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24 October, 2010

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

Matthew 6:5-6
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

1 Timothy 2:8
"I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing."

The Bible is clear in the first chapter of the New Testament that one should pray quietly and not on street corners. Later, it insists on men praying everywhere. Which is it?

Well, the first quote is said to have come from Jesus himself, so let's go ahead and establish that one as the definitive rule just for the sake of argument. What then, to make of those that are making money selling books on how to proselytize on street corners (Ray Comfort), and the owners of mega churches that broadcast their prayers all over the place (LDS, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen)? If Timothy is correct, these folks are fine. But then what to say about those that modestly pray at home? Shouldn't someone do something about them? They aren't being outspoken enough. Do they still get to go to heaven?

The inherent flaws in the Bible cause so much confusion that there are more than 30,000 sects of Christianity, each with its own set of rules.  All of them rely on scripture to justify their beliefs. How does anyone that is seeking a spiritual life decide how to live? The morality in the Bible is divisive and confusing, not unifying and absolute as Christians would have you believe. If they can't get something as simple as prayer right, can you imagine what else they got wrong? How can you trust the Bible at all?

18 October, 2010

Why Don't I Believe in God?

Look at the world around us. How could I not believe in God?

Well, it's because when I look around at the beauty and wonder of nature and someone says, "Well then, how was this all made?" I think, "The accretion disk from the birth of our sun. Scientists see it happening all over the galaxy." The End.

Being a Radical

Religion and Politics should never be talked about. Because people have told religious and political people that these things shouldn't be talked about. So it seems rude to even bring it up. (Ever think about that? If that saying had never become a popular statement and we all talked openly about these subjects, would we be so divided)? Alas, it's deplorable to even try. You might say it in the nicest way, but it's still going to be looked at as hate speech. It's best to not even try.

I don't believe in agnostics. Agnostic just means "without knowledge" as atheist simply means "without belief." Yet, not carrying a belief is seen as more radical, dangerous, and insulting as someone "without knowledge." So, the end result is atheists who mistakenly call themselves agnostics. They say things like, "I don't know if there's a God," or "I'm waiting for more evidence." These are both atheistic positions; they lack belief. A true agnostic says, "We can't ever know." Most people missed that in philosophy class, if they ever even bothered to take it. Regardless, the vast majority of people don't even want to know this. They'd all rather "just get along."

Being in the middle of the road is seen as some virtue. Some stance that a person can go either direction on an issue. But that's simply not true. In the ballot box, at home, among like-minded individuals, people are more set in their ways than they would ever admit. Moderate Christians at church speak about the divinely inspired Bible while telling their non-theist friends that the Bible is a metaphor that God uses to teach us things. In the end, the people leaning more one way or another is going to defend even the extremist fundamentalists of the crowd. It's human nature.

Seems like the best thing to do is just not have an opinion. People without opinions make the most friends with people who do have opinions. People without opinions don't get called radical. People that take no position, regardless of the wealth of knowledge that might be available on a subject, are seen as "tolerant." Taking an opinion, especially one that might not have been a relatively new one, or one that gets a lot of people pushing back against it (such as "Darwin was right") is seen as stirring the pot or being intolerant, despite the fact that everyone has to listen to the opposite opinion every single day. Not that the opinion is even shared by a majority, but the majority still insists on "tolerance" for these people because, after all, they are just a twisted offshoot of the majority and to do otherwise would be trampling on their right to believe how they want to believe.

The only way to get out of being called a radical for pointing out the faults of a majority faith, or even the faults of it's more extremist sects, is to not have an opinion. Shut your mouth and just nod your head. Never question when people tell you that "The Secret" is all about Quantum Mechanics. Don't say anything when a homeopathic remedy is handed to you that is so diluted that whatever original herb was in there can't even be traced by a mass spectrometer. Stop the urge to speak up when someone says "that a monkey never gave birth to a human being, therefore, evolution is false." If you just lay low and keep quiet, no one will be offended. You will never be blamed for "attacking" someone's "sacred beliefs" and faith. You won't be charged as a radical or a fanatic. No one will ever call you dirty words and hell, maybe your mother will even talk to you again.

15 October, 2010

Morality Without God

This  is a pretty good video that expresses the "morality" of the Bible. The excuses that theists use to justify the stories is addressed with a Dawkins quote at the end.

Ask yourselves, theists: How is it that morality comes straight from the God of the Bible and yet the morality and laws of the modern age are far superior to anything found in the Bible. There is nothing in the Bible that even compares to the progress we've made in modern society. So where is your morality really from?

07 October, 2010

Creating Cells and Growing Limbs

She seemed like such a smart girl. Alas, when I mentioned that scientists had created a cell, she seemed to get a little huffy-puffy. I mentioned how it's possible that someday we'll be able to grow back the arms of amputees. Her response was, "That's bullshit, they can't just play God." I had to smirk. I know it was an arrogant thing to do, but I wanted to see how far she would go to defend her belief.

"God's never grown back an arm," I said. She argued that there were people with different sized legs that had finally grown equal and that her friend was deaf her whole life and faith healers prayed over her and she could hear. I could have pressed, "Who was this person; did she have any medical treatment whatever along with these prayers?" but I don't think it would have made any difference.

I just mentioned that I've never heard of any amputee growing back a limb. She smirked herself at this and said, "You've never heard of anyone growing a limb," as if I was appealing to my own authority or something and she knew more than me. I added that it would be all over the medical journals and the news if it happened. Then I dropped it.

I was leery of this girl before, but now that I know she's fundy-bat-shit crazy, I'm glad I'm starting a new job soon.

If people started miraculously growing limbs with no help from science, I'd think that would give anyone a great excuse to believe in God. If God "just wants us to believe" like so many Christians say, why wouldn't he do something that's never been done that all of us billions here on earth could actually see and believe? Wouldn't that save a lot of us from going to hell? And isn't that the point? Or is God just a total dick that hides out and never shows up except in little coincidences and then insist we worship the raw power he never shows? What a fucked up Supreme Being that would be...