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05 Feb, 2017

Atheism is not a claim it is the rejection of a claim. The proof is on you not me.

Cosmology and evolutionary biology provide enough evidence to convince a rational person that the universe and life on Earth came about naturally, i.e., without the involvement of any supernatural beings.

I am an Atheist and also an Anti-Theist. These two different things do not go hand in hand, and are quite possibly unrelated to one another. To simplify, not all Atheists are Anti-Theists, not all Anti-Theists are Atheists. I will note that my philosophies are more defined by what I am not than what I am.

A (meaning without) theist (meaning belief in god). Therefore, a literal translation of Atheist = without belief in god. Anti-Theist, meaning against belief in god. While a great deal of Atheists are Anti-Theists, not all of them are. Anti-Theism meaning the belief that religion and religious belief is harmful to society and culture. Meaning that I am personally in direct opposition to theism. Many Atheists that simply do not have the concept of a god belief are not Anti-Theists, because they hold the position that as long as religion is not interfering with governing bodies, laws or trying to force people into its indoctrination, that there is no harm in religion. This is a point I wholeheartedly disagree with.

But, I do find it interesting that all three of the words that hold my strongest views in life, imply the absence of or the opposition to a belief. It occurred to me, that almost all of my ethics and worldviews are formed by all of the things in the world that I am ardently opposed to. I am opposed to religion because of the poisonous doctrines and ignorant systems of belief that it spreads to people, I am opposed to people continuing the existence of life, because I am opposed to pain and suffering. I am opposed to belief in god, because of the harm that such delusion can bring . Because science can explain just about everything but not quite, it's wrong to say therefore we don't need [gods]. We don't need the Flying Spaghetti Monster, unicorns, Thor, Wotan, Jupiter, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. There's an infinite number of things that some people at one time or another have believed in, and an infinite number of things that nobody has believed in. If there's not the slightest reason to believe in any of those things, why bother? The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in [Abraham's god], Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is. It is not up to us to disprove it. Anti-theism is active and vocal opposition to belief in gods of any sort and to institutions built around belief in a deity. Anti-theists are not passive atheists; they delight in atheism and delight in exposing the errors, absurdities, and pretensions of theists. Anti-theists consider all gods to be false gods and any benefits from belief in gods to be far outweighed by the harm done by such beliefs to the individual and to society. Anti-theists don't deny that there may be some benefits to some people some of the time due to their delusional belief in a deity or two, but they adamantly deny that faith in religious books or ideas is a good thing. Anti-theists are usually referred to these days as the new atheists. These anti-theists consider it a moral duty to oppose religion and theism, and to advocate science and reason. Such opposition is for the good of the individual and for the good of society.

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23 Dec, 2016

I have a few questions I'd like answered about your unchanging word of god:

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. What do you think would be a fair price for her?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Leviticus 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Aren't there 'degrees' of abomination?

1 Timothy 2:12, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." Does this mean that all women legislators and all women teachers must resign?

Leviticus 21:20 states: that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field and wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them or can we just get the neighborhood together? Leviticus24:10-16.

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26 Apr, 2016

Pearls before swine

You can fear for your mortal coil; but I – I have lived in many bodies.

I am neither demon, nor spirit or parasite – I am merely a fluid of essence regenerated again and again, and so shall I be until the course of time has run and energy is no more.

Your physicians, your chemists, and centuries before them, your alchemists, had understood it well; nothing is lost, nothing is wasted. The vital part of what you may call my soul – for you have no other word that would come close to my being - has never been lost, and has always existed.

Always? No – I am mistaken, if my nature allows me to be wrong. I was born with the first movement of the prime mechanic, what philosophers have been searching for so long; the device, being, phenomenon that first touched the wheels of the world and set it to motion.

With time I was born; with kinesis and the notion of beginning and end. I move the moon, the starts, the sun, and all the galaxies, and that inside of the smallest of existence.

But as time bore me, I had to pour my substance from vessel to vessel, and never knowing the vessel to be mine; perhaps it was made only for my use; perhaps I stole it at birth from the soul it was supposed to belong to.

For those with faith, the wide profusion of life across myriad worlds is a challenge to their culture-centric view of their self-importance in the universe.

Even when faced with ample evidence that life has evolved and changed over untold millennia, they still cling to the notion that a god created them after its own image in a flash of bored inspiration.

To an archeologist, the record of life is a wonder to behold, undeserving of a simple and dogmatic story, conveniently couched in the narrow prejudices of one particular world.

Archaeological research shows wave after wave of minor alien cultures rising and falling over the long years. While much of those civilizations have been lost, each successive wave leaves its mark on the next generation of usurpers to rule the stars.

Measured on that scale, the current rule of man is but a footnote to history, a paragraph easily forgotten in the cosmic narrative.

Unlike the doctrines of religious conformity, the current theory of how civilizations have shaped our surroundings is a fluid and dynamic structure, constantly in flux as new evidence challenges the status quo.

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11 Mar, 2016

Ok, I can no longer remain silent during this election season. It is just too much!

Now that we know Donald Trump is okay with quoting the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, it's probably time to reconsider that old chestnut about those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

When Trump took Gawker's bait and retweeted a line attributed to Mussolini - that it's better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep - many Americans were stunned that the leading Republican presidential candidate would pass along a quote from a Fascist dictator. Let alone a dictator whose foolish poses on old newsreels make us laugh. Really, we wondered, who could have taken seriously such a ridiculous man?

But frighteningly, a majority of Americans supported Mussolini for most of his dictatorship. Isolated by an ocean, they fell for his rhetoric. We no longer have an ocean between us and such rhetoric and bombast. Il Duce Donald has arrived.

After the "March on Rome" in October of 1922, in which hundreds of Mussolini's followers demanded a Fascist government and the weak King Victor Emmanuel III relented, America was quick to brand Mussolini a winner. Politicians, journalists, and businessmen believed that Mussolini's new political program, with its brutal intolerance of strikes taking place throughout the country, would restore order and stem the tide of the growing Bolshevist threat.

Americans lapped up Mussolini's rhetoric about restoring the greatness of the Roman Empire. Even the name of his party -- the fasces, a bundle of wheat bound to an ax -- symbolized Roman authority. Finally someone would impose structure on an undisciplined nation and make the trains run on time. Or in Trump parlance, he would Make Italy Great Again.

History reminds us that not only the "poorly educated" fall for the inflammatory, belligerent, and contradictory rhetoric of a demagogue whose skill lies in manipulating people's fears. American elites thought Mussolini could stave off the spread of a radicalism that championed immigrants and worker rights. Trump supporters feel economically oppressed and threatened by a disappearing white majority and some Republican leaders are beginning to accept the inevitability of his nomination. Once upon a time, America found itself attracted to the preening strength and false promise of a comic showman. But then again, it can't happen here. Remember both National Socialist German Workers Party and the Fascists were freely elected under democratic regimes.

And if you have not figured it out already the German party mentioned above is commonly called the Nazi Party. 'Nuff said.

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05 Jan, 2016

Two thousand five hundred years before the carpenter from Nazereth there was Anubis and Sekhmet.

Anubis et'her ka, Se ta'uk'fhet sa te vapu kuraph. Anubis et'her ka. Anubis, Lord of the Dead, Faithful Companion, protect me, for I am your child. Protect me, Anubis, weigh my heart upon the scale; watch over me, Lord, for I am your child. Do not let evil distress me, but turn your fierceness upon my enemies. Cover me with your gaze, let your hand be upon me, now and all the days of my life, until you take me into Your embrace."

The Goddess Sekhmet, whose name means "The Mighty One", is also the one "Great of Magic" whose knowledge of sorcery give her a place in the service of healing.

Her nature being that of a Goddess of War, she accompanied the King to battle and is often described as his mother. But war is only half her truth as she is also regarded as a great mother of compassion, a loving and protective mother Goddess, and also expert in the arts of healing.

A twin of Bast, she is regarded as the dusk compared to her sister the dawn, one melting into another, as in the phases of life.

Her mighty power inspires fear in the henchmen of Seth and even the serpent Apophis succumbs to her. Sekhmet is represented as a lioness or as a woman with lion's head.

Her weapons are arrows "with which she pierces hearts" and a fiery glow emanates from her body. The hot desert winds are the Goddess's hot breath. She is connected with the fire-spitting Uraeus of the King and thereby is the "Eye of Ra". “O Sekhmet, Source of Strength and Mercy, I am beset by sorrow and many troubles; wounded by injustice and the offensive wrongdoing of others.

Grant me the strength to meet adversity with quiet courage and unshaken will.

O Sekhmet, Overcomer of All Enemies, Forgive my weakness and renew my hope. Place your protective mantle around me, help me remain steadfast and resolute in front of my enemies.

Shield and defend me and my loved ones from the ravages of fear and anxiety. O Sekhmet, Who rouses the People Grant me the fortitude to show forbearance to those who would sin against me. May I allow no trial, however severe, to embitter my soul and destroy my trust. May my heart not despair of human good. O Sekhmet, I praise and honor Thee with gratitude for your help.

Your Cristin pantheon and written word does not sound so innovative now. If I were to believe in gods and such, Anubis and Sekhmet would be my personal choice.

So, there is a set of ideas for the New Year. Let this Turning of the Great Wheel bring you Tolerance, Peace and Good Fortune.

So let it be written, So let it be done!

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26 Jan, 2014

Organized religion when considered throughout the centuries has been a destructive force in society Cosmology and evolutionary biology provide enough evidence to convince a rational person that it is highly probable that the universe and life on Earth came about naturally, i.e., without the involvement of any supernatural beings.

Because science can explain just about everything but not quite, it's wrong to say therefore we don't need [gods]. It is also, I suppose, wrong to say we don't need the Flying Spaghetti Monster, unicorns, Thor, Wotan, Jupiter, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. There's an infinite number of things that some people at one time or another have believed in, and an infinite number of things that nobody has believed in. If there's not the slightest reason to believe in any of those things, why bother? The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in [Abraham's god], Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is, to show proof of said fairies or whatever. It is not up to the non-believer to disprove it."

Anti-theism is active and vocal opposition to belief in gods of any sort and to institutions built around belief in a deity. Anti-theists are not passive atheists; they delight in atheism and delight in exposing the errors, absurdities, and pretensions of theists. Anti-theists consider all gods to be false gods and any benefits from belief in gods to be far outweighed by the harm done by such beliefs to the individual and to society. Anti-theists don't deny that there may be some benefits to some people some of the time due to their delusional belief in a deity or two, but they adamantly deny that faith in religious books or ideas is a good thing. Anti-theists are usually referred to these days as the new atheists. Anti-theists consider it a moral duty to oppose religion and theism, and to advocate science and reason. Such opposition is for the good of the individual and for the good of society. So, all that being said, Where am I on the scale of Believer/Anti-theist? Oh, probably somewhere around relaxed atheist/anti-theist.

OK I have nothing but respect for your right to believe in magic and fairy tales, I really do.

If you want to live your life believing it is controlled by some magic guy in the sky...awes¬ome!!! Be religious, have your God...good for you, hunky dory, but please, keep it outta my life, keep it outta my government, my schools, the stuff that affects my life. Enjoy your God in the privacy of your church or your home, please.

Now I know that some are going to choose to be offended and that is your choice but it is not my intention.

I am not trying to offend you. I am merely stating my position. I do not hate you, do not want to stop you or dissuade you from your beliefs. Most will say "OK cool dude, no problem, live your life, I don't agree with you but it is your life to live."

But to those of you that choose to be offended. What offends you more? Me asking you to keep it to yourself? Or, that I believe (keyword here is believe) your religion is silly and superstitious?

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31 Mar, 2013

Further thoughts on Christianity.

The belief that a cosmic 1st century Hebrew Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Therefore, Christianity in the USA is dangerous political movement dominated by right-wing conservative extremists and fanatics who use religion as a smoke-screen to intimidate, manipulate, control and hurt people and our government. They are bent on destroying democracy and replacing it with a theocracy to have us live much like an oppressive country where laws are dictated by religious leaders.

They are an organization of mentally unstable social terrorists or fascists who are trying to dupe people into believing they only are following the will of a god to justify their atrocious actions. They seek to take away civil rights or deny them by: manipulating a political party, through special legislation in Congress, amending state and federal constitutions, manipulating the courts or pushing for ballot initiatives to decide your rights when all else fails.

They oppress and marginalize anything that they disagree with. They are intolerant. They seek to impose their doctrine on your life, like it or not. They typically shows little if any compassion, love, respect or care for people that are different.

They invoke religion as an excuse to justify their actions against other people. They arrogantly believe their faith in itself trumps anything else including your privacy, civil rights and safety. This religion’s followers often use select bible passages to hurt others and justify their obnoxious behavior!

They are religious movement of fanatics that justifies bombing abortion clinics or gay bars and killing innocent people in the name of faith. They often scapegoat people. They pretend to fight for democracy while actually doing everything in their power to destroy or undermine it. They want people to be tolerant of them but refuse to tolerate anything or anyone that they claim is against their religious beliefs.

Everything is Black and White to them. There is no compromise. They try to justify their actions as freedom of religion and free speech while doing all in their power to stifle the free speech of people that disagree with them. I believe Christianity threatens our democracy by its followers attempts to replace it with a theocracy of the religious elite.

A fanatical sect and its followers callously picketed the funeral of a gay man that was murdered holding up signs that read...GOD HATES FAGS and SODOMITES BURN IN HELL...all while the dead man's family and friends looked on in disgust and disbelief, a fine example of Christianity and its compassion for others.

Christianity is responsible for the deaths of many people, often women, burned as witches who threatened the male-dominated hierarchy of the church!

Jews and Muslims who refused to convert or were accused of practicing their religion in secret after converting to Christianity were frequently tortured, forced into exile or murdered!

Homosexuals were frequently murdered by the church. Burning them at the stake was the typical form of execution because of the intolerance, ignorance and lack of compassion of Christianity! The Knights Templar were murdered by the Pope and a European king for practicing homosexuality but in reality the murderers feared their power and wanted their gold! So! Rock on, dudes!

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28 Feb, 2013

Some thoughts on belief and the Universe.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Santa Claus is kinder, more loving, and all-around morally superior to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

Santa follows and enforces a moral code, but instead of condemning the naughty to suffer he simply withholds reward. And rather than making their punishment eternal, he always offers a chance at redemption the following year.

Whereas God is closely partnered with Satan in all his dealings, Santa Claus eschews evil entirely. God demands obeisance, flattery, and worship, but Santa asks only milk and cookies, and he'll never turn his back on you for not leaving him any. Santa never turned anyone into a pillar of salt. Santa never sent an elf to be nailed to a tree.

Hail Santa! That tears it. I'm a Santaist.

That being said I really want to thank the Republicans, Rick Santorum. the Westboro Baptist Church, Catholic priests and the percentage of Christians that think they know what is best for all of us, et al. Again, I really do thank you. You have done more to kill religion than anybody else in recent years. Thank you! It is because of those beliefs that religion is slowly dying. I am not going to hurry that demise along although I do applaud it.

If you want to live your life believing it is controlled by some magic guy in the sky...awesome!!! Be religious, have your God...good for you, hunky dory, but please, keep it outta my life, keep it outta my government, my schools, the stuff that affects my life. Enjoy your God in the privacy of your church or your home, please.

Now I know that some are going to choose to be offended and that is your choice but it is not my intention. I am not trying to offend you. I am merely stating my position. I do not hate you, do not want to stop you or dissuade you from your beliefs. Most will say "OK cool dude, no problem, live your life, I don't agree with you but it is your life to live."

But to those of you that choose to be offended. What offends you more? Me asking you to keep it to yourself? Or, that I believe (keyword here is believe) your religion is silly and superstitious?

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.

Find a large open space and take a soccer ball to represent the sun. Put the ball down and walk ten paces in a straight line. Stick a pin in the ground. The head of the pin stands for the planet Mercury. Take another 9 paces beyond Mercury and put down a peppercorn to represent Venus. Move seven paces on, drop another peppercorn for Earth. One inch away from earth, a pinhead represents the Moon. 14 more paces to Mars, then 95 paces to Jupiter, a ping-pong ball. 112 paces further, Saturn is a marble, one of the furthest places that we've so far reached. No time to deal with the outer planets except to say that the distances are much larger.

But, how far would you have to walk to reach the nearest star, Proxima Centauri? Pick up another soccer ball to represent it, and set off for a walk of 4200 miles. As for the nearest other galaxy, Andromeda, don't even think about it!

Who'd go to mythology and faith, when you've sampled the real thing?

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03 Feb, 2013

The founding fathers so often miss-quoted by the right, on the “well regulated militia” phrase of the 2nd, never envisioned a standing army.

VIRGINIA (June 12, 1776)

That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided…

DELAWARE (September 11, 1776)

That a well-regulated militia is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free government.

PENNSYLVANIA (September 28, 1776)

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up…

NORTH CAROLINA (December 18, 1776)

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of the State; and, as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up…

The "Act to Regulate the Militia of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" passed 17 March 1777, and March 20, 1780, together with amendments, required all white men between the ages of 18 and 53 capable of bearing arms to serve two months of militia duty on a rotating basis. The Pennsylvania act was used as a template for the militias of various states, generally 18 to 60 years was normal. So considering that the “white men” requirement is completely outdated, if you are not between those ages in active defense of the state you have no statutory right to have arms. Besides today, National Guard = Militia, we have a standing army and my right not to be shot trumps your right to have a gun.

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23 Jan, 2013

Let’s inject some facts into the gun violence conversation.

On a per capita basis Canada has about half the gun deaths per 100,000 population that the US has. In actual deaths the US had over 32,000 in the most recent statistical year. In that same year Canada had 173 deaths by gun. They see the same movies, play the same video games that we do but do not kill their own citizens at the same horrendous rate the we in the US do.

Germany has per capita gun ownership about the same as Canada and their death rate is about the same. The United Kingdom with 10% of the gun ownership of the US has 7 deaths per 100,000. Japan, with 150 million population but in a much smaller area, about 350 persons per square kilometer, had a 6/10 deaths per 100,000 for a total of 11 dead.

I do not know what the total answer to the gun violence problem in the US is but I do know that it is not more guns. The stats above confirm that, less guns less deaths. Considering Canada, the UK, Japan and Germany that see and play the same movies and games that we do, in the case of Japan, some movies and entertainment are a lot more violent than what we get, we have a major problem here. I want to say that the barbarians in our society are in control even when I know that is hyperbole.

Answers, answers, answers, I do not know what they are but I despair at finding any when a goodly portion of the population simply live in fact free world. All they hear is their own echo chamber.

Responsible people have got to stand together and say enough, it stops now, it stops here. And more to the point my right to not get shot, trumps your right to have a gun.

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