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_53
21 June 2011 @ 02:14 am
If you could find out what happens after you die, would you want to know?


SPOILER ALERT: Nothing happens after you die, except you become worm food. It's irrelevant. What's really important is what you do with your life before that happens.

I have seen no evidence or argument that's pro-afterlife that makes any sense, aside from it being an imaginary idea that people have concocted up because they're too scared of death to face reality. Not only is there no scientific proof of there being an afterlife of any kind, the very idea is ludicrous on its face. It's like a child asking you check for monsters under the bed or in the closet, and then demanding proof that said monsters do not exist, and claiming victory when you can't prove that said monsters do not exist.

Why should there be an afterlife of any kind, good or bad? What purpose would this serve? Do whales, dolphins, apes, elephants, cats and dogs also go to heaven? Why not? What about intelligent invertibrates like octopuses and cuttlefish? What about hell? And if so, is this restricted only to intelligent animals? What about rats and cockroaches? What about bacteria and viruses? Why are they unimportant? Who decides which lifeforms have a soul? What IS a soul? Can it even be defined? Is intelligence or sentient intelligence the defining factor here?

What if you're brain-dead? No brain activity whatsoever, no hope of recovery; but your body is still technically alive and breathing. Where's your soul then? What if you're mentally retarded and have the IQ of a goldfish? What if you're a child? What if you were aborted? Stillborn?

And what would you do in the afterlife? Exactly how would it not be terminally, mind-numbingly boring? What is the afterlife for? What function would it serve? What's the point?

Let's not even get into the whole idea of hell. I find it hilarious that so many people think there's life after death in some form, but reject the idea of hell. At least that's been my experience: "yeah, there must be something after this life, but I don't think hell is real." Well, why not? You believe in heaven, why not hell? You want the good, but not the bad?

What if you're a mass murderer? Is Jeffrey Dahmer chilling out in heaven with all the young boys he raped, tortured, murdered and ate? Technically he should be, because he apparently genuinely repented and accepted Christ as his savior just days before he was shanked in prison. The afterlife must be mighty awkward for him, I imagine.

Not to mention that the only real function of heaven and hell appears to be the carrot and the stick. "Be good and you'll go to heaven, but be bad and you'll burn in hell for eternity." It's like Christmas and Santa Claus making his list and checking it twice. You know, if you're a good little boy or girl you get gifts. Be bad and you get a lump of coal.

Except you grow out of that phase. With religion what you get is people being actively encouraged to ruin their lives because after all, this life is just a blink of an eye in the face of this supposed eternal bliss. God will reward you for all the fun you didn't have by not throwing you into hell.

Makes you wonder why one would WANT to spend eternity with a guy like that. Even my parents would never psychologically manipulate me like that, even if it really was for my own good. So if there was a heaven, would I really WANT to go there? Sounds odd that God would create me in his own image and whatnot, give me free will, and then punish me for using that free will. So it's a choice to follow or reject God, yes, in the same way that a rape victim with a gun to her forehead has a choice to disobey the rapist. Argue all you want whether rape or a bullet to the head (or both) is better, but don't try to tell me that victim is "free to choose."

Anyway, life is precious specifically because it's finite and the only one we have. I don't have a problem with this, because I'd rather live a full but short life than a long but empty, boring one, wouldn't you? The clock is ticking. Do something. Live. You're going to die anyway, what do you have to lose?
 
 
Current Location: at work
 
 
_53
29 March 2009 @ 11:43 pm
95 Theses on the Religious Right.

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said "love thy neighbor", willed that believers should show *compassion* toward others.

2. This word cannot be understood to mean mere lip service ("I love them, but I hate their sin"), but genuine concern for the welfare of others.

3. Yet the Religious Right has forsaken compassion for a doctrine of institutionalized hatred and violence.

4. Specifically, the Religious Right has taken the Word of God and wrapped it in the flag of Right Wing Politics, replacing God's message of redemption for the entire world with a narrow message endorsing right wing American politics.

5. Item: the Religious Right has neglected the teachings of Jesus in the gospel of Luke, where He instructs that we are to show compassion for the poor.

6. In place of God's words, the Religious Right has substituted a right wing political doctrine in which the poor have only themselves and their alleged laziness and moral weakness to blame.

7. For example, the Religious Right has rejected the needs of poor children of unwed mothers.

8. The Religious Right has rejected the cries for help from the children of impoverished families in the inner cities.

9. The Religious Right, has advocated fewer resources for the elderly poor and for the millions of children now living in poverty.

10. In place of giving to the poor, the Religious Right has advocated political doctrines specifically designed so that individuals may acquire vast sums of money.

11. The Religious Right has thus seized on a contemporary economic ideology as an excuse to ignore the teachings of Jesus.

...

18. Item: the Religious Right has neglected the teachings of Jesus that "he who is without sin should cast the first stone."

19. In place of God's words, the Religious Right has substituted a doctrine in which perceived sinners are to be persecuted.

20. Gays, for example, are persecuted because of their alleged sins. In some cases, leaders of the Religious Right have encouraged acts of physical violence against gays.

21. While the Religious Right has been eager to persecute others for their alleged sins, they have been blind to their own.

22. While the Bible counsels that a rich man can no more enter the of Heaven than a camel can pass through the eye of a needle, many in the Religious Right have celebrated the acquisition of wealth.

23. While the Bible enjoins us against pride, the Religious Right appears to be flush with pride in it's holier than thou stance.

24. While the Bible asks that we be slow to anger, the Religious Right is quick to anger -- indeed it appears to revel in anger and in fanning the flames of anger in others.

25. While the Bible counsels that we are not to be "revilers," key members of the religious right have consistently and aggressively reviled their political enemies as well as those who are perceived to be sinners.

26. It seems then, that the Religious Right picks its sins selectively, ignoring the clear Biblical message against avarice, pride, and anger, and emphasizing selected “sins” that have little to no Biblical basis.

...

31. Item: Religious Right has failed to see that God's call to help our neighbors also extends to our international neighbors.

32. International aggression is not a Christian doctrine.

33. Where the Bible calls us to be peacemakers, the Religious Right claims that we have no business trying to bring peace to troubled areas but rather counsels that we should use military might to secure our business interests.

34. Where the Bible, through the story of the good Samaritan, instructs that we are to help our international neighbors -- indeed, even our enemies -- the Religious Right counsels "America First".

35. But "America First" cannot be a true Christian Doctrine.

36. The Bible gives no special status to political entities like the United States of America, and any suggestion to the contrary is to simply lie about the content of the Bible.

37. God does not bless nation states, and if He did, He surely would not bless them for practicing international internal intolerance, and propping up corrupt kingdoms and military juntas that traffic in institutionalized poverty and violence.


...

65. Item: The Religious Right has paid lipservice to the moral development of children, yet their doctrines are antithetical to the interests of children.

66. They appear to believe that moral development can be accomplished solely through discipline and censorship -- censorship of thought-provoking materials and censorship of the findings of science.

67. Yet, as a group, the members of the Religious Right have failed miserably as parents.

68. Jesus said, "suffer the children come unto me," yet members of the Religious Right have physically and psychologically abused their children.

69. They have advocated corporeal punishment, and have carried out acts of indoctrination on their children which, truth be known, are as severe as those of any fringe religious cult.

70. They have made children to be ashamed of and hate their bodies, when they should be proud that those bodies are the temples of God.

71. They have lied to children about the nature of God's creation, teaching them to ignore the great beauty God has revealed through the biological sciences.

72. In place of that beauty, they have taught their children a theory in which God's revelation through nature is ignored, and an ugly doctrine of fiat creation is espoused.

73. They have taught their children to be intolerant of others, to be hateful of gays and persons of color.

74. They have failed to instruct their children in God's message of love and redemption and have substituted for it a message of exclusion, suspicion, and contempt.

75. They have failed to raise their children according to the teachings of the Bible.

76. They have utterly failed as parents, yet they presume to dictate how we should raise our own children.

...

83. Item: the Religious Right pays lip service to the authority of the Word of God, yet that Word plays little role in the treating of the Religious Right.

84. In place of the message of God's Grace and our redemption, they have substituted a purely political doctrine with no grounding in the Scriptures.

85. Rare are the references to passages of the Bible in the sermons of the Religious Right.

86. Those references that survive, are taken out of context and are merely used to justify preestablished political doctrines.

87. For example, there is no Biblical support for their views on abortion.

88. There is no Biblical support for their right wing economic theories.

89. There is no Biblical support for their campaign of abuse against their own children.

90. There is no Biblical support for their "America First" doctrines.

91. There is no Biblical support for their treatment of persons of color.

92. There is no Biblical support for their treatment of homosexuals.

93. In conclusion: the Religious Right has desecrated the house of God, taking a place of worship and treating it as a soap box in the service or the Right Wing of the Republican Party.

94. The Religious Right has likewise desecrated the Word of God, attributing to the Bible doctrines that are hateful, cruel, and entirely antithetical to the actual contents of the Bible.

95. Christians are to be exhorted to speak out against the Religious Right, as it is a vile heretical movement, wholly outside the teachings of the Word of God.

Interesting stuff. Practicing Christians, and all those interested in the relationship between theology and politics, ought to read all 95.


From: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2005/06/95_theses_on_th.html
 
 
 
_53
16 November 2008 @ 02:18 pm


Scientists have discovered a tiny 2 cm (1 inch) long shrimp that can snap its claws to create a 210 decibel noise.
For reference, a rock concert from the first row measures 110 decibels. The noise this tiny shrimp creates is louder than the sound made by whales, louder than the sonic boom of a concorde breaking the sound barrier, louder than a gunshot, and would most certainly shatter a human eardrum.



Five unique, strangely colored beaches you never knew existed.




Surveillance cameras catch school security employees stealing surveillance cameras.
Most meta headline ever?



Ten last pictures ever taken of notable people alive.




Three years after Chevron blew up this man's house, he has yet to receive a penny in compensation.
The explosion of the Chevron oil depot was Britain's biggest explosion in peacetime. A documentary is being released to put pressure on the unresponsive oil giants to pay up.


Disgraced Pastor Ted Haggard has revealed that he was sexually abused as a child. Oh, okay then, that explains everything, right? He's not gay, just a victim, etc.


A South Carolina pastor has demanded those in his congregation who voted for Obama to tell God they're sorry for doing so, and that they shouldn't take communion until they do. But the good news at least is that he's officially not the antichrist, according to LaHaye and Jenkins, respected Christian authors of the Left Behind novels. Phew, glad that's cleared up.

Also, priest threatens and attacks reporter who was asking him about an incident where he threw a worshipper out of mass because she had Obama stickers on her car.


Japanese Air Force Major goes to supermarket to shop for women's underwear while wearing nothing but his shoes and carrying his wallet. Apparently, the Major while on his way home from a late night farewell party for a colleague stripped off his clothes behind a convenience store before going in and buying panties and panty-hose. The Major did not appear to be intoxicated and “he had just his wallet and his shoes on him. He thought it would be funny if he went into the store stark naked, that it would surprise people..."

Japan is bored with sex.

200 year old church literally stolen. Quote: The disappearance of the Church of the Resurrection, some 300 km (186 miles) north-east of Moscow, was not immediately noticed. Picture not available.

Houston zoo elephant dies of elephant herpes.

Sex offender found living in University library.

Actual headline: Armless thief steals TV.

Drunk man drives to police station to ask cops if he's too drunk to drive. He was then arrested for drunk driving.

Fearless convenience store clerk to armed gunman with gun pointed at her: "Either shoot me or leave my store."

Psychologist explains that conmen don't con you by getting you to trust them, but by showing that they trust you. Anyone saw Matchstick Men? That movie kind of blew my mind.

Yet another human foot washes ashore, this one being the seventh severed human foot to wash ashore onto the Canadian coastline since August 2007. Still no explanation. This time, however, it's a female foot. The other six have all been male.

German politician shuts down a German Wiki because it links to another wiki article on him that mentions his previous work with the Stasi back in the day.


More tagged, categorized offbeat and abnormal news stories over at fivethreenews or 53news.blogspot.com :D
 
 
Current Mood: happy
 
 
_53
16 November 2008 @ 12:21 pm


Possible future atheism ads :)
 
 
Current Music: henry rollins
 
 
 
_53
12 November 2008 @ 10:40 pm

How to de-program a Jehadist.


The Saudi government has a lot of captured jihadists to deal with. Rather than keeping them locked up indefinitely, they are sent to a deprogramming facility, where they attend classes and are treated with Western luxuries:

"On arrival, each prisoner is given a suitcase filled with gifts: clothes, a digital watch, school supplies and toiletries. Inmates are encouraged to ask for their favorite foods (Twix and Snickers candy bars are frequent requests). Volleyball nets, PlayStation games and Ping-Pong and foosball tables are all provided. The atmosphere at the center — which I visited several times earlier this year — is almost eerily cozy and congenial, with mattresses and rugs spread on stubbly patches of lawn for inmates to lounge upon. With few exceptions, the men wear their beards untrimmed and their thobes, the long garments that most Saudi men wear, cut above their ankles in the style favored by those who wish to demonstrate strict devotion to Islam. The men are pleasant but many seem a bit puffy and lethargic; one 19-year-old inmate, Faisal al-Subaii, explained that they are encouraged to spend most of their daytime hours in either rest or prayer.

(...)

Most prisoners complete the program within two months. Upon release, each former jihadist is required to sign a pledge that he has forsaken extremist sympathies; the head of his family must sign as well. Some also receive a car (often a Toyota) and aid from the Interior Ministry in renting a home. Social workers assist former jihadists and their families in making post-release plans for education, employment and, usually, marriage. “Getting married stabilizes a man’s personality,” Hadlaq says. “He thinks more about a long term future and less about himself and his anger.” "

Could PlayStation, candy, and a job actually keep these men from going back to the jihad lifestyle? In the short term, the answer seems to be yes. Remember that many of these young Saudis jumped on the jihad bandwagon only for a lack of better things to do, so they can successfully be reformed. It's unlikely a true believer like Osama bin Laden would stop being a terrorist if he were given a Toyota, but for the wannabe jihadists, that might be more than enough.

Via The Invisible Pink Unicorn blog.
 
 
 
 
 
_53
21 October 2008 @ 05:14 pm
 
 
Current Mood: amused
 
 
 
 
_53
23 September 2008 @ 02:08 am


Arkansas Pastafarian Pirates counter-protest Westboro Baptist Church protesting assholes, make them go away.


What do you do to make a bunch of soulless nutcases abandon their post at the Convention Center? Send in the pirates!

Yep, the cuckoo Phelps hate group walked the plank this morning after a happy bunch dressed like pirates and holding signs saying "God hates shrimp -- Leviticus" and "God hates cotton-polyester blends" stood opposite them at the corner of Markham and Scott streets. The group, made up of Central Arkansas Pastafarians, waved swords and growled "Arrghh!" in a manner that would have made Abbie Hoffman proud.

With cars honking and waving at the pirates and a TV crew giving them all the attention, the Phelps group -- with a child in tow, sadly -- picked up their "fag" epithets and went away. Pitiful.



Okay, that's it. Turn off your computer right now and go to bed. Right now. Do it.

Because there's nothing more awesome that can possibly happen to you today than reading this news story. Seriously.
 
 
Current Mood: indescribable
 
 
 
_53
19 September 2008 @ 03:49 am
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

- Galileo Galilei

Sauce: antitheism.
 
 
 
 
_53
01 September 2008 @ 12:32 am
Friedrich Nietzsche:

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!

Without music, life would be a mistake.

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

Some are born posthumously.

"Faith" means not wanting to know what is true.

Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

We have art in order not to die of the truth.

The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

You have evolved from worm to man, but much within you is still worm. Once you were apes, yet even now man is more of an ape than any of the apes.

I tell you: one must have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.


Epicurus:

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 God both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.

No pleasure is itself a bad thing, but the things that produce some kinds of pleasure, bring along with them unpleasantness that is much greater than the pleasure itself.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

We begin every act of choice and avoidance from pleasure, and it is to pleasure that we return using our experience of pleasure as the criterion of every good thing.


Robert Ingersoll:

There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are only consequences.

Happiness is not a reward — it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment — it is a result.

An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.

If the book the Bible and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree?

Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn't make a decent thief. When I read a book and don't believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.

Martyrdom, as a rule, establishes the sincerity of the martyr, — never the correctness of his thought.

Every library is an arsenal.


Richard Dawkins:

You've just said a very revealing thing. Are you telling me that the only reason you don't steal and rape and murder is that you're frightened of God?

Science is the poetry of reality.


Christopher Hitchens:

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.

Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell, unless it is the sorely limited mind that has failed to describe heaven-except as a place of either wordly comfort, eternal tedium, or (as Tertullian thought) continual relish in the torture of others.

Religion has run out of justifications.


Sam Harris:

By failing to live by the letter of the texts, while tolerating the irrationality of those who do, religious moderates betray faith and reason equally.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished