I post mostly messages and commentary about religion and politics, and the scary occasions when they collide.
I am a: Liberal, Green, Christian, Math teacher
Lover of Math, Philosophy, Animals, Civil Rights, and Arguments of all kinds.

15th September 2014

Post with 11 notes

More Random Thoughts

Atheists who quote the bible to accuse other people of bad morality/bad Christianity…

You’re violating someone else’s religious standards in order to accuse them of violating their own religious standards. It’s so unbelievably hypocritical I don’t know how you do this without eating your own face off. 

Tagged: religionatheismbiblegodchristianchristianity

15th September 2014

Post with 1 note

Random Thoughts

I don’t believe in a literal devil, but I like writing about him in books. To the people who ask ‘why would the devil punish me for doing what he wants me to do?!’

…Because he’s evil. It’s what evil does. Want love or understanding? You gotta talk to God about that.

Tagged: religiondevilsatanchristianitywriting

14th September 2014

Photo reblogged from A Little of This, and A Lot of That with 3 notes

crewislife:

Have “#Christians” even read their magic storybook? Methinks, no. #hypocrisy #religitard #religion #goodwithoutgod #atheist

Always is it that Christians aren’t being good enough for atheists. Sometimes I think some atheists lose faith because Christianity hasn’t brought about the utopia they think the religion promised already… which is a bit sad. As for Mark 10:21, however…
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”
This was said to a wealthy man who claimed to be following all the commandments and expressed great pride at having done so since he was a child. Considering that this quote comes right before the one about the ‘camel passing through the eye of the needle’,  it might be helpful to ask why Jesus says this and what is the one thing the man lacks: Humility. Moreover, he loves his money more than God(as he supposedly believes Christ was God), and refuses to sell his wealth in order to follow Jesus.
So, there’s several things to take from this, and none of them necessarily lead us all to live as paupers for our entire lives:
-It is good to help those in need and not oppress those who are suffering
-Humility is more important than following every single commandment
-Don’t place more value on wealth than on God.
Seems reasonable enough.

crewislife:

Have “#Christians” even read their magic storybook? Methinks, no. #hypocrisy #religitard #religion #goodwithoutgod #atheist

Always is it that Christians aren’t being good enough for atheists. Sometimes I think some atheists lose faith because Christianity hasn’t brought about the utopia they think the religion promised already… which is a bit sad. As for Mark 10:21, however…

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”

This was said to a wealthy man who claimed to be following all the commandments and expressed great pride at having done so since he was a child. Considering that this quote comes right before the one about the ‘camel passing through the eye of the needle’,  it might be helpful to ask why Jesus says this and what is the one thing the man lacks: Humility. Moreover, he loves his money more than God(as he supposedly believes Christ was God), and refuses to sell his wealth in order to follow Jesus.

So, there’s several things to take from this, and none of them necessarily lead us all to live as paupers for our entire lives:

-It is good to help those in need and not oppress those who are suffering

-Humility is more important than following every single commandment

-Don’t place more value on wealth than on God.

Seems reasonable enough.

13th September 2014

Photo reblogged from cure your delusions with 28 notes

Brainwashing occurs in many forms, sometimes in the form of short, repeated phrases that are often disguised attempts to alter someone’s perception of reality. There’s a difficulty in discussing largely-subjective truths(like belief) as if they are self-evident in reality. I have far more basis to believe that 2+2 =4, for example(and to quote 1984), than to know that God exists in the world- I accept that. It is a belief that is difficult to define in an objective sense.
But memes- short, repeated ideas that are attempts to alter someone else’s perception of reality- are not logical reasons to disbelieve or believe in God. If I created a meme that repeats the words, “Atheism is just a delusion” over and over again, is that an attempt at brainwashing, or am I just offering my own counter-opinion?
What I’m getting at is not so much a problem with THIS meme(there are plenty stupider ones), but a problem with the way many atheists talk about belief and atheism and reality- as if it should be self-evident that God does not exist, and the ONLY REASON a person believes otherwise is due to brainwashing. Really? I’m sure my parents told me at some point in time that God exists, but since that conversation, whenever it was, we’ve pretty much gone our separate ways, belief-wise. 
My experiences, my studies, my self-reflection, have led me to the conclusion that God exists… and I find it disturbingly Orwellian that the most common counter to that truth is for others to insist that it’s a lie, that they know the truth instead, and if I want to be considered smart/logical/ethical/not brainwashed, I should accept their truth instead. Mmhm.
(It’s also the height of hypocrisy to tell someone to “think for themselves” while encouraging them to think the way you do- but I figured that was too obvious)

Brainwashing occurs in many forms, sometimes in the form of short, repeated phrases that are often disguised attempts to alter someone’s perception of reality. There’s a difficulty in discussing largely-subjective truths(like belief) as if they are self-evident in reality. I have far more basis to believe that 2+2 =4, for example(and to quote 1984), than to know that God exists in the world- I accept that. It is a belief that is difficult to define in an objective sense.

But memes- short, repeated ideas that are attempts to alter someone else’s perception of reality- are not logical reasons to disbelieve or believe in God. If I created a meme that repeats the words, “Atheism is just a delusion” over and over again, is that an attempt at brainwashing, or am I just offering my own counter-opinion?

What I’m getting at is not so much a problem with THIS meme(there are plenty stupider ones), but a problem with the way many atheists talk about belief and atheism and reality- as if it should be self-evident that God does not exist, and the ONLY REASON a person believes otherwise is due to brainwashing. Really? I’m sure my parents told me at some point in time that God exists, but since that conversation, whenever it was, we’ve pretty much gone our separate ways, belief-wise. 

My experiences, my studies, my self-reflection, have led me to the conclusion that God exists… and I find it disturbingly Orwellian that the most common counter to that truth is for others to insist that it’s a lie, that they know the truth instead, and if I want to be considered smart/logical/ethical/not brainwashed, I should accept their truth instead. Mmhm.

(It’s also the height of hypocrisy to tell someone to “think for themselves” while encouraging them to think the way you do- but I figured that was too obvious)

Tagged: religionthinking about brainwashingatheismchristianitygodphilosophy

9th September 2014

Link reblogged from Quantum Superimposition with 5 notes

Why Even Nice Atheists Are Offensive to the Faithful →

gingerblivet:

This is one of those articles that you need to read before commenting.

If it were possible for me to identify with this more, I would honestly be surprised.

Hmm… hard for me to identify with Christians who get defensive about “God’s not Dead”, honestly. That movie was ridiculously contrived and should be considered offensive to Christians and atheists and feminists and Muslims and pretty much any ethnic or religious group that appeared in it. The only upside of it was that I saw it with a Catholic friend and we spent most of the movie laughing at the cheesy plot and dialogue, and then mocking it again afterwards.

I’m not sure that the problem is atheism is inherently offensive to believers, though. I think it’s more that atheism is -taught- to many Christians as being inherently offensive, and this god-awful movie(pun intended) is the iconic portrayal of faith for far too many evangelical Christians.

On the other hand, passionate defenses of it suggest that people are interested in apologetics, and want to believe that there are good arguments to defend faith- which there is. The sad part is, this movie is not a good example of what that would look like. There’s nothing wrong with the arguments the student makes, the problem is that the way they’re presented is overly simplistic(understandable given that it is a movie, not a lecture), and the professor’s counterarguments are pathetic coming from a supposedly brilliant philosopher.

Worse, though, is the portrayal of everyone else in the film, from our hero’s cynical, unsupportive “Christian” girlfriend, the stereotypical-though-badly-researched extremist Muslim family, the borderline abusive/anti-feminist behavior of the ENTIRE PHILOSOPHY department toward the angry-with-God atheist professor’s simple-minded(but intelligent?) Christian girlfriend/former student(just a LITTLE creepy)… ugh. And the ending… too much. There’s just too much. I hated that movie.

But I suppose I can understand why many Christians would be overly sensitive about criticisms of it… *shrug*

9th September 2014

Question with 2 notes

Anonymous said: People are quick to judge Peter by the actions of Judas. More than anything though nonbelievers have a very bad misunderstanding of Christianity.

They do, which is partly a reflection that the churches aren’t doing a very good job teaching their faith, and a terrible one teaching apologetics… that said, I feel that a good rule for criticizing other beliefs is that you, yourself, understand it. There are atheists who do this, and their criticisms are far more interesting and substantial than ‘lol, religious people are so dumb’.

But they are not the majority, in large part because the most visible and widely recognized atheists are people who make a VIRTUE of not understanding faith or theology. They learn just enough to be smug, to use knowledge as a weapon against those who may not have the time or the inclination or the resources to know what their religion actually teaches. And that’s unfortunate for the believers, but it’s unfortunate for the non-believers, too. Either way, you can’t successfully criticize or defend something unless you recognize subtlety of thought, and that requires… well, work. People tend to hate that.

Tagged: religionatheismtheology

6th September 2014

Post reblogged from Shades-kun with 14 notes

Non-believer logic

50greypairsofshades:

liberalchristian:

I’ve actually read the bible cover to cover. More than most Christians, and let me say there is some fucked up stuff in that book.

I’ve actually read the bible cover to cover, too. There is some stuff in it that is difficult understand when reading from a Western, individualistic culture… but in context, and knowing the culture, it is fairly easy to explain most of it.

Not that that has anything to do with what I said originally…

Source: liberalchristian

6th September 2014

Post with 14 notes

Non-believer logic

Non-believers: You’re not following your religion right!

Me: You’re not following my religion at all.

Non-believers: That’s because it’s all BS!

Me: Then why do you care if I’m following it right?

Non-believers: Ugh! Christians are such hypocrites!

Me: …Ok.

I understand criticism of Christians who say NOTHING but hateful things, but still… some atheists are more judgmental about Christianity than any actual Christians I talk to.

Tagged: religionmoralitychristianhypocrisychristianityatheists

4th September 2014

Post reblogged from Connected Primate with 17 notes

connectedprimate:

liberalchristian:

“Predators seem beautifully “designed” to catch prey animals, while the prey animals seem equally beautifully “designed” to escape them. Whose side is God on?”

Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)

Life, and balance. If the predators were able to catch prey everytime, they would become too numerous and the prey animals would die out. If the prey could escape everytime, their predators would die out. If God did not favor life, then He would favor death, and nature would look very, very different- or not exist at all. That’s same sort of fine-tuning we see in the universe, and on earth, that enables life to exist here.

Dawkins makes a lot of bad arguments, but that one doesn’t even come close to proving what he thinks it might.

I don’t see the point of that response to the quote of Richard Dawkins. First, the author of the response above describes nature’s way of balancing with what is essentially an evolutionary arms race. Then, he or she puts God in the equation. I know, Dawkins mentioned God first, but obviously as a means to prove a point. But how is that “design” a way to show that God is favouring life? I could come up with a more life-positive approach: no predators at all and let all life be self-sufficient and regulate its numbers by breeding within limits. Case closed. An almighty God should have been able to come up with that or something better, right?

I don’t see why you don’t see the point to that response, given that you make such a good counterargument to it! My response was to answer the question Dawkins posed at the end- God is not on the side of either predator or prey, and there are plenty of other options within a God-filled world that he neglects to consider.

"Breeding within limits"- how does that work? Humans are the only species I know of conscious enough of their breeding habits to opt not to breed. And… we do a terrible job at regulating breeding!  There would have to be some biological mechanism within nature that shuts down the ability to breed when the numbers grow too numerous. And if they’re self-sufficient, are they like plants, getting nutrients from the sun? In which case, why would they need to self-regulate? We don’t run out of sunlight. Thus, there would have to be some artificial limit within all creatures disabling their breeding beyond a certain total number. End result sounds like a dead world, unable to grow past a certain point, or unable to grow at all. 

Even if that’s not the case, and there was a way that the almighty God could have come up that I can’t… why should He have? I like nature the way it is. It is full of death, but also full of life, and the former has the effect of giving the latter meaning. It is full of an incredible array of animals and plants and bacteria and rocks that are capable of being what we might consider ‘beautiful’- and beauty, the appreciation of it, comes in part from recognizing the fragility of life. Is it possible to have any of that without death? In your perfect world, do animals ever die, or do they simply never get eaten? If death is the real cruelty here, then we should never have been born, and we certainly shouldn’t grow or ask questions about the meaning of life.

But frankly, I like it the way it is. God did alright.

In reality, predators exist because they can. Life accumulates energy, the most “basic” life forms do so by converting readily available energy and “higher” life forms profit by consuming abundant “lower” life forms. That is not life-positive, it’s actually not moral or amoral in any way, it’s just life looking for a way to replenish its energy, never minding anything but itself and its genes. However, from our perspective predation can be seen as cruel and it seems to me a supposedly loving and creative God should have been able to find a better way for life to exist.

Of course they exist because they can, that is tautologically accurate. That doesn’t answer the question of where they came from, nor deny the existence of a creator. And I don’t agree with your perspective on nature: Allowing struggle and the fight for life IS life-positive. It gives life meaning to know that it may be hard to keep yours, and makes it all the more important to NOT be prey. 

I think predation and nature is beautiful, taken from a wider perspective. To the rabbit caught by a wolf or a human suffering from a disease, it appears cruel- but that’s a problem with having a limited view of the world, not a problem with the world itself, or with God.

Which is not to say that it’s fair for the rabbit or the human. It’s neither fair or unfair, moral or immoral: It’s Life, as the creator intended it. 

4th September 2014

Quote reblogged from Connected Primate with 17 notes

Predators seem beautifully “designed” to catch prey animals, while the prey animals seem equally beautifully “designed” to escape them. Whose side is God on?

Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)

Life, and balance. If the predators were able to catch prey everytime, they would become too numerous and the prey animals would die out. If the prey could escape everytime, their predators would die out. If God did not favor life, then He would favor death, and nature would look very, very different- or not exist at all. That’s same sort of fine-tuning we see in the universe, and on earth, that enables life to exist here.

Dawkins makes a lot of bad arguments, but that one doesn’t even come close to proving what he thinks it might.