Saturday, September 30, 2006

"I'll Pray for You!"

Aaaarrghh!! I hate it when christians say that! As if i should say "Thank You!" or "Gee! Will you? Perhaps it will help?" or something. But recently i've been thinking about this. A simple but conclusive experiment on the power (or lack of it) of prayer.

So, if your a christian, muslim or any other flavour of theist i'm asking you to pray for me. Pray for my conversion to the theology of your choice. Form prayer circles, use the internet to get thousands praying for me, millions perhaps. These huge born again rallies could all start with a quick prayer for my mortal soul. If prayer works so well then the saving of one measely soul should be childsplay! I will keep you all posted on any success. If i suddenly see the light, get born again or start getting the urge to knock on doors at teatime and ask if they've "Heard the Good News?" you will be the first to know. If i start talking in tongues, joining the salvation army or wearing sandals with "jesus loves you" soles (i kid you not!) then it will be announced in this very blog.

This is theology's chance to save this godless, heathen atheist from eternal damnation. To prove once and for all the existance of giant invisible friends. (As an aside here, it's been said that it doesn't matter what we call god, she is still the creator. But if you call her Ralph and then read the bible.... "In the beginning Ralph created the heaven and the earth...." doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Anyway.. I digress.)

Yes! You and your brethren (Getting the hang of the language already! Perhaps it's working!) can use the power of the lord, jesus, allah, thor, flying spaghetti monster (may you be touched by his noodly appendage) or whoever to prove it isn't all a pile of dingo's kidneys and it's all actually true!

So, don't be shy! Get praying and if it works I promise to come clean and let you all know. If not, after say 5 years and I am still a godless atheist then you have to promise to take a few mins to ask yourselves why it didn't work and perhaps read "The God Delusion" by Prof.R.Dawkins.

Please, if you are praying for me, add a comment and introduce yourselves. Where and how many would be valuable data for the experiment. Names. while nice, are not needed so anonymous comments welcome too.

Good luck!

Taking Atheism on the Road

We've seen much lately about such huge youth conventions as Battlecry 2006 and others and was day dreaming whilst idling in bed this Saturday morning of an atheist rally of this sort.

I thought of a Royal Society christmas lecture writ large. With huge experiments on stage, pyrotecnics supplied by chemistry, an imax / planetarium style trip from the very smallest to the very largest reaches of the universe. From the world where quantum mechanics rule to the furthest reaches of our telescopes and beyond to the limit of our current theories. Then from a cooling proto-earth through the first glimmerings of life via the Burgess Shale menagerie onwards to the mega fauna (animatronic giant tree sloth anyone?) of more recent times and then our own history from the shores of an African lake to modern times.

Using all the multimedia available, lasers, imax, pyro, music, subsonics, video walls etc. this is not a scheme to educate in detail with long latin names and inpenetrable math, but a huge joyous sweep through science to get over the wonder, the magesty and the downright fun of living in this universe we find ourselves in and the pleasure of finding things out.

We could pin them to the wall with the wonder of it all!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

At Last! A Home on the Net

Finally, after years of wandering about on many and various sites, forums and newsgroups I've found a small island of sanity. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science or RDF for short. Coinciding with the launch of his book "The God Delusion" (now at £10 at Amazon! Currently No.1 best seller at Amazon.UK and Amazon.Canada and No.5 at Amazon.US and still climbing!) this site seems to me one of the most important events to have happened on the internet.

I don't think I can stress enough how important it is, for us as a species, to rid ourselves of the foul, mind numbing shroud of religion. It is for this purpose, and for the refutation of the quacks, charlatans, faith healers, crystal gazers, cults and new age claptrapists that peddle their inane, worthless mumbo-jumbo on the ill educated, the gullible and the desperate. Don't take my word for it, go see the streaming video by Prof. Dawkins as an introduction to the RDF. Required viewing for the whole damned planet!

Religion hijacked a feature of our hunter gatherer brains the same way a virus hijacks a cell for it's own nefarious ends. It is a useful feature of the infant human brain that a child will believe anything a parent or elder of the group tells it. Things like "Stay away from Tigers!" or "Don't hassle the yellow and black buzzy things!" and "Treat all snakes as poisonous until I tell you differently!" are very important things to know. If a child questions or tries his own experiments then his life will be interesting but very short.

So we have the infant human brain primed to take as fact whatever is told to him by his parents. What happens if the things told to the child are not true? Well, it makes no difference. The imprinting still happens. Theists know this. “Give me the boy until the age of seven, and I’ll give you the man” is reputedly a saying by the founder of the Jesuit Order in the Catholic Church, St Ignatius Loyola. The Order is especially involved in education and can't you tell! They knew all about this early imprinting system and used it without compunction. It is still being used today. How many kids are born into a religious family, taken to church, taught to pray and then herded off to a faith school with not a single chance for them to get even an inkling that the world being shown to them is not the only way. This form of imprinting of our children should disgust us as much as the sexual abuse of children does. It is child abuse plain and simple. It is how these delusional ideas pass down families using a feature of our brains designed to keep us safe, now highjacked by this viral idea of religion.

It is this infecting of our children that must stop! And it's why I am supporting the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. I urge you to do the same.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Take the Bible literally?

I copied and pasted this from another forum...please note - 'Laura' in this case is supposed to be Laura Schlessinger.

Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Far right Wing Theocracy grows in US

Just discovered this and it's pretty damn worrying! Battlecry 2006. If anything it looks and feels more like a Nazi rally from the height of the war. American kids herded into stadiums countrywide and instilled with a fear of a secular society and then driven to take on the mantle of warriors for god. Take a look at this video and see what i mean. Using the kids own music and culture to induce feelings of persecution and the certainty of being right.

Even using US Navy SEALS to scare the crap out of them by firing blanks at the audience. Here is a snippet from someone who was at the Philladelphia gig.

"It began with fireworks so loud and startling I screamed. Lights and smoke followed, and a few kids were pulled up on stage from the crowd. One was asked to read a letter.
This was the letter that opened the event. Its author was George W. Bush. Yes, the president of the United States sent a letter of support, greeting, prayer and encouragement to the BattleCry event held at Wachovia Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia on May 12. Immediately afterward, a preacher took the microphone and led the crowd in prayer. Among other things, he asked the attendees to “Thank God for giving us George Bush.”
On his cue, about 17,000 youths from upward of 2,000 churches across America and Canada directed their thanks heavenward in unison.
Throughout the three and a half hours of BattleCry’s first session, I thought of only one analogy that fit the experience: This must have been what it felt like to watch the Hitler Youth, filled with self-righteous pride, proclaim the supremacy of their beliefs and their willingness to shed blood for them."

That's right! She said "Blood!" This is no passive church thing, this is a violent call to arms to help the christian fundamentalist theocracy. Smoke and mirrors to captivate whilst instilling thoughts and feelings into the audience not of their own. Brainwashing, groupthink call it what you will. Damn worrying is what i call it. While the government strips away the constitution the youth are indoctrinated in the ways of the far right using religion (once again) as control.

Read the page i linked to and ask yourself if you would like your kids to go to one of these nazi style christ fests. It's a very bleak future for the US "If This Goes On -"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Should we arm or vote for theists?

Should religious belief preclude you from military or public service?

Lets try the military first. If you are of such a weak mind to actually hold any religion as true you should be banned from joining any of the military services. The last thing we want is crusaders with a god on their side, sure of a pleasant afterlife and reckless because of it. If we are to arm some of our populace i want them to be stable realists with a healthy regard for life. Not semi litterate dimwits programmed to do their deities dirty work and convinced if they die doing it they will be rewarded in the hereafter. As we well know, religion has been used to demonise enemies since time immemorial. The crusades were a fine example with both sides shouting to their prefered invisible friend as they went into battle (Allah Akbar! (god is great!) and Deus vult! (God wills it!). Convinced that the crimes they were commiting were sanctioned by their religion and therefore were above normal codes of decency. The same thing is happening now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anyone who says these current conflicts are not a theistic squabble between christians and moslems is lying. Any theist, on either side, is too personally involved to think straight, and probably too damned stupid to think at all. If your gullible and unquestioning enough to swallow a religion whole without a question, then your too damned stupid to be trusted with weaponry (or a belt and shoelaces come to think of it!)

Now, public service. Much the same applies here. Our legislators need to evaluate complex social and societal problems and do their damndest to solve them. The last thing they need is a list of do's and don'ts from the late bronze age. Not only are these theistic rules and regs often biggoted, short sighted or downright nasty they also were written by men who had no idea of the way the our planet is or how the universe works, how societies are changing, technology, family changes, medicine... The list goes on and on. If Mr. Blair ignored the house of commons and tossed the entrails of a goat on the floor to see what should be done about, say, unemployment, he would be removed from office pretty damned quick. Now, how different is kneeling down, putting his hands together in front of his face, closing his eyes tight shut and mumbling to an invisible, fictitious father figure with superhero powers. We need legislators with some smarts! Again, the test is easy. If you think there is a god, you can't be in any government that has me as a citizen. Religion is something that may not harm an already irrevocably stupid drone but that programmed, empty shell should not be given power over his fellows.