Love. You’re doing it wrong… and if baby Jesus existed, he sure would cry.
I have found, to my profound surprise that religious people in general know very little about their own religion . They don’t know of the horrors endorsed by it and they don’t know about the idiocy it supports. Or perhaps, somewhere deep down they do know but they do their holy best to ignore it or, even worse, perhaps (or looking at the picture above, sometimes) they do not care… Unsurprisingly, I’ve found they know even less about other religions.
So I ask you, how is it possible for the religious to have the abject arrogance to, from this position of consummate ignorance, tell the rest of us that they are right and everybody else is wrong when they have no idea what we are wrong about or, indeed, what they are supposed to be right about.
So Christian (or insert a suitable religious label here) … Ever read the Book of Mormon? The Bible? All the versions of the Bible? The Quran? The Bhagavad Gita? No? Then what gives you the impression that you should even be allowed to express an opinion in relation to what is true or not about any religion? If you’ve read none of those books… What do you know about religion?
It’s a question of irony really.
Some more amusing questions to entertain yourself with:
- Do babies, toddlers and children go to heaven even though they have not accepted Jesus as their personal saviour?
- If that is the case, why not kill your child and guarantee them entrance to heaven? And why are you so sad when a child dies?
- If a religious mother’s atheist son goes to hell, does she know he’s being tortured for eternity? Can she hear his wailing and the gnashing of his teeth? Is this not a torture in its self? Is going to heaven torture?
- Why do mass murderers, rapists, child molesters, fraudsters, thieves, pimps and slavers who accept Jesus as their ‘lord and saviour’ go to heaven but fundamentally good people who do not go to hell to be tortured for eternity?
- Why do no modern civilisations allow the torture of anybody yet the authority, the alleged yard stick for morality, the apparent ultimate good in the universe not only invented the worst kind of torture imaginable but is going to happily impose it on the vast majority of people who have ever existed, trillions of people?
- How does it happen that a perfectly good, perfectly loving being (God) create the ultimate evil (hell)? How does a perfectly good being even conceive of such an evil?
- Do people who were devoutly religious their entire lives and believe in Jesus go to heaven or hell if they, after accidental brain trauma, stop believing in God? What if they become really bad ass and deny the holy spirit repeatedly and swear at Jesus?
- Do all of the people on the planet who lived between the time of Jesus’s crucifixion and the time when it was possible for everybody on earth to have heard of him go to hell? All the Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Australians, Inca’s, Africans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, who had no chance of knowing about The Almighty Creator of the Universe?
- Why could the Almighty Creator of The Universe not let everybody on earth learn about Jesus at the same time anyway?
- Why is the ultimate creator of everything unable to put a reasonably plausible story together? I believe most of On The Origin of Species, why can’t I believe a book written by the alleged creator of the universe?
- Do mentally handicapped people who never accept Jesus as their ‘personal lord and saviour’ go to hell to be tortured for eternity?
- Are people who were mentally handicapped from birth also mentally handicapped in heaven?
- If a person goes to heaven, do they keep all their memories? Even people who go to heaven after Alzheimer’s? Do they get their memories back?
- If a person with a degenerative brain disorder goes to heaven, do they go as their young brilliant self or their old broken self?
- If a person who was a good and nice person but changed into a complete asshole due to a brain injury goes to heaven, does he go as the good person or the asshole?
- If a person who was an asshole but changed into a good and nice person due to a brain injury goes to heaven, does he go as the good person or the asshole?
- Why does God refuse to give me the information I need to be saved from eternal torture in a way that is believable? Isn’t that evil? He did after all make me a skeptic who prefers empirical evidence.
- Can you point to the relevant passages in the Bible where these questions are answered?
- If the Bible doesn’t answer these questions, where should one get the answers from?
I’d love to hear the answers to all of those questions, or, at the very least, what one can do to answer those questions. Let me tell you why I’m pretty sure they can’t be answered: because Bronze Age creation myths are entirely too simplistic, crude and ignorant to take into account the gigantic, virtually unimaginable complexity of reality. There is a very good reason for our modern laws to fill entire libraries with their complicated language defining every last thing in excruciating detail. Because life is complicated and if you want justice you have to define thing in excruciating detail. Could real life be governed by a mere 10 rules, 4 of which mean the same thing? No, which is why we don’t try to. (Ha, more irony, Christians can’t even agree on exactly which lines make up the first ’4′ commandments. I’m serious, see the Catholic Church vs. virtually all other denominations). Sure, I agree, 5 of them make sense and are generally good principles to apply to life but no religion has a monopoly on them, every civilisation has come up with similar ideas.
There is a direct correlation between the level of education and lack of religious beliefs which stem from the fact that, on average, the more educated a person is the better that person knows which questions religion simply cannot address and which of religions answers are flat-out wrong. A bit of education (usually…) also inevitably helps one understand that there are no questions that we need religion to address.
So, what, do, you, know? Virtually nothing. How can you know more? Science. There is, literally, no other way to reliably (or at all) get to know more. Why does religion try to push science out of the classroom these days? Because the more you know, the less bullshit you believe.
The irony is, the people who claim to have the answers, know the least… and yet are believed by the most.
Enjoy some George Carlin awesomely explaining the 10 commandments
A little back story: while my wife and I are atheists, our respective families, well, they are not atheists to put it mildly. I don’t actually know the full extent of the religiosity of my entire extended family but suffice to say, most of them go to church most Sundays and they pray before they eat. Typical white, middle class, suburban Christian people you could say. We live in South Africa where, due to too many reasons to explain or debate, unskilled labour is performed mainly by black African’s who have their own culture and (from my perspective) their own peculiar set of beliefs.
To get on with the story: my wife and I attended a family gathering several months back where a cousin of mine was telling a story about some events that occurred where he works. He told of how a watch was stolen from the locker of one of the supervisors. The supervisor and my cousin came up with a cunning plan to convince the thief to return the stolen goods. They loudly proclaimed, well within earshot of a number of the workers that they were going to bring an African witch doctor (a sangoma) to the office the following day, to perform black magic and curse the thief who had stolen from the supervisor. Presumably this would end in a very unpleasant way for the would be thief. Obviously hearing of this plan and fearful for what was to come next, the thief returned the watch to the locker where it was found the next day, negating the need for the witch doctor.
The story was told to the gathered family with much mirth and laughter aimed at the simple thief who would fall for such a ridiculous ploy. A witch doctor and black magic indeed; some people will believe just any old thing.
Now, there are two things about this story that I found interesting. The first is that clearly there are still many simple people who are willing to believe basically anything, magic and witchcraft included, in this day and age which is a little disturbing but not altogether surprising.
As interesting and disturbing as the belief in witchcraft is, the story in general is a great illustration for how the minds of the pious religious work. I would venture to replace ‘religious’ with ‘humanity in general’, since everybody is prone to this, but I’ll leave it for the sake of illustration.
My family, cousins, aunts, parents, had absolutely no problem with laughing at the simple believers in ‘witchcraft’. Believing in ‘witchcraft’ is ridiculous, only primitive people believe in it, obviously? Right?
They had absolutely no problem following that conversation with one about the local minister at the church involved in something or other. They could not see that were laughing at people for believing in something with no evidence while at the same time believing the exact same thing in a different package.
Clearly, Christianity is not as ridiculous as believing in magic? Surely not! Christianity has… well, IT HAS A BOOK! Yes, those primitives who believe in the dark arts, well, all they have is an oral history stretching ten thousand years further back than Moses, no cold, hard, indisputable evidence like ‘the good book’.
I would now like to take this opportunity to quote a passage from ‘the good book’, Matthew 7:3-5:
7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Truer words were never spoken. Possibly, these words were never spoken in the first place either, but you get my point.
Let me recap this for you: Christians (or Muslims, or Hindus, or Jehovah’s witnesses) who laugh at people of other belief systems are hypocrites. Christians believe in magic and so they don’t get to laugh at other people who also believe in magic, albeit in a slightly different kind.
“A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.”
- David Stevens
In South America llamas are still used as beasts of burden, as well as for the production of fiber and meat.
Ah, fellow New Zealand (and world wide) skeptics for the win!
Some amusingly applicable passages:
A public mass overdose of homeopathic remedies has forced the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths to admit openly that their products do not contain any “material substances”. Council spokeswoman Mary Glaisyer admitted publicly that “there´s not one molecule of the original substance remaining” in the diluted remedies that form the basis of this multi-million-dollar industry.
The NZ Skeptics, in conjunction with 10:23, Skeptics in the Pub and other groups nationally and around the world, held the mass overdose in Christchurch on Saturday to highlight the fact that homeopathic products are simply very expensive water drops or sugar/lactose pills. A further aim was to question the ethical issues of pharmacies, in particular, stocking and promoting sham products and services.
I feel like I am repeating myself a lot today, but here goes again: there is no controversy, homoeopathy is not science, it doesn’t work, it has no effect and if you think about it just a little, makes no sense. It, is, a, sham.
Look, I would be the first to admit that I will happily sell you a litre of water for $100 any day of the week but you must realise, that is exactly what a homeopath is doing, even if he firmly believes his exceedingly clean water, lacking in everything but water, is going to cure you of anything except, possibly, dehydration.
My special water is very good for you, and it has extra dihydrogen monoxide that is exceptionally good for you. Without the proper amounts of dihydrogen monoxide you may die, in three days or less. It is essential to life and my product contains plenty of it.
Buy my dihydrogen monoxide enriched water instead of homoeopathic remedies; My product is guaranteed to work if used for the purpose for which it was intended. Seriously.
According to Juan Ignacio Molina the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen observed the use of chiliquenes (a llama type) by native Mapuches of Mocha Island as plough animals in 1614
I have come across a bit of a collection of… strange artifacts of madness and insanity. You just can’t believe the shit that’s out there. If I have not managed to make fun here of your particular beliefs, do not feel left out, I will probably get around to you next week. Unless you don’t actually believe anything strange…
For the first prize this week, a Mormon video (wonder if I should credit the person through whom I found it. If you think I should, drop me a mail or a tweet or something and I’d be happy to add you):
Alright, ok, I know it’s not ‘official’ Mormon doctrine and you shouldn’t take it too seriously, and that getting your information from a cartoon is perhaps not the best idea but you have to admit, it’s wack, funny as shit and somebody cared enough about what’s in it to make it in the first place.
Now, behold, for your viewing pleasure, this winner of a fanatic (ok, I know, you’ve already seen the picture, if you haven’t, er, I hate to say it, but get your damn eyes tested). In my youth, as a… very weighty rock music enthusiast I have seen some interesting things scratched onto arms. Never before have I seen a man do it with so much… gusto:
Ah, The Family. What can one say about the family? I love those guys. They go out of their way to prove just how seriously screwed up people can be. Their antics do amuse me though. What you need to consider is that they get their instructions from the same book as the Methodists, Catholics, Baptists and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Misunderstand the manual much? Ok, you should go read the link below, you really should, it is… enlightening to say the least. I have taken the liberty of quoting one or two lines for you who are disinclined to follow a link and read:
The archive here: http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Love_words_to_Jesus
The following list of sexually explicit expressions was published by Karen Zerby as examples her followers could use when making love to Jesus, during masturbation or intercourse.
Yes, seriously. I shit, you, not.
Come to Me, Jesus! Be here with me and love me. Let’s hold each other and say words of love to each other.
Come to my bed, come to my arms, come to my kisses, to my lips!
Jesus, You’re the Lover of all lovers.
You’re beautiful, Jesus, and so sexy–sexier than I ever dreamed–so handsome, so naked and so hard!
Jesus, I’ll do anything for You. I’ll do anything to give You pleasure. Let me satisfy You. Teach me what You like best.
I crave You, Jesus. I’m hot for You! My legs are spread to receive Your penis! Enter into me! Give me Your seeds.
Yea, look, I could carry on quoting but lets face it, we’re both getting a little uncomfortable with that list of winners. I do wonder if there is an age restriction attached to those gems…
Mathematics does not seem to be high up on the list of priorities of this winner. Nor, it seems, is actually understanding how evolution works but I’ll let him go on that, people like Ray Comfort have built an entire industry around ‘Not Understanding How A Very Simple Thing Like Evolution Works’, you can’t expect other people to start paying attention if their leaders are unable to grasp simple concepts:
Should you have some trouble with the whole evolution thing, check out Tim’s post here: http://timcooley.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/some-common-misconceptions-about-evolution/
This one isn’t strictly speaking ‘wack’ but just to illustrate how it is possible to arrive at the above conclusion; this is pretty much what it’s like for a scientist to talk to a creationist. If you agree with the creationist, however, I insist that you tell me at great length why (except holyfire23 because I’ve had enough of speaking to that lost cause):
I saw it first on PZ Myers’s blog here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/every_creationist_argument_ive.php
This last one, while I do sympathise with the children (it’s not their fault) and I don’t like seeing bad things happen to kids who could not control the situation, I have a hard time feeling much for the adults. The irony gets me however…
Full story here: http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100125/157674817.html
Some 50 people were poisoned in the east Siberian city of Irkutsk which the local consumer watchdog said on Monday could have been caused by “holy water” taken from wells during religious ceremonies of Epiphany.
The regional Investigation Committee, which is looking into the mass poisoning, said all the victims complained of “symptoms of acute intestinal infection” and high temperature, and 40 of them, including 22 children, have been hospitalized.
The consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said water the victims took from two wells near a church on January 19, when the Orthodox Church celebrated the baptism of Christ, or Epiphany, could be the source of infection. Water is believed to become holy and have healing properties during Epiphany.
“All the victims are known to have taken water from two wells near the Archangel Michael Church and from an ice hole made in a nearby lake,” the regulator said.
No other details and comments are currently available.
Many people believe any water – even from the taps from the kitchen sink – poured or bottled by Christians on Epiphany becomes holy. The water sanctified in churches is often stored by believers for long periods.
No matter how hard you wish guy, the natural laws of the universe just do no get suspended especially for you, regardless of how important you believe you are.
The height of a full-grown, full-size llama is between 1.7 meters (5.5 ft) and 1.8 meters (6 ft) tall at the top of the head. They can weigh between approximately 130 kilograms (280 lb) and 200 kilograms (450 lb). At birth, a baby llama (called a cria) can weigh between 9.1 kilograms (20 lb) and 14 kilograms (30 lb).
A nice quote from the beginning of the world:
Members of the earth’s earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.
According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.
“I do not understand,” reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. “A booming voice is saying, ‘Let there be light,’ but there is already light. It is saying, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass,’ but I am already standing on grass.”
Read the entire story here: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/sumerians_look_on_in_confusion_as
The llama knows.