Compassion of Atheists

You may or may not have read Dinesh D’Souza’s article, in reference to the Virgina tragedy, asking where Atheism is “when bad things happen.”  Despite this article’s poor quality and flawed/skewed perception, it has sparked a brilliant article about Atheism and compassion.  It shows a excellent complement to the logic of Dawkins, who seems to get so much press.

D’Souza asks why no one asks Atheists to speak at tragic events, and I too question this.   Why do people look for supernatural comfort?  Why is faith in your fellow man not enough?  Perhaps this is a poor time to speak of “faith in your fellow man,” after the acts of a sociopath, but how could the explanation of supernatural evil be any more comforting than the idea that it is just one disturbed individual.

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Baptists are pessimists; the world is good, and getting better

I had a run in with a Baptist guy today, and although he was generally a nice guy, his outlook on the world is a bit concerning. Whats worse is that, to my understanding, this is the general outlook of Baptists. If I’m wrong then by all means help me illuminate the topic, but he was convinced that the world was a terrible place, that we are all damned to eternal torment, and are beset by evil forces unless we follow their Christian savior. I’m sure you know to whom I’m referring. He proceeded to explain that they are being judged by a higher power that is rational and reasonable, yet holds its followers to a standard of perfection.

It seems that when these people are trying to show you their faith they always relay their entire life story. I patiently waited and listened, hoping that something here would help explain why someone would choose to hold such a dismal world view. Drugs, womanizing, and abuse were what drove him to such a place. He spoke of demons and gods speaking to him and how he now has forged a personal relationship with the Christian god, who now speaks to him. I’m not judging, but it seems like a more difficult path to take than to just turn yourself around. But everyone needs a unique combination of answers.

Despite all the media coverage of the wars and conflicts in the various areas of the world, I still really believe that the world is generally a good place. I don’t think we require divine intervention, or any sort of savior. The state of the world is constantly improving. Change takes time, and changing people takes longer, but the world IS getting better, NOT worse. Look for it. Really look for it, and you will find it.

Apologies to anyone who got a ‘preachy’ or ‘self-help’ vibe from this. I did.

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Marriage is Unconstitutional

Aparently there is a debate in congress over a proposed amendment to the constitution. The amendment would essentially define at the constitutional level that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. While this change would not directly effect me, it DOES effect MILLIONS of people nation wide. It is of much curiosity to me why people feel so strongly about this. Bush has even come out in support of this and stated that marriage is a fundamental corner stone of our society and it should not be redefined by activist judges.

The history of marriage is hazy at best, as it goes back beyond record and varies from region to region. In the west, for centuries, if not eons, marriage was practiced to accumulate wealth and to ensure the survival of one’s lineage. Religious influences aside, these are the two main initial reasons for this institution neither of which are necessary in today’s society. In contemporary society the primary gains, other than social recognition, is tax breaks, hospital rights, and wills. I cannot find a reason why anyone in a serious relationship should be denied any of these rights.

If your arguments against same sex marriages are because it degrades the sacrament of matrimony then perhaps it is indeed to ensnared in religious trappings to belong in our legal system in the first place. Perhaps we should remove it in its entirety and replace it with a legal recognition of a familial unit, which simple allocates the previously specified rights to whomever is within the contractual union. And if you really think that it threatens the values of marriage and family, then perhaps you should be proposing legislation against divorce as well.

What this debate comes down to is a threat to civil liberties. Just because its the way it has always been, does not mean its the way it should always be. If it were so, white land-owning males would be the only ones voting. Even if the vast majority of Americans is against giving these civil liberties to anyone, it is the responsible thing to do. Is it not? Or perhaps I’m just a terrible American.

I would like to give an open challenge to anyone who can give me a non-religiously backed argument against same-sexed marriage. Honestly, I just havent heard any reasons that sound logical yet and I refuse to believe that the world is filled with that many religious bigots.

“You can’t blame yourself for what gorillas did.” – Lisa, Team America

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Keep religion in your pants

Over the years I’ve been acosted by many different religious groups all wanting to share their viewpoint on the world and whatever else may be beyond it.  Most of them say that if I dont believe as they do then I am subject to some sort of damnation.  This sort of behavior has led to numerous conflicts throughout history, not just with me but usually between these different competing groups.  People have died in these conflicts, and countless more very very annoyed.

If we could just treat religion like sex, I think things might work a little smoother.  Keep it in your pants.  Only share it with those people closest to you.  And maybe a few people at parties when you are really drunk.  This analogy kinda breaks down when you get into the realm of internet pornography, but I think you get the idea that I’m going for.

So I plead with you solicitors of religious propoganda, do this little thing for us.  Peddle your wares elsewhere.  Think of the children.

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