Wednesday, July 27, 2005

'The Good News' - A Conversation With a Christian

The following is an excerpt from my most recent article on www.passionoftheatheist.com

-- C - "Well, would you like to hear 'The Good News?'"

M - "Sure."

C - "Well, hear it is…You Ready?"

M - "Enlighten me."

C - "'The Good News' is this: You are evil! You were born evil! You have no say-so in this matter! You have no free-will, or choice, in this matter! You see, we are all evil…we are all born evil. All thanks to our great, great, great, ancestors Adam and Eve…you see, they're the ones that made the choice for you, all those years ago…by eating from the 'Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil', which our heavenly father told them not to do, you see?" --

To read the article in it's entirety, please click on the following link: http://www.passionoftheatheist.com/Default.aspx?tabid=509

Comments? Suggestions? Complaints?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Harry Potter and the Overzealous Theists

I was listening to the local, overly conservative, 'Talk Radio' station on my drive home from work the other day, when the host of the show brought up the new Harry Potter novel, and questioned whether or not we should allow kids to read it. What was his reasoning for the question? Well, apparently a local reverend made the comment that the Harry Potter book series is evil, un-Christian, and that it's influence could lead children to end up like the BTK killer...and for those reasons, the books should be banned.

I was floored.

Now, I am not what you would probably consider to be a highly emotional individual, but this reverend REALLY p**sed me off with his comments...furthermore, the talk show host REALLY p**sed me off for even considering that the reverend could be correct...and further yet still, the callers into the show REALLY p**sed me off because they were agreeing with the reverend.

What is it about religion that can turn otherwise intelligent individuals into complete morons in a matter of seconds? Newsflash folks...'children will not become serial killers if they read Harry Potter...move along.'

With each passing minute of having not one dissenting opinion called in to the show, I was becoming more enraged. Finally, I reached for my cell phone and dialed in to the radio show. To my surprise I did not hear a busy signal, and the screener for the show immediately answered the phone...he asked me my age, location, and then told me to hold on for a few minutes.

A little time had passed, in which I continued listening to the show through my cell phone, when the host of the show finally took my call:

Host: "Let's go to Eric on a cell phone in KC."

Me: "Yeah Jerry, thanks for taking my call."

Host: "What do you want to say?"

Me: "Ummm...I just wanted to say that I think the reason you'll find some of these religious leaders so against people buying the Harry Potter books, is that they want a monopoly on their own little book of fantasy!"

Host (angrily): "So the sole purpose in you calling in is to insult christianity? Is that it?"

Me (angrily): "No, the sole purpose of my call is to say you are lowering the intelligence of your listeners."

And with that, the line was disconnected...but I did feel a little better.

- - On a side note, for anyone thinking the reverend and his groupies correct in their thinking: The BTK killer...He started killing long before Harry Potter ever came out. However, he was the former president of the church council at 'Christ Lutheran Church' in Wichita, KS. Using the reverends critical thinking skills: the evidence would indicate that it is the Bible's influence that leads people to become serial killers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Prayer Appears To Have No Effect On Patients

http://http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/5507502.html

The above link is to a recent article, in the Baltimore Sun, concerning a recent 'scientific' study on the effect of prayer in patients that were undergoing heart-related procedures. While this particular article leads to the conclusion that prayer may have no effect, there will soon be countless other 'studies' coming out that will come to the opposite conclusion.

It's time that someone asks the 'scientists' conducting these studies some tough questions, such as:

1. How have you shown, in your study, that the 'prayed for group' actually was prayed for (and that these prayers were sincere)?

2. How have you shown, in your study, that the 'not prayed for group' had absolutely no one praying for them (to include themselves, or distant relatives)?

3. How do you measure the strength of the 'faith' of those saying the prayers?

4. How do you account for individuals outside the groups that pray for the 'well-being' of all life on the planet (which would include those in the 'not prayed for group')?

and most importantly,

5. Which god being prayed to was the one answering the prayers?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Welcome to The Passion of the Atheist!

Greetings everyone, welcome to my new blog.

For those of you that do not know me, I am a 29 year old former Active-Duty Marine, husband, and father of a four year old son. I am also a former christian. In my off time (what little I have) I run a website called:

www.passionoftheatheist.com Please take the time to check it out when you have the chance.

My intentions for this blog are that this will become a place where both atheists, and theists, can come in and debate (in what hopefully can be a somewhat friendly manner) all aspects of religion and matters pertaining to it.

Let's jump right in, shall we?

Faith: If we are to define 'faith' (as the dictionary I have does) as 'A belief which does not rest on logical proof or evidence', then I personally feel that having faith is irresponsible.

The problems that arise with believing in something for which there is no evidence (or faith) are two-fold as I see it:

1. There is a good chance that the belief will be false. Many Christians are forced to agree with this, whether they like it or not. Here is why: The majority of the world is not Christian, this is fact…ask any Christian and the majority will tell you that all the other religions of the world, such as the Muslim religion, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc., hold false beliefs. Therefore, their faith is wrong. Even within the Christian religion you have countless denominations, all holding that their faith and beliefs are the correct way to practice Christianity (the Catholics say the Lutherans are wrong…Lutherans say the Catholics are wrong, etc.).

2. Someone that believes something on faith is more likely to adopt other beliefs for which there is no evidence, and the chances increase even more that they are false…and this can lead to dangerous or un-wise decisions. For example: Let's say there was a person that had a headache and no Tylenol was available for them to take. So, they decided to 'pray' to their god to rid them of the headache…after a night of sleeping, they wake up and…surprise…the headache is gone. They have faith that their god heard their prayer and answered it. No medicine was necessary. One week later they get diagnosed with cancer. I think you can see the danger here. "Why take medicine…prayer should do the trick…" And you may think that the example is a bit extreme, maybe so, but how many other false beliefs have been adopted that have eventually led to dangerous or un-wise decisions?

Shouldn't we, as logical human beings, abandon 'faith' for 'reason'? Should we not base our decisions on the evidence that is presented before us, and use 'trust' and 'hope', not 'faith', that the decisions we make turn out for the best, as opposed to the worst?

Discuss.
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