Sunday, January 11, 2009

Introducing: Secular Sundays!

I want to keep this blog mostly a media, movies, and miscellaneous discussion, also talking about my personal and professional experiences in the biz (once I start having some). But the self-righteous religious bullshit that has recently fueled, among other things, the passage of Prop 8 has royally pissed me off.

On top of that, a number of people have approached me in the interest of creating some kind of dialogue about religion, which pisses me off rather less -- I'm all for it. But either way, the topic of religion -- and my lack of belief therein -- is starting to crop up more. Atheism is kind of the new gay, it seems like. It takes a "coming out," because people just assume you're not, and even people who are cool with it still have questions.

In the interest of not turning this into a one-subject blog, today is the establishing post of what I'm calling Secular Sundays. This keeps the topic to a fixed, predictable, and, if you feel it necessary, avoidable schedule. (But c'mon, what are you afraid of?) Plus I admit I get a kick out of the thought that, on the day most people go to church to reinforce their fairy tale beliefs, I'm doing my small part to dismantle them.

For now, Secular Sundays will mostly be devoted to completing my promised analysis of The Case for a Creator. But once that's done, or perhaps even interspersed with that, will be other posts on religious philosophy, theology, first amendment and freethought issues, and other related topics as they come up.

Hopefully one day a week will be enough.

Later today I'll continue with Part 2 of the discussion of CFC Chapter Three, with Jonathan Wells' evaluation of the Miller-Urey experiment.


TheGamut said...

Before I go to the next entry, I have to ask: Is it necessary to "dismantle" their "fairy tale"? If they're accepting of me, should I not be accepting of them?

I can sum up with a quick story about my feelings: A friend was manning a display for World Vision at a conference. One guy skulked around for a bit, came up and asked if World Vision was faith-based. To my surprise, it is. The guy said "Too bad.", and walked away. This was without asking any more about the organization. World Vision does not push religion onto people. They help people regardless of their beliefs, unlike one person who walked away. I had originally assumed their logo was regarding a satellite as they do a lot of work with remote sensing and GIS. The guy looked at a logo and assumed it was Christian based. IOW, I believe the guy was looking to pick a fight with religion, actively seeking it out.

People like that give people like us a bad name and cause us to be "in the closet" because the first impression people get with Atheism is "attacking religion".

I gotta go take the Jeep to the shop. I'll check the next entry around lunch today. (Always interesting reads here.)

Carniphage said...

I am all for dismantling their fairy tale.

Throughout history, the various fairy tales of theists have prompted them to...

*Burn heretics like me at the stake.
*Stone little girls to death for "adultery"
*Blow themselves up to kill infidels
*Generally trample the rights of other humans for being gay or female or black - or simply believing in an alternative fairy tale.

They are not accepting of us. The very existence of atheists is offensive to them. Because they hate to be reminded that they are deluding themselves. All theists are essentially insecure.

So generally, yeah, Tell them at every single possible opportunity that their emperor doesn't have any clothes. And actually, there is no emperor either.

Tell them that their moderate beliefs enables others to have extreme beliefs. And those extremists use their faith to justify discrimination, violence, lies, terrorism and murder.

And don't bother using reason or logic. It won't work on people who define themselves by not needing proof.

Instead use humor, laughter and mockery. It's much more effective.


TheGamut said...

Is insulting them the way to go, though?

Should we be intolerant to those who have tolerance but also believe in theism?

One of my favorite people stood up in front of the congregation at a Catholic Mass (he's a priest) and told us all that if we're not happy, we don't have to be there. He told us that religion is not about being unhappy and that there isn't just one path to happiness. It was he who set me to look for the answers I thought were forbidden to ask.

Should I turn around and kick him in the teeth just because he believes in God and Jesus? How could I do that to a guy who's just happy that I found a relationship of love in my own way.

The horrible things done in the name of religion weren't done by religion. Many people believe those same faiths, but don't do those things. Therefore (especially if we don't believe in religions in the first place), it is the people and not the religions to blame.

If religions don't exist, how can we blame them? By that concept, everybody does everything on their own accord.

Do not try to tell me that there has never been an atheist that has done something horrible.

I choose to judge people by them and their actions and not their religion or their reasons. How can I judge them by something I don't believe exists?

Nathaniel Caauwe said...

TheGamut, I just had to comment to let you know I appreciate the respect you're showing to theists; very Christian-like, hehe :P I've been reading Dorkman's posts on this book, and though I wouldn't stand behind the book due to what sounds like poor writing and just a horribly presented case, what I find interesting is the discussion on each post and what topics can arise.

I'll never hide the fact that I am a devout Christian. I was raised Lutheran but no longer claim any denomination. I observe the world around me and look to the Word for answers. Evolution is obviously a very touchy subject, but I'll gladly sit in on a discussion and pipe up when I feel I have something coherent to add, although I tend to be pretty quiet. Also I look beyond simply evolution vs intelligent design for evidence. There are things I've witnessed that I simply can't ignore, like spiritual healing.

What I feel needs to be acknowledged—just within the Christian community—is this whole idea of forcing our beliefs on others. Yes, we're taught to spread the Word, but Christianity is a religion of the heart. What we have to remember is that we can never force anyone to believe; it has to come from within, from the Holy Spirit.

Yes, there are lots of people who look to one part of the Bible and ignore other parts (hell, the Lutheran doctrine for one, doesn't acknowledge spiritual gifts or healing, which I have witnessed with my own two eyes). Much like you, Gamut, say that Carniphage is giving atheists a bad name, I too believe there are a lot of people out there who give Christians a bad name. I mean Christ came into the world with a message of LOVE. C'mon people!

I dunno, I'm sorta drifting at this point, so I'll just bow out for now and maybe pipe up on another post. Just wanted to thank you again, TheGamut, for being respectful, I shall be too :)