Religion

Reasons for Santa Claus

This is a post in tribute to my new found blogging adversary mrsmcmommy.  Her and her Dad are devout Christians.  How devout you ask?  Well, it’s hard to say.  They both have this habit of tap dancing, flailing their arms around and resorting to the Tu Quoque when asked direct questions.  But given that mrsmcmommy feels biblical slavery is justified, I think it’s fair to say that she is pretty devout.  Anyways, she directed me to one of her dad’s posts and I figured I’d have some fun with it.  See if you agree

I was at the mall last month during the holidays.

I walked around the stores and observed all the signs and decorations

There were a lot of things on sale and great deals

I’ve been to enough malls to believe that.

Of course, you can’t have a holiday season without a gift giver

So lo, there was talk of La Befana

La Befana is the bringer of presents

La Befana has a list of every single child who has been naughty and nice

La Befana can go around the entire world in one night

…this sounded vaguely familiar to me.

La Befana has nothing in common with Santa Claus!

How could it?

Ancient Italians weren’t getting presents by the light of lava fountains.

Yet those primitive people understood that somebody had to give everyone presents

Where did they get that idea?

At one point we learned about La Befana, The Italian Witch

Nobody really believes in La Befana anymore.

She is listed in the ‘myth’ column along with Kris Kringle, Julenissen, and a dozen other legendary gift givers.

Santa Claus is a different story.

Centuries later, Santa Claus still hands out millions of childrenwho believe in him.

To be sure, a lot of people put Santa Claus in the myth column too.

They think La Befana and Santa Claus are essentially the same thing.

They think this because they’re ignorant.

Or obstinate.

Whereas La Befana was created by St Nick

…St Nick was Santa Claus.

Santa Claus was that pre-existing source of mana into La Befana.

(The ad at the mall says it differently because it’s in English, not Italian…)

And Santa Claus didn’t leave any tracks behind

To be clear…

…I didn’t get all this from the ads at the mall

Don’t go to the mall expecting to find the answer.

We have to write our own answers.

Santa Claus gives presents to us every second of every day.

In Canada, the US, Italy,  the presents are being given and waiting to be discovered…

…by those who care to look for it.

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Critical Thinking, Religion

Hypocrisy or Irony or Both?

So first, let me just declare how wrong I was in regards to my last post.  I didn’t think Donald Trump had a chance at winning this election.  I honestly didn’t think that enough people would vote for a 70 year old, anti-science, conspiracy theorist, internet troll with the attention span of a toddler and the vocabulary of a 12 year old.  You sure showed me America.  Buckle up an enjoy the ride.  I think it’s gonna be a thriller.
I’ll also state however, that I don’t think that ALL of the people who voted for Trump are stupid or ignorant or hate women.  There are other legitimate reasons for Trumps victory that lie beyond that simple analysis.  Change – people tired of the same old same old.  Hillary Clinton’s very unsavory character – (pathological liar for instance).  That’s not to say that Donald Trump doesn’t have any of the same or even worse characteristics, but it levels the playing field.  Personally, I’m for change too, I just don’t think that Donald Trump is the man for the job.  I am genuinely concerned about his lack of knowledge on a great many subjects (like global climate change for instance).  If I have to pick a silver lining to this cloud, I at least hope I can say that Political Correctness is going to take a shit kicking, which I am thoroughly grateful for.  The PC, authoritarian, regressive left is becoming very menacing and it’s my hope that they’ll be taken down a notch or two in the next couple of years.

Anywho, on to the reason I am posting this.  There are many sources of entertainment in the world.  One of my favorite, is the kind that doesn’t appear to be intentionally written for the purposes of entertainment, but turns out to be awesome.  Reading though some responses on some of my old blogs posts, I found myself over at Eva’s site again and noticed that there were some updated comments on a particularly hot topic issue (her conversion to Christianity and subsequent blossoming into an all around more tolerant and accepting person for it).  I read the statement in quotes below and burst into a hysterical fit of laughter.

“Hi Justin, good to hear from you again. ‘Frustrating’ is one word for it! I actually received an email from someone who knows one of the ‘main protagonists’ so to speak, quite well, kind of filling me in on some details of that person’s life that meant I could feel nothing but patience and understanding for her (or him). It certainly made my ‘loving kindness’ meditation easier, anyway😉

You’d have familiarize yourself with the whole debacle that took place last spring by going here.  As far as I am aware, only tildeb and myself were the “protagonists”, but I don’t know anyone who could have emailed her claiming to know me “quite well, so to speak”.  From what little I know of tildeb, he likes to keep his private life to himself as well, and I have divulged very little details of myself, so I’m a little skeptical of the claim of the mysterious emailer knowing either us of “quite well, so to speak”
One other detail to bear in mind:  Both myself and tildeb have been banned from commenting on her site.  So considering that, I’d like to edit her above statement into something a little more accurate:

“Hi Justin, good to hear from you again. ‘Frustrating’ Point out an inconvenient truth that I am perpetuating a lie is one word for it way to describe it!  I actually received an email from someone who knows has dealt with one of the ‘main protagonists’ so to speak, quite well, kind of filling me in on some details of that person’s life on other blog posts but doesn’t really know anything about that person at all that meant I could feel nothing but patience and understanding for her (or him) had to ban him from speaking on my site forever because he/she was rude and intolerant. It certainly made my ‘loving kindness’ meditation easier, anyway😉 me feel secure in my own misguided irrational beliefs and knowledge that I am a morally superior person because I am no longer an “intolerant and angry” atheist.  It also ensured that nothing I ever say will ever be challenged by anyone who doesn’t share my views because I now have adopted a policy of banning all such people from commenting.
P.S. I am a VERY tolerant person.

 

 

 

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Critical Thinking, Religion

Templeton Foundation to Spend $3 Million To “Understand” Why People Don’t Believe in Bronze-Age Myths

Although the title of this post is my satirical parody, this is actually a serious question being posed by The Templeton Foundation.  “Understanding Unbelief” is the name of the “study”.  Read about it here

From reading the description, it sounds like a project, the purpose of which, is to categorize unbelievers based on “psychological and sociological” phenomenon.  The Templeton Foundation wants to know how other beliefs (about religion or the existential)  inform their unbelief and how those unbeliefs vary across groups and subcultures.
Sounds a little flawed to me from the outset.  This is simply my own opinion and I welcome challenges to it, but I don’t consider any other beliefs that I have about anything else to inform my atheism or “unbelief”.  It is simply a matter of examining the texts and claims of religion and finding that they are simply unbelievable.  They are completely irrational and illogical and can’t be believed by anyone who considers them with any objectivity and common sense.  I can’t bring myself to believe in talking snakes, in people who fly around on winged horses, in people who rise from the dead, and the need to create a race (humans) sick and diseased that then require a human sacrifice to be made to cure the sickness and disease.  This stuff is preposterous.  I’m not sure exactly how this is going to require $3 million to determine why people don’t believe things like that.

The study then goes on to state that it wants to find that answer that has already been asked and answered numerous times – in it’s own words “to answer big questions about the causes of ‘unbelief’ and its effects on such outcomes as personal wellbeing and social cohesion. ”
A simple search for “Most violent Countries on Earth” leads you here and a search for most religious countries on earth leads you here
I don’t think its merely a coincidence that the most peaceful countries on earth (Canada, Australia, Japan and large parts of Scandinavia and Europe) are also the most irreligious.
You need to spend $3 million on this type of question?  I don’t think so.  A few thousand perhaps.  All the research has already been done for you.

I look forward to reading the results of this study.

 

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Religion

Christopher Hitchens was a Clairvoyant. Or Maybe He just didn’t pretend that a problem doesn’t exist.

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Religion

What we Atheists REALLY mean when we “think” about “God”

I found myself over at Eva’s blog again today.  I’m not trying to make this a regular habit but I wanted to see what other nonsense and lies she’s spreading about atheists.  I would have responded on her blog, but ya know – the whole banning thing…

Eva’s opening statement:

“As far as I understand it, the idea of God being an old man with a beard who smites people either because of his own capriciousness or at the request of others, is held by two belief extremes; the atheists who think that all Christian see the Bible as being literally true, and the fundamentalists who actually do see the Bible as being literally true. Both of these conceptions are damagingly limited. I know that when I was an atheist, I certainly assumed that any belief in God involved a ‘him’ to start with, with human characteristics.”

Apparently, according to Eva, the idea of God being an old man with a beard who smites people is an “extreme belief” held both by atheists who think that all Christians see the bible as being literally true and by Christians who actually do see the bible as true.  Those of us who haven’t jettisoned reason and common sense in order to believe in nonsensical fairy tales, and still have our faculties of critical thinking and reason intact will see through this obvious smear of “atheists”.  Atheists don’t anthropomorphize gods, theists do.  The idea that “God” is a “him” with a beard, who smites people doesn’t come from people who don’t believe that such a being exists in the first place.  I have heard people say some really ignorant and stupid things in my life, but I think this one might take the cake.

I wonder if this painting located on the ceiling of the Sistine Chappel, the official residence of the Pope (the Vicar of Christ on earth), done in the early 1500’s, approximately 100 years before the King James Bible was written, has anything to do with people’s perception of God as an old man with a white beard?

I dunno.  Maybe?  Hard to say.

Furthermore, the idea that there is only one “God” is certainly not a concept held on to anyone who studies history and religion and mythology.  Anyone who looks into the matter will know that there have been hundreds and thousands of gods who have come and gone in the course of human history.

So as an Atheist, if you want to know what I really mean what I talk about “God” here’s what I think:

He/She/It is figment of your imagination. A fairy tale. An unfulfilling and ultimately useless catch all answer to complicated questions and mysteries that appeals only to the inculcated, the ignorant and the incurious.

So instead of reading about horseshit made up out of thin air, it’s probably better to get your info from a genuine source.  Now I certainly don’t claim to be the only genuine source or that I pretend to speak for all atheists, but I do feel I am in a much better position to describe what atheists think about when the word “God” is mentioned than Eva ever was or ever will be.

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Religion

I’m Smart and Humble, Have the Mystery of the Universe Figured Out – And Anyone Who Challenges Me Will Not Be Tolerated!

Irony can often be a great source of entertainment for me and I get plenty of it while reading and commenting on various blogs.  The latest dose of it came while reading posts of one particular individuals blog, and then his comments on another blog.  I had such a good laugh, I figured I’d make this into a quick post.

This person

  • Knows which God is the right one
  • Knows the proper way to worship this God
  • Describes atheists as arrogant
  • Disagrees with biblical Scholars who don’t share his view
  • Heavily moderates his blog and routinely edits and/or deletes comments that he finds “vile” or “poisonous” (i.e. don’t agree with him or even ask questions that he doesn’t like)

You would think that someone, who is so knowledgeable that he has the mystery of the entire universe all figured out, would be a little reluctant to call others arrogant!  You’d also be a little surprised that such a person would be so intolerant of other’s views, but even so, we all have our faults.  But to complain that he’s been banned on other people’s blogs?  That’s just too rich for me to resist sharing!

Enjoy.

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Religion

Religious Apologetics 101

I know it’s only been a few days since my last post and I don’t want to “overload” anyone, but I had posted this on tildeb’s blog and figured I’d make a post out of it here.  I feel that it’s a very handy guide to identifying the tactics of the Religious Apologist.  Feel free to message me if you think something needs correcting and/or additions are required.

Religious Apologetics Standard Operating Procedure

Step 1) Intentionally misrepresent any agnostic/atheist/secular viewpoint to start the smear. Do your best to generalize.
Step 2) When/if called out on it, blame any offence taking/misunderstanding on everyone but yourself – point out that the person reading the aforementioned misrepresentative garbage and lies has likely “read it the wrong way” or “taken it too much to heart” and that they just need to “lighten up”.
Step 3) If you must admit to doing something wrong/unethical/immoral, back pedal if you can.  You don’t have to, but it doesn’t hurt.  Then offer a half hearted apology and make sure you put lots of qualifiers on it.  So many qualifiers in fact that it becomes essentially meaningless.
Step 4) At all costs, avoid discussing the actual reason for the calling out (i.e. the actual lies/misrepresentation/etc). NEVER, EVER admit that you might have lied or misrepresented other people’s view points or even that you meant what you actually wrote – if the conversation doesn’t end there and the other person tries to continue it – go back and repeat steps 2 and/or 3.

Step 5) If the conversation STILL continues, turn it around on the person accusing you of spreading lies and misrepresentative garbage. Tell them they’re an “angry atheist” who needs to “get over themselves”. Remember – this is NOT your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. They’re just being hateful.
Step 6) If the other person still tries to continue talking about it you can a) ban him/her if it’s your own forum or b) stop replying if it’s a forum not controlled by you.

Additional tactics – to be used at the discretion of the religious person, depending on how much of this bunk they actually believe.
A) Don’t be afraid to let your sense of superiority shine through. It’s ok to talk in a condescending way to the atheist/agnostic/secularist. Your reasoning skills and grasp on logic is far superior to those guys. After all, you’ve got the mystery of the entire universe all figured out. What the hell do these people know?! Don’t forget, you have the moral high ground. You know where morals come from and who gave them to you. These guys are just base animals that would kill you at the drop of a hat because they don’t believe they have anyone to answer to.
B) Feel free to tell the atheist/agnostic/secular person that their immortal soul is in grave danger because they haven’t accepted the One True God as their lord and savior. Don’t be afraid to tell them that they are going to hell – hopefully that will scare them into doing the right thing. After all, you really are just doing them a favour. However, some of them are so wicked and evil that they won’t listen to you. That’s because they are devil worshippers. There’s nothing you can do about that. Don’t worry, God will fix their wagon in due time.

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