Category Archives: Atheism

Thou Shalt Not Lie


-- Download Thou Shalt Not Lie as PDF --


This is a commandment that I actually agree with. I’ve heard atheists argue that this can be a problem because occasionally telling a lie is the right thing to do, such as if you were hiding a Jewish person in your attic in Nazi Germany. This is one of the few cases where I tend to agree with the Christians instead of the atheists. I would make a few exceptions for if you’re lying to a government entity or a selfish corporation, but I believe that it’s never okay to lie or deliberately deceive an individual a person.

However, I find it truly ironic that atheists tend to be the ones who keep saying there should be exceptions to this commandment, then they turn around and follow it nearly perfectly. On the other hand, Christians tend toward the opposite: they believe wholeheartedly in the absoluteness of this commandment, then make up all sorts of excuses to avoid following it.

And sometimes it blows my mind just how common and acceptable lying really is in our society, and it makes me angry, to the point where I wish people would shout about this commandment more often.

Too often we don’t even stop to think about a blatant lie or even consider that it might be morally wrong. For example, in my state, bartenders are legally required to flat-out lie to people’s faces when they ask what time it is, telling them that it’s fifteen minutes later than it really is. Instead of recognizing this as a direct violation of one of the Bible’s commandments, we simply call it “bar time”.

Then we lie to our children, and for the lamest reasons too, such as convenience, or because we think it’s cute. We tell them about Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny as though they’re real, without bothering to care about how that distorts their ability to perceive reality or how it teaches them that lying is acceptable if it makes someone feel good temporarily. Then many adults (admittedly not all) occasionally lie to children simply to mock them and laugh at their gullibility. I remember my first-grade teacher did this on a regular basis.

Recently a friend had a problem with her son’s behavior. The kid had clearly been wrong for what he did, but she was so desperate to find an immediate and absolute solution that she told him that whenever he was bad she would always find out, no matter what, that adults always know when you do things like this and you’ll always get caught. As I heard this, I was watching the kid’s face and could see his complete lack of respect for her bold-faced lie. Kid’s aren’t idiots and they know that they can get away with stuff, because they’ve gotten away with stuff in the past. Saying things like that simply encourages kids to distrust everything their parents say and teaches them how to lie themselves.

Lies, lies, lies. For some reason people only seem to see lying as wrong in our society if it’s happening to them.

These Four Walls


-- Download These Four Walls as PDF --


In 2011, I started writing a story about a woman living in a house who is being visited by demons every night and getting raped by them. This was inspired by a friend who was (and probably still is) having to live through this. After I wrote the first couple sections here, I wound up getting a roommate and my social life kind of exploded and I just haven’t had the time to come back. Now I’ve forgotten a lot of the mood that I wanted to portray with this. I still remember the actual events I was going to write out to conclude it but I can’t quite remember how I wanted it all to feel, so I decided not to return to this story.

However, yesterday I was looking through old drafts and found this and was surprised that I really like what I’ve done with it so far, so I figured I’d post what I have and finish it off with the outline I had in mind.

This story is kind of told from the perspective of the woman’s house. You still see inside the characters heads and you still have only one POV character at a time, but all the events of the story occur in the home and I think my plan was that in the end she would have some kind of communication with the house and it would help heal her of the delusions she was so convinced were real demons.

So here it is:

2011.

After midnight the demons would make contact and promise they were about to rape her. Most nights she would fight, her soul crying out in fury, but blocked deep in sleep. She would rise and walk to the living room to stand motionless for unknown periods of time, staring at Simon’s urn above the fireplace, blocking every other part of her mind. She would pray to wake, plead for morning, but remain, seemingly for hours, in a daze, aware she was dreaming and sleepwalking, but unable to do anything about it. She would awaken exhausted, sometimes on the couch in the living room, sometimes in the den, the porch swing, and occasionally, David’s old room.

Other nights it would prove too much and Susan would give up, prepare for the pain and humiliation, then wait for it. The spirits would invade her from the back of her mind, manipulating, distracting and tricking her with her own emotions. She would lie, half asleep, quietly sobbing, pleading with them to stop, but the more pain she felt the more they would laugh, the more they would tease, until finally, she had no choice but to bring them in, to ask them to get it over with, to sink into that helpless reality and accept that God had handed her soul to the demons for their pleasure.

They would refuse, telling her she had to beg for it. She had to want it. She had to need it. She had to fall into that pit of demonic desires and forgo everything good and pure, and allow her mind to become that of a slave. The spirits promised that someday the torture would prove too much for her, and she would fall, broken and sobbing to her knees, pleading for the revolting act that would provide that final release of acceptance at becoming a simple, degraded servant to the darkness that dwells at the bottom.

She would awaken terrified, exhausted, telling herself it wasn’t real, but forever thankful that she never took that final step. She would stagger to the kitchen, hit play on her husband’s video cassette, then sit at the computer in a daze to accept her gifts and tend her crops, pushing everything from her mind to think of nothing but gaining gold and experience on her farm.

Later in the day she would think about her nightmares. She would hear David screaming at her, attacking everything she cared about, telling her she was delusional, that all these experiences come ultimately from the church, from God, and the destructive conflicts that religion brings to the minds of believers. He told her the very thing she loved the most was a lie that had caused all the pain she was now experiencing. It was all just mental processes gone wrong, damaged and distorted from years of obsessive spirituality and prayer.

Perhaps there was no point to all this, there were no demons to blame, no angels to look toward. Perhaps all this was just her own thoughts. …and the rape… just her own blocked desires, buried through years of repression and an acceptable but unsatisfying marriage, from years of playing it safe, trying to be good, avoiding carnal pleasures, and for choosing sacrifice and devotion to God instead of embracing life. The torture could all be her own doing, all based on simple science and psychological processes.

But that demon was too horrible to be true.

——————————-

His father’s tortured screams echoed through his childhood home as David sat, rapping his fingers on the kitchen table. “Are you gonna play FarmVille all day, Mom?”

“I’ve just got to collect my gifts and harvest and visit some friends,” she replied absently, her eyes glued to the screen as though she needed to become one with the monitor.

“That’s gonna take you two hours. I thought we were gonna go out to eat.”

“I can make you grilled cheese and soup.”

He sighed. “No, I can make it myself. Don’t want you to lose out on any farming time.” He stood, but stopped to stare for a long moment at his father on the television in his hospital bed, his face contorted as he whimpered, burying his face in the pillow.

“Do you need anything?” Susan asked.

“Can I turn this off?”

“Why?”

David watched for another long moment. “I don’t like watching Dad dying. No wonder you see demons.”

“If I had a better video, I’d play that, but it never occurred to me that I’d lose him until he was lying there in the hospital. This is all I have of him.”

“Pictures,” David said.

“It’s 2011. I need more than pictures. I need to hear his voice.”

“But he’s in so much pain…”

“Yeah, but his voice still comforts me.” She glanced over her shoulder toward him. “Why do you need to criticize everything I do?”

“It’s just so… morbid. And I worry what this stuff might be doing to you.”

“Fine,” she replied. “You want to turn it off, then turn it off.”

“No,” he replied, stepping toward the refrigerator. “If you like it that much, I can deal… but…” he chuckled nervously. “Why can’t you watch Jeopardy like normal moms your age?”

“I’m not smart enough for Jeopardy.”

“Oh, don’t say that…”

“You know it’s true,” she replied. “I can be honest about it. You of all people should understand I don’t have the brain for that kind of thing. My mind is broken, like you always say.”

“I don’t say that. What I say is that we’re all imperfect products of evolution–”

“Here we go…”

“Our brains developed over millions of years of randomness, confusion, and animals bumping into each other. We’re never going to be perfect–we’re never even going to be rational–but we can find ways to deal with our minds the way they are if we have the courage to admit to ourselves how our lives really work.”

“It’s all about brains and chemistry to you.”

“We need to recognize that much before we can understand who we are and where we’re going as human beings.” He stared into the refrigerator. Nothing looked good. He wasn’t here to eat anyway.

He stood in silence for a long moment, listening to his father’s heavy, pained breathing, the background static of the video and the hum of the refrigerator.

“I like watching the video,” Susan said absently, followed by a long pause. “Maybe I can find a clue.”

“To why he was walking in the road?” David asked.

Another long pause. “Yeah.”

David slowly shut the refrigerator. “This isn’t Scooby Doo, Mom. Sometimes accidents happen. He just wasn’t thinking, wasn’t paying attention. It’s been three years. It doesn’t matter at this point.”

“I want to know.”

“I know you do.” He sat back at the table with a sigh and a scrape of the aluminum chair against the floor.

“I know you’re trying to find some way to blame it on our beliefs.”

David sighed as he stared at his mom’s back. She didn’t hate him. He knew that. She did, however, believe he might be sent from hell. Perhaps this was why she refused to look away from Farmville while in his presence. “I’m not trying to do that at all. Everyone makes mistakes, regardless of what they believe.”

“I feel like you’re always trying to pick away, to find something you can criticize about the church, like how you’re constantly blaming my nightmares on the church.”

“Yeah,” he replied. “And I stand by that one. That’s why I don’t get nightmares, because I don’t believe in the supernatural.”

“Hmm…”

“What do you think about going to see someone, like a professional?”

“I’ve talked to a lot of people about this.”

“At the church?”

“Yeah,” she replied.

“Well, I think it would be good for you to get an opinion from someone outside of the church.”

“Hmmm…” she replied.

“Did anyone ever come forward about the money?”

“The money?” she asked.

“The six hundred dollars they left on the porch?”

“No. I’m sure it was just someone from church trying to help out.”

“Yeah, probably.”

 

So I think so far you can see the woman has a son who is an atheist, and this is a point of contention between them. She’s addicted to FarmVille and a handful of other online games. (Retired women are now technically the largest demographic for video gaming, playing mostly facebook style casual games). She also has a video

In the next section I’m going to go back to about 2009 or so, and show the father befriending a few teenagers who are clearly trying to take advantage of him. He gives them money for something, twenty bucks here and there, telling him its for the church or something. We see that on some level he knows he’s being used, but he wants to believe so badly that these are good Christian kids and keeps giving them money, unbeknownst to his wife, who does not like them. Their lies become more and more outlandish, and each time, one part of his mind believes them and another part can clearly see they’re lies. At the same time, however, he has some very deep conversations with the kids about the meaning of life, God, the meaning of being good. I think there may have been a scene where the woman finds out he’s been giving them money and they have a fight about it, and the man talks about how important it is to give people the benefit of the doubt and have faith in the good within all humans, even if it’s hard to see sometimes.

But then one of the kids takes the religious manipulation a bit too far and tells the man that to prove your faith to God you should close your eyes and step blindly out into traffic. God will protect you, and you will prove yourself worthy… I don’t know, I had a plan on how to make all that sound plausible but can’t quite remember how I was gonna do it. The man doesn’t believe them and realizes they’re just messing with him, especially because the other kids are suddenly saying the guy is crazy… but over the next couple days, the man can’t get the words out of his head and in a moment of passionate prayer, the man decides to go for it, closing his eyes and stepping out into traffic in front of their house. Since the story is told from the house, all we hear is the screeching of the tires and a woman screaming for someone to call 911.

When the woman hears her husband is in the hospital and probably won’t make it, she realizes she has nothing to remember him by, pulls the old VHS camcorder out of the closet, not stopping to think her cell phone could probably get a better picture, and sets it up to record him, but he’s in so much pain that she never gets to hear his real voice. Of course, we don’t actually see the hospital room, and only the things that happen in the home. She watches the video over and over, thinking that it’s close enough to the real him, and in a weird way the video comforts her, at least on the surface, but in reality she’s watching him die over and over, which doesn’t help with the nightmares.

I think in the end she gives up and lets the demons overtake her instead of fighting them, and at the same time, allows herself to embrace her son’s perspective, which she views as a demon as well, but finds that the demons don’t feel nearly as demonic as she thought. I think her son’s perspective inspires her to think the house is the problem, like it’s haunted and she just needs to get out, which isn’t really the case, but at least she’s thinking in some kind of real-world cause and effect way, so she sort of merges her religion with her son’s perspective and it leaves it implying that she’s on the way to exorcising these demons. There was supposed to be something about the house itself subtly helping her along with this idea, but I can’t remember how I was going to do that.

There was also supposed to be a scene in the son’s childhood but I completely forgot what that was about. Also, shortly after the dad’s death, the kid who told him to do it, comes back and leaves the money on the porch.

I dunno… it woulda been cool if I’d finished it but the outline doesn’t do justice to the vision I had :)

Famous Atheists


-- Download Famous Atheists as PDF --


So Yeah, I’m trying to change to a much more casual, freestyle form of writing now on this blog and at the same time I’m trying to clear out all the junk that’s been sitting in the backlog… though it might not be junk. I don’t know really. I’m just gonna post it.

So anywhooo… this is something I wrote years ago and printed them out. I had it posted right outside my front door so that the Jehovah’s Witnesses would know who they were dealing with… but it didn’t deter them. They still came back every couple weeks and we’d stand in my front door for twenty minutes every time as they explained their religion to me with me only occasionally pointing out how they were wrong :)

Anyway… that’s the problem with me writing like this is I may wander off on tangents. Anyway, I’m not certain all these people identify as atheist. I think I got them from some big internet list and I don’t know what their criteria was. I like the George Bush quote. Shows how much people hate atheists… at least in theory anyway. I have not personally ever been a victim of discrimination due to my atheism so I’m not sure how prevalent that is but I sure do see the hate in the things they say on the internet and imply in other forms of media and in the church boards… but perhaps that is just me being… I don’t know… what’s it called when someone is searching for a way to feel victimized?

Anyway, this is a thing I wrote a bunch of years ago.

Famous Atheists

Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Bruce Lee, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Susan B. Anthony, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Hepburn, Eddie Vedder, Gene Roddenberry, Isaac Asimov, Dave Matthews, KurtVonnegutjr.,Lance Armstrong, Bjork, Marlon Brando, David Attenborough, Frank Zappa, Robert Heinlein, Ani DiFranco, David Gilmour, George Carlin, Noam Chomsky, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Jack Nicholson, Janeane Garofalo, Trent Reznor, Jodie Foster, Penn and Teller, Christopher Reeve, Warren Buffet, John Malkovich, Salmon Rushtie, Henry Rollins, Robert Silverberg, Mark Twain.

“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”

  • George Bush Sr.

—————————————–

There are four famous Atheists that I feel can be very significant to the argument that atheists deserve equal representation and equal respect in our society. Those people are Bruce Lee, David Attenborough, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are significant because religious supporters often argue that religions do more charity work than non-religious individuals, but these two men donated a significant portion of their outrageous fortunes to the betterment of mankind.

David Attenborough is significant because the religious often argue that the existence of God can be seen in nature, and the more you appreciate nature, the more you can see God’s creative hands, but David Attenborough has made a career out of studying, and more importantly, appreciating the beauty of nature, and helping others to appreciate that beauty, and is arguably one of the most influential people in the world in that regard.

And finally, Bruce Lee is significant because of the mistaken impression that many religious individuals have that Atheists are not spiritual, or that we have a reduced level of spirituality as a result of our atheism. The martial arts is arguably one of the most spiritual of professions outside of the church, and Bruce Lee is widely considered to be the greatest martial artist of all time. For a spiritual person it’s very hard to imagine that Lee was capable of accomplishing all that he did in the world of martial arts without a deeply spiritual intellect.

Atheist Quotes


-- Download Atheist Quotes as PDF --


Here’s a few quotes I had lying around that I felt kinda applied to atheism or at least my views on spirituality. I have probably skipped over most of the good ones and after looking over these quotes again, it’s kind of a sad list, but there it is. I can’t guarantee they’re accurate and whatnot. I figure I’ll post them anyway since I’m trying to start just writing and posting without thinking and debating so much about what I say and not worrying so much about what people think. Most of what writers write is crap anyway and you never know when you’ll hit a gem… of course I’m posting things other people said here so maybe that doesn’t apply.

——————–

“…you fool yourselves with images of things you cannot possibly understand. You cripple yourselves with these tools of ritual and ceremony. They give you only fear. And in return you give them obedience. But I give you a warning: those who accept self deception, shall perish by that self deception.

The Children of Dune (Movie)

——————–

“People wanna believe Todd exists, so anything you say in the name of Todd, people will tend to buy. You see, you can play Todd; but you still can’t play Dogbert.”

-Dilbert (Dogbert speaking)

—————-

“Is this not enough… this blessed sip of life, is it not enough, staring down at the ground, well then complain and pray for more from above you greedy little thing.”

Dave Matthews

—————

“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” – Gene Roddenberry

——————–

“[religions] are all alike – founded on fables and mythology” – Thomas Jefferson

————————-

“Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses… we must get rid of it as quick as we can.”

Arthur C. Clarke

————————–

Tell me why you wanna be blind

I don’t wanna be normal like you

Everclear

————————–

We are eternal

All this pain is an illusion

-Tool

————————–

Are you locked up in a world that’s been planned out for you?

Are you feeling like a social tool without a use?

-Green Day

————————–

Don’t you rob yourself of what you’re feeling

Dave Matthews

————————–

We spend all of our lives going out of our minds

live

————————–

Everything you know is wrong.

Weird Al Yankovic

————————–

I was wrong.

This changes everything.

-Tool

————————–

This ground is not the rock I thought it to be

-Tool

————————–

Arrogance and ignorance go hand in hand

-Metallica

————————–

A single spark of passion can change a man forever,

covenant

—————————

You make believe that nothing is wrong until you’re cryin’

And you make believe that life is so long until you’re dyin’.

-Limp Bizkit

—————————

…ask myself how much I let the fear take the wheel and steer.

-incubus

—————————

“Why should we believe in a god, that doesnt believe in us?”

-Marilyn Manson

—————————

One hates what one fears.

-Marilyn Manson

—————————

if i believed in an outside force that we wanted to call God – and i believe that there is one. i think God would appreciate what i say, because i can’t see God wanting to create a world full of idiots

-Marilyn Manson

—————————

yesterday’s answers have nothing to do with today’s questions

life can only be understood in reverse…

but must be lived forwards

-megadeth

—————————

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

– Dresden James

—————————

“It has ever been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues” – Abraham Lincoln

—————————

“Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.” – George Santayana

—————————

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism” – William Osler

New study raises questions about religion as deterrent against criminal behaviour

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/study

Interesting article about a study showing that religion might be counter-productive to crime prevention. This was posted by a reader on my 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime page. I’m glad people are finally acknowledging this, but I have a few complaints about the article, like how it implies that only criminals have distorted views on religion, as though the normal religious folks are in complete agreement. I’m sure the author and the researchers were being careful not to offend anyone, but this article tries to imply that this is not a symptom of a fundamental issue with religion, but rather a minor detail that’s not being handled properly in our prisons, but then fails to explain how religion actually has a positive effect. It quotes the study, “faith-based programs work best in reducing recidivism when done in conjunction with educational, vocational and life-skills training,” and this makes sense, much like how chicken-fried steak is great for weight loss when done in conjunction with vigorous exercise.

Faith • Equality • Family

Home – Faith • Equality • Family.

This is a website I just had to share because as an anarchist I believe in embracing whatever I can to shake up my beliefs, anything that makes me see things in a different light, and as an atheist, I have to be fair to the competition, so to be fair, here is an excellent example of a faith-based community that I could get behind.

You can also watch their intro video here.

This site is specifically focused on LGBT and gay issues within the church and does a great job of arguing that the homophobic attitudes do not reflect the true intent of religion, but more importantly it’s an example of a community that sees God as love.

Glass Houses Can be a Great Strategy

So I’ve been thinking lately about that old phrase, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” and I’ve kind of noticed that certain people in our society actually use the exact opposite strategy–and use it quite effectively–to win arguments. Some people seem to go out of their way to make their “house” as weak and pathetic as they possibly can, so that they can throw as many “stones” as they want at others, without really having to worry about anyone throwing back because they know they would utterly destroy the person if they did. I find it so strange, but it seems as though some of the most emotionally fragile people in this world are the ones who throw around the most insults.

On an individual level, I think this happens subconsciously and the people doing it are unaware of their hypocrisy. However, I also think this strategy is being deliberately used on the political spectrum, and compassionate people are falling for it… and I think atheists tend to be some of the biggest suckers for this strategy… along with heterosexual men :)

Religion vs Methamphetamines


-- Download Religion vs Methamphetamines as PDF --


Got a response on my Religion Promotes Crime page.

Hi, Folks!
We all need to be open-minded and avoid being a bigot and an attitude of a doctrinaire.
As a free-thinker, I believe it’s one’s upbringing, surroundings, mind-frame, outlook and attitude that decides and determines one’s lifestyle and future.
Any Religion, for that matter, is not at all to blamed for all the evils that exists or are committed by individuals. As such, you cannot generalize on any count.
Every Religion, without any exception, teaches and preaches humanitarian values that lead to welfare of mankind and every society.
All Religions’ teachings are ethical and spread moralism.
God’s blessings on Patriarch Abraham, Lord Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Lord Buddha, Lord Zoroaster, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Baha’ Ullah, Lord Nanak Devji, Lord Mahavir!
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Bahaism, all are good Religions, leading you, ultimately, to the same God-Rabb-Elohim-Allah-Khuda-Yazdaan-Bhagwaan-Eshwar-Deo-Dei, all leading us to the same path of peace and propagating humanity.
Please don’t blame the Religions, blame your own misunderstanding and lack of awareness, your mental level, as you are unable to grasp and understand the true meaning and message of the Holy teachings of all Religions.
I shall do a treatise on this subject, later on, in more details.
Hope, for the time being, this shall be a food for thought.
God bless ye all!

And this is my reply:

Free thinkers decide their lifestyle and future based on facts, science, and real-world cause and effect, not on what they’ve been told or what makes them feel comfortable within their culture.

If I wrote an article about methamphetamine and point out that meth users statistically commit more crime, does that make me bigoted toward meth users? No. If I met a meth user and automatically assumed he was a thief, that would be bigotry on my part. I do not do that. I also do not automatically assume every religious person is a criminal. That would be bigotry. But simply pointing out logical cause-and-effect and showing statistics cannot be construed as bigotry. It’s a very manipulative argument that you’ve made, trying to paint yourself as a victim because real-world facts don’t match your world view. I am not under any obligation to ignore reality to make you feel better.

You say, “All Religions’ teachings are ethical and spread moralism.” but notice how you’ve offered not one piece of evidence to support this. Not one statistic about religious individuals, not one example of real-world cause and effect. Not even a personal anecdote. I could just as easily say “meth addiction promotes ethical behavior and moralism. Every meth lab, without exception, provides humanitarian values that lead to welfare of mankind and every society.”
That statement I just made has the exact same validity as yours because neither of us has offered a single piece of evidence.

How do I Kill the Negativity?


-- Download How do I Kill the Negativity? as PDF --


A couple days ago I posted a Conversation I had with a Christian about God and the value of religion and I’m still thinking about it and hoping I didn’t notably hurt any feelings. I actually wrote to the Social IQ Lady, my favorite atheist blogger, and twelve hours later she’d written a thoughtful post about it. I asked her if it had been worth my time, but maybe what I was thinking more of is was it worth the hurt feelings? (It never occurred to me that the term ‘Dude’ could be derogatory but now that she points it out, it makes perfect sense.) Writing a blog post about a general concept is a lot different than arguing directly with someone because there’s no way to avoid the sense that you’re attacking and having a little battle.

The reason I like the Social IQ Lady so much is because she’s found a way to be mostly positive, avoids anything that’s purposefully insulting, but still manages to make meaningful atheist points. Most other atheist sites I’ve found either dilute their message, or resort to insults and accusations of evil. I used to read BlagHag, but after elevatorgate 2011, I couldn’t handle the nastiness anymore.

One major reason I never revived my previous website was because it had become so negative. It was marijuana-focused and atheism was a side-issue, so most of my readers came looking for info about weed, then the religious ones got offended by some of my articles and would say nasty things, then I would try to show my superior writing skill by out-insulting them. Then the next person would see those posts and it would serve as an invitation for more nastiness. (Ironically my first website started as a celebration of God and faith but it turned into anti-religious nastiness.) I’m doing a whole lot better with kalinbooks. I can’t think of any point where I’ve been purposefully hurtful, though in a lot of ways I’m saying things that are more harsh than I did on my previous site. I have not received one death-threat since I revamped this site in 2010 so I’m not doing too horribly.

But still, I’m so negative all the time. While i don’t say anything deliberately hurtful, all my posts seem to be about what’s wrong with things. I talk about police brutality and all the things that are wrong with criminal justice. I talk about atheism, but instead of focusing on the benefits of mental freedom and equality, I focus on the ways religion has harmed myself and society. I really want to write a series of posts about my vision of a Utopian society and outline how humans could live peacefully without laws and religion. I have so many ideas in my head, but instead I just attack our current society without offering alternatives :(

I keep thinking about another negative post I want to write about Ted Bundy and how reading a couple books about him cemented my anarchism, explaining how criminal justice inspired him to kill and how the police helped him get away with it.

But there’s a part of the Ted Bundy post I need to remember to include. Most people don’t know that he actually volunteered and worked tirelessly at a suicide hotline, saving possibly as many people as he killed… but even fewer people know about the story of one of the women who got away.

Ted Bundy, in the midst of his killing years, stopped to pick up a young female hitchhiker. Once she realized he had lied about where they were going, he admitted that he intended to rape and murder her. Something about her state-of-mind, however, was different than his other victims. Perhaps the situation was so surreal that her brain somehow skipped over the fear. Instead of screaming and crying and calling him names, she started talking to him like a person, asking him about his childhood, about his motivations, about how he feels when he’s killing people, and how he thinks his victims feel. Despite the fact that he was about to brutally murder her, she remained relatively respectful and continued calmly talking to him about the situation until finally he pulled off to the side of the road, told her that she’d earned his respect, and let her go.

Part of me wants to ask how it’s possible that someone can admit to a random stranger that he’s a serial killer and the cops still can’t bust him, but what’s really important in this story is the fact that one woman did in a half hour conversation what millions of dollars of criminal justice could not, and the key to her success was the fact that she respected him, despite what a monster he was. This is the kind of thing I want to talk about on this site, those beacons of hope, and the fact that so few people have faith in these days, that every person, no matter how evil or insane, can still be reached through communication and compassion. I have no idea if I’ll succeed.

This is a Real Conversation I had with a Christian


-- Download This is a Real Conversation I had with a Christian as PDF --


Whew… I’m so very sorry that I have to do this, but I must. Today I’m posting a conversation I had with a Christian Facebook friend.

I made him cry.

I’ll call him “G”. I did not edit this, other than his name and cutting out the beginning where we made smalltalk and I told him that I had gotten a job in the porn industry (writing Javascript and Actionscript), which got this whole talk on God started.

I think this conversation illuminates a few interesting things. First, is the fact that ethnocentrism is an inherent and integral part of the Christian religion.

Another is how Christianity justifies violence, and how Christians systematically turn a blind eye toward the suffering of others, particularly when it’s caused by their own religion. Watch for the parts where I basically get him to admit his support for killing in the name of God.

You may also note the common religious strategy of bombarding opponents with catch-phrases and creative ways of saying God is wonderful, while evading any topic that is difficult for them to address.

I feel pretty bad that I made him cry, but after reading back through this, I realize I stuck to compassionate verbal strategies. I don’t change my argument to save people’s feelings, but I never say anything purposefully designed to hurt. It’s not okay to let someone tell lies simply because the truth hurts but it’s also not okay to purposefully insult them. I think I did a good job maintaining that balance.

Oddly enough, this guy is a huge fan of my writing… or was. How that happened I have no idea, but to give an example, this is the first message he ever sent me on Facebook, about a year and a half ago:

I know it is my duty 2 celebrate ur lordship sir. I’ve been 2 ur site & i’ve known wht it weigh in term of knowledge, more greese 2 ur elbow sir. Sir, hw i wish i could b like u, nt necessarily become a poet like u but i want u 2 mentor me in ways & hw i can improve on my self in writing. Ave had some articles 2 my credit, bt i think as a father & my mentor there would b ways u canmake me improve on my self. My name is G, an engineering student in 1 of nigeria university. Thanks sir.

Note that he’s an engineering student, and apparently a published author, as in, he’s not a crazy street-person. But he did ask me to be his mentor, so I guess he kind of asked for this.

So without further ado, here is the unedited conversation. I made comments in red.

 

G:

Wht?

Nudity! Y should u take dat job sir?

 

Kalin:

I like porn and it’s an awesome company

they definitely treat us better than any company I’ve worked for before

and surprisingly it’s the most professional company I’ve ever worked for

 

G:

Havent God being faithful enough? Is sinful sir, detestable in God’s sight.

 

Kalin:

are you joking?

 

G:

I’m sorry 4 i went offline. It was wht u said dat sacred me 2 d pt where my phone fell & scattered on ground

 

Kalin:

lol

 

G:

I’m serious it doesn’t worth it sir

 

Kalin:

what’s doesn’t worth it?

you’re serious that you think porn is wrong because god told you so?

religion kills countless people and porn hurts no one

Note: I said this in the heat of anger. What I should have said was that the porn industry hurts fewer people than the advertising industry where I worked previously, or the fast food, automobile, oil or military industries.

 

G:

No matter hw much they r saying God is still nt on their side

 

Kalin:

a woman was murdered in the name of God on the front lawn of the home where I grew up

Note: I say a few crazy things about my personal experiences. I assure you, I did not make any of them up. I actually knew the guy who killed this woman and you can read one story I wrote about him.

to use God to push twisted moral values when so many people are killed in the name of God and so much hatred in the name of God you have no right to judge others in God’s name

 

G:

Y?

Hw?

 

Kalin:

the concept of God causes such an insane amount of harm in our society

have you read my article, 22 ways religion promotes crime?

http://kalinbooks.com/atheism-religion/22-ways-religion-promotes-crime/

 

G:

I’m nt judging sir. D scripture only says we should offer r body as a living sacrifice 2 d lord. Porn dont justify dat sir

 

Kalin:

I’m an atheist dude

I used to be a Christian but it almost killed me

God is nothing but a delusion dude

 

G:

No sir, i wil check dat out rht away sir

 

Kalin:

cool

hey sorry if I get all defensive

 

G:

Pls sir

 

Kalin:

god is just a touchy subject for me

 

G:

Pls sir

Sir, i’m a living testimony dat God is real. I died wen i was operated on jan 9 2012. I say Jesus christ wit my eyes, sir, i saw heaven, sir, God is real

 

Kalin:

how many times have you seen god?

 

G:

10nk God 4 taking bk 2 life. Sir dont let anybody deceive u Jesus is real sir

 

Kalin:

how many times have you talked to him?

 

G:

Sir, he reveals himself even everyday 2me 2ru d scripture, bt after my coming bk 2 life. I only saw him 1s more again in my dream & he spoke 2 me

 

Kalin:

so you’ve seen him twice?

did you at least thank the doctors who actually saved your life?

 

G:

Sir is there any thing i could do 2 convince u?

 

Kalin:

Like I told you I used to be a Christian

Note: Admittedly this could be a little misleading. There was a two-year period of my life where I accepted Jesus as my personal savior. I wasn’t actually involved in any church or organized Christianity and my personal religion was very non-standard but everything I tell G about my experiences are completely true.

if you have only seen God twice that’s not much proof for me

I saw God hundreds of times

God spoke to me and told me all sorts of amazing things

he told me to do stuff

I spoke with God on a daily basis

so I know all about your kind of experiences

 

G:

I died bt lived again by His grace. I fell @ d sight of His glory, its a revelation i would shear until death take me again

 

Kalin:

are you listening to what I’m saying?

did you thank the doctor at least?

 

G:

U r making me 2 cry now

 

Kalin:

the doctors most likely studied for years to be able to bring you back to life.

I’m sorry

but we need to face reality and you will be better off in the long run if you hear the other side of the story

I’ve found that life can be so much more magical without God than with Him

 

G:

Pls sir trust me. I mean wht i said, God loves us. He told me dis over & over again

 

Kalin:

yeah, He told me too

He also told me that Satan had invaded the Christian religion and had corrupted the Bible and poses as God and that the only way to escape it was to become atheist

but that was all just my mind playing tricks on me

Hey, I’m sorry if I upset you, man, but I have to keep it real, ya know

 

G:

Sir tell me u r only displaying ur talent & i wil belive u

 

Kalin:

not sure I understand

 

G:

Tell me dat all is just joke, & i wil hold bk my tears

 

Kalin:

no, I’m sorry it’s not a joke

I know it’s painful but you must remember that God does not hold a monopoly on goodness and kindness or the human spirit

just because he’s not real doesn’t mean there isn’t truly amazing and wonderful things in the world

 

G:

If Anyone could be real even more than my parent, God has always been real. He meant it wen he died 4 us. Is sin He could nt behold. Dat is y he seems so far bt times

 

Kalin:

When you think about evolution and how all the laws of the universe interact and how we all came here threw billions of years, it’s pretty darn amazing

Ok, I know you feel that way, but you’re not really making any actual arguments. You’re just saying that you believe in God using different words

And none of that justifies the harm caused by religion

 

G:

D scripture says we conquer d dragon by d word of r testimony, haven u read dat?

 

Kalin:

I read the first 27 chapters and it was so racist, sexist and hateful that I couldn’t handle it anymore

have you read my bible commentary?

http://kalinbooks.com/2011/genesis-bible-commentary-chapter-1/

I go through all 27 chapters and make comments along the way

 

G:

U mean d scripture?

 

Kalin:

we’re talking about the Bible,right?

 

G:

Sir, do u think there could b any architectural work without d maker?

Hw much more d design of dis world?

 

Kalin:

There could be an abstract maker but it’s unrealistic to think that priests and the authors of the Bible could actually understand Him

and it’s unrealistic to think that any creator has a direct hand in anything that happens on earth or in human affairs

 

G:

Do u think all just came up my chance? Dont u think there is a makes behind dis?

 

Kalin:

That’s what makes evolution so beautiful

there are natural laws in the universe that have played out to create what we see here

you can call that God if you want, and that’s reasonable

but the religious God is so far away from that that you can’t justify a specific religious God by arguing something so abstract

 

G:

D Lord is in Spirit & those who worship Him do so in spirit. U can never understand God 4rm d flesh view, it is d spirit dat reveals Gods secrets 2 his ppl & could only be understood by his ppl sir

 

Kalin:

Can you ever respond to any of my actual points?

I mean, you’re just finding different ways of saying God is magical

 

G:

U cant justify wht is of spirit by d flesh sir

 

Kalin:

then why does that spirit cause so much harm in the world?

God and religion has caused so much hate and violence in this world, how can you justify it just because it makes you feel good?

particularly when you have no idea how wonderful and amazing the alternative

I’m so much happier and more successful since I became a full-on atheist

 

G:

GOD is nt an author of confusion. Ppl confused His word. He is faithful 2 his word, ppl just labelled Him a liar(also 4 dat reason he was crucified). Even up 2 dis time, d veil dat tag Jesus as a corrupt & unreal person stil covers ppl’s eyes & can only be taken away if 1 turns 2 God

 

Kalin:

why can’t you answer any of my questions?

how does it justify all the hate?

 

G:

About ur sudden wealth sir, it only last in dis world, bt nt d world 2 come. Apostle Paul said & i quote: wht shall separate me 4rm d love of God, is it money?

 

Kalin:

I am a much better person since I became an atheist too

again, why can’t you answer my question?

 

G:

Who told u sir dat God cant provide all there, He said & i quote: i can do exceedingly above all u can ever think of. Is cos u r nt patient enough 2 wait on Him. He can do it only if u r among His sons

 

Kalin:

God repeatedly told me I was the second coming of Jesus

and told me I had to become an atheist because that was the only true path to God

why should I believe you over God Himself?

Note: Again, this actually happened to me. I’ve never talked about it because it’s so insane. Obviously now I realize it was just my mind and inflated ego playing tricks on me.

besides, you still haven’t answered my question?

What actual, real-world benefits do we see from religion that can justify all the hate and violence that comes from it?

 

G:

Being hated cos of Christ is nt something strange. D scripture says we dont ave an high priest(JESUS), who dont share in r weaknesses. If u r slapped cos of Christ, rememces jesus was 1s slapped, if u wept cos of Christ remember He 1st wept 2

 

Kalin:

Are you sure you’re not an automated bot?

 

G:

No sir.

 

Kalin:

You’re not actually responding to anything that I say

 

G:

I’m trying 2 respond sir

 

Kalin:

you haven’t shown me how religion actually benefits anyone

 

G:

GOD dont kills nt 2 say he would send his believers 2 hate others. D gosple is a good tiding. Its should never b 4ced on anybody. We only live it as God help us.

Christianity is nt a religion sir, is a way of life

 

Kalin:

Can you not see how ridiculous you’re being in terms of your approach to this conversation?

 

G:

Christianity dont captivates, it only liberates

 

Kalin:

every time I try to make a point you just spout out catch phrases and different ways to say that christianity and God are magical without ever explaining why or how or give any real-world statistics or examples

you need to really think for yourself

 

G:

Sir i told u, d gosple is d mind of God. D holy spirit only reveals it 2 God’s ppl 2ru d spirit. Hw do u want me 2 explain dis much better without d help of d spirit making u 2 understand, i’m helpless in dis case, cos i dont ave power 2 save or make d God’s mind 2 b understood. Its God himself dat draw ppl nearer 2 Himself. All wht i was saying & ave said all ave their basis in d scripture. Hw else do u want me 2 say it sir

 

Kalin:

so you’re basically just saying it’s magic and I should have faith? You reject the notion that there is any logical argument for christianity or belief in God?

 

G:

No! GOD is nt a magician, sir, until His word became flesh in u, i fear dat even if i talk till 2morrow, u might stil b thinking dat its magical.

 

Kalin:

you’re saying God is not a magician?

 

G:

Yes sir

 

Kalin:

yeah, you can’t convince me just by repeating catch-phrases and repeatedly telling me it’s wonderful without offering any logical arguments

if you believe there are logical arguments for religion and God, can you make one of them here for me?

 

G:

Sir, i am an engineering student, & i was thought logic & philosophy. Bt after being thought all dis, i could see dat its just a wisdom of dis world. INFACT, God dont think dat way. No wonder d scripture said He uses d foolishness of dis world 2 confound d wise sir.

Sir, i discarded dis wisdom cos 2ru dis i know i could become wise. Apostle Paul said & i quote : let God be right & every other person be wrong

 

Kalin:

you haven’t made any logical arguments

why can’t you just answer my simple question?

what has religion done for society that justifies the harm it has done?

 

G:

I told u sir. Stop classifying xtianity as a religion, is nt a religion, is a way of life. Call every other thing a religion bt nt xtianity

& i stand 2 tell u dat it has never done any havoc 2 mankind & wud never done it until Jesus returned bk

Is there any u know & could share wit me sir?

 

Kalin:

any harm from Christianity I could share with you?

 

G:

Logic & philosophy wont take u anywhere sir. Is a wisdom of dis world

 

Kalin:

do you not remember me saying that a woman was murdered on the front lawn of my childhood home in the name of Jesus?

did you read the statistics on my page about how 99% of all violent criminals come from religious households?

are you not aware of how many wars are motivated right now as a result of christianity? Why do you think my country wants a war with Iran so much? it’s because we’re %75 christian and we hate them for being muslim.

 

G:

Sir, anything dat happened 2 Christ is a replica of wht would happen 2 us. Christ died 4 us, we should be ready 2 die 4 him 2. Honestly, she had a glorious death.

Note: I believe he’s saying that the torturous death of Christ is a replica of hell if we don’t believe in the Christian God. At first I thought the last sentence was referring to Jesus, and it was a typo that he called Him a ‘she’. However, G talks in leetspeak but actually doesn’t have a lot of typos. Now I think he was actually saying that the woman murdered on the front lawn of my childhood home “had a glorious death” and that she “should be ready 2 die 4 him 2″.

 

Kalin:

You just made the claim that Christianity has not caused any harm in this world. Are you still standing by that claim?

Can you defend it in a logical manner or are you just asking us to have faith simply because God will torture us in the afterlife if we don’t?

 

G:

Yes, i could stand by it 2 any lenght sir. Even 2 d laying down of my life 4 gosple sake.

 

Kalin:

so how can you justify the woman who was murdered on my front lawn?

are you saying she was evil and deserved to die?

 

G:

Sir, i may b offline anytime cos my battery nw low, bt till then i’m still on

 

Kalin:

that’s how you get out of it?

 

G:

She died 4 d best course. Do u know hw peter died? Do u know hw paul died? 4 crying out loud, r u saying they r evil? No! They r nt. They chose 2 did 4 d cause they belive so much in 2ru Christ Jesus

 

Kalin:

so you’re saying her murder was a positive thing because it was done by the Lord?

 

G:

Ave told u dat God dont kills. If God could open ur eyes sir, u wil know dat there is no gain in gaining all dis world full of money & d rest bt lord God’s kingdom

 

Kalin:

But God told a man to kill a woman. That would not have happened if he were not a Christian

 

G:

I mean wht is d essence of gaining d whole world bt lost 1s life

 

Kalin:

Are you saying it’s no big deal if people die because God is more important?

I don’t know why you keep talking about money either. I’m not a fan of money myself

I just want you to explain how you can justify all the killing and hate done in the name of God, or show me some kind of evidence that those examples of hate and murder are not the result of God

 

G:

1s again sir, wen i’m talking about God here, i’m refering 2 Jesus Christ. I can only defend Him. Dont let anybody deceives u dat they were sent by him 2 kill. Its a lie. It happened 2 in d scripture. Every thing i was saying ave their paritutral bk up. I’m nt saying dis in my wisdom sir.

 

Kalin:

first of all, God does tell many people to kill in the scripture

second of all, God tells people to kill each other all the time

He once told me to kill someone

Note: I never went through with it, of course. Another little detail I’ve never talked about, though it’s one of the main reasons I fight so hard against religion.

Do you think each and every one of us is lying about it?

 

G:

Let everyone be wrong, bt God only be right sir

 

Kalin:

and we’re back to the catch-phrases

 

G:

Is nt God dat talked 2 u sir. Devil also talk 2 man.

 

Kalin:

Then why did they stop talking to me when I became an atheist

and why can’t the most devoted Christians never tell the two apart?

 

G:

Dat is y u need d spirit of God 2 discern all other spirits

 

Kalin:

But the ones who have the strongest spirit of God within them are the ones most likely to commit horrible acts

 

G:

Y did i love 2 talk 2 u wen i discoved who u r. I even cried bt love u more sir

Note: I feel bad for ignoring this statement, but had to press on because it’s necessary to speak the truth no matter how much it hurts. Ironically this is one of the few Christian fundamentals that continues to stick with me to this day. Thou shalt not lie… or as I interpret it, Thou shalt not evade the truth no matter how painful it may be, nor allow others to evade the truth.

 

Kalin:

And in the end, the devil comes along as a package deal with Christianity. By becoming Atheist you are rejecting the devil more than you are rejecting God

 

G:

U r wrong sir

 

Kalin:

So you can blame the devil, but the devil is just part of the beliefs of Christianity, so it’s still the religion that is promoting the hate and violence

 

G:

Sir…. Xtianity is nt a religion sir.

 

Kalin:

you said that before

but the muslim religion for example, is a religion?

 

G:

Yes dat is muslim, dis is xtianity i’m talking about sir

 

Kalin:

so you think Christianity is a way of life but the muslims just have a religion?

 

G:

We r nt serving dsame God sir.

 

Kalin:

do you know anything about how muslims live their lives or what they do on a daily basis?

They’re pretty similar in my eyes, but how can you say christianity is a way of life when other religions are not? Doesn’t that sound pretty pretentious to you?

Do you think other religions and belief systems don’t have every bit as much emotional passion as yours?

 

G:

U can be dedicated 2 cause & dat could neva make u rht if u s wrong 4rm d onset, Jesus christ is d only name given 2 us dat could save sir

 

Kalin:

so you’re saying Christianity is the only true religion and all others are fake?

 

G:

Yes sir

 

Kalin:

How can that not sound hateful to you?

 

G:

Bt sir is nt a religno

 

Kalin:

yeah, okay, Christianity is the true way of life and can’t be considered a religion. I get that you feel that way

but the muslim people feel that way about their religion and think yours is the false one

they have spoken to God more than you, most likely if you have only spoken to God on two occasions

 

G:

U no i 1s told u dat xtianity is nt a thing of 4s. Is either we accept it or leave it sir. No one 4ces anybody 2 belive in God. GOD only saves. I dont ave d power sir

 

Kalin:

countless people over the years have been forced to embrace Christianity

parents routinely force it upon their children

maybe you think Christianity shouldn’t be forced upon people but many Christians clearly do so

 

G:

I spoke 2 God spoke 2 me 2ru d scripture everyday. Hw could u think d so called muslim could talk 2 an unknown God?

 

Kalin:

They know God every bit as much as you do

and to claim that they don’t is just racist in my eyes

 

G:

Dat is where they Got it wrong. Gospel is a good news.it should nt b 4ced

 

Kalin:

But you said earlier that religion has not done harm

or I mean Christianity

How can they get it wrong if they are doing what they believe in their hearts God is telling them to do?

 

G:

Yes

 

Kalin:

I mean, the man who murdered that woman truly believed in his heart that God was speaking to him and that he was doing the right thing.

You can’t just say after the fact that “Oh, well they got that all wrong,” and then not offer any reliable means for how we can get it right

 

G:

They got it wrong sir

 

Kalin:

And Christians will continue to get it wrong, over and over and over

Because that kind of system is fundamentally flawed

 

G:

GOD doesn’t ask us 2 kill

 

Kalin:

I completely agree

because God is not real

It is our emotions, which we interpret as God, which are telling us to kill

There are countless examples of people who have claimed that God told them to kill

See, both logic and religion can be used to justify kindness, compassion, teamwork, forgiveness, because those are things that have value and give us a real-world return on our investment.

Only God can give us an excuse to murder

Note: I think his battery ran out at this point.

Hey, I’m sorry if all this got a little heated. I know I get riled up sometimes, but as an Atheist I believe everyone deserves love and compassion no matter what their beliefs and I would never wish harm on anyone for it.