Category: Atheism

Friday Quote- Richard Dawkins

Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up.

Richard Dawkins

Why do you do what you do?

Sweet FSM, I’m Defending a CNN Anchor

One of the “Outrages of the Day” that has been bombarding my various news feeds is a debate between CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and Judge Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court. More to the point, when the judge says that our rights come from God, Cuomo disagreed.

Transcript borrowed from Breitbart:

MOORE: I believe that’s a matter of law because our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God. It’s clearly stated –

CUOMO: Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.

MOORE: Let me ask you one question. Let me ask you one question, Chris. Is the Declaration of Independence law?

CUOMO: You would call it organic law as a basis for future laws off of it?

MOORE: I would call it the organic law because the United States code calls it organic law. It is organic law because the law of this country calls it the organic law of the country means where our rights come from. And if they come from there, men can’t take it away.

CUOMO: Our rights do not come from God. That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but not our country. Our laws come from the collective agreement and compromise.

MOORE: It’s not a matter of faith, sir. It’s a matter of organic law, which states, ‘We hold these truths to be held equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ And the only role of government is stated in the next sentence is to secure those rights for us. The government starts taking those rights away from us, then it’s not securing and it is defiling the whole purpose of government.

In this instance, I’m going to say Cuomo is correct. Our rights come to us from being humans. From being a sentient species.

Most of the people believe that God created Man, and therefore human rights come from God. If that’s what gets you through the day, fine. When you then use that idea to decide who does and who doesn’t get rights based on your particular writings of God, we’re going to have a problem. Just as it’s wrong when other members of CNN have advocated the restriction of rights based on political ideology.

We have rights because we are a sentient species. That wouldn’t change if there is or is not a deity or deities responsible for our creation.

Limits and Limits

The Pope has waded into the controversy around the Charlie Hebdo murders by telling us it’s wrong to kill in the name of God and that there needs to be limits on insulting other religions.

“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” Francis said on the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila.

Emphasis mine.

My response to the Pope: Bullshit. Insults and comedy are part of the natural critique for any faith/belief system/philosophy. The marketplace of ideas is harmed without the full width and breadth of nonviolent critique.

I make fun of religions because I find them foolish. I make jokes of their inconsistencies. I fully expect others to make jokes about atheists.

Here’s where it comes to limits and limits. More to the point, moral limits and legal limits.

If the Pope is calling for moral limits on expression, then that’s fine. He’s the moral leader for millions of people and they expect him to tell them his interpretation of Big Sky Daddy’s will. Breaking the moral limit may get someone excluded from Thanksgiving dinner, but not get thrown in jail.

On the other hand, we’re going to have a problem if he’s calling for legal limits on expression, that becomes dangerous for a society. The problem is that what is offensive is highly subjective, and legally limiting speech becomes a tyranny of the most sensitive. Improvements in science and philosophy are lost because thinkers are not allowed pathways due to “offense”.

Limits and limits.

Mother Teresa – Hitch Was Right

Christopher Hitchens was excoriated for his book The Missionary Position, which debunked the popular view of Mother Teresa as a symbol of altruism.

Canadian researchers have substantiated Hitch.

I despise frauds. Especially those who use the suffering of others to defraud. They taint the concept of charity, which in my opinion, is an important and vital piece of human society. (A point that steered me away from Objectivist dogma).

I could also bash the Catholic Church for their rush to make Mother Teresa a saint, but well, that’s kind of like bashing a rattlesnake for being poisonous.

Friday Quote – Christopher Hitchens

If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings, I say, ‘I’m still waiting to hear what your point is.’

In this country, I’ve been told, ‘That’s offensive,’ as if those two words constitute an argument or a comment. Not to me they don’t.

And I’m not running for anything, so I don’t have to pretend to like people when I don’t.

Christopher Hitchens

You do not have a right not to be offended.

I Admit It, I LOL’d

Had a door-to-door atheist come to the house the other day. Asked if I had lost Jesus yet.

— Robb Allen (@ItsRobbAllen) October 22, 2013

That reminds me, I should wear my FSM shirt again for the next Open Carry Fishing Event.

Sometimes You Need to Be Reminded of the Horror

Miguel links to an article showing lots of uncensored pics from the mall attack in Nairobi. Warning! The pics are graphic and very much NSFW.

For those who truly believe that their magic sky daddy not only condones, but will reward them for these atrocities, I hope you quickly discover the falsity of your beliefs. Preferably by trying to meet said magic sky daddy via 55-grain lead/cooper infusion.

Primer to dealing with atheists

Here’s an eleven minute video on some of the more frequent questions/statements that atheists hear when believers find out we’re atheists.

The gist, is that if you have honest questions and ask the respectfully, most of us will be happy to explain our beliefs to you. Please don’t assume we came to our beliefs blindly or because of trauma.

Oh, and for the people that tell me I need to read the Bible more and I’ll believe? That has the same validity of telling me if I manage to get through all three books of Lord of the Rings, I’ll understand that hobbits are real.