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June 21, 2012

So what do Athiests want?

This is pretty interesting and well reasoned. Via Fred Clark, of course. What Do Atheists Stand For?
So, what do atheists want? What do atheists want from Christians in this country? Well, I’ll tell you a few things that I would like. First of all, I’d like you to believe whatever you want, but I’d like you to be skeptical in your beliefs. Because, your beliefs are your own business, but people will try to use your beliefs to control you. Charlatans and others know that you are more likely to do what they want you to do if they tell you God, Jesus or the bible tells you you should do it. When you hear those words, beware, someone is trying to control you. Also, please don’t take the Bible literally. It’s an awesome book. I’d recommend everyone here read it: Christian, Jew, atheist [or] otherwise. It’s a wonderful book and an important part of our culture, but it says things like, and I quote, “Put to death men and women, children and infants!” – 1 Samuel 15:3. “As for the women, take these as plunder.” – Deuteronomy 20:14 “And you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you.” – Leviticus 25:44. It also says that the rain we had today is caused when the windows from the dome over the Earth, are opened up. And, that birds, well, that bats are birds (Lev 11:19) even though they are mammals. So, when read it, read it for inspiration. Read it to learn, it has lessons to be had. But, be careful what you read. Don’t take it literally. Use the judgment you’re already using. Christians out there, other people of faith, I know you don’t think slavery is right. I know you reject enslaving women and taking them as plunder. Reject the parts that are ill and accept the parts that are good. What atheists are not trying to do? Let’s clear up a few things there. We are not attacking the religious people of the world. We question all religions, just as you question other religions. A critique of religion and religious institutions is not a critique of religious people. Just like the critique of a business is not a criticism of its customers.

"Creationism requires a global conspiracy of lying scientists and/or a lying God"

Fred Clark looks at the implications of the Creationist worldview, after a new study finds that 46% of Americans do not believe in evolution. Creationism requires a global conspiracy of lying scientists and/or a lying God
I think my favorite response to Kevin’s post, though, comes from Katha Pollitt at The Nation. “What’s the Matter With Creationism?” she asks. Well, for one thing, it promotes a delusional, paranoid view of the world that requires tinfoil-hat belief in a global conspiracy of malicious scientists: Rejecting evolution expresses more than an inability to think critically; it relies on a fundamentally paranoid worldview. Think what the world would have to be like for evolution to be false. Almost every scientist on earth would have to be engaged in a fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics. And yet this massive concatenation of lies and delusion is so full of obvious holes that a pastor with a Bible-college degree or a homeschooling parent with no degree at all can see right through it. This is important. This “fundamentally paranoid” belief in a vast scientific conspiracy is not optional for belief in creationism. It’s a mandatory, necessary component of creationist ideology. To be a creationist — as 46 percent of Americans claim to be — means that you believe that universities, libraries and laboratories are evil places filled with evil people. There’s no getting around it. Creationists may prefer not to think to much about the conspiratorial implications of what they’re arguing, but creationism just won’t work without the actual existence of such a “fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics.” Consider, for example, this recent story: “Aboriginal rock art shown to Australian scientists dated at 28,000 years old.” Human artifacts from 28,000 years ago are not something creationists can allow themselves to accept. They believe the universe itself is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. So what do they make of this story? . . .

June 18, 2012

We spend over $71 Billion a year to subsidize religion

Joe. My. God.: $71B Annually To Subsidize Religion