Tag Archives: atheist

Notes from 15-year old me, the blossoming atheist

I once populated my office with any piece of office supplies I had at home. This included leftover materials from the college years, which in turn was made up of leftover high school materials. So there I am, assembling training binders when I stumble upon a paper-and-pen journal entry from eons ago. My guess (from the grandiose language and the slight flourish of philosophical-induced misery) is age 15. I’ve reproduced it here for posterity and for my own reference some day, for teen-Mary’s livejournal is a thing that should never, ever be opened. No, really.

The age-old Catholic theory of the afterlife is a peaceful, sacred heaven where all are united in love for and worship of the god figure. But if people strive so much for this precious sense of humanity and individuality while in this “trial world” only to abandon it to be part of a utopian collective, then this earthly quest loses all purpose. What meaning could we seek here if our only goals must be eternal pain or eternal subservience? (To conveniently snuff out this line of questioning, the Church simply had Lucifer be the one to ask it.) In this cooperative heaven, how would our creative and industrial characteristics be suppressed while still retaining the earthly identities we toiled so hard to build? And what of our inherent ego-centrism? Our cliquish minds which cannot comprehend more than some finite number of relationships? Man cannot simply worship a god and rejoice for beauty and then begin the next day the same. A being so cultural and philosophically diverse as man….how could the ultimate reward be anonymous communal worship? And if such piety in humans were attainable for enough people so as to make god’s plan even remotely reasonable, why do essentially none ever reach it? It’s apparent that even the most devout, whose piety splinters when their closet of skeletons and inner demons break loose in public scandal, won’t be eternally happy with such an outcome after life, nor happy for even one week.

If the Catholic god truly is the all-knowledgeable and loving figure of which the stories tell, then the age-old vision of heaven is not comprehensive nor can it be considered credible by the standards of the modern thinker. It wreaks of the “perfect world” fallacy, heaven being some holy tyranny where a god is surrounded by adoring creations who proved themselves “worthy” to be in his presence. If the god figure were a loving god, he would not build such a narcissistic echo chamber populated by what are essentially slave creations who only worshiped in life out of fear of punishment if they pursued contrary goals. Such sadistic torture dungeons are the things of crime novels and horror films from which we recoil 6 days a week, yet Catholics discuss it openly and proudly on Sunday without any sense of irony or cognitive dissonance.

While we each may have a different idea of what the afterlife will be, it would take quite a god to create one place that everyone could call utopia and yet maintain and exercise their individuality. Such a feat is impossible in light of our (allegedly purposeful) design to have interests and personalities contrary to each other. Consequently, the same principle would hold true for marriage. Exact matches would be misery for the caged intellectual. With no sparring partner or otherwise inspirational force in one’s life to divert from the routine, how could a marriage fight an onslaught of immediate and utter boredom? What can they express except affection, for the narcissist has married him or herself. What kind of paradise is a marriage with an organic copy? The conceptions of a perfect world, perfect love, perfect marriage, perfect heaven have no credence. “Perfection” is ideological tyranny. How can anyone beyond the age of 10 sit in a pew listening to elementary-level drivel about god, love, heaven, hell, and any other philosophical notions oversimplified for the dullards of humanity and not be repulsed? Offended? Condescended to? A celibate and single priest giving relationship advice to married couples? A man commenting on women’s place and rights because desert fables thousands of years’ old make him feel obliged to do so? Please explain the mass appeal of this faith beyond “people are stupid en masse”, because my youthful optimism begs for an alternate explanation.


Let’s play “Bible or Quran?”

What do you think? Can you distinguish between the so-titled sharia laws of the Quran and those of the Christian Bible?

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days….if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks….The priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

Now kill all the boys and kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

If [a woman] vowed in her husband’s house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void.

Women should remain silent in congregations. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. ….Women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

When you go out to war against your enemies…and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire to take her to be your wife and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.

If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. ….Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given a virgin a bad name. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

A holy man should only take a virgin of his own people to wife.

Surprise, they’re all from the Christian Bible! But please, America, cherry pick away and continue proposing bills using this misogynistic, racist, inane drivel as your source of infinite wisdom.

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Institute for Creation Research: It Exists (Sort of) and Is Everything I Hoped It Would Be

I just learned there is something called the Institute for Creation Research, a place where one might be tempted to assume research takes place since it’s in the name (until one remembers that it’s about creationism). Here’s one attendee’s anticlimactic account of his visit:

I know there is a lot of… scientific evidence — we are here at the Institute for Creation Research — and there is a lot of, really, all science, it just points to the validation of the Genesis account.

My morbid curiosity took over, and I had to learn more about this place where science goes to die. As the boy says, there must be research because “research” is in the name! Is this like one of those pregnancy crisis centers that provide counsel on neither crisis nor pregnancies? What does this creation research look like? Do they sit around a table and read the bible together? Do they have tea with the pope and discuss his information conduit to Jesus, wherein Jesus shares all sorts of factoids? Tell me more! I want to dance through the Sistine Chapel and shout “peer reviewed articles” and “Genesis!”

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Of Parables and Overthinking

exodus

I was laughing about my decision to watch Exodus Gods and Kings drunk the other night with some coworkers, and most laughed with me and understood that it was a bad movie–even if a few hadn’t seen it yet, they knew. They just knew. Everyone knows Exodus is just a bad story. This position doesn’t need empirical evidence….the story is the empirical evidence. It’s no Charles Dickens masterpiece, folks. It’s a few pages of a wealthy heir growing morals upon discovering the suffering peoples have something to do with him. While the Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments adds a few extra hours of assumptions to the story (which make it quite enthralling and altogether a great story and film), I think Exodus Gods & Kings does a more honest job (albeit tongue-in-cheek) grappling this, as the film opens with him literally –not figuratively– conquering a village and slaughtering its inhabitants. But they don’t look like him, so it’s all good. Some people will blink at me, though, and simply ask, “What was wrong with Exodus Gods and Kings?” Uh, okay, lady. I don’t have seven hours free tonight, so maybe I’ll let this one go.

It never ceases to amaze me how much thought religious people try to put into a few paragraphs of a story from thousands of years ago, which has ultimately played telephone so many times before it even lands in the hands of a literate person wealthy enough to own paper and ink that it finally gets written down, and then translated and rewritten a few more dozen times until finally Europe sees it and has a meeting about it. “OMG, it’s so deep, what does it mean? There’s so many layers. It’s all about the subtext. What Jesus really means here is that it’s about our feelings, and do unto others, etc.” Ladies and gentlemen, these stories are usually stupid. Here, let me help. The Luke Multitude “parable” is about how all the town idiots didn’t have the foresight, awareness, or perhaps the wherewithal to pack a goddamned lunch when they head across town to attend a sermon. So, Jesus felt bad when his attendees voiced their bellyaching instead of going home and eating like an adult (TM) might think to do rather than inconveniencing the presenter. Jesus caves and pulls some catering out of his ass. The lesson is that if you neglect to bring a lunch and if you whine enough times with enough puppyface frowns, Greg, the office doormat, might just buy you Chipotle to avoid conflict.

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