Atheist Quotes #3

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It’s been a few months since the last two (which can be found here and here) but here are a handful of good atheist quotes.

George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.” – Sam Harris

“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

“I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence” – Doug McLeod

“Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence.” – Unknown

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart” – H. L. Mencken

“Deaths in the Bible. God – 2,270,365 not including the victims of Noah’s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the many plagues, famines, fiery serpents, etc because no specific numbers were given. Satan – 10” – Unknown

“If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse” – Woody Allen

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” – Susan B. Anthony

“To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy” – David Brooks

“A religious text should ideally not extend past three pages. Any longer and it tends to contradict itself.” – Unknown

“What’s “God”? Well, you know, when you want something really bad and you close your eyes and you wish for it? God’s the guy that ignores you.” – Steve Buscemi

“How difficult would it be for 11 men to hang a traitor, move a boulder, remove a body, and replace said boulder within a period of three days?” – Unknown

“Born right the first time” – Unknown

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The New Bible – Genesis 44 & 45

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Joseph is still not quite ready to reveal to his brothers who he really is yet, so he keeps playing his weird games.

  1. Joseph told his steward to fill the brother’s sacks with grain, and then hide the money they had paid for it in the mouth of each sack. Joseph also instructed his steward to put his silver cup inside the Benjamin, youngest brother’s sack.

2. When the brothers had left on their way back to their father, Joseph spoke to his steward, “Go after them and say to them ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? Why have you stolen my master’s cup.'”

3. It would be so much easier for Joseph just to tell the truth, but we all know logic is not the Bible’s strong point.

4. Joseph’s steward did as he was told, and the brothers were so confident that they were innocent that they agreed that if one of them had stolen it, he would be put to death, and the others would become Joseph’s slaves.

5. The steward proceeded to search the bags, and found the cup in benjamin’s sack.

6. Now apparently the brothers ‘tore at their clothes’ – looks like more people in the Bible with mental problems! – and returned to the city.

7. Joseph’s plan was working perfectly, and he changed his mind so that only the one who had the cup would be punished, and not by death, but by becoming his slave. Funny how God still never condemns slavery, isn’t it?

8. But Judah gave this long and confusing speech, reciting everything from the previous few chapters, and said that they could not return without Benjamin.

Well that was a short chapter. Luckily here’s chapter 45 too!

  1. Joseph could no longer continue playing his weird game, and finally made himself known.

2. “Everyone get out, leave my presence!” he ordered, “except you lot, so I don’t really mean everyone!”

3. He wept so loudly that everyone in his household heard him, so he must have been pretty damn loud. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt.”

4. But his brothers were still terrified of his presence, probably because he was wailing like a banshee.

5. “Do not be angry that you sold me here, because it was to save lives – of the wealthy anyway – in this famine that God caused without explaining why,” Joseph explained, “Go to your father and tell him to pack up and move here, because God made me ruler of Egypt.”

6. The pharaoh heard of this news and was glad, he gave Joseph’s brothers some carts and told them to leave most of their belongings behind, because he would give them everything they needed.

7. The brothers did as they were told, and when Jacob heard of the news, he rejoiced, vowing to see him again before he died.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Scale of the Universe

The universe is incomprehensibly huge, and we just inhabit a tiny little planet in a tiny little galaxy. This can be used as both an argument for the existence of aliens, and a question to the religious – why did God make us on this tiny planet in the middle of nowhere, and then create the rest of the universe? This question reaches it’s full power when you stop and realize how huge the universe really is.

This video by BuzzFeed Blue demonstrates the scale of the universe, and it’s a real mind blower.

The ‘Glory’ of God’s Creation

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I had a cold the other day, and it reminded me of the supposed ‘glory’ of God’s creation. Too many people focus on the positive things in the world and attribute them to God. Let’s take a look at some of the things God made that make it seem as though he was on drugs.

We’ll start of with the plant world. There are an abundance of harmless plants out there that look nice and provide food, and then there’s Rafflesia Arnoldii, a giant flower which stinks like rotting flesh. But luckily, asides from making people feel sick, it’s relatively harmless. The same can’t be said for plants like the Oleander, Foxglove, or Wolf’s Bane. Not only are these plants poisonous, but they are disguised as something completely harmless. God is trying his hardest to kill us all off, from making horrible plants with giant spikes all over them, to making ones which look edible but are lethal, some of which can burn your skin off if you so much as touch them.

But at least plants can’t move! The same can’t be said for the most vile creatures in existence – insects and arachnids. I’m not calling them vile because I don’t like them, I’m calling them vile because of what they do to each other – many of them have the ability to paralyze their prey, lay eggs in them, and then have the larvae eat them alive from the inside out. And seeing as they do these things to each other, it’s not much of a surprise that they try to do it to us, too.

For instance, Bullet ants are nasty little creatures with a bite so painful that it feels like you’ve been shot. Other horrible ants include the Bulldog ant, with such a strong bite that they stay holding on even when dead (they make good makeshift stitches) and army ants, with jaws longer than their entire heads.

Flies are not just annoying, some species (like the bot fly) can lay their eggs on mosquitoes, which transfer onto humans. When the eggs hatch the maggots will then bury themselves into their host’s flesh.

There is a whole host of dangerous and horrible insects out there, including assassin bugs, kissing bugs, Siafu ants, and let’s not forget the mosquito, the most dangerous animal in the world. Then of course there are the arachnids that can kill you in a matter of hours. Brazilian Wandering spiders and Sydney Funnel webs being some of the worst.

But the worst of all are the parasites, which vary from the three-foot long Guinea worm which lives under its host’s skin, to the Filarial worm, which causes massive swelling of the legs. But there aren’t just worms, there’s also other creatures, like nematodes that cause blindness, parasites which create huge sores on the body, blood-drinking catfish that are even more feared in the amazon than piranhas, and amoebas which destroy the brain.

What was going through God’s head when he made these? Is the punishment for the sins of some people (which according the the majority of Christians didn’t exist) really this hideous?

 Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The New Bible – Genesis 43

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Even though Joseph recognizes his brothers, he still pretends that they are spies and continues holding one of them hostage. I guess he’s just trying to get back at them!

  1. The famine was still severe, and soon enough Joseph’s brothers were about to be sent down to Egypt once more to buy grain.

2. But Judah warned his father that they would not get their brother back until they had somehow proven that they were not spies by bringing their youngest brother down to Egypt.

3. Now it seems that everybody had remembered that Jacob had been renamed ‘Israel’ twice, so in this chapter he is called by his new name, not his original one.

4. Israel was annoyed that his sons had caused so much trouble, and asked them why they had told the man in Egypt why they had another brother.

5. “He asked a lot of questions, how were we to know what he was going to say?” They replied.

6. After taking a long time to decide, Israel finally agreed, and he gave the brothers gifts to give to the man in Egypt. The brothers headed off to Egypt, taking with them the silver that had been mysteriously placed in their sacks when they left Egypt the first time.

7. When they arrived at Egypt they presented themselves before Joseph, who wanted to have tea and cookies with them and have a nice chat, so he told his steward to slaughter an animal and prepare a meal.

8. Now the brothers were suspicious, and immediately assumed the man would somehow overpower all of them and take them as slaves because they thought that he thought that they had stolen the silver. And yes, I wrote that sentence like that on purpose.

9. So the brothers talked to the steward and told him about the silver. “Don’t worry,” the steward replied, “your God – not my God, but your God, gave you that silver as a gift. Maybe he’s messing with you, maybe I’m assuming everything I can’t immediately explain is God’s fault, I don’t know.”

10. The steward then brought out Simeon – the brother that they had imprisoned – and took them all into Joseph’s house.

11. They all bowed before Joseph and presented their gifts. Joseph asked them how hey were, saying, “How is your father, is he still alive?” To which they replied, “Yep, he’s still not dead yet.”

12. Joseph spotted Benjamin, Israel’s youngest son, and was apparently so deeply ‘moved’ that he hurried off to find a place to cry – Well, that’s normal behavior, isn’t it?

13. When he returned he sat at the table with the brothers, and they were served, but the Egyptians ate by themselves, because they would not eat with the Hebrews, because they were racist.

14. And it looked as if Joseph was trying to fatten Benjamin up for some reason, because he gave him five times as much food as everybody else.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mother Teresa – Saint or Monster?

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Mother Teresa is often pointed to as an example of a good, moral human being, along with Gandhi and others. But the truth may be something quite different. Over time Mother Teresa has received much criticism for her actions and the actions of her organization.

Hitchens was the first to question her, calling her “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud” and exposing that the Vatican has made some considerable effort to make her a saint, bypassing the 5 year waiting period for her beatification and coming up with a cringe-worthy ‘miracle’ in order to justify making her a saint. In their supposed miracle, a woman named Monica Besra claimed that a beam of light emerged from a picture of Mother Teresa and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine.

Christopher Hitchens had this to say about her in a 2003 critique:

“Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.

And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go?

Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of Mother Teresa: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.”

Mother Teresa has been accused of baptizing patients before death, regardless of their religion, and providing inadequate conditions when helping the sick, from failing to sterilize needles properly to not separating people with infectious diseases from those without. But her treatment of the sick, which in some reports include her denying medical care to patients to offer their suffering as a gift to her God, is not the only questionable thing about her. Acting as if they were poor whilst hoarding away donations is another thing Mother Teresa and her organization is accused of.

When Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 she insisted the 190,000 prize fund be donated to the poor, but a study released in the Journal of Studies in Religion/Sciences claims that she had suspicious financial arrangements.

I cannot find much proper evidence to back up these claims, but I will leave several links for anyone who wishes to further research the topic.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/mother-teresa-myth_n_2805697.html

Mother Teresa a Fraud? New Report Calls Her ‘Anything But a Saint’

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/06/suzannegoldenberg

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fine-Tuning

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I came across a YouTube channel the other day which had some interesting videos about politics, morality and the likes (it can be found here if anyone is interested) and one video caught my attention. It was titled “Does science argue for or against God?” And judging by the like to dislike ratio (8k likes and 6k dislikes) I knew it was going to be interesting.

Unfortunately, as the like-dislike ratio should have given away, the video did not talk about how using science to ‘prove’ God goes against the fundamentals of what science is (that is, to explain phenomenon without invoking the supernatural) and instead goes into the fine-tuning argument, about how the criteria for life existing is so small that God must have made us.

Now, at best this only explains a deistic God, or an intelligent entity in the first place, and not the Christian God. Ignoring that, the argument is nothing but an argument from ignorance. Just because the chances for life existing are small, it does not mean that we were put here by a god. Sure, the odds are low, but that is no different to somebody being born. If things happened just a little differently any of us could easily not have been born. Do we need God to explain why we are here and not somebody else? No. We explain it with chance.

It is also interesting to note that if a god did make the universe, why would he make such a deadly and inhospitable HUGE universe, filled with radiation, meteors, black holes, freezing temperatures and no air, and then populate one tiny little planet in an obsolete place in an obsolete galaxy? 75% of the world’s surface is water, and humans don’t have gills. See the problem with a universe, or even a planet, being made ‘just for us’?

The second part of the video talks about how if the properties and strengths of each of the four fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear) were even a tiny bit different, the universe could not exist. But I have always found this argument as another way of saying “If things were different, then things would be different.”

Further reading:

Problems with the fine-tuning argument (DebunkingChristianity.blogspot.com)

Fine-tuning argument (IronChariots.org)

Image courtesy of xedos4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The New Bible – Genesis 42

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Joseph’s brothers go to Egypt and stumble upon the brother they had sold all of those ears before. Somehow Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him, and he accuses them of being spies.

  1. Because God had decided not only to send a huge famine to Egypt, but to the rest of the world to, Jacob sent all but one of his sons down to buy some grain.

2. Upon arriving, they met Joseph, because he was in charge of selling the grain to the people he had taken it from in the first place.

3. They bowed before him, and Joseph recognized them. Obviously he was annoyed about them selling him into slavery, but instead of calling them out on it, he decided to do something different.

4. “Where are you from?” Joseph asked them. “We come from the land of Caanan” They replied.

5. Joseph remembered some dreams that he had apparently had but were never mentioned, and he accused them of being spies.

6. “You are spies!” He said, “you have come to see where our land is unprotected!”

7. “No! We are twelve brothers, sons of a man in Caanan. The youngest is with him, and we sold the other into slavery, but let’s not talk about that” They said.

8. Joseph thought for a moment, before replying, “You will stay here in custody, and one of you will be sent to fetch your brother. If he shows up, then you are obviously not spies for some reason, but if he does not, then you must be!”

9. Clearly logical reasoning was not Joseph’s strong point, but his brothers agreed. On the third day Joseph told the brothers to take grain back to their starving family, but one of them must stay behind.

10. Now Joseph’s brothers complained, saying that this was happening because they had sinned against Joseph, and Joseph, who had apparently forgotten how to speak their language, understood them because he was using an interpreter.

11. Determined to keep this little game going, Joseph watched as the men filled their sacks with grain and set off, but not before hiding the silver that they had paid back in the bags, making it look as if they had stolen the grain.

12. Joseph’s motives were a bit odd, but he was participating in one of the age old Biblical traditions – aside from renaming things that is – trickery.

13. The brothers returned home, and upon opening their bags they discovered the silver.

14. “What has God done to us?” One of them asked, blaming God for what had happened. “Hey, don’t bring me into this” God replied, getting ready to smite someone.

15. “What have you done!” Jacob said, “Now the Egyptians shall kill my son that you left behind!”

16. Now Reuben, one of his sons, said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not return with my brother. But I need you youngest son to prove we’re not spies.”

17. And there you have it! Another example of Biblical family values!

18. But Jacob said, “Fine, but if anything happens to him I’ll probably die grieving, not to be over dramatic or anything.”

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Hitler was definitely a Christian

It is commonly argued that Hitler was an atheist, despite the overwhelming evidence that he was not. For instance, he made his soldiers ‘swear to God’ and wear armor which was engraved with the words ‘Gott mitt uns’ (God is with us) on them. Swastikas on crosses have been found, and this is the oath of Hitler’s third Reich soldiers:

Loyalty oath of the SS, 9 November 1935

“What is your oath ?” – “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God !”

“So you believe in a God ?” – “Yes, I believe in a Lord God.”

“What do you think about a man who does not believe in a God ?” – “I think he is arrogant, megalomaniacal and stupid; he is not eligible for us.”

I could spend time pointing out things such as these, but Hitler’s own book, Mein Kampf (My struggleis full of evidence:

Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.—Mein Kampf, Vol 1, Chap II

Everybody who has the right kind of feeling for his country is solemnly bound, each within his own denomination, to see to it that he is not constantly talking about the Will of God merely from the lips but that in actual fact he fulfills the Will of God and does not allow God’s handiwork to be debased. For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties. Whoever destroys His work wages war against God’s Creation and God’s Will.—Mein Kampf, Vol II, Chap X

“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago—a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people.—Speech given April 12, 1922

And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited.—Speech given April 12, 1922

May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people, for we are fighting not for ourselves but for Germany.—Speech given Feb 1, 1933

At the head of our [National Socialist] program there stand no secret surmisings but clear-cut perception and straightforward profession of belief. But since we set as the central point of this perception and of this profession of belief the maintenance and hence the security for the future of a being formed by God, we thus serve the maintenance of a divine work and fulfill a divine will—not in the secret twilight of a new house of worship, but openly before the face of the Lord. Speech given Sept 6, 1938

Hitler made a total of over 70 references to God in his autobiography.

As you can see, Hitler was not an atheist. But even if he was, it is not as though a lack of belief in God is responsible for his acts – Hitler was also a painter, is painting responsible for the atrocities he committed? However his hatred of the Jews stemmed from the fact that he thought they were responsible for Jesus’ death, and he thought that he was doing the work of God.

A thanks to ExChristian.net for bringing this to my attention.