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Archive for the 'Religion' Category

We asked him what a nutjob God would want with so many foreskins. And why he was so obsessed with penises. Why not mandate the amputation of a little toe? Because God wants to show you who’s really in charge of procreative power around here. And it’s not you. (On several occasions, God punishes women with infertility – closes their wombs, as the text puts it.)

what believers call “blasphemy” is for atheists nothing more than “telling the truth”:

– Torah God is vengeful, punitive, and sadistic, not worthy of respect, much less worship.
– Neither he nor any other gods exist.
– Holy books don’t deserve reverence: they prescribe death for any offense; advocate slavery and ethnic murder (Deuteronomy contains explicit instructions for ethnic cleansing).
– Torah morality is juvenile.
– There is no independent verification for anything that happens in the Torah.

The real point of the Babel story is subjugation and dependence: God says that if humans can build the tower, they will be able to do whatever they set out to do and nothing “will be beyond their reach.” We learn early on how the Torah writers felt about human ambitions.

“[People] make themselves believe that they believe.”
Michel de Montaigne
I first met this gangly man-child with a semi-Afro as a lukewarm Detroit Pistons fan in the late 80s. I started following the team. There was an ensemble cast, each member of which played his role perfectly.
There was Bill Laimbeer, the flopper, jersey-puller and all-around pain in […]

Dear Matthew,

My best wishes for a happy birthday and for many years of health and happiness. My wife and I (I am your grandmother Brenda’s first cousin) must regretfully decline your invitation, because as a matter of deeply held principle, we do not participate in religious rituals based on lies, fantasy, and the humiliation of human beings in front of nonexistent deities. Your bar mitzvah falls into that category.

If religion were unfailingly to deliver a better class of people, a more moral and humane individual, and if in fact it made for the gradual and palpable improvement in the human race and the human condition, then I might see some justification for all the fantasy and ritual. But when people cling to that fantasy and ritual and use it as a cover for immoral, inhumane behavior, then there is no excusing religion; there is only wishing for its disappearance and demise.

“I now proclaim the transformation and commitment of the Catholic Church to a new, humanistic Christianity, one that honors, above all things, human dignity, human individuality, and human choice.

Every atheist has to deal with the consequences of unbelief, which depend on one’s religious environment and the age at which freedom from religion is first realized. In my case, the environment was Judaism lite, secular and forgiving enough that I could simply walk away unscathed.

Perhaps on Groundhog Day, we can realize, as Phil eventually did, that through it all, the only thing that we can certainly change is our own mind and behavior. Like Phil, all we can do is keep at it till we get it right.

Interestingly, religion and science agree that there is a “brotherhood of humanity.” But once again, the two diverge sharply in reality. With religion, it’s just lip service, usually – and hypocritically — accompanied by commands to ostracize or murder those who look different.

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