Catholic Church “donates” $500K to restrict gay rights

Oh good, another reason for me to hate Catholicism (and Christianity in general):

Of the donations supporting the anti-gay Yes on 1 measure in Maine, 89% ($3 million) came from churches, Christian organizations, and their employees. The Catholic Church alone directly contributed $553,608.27.

Ah yes, Christian charitable giving. Warms the cockles of the heart.

Does anyone care to explain why Catholics think preventing gay couples from happy commitment is worth half a million dollars?

I’ll take a stab at it: Because the Catholics are all about creating guilt for, and instilling control over, the sexual and reproductive nature of, well, everyone. Their dogma is that sex (which they define to include masturbation and oral sex) is only appropriate for married couples attempting to procreate. Gay sex — indeed, homosexuality itself — is a direct challenge to that idea; for if God made men who have sex with men, procreation can hardly be the only purpose of sex, can it?

And then where will the Catholic babies come from, if Catholic couples no longer fear damnation if they use birth control?

Disgusting.

How is it possible for Jesus to learn?

I found the following letter in The Independent:

Letter: The toddler Jesus

John Coutts Tuesday, 30 December 1997

The toddler Jesus

Sir: Glad tidings! Miles Kington has taken up New Testament studies (16 December). But he is way off-target in suggesting that Mary’s Boy Child would have made grown-up remarks at the age of six months. Luke’s Gospel (2:46,52) makes it quite clear that Jesus was a normal child who “grew both in body and wisdom” and asked questions rather than giving answers.

JOHN COUTTS

Gravesend, Kent

The passage in question recounts the story of Jesus going to the temple as a young boy/man and simultaneously learning and debating Jewish theology in an extraordinarily gifted manner. This is weird, because where is that skill coming from? The fact he is God? Then why does he need to learn anything at all?

That is a reason that a baby Jesus is absurd. What was God thinking as he waved his little hands and soiled himself?

Blind Faith

From Gina’s story of why she is an atheist:

Here is the problem, as I see it, with “blind faith.” If someone came to me and said I must buy a house, I must live in this house for my whole life, but I can’t look it over too hard, and I can’t fix anything that is wrong with it, I just have to have “faith” that it is a sound house, that I can live with the things that are wrong with it – I would say “no way.” I’m going to have this thing inspected, I’m going to look in the basement, check out the roof, and if there are things wrong with it, I’m going to fix it. I would never buy a house on blind faith; I would expect proof that it was a good deal. Yet I am expected to give over my life and soul to some god based on faith, with no proof that he was really there. Sorry, no way.

Absurd: “Toddler Jesus”

So if Jesus was God in fully-human form…

  • Did he know from birth every moment of his future? If so, how can that really count as a “fully human” experience?

  • With the above in mind, why would Jesus have ever been born? Why grow up? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Him to have appeared fully-grown for the years of His ministry?

Unless @ToddlerJesus can explain those questions, I’m going to roll with the assumption there was never a divine Jesus.

(Not that it matters much anyway, since the Christian God is evil.)

Proof the Christian God is Evil

You know those ridiculously sensationalist headlines that promise the world and don’t deliver? Post titles that make a claim, but end it in question marks so as to deny all liability?

This isn’t one of those posts.

Proving God is Evil

First we have to define our terms.

Definitions

God

The triune god-head of mainline Christianity including Catholicism and most or all Protestant religions, consisting of Jesus (who is God), God the Father, and the Holy Spirit (who is also God). This God is revealed in the Bible to be un-changing. See: Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalms 102:26; Malachi 3:6; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 6:17,18; and James 1:17. For example:

Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

God, in one manner or another, created the entire Universe, as implied by Genesis 1 (or described by it, if you take it literally).

God does not ever lie.

Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.”

This God is also all-powerful or omnipotent. The most cited verse is Matthew 19:26: “With God all things are possible.” We concede that logical impossibilities are not possible for God (e.g. making a rock so big he cannot move it), though since God created everything, including logic, that’s a debate for another day.

Lastly, God is all-knowing or omniscient. This is proclaimed in Deuteronomy 29:29 and elsewhere. We take this to mean he knows the past, present, and future, and furthermore knows the results of all his decisions before he makes them. (We ignore the likely truth that someone can not be both omniscient and omnipotent because they would not be able to change their future mind.)

The Bible

The collection of writings Christians call the Bible. King James, NIV, Catholic? doesn’t really matter for our purposes. We shall take it mostly literally, except for parables and much of Genesis; this is what most Christian religions do. We also assume this is God’s primary or only means of reliable communication with humankind (ignoring forgeries and legitimate Bible scholars, not to mention intra-Biblical contradictions).

I am teasing you with definitions before the proof. But a definition of terms is important. The next one is perhaps more interesting, so bear with me.

Good

Doing unto another as one would have the other do to them. This, the “Golden Rule,” is widely held as Jesus’ most important teaching. It can be found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

Evil

Knowingly doing the opposite of good.

Sin

Evil acts.

Humankind

Sinners. Taken as a the most basic tenet of Christianity, Jesus’ supposed sacrifice makes no sense otherwise.

You can’t wait, can you? On to the good stuff.

Proof, version 1

  1. God created everything (given).

  2. God created humankind (by 1).

  3. Humankind is composed of sinners (given).

  4. Sinners create evil (given).

  5. Humankind creates evil (by 3 and 4).

  6. God created evil (by 2 and 5).

  7. God knew the consequences of creating everything, including humans, before he did it (given).

  8. God knew he was creating evil (by 5 and 6).

  9. Thus, God sinned, himself, by definition, as a sinner knowingly commits evil acts.

I dare you to find a hole in that logic, given those definitions.

You want more? Okay. But let’s define another term or two.

More Definitions

Free Will

The ability to choose between two or more options. This does NOT mean omnipotence.

Conscious Beings

Entities that have at least the illusion of free will. This includes humans.

Proof (version 2)

  1. If I were to create a universe and conscious beings, I would create a universe where they cannot hurt each other.

  2. In fact, I wish all humans had free will but could not hurt each other.

  3. It is not logically impossible for conscious beings to have free will without being able to hurt each other. Proof by contradiction / counter-example:

    • Assume free will requires the ability to hurt other conscious beings.
    • Universe X is populated by beings whose only choice is to appear green or purple to observers. This does not inhibit others’ choices or harm them.
    • (Implied: Universe X denizens have no language, as communication involves choice of a message.)
    • Universe X denizens have free will, because they can make a choice; omnipotence is neither required nor granted.
    • This is a counter-example to our initial assumption.
    • Thus, free will does not require the ability to hurt other beings.
  4. God did not do unto me as I would have done to another conscious being.

  5. God defined evil through the Bible (from given).

  6. God did evil according to his own definition.

  7. Thus, God is evil.

I like this second proof a lot, though it did require a sub-proof. I double-dare you to poke a hole in this one, too!

Well, that was easy.

I hope you enjoyed these proofs as much as I did. For more, see this eloquent rebuttal of an apologist (which the apologist attempts to rebut, but has nothing solid to contribute); it illustrates how an omniscient God is necessarily evil. That “problem” is called theodicy. You may also be interested in this wonderful article on God’s immutability.

What’s that? The soft sound of Christian readers not being swayed? “Well, this post must be wrong, because of course God can’t be evil. He is benevolent!” they think. Yet they ignore the alternative: that He does not exist at all.

Much love,

Mr. Atheist

Science and Religion, part 1

Can we ever really know anything?

That is a question I hope to answer in a longer blog post. For now, let’s rephrase the question: “What is a better way to know things? From science or religion?”

Well, given that

  1. The foundation of all religions is faith, and
  2. Faith means something is not scientifically proven, or even logically impossible, yet taken to be true (“believed”) regardless, and
  3. Since no religion has been scientifically proven to be true (that is, they are all taken on faith), then
  4. Any religion is equally valid, so
  5. Take Christianity (defined such that the Bible is taken to be true) for example, which is perfectly valid with faith as our only guide, and then
  6. Consider the many, many places the Bible has been shown to be incorrect.

Thus, faith leads to incorrect conclusions. Science could basically win by default, but to be fair, it needs examined as well. I am not going to do that now, though. Since you are reading this online, I assume you have already conceded that science works.

We’re Hiring!

The last few decades, the Roman Catholic Church has been whining about a decrease in “the vocations,” or candidates for the priesthood (and sisterhood — gotta maintain equal opportunity!). I decided to help them out by “reposting” their newest job opening:

We’re Hiring!

What: A small parish seeks a full-time reverend.

When: As soon as you finish seminary.

Job Perks: The Church treats Her men well. Here are just some job highlights:

  • We provide tax-free income and a house.
  • Variable job pay — guilt your flock into putting more into that basket whenever you want. Just send 50% to your Bishop and our holy father the Pope.
  • Swing elections however you want to — you can’t officially endorse politicians or parties, but you can dedicate whole homilies (that’s what we True Christians call our sermons) to key issues of the election.
  • Listen as real people confess their darkest sins to you!
  • A “Don’t ask, don’t tell” pedophilia policy. Additionally, we can transfer you to another parish, should things get hairy (and your parishioners pay your settlements for you, should the filthy, underage, Satan-loving whores rat you out).
  • The comfiest chair in the building!
  • Little boys (and girls) hold your books, light the candles, and bow to you.
  • Hundreds to thousands of people will bow, kneel, chant, or sing when you tell them to.
  • Everyone thinks you can turn crackers into Jesus’ body … and you’re not an alcoholic, you’re a bloodaholic! Which doesn’t exist — you can’t get too much Jesus.
  • Goddess worship, kinda like the Pagans. And an alibi: Mary’s no god, she just intercedes for us.
  • A rock-solid, Constitutional excuse for your homophobia.
  • Wear essentially a dress without cross-dressing (no pun intended).

Necessary Experience: Most have an easy time meeting our humble needs:

  • An ability to alternately scare the death out of folks and convince them you’re their best friend
  • An ability to keep a straight face while invoking “magic” that never works
  • An ability to get up on time most days.
  • (No proof of two-way conversations with God required)

Inquire within… your soul.

Pope Palpatine

I recently noticed a distinct lack of a page with a comprehensive list of “Pope Palpatine” images, so I compiled this one. (If you know who created these, or if I missed a good one, let me know.)

And just so you Catholics don’t accuse me of being needlessly “militant” (ha) you should note that I have many legitimate beefs with this guy, his predecessors, and the religion of which he is the dictator (and in which I was raised).

Pope evil children.jpg


pope lackoffaith.jpg.jpeg


pope_looks_like_palpatine_02.jpg.jpeg


I find your lack of faith disturbing.


pope-benedict-palpatine.jpg.jpeg


pope palpatine 2.jpg


Sometimes illusions can be quite close to the truth!

Bonus: Catholic Cardinals heiling Herr Führer.

NaziPriestsSaluteHitler.jpg

Diversity of Religion & “Other Religions are Corrupted” Response

The vast numbers of different religions and denominations (parodied here) in the world is possibly the strongest reason to deny any and all religions with any sort of interventionist, personal, or judgment-dealing God.

Deluded Christians and Muslims commonly skirt this accusation by rationalizing that other religions are corrupted by man or “the devil.” However, there is a terrific atheist response to this claim.

A Conversation

Atheist: “Can you explain the diversity of religion in the world?”

Theist: “The devil has caused corruption of the true religion.”

Atheist: “Then I have two challenges for you.

“One: How do you know your religion is correct? Couldn’t it be corrupted in the same way as you claim countless other peoples’ religion is corrupted? Don’t other believers of other religions have the same response to this question that you do?

“Two: Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to the same god, the Abraham’s god Yahweh. If God answers prayer or guides human understanding in any way, should we not expect God to consistently guide understanding for all these earnest believers, resulting in a mass conversion to the ‘correct’ religion and even denomination?”

This is the response that is so very strong. At this point there is nothing the theist apologist can say that holds up to reason without contradicting basic tenets of their religion. For example, saying that God does not actually shape human understanding is to deny all authority of the Pope, pastors, rabbis, imams, and ayatollahs and is more of a deist belief than a theist one; it also contradicts the idea that God plants faith in the hearts/minds of humans, which leads us to science and atheism. No matter the response, it is impossible for a God who is all-loving and all-powerful who cares about orthodoxy (right belief) to ignore the earnest prayers from confused beliefs whose “corrupted beliefs” may earn for them eternal damnation. It may also be pointed out that the theist will rationalize a response to fit the facts everyone knows are true about the variation of belief, despite the way their own beliefs should predict that most of the world (if not all) would have the same religious beliefs they do!

Personal anecdote

The day I came to terms with my budding atheism was the day I voiced my doubts of Christianity to a professor, asking for a bit of guidance. I will never forget the professor’s response. He said something to the effect of, “We should not worry too much about believing the right thing. People have so many different religious beliefs that, if there is a God, He is almost certainly nothing like what you have been told.”

Perhaps the argument discussed in this article is not so strong for everyone, but I found it extremely convincing.

Let me know what you think.

Atheist Catchphrases

Catchphrase
n.
A well-known sentence or phrase.

Theists have catchphrases. So do atheists.

The difference, I would argue, is that theist catchphrases are meant to limit thinking and/or reinforce orthodoxy; atheist catchphrases typically have the opposite effect.

Orthodoxy
n.
Authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.

I think my claim can be demonstrated in two ways: philosophically and by examining representative catchphrases (hopefully selected at random).

Philosophically

There is no such thing as atheist orthodoxy or dogma, by definition, as we all know atheism is simply the rejection of a theism’s revealed gods and religions. Atheism requires no leaders, books, or even thoughts to exist, as it is the default state, the lack of certain beliefs.

Of course, most (but not all) of the atheist community embraces rational, scientific inquiry. We also place value on such an approach to belief; I would personally go so far as to call doubt a virtue.

Without orthodoxy, an atheist catchphrase that reinforces dogma is a contradiction of terms.

By Example: Christian refrains

“It’s God’s plan.” / Mystery

Don’t worry (think) about it; it’s not for mortals to control or even understand. Sometimes this is even used to cover up contradictions inherent in belief.

God/Jesus loves you.

Dogma.

Sins / “Died for you” / Sacrifice

Instill a sense of guilt and create an obligation/debt; thinking doubtful thoughts is thus ungrateful. (Thus, reason is cut off and dogma is enforced.)

“Pray for understanding”

On the surface, it sounds like a call for reason. But then why include prayer? Because the only response to prayer is imagined — “pray for understanding” really means “go rationalize this or ascribe it to God’s plan.”

“Think with your heart, not your mind”

Don’t think at all. Let us guilt you into belief.

By Example: Atheist catchphrases

“Correlation is not causation”

Encourages reasoning: Is there evidence of an ultimate cause? What other ways might trends be related? Could the causation in fact be the opposite of the assumed or wished direction?

Proof / “Do they have stats on that?”

Challenges assumptions.

“Why?”

Leads to greater understanding, enabling better (informed) reasoning.

IDiot

Used to refer to “Intelligent Design” or creationist proponents. This is one case where it actually makes it easy to dismiss opposing beliefs out-of-hand. Personally, I think we should avoid such language if possible. And yet, the scorn comes from what we perceive as the “IDiot’s” inability to see facts and reason with them, so there is still very much a sense of valuing science and reason over assumptions and faith.

Disclaimer

Admittedly a lot of the atheist catchphrases are not specifically atheist in nature, but heard often within the community as a result of the scientific inquiry process which can often lead to atheist beliefs.

Fair enough?

Please let me know if I am being unfair, if I have missed anything, or if there are atheist catchphrases that do dead-end reasoning (I’m sure there out there).