...and the architect resides right here...

Ahh, there he is.

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A Reasonable Transformation

Posted by Brandon | Filed under Articles

This post is going to be a personal one but in it I hope to bring to light how it was that I came to atheism. I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I would abandon the idea of god and reject the bible’s teachings. It was a long, arduous process throughout which I felt torn apart, confused, frightened and filled with inner turmoil. There was nothing simple or rushed in this transformation. But in the end I gained more than I could have ever thought possible.

I was born in October of 1984 and raised in a Christian family. It wasn’t a very strict family and though we did goto church it wasn’t all that often. The times I did goto church and/or Sunday school I was taught about the history of creation and what was right or wrong. Though I cannot personally remember, relatives have said that I used to imitate preachers and pray when I was just a kid.

Move ahead to when I was fourteen. I started to hang out with people who for the most part were Christian but a few of my friends were either agnostic or atheist. I would lecture them on denying their creator and would feel genuine sadness over what I thought would be their ill-fate when they would finally meet their maker. I had even gone to a bible camp for a few days once and I can honestly tell you that at the time I felt like Jesus or god or something had touched me. I know now what I felt was adrenaline and the rush of being with so many like-minded individuals.

Skipping ahead to seventeen years of age, I was in high school and had taken quite a liking to science, especially astronomy. This was when the first seeds of doubt had begun to form in my mind. I don’t know what exactly separates the believer from the non-believer but I do think one personality trait really benefits: skepticism. This is not to say you need to argue over everything but if you can question what you think and what you ‘know’ then you have started your first few steps away from the shackles of ignorance.

I was that type of person. I questioned myself and what I thought in other areas, not just religion. I remember once someone had challenged my belief in god and I immediately began to refute what they had said. I realized right at that moment that I was not answering their question from any logical perspective but was doing it in almost a reflexive way. That person’s question did not even enter the logic area of my brain but instead, just like in a cartoon where the character changes the train’s destination by pulling a lever, went down the emotional track and was answered in a purely emotional fashion.

I had to come to grips with my new found revelation later that day. I had literally almost felt my brain being retarded. Couple that with my new appreciation of science and I had a problem that I felt I needed to come to terms with.

I started to feel a sort of intangible kinship with science. Here I was questioning myself and what I believed only to realize that science behaved much in the same way. Science is set up to question itself, to challenge itself and it’s understanding of the universe. You have an innumerable amount of people that do nothing but dedicate themselves to the pursuit of knowledge. They question themselves, they question current theories, they question past theories. Many times they are right but many times they are wrong. And that ability to re-factor, rethink and re-examine concepts and ideas you have held true, regardless if it meant you were wrong, drew me to it like nothing before.

This left me at odds with myself, and prompted what was probably the most difficult step. I couldn’t believe in science and believe in god. No matter how the religious try to swing it, the two are incompatible. But I wasn’t ready to become atheist. I even felt real fear at calling myself agnostic. All the years of believing with every fiber in my being that god would strike me down and send me to hell affected me. Indoctrinating children at a young age will brainwash a child’s mind and to say otherwise is sheer and utter ignorance.

By the time I was eighteen I was a full fledged agnostic. Still not ready to go at it 100% and call myself atheist but I was on the band wagon and loving it. There were two main reasons why I couldn’t go all the way. One was what I said earlier: Afraid that if I was wrong god would punish me. But secondly, and this is why I have this site, I had no community. There wasn’t an “atheist church”. No place to meet with fellow skeptics and share our knowledge and experiences, or at least none that I knew of. Plus I was afraid of how my family would feel about me. Would they judge me? Would they disown me? (They didn’t by the way, much to my satisfaction)

When I was about twenty-one I read a book: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I was immediately changed. I mean, here was a guy that understood me. It was ok to be atheist, it was ok to doubt myself and question what I believed and there were plenty of other people who felt the same. After I read that book I went on a crusade if you will; reading anything I could get my hands on. Watching debates all day, everyday, with people like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

It wasn’t long after that I was able to call myself atheist with pride. No more feeling guilty about doubting god or challenging the Christian belief system. It was a change in me that was epic in scale and reward. I take the philosophy of science and reason and use it in all aspects of my life today. My only hope with this site is to help people in similar situations. I know what it’s like to believe in god and feel like everyone who questions that is ridiculous. I understand Christians and empathize with them. The only words of wisdom I hope I can convey to you is that you need to question. Always question yourself and your surroundings. Ask your self why? Why do you believe in what you believe. Try and step back as far away as you can from yourself, away from any emotional bias and figure it out.

Hopefully this helps answer any questions people might have of why I dedicate such a large portion of my life to this cause. And I say that without any embarrassment because this is a cause. Religion affects so many facets of our lives from individual rights to politics to how we even think as human beings that I couldn’t live with myself not trying to make some dent, however small it may be, in this world. If I only save one person from a life of ignorance then that will have made all of this worthwhile. Thanks everyone.

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Come on guys, really?

Posted by Ryan | Filed under Humor

Gotta show my face at the behest of our great overlord, Brandon. So, how’s it goin’ folks? Workin’ hard out there to keep the faith? If not, just take a look at this video from my good friend Mr. Gladstone

What, not convinced? I mean, come on, it’s a cat that kind of has a pattern that looks like Jesus. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ve got the one and only “Cheesus”. You might recall the article posted by our Great Master recently about laminin. I thought it was ridiculous and laughed as we all surely did, but- Wait, what? People took that seriously? Uh…well, as I was saying, come on. This video is more a bash at Fox news and CNN than it is religion, but the point is that these stories were presented on mainstream TV and taken seriously. Well, by christian people anyway.

Two parts of this piss me off. First, take a look at 1:40. See the little cheeto carefully preserved in it’s display case on the right? We wouldn’t want to destroy a work of god. The second…keep watching. Hear it? 1:43 or so. It’s the guy that chimes in at the end, replying to a statement that it, in fact, ‘is not a work of god, but may bring some good’ with the educated statement of “Duhhhh!”

What is wrong with people? This doesn’t seem like blind desperation to anyone? Why aren’t these people embarrassed by claiming god has blessed them with a bite-sized crucifix?

Hey, you know, I think there might be something to this hidden message thing. I can feel it… God is speaking to the world, what could he be trying to say?

Something like that

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Jesus and the Switch

Posted by Brandon | Filed under Humor

An image was sent to me by a reader that I thought was pretty funny. Check it out:

Jesus and the Switch

And if you didn’t catch it, this blog title was a very poor attempt at a humorous pun.

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The Four Horsemen

Posted by Brandon | Filed under Articles

I wanted to post a link about a favorite video of mine. It’s an unmoderated 2 hour discussion between Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett.

I think it’s a great conversation and they cover everything from atheism to philosophy to science and much more. I definitely recommend this video to anyone who is interested in some of the more well known atheists of our time. This is a 2 hour video but it’s definitely worth it. Enjoy.

The Four Horsemen – Hour 1
The Four Horsemen – Hour 2

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Dinosaurs Man’s Best Friend?

Posted by Brandon | Filed under Humor

I have decided where I am going on my next vacation: Petersburg, Kentucky. What’s in Petersburg you ask? Why the brand new (2007 really) creationist museum!

This has to be the most fantastic of all museums. Ken Ham has created a museum that teaches young earth creationism, which is the uhh *cough* theory *cough* that the all life on earth started between six and ten thousand years ago. Anyone who’s taken an elementary science class will laugh at this, but I digress.

Now, when I first heard about this museum, I wasn’t too angry. I thought that it would teach about baby Jesus and the like. Throw in some Adam and Eve and mix in a little bit of resurrection talk for good measure. But oh no, they take it a step (leap) too far.

They teach that humans and dinosaurs were alive during the same period of time and that the T-Rex didn’t eat meat until Adam had committed the original sin. Man oh man, this makes me want to tear my eyeballs out. There’s so much scientific data that the earth is 4.54 billion years old, but all of that is lost in the futile attempts at the religious to try and justify their false beliefs.

To prove these awesome theories they try and use science. But unfortunately a spoonful of pseudo-science doesn’t help this reasoning go down. And yes, I used a horrible Mary Poppins reference. Here’s a good BBC clip on a museum that only America could produce. Enjoy:

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The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses

Posted by Brandon | Filed under Humor

This link is pretty old but I think it’s probably the funniest thing I have read in a long while. It basically lists a few of the more ridiculous bible verses. Here’s the link. Some of them are not so funny as they are just weird and/or horrifying.

I think the bible is wonderful personally. Funny, sad, cruel and humorous. You can go through a wide assortment of emotions in just a few chapters. Want to read about a cruel angry God? The old testament is just the thing! Want a nicer, more friendly God? Then why not try the new testament.

Seriously, have any of you christians ever read the bible?

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Banana Proves God’s Existence

Posted by Brandon | Filed under Humor

I have to say this is my favorite video on the proof of God. These two guys, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, tour the road and use this demonstration to prove God’s existence. I have to rate this video #1 on the internet. It’s fantastic.

On a more serious note: Wild bananas don’t really look like this. They are much more difficult to open and have giant seeds inside of them. The bananas we see in the store today were genetically engineered by people to be more convienent. But all of this is irrelvant because what about other fruits like a coconut? Has anyone ever tried to open a coconut? I beat the crap out of one once and stabbed at it for 30 minutes.

I’ll also post this other video which is allegedly another “Atheist’s Nightmare”, which shows how very little Christians understand evolution.

This second video is so retarded that it’s hard for me to put into words how I feel. This ‘experiment’ with the peanut butter is silly. There was not (to the best of my knowledge) peanut butter when life began. It is true that scientists are not sure exactly how life came about but this does not mean we will never know. It’s easy to say “Well, God made everything!” but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are correct. The chance of life forming was probably very slim. And the specific conditions are currently unknown but nobody thinks life can spring from peanut butter. That’s horrible science and these guys need to really think before they make videos.

The moral of the story: Yes, bananas are so well adjusted for humans that there absolutely must be an all-knowing and kindly God looking down on us and answering our prayers. And that hey, if life can’t come from peanut butter then evolution must be false. Kudos religious people, you win again.