Goodness and Guilt on the Dark Edge of Life

Guilt

I’m thinking about guilt as a driving force of religion. If you treat somebody badly, and they later die before you have a chance to apologize or correct your action, you have no way to make it right with them. If you’re religious, though, you can regain balance both through the ceremonial forgiveness your religion offers and through the “knowledge” that you will either see them again and have the chance to make it right, or that they’re alive-after-death and able to see you, hear … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Long Shadow of Forgotten Gods

shadows

So you’re an atheist, and you’re totally free of religion, right? Oh ... maybe. And maybe not. Say one of your ancestors learned this thing in church a thousand years or so ago: The Book of Bob 9:17 — Verily, God saith that all men shall roll down the tops of their socks, or they shall never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but shall instead be bound screaming in a pit of flaming scorpions, which shall rend them even unto the ends of time. It’s safe to say that still today, … [Read more...]

Grieving Mother Mistreated by Heartless Atheists

crosses

Here's this article: Atheists Fight With Grieving Mom Over Roadside Crosses. Son dies in a auto accident at the age of 19, grief-stricken mother erects a memorial of crosses and flowers on city property, humanist group asks city council to disallow it. Good call? Bad call? Commenting on Facebook, Sinis Tergrin weighs in: I think it's pretty mean spirited to target a grieving mother. What kind of person complains about this based on the "separation of church and state"?? I thought we in … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Footprint of the Past

War Dead

One of my many interests is the residual social / societal effects of historical events and social movements. For instance, the fact that we still say “God bless you” when people sneeze, 14 centuries after the supposed origin of the practice ... One explanation holds that the custom originally began as an actual blessing. Gregory I became Pope in AD 590 as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of … [Read more...]

Well, This Is Just Sad As Hell

Crying Soldier

Got this thing on Facebook, but it's very little different from stuff I've been getting for years via email. Here it is in full, with picture attached: ***A MUST SHARE***A young man working in the army was constantly humiliated because he believed in God. One day the captain wanted to humiliate him before the troops. He called the young man and said: – Young man come here, take the key and go and park the Jeep in front. the young man replied: – I cannot drive! The captain said: – … [Read more...]

Religion is Weird. That is All.

Mithras 3

Stumbled across a new word today: Tauroctony. Wikipedia defines it: The tauroctony scene is the [central icon] of the Mithraic Mysteries. It depicts Mithras killing a bull, hence the name 'tauroctony', given to the scene in modern times, probably after the Greek word tauroktonos (ταυροκτόνος) "slaughtering bulls." The Mithraic Mysteries, now referred to as Mithraism, was a mystery religion practiced in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD. The name of the … [Read more...]

Rare Giant Gemstone Sort of Wasted. Thanks, Religion.

BC-Jade-Budda

I'm okay with Buddhists, generally. But guys, really? A statue of Buddha (there are a few around, in case you don't know) was the best the human race could come up with for the largest single piece of jade ever discovered? ... a mammoth boulder of nephrite jade sourced in Northwest British Columbia, Canada. Dubbed the Polar Pride boulder when it was discovered in 2000, gem experts called the 18-ton specimen “the find of the millennium.” I'll admit I'm coming up short in figuring out what … [Read more...]

No, I don’t believe in God. I thought YOU did. Well, heck. Now what?

crazy

We're born to sanity. We instinctively feel that things should be reasonable. That it should all MAKE SENSE. Most of us, as we grow to adulthood, at least TRY to be sane and sensible. But we all know we share the world with some crazy-ass others. In my view, the biggest reason for rampant craziness in the world is religion. Religion is not only mistaken about basic facts of reality, it sets up a social field of acceptance to casual lies, deliberate falsehoods, even malicious acts, by both … [Read more...]

I’m Part of FreethoughtBlogs’ FTBConscience!

I'll be appearing on the "Atheism and Grief" panel at FTBConscience this Sunday, July 21 at 4 p.m. Central time. Other speakers will include Rebecca Hensler, founder of Grief Beyond Belief, plus Greta Christina and Nicome Taylor. Here's the entire convention schedule, and here's the page detailing just my panel. I'd volunteered to be on the panel regarding the future of atheism, hoping to talk about Beta Culture, but there were already plenty of panelists included there. Hope to see … [Read more...]

Free Online Movies, Including One on Atheism

Things to be found on this newfangled Internet: 535 Free Movies Online Including this one: Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief With the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the emotional whiplash that followed, the monotheistic religions of the West took a more stridently political turn. It was in this context that Jonathan Miller, the British theatre and opera director, felt compelled to create a three-part documentary tracing the history of religious skepticism and … [Read more...]