be fully capable of doing all that needs done in the universe without the need for helpers. He could control the winds, keep the planet spinning, keep the sun shining, do absolutely everything that needs done and still not be winded in the slightest degree. Omnipotent means that god cannot get tired,  he would literally be a being of perpetual motion.

omniscient

Omniscient

If god is omniscient, or all-knowing, then he would have no need to have angels watching over mankind. As he would know exactly what was going to happen before it happened and if needed he could swoop in and fix any issue that might occur. This is especially true if god is omnipotent and omnipresent as well. Angels are unneeded in this scenario because god already knows all.

googlemaps

Omnipresent

If God is omnipresent, or everywhere, then he would have no need for angels because he already exists everywhere. If someone needed told anything, god’s already there so he can do the talking himself. If a sports team needs a boost he would already be there to get them into the endzone. If a child was dying of cancer, he would already be there to watch as the child’s life slips away from it because god simply loves dying kids.

malevolence.jpg

Malevolence

Why do I say that if angels exist then god is malevolent? Well, this is simply due to the fact that he created an unnecessary slave class for the sole purpose of being an unnecessary slave class. An all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present being that still chooses to create not one but two classes of people for the purpose of worshipping and serving him is malevolent.


tenor

It doesn’t take much thinking to realize that angels are completely illogical. What’s more is angels in Abrahamic and other monotheistic religions in the area, simply play the part that lesser gods play in polytheistic faiths.  Instead of Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hades, as in the greek polytheism, Christianity instead has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan. Now, my own opinion is that humans, for the most part, are fairly skeptical to begin with. So perhaps, when the monotheistic faiths were springing up there were certain people who were saying…”Nope, not going to buy it, no way there is a single being that can do everything, know everything, and be everywhere.” So in order to get these people to accept their faith, angels were thrown into the mix. Now, the monotheists could still say that their god was all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present, but he chose to use angels in order to do his dirty work.

Angels also play an easy scapegoat in regards to evil existing in the world. Evil isn’t gods fault, it’s due to the bad angels. This world would be perfect if it wasn’t for that evil angel that told Eve to eat the fruit, and bring the curse upon the world. See…easy peasy lemon squeezy. Everything now makes perfect sense and god is off the hook for evil existing even before man chose to sin.

Except it doesn’t…

So let me explain why….

bubble-rock-acadia-national-park-maine-x.jpg

Who started the ball rolling?

Let’s imagine you were standing on top of a mountain beside a giant boulder. You shove the boulder and as it rolls down the mountain it destroys property, damages roads, and kills several people. Now who would be at fault in this scenario? What court in the world would allow you to defend yourself by saying that even though you pushed the boulder, you weren’t at fault for what the boulder did after you pushed it.

Now as humans we may have a slight excuse, being able to say you didn’t know exactly what would happen when you pushed the boulder. It would be a shitty excuse but still an excuse. God doesn’t get to use that excuse though. If god is omniscient it means that he has never done anything without knowing exactly the eventual result of his reaction.

This means that god created angels knowing that they would rebel and then create man knowing the exact same thing would occur.

So either angels do not exist which would negate much of the bible and meaning that god is the origin of both all the good as well as all the evil in the world.

or

God does exist and is malevolent, negligent, irresponsible, and just plain stupid.

 

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.

birth

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.

baby2

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.”

shrugged

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 ag.org 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.

truth

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?

prophet

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.

cherry

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…

pope.jpg

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

 

 

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:

cookie

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.

 

 

Strange Questions

Strange Questions: Aliens?

This is going to be quite possibly the dumbest blog that I have ever written…

So this question is actually going to be in response to a blog that I found here on WordPress. To quote the blog:

“Atheists do not believe in God.  Yet, I am pretty sure that if we suddenly found out that aliens invented the Earth and created the animals and humans and plants, they would be ok with it.”

Okay, so first I realize that the quote above is not well written or well thought out but let’s simplify it a bit…(How does something invent a planet?)

“If we found out that Aliens were responsible for creation, would atheists accept it?”

aliens2

The answer to this is rather simple to be honest. If we found out, meaning we found verifiable evidence that pointed to aliens creating us then we would accept it. Now before you think you got us atheist folks, let me also say that if we found verifiable evidence of a divine or godly creation atheists would also have no recourse but to accept that as well.

The thing is in both scenarios there is absolutely no evidence of either a god or a superior race of aliens creating life here on earth. There is however a plethora of evidence that points to life coming about by natural means. We may not yet fully know exactly what started the life ball rolling but we do understand what the building blocks of life are and how evolution by natural selection then pushed the system forward.

aliens3

Secondly….let’s just point out that if life were to have been started here by aliens that would not end the atheist/theist debate. It wouldn’t actually move the argument forward by a single inch because…

A.) Aliens are physical creatures and not divine.
B.) Theists would then be able to simply say that god created the aliens that created us.

See how this would in effect change nothing on how either group were to view the argument at hand?

So to answer the question in a simple way:

If we found RELIABLE EVIDENCE that was VERIFIABLE of either aliens or god, we would accept it as true.

Lastly I want to state that simply because something is possible it does not mean that it is also probable. To say that I do not believe in god or aliens is not to say that these things have absolutely no possibility of existing. It is to say, I see no evidence that points to that existence and so I see no need to live my life as if they do exist.

Maybe the universe is just one big unicorn fart? It doesn’t appear to be a big unicorn fart and so I won’t base my life around that idea but is it 100% impossible? Whoa to you who doubt the great unicorn asshole which granted us life and all the blessings of this earth…

Atheism once again simply means to be someone who does not believe in a god or gods. Outside of that anything is possible.

As Matt Dillahunty put it:

dillahunty

Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Lying for the Lord

For the Bad Theism Article, click here: Bad Theism: Circular Reasoning

Living-the-10-Commandments

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

I want to talk a little bit tonight about lying, and to be more specific lying in order to spread your faith. Now the bible is pretty clear that lying is not okay in the eyes of the supposed Christian god and yet each and every day Christians spend a huge amount of time coming up with major lies in order to support scripture or give them some sort of backing for their faith. It seems strange but in reality the only way to support any lie is with more lies.

argumnts.jpg

Have you ever caught someone in the act of lying and so instead of owning up to it they create an even larger lie?

Man: Seriously honey, I was out with the boys last night…
Woman: I called your friends and you weren’t with any of them.
Man: You got me honey, I was out buying you a gift.
Woman: Well where is it?
Man: Do you really think I have it on me? I left it at work.
Woman: Well, it’s strange that the bank statement shows no purchases last night…
Man: Of course not, I paid for it with cash that I got from one of my friends.
Woman: Which friend?
Man: I don’t remember….

Lying comes very naturally to us. In fact, one of the first things that a baby learns is how to lie through its cries in order to be granted whatever it wants. Even though lying is so prevalent, we still want to be seen as truthful people and so the only option we have when caught in a lie is to create a bigger lie. Over time this catches up to the compulsive liar as they are no longer capable of remembering all the lies they have told, things get mixed up and eventually the truth comes out.

Now as I said before, the bible is pretty clear about the prohibition of lying. Not only are you to not willfully lie, but according to the bible you are not supposed to speak on things which you are not absolutely positively sure. This works out for many Christians who don’t try to back up their faith with shoddy evidence. Ask many Christians why they believe and they might not be able to tell you why, they might simply say they believe simply because they have faith in belief. While this answer might be frustrating it is at least honest.

yeah.jpg

The problem comes when Christians try to use science as a means to promote their faith, many times by attempting to conform science to their belief. This can come in two forms both of which are dishonest and should be called out any time you see it occur.

 

The first form is used by entities such as “Answers In Genesis” which lists this in their statement of faith…

evolution

“By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.” (Answers in Genesis Website)

What exactly does this mean? It means if there is any evidence, no matter how verifiable, that contradicts biblical scripture they throw it out and still pretend as if the biblical account is correct…in other words….they lie about it. There is no other way to consider this outside of a bold-faced lie.

They will make bold claims about the sedimentary layers being proof of a biblical flood and yet we have scientific evidence that proves this is not the case. Even so, since that scientific evidence runs counter to what the bible teaches they will simply throw it out and continue to pretend it proves their side of the story….I mean…..were you there….

facepalm.jpg

The second form is employed by liberal theologies where they will state that they no longer believe certain scriptures because those scriptures weren’t really written for this day and age anyway. They might also simply re-write a scripture in order to make it appear as if it doesn’t actually mean what folks thought it meant for nearly 2,000 years. It doesn’t really matter what the topic is but we will use the subject of homosexuality since it is the easiest to work with.

I want to make it clear that these are not my views.  I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality and am a proponent of marriage and workplace equality. Yet, the bible clearly speaks out against homosexuality in both the old and the new testament. The Christian church was entirely anti-gay until nearly the 1990’s and even now the vast majority of Christians would still state that homosexuality is a sin.

Liberal theologies get around this by making claims which cannot be backed by any scriptural source whatsoever.

  1. Rules against homosexuality were actually simply rules against homosexuality outside of marriage and since gay marriage didn’t exist back then it could not be sanctioned by god.
  2. Laws against homosexuality are actually laws against male prostitution and in no way a condemnation of the actual practice.
  3. Stating that the new testament actually doesn’t say anything about homosexuality.

There are a few more ways that the liberal faiths might try to promote their new progressive ideology and yet they are all, in fact, lies. The Christian that believes homosexuality is wrong is following the faith as it is written, the Christian who believes homosexuality is okay is following a faith of their own creation without a scriptural basis.

Now I’m not here to say which form of lying is worse as they are both lies and I am nothing more than a lowly atheist. Yet to me it would seem that if I needed to lie about something in order to continue believing in it….I simply shouldn’t believe in it.  Why live a life of ever-expanding lies?

Well the reason being is that they don’t want to give up their faith and so in both forms they are simply doing things that allow them to continue believing. The liberal lies so that he can conform the bible to his own worldview. The creationist lies so that he can pretend that the bible is still infallible. While the reason for their lies are on the opposite end of the scale, the reasoning is almost exactly the same…Faith cannot stand on its own.

cognitive-dissonance

Faith requires cognitive dissonance in one form or another. You cannot possibly believe that the bible is true and yet also believe in science. You cannot possibly believe that the scriptures are holy and infallible and yet also believe your own progressive worldview aligns with that faith. So when cognitive dissonance kicks in they create lies to help assuage those feelings and after thousands of years of doing so…the truth is shining through brightly.  God isn’t dead….god simply never was.