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Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 30 Sep 2012

Mark Twain essay on the insanity of religion

A great essay

Bible Teaching and Religious Practice

It makes a great point

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.

Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. Who discovered that there was no such thing as a witch – the priest, the parson? No, these never discover anything. At Salem, the parson clung pathetically to his witch text after the laity had abandoned it in remorse and tears for the crimes and cruelties it has persuaded them to do. The parson wanted more blood, more shame, more brutalities; it was the unconsecrated laity that stayed his hand. In Scotland the parson killed the witch after the magistrate had pronounced her innocent; and when the merciful legislature proposed to sweep the hideous laws against witches from the statute book, it was the parson who came imploring, with tears and imprecations, that they be suffered to stand.

There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.

Why would any intelligent person join an organization that is this appalling?

Islam Thomas on 24 Sep 2012

The Insanity of Muslims

The following cartoon is posted on Facebook. Note that it is posted on the Facebook page for an American group of atheists. Note that the cartoon is funny:

Mohammed cartoon

Many of the responses to the comic contain an amazing display of savagery. Here is a collage of some of worst:

Collage of responses

[Facebook does not provide a way to link to a post, but if you go here and scroll down a bit in the timeline, you can see the post and the more than 800 comments.]

Over on Reddit, there is an attempt to understand/explain why Muslims behave in this way:

Love notes from Muslim visitors

This is a religion of peace and love? How can a religion of peace and love have so many violent followers? How can it have Burqas? Honor killing? The argument might be, “these violent people do not represent the true Muslim faith.” But if they do not, why are there so many of them following the religion? Why are Arab countries filled with these sorts of people? Why would kind, decent people want to be a part of a religion that provides harborage for people like this? It would be like a kind, decent person joining the KKK.

The following post provides another take on the Muslim faith:

Islam is not a religion like any other, here’s why.

Why would decent people behave like this?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 16 Sep 2012

The Dalai Lama and Hilary Clinton describe a world free of religion

In the past week there have been unbelievable demonstrations in the Muslim world that make Muslims look like savages. Signs like this and this show just how ridiculous believers in the Muslim faith can be. Christianity can be just as bad – denying civil rights to people they hate for no reason, and bullying those people to the point where they commit suicide.

That is why we are starting to see the world’s leaders separating themselves from religion. The Dalai Lama posted this on Facebook:

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.

Hilary Clinton made this public statement this week:

“As long as there are those who are willing to shed blood and take innocent life in the name of religion, the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.”

What Clinton is saying is that we need to end religion. The Quran and the Bible have violence baked right in, and there is no way to separate the religions from these repulsive books. Watch this video to see how truly repulsive the Bible is:

One would think that modern, intelligent people would easily reject such a repulsive book.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 28 Aug 2012

The insanity of religion – Hurricane Theology

This article from CNN introduces the idea of “Hurricane Theology” at this week’s Republican convention. The idea is that something devastating like a hurricane is a punishment sent by God into the lives of those in the path of the storm. CNN cites this incident involving Pat Roberson as an example of Hurricane Theology:

Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

So imagine that there is a large, well-publicized Gay Pride parade and some natural disaster occurs nearby. It might be a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, etc. Theists go nuts declaring that God sent the disaster as his retribution against gay activities.

If a Christian church gets blown down in a windstorm and the church has done anything seen as controversial, then that is God’s retribution as well.

If there is nothing obvious, then theists will often go out of their way to find something that God needs to destroy.

Imagine living your life in constant fear like this. At any moment, an angry, vengeful God can smite anyplace he chooses with a huge natural disaster.

Who would want to worship such a being? Who would want to have anything to do with such a being? Why pray to a monster who kills people and destroys property so wantonly and so capriciously?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 23 Aug 2012

The insanity of religion – Billy Graham talks about prayer

In this article Billy Graham talks about God hearing our prayers. Billy says:

The reason we know God hears our prayers and uses them to accomplish his purposes is because he has promised it — and God cannot lie. The Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And … we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

God cannot lie? This is easy for God, because he is someone who never, ever speaks. The only place where God might be construed to speak is through the Bible. The Bible is quite clear that God not only hears prayers but also promises to answer them. Just read the Bible. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:

For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

In Matthew 21:21:

I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

There are many, many verses like these. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer,” is about as clear and direct as you can get. What could be clearer than that?

And then we look at amputees. They can pray all day, in every possible way. They can have their friends pray. They can arrange for giant prayer circles. They can try laying on of hands. Nothing. Ever. Happens. Amputated legs never spontaneously regenerate through prayer.

Billy Graham, what do you make of this? Your God is lying.

If you are an intelligent person you can see what is happening. This article will help clarify your understanding: Why is the question “Why won’t God heal amputees?” so important?

Note that in his article Billy has to hedge. He has to do this because there are many, many prayers that God fails to answer even though he promises to in the Bible. Here is Billy’s hedge:

Does this mean God always answers our prayers the way we wish he would? We see only part of the picture; God sees the whole, and he knows what is best for us (and for others). Sometimes this is hard for us to accept.

So… sometimes God has to let 10 million kids starve, or 200,000 people die in a tsunami. Oh well!

Understand the truth – God is imaginary. Start your exploration here: GodIsImaginary.com

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 18 Aug 2012

Understanding the logical breakdown that occurs in the minds of theists – Rabbi Mark Gelman and “40 Year Atheist” provide examples

How can theists believe in something as ridiculous as the God of the Bible? Theists look at the world around them, see no evidence whatsoever for their deity, yet still believe in their imaginary friend. How do they do it?

One technique that is critical to their delusion is the strange ability to hold two completely contradictory positions simultaneously. In the previous post, Rabbi Mark Gelman of The God Squad demonstrated this ability in disturbing fashion. At the beginning of his article he says:

Together these statements explain that God wanted and therefore created a regular, rational, ordered universe. God wanted this so that we could use the brains God gave us to solve problems. If God was in the habit of capriciously and miraculously intervening in nature, then we’d have every reason to just give up seeking to understand anything.

This is a simple statement of reality. Gelman explains that the reason God does not heal amputees is because God cannot be “capriciously and miraculously intervening in nature”. Indeed, this logic prevents God (if he were to exist) from performing any miracles at all. This is how the universe operates – completely devoid of any interaction by any imagined God – and no intelligent person can deny it.

But then, later in his article, a logical impossibility occurs. Gelman proclaims the completely opposite position:

I believe that God has also done miracles for us in the world. The spontaneous remission of cancers, the sudden flashes of genius in science and art and philosophy, and the way people who’ve hardened their hearts suddenly find a soft spot where forgiveness and compassion can enter — all these miracles and more are, for me, evidence that God is with us and cares for us and can, unprovoked, act on our behalf.

An intelligent person looks at this reversal with utter bewilderment. How can Gelman think anyone will take him seriously? By proclaiming two diametrically opposed positions in the same article, Gelman appears to be insane.

In that same post there is a comment by a visitor named “40 Year Atheist” that contains the same sort of insanity. In this comment, 40YA defines God in this way:

a non-material being, one that would exist necessarily outside space-time and mass-energy, a being whose non-material characteristics we cannot even imagine, much less measure using devices that do not apply in any way, being designed to measure material things.

According to 40YA’s logic, God is “a non-material being, one that would exist necessarily outside space-time and mass-energy, a being whose non-material characteristics we cannot even imagine”. Furthermore, this immaterial being is impossible for humans to detect here in our material universe.

Then we read the Bible. God supposedly does a thousand material, detectable things in the Bible: God creates man and woman, walks with them in Eden, bans them, talks to their decedents, completely floods the planet, creates rainbows, destroys towers, talks through burning bushes, brings down plagues, kills babies, dries out the Red Sea, rains manna, carves on stone tablets with his finger, parades naked before Moses, pours fire down to earthAnd then God incarnates himself – God, supposedly, becomes man. What could possibly be more material than that?

So either 40YA has to completely ignore a thousand material elements in the Bible that act as the foundation for his Christian mythology, or 40YA is inventing a completely new God of his own design out of thin air. Either path is pure delusion.

In both of these examples – Rabbi Gelman and “40 Year Atheist” – the lack of logic and the strength of the delusion is palpable. It makes it impossible for any intelligent person to take them seriously.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 12 Aug 2012

Rabbi Mark Gelman of The God Squad tries to explain why God won’t heal amputees, demonstrates the insanity of religion instead

This week, in his widely syndicated newspaper column, Rabbi Mark Gelman of The God Squad attempted to explain why God won’t heal amputees. In his answer he displayed to every intelligent person the insanity that religion imposes on people’s thinking. Here is Gelman’s answer:

GOD SQUAD: Miracles happen, but don’t sit and wait for them

That title is misleading, because at the beginning of the article Gelman is forced by reality to state that miracles do NOT happen:

Together these statements explain that God wanted and therefore created a regular, rational, ordered universe. God wanted this so that we could use the brains God gave us to solve problems. If God was in the habit of capriciously and miraculously intervening in nature, then we’d have every reason to just give up seeking to understand anything.

So there it is. The reality we see before us is a “regular, rational, ordered universe” where there are no miracles. This is the only position that an intelligent person can take.

He then takes the intellectually honest next step and states:

The problem for religious folk like me/us is the existence of biblical miracles that seem to violate the laws of nature.

What are we to do with these? He states the obvious and only answer:

Our religious options are all challenging. The first is to take a naturalistic view of the biblical miracles. Theologian Martin Buber wrote, “Miracles are merely natural events viewed by extremely enthusiastic observers.” The problem with this approach is that it basically makes all the biblical miracles false, and this is highly problematic to those who believe every word of the Bible is true.

It does not matter if it is “problematic” – the reality is that “all the biblical miracles false”, meaning that the Bible is a big book of fairy tales, including the fairy tale of Jesus and his miracles. The entire Jesus story is a fairy tale. Every rational, intelligent person sees that.

He then takes it a step further:

The second approach to miracles is to swallow them whole and simply choose to believe that they are all true and happened exactly as described in the Bible. The problem with this view is that it just makes no sense to believe that an animal with no larynx can talk, that the laws of gravity did not apply at the Red Sea, or that the laws of celestial motion did not apply when Joshua stopped the sun at the battle of Jericho.

The choice between rational thought and religious belief does not work out well in the long run for religious belief. It fosters the false idea that only dumb people are religious.

Here he states reality in its clearest possible form, but mis-categorizes it. It is not a false belief. The fact is: “only dumb people are religious”. Only dumb people would believe that “the laws of gravity did not apply at the Red Sea”.

But then Gelman’s own logic collapses in his mind because he wants to believe in nonsense. He sides with the dumb people:

I believe that God has also done miracles for us in the world. The spontaneous remission of cancers, the sudden flashes of genius in science and art and philosophy, and the way people who’ve hardened their hearts suddenly find a soft spot where forgiveness and compassion can enter — all these miracles and more are, for me, evidence that God is with us and cares for us and can, unprovoked, act on our behalf.

So wait Rabbi Gelman, didn’t you say at the beginning of your article that God created “regular, rational, ordered universe” – free from miracles – in order to explain the fact that God does not heal amputees? And now you are saying that God does perform miracles? Rabbi Gelman, this makes you a irrational, illogical, delusional person.

Rabbi Gelman, the intelligent, rational people of the world ask you to reconsider. You are so close. The fact is that we live in a “regular, rational, ordered universe”. The fact is that there are no miracles. The fact is that “all the biblical miracles are false”. The reason for these truths is that your God is imaginary. The reason why God won’t heal amputees, and the reason why we see no miracles ever, is because there is no God. As soon as you understand and accept that, Rabbi Gelman, you will be healed from your delusion.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 05 Aug 2012

How theists attempt to rationalize their nonsense

Here is another Christian minister trying to rationalize the atrocities that occur on earth and happen, supposedly, during the reign of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. In this case the minister is Timothy Keller from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York:

My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?’

Danger? What could possibly be wrong with asking a sensible question?

The conclusion of the article is comical:

“If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains.

What we truly need is what little children need. They can’t understand most of what their parents allow and disallow for them. They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted. We need to know the same thing about God.”

It’s the “infinite wisdom” rationalization. God is too huge and awesome for pipsqueak humans to understand. Never mind that Christians claim to understand God all the time, for example by demanding that homosexuals be discriminated against or even stoned to death, or that foreskins need to be cut off baby’s penises, etc. Christians claim knowledge of all sorts of God’s thoughts, but strangely, the explanation for the atrocities and horrors that we see every day are just too complicated.

The second part is especially amusing: “They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted.” How can anyone love and trust a “God” who allows hundreds of thousands of people to die in a tsunami, or dozens of people to get shot innocently in a movie theater? What parent would allow your siblings to die while the parents looked on laughing.

How can Christian leaders spew such idiocy with a straight face? How can Christian followers accept it? How can the followers hear such nonsense without turning on their brains and laughing out loud?

This page can help you understand what is really going on:

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 24 Jul 2012

The insanity of religion, Batman shooting version

This article is notable because so many Christians agree with it

A miracle inside the Aurora shooting: one victim’s story

For any intelligent person, the most amazing part of the article is this section:

It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.  Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.

But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting, enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself.  Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channeled in the least harmful way. A millimeter in any direction and the channel is missed.  The brain is destroyed. Evil wins a round.

As he shares, the doctor seems taken aback. It is an odd thing to have a surgeon show a bit of wonder. Professionally, these guys own the universe, it seems, and take everything in stride. He is obviously gifted as a surgeon, and is kind in his manner. “It couldn’t have gone better. If it were my daughter,” he says quietly, glancing around to see if any of his colleagues might be watching him, “I’d be ecstatic. I’d be dancing a jig.” He smiles. I can’t keep my smile back, or the tears of joy. In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It’s just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before.

“In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future.” How does an intelligent person even begin to respond to such nonsense? If there were a God, an intelligent person would note the fact that this god’s “grace” left 12 people dead and dozens injured in this tragedy. To say that a god saved this one women while killing all the others wanders straight into the realm of insanity. Yet millions of Christians somehow agree with it. How is that possible?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 20 Jul 2012

The insanity of religion, God’s Plan version

This is a clear case of religious insanity:

George Zimmerman: “I’m Truly Sorry” But It Was “God’s Plan” For Trayvon Martin To Die

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, George Zimmerman discussed fatally shooting an unarmed 17-year-old in a controversial Florida confrontation earlier this year. Zimmerman said he didn’t regret what led to Trayvon Martin’s death.

“I feel like it was all God’s plan, and for me to second-guess it or to judge it,” he said.” However, at the end of the interview, he said he didn’t understand Hannity’s question. “I do wish that there was something, anything that I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life.”

Zimmerman also had a message for Martin’s parents: “I’m sorry… I am sorry that they buried their child. I can’t imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily.”

Millions of people talk about “God’s Plan” for any number of reasons. It is obvious that God is imaginary, but for millions of people there is a delusional belief that God is real. For these people: How would anyone know what God’s Plan is? It is when this question is asked that the insanity of religion is laid bare.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 18 Jul 2012

The insanity of religion, HPV version

Imagine that science has discovered a common virus that is known to cause cancer. Now imagine that science has created a vaccine that prevents people from contracting the virus. If you have kids, would you give your children the vaccine? Of course you would. Children get vaccines for many viruses like mumps, measles, polio, etc. as an effective way of protecting them against disease.

But if you are religious, and if the disease is Cervical cancer, and the preventitive step is the HPV vaccination, then all bets are off, as demonstrated by this article:

Girls denied cervical cancer vaccine

in this case, Christian parents are intentionally denying their children protection against a common form of cancer because of their religious delusion. The delusion is so advanced that it has impaired the ability of parents to protect their own children. That is a powerful delusion.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 09 Jul 2012

A commenter named CASTBOUND asks “Why become an atheist?”

In this thread we find a comment from CASTBOUND that he asked this week:

I see no point to the blog or the derision. Why are atheists so interested in converting theists to atheists? All the energy and time put in here must be to convert theists. But why would I want to convert to atheism? My life is very happy, I am well educated and I enjoy God’s creation. If I am wrong how would my belief hurt my future or my prosperity?

Alex seems quite despondent and I certainly want no part of that.

So to sum it up, if atheists just lack belief, why would I want to participate? How would that benefit me?

“Why are atheists so interested in converting theists to atheists?” he asks. By replacing a few words, we can begin to understand the answer. For example:

“Why are non-racists so interested in converting racists to non-racists?”

What’s in it for the non-racist, trying to convert all these racists? CASTBOUND further asks, “if atheists just lack belief, why would I want to participate? How would that benefit me?” It might not directly benefit a racist to convert to a non-racist. But the world becomes a much, much better place if we can eliminate all of the racists by converting them to non-racists. Once racists become non-racists, they understand that better. As racists go through the process of learning about and then eliminating their racism, they see the problems with racism and the advantages of a racism-free world.

The same might be said of sexists: “Why are non-sexists so interested in converting sexists to non-sexists?” The world becomes a much, much better place if we can eliminate all the sexist people by converting them to non-sexists. This post shows how ridiculously sexist Muslims can be. This chapter demonstrates the sexism in Christianity.

The same might be said of homophobes. The world becomes a much, much better place if we can eliminate all the homophobes.

So back to CASTBOUND’s question: “Why are atheists so interested in converting theists to atheists?” It’s because, as a general rule, members of the Christian faith, the Mormon faith and the Muslim faith have a strong tendency to be racist, sexist and homophobic. They are this way because their faith predisposes them to turn off their rational minds and trust what they read in their sacred books. These sacred books openly advocate things like racism, sexism and homophobia, along with many other obviously evil mindsets.

If we can educate Christians, Mormons and Muslims to the point where they abandon their faiths, the rationality they gain in the process of that abandonment is likely to cause them to abandon irrational, unethical, evil mindsets like racism, sexism and homophobia in the process. Our world becomes a much better place.

This is one line of reasoning as to why CASTBOUND and other theists should give up their “faith”. There are many other lines of reasoning as well. Perhaps some of these other lines will be presented in the comments.

If you are a Christian, a Mormon or a Muslim who would like to begin the process of abandoning your delusional faith, this video can help:

Islam Thomas on 06 Jul 2012

An amazing discussion about the oppression of women by the Muslim faith

An extremely powerful image demonstrating the oppression of women by the Muslim faith

Islam’s oppression of women

Interview with the photographer:

Boushra Almutawakel’s work: A photographic exploration of life in Yemen

And a discussion on Reddit:

The Evolution of Extremism: The Vanishing Role of Women in Islamic Society.

Several of the comments:

You often hear Muslims say it is a sign of respect but to me it is a legitimization of rape. If you don’t wear the burqa muslim men have the right to rape you. Says something about muslim men more than it does about the women…

I have to say, it’s much easier being tolerant of Islam before actually visiting an Islamic country than after. Many of the men I talked to were very misogynistic. They were very pushy with women in our group and rarely understood the concept of women telling them no. The idea that the hijab is respectful is bullshit, it’s purely to demonstrate that they are property and without it, the animalistic men would just take them due to their “inability” to control themselves.

what’s scary is how this extremism is spreading into western culture. for example women in the full black dress and eye veil (second to last image) are very prevalent where I am from in England. Women fought for the right to be equal here and this extremism is offensive and shouldn’t be allowed.

Islam Thomas on 26 Jun 2012

The insanity of Islam

Upon reading this, what is an intelligent person to think?

Egypt presidential candidate seeks Constitution based on Sharia Law

Egypt’s Constitution should be based on the Koran and Sharia law, presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement Mohamed Morsi said.

“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” Morsi said in his election speech before Cairo University students on Saturday night.

Death in the name of Allah is our goal

No thinking person can read that without concluding that Morsi is insane. His religion has caused his insanity.

Whether you are a Muslim or a Christian, it is time to abandon your religion and join with sane people who are religion-free. This video will help:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 01 Jun 2012

A child is poisoned by Christian doctrine

Child’s ‘Ain’t No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven’ Church Performance Goes Viral

The congregation in the church, which has been identified as the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Ind., gives a standing ovation after the child sings, “I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong…ain’t no homos gonna make it to heaven.”

Imagine the mind of a Christian. Whenever looking at a human being of the LGBT persuasion, the thought running through the mind is, “an all-powerful god is going to torture that LGBT person in hell forever!” How does such poisonous, violent nonsense affect the worldview, outlook and relationships of a Christian? How does it help society in any way?

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