If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.

Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

^THIS. If you think the bible is in any way the most superior moral document, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Non violence, forgiveness, charity: none of these concepts originated in the bible and only pure ignorance of other traditions would have you think so. Morality is a human project.

via divineirony; hatethechristiannotchrist

(via sagansense)

(via academicatheism)

 

Reason’s Greetings turned 2 today!

I have identified as an agnostic atheist for at least 2 years now it seems, after about 1 year of theism and uncertainty, 6 years of fundamentalist Christianity, and about 12 years of being not old enough to think critically about religious issues (though I was a “Christian child”).

 

Reason’s Greetings turned 2 today!

I have identified as an agnostic atheist for at least 2 years now it seems, after about 1 year of theism and uncertainty, 6 years of fundamentalist Christianity, and about 12 years of being not old enough to think critically about religious issues (though I was a “Christian child”).

The critical role of evidence

Either my very first post or at least my first of five posts on Tumblr said the following:

If God doesn’t exist, then nothing matters. If God does exist, then nothing else matters.

I’ve now been a nonbeliever for nearly 2 years. What happened?

I recognized the critical role of evidence.

Replace “God” with the JuJu who lives at the bottom of the sea. The Great JuJu offers eternal life to those who believe that he came on land, suffocated to death, but then was resurrected and returned to the ocean; he suffocated for our sins.

So, if the Great JuJu doesn’t exist, then nothing matters. But if the Great JuJu does exist, then nothing else matters, right? 

Hopefully it should be clear now that my first Tumblr post is a completely hollow statement if I do not have evidence to think a God (Great JuJu) may exist in the first place.

Some may object that this is where faith must come into play.

Okay. I have faith completely suspend my critical thinking and accept the Great JuJu’s suffocation for my sins. If you do not have faith in the Great JuJu, he will surely bury you in the deepest, darkest sands of the ocean for all eternity! 

… So you see, my beliefs are strongly contingent on the evidence in support of the claims I investigate. And I have looked long and hard and have seen no evidence to believe that there is a God. (Or a Great JuJu, for that matter.) 

Also, hopefully it is also clear now that it doesn’t logically follow that if the Great JuJu (God) doesn’t exist, then nothing matters. I am at a point right now where I simply do not know if anything ultimately matters. I do know, however, that reality is deep and complex and mysterious. There may yet be a few surprises for better or for worse to be found. For now, the best I can do is simply live one day after another in such a way that come time for me to pass away, I will have no regrets and will be satisfied with the way I handled the opportunities available to us who are alive.

draggedintosvnlight:

witherbane:

Nu-atheists who raise children to bully and demean (they’ll call it “question”) their religious peers are one of the few things on this website that still genuinely piss me off

I assume you’re full of shit until you prove otherwise. 

Unless you consider any questioning and criticism of religion to be bullying? Because that’s bullshit. I know a lot of insecure Christians feel that way, though, because defending an un-defendable idea is going to draw a lot of criticism. 

Please, for the love of jesus goddamn christ, please provide an example of where teachthemhowtothink teaches their kids to bully the religious?

Questioning and criticism is not bullying. Regardless of how “sacred” the things being questioned are. ^ He nailed it.

(via secularmonk)

witherbane:

Don’t mistake this for genuine caring, I just wanted to see if it’d be as easy to find as I thought it would be…

"Some kids at school just say ‘God made the sky.’  Why don’t they care about this stuff?  It’s SO COOL."

"He is way, WAY more awesome than that Jesus guy." (In reference to Thor. Being trained to conflate people’s sincerely held beliefs with mythology in childhood! How cute!)

and my favorite

"I told the big kids on the bus that god isn’t real today."

Direct quotes from teachthemhowtothink (or, rather, her son)

Now fuck off

Is the fact that a child sees your sincerely-held beliefs as being demonstrably ridiculous and on-par with mythology bothering you? Does it equate far too uncomfortably a death-on-the-cross for our “sins” to a lightning-and-thunder god? 

1) He’s right to be baffled that people insert “God did it” into things they don’t really understand and don’t look into it further. Teaching children nothing short of ignorance and associating the unknown with god-magic is harmful to culture as a whole (it’s a driving force for willful ignorance and giving into a fear that reality may be too deep and cold for our liking).

2) I make fun of your sincerely-held beliefs quite often. But I only do it in the context of others who do not hold those beliefs. In a mother-son (both non-believers) context like this, how is this bad? He’s not being insensitive to anyone in this context. Sure, if there were believers in the room then it’d be a different story but… Oh, right I forgot. You’re putting yourself in as a subject of the conversation and your sincerely-held beliefs feel threatened. I forgot.

For the record though, Thor definitely is way more awesome than your Jesus-guy. And yes I’m mocking you. Because if you have a problem with teachthemhowtothink, you’ve got a problem with me.

3) And… how would this be an issue? If God is real, then the big kids on the bus should simply be able to say, “Oh, you don’t think so? Well, here’s why we believe at least.” And they could give evidence and “witness” to him. However, evidence not being a strong-point of religion in general, we instead have that awkward moment of someone bringing to light the fact that their beliefs are in fact on par (and much less-cool) than a lightning and thunder sky-god.

Religion is the human response to being alive and having to die. — F. Forrester Church (via quotedojo)
Seen on my Facebook feed. The religion of humanism and science: hurting people, not healing!
I wouldn’t be alive today without modern medicine and science - without artificial insulin, I would die slowly of malnutrition, skyrocketed blood sugars, and other complications within a couple months. It would be a horrible, slow death of increasing depression, hunger, irritability, weakness and thirst, and prayer and religion wouldn’t do a thing. 

Seen on my Facebook feed. The religion of humanism and science: hurting people, not healing!

I wouldn’t be alive today without modern medicine and science - without artificial insulin, I would die slowly of malnutrition, skyrocketed blood sugars, and other complications within a couple months. It would be a horrible, slow death of increasing depression, hunger, irritability, weakness and thirst, and prayer and religion wouldn’t do a thing.