A 'howdy' from Kabul, Afghanistan, where I have lived and worked for the past three years. Stumbled across the RRS from a link from RichardDawkins.net while browsing on a rare day off.
I have been active in the skeptical/atheist community for a number of years. I am heartened to see the success of the RSS in reaching a young, intelligent group of people, growing in membership size in a tremendously short period of time. I'm also active over at the JRef (James Randi Educational Foundation) - which is not specifically an atheistic group (although I'd estimate that atheists outnumber deists / theists by a significant majority) and have witnessed first hand the struggle to maintain relevancy and to attract new members.
A man is assaulted in front of his home. The neighbours see this assault take place, but do nothing. A stranger to the area leaps out and assist the man.
Through democratic process and determination, the man who "did the right thing" would be in the wrong. The majority of people in the neighbourhood said, by their behaviour, that turning your back on someone in need was the proper course of action.
When a democratic compromise is reached, the same thing occurs. The democratic vote is bound to be determined in favour of the majority, and the minority for whom the "compromise" is being reached are getting shafted. Any who speak out against what is determined to be the "compromise" are regarded as troublemakers.
I came across the link to this site on Youtube. I love that I can comunicate with other freethinkers, and people who embrace rational thought! Keep fighting for our freedom from religion. thanks again RRS
So I get home today and have two messages on my Myspace blog (www.myspace.com/rookhawkins) and they're from this guy who claims to be friends with another Christian I ran into. Somehow this Christian's posts got deleted by Myspace (So did my two-hour responce to him and I don't know why). Here is my response to him:
I don't know what you're talking about, but I didn't delete any post - in fact I replied to it here on my blog. I'm surprised to find his post and mine both gone - but I promise you they were both here and I was waiting for him to reply back to me - apparently I see why it didn't happen.
After viewing some of Sam Harris's videos/articles, I realized that he makes the same observations about religious beliefs -- while I am not too impressed by his oratory, his writing is very lucid, and he is able to state his arguments very clearly. Particularly, I liked his "10 Myths & 10 Truths about atheism" that was published in the LA Times (Link here). This article was also quoted on RichardDawkins.net, eliciting the same old responses from some Christians -- which basically rehash stuff about design vs. "chance", the basis for morality, the relationship between science and atheism, and ultimately the "meaning of life" itself.
This is a reprint of an essay I wrote for another blog.
Today, I will attempt to piss off Moderate Christians. This is going to be a difficult task, because one of the primary reasons I'm calling them out is their obstinate refusal to be offended. I had a long conversation tonight with one of my friends, who is some variety of theist, although he's very difficult to categorize. He was relating to me a dilemma he's going to face this weekend when his Moderate Christian family is going to ask him to go to church. The question of whether he should go, even though he disagrees strongly with many of the Christian church's teachings, is very close to me.
Or at least most of their beliefs. I find it confusing how theists attack a proven observation, always starting with the creation of life. None of them seem to realise that evolution is not the description of the formation of life. It merely explains how life can change from one form to another, ending up with a diversity of life such as that found on Earth, starting from a very few simple organisms or a single simple organism. Evolution has nothing to do with the appearence of life itself, just what happened after the fact.
Well we’ve just about come to the end of another full rotation around the sun, and still God blesses us with life. This ball of dirt and rock we call earth is still here, it hasn’t just vanished (not surprising is it).We’ve got air to breath and water to drink, or better beer and or wine. I’d say we’ve got a lot to be thankful for.
Yep life is good. Just look around and think, “How could this happen by chance?” If you’re into math and probability try figuring that out. You know our planet is just the right amount of distance away from our sun. Any further away we’d freeze any closer we’d burn up. Try getting that right on accident. Yep life is good.
When you are speaking to someone, it is not wrong to use any manner of terminology to express concepts and ideas, just so long as there is an agreed upon definition of what those terms represent. Frequently, however, people use terms without having any idea of what they are actually saying.
A fascinating experiment that proves this fact can be accomplished anytime with virtually anyone. Take a simple term that is used fairly widely, and when you hear someone express themselves by using that term, ask them to explain it.
Take, for instance, the term "stupid". I hear people all the time talking about someone who was so stupid, or actions that they deemed to be stupid. Yet, when asked to define what "stupid" means, they are completely dumbfounded.
Having lived in the US for over five years now, I am struck by the number of people who beleive in the inerrancy of the Bible. True, this is a predominantly Christian country, but one of the aspects that I have always admired is the secular nature of this nation (which, of late has seemed to be pretty shaky). When faced with a crisis, do people always need to turn to religion to get past it? (This brings to mind the "there are no atheists in foxholes" reasoning). Of late, religious commentators seem to have a stronger grip on the minds of people. So when someone beleives in whatever your religion states, take a step back, and look at the various faiths around the world.