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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Reflections and Hopes for 2012

What has the new year got in store for us?

What do I hope the new year will bring?

What do I hope to achieve in the pursuit of promoting atheism based on reason, logic and science?

Well as you know, I started this blog after Christopher Hitchens died. I took part in the Hitch tribute podcast that The Thinking Atheist held in his honour and after speaking out and letting my feelings and thoughts be heard, I decided I might as well follow up my words with actions. In a way, it is my tribute for Hitch, to carry on the torch that he created and held for such a long time.

Now I know that no way will I ever be as prominent and as big as Hitch was, but I want to do my part in the atheist cause, however small that may be (all 5 foot 2 inches of me!). It would be nice if this blog really took off. I have not found such a big and popular UK based atheist blog and I hope I will be able to fit such big shoes. But if I do not, then that does not matter either.

I thought that I was very open about my atheism, that I did not have anything to fear about letting my atheism show, not to strangers, but to people I know. After starting this blog I learnt that I was not as comfortable sharing my atheist views to everyone I knew as I first thought. I thought it was going to be easy, but it has not been. My first blog, well, I was a bag of nerves when it came to publishing it. It has now become easier over time because when it comes down to it, if they are my true friends, then they will accept me for everything I am and the lack of belief I have in religion. If not, well…….. Oh and then when I had my first theist confrontation, I was so scared. Would I make the atheist community proud in my responses? But then as an overview, with this blog, will I make the atheist community proud?

I hope so. I can only imagine achieving the standing that people like The Thinking Atheist and The Atheist Experience has. I can only try to emulate them – never copy them as I am my own person and I have my own style, but apart from Hitch, they are some of my inspirations and I thank them for their hard work in the cause. I am very grateful as a listener and as part of their audience. Without them, would I have had the courage or inspiration to do this blog? I do not think I would have had so much of either to be honest.

Enough with the love fest though, looking forward to the new year ahead, the big 2012, well we have the biggie really – apparently it is going to be the end of the world before the year has ended! There is no difference between some Mayan priest eons ago announcing the end of the world and some wackjob fundamentalist nutcase stating that the end of the world will happen tomorrow, so give him all his money to ensure your salvation! With my money firmly in my purse, I will no doubt see you all on the other side!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dating Religious Minefield

So there I am watching tv (as you do at times) and an advert came up advertising christianmingle.com.  I was so confused, why would anyone be so narrow minded and just look for christians in their pursuit for love?  After further investigation online I quickly came across another one for singlemuslim.com.

WTF!?

Seriously, what is the world coming to when we are actively seeking out others of the same religious denomination as the main desired characteristic!?  It does not matter if you are a rapist, woman beater, murder etc, no, firstly I want/need to find out if you are christian!?

Whatever happened to finding out interests and hobbies of the other person to determine compatibility?  I like swimming, do you?  Perhaps I have got it all wrong, perhaps we should be asking – I like an invisible god that commits genocide and advocates rape and murder, do you?  But wait a minute, the clincher to getting in my pants is which invisible god do you like the best!?

This is promoting segregation and perceived differences between different cultures rather than promoting unity and strength amongst one another regardless of culture or creed.  By promoting simply the perceived  differences, the world will never improve, move forward.  The creation of these websites only serve to exacerbate these perceived differences further.

Now I say “perceived differences” because they are not actually differences, they are perceived through religious goggles or as The Thinking Atheist would say “God Goggles”.  (A link to his website is at the end of this post).   We are all human, we all have the same blood, we just come from different parts of the world.  Mix the potent poison of religion into it all and you have war, death and suffering all in the name of the god they advocate.

These websites, they state that they are about finding love but in the process they are really engaging in the age old war pitting religion against religion but taking it into the 21st Century on the new social playground, the internet.

The Thinking Atheist Link: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Yearly Christmas Day Attempted Conversion

So who out there at Christmas dreads the meal times only for the simple reason that your family then tries to make you “see sense/reason?”  Not just me?  Well if not then I am glad I am not alone for having to go through all that!

***The following is based on a conversation about the religion of Roman Catholicism but can also be substituted into most of the Christian denominations as well.***

So what happened this year at the annual Christmas “try to convert Stefania” conversation?!  Well this year it was about death and religion.  Trying to scare me into submission and fear of the unknown they were saying things like, when we die “our spirit/soul” lives on.  We do not die completely, we live in in another entity and we will meet everyone who has passed on again.

The other conversion sayings are the following:
1.  There is too much energy within people for us to simply die and not live on.
2.  You have gone from one extreme (theist) to another (atheist), why can’t you just be on a middle ground!?
3.  Talks about reincarnation to state that we do live on after death through existence of a soul/spirit.
4.  Talks about how people will all of a sudden believe in a past life that they “used to live” and it being historically true.

I firstly stated that religion is based on superstition and contradiction.  It is based on an invisible god.  It advocates to love everyone i.e. The Golden Rule, but then in the Old Testament, it advocates genocide and rape!

I continued to state that there is no proof that a spirit/soul actually exists.  If it did then it would be physical and would thus be physically identifiable within our bodies.  As such, when people talk about spirit/soul, they are really describing the brain and the chemical reactions that happens within the brain that controls the rest of our body and emotions.

I then continued to state that people that all of a sudden think that they live a past life and come up with information that is actually historically true, are actually people subconsciously not realising what they have learnt either on tv, books, internet etc and then attributing it to some kind of past life.  Subconsciously manipulating themselves to believe something to be true personally to themselves.  Something that religion thrives on.

For them to say that I was going from one extreme to another in belief was pretty much a personal insult to me said out of anger when I would not accept their reasoning or beliefs.  Trying to make me believe that it is my fault I do not understand them because I am at a dreaded extreme.  This was very underhand of them to try and twist it psychologically this way but I explained that I believe in Science, reason and logic that shows undeniable proof of the inner workings of the world and beyond.

I agree with the late Christopher Hitchens and my favourite philosopher Jean Paul Sartre………when we die, that is it, we are dead, we are gone, disappeared, no after life, nothing.  The life we have on this world is no prelude to the next.  We should be acting within this world for this world.  To act for our fellow man because it is inheritantly right to do so, not because some religion dictates a set of rules we must abide by.  Therefore we should not be acting towards our guaranteed admittance into another world beyond this one.

Jean Paul Sartre: Humanism and Existentialism – “God is dead, everything is permitted.”

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Christmas Eve Rant

So this week, I have been in hospital, went out of hospital, went to work, went home, the usual (apart from finishing off the Christmas Presents acquisition to give to other people)!

When I was in hospital this week under one of my usual pancreas attacks kicking my ass, my mind was full of The Thinking Atheist and his presentation that he did at The FreeOK Convention earlier on this year.  (It is on YouTube and there is a link for you to see this piece of awesomeness at the end of this blog).

Anyways, the reason why I was thinking about this presentation, in it he makes a really good point.  Theists will say:

“Thank you God for your power in curing me and delivering me from the evil that enveloped your glorious creation!”

Wait a minute though……..What about the actual doctors and nurses who have actually done the work, they with their own hands cured them, not this invisible god!  Some theists though will thank the doctors but state that god was guiding their mind and their hands to cure them.  That is a bigger kick in the teeth!  Its saying:

“Well I know you physically cured me but you are just an empty vessel, you really do not know what you are doing even after YEARS of medical training and education because…….(wait for it)…….it was really god that cured me through you!”

Seriously people, I know between an all round might fight between a doctor and god I know which one I would bet on to win!  HINT: I would not bet on the invisible spaghetti monster!

And it goes even further with the theists!  When someone is ill, they pray to god to cure them/guide the empty doctor vessels to do the  dirty work for him/her.  No it cannot be a doctor that would cure an ill person, no it will be god that will physically cure us just through the power of prayer/doing absolutely nothing.

Religion in the past was used to explain to man what was unexplainable.  Now that Science is filling in these gaps of knowledge, how we get sick, causes of illnesses and disabilities, how to cure these maladies, how can people still attribute the answers to some divine invisible being?

Blah blah blah with the whole god is everywhere balls.  I can see a table, a tv, my fella, my dogs aka babies, my christmas tree, but no invisible god let alone the legendary invisible spaghetti monster!  So the moral of the blog today folks, when the doctor helps you with your pain, illness, disability and even as an added bonus cures it, thank the doctor, do not thank god as doing so is hazardous to your mental health.

Link to The Thinking Atheist Presentation at The FreeOK Convention 2011

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheThinkingAtheist#p/u/32/c7ZIZ-Upalk

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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First Introductions

In the wake of Christopher Hitchens untimely demise I have decided that I need to do more for the atheist cause, so here it is, my own blog that will be full of my musings, beliefs and general chit chat through the eyes of an atheist in the British culture/society.  Not only is this my sole inspiration, but albeit my main one, others that have inspired myself, The Thinking Atheist aka Seth and The Atheist Experience spring to mind.  I find though that these are American and therefore perhaps not as accessible from this side of “the pond.”  I do recommend them all the same and you will find a link to their websites at the end of this post.

In the meantime, what invariably always happens, an introduction of myself, why/how I became atheist.

I come from a Roman Catholic background.  I was born and live in England but my family are actually Italian.  So whenever I visit my family in Italy you will always see signs of Catholicism every corner you turn.  In England I find that religion is not as important in comparison, which can only be a good thing, but it is still lurking behind in the shadows which is just as dangerous perhaps.

I attended a Roman Catholic school (the worst years of my life).  They teach scripture such as The Golden Rule, love one another as you would like to be loved yourself.  Yes, thats great, not so great when no one actually takes this on board and bullies the inch of your life out of you!  So this was the starting point of me turning to reason and truth, why would anyone be so mean to someone else when the Bible is teaching scripture such as this?  Of course, the teachers were cherry picking the nicer things out of the bible, no where in class did they teach of the rape, slavery, mass genocide that the Bible advocates.  That is not good PR for Catholicism!

So in sixth form at the same school I studied Philosophy for my A Levels.  The teacher was called Mr Adams and he was the most influential person at that moment in time.  He introduced me to the writings of Jean Paul Sartre and my love with Existentialism started there.  When the words were uttered, “God is dead, everything is permitted,” into these humble ears of mine, there was another alternate universe that was introduced, that I was allowed to think of that I would have never considered.  In this life, on this planet, do we actually need a God?  It is actually ok to think that there is no God.

And it snowballed from there, now what do I think of religion?  I used to think that it was all true and it was to be followed to get into heaven.  Now I think it is man made and it is not from some divine authority as it claims to be.  If it was, then there would not be any mistakes or contradictions within itself.  It would be absolute and would be explained with reason, science and truth.  How can something as imperfect as man describe and write the teachings and life of something that is perfect?  Imperfection can never understand or ascertain perfection.  The bible or any other holy text are thus a contradiction within themselves before you even set your eyes on the first page!

How could religion be as pure as it claims to be when fundamentalist Islamists are killing others that do not believe in their faith, or when the Pope is covering up such a heinous crime as pedophilia within his own church?  All for the greater good?  Am I an idiot or something, or is there a screw loose or something missing in these people’s heads or something!?

Are you an atheist?  What made you become and atheist?  What is your story?  If you would like to share your story with us then please, write in the comments box below.
On the other hand, are you a believer that has just read this?  What do you think after reading this?  I equally invite and encourage your comments below.

Please note:  I want this to be an honest but respectful discussion.  No swearing will be permitted on my blog.  Any that I do find will be promptly deleted.

Finally as promised here are the links below:

The Thinking Atheist: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/
The Atheist Experience: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAtheistExperience

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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