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Archive for the 'Religion' Category

War is old men sacrificing young men (and now, women) for their vanity, ambitions, and ideologies. Soldiers – of all countries — are dupes for letting themselves get into combat. Or maybe they buy the whole heroism crock of shit. Or maybe they’re invulnerable he-men who like to shoot people and blow things up. But almost all wars are optional, irrational (“go murder that stranger”) and unnecessary (unless some other idiot starts it).

Well, if all the questions are answered, how do you find out anything? You don’t. You remain primitive shepherds, or whoever founded your religion. And indeed, Jews who have long since stopped being primitive shepherds dress up and go to synagoigue, there to read from a scroll and pretend they believe all those primitive-shepherd stories. Weird.

Reality may disappoint, but it is REALITY. Fantasy may comfort, but it is FANTASY. This is the conscious choice made by every secular humanist — but ignored by every religious believer.

Happy 4/20!

Governments decide what drugs – and what drug users and traffickers — are to be the scapegoated (in On Liberty and Drugs, which I heartily recommend, Thomas Szasz points out the historical relationship between the two meanings of pharmak-, ‘scapegoat’ and ‘remedy.’ After all, scapegoating was the way to rid the tribe of all its evils.

I maintain that it’s hard work to repress our contempt for and anger at the way religion grabs people at childhood and molds their minds with fantasies. For a committed skeptic/humanist, there can be no productive dialog between religious believers and atheists. Believers’ brains simply partake of a different subjective reality, one that includes murderous deities, golden calves, and manna from heaven.

To a Jewish humanist, Easter is when Christians engage in some of their creepiest, ghastliest, most gruesome beliefs and practices. It’s when they get in touch with their inner Mel Gibson. The color of this Easter is red, as in blood. . .
The worst thing that Christians have done with Christmas is to commercialize it. That’s nothing compared with the dark underbelly of Easter: centuries of blood, barbarism, and death.

I believe in religious freedom, even if that freedom involves the ability to commit suicide by the object of your religion…and have it be OK with your religion.

Happy Hanukkah – sort of

Hanukkah celebrates, in part, the rededication of the temple in the second century CE by a bunch of Jewish Taliban. It was the restoration of the old time religion. Once again, the relatively primitive, tribal Jews were in (temporarily victorious) conflict with a secular, rational, cosmopolitan culture. (We caught up quickly once the Enlightenment opened up secular opportunities.)

The state must not endorse religion, period.

Our language is the product of our history, so it’s no surprise that there’s so much God-talk. Each atheist has to adapt his/her own strategy, and this has been a fruitful topic at A/N. Along with other substitutions, I advise not shouting God’s name at the moment of orgasm, but rather the name of the person who is giving you said orgasm.

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