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Been Gone May 1, 2011

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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I’ve been away from the blog lately. I’m still a heathen, but I’ve been busy on different forums doing the good work of the outspoken non-believers. One of my activities is somewhat of a private forum, where I was debating and discussing with people I see every day! That is weird, to say the least. But, we’re all good friends, and we really try hard not to get too abrasive. I will say, it is very difficult, and I can feel some pressure from both sides, which tells me we are edging closer to a fatal point where no useful dialog can actually occur.

After thinking about that last sentence a bit, I am inclined to ask myself why I debate with theists. It seems that there really is no point, when both sides are sure they are right, and seem unwilling to consider the other side. But that’s how it goes in our human world, I suppose. As an atheist, I would not accept the reality of a god without something tangible. And if that showed up, I like to think that I would simply accept that there is a real god. I can’t say what that would do for my specific approach to gods and religions, but I won’t deny that which is demonstrably true, through observation, evidence, and facts.

I am not certain at all what would cause a theist to abandon their beliefs. My instinct tells me that it would require a specific and thoughtful journey of research, rational thinking, and stepping outside of the faith. I have heard that some people are looking for a true support group to switch to, which is very difficult to find if you live amongst a highly religious group of neighbors, and work mates. The power of family, friends, and neighbors is strong, and difficult to escape from when matters of religion, and sometimes other world-views are prevalent. When enough guilt or shame is “in the air”, many people will elect to just go along, and stay quiet.

One thing that has surfaced for me recently, is the idea of writing a book. It seems daunting, and I am certainly not a professional writer, but it could be an interesting project. The focus, without giving away the full idea, would be on the differences between believers and non-believers. I’m still tossing the idea around in my head, so I won’t say any more right now.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the respect of ideas in the debate between belief and non-belief. I was thinking just today, that I have been called out, almost directly, but not quite, on what my goal is in “attacking” a belief system that I don’t even believe in myself. After some thought, I decided that it is certainly a fair question. And I have an answer. But what I would like to know, is why it is seemingly OK and/or socially acceptable to assume that believers are correct, and to give their ideas respect, just because. After all, this debate only has one answer; there is a god, or there is no god (yes, there could be multiple gods, but I’m going for simplicity).

In the end, atheists think they are right, and believers think they are right. So, technically, neither side deserves more respect than the other. But it seems apparent to me that the non-believer side is far less socially accepted. As I watched a clip from Christopher Hitchens recently, he was talking about believers who sent him messages asking if he was now ready to accept Jesus (he has been in the hospital in cancer therapy). And Hitchens basically said that it would be unbelievably rude for atheists to go running into hospital rooms to convince the dying patients that the whole religion thing was a scam. And that’s only one example where belief in a god is given special status as more socially acceptable than non-belief.

Anyway, I’m going to start writing some more – even though no one is listening! (Except for you three…)

The Modern Word February 6, 2011

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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In this age of instant information, I was wondering why God could not use tweets, youtube videos, and instant messaging to update the masses? I mean, strictly speaking, there has never been a time in human history when information from just about any corner of the globe cannot be instantly routed to the entire world, and in multiple languages! So, why not?

Assuming God is real, and is the creator of the universe, then God would be fully aware of these technologies, and would also be aware that there is literally no more effective way to spread the word to so many humans. And just imagine if twitter accounts and youtube accounts were spontaneously created with no apparent “owner”, followed by scads of messages from God himself. This would be epic, and worthy of consideration from atheists like me. To be fair though, it would have to be verified.

Verification, admittedly, would be tough. But hey, maybe the messages could contain personal details unique to each receiver, that could only be known by those closest to the person. What group is that powerful? So, it would not be impossible. Not to mention that some of the messages could be a precise prediction of the future, with enough detail to remove doubt. Who knows.

Wouldn’t God be powerful enough to transmit to everyone’s electronic devices, a unique message for each person, all simultaneously? Seems doable, if you’re omnipotent.

God, if you’re real, IM me. You know my address!

Is There a Fate Worse Than Death? December 29, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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I heard the phrase “fate worse than death” on an unrelated YouTube video, and it got me thinking about the topic. For humans, we know that we will all die one day. Of course, there are many who believe, or at least hope, that there is some kind of life after death. These beliefs are all over the map in terms of details, but they are quite popular. I don’t even have to wonder why this is the case, as I myself do not want my life to end. Or, so I say.

My personal belief is that when we die, we revert back to the same state we were in prior to conception. Which is my way of describing to others the state I believe I will be in; that of non-existence, and with no ability to recognize or acknowledge my existence. Before the egg and sperm united that created me, I was not, nor was I even intended. I was a rather rare luck of the draw, so to speak. And so it will be, I presume, after I die. But for some, there is a fate even worse if one considers death to be a bad thing.

Christianity claims that those who do not get accepted into heaven will be doomed to Hell. And Hell is described in most sects as an eternal lake of fire, or an eternal burning, gnashing of teeth, etc. Sounds awful to me. Yes, it sounds far worse to me than being a corpse, even if my body were cremated, the burning stops once the fuel (my body) is consumed. But Hell is an eternal burning of my body, while I am aware and alive, and while I can always feel the burning! This sounds horrific. To be fair, not all Christians believe in this type of Hell.

But, no matter how I look at it, if rejecting God, Jesus, or Christianity is going to land me in this awful place, this fate, then I don’t see any way to call Christianity a loving or peaceful religion. I don’t see how I have been given the “free will” to accept or reject this god, if this punishment exists. There is nothing more evil and despicable in my book. As a parent, I would never hold a punishment so severe over my children, for any reason. It is simply not necessary. However, I hold no delusion that fear is not the greatest motivator for most humans. And if Hell is real, it has certainly scared many people enough to keep them at least pretending to believe.

I know there are Christians who will say that the love of Jesus and the promise of Heaven are far greater rewards, and that this is the reason they choose to accept Jesus. But those same people refuse to renounce the punishment of Hell. In other words, they claim that they are not afraid of Hell, because they believe, but they simultaneously claim that we have a choice to believe or not. So, if I don’t believe, they prefer to claim that I don’t want to be in Heaven, or to accept Jesus as my savior. And they believe that it is always my choice to believe, or go to Hell.

If there are in fact only two fates, Heaven or Hell, then the only rational choice, according to believers, is to believe! It never occurs to many of them that a reward alone should be enough to gain believers. It never occurs to some of them that the reward of eternal life would still work for most believers, and that NOT making it to Heaven is punishment enough. Why add Hell to the mix at all? Well, if you’re a god like the one in The Bible, you can add Hell as the ultimate punishment, thereby cutting off all options and choices for everyone. What choice does anyone actually have if the reward and punishment are equally eternal, and at polar opposities in terms of fate?

I do not want to die. But then again, do I really want to live forever? We’ve all seen enough fictional movies to see where eternal life could get awfully boring. For me, Heaven is a human idea designed to ease the finality of death. You don’t come back, as they say. And if that’s what it takes for many humans to accept the finality of death, that’s OK with me. I know I have one shot. And I know it is relatively short.

I can say that at this point in my life, I am happier than I have ever been with the knowledge that I was able to be so lucky to be here, and that I was able to experience the love of my family and my children. I want to be there for my youngest son, and for my grand-children, but I know that I cannot be here forever. That makes everything I am doing right now even more important. It makes me want to be as kind and helpful as I possibly can. It makes me want to share my knowledge, help others in need, and smile a lot more.

But what do I know, I’m just a godless heathen!

What About the Failures? October 19, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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You simply cannot have it both ways. For almost every miracle, there is a failure, or more often, massive failure. When a bus goes over a cliff, and a single person survives, God gets the credit for the miracle. But why does God not also get the blame for the other deaths? The moment you give credit to God for a miracle, you are by default stating that God is also responsible for the tragedy as well. Even the Chilean miner accident had tragedy.

Sure, all of the miners were saved – thanks to the rescuers, and everyone else involved. But a miracle from God? Are you kidding me? Someone even claimed that God was the 34th person in the mine along with the miners! Seriously? What was he doing down there? If God’s miracle saved the miners, why were they stuck in the mine for more than two solid months? How much more incompetent can the creator of the universe actually be? And how is the collapse not the fault of God in the first place?

Anyway, it sure gets old hearing about all of the miracles of God, while conveniently ignoring the disaster that required the miracle in the first place! It’s disgusting. And many people do this without giving it a second thought. God, they say, was the reason that there were survivors in a particular disaster. But simultaneously, God certainly is not to blame for the tragedy and untimely and horrific deaths of the rest of the group. And no one seems to notice, nor care. The last thing on the mind of miracle thumpers is the fact that the miracle was even necessary.

I suppose that if California ever experiences a massive earthquake, one that has long been feared and seems as likely as all of the prior earthquakes, God will get all of the miracle credits, while perhaps hundreds of thousands will surely die as the ground swallows them whole, or perhaps a large chunk of the coast crumbles into the pacific, forever reshaping the coast line. But who will actually blame God for the disaster? Did God create the earth, and all of it’s natural disasters? There are certainly plenty of Christians who have no problem blaming tsunamis and earthquakes on sinners. I guess we’ll never know for sure, since God is conspicuously absent from modern times (assuming you believe he physically interacted with ancient humans some 2,000 years ago and earlier.)

As one who is quite certain that many modern humans are simply unable to abandon imaginary gods, I have to say that I am wholly unimpressed by miracle claims where credit is given to God. This god, who is also given full credit for actually creating the entire universe, and everything in it, is apparently incapable of managing the world, and the universe in such a way as to allow his beloved humans to live without fear of getting buried alive by a volcano, or be drowned on an otherwise beautiful beach by the sudden appearance of a tsunami. There is even a ready made excuse for such ineptness – free will! That’s right – free will is the reason that suffering is allowed by God.

Yeah, I tried to understand that one, and I was left with the same bewildered feeling. Pathetic.

Religion Cannot Win. October 17, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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Religion cannot win. It simply cannot maintain any level of higher morality, higher moral values, better quality of life, or any other measure related to human social norms. I suppose it is presumptuous for me to claim that any of these things are the true goal of religion. But if not, then religion is reduced to nothing more than worship of a god or gods, in order to appease and perhaps gain entrance to eternity, or some other prize after our bodies physically die. That makes religions seem less appealing to me.

I have seen no evidence whatsoever that religious people are any better than non-religious people, and there is certainly no evidence that suggests one religion produces better morals than another. What with terrorists acting in the name of Allah, or Christians murdering abortion doctors, it is apparent to me and many others, that religion by itself is unable to satisfy humans as a method or approach to living better lives on this planet.

Being an atheist, having abandoned the idea that there are any real gods out there who are concerned with our species and how we live our lives, I can say with great certainty that my personal moral standards are higher than the highest self-proclaimed “men of God” in the largest denominations of Christianity ever known, including any and all Popes who ever lived. And my basis for such a claim is the simple fact that I have never stood before any large crowd of people and proclaimed that I have superior knowledge of a god, and that I am speaking on behalf of said god. I have never told anyone that they must behave a certain way in order to avoid eternal hell, or gain eternal life. That, is immoral.

Religions and gods have come and gone for millennia, and although it seems there is no end in sight, I have more faith in the human race to shake itself free from the shackles of all dogmatic thinking, all imaginary gods, and all outdated moral sets that create massive division among otherwise happy and healthy societies. There is simply no way that the major dogmas hidden behind Jesus Christ, or Allah, for example, will remain unchallenged, or blindly accepted by everyone as time marches on.

Religion is a tool of fear and control, directed by men who literally have nothing better to do with their personal time on earth. Many of those men have been disgraced by scandal or blatant hypocrisy while standing before their flocks, and their imagined god. And slowly but surely, the flocks are shrinking, and finding better ways to think about why we are here, and where we are going. Humans have all the tools they need to make their short and unique lives the best they can be, without the need for a god or a preacher, or an ancient human named Jesus to guide them. Heck, if you like the way Jesus lived his life, then you should be willing to live your life in a similar way – now there’s a true challenge!

Peace, and may religion die sooner, rather than later!

The World is Changing, Get Over It. August 29, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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I simply cannot let my personal views on gods and religions go as public as I would like. But one day, I hope I can stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone, and be a non-believer, without fear of ridicule. I’ve been told that post-modernism is creating too much change within society, and that this change is immoral, or at least bad. The changes are things like same-sex marriage (equal rights for consenting legal adults), abortion (a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body), and the building of Mosques in New York City (which I happen to think is a really bad idea, and I do not support it at all).

Immigration is another point of contention. Our great country, our melting pot that used to welcome everyone, has become intolerant to pretty much anything that many consider wrong, bad, or immoral. And where do they get these views? The Bible! Or the Koran, in the case of Muslims. Yes, we all have to bow to the superior morals and teachings of some religious group (overwhelmingly Christian in the USA.) Apparently, we all have to sit back and pay close attention to those Christians, as they obviously know what is best for us all.

I have my own message for these morally superior Christians. The world is changing, get over it. The real problem here is that they don’t like things changing. They truly want everything to be “the way it used to be”, whatever that is (and boy is it different for each of them!) I say, too bad Christians, you are not the boss of me, or of anyone. And the fact that you don’t like something is fairly unimportant on the grand scheme. Big deal, I say. Get over yourselves.

This country is NOT a Christian nation. It is a mix of religions. Christianity is popular here, I get it. But that’s about where it ends. Keep your Christian beliefs, and your Muslim beliefs, and all other forms of dogmatic thinking and ancient mythology, to yourselves. Nobody cares what you think, any more than they care what I think, as a non-believer. The difference from where I stand, is that I have no intention of asking Christians or Muslims to behave differently because I don’t agree with them. I want them to enjoy their beliefs, and LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE ALONE. If you don’t like the United States, go find your own country – this one DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU.

You see how that works? Christians, you don’t own this country. Period. You can’t even get your own religion together to the extent that each Christian denomination agrees with each other. Leave the rest of us alone, for God’s sake! If I was going to get on my knees and pray, I would pray that your God would send you all a message to behave, and to live, and let live. Isn’t that what Jesus was all about? (don’t answer that!)

Anyway, the United States is changing. It has always been changing. It is changing because people and attitudes are changing. Things are NOT the way they used to be, precisely because PEOPLE are not what they used to be. In fact, if recent studies that show a rise in non-belief, or abandonment of religion are true, I would say that people are tired of being told how to act based on mythology, and invisible sky characters. People are tired of hearing the bigotry and hatred against homosexuals, and they are tired of being told that everything they do is a sin. They are tired of allowing Islamic extremists to impose Sharia law on otherwise innocent humans. It’s all very, very sick, and very sad.

I KNOW I am a good person. I don’t sin, I never have. I make mistakes, just like everyone else. I learn how to be a better person by making adjustments to my behaviors and attitudes, and by maturing over time. I try to teach others, like my child, how to think, and how to consider the world around them. I support any activity that attempts to remove unnecessary division created by dogmas and stupid ideologies.

The world is changing. We have a black president from a mixed parent family. We have women on the Supreme Court. We have states that fully support and recognize that consenting adults should be allowed to be married, just like everyone else. These things are not open to debate on whether they are good. They are simply the right thing to do. No one has moral superiority no matter what group they are in. But everyone has the capacity, and should have the ability to allow each of us to live peacefully among each other without ridicule and harm.

Get over yourselves, you’re truly embarrassing to the human race if you can’t.

What Would Jesus Think? August 15, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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What would Jesus think about the state of Christianity today? Well, to be honest, that’s not even a proper question, since it is quite clear that Jesus never intended to create this thing called “Christianity”, and have it split up into more than 38,000 sects, each having the truth about Jesus’ message.

I’m not a biblical scholar, nor am I a historian, or an archaeologist. I’m just someone who was born into a family that loosely held onto Roman Catholicism as its church. I went to church, sunday school, and eventually through each of the seven sacraments deemed important to that denomination. More recently in my life, I’ve realized that all gods throughout history are from the imaginations of humans – including God of The Bible and, depending on which sect you follow, Jesus the son of the God, and the actual god of The Bible (no, it wasn’t meant to make any sense.)

Anyway, for the sake of argument, I can agree that Jesus was a human who wandered in a region of our planet preaching the word of the god he believed in – just as hundreds of others were doing at that time. Specifically, if you follow the historians and true biblical scholars, Jesus preached that one should love God, abide by The Law (the Old Testament Law), and prepare for the coming Kingdom of God. He was apocalyptic – the end of the material world was coming. To me, he was deluded, just like all the other humans who believed in these types of prophecies. So how did we end up where we are today?

God had his chosen people in the Old Testament. God led these people from slavery to the promised land. Along the way, God commanded these chosen people to slaughter cities, and to take whatever they needed along the way. And suddenly, there was Jesus. Of course, the Jewish believers were unimpressed. And apparently, none of the contemporary historians had much to say about Jesus either. With the exception of the Gospels, written decades after the death of Jesus, there is almost no written words regarding the activities of the human named Jesus – the man that some claim was God himself. Jesus only came to let people know about God.

He never proclaimed that the next 2,000 years were to be used to build Christianity, fight for the religion, kill non-believers, and generally create massive division among humans all across the planet. The murders of millions of people over the years are not the message that Jesus brought. Those things were done because of misguided humans who used scripture to determine who should live and who should be murdered. Sure, there are plenty of bizarre commands throughout scripture that could be used to support murder. But the message from Jesus, as most churches would agree, was love – and the golden rule. Turn the other cheek. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

It is my personal opinion that Jesus did not preach to create a new religion called Christianity. Rather, Christianity was created by those who were convinced that Jesus was actually God. And they did so with force, in many cases throughout history. The blood of millions is on the hands of those men who made it their mission to murder people who did not agree with them, or who did not follow their interpretations of scripture. Jesus, if he was real, was a simple preacher for the god he believed was real. Saying he was actually god does not change what he did while he was here. It reinforces the delusion that people espouse when they don’t know the facts.

Moreover, there was no New Testament to speak of when Jesus was around. It took another three hundred years to finally settle on the books that comprise the New Testament. That in itself speaks volumes to the idea that it was humans who could not agree to the words that many claim are divine! Jesus uttered many phrases, apparently, and those phrases were written down by memory, by some authors. What are the chances that those utterances were remembered as they were actually spoken, decades after the fact, from indirect “witnesses”?

While Christianity has obviously spread and become the largest religion on the planet, it has also created more division among it’s own believers than any other religion. This cannot possibly be what Jesus was trying to do with his ministry. One would think that if Jesus truly wanted to create a religion, and call it Christianity, he would have said so in no uncertain terms. Where is it written in scripture that Jesus wanted Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, and all of the rest of the denominations? Where is it written that Christianity was to replace Judaism as the one true religion?

I can almost feel sorry for the Jews in this case. They had their book, they had their god, and then along came the people after Jesus died. Historically, Christianity is a split from Judaism. It really is that simple when looked at academically. And given the fact that their book is called the New Testament, it is even more obvious that the new book was designed to replace, or at best augment the Old Testament (no, I don’t agree with the OT prophecies, they are far too vague and weak to be considered worthy of recognition.)

Christianity will be around long after I am gone, I’m sure. The division will also remain, and if one were to model the splitting into denominations and sects, one could easily argue that the division among Christians will get worse. I have not personally met any Christians who even consider the massive number who disagree on scripture to be problematic. They honestly never give it much thought, is my guess. And why should they? They have their church, their preachers, and their own beliefs. So why would they be concerned about what everyone else believes?

Far be it from an atheist to stick his nose into other peoples beliefs and business regarding the delusion that their god is the one true god. But given the fact that Christianity claims to provide the answers to eternal life, or eternal damnation and hellfire, I would think that any reasonable Christian who wants to make it to heaven would be at least a little bit concerned about who Jesus really was, and what he really wanted while he was preaching. Of course, dropping the delusion altogether is another option, joining the ranks of horrible people like myself in the everlasting lake of fire that is sure to come at the end of my life!

Jesus would probably be quite disgusted if he were to see where his ministry has led us today. Then again, if he is God, he already knows! See you all in hell!

Is Religion a Pre-requisite for Morality? May 13, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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Here I go again, assuming there is a god, in order to have a discussion! Anyway, let’s take a look at this question and see where it leads. I have heard from many Christians who believe that God provides them with a moral base for their lives. Some even go as far as practically admitting that without God, they would be unable to act morally? I find that almost impossible to believe. Although, I have had two otherwise normal friends, who said that if God asked them to kill a baby, they would do it. To be fair, they had no choice but to assume that their “real” God was “really” asking them to do such a thing, and thus, they chose to submit. How they can distinguish a real God command from their own imaginations is beyond me.

I like to ask believers if there is anything good that a Christian can do, that cannot also be done by a non-believer. The intent of the question is to challenge them on human acts of kindness, as an example. So the challenge would be to name an act of kindness, or goodness, that physically cannot be done by one who has no god belief. I have yet to hear a single response outside of some things that are done as part of a church ritual or service, which the non-believer could easily do, but chooses not to be involved in church services. However, even those actions don’t hold anything morally superior over others outside of that belief system.

Non-believers are free to take any action they choose, without regard for specific church rules or restrictions on such actions, so you could almost argue that there may be some actions that a non-believer could do, which would be frowned upon by some churches. However, if the church deems it a bad thing, or inappropriate in some way, they would never acknowledge the act being good if done by a non-believer. What if an atheist was handing out condoms in a poverty-stricken area of Africa, resulting in fewer cases of aids through heterosexual contact between married couples? The Catholic church has deemed this a sin, and tells these people that the use of condoms is a sin. No matter what your church leaders say, they simply cannot continue to ignore the fact that using condoms saves lives in these areas.

I think I can argue that religion is not a pre-requisite for morality. Even if a person gains a set of morals through religious indoctrination early in their life, if they drop their god belief, or switch to a completely different religion, they do not automatically start behaving immorally. I have directly challenged some progressive Christian friends on this issue. They have no basis whatsoever to claim that I am less moral than they are, yet they argue their case as though they do have that superiority. They know me, and they know that they cannot directly challenge my morals simply because I claim no god belief. Yet, I sense that they silently claim victory.

The truth is, there is simply no credible evidence that non-believers are less moral. Unless non-belief itself is categorized as immoral, then we have to also consider that moral sets from one religion to the next are not the same, so each religious group gets to claim moral superiority over everyone else! This is an issue that comes up a lot in internet discussions, and it saddens me to think that modern humans still believe that people can’t possibly behave without religion.

Why Did God Create the Universe? May 7, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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If you have never given much serious thought to the size of the known universe, you really should. It is staggering, almost beyond belief. It is difficult to imagine the sub-microscopic planet we live in when it comes to how it compares to the rest of the known universe. I don’t know how to even begint to explain it, really. I’m not sure I could really do it justice.

Some of the greatest minds of modern time have pondered the question “why are we here?”. For many humans, this question seems to invoke some level of “spiritual” consideration. There must be a reason why humans are here. But is that reason any different than why giraffes are here? Do people really think that humans are so much more important than giraffes, in some grand scheme? I think they do believe this. And I think they feel justified, simply because they asked the question, and the giraffe, apparently, has not.

If God (character from The Bible) created the entire universe, and everything in it, including the planet we live on, there must have been a reason. God must have wanted this universe. Did God have a purpose, or a mission, or something in mind when he decided to create this universe, and subsequently, this earth – with us humans asking why? If everything happens for a reason, then there must be a reason that God created the universe and everything in it. Does anyone know what the reason is?

Many claim that we humans cannot know the mind of God (ignoring the fact that those same humans seem to actually know the mind of God). If we cannot know, then isn’t it true that we can only guess? Is it even important to know Gods reason for creating the universe and everything in it? Let’s see…

  • God created the universe because he wanted to?
  • God needed humans to worship him?
  • God was lonely?
  • God created humans because humans need God?
  • I’ll stop there because I think this question is best answered by those who believe God created the universe, and understand exactly why. Let’s get some feedback!

    Deeply Offensive March 28, 2010

    Posted by jetson in Personal.
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    I have heard this phrase tossed about in debates and discussions over religious beliefs, or the lack of religious beliefs. My bias tends to see the phrase tossed at atheists more often than the other way around. “When you attack Christianity, it is deeply offensive to Christians.” This is an example of something I might read in the forums and blogs. What exactly does the phrase “deeply offensive” really mean though?

    It’s not hard to agree that there are grades of offensive. A sentiment can easily be more or less offensive, perhaps on a sliding scale from least to most. The problem though, is that I don’t see many atheists spewing real hatred or vitriol in their dialogues. I know it happens, but it is certainly a minority of atheists who are just mean and hateful people. I think that when someone uses the phrase “deeply offensive”, it is a way of trying to dissuade or belittle a person for attacking or not respecting their personal beliefs.

    Personal beliefs are not something that deserve respect. Let me repeat that. You personal opinions and beliefs do not deserve respect. Respect must be earned. And it is not earned by holding a belief! Earning respect for your beliefs is actually very easy. Rule number one; don’t expect respect. If you hold a personal belief, such as a belief in a particular god, it will not be respected by everyone. In fact, some people who believe in a different god will be offended! Yes, offended!

    I am not personally offended by peoples personal god beliefs. I am offended when they use those beliefs to act or behave in a way that is superior to other humans. You see, when you are “deeply offended” by one who doesn’t agree with your personal beliefs, then you must feel that you are superior to them, or you must feel that they think they are superior to you in some way. Why else would something be deeply offensive? If a Muslim does not believe that Jesus is God, then should a Christian be deeply offended? I don’t think so. I think the Christian should go on believing that Jesus is God. The Muslim could be deeply offended that Christians are placing a human as a god!

    Deeply offensive, when it comes to personal religious beliefs is a very weak position for a true believer to take. It directly challenges their beliefs. It makes the believer appear to be unsure of their own beliefs, to the point that they must proclaim they are “deeply offended”. On the other hand, as an atheist, I am deeply offended when religion enters into the secular aspects and laws of societies. I am deeply offended when real action is taken on behalf of personal beliefs, such as real hatred and ridicule of homosexuals, or laws that directly exclude certain people from benefits based on personal beliefs. These things are examples of real action on behalf of personal beliefs. You see, atheists are in no religious camps, demanding respect for their personal beliefs. They are simply responding to the real actions taking place throughout the world, where religious dogma interferes with society in a way that is, well, deeply offensive!