Atheism & Other Faiths

Posted August 27th, 2012 (2:50 am) || 1 Comment

A friend of mine recently quoted a passage from David G. McAfee‘s new book, Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming out as a Non-Believer. The passage reads, “…Religion is a learned behavior, unlike non-belief; all people are born not believing in a God or gods, and only come to believe in such entities once they’ve been taught the idea by others – so atheism is the ‘default’ position.”

While I don’t believe in God, at least not as the majority of western religion portrays such a being, I don’t believe disbelief, a.k.a. atheism, is the default. In fact, I firmly believe the “default” if there is any, is one of curiosity. I also believe that atheism itself a religion (at least along the line is explicit atheism).

I decided to state my opinion in response to my friend’s quote.

I’ll freely admit I was baiting him. I’ve had experience with atheists and I wanted to know if my friend would respond with an open minded debate the subject, or simply reply with a closed minded restatement of the original quote or otherwise take an “I’m just right” stance. Almost invariably atheists reply with the later, sticking to their beliefs with a faith as strong a any right-wing Christian. Seeing as this was my friend, I was hoping for the former.

I got the later. In general that atheism is not a religion, that children are unable to believe in the supernatural unless taught to by others, and that atheism is backed by science which is based in 100% provable facts. (I paraphrase here.)

As it turns out, I can’t stand arguments based on false statements. I’m also a very bad person. Or at best a mean friend. Atheists have a bible. Yes, a bible. Not a “let’s call it a bible because bibles are important” bible, but an actual “this is our scripture but we’re not calling it scripture because we’re atheists” bible. Atheism is a solid belief system, and thus a religion. It may not be a religion that believes in the supernatural, but not all do. I’ve also done research into studies which demonstrate children have an inherent belief of the supernatural. But it’s the comment about science that really bothered me. Almost all of modern science, at least in the realm of explaining the fundamentals of how the universe works, is theoretical. So, we don’t know. Not knowing is less that 100% provable.

I decided to state my opinion in response to my friend’s reply.

I received an insult in reply and was told I am no longer friends with my friend.

As much a I’d like to console myself that all I’ve lost is a radical religious fanatic (or if one prefers, a closed-minded fanatic rather than religious), it seems I have precious few friends still in town and I’m finding the loss of another over something so trivial a bit stressful.

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Golf?

Posted September 19th, 2008 (10:19 pm) || 1 Comment

A friend of mine, often of like mind yet sharper tongue, recently related to me a new and most expressive rant. Enjoy.

“I’ve had an epiphany…

Y’know how you go through life, looking at a particular situation, realizing from the outset that it’s one of the dumb things about life that you’ll never really understand? You don’t question it… because you’ve accepted the notion (incorrect as it might be) that it’ll never make sense to you.

I finally figured out one of those things, by accident (as so often happens in life), and in the process revealed something that makes even less sense.

The game of golf. Never got it. Still don’t. And I don’t mean the rules or anything like that. Just… the appeal, I suppose. Kinda like tying off your pants, popping a ferret in there, and seeing how long you can tolerate the experience. Yes, people do that for fun, too, maybe… might be a fictional sport. Still researching. But I digress.

No need to expound overmuch on my concept about golf as a competitive “sport”. Hit the ball. Chase the ball. Repeat until ball falls in little hole or you break your stick in frustration. Repeat entire process until you’ve hit your ball fewer times than your fellow “competitors”… and presumably have more of your sticks left.

That about cover it? Thought so.

Then today, lightning strikes my brain. I glance up at a golf match on TV that I was previously ignoring, and in the background I see… bleachers… with people on them. People sitting on bleachers watching a game of golf. Bleachers?!? I can hear it now: “Let’s go to the golf game, Argus! I got front row seats at the twelfth hole!”

And then… it really hits me. The thing that has always bugged me about golf. The thing that became unbearably obvious when I saw those bleachers: golf is a spectator “sport”. People go to golf games… and watch. Just in case you missed what they’re watching, feel free to back up a couple of paragraphs.

Now the floodgates are open: what do golf spectators do? Hang out at their favorite tee or hole and wait for the one perfect shot they’ve always wanted to see? Seems like that’s what the ones in the bleachers do. And what about the rest? Walk from tee to hole to tee, a seething mass of sheep following the lead of their favorite stick-waver? Y’know… the one with the golf cart?

Right…

Any day now, I expect to figure out curling.

And the ferret thing…

Then again, maybe golf is a fictional sport too…

John T”

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One Week

Posted April 6th, 2007 (11:20 am) || Comments Off

A lot has happened in the past week. My new car is going great. Even with a 26 mile one way commute to work I’ve only used up half a tank of gas this week. And that’s with the AC running.

My mother’s birthday was a bit more subdued than my son’s, but she enjoyed the t-shirt craft book Jacob got her and the new Buddha statue from DeAnna and I. As it turns out my mother and our friend Michelle has the same birthday, only 22 years apart. The funny thing is that Mom turned 55, Jacob turned 11 and Michelle, right in the middle, turned 33.

Michelle’s birthday was great. We didn’t get to celebrate until last night though. We ate at Fogo e Brasa. If you haven’t been there take a large group of people and go! It’s like a buffet that comes to you, and the food is very high quality. They even bring out roasted pineapple, which is to die for! We had dinner last night at 6, got done about 8:30, and today I’m not hungry yet. That’s how much food there is, and how good the food is.

Anyway, today marks the start of my weekend, so I’m off to enjoy it.

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Mr. Ouch

Posted November 26th, 2006 (6:57 am) || Comments Off

So apparently there were these warnings on electrical systems that featured this “shock monster” that jumped out and killed this nice, innocent looking guy who so harmlessly stuck his fingers in the wiring. Apparently, the name of this monster was “Mr. Ouch.” What a name!

So anyway, today I’m Mr. Ouch. Not because I’m an evil shock monster out to electrify people who park within 3 feet of the electrical box outside Denny’s, but because I helped some friends of mine move yesterday. Ouch!!! The loading the truck wasn’t much of a problem. It was just time consuming. The unloading, however, killed my hands. Their new apartment was on the second floor, and the steps and the furniture dolly didn’t seem to agree with each other. Or at the very least, the two of them combined didn’t agree with me having feeling in my hands other than AAaaaaarrrrrhhaaaaaaahaaaaaahrhaaaa!!!

Well, we did manage to get everything upstairs, though on the second to the last piece of couch my hands cramped up. My fingers ended up clenching involuntarily into fists I couldn’t unclench for awhile. Very uncomfortable. I didn’t like it at all.

I’m looking forward to my own move in a few months though. At the moment the happiest part of my upcoming move is that I’m moving from a 1st floor apartment to another 1st floor.

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The Birthday Massacre

Posted November 10th, 2006 (7:33 pm) || Comments Off

I dropped by my MySpace, checking up on things there, and running through some of my friend’s spaces I noticed one of them had a song by The Birthday Massacre playing. I had never heard of this band. Well, I suppose I live under the wrong rock. In any event, I liked what I heard, so I went out and bought the album.

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