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.

20th September 2014

Link with 9 notes

Jesus Myth →

One of many good sources, for those who are curious.

Tagged: religionchristianchristianityatheismjesus

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

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

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 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

30th August 2014

Post with 4 notes

Thoughts on prayer

I think a lot about why we pray and what value it has for me. There’s often the argument that prayer is used to make ourselves feel better about people we’re not doing anything for, and it’s one that makes me angry and frustrated.

But maybe there’s some truth to it.

(This may be upsetting)

Read More

Tagged: religionprayergodpovertyphilosophy

28th August 2014

Post with 3 notes

Private School

I sometimes think that the outrage generated by certain issues blinds us to what should be more important ones.

My job, for example, is tutoring math to children in both public and private(read: religious) schools. Almost without fail, the private school kids are years ahead of the public school kids, despite the fact that most of the time there is no obvious difference in intelligence with either group. From looking at homework, however, I know that the private schools demand a lot more from a lot younger kids. Consistently. 

And I once had a student that made me just… absolutely infuriated with public schooling. She was struggling to pass her end-of-year assessment, and with math generally, in danger of failing and being held back. It was obvious to me after one tutoring session that 1. She was bright, 2. This problem had been present for a long time. Her family did not have much money for tutoring, but they did pay for the services when it was obvious she wouldn’t be able to advance on her own. Technically, she got a discount rate of “we’ll charge the same but she gets a private tutor and you can come in however many times you want.”

After considerable hard work on both our parts in reteaching her five years of math, she did pass- but my question is, how is it the school never noticed this painfully shy, smart kid despite five years of failing grades? Why should her family pay money they don’t have for a service that is theoretically guaranteed to everyone, regardless of class or income? There are solutions to these problems, and plenty of other developed countries have better ones than America.

To get back to my original point, there is no question that teaching evolution or religious indoctrination in schools is A Bad Thing. But when people complain about “religious, private schools” in general as being a bad thing because of that, or because religion = bad, it makes me want to shake those people. There are far worse injustices happening to far more kids in public schools, and not nearly enough importance placed on fixing them. Wealthy parents should not be the only ones whose kids are guaranteed success. My company should not even exist, because the service should be provided, publicly, without charge, to all students.

Should private school kids be learning about religious beliefs besides Christianity? Maybe. Should all kids know the numbers that add together to make 10? Freaking yes.

Tagged: religionchristianityschoolseducation

25th August 2014

Question with 24 notes

thread-of-fire said: Since I previously saw you wondering about morality, it turns out there is good philosophical grounding for it (regardless of god belief). It is outlined in Sense and Goodness Without God by Richard Carrier, and he uses the work of other philosophers there too.

I appreciate the book suggestion. My issue with morality without God is not that I’m not aware of the work of any philosophers attempting to resolve the question, but that their answers are unsatisfactory. Moreover, many atheists give the impression(or state outright) that they have never considered the question at all. And just so I’m clear, the argument is not that a single atheist cannot be a good person(of course they can), but whether the concept of “good” even makes sense without an objective, non-human being that defines it. 

There are, however, several religions that provide answers to the moral debate without God(Buddhism would be one), and philosophers since Plato that have attempted to define goodness, with or without deities.

Tagged: religionphilosophyatheism

30th July 2014

Post with 6 notes

"The Bible was written by humans, and humans are corrupt"

Both are true, and neither implies that the teachings or history of the Bible are false. Nor are they the reason why the speaker believes the teachings of the Bible are false. How do I know that? …Because this same person will never make the argument that evolution is false, or medical science is false, or that mathematics can’t be trusted because they are ideas created by corrupt humans. 

Tagged: religionlogicbiblechristianity