I played golf today with my favorite Christian golfing partner. I said something like "and if you think I'm a non-conformist with my atheism..." and he cut me off and said "I don't think you're non-conforming, I see you like most other people. Almost everyone is atheist now." The numbers don't necessarily back his claim, but his perception is that most people are atheist. This certainly wouldn't have been the case in our discussions 10 years ago.
We came to a point of agreement that the majority of Americans don't practice religion actively. Maybe we're products of the sights and relationships we have in our liberal Philadelphia area. I suppose our perception might be different if we lived in the bible belt. Thankfully, we don't.
It feels damn good to know I played a role in getting us this far. Hopefully you have done enough to feel the same way.
I sent a tweet out today asking people to retweet if you wanted to see Kelly, Rook, and I get together for some kind of RRS reunion. Rook and Kelly retweeted it. Jake and Rich Woods retweeted it. None of you retweeted it. So I assume most of you don't use twitter or don't check it. I thought you might want me to bring it to your attention, so you can retweet it.
Facebook has figured out that "Sapient" isn't my real last name. They have restricted access to my account and I can no longer do anything with it. This includes managing the "page" I created for "Brian Sapient" and managing some of the facebook groups I formed related to atheism. As a result I will not participate in Facebook as frequently from now on. However I have created a new page for people to like that I will communicate on from time to time. Please share this page to let others know it's the only profile I'm using on facebook now.
A better place to find me on social media is usually twitter: http://twitter.com/rationalsquad
I'm not a big google+ fan but I am on it: http://plus.google.com/104193718637227075417
Greetings, ungodly ones. Your lovable pal is back. Now, before you start standing in line waiting to suck me off or lick my face from being so happy to see me, let me get in a word edgewise.
still recovering from my vacation--six weeks back stateside, reconnecting with the fam. the first two weeks were spent in naples, florida, with predictable debauchery. let's just say when you're bobbing along peacefully on an anchored raft in the clear waters of the gulf of mexico with a tecate sweating in one hand and a fat maduro rothschild clamped between your teeth, you start to think about some stupid shit. gloriously stupid shit.
my mind being on maritime matters, for obvious reasons, i pondered the story of jonah and the whale (that's right, i fucking said whale, get the fuck over it). specifically, i pondered the smug response that invariably comes from the vast majority of christians whenever one calls the story by the name it's had for fucking centuries: "jonah and the whale." the right corner of their mouth turns up, their eyes squint ironically, a quick explosion of air issues from their nostrils, and, in a superior tone only a high-level trekkie confronted with a casual sci-fi fan could approximate, they deliver what apparently is some kind of fucking bombshell in their world: "aaaactually, the bible says big fish."
Where do we start off on a discussion about reproduction? A scientific discussion about reproduction starts with the development of germinal cells in a fetus which develop on their way to become fully functional adult reproductive organs and from there on to conception upto the child birth. But what are creationist discussions concerned about, under the heading of "reproduction"? Their idea of human life is a gift from god, and any discussion about the manufacture of this gift is often suppressed by "god did it". So what is this gift supposed to be? Sperm? ovum? viable fetus? newborn? Creationists aren't heard of talking like "god gifted the man a sperm and the woman an ovum, from which they could conceive a zygote". So is it a viable fetus? No, because the knowledge of age of viability was not known in biblical times and jesus never bothered to get bible updated on this. Its not a newborn because there is a deadly idea called "anti-abortion". Creationists aren't heard of making distinctions between "zygote", "embryo" and "fetus" in their anti-abortion propaganda, perhaps because of their ignorance of human embryology (I take it that they are ignorant of human embryology because it is actually a telltale of human evolution).
Fear of hell being the cause of persistence of faith is not a new concept, but what most theists don’t understand that just like the admittance of any other kind of fear, admitting fear of hell and/ or the wrath of god is an essential element in the faith of anyone who had ever developed any doubt about his faith. I hold the view that since doubt is the one of the most basic element of human thinking, there never existed a believer, no matter how unshakable he may sound, to have never entertained a doubt about his/her faith. But there is Pascal's wager which is basically stupid, yet powerful tool on the theist's mind.
As some men are more courageous than others, some fear the unseen and unreported more than the others, this goes a way in deciding as to precisely what kind of theists will have the fear of god's wrath, as an important factor in determining the persistence of their faith. So what if u are a coward and keep as priority your own safety above all truth? What if your life or your genes made you so helplessly afraid of the unpleasant things that in order to have a stable and non-suicidal mind it becomes essential for you to be a hypocrite in all sensitive matters in life? What if u are so hopeless that your therapist advises a world of fantasies for u to stay sane?
Is there a way to allow such people to stay cool without religion?
So far as one section of our species can go to devalue, abuse, and oppress another section, the selfish motives, more often than not, call for a limit to oppression. A master can cane its slave as much as one wants to, but will mostly refrain from permanently damaging the slave’s organs of labor, the hands and the legs. Acute impulses to dominate an individual or a group of individuals are thus limited in intensity by the rationale to persistently dominate them.
Here is why “I think” female genital mutilation (FGM) is not popular, rejected or even condemned by the majority of muslim populations, even though they already are the most misogynist sections (I use “sections of people” and not religion, because pick any group, based on whatever differences, nothing get more misogynist than muslim “section&rdquo on the planet and possess the capacity to go worse.
Every demand of peace and