Jesus Sent His Dad a Valentine!

I guess he loves his Dad more than his Dad loves him…

(via Ape, Not Monkey)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Rain

    I still don’t get how God can have a gender, and why it has to be male. Oh wait, now I remember, it’s all made up baloney.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Men wrote it. And since they were so convinced that they were the best thing evar since they have a dick, their made up sky daddy projection had to have one.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Technically, I think it’s made up “salami.”

  • Baby_Raptor

    The title of this post made me go “Wat.”

  • EpicusMontaigne

    I’ve been following this blog for a bit, and I think of all the atheist blogs I’ve read this one draws the least amount of vulgarity when it comes to “anti-Catholic” or “anti-Christian” comments, so I have a little proposal. Anyone who’s interested in continuing a little God-Debate like Austin Dacey in the post “A Powerful Case…” please email me. As a note, this is not “I will prove to you God exists, then you’ll see” type malarkey. My goal is to show that there is a rational case to be made for theism (I know, it’s hard to find that on the internet these days). I promise to be respectful, I only ask you return in kind. Thanks, guys. http://wp.me/p2UBJE-6o

    • Rain

      My goal is to show that there is a rational case to be made for theism

      You might as well do it in the comments. No point in keeping it a secret. I’m sure the world will be quite grateful. No idea why you want to solicit emails from people.

      • EpicusMontaigne

        Well, it’s involved. I wrote a blog post on it (that’s the wordpress link) so if you don’t want to email you can respond on the comments. It’s almost 1900 words of response, a little much to go in the comments. I asked for emails because if someone was willing, I’d like to do a back and forth for a blog post, in a debate style format (so many words for an opening statement, and responses, etc.)

        • Wesley S. Abney

          Quickly skimmed the article, and basically looks like the same special pleading, misunderstanding of evolution, and attacks against people who don’t agree’s intellectual honesty. Atheists are “culpably ignorant”, you have to buy into the idea we have a “soul” (“our conscience and essentially a moral order imprinted on our soul”), etc. I don’t see anything to make believe in any of the deities “rational and reasonable”, let alone the Catholic version.

          • EpicusMontaigne

            All culpably ignorant just means you know about theism and don’t believe it. It’s not an insult, its a term in contrast with “invincible ignorance”. Second off, I didn’t say anything about evolution except that scientists don’t know (there’s no consensus) on how life entered into the picture. Thirdly, a soul captures what isn’t captured by the terms “mind” and “body”. I could call it anything else, its meant to point out the flaws of the strict mind/body dichotomy.

            Also, I give plenty of fault to Christians and Catholics who aren’t intellectually honest. It’s difficult for people to be intellectually honest on the internet where, you have to admit, 99 out of 100 news updates by all parties are pretty sensationalist.

            • EpicusMontaigne

              I appreciate you checking it out, though. I think if you read it more carefully you’d at least see that there’s more to it than you describe.

            • Wesley S. Abney

              (Please forgive the slowness of my response – I’m at work and only have a minute here and there to check this)

              I’m curious as to where you arrived at that definition of the term culpable ignorance – in general it seems to mean “failure to exercise ordinary care to acquire knowledge of law/facts which may result in criminal liability”. Perhaps it’s a philosophical variation I’m unfamiliar with. As to the evolution comment, you seem to be conflating evolution of life through natural selection with the origin of life (The Theory of Evolution does not make claim to a first cause). Also, god of the gaps plays heavily here. Why isn’t it okay to acknowledge we just don’t know? I need to, as you politely suggested, read your article more thoroughly, but why say “soul” to define “flaws of the strict mind/body dichotomy”? Soul to most people is the religion/spiritual thing you can’t prove. I will do my best to read your article more closely as soon as I can however – and I do apologize if I have misrepresented your thoughts here.

              • EpicusMontaigne

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincible_ignorance I should say vincible ignorance, that is the proper term, and I’ll fix that. You have the knowledge of, but not the belief. Interestingly, if you’ve never once met a good example of a Christian, and all Christians you know are terrible people, you (not specifically you, but in general) could qualify for “invincible ignorance”.
                Secondly, I’m trying not to conflate Theory of Evolution and the Origin of Life. I believe that evolution in itself does not contradict Catholic teaching, nor does the Catholic Church. I believe, though, that the problem of the origin of life is the same level of problem as “faster than ‘c’ travel”. We could say not yet, but in all likelihood its a gap that will never be filled, in no small part because there’s little we can know about biology from so long ago. (having said all this, if there is a natural origin of life, that also would not make me not-Catholic. I do believe God prefers to work in natural ways, because if there is God, he made natural laws for a reason. The discovery would make me actually really excited, I prefer no God-of-the-Gaps. I believe God is a God of Love and Knowledge. I believe God loves science.)
                I use soul to define the flaws of mind/body or even strictly “body” definitions of a human because I believe there is something in our intellect that is more profound than the operational capacity our brains play. So I want to allude to that higher meaning, but in the context of the argument, I’ve found that there isn’t really another term for our intellect/free will.

                • CatholicDadof3

                  Actually evolution DOES contradict Catholic doctrine: http://www.kolbecenter.org/the-traditional-catholic-doctrine-of-creation/

                • EpicusMontaigne

                  It does not. You should read Humani Generis. There is no dogmatic teaching that is necessarily contrary to evolution. As long as you believe that God created out of nothing and guides evolution, youre within the purview of Church teaching.

            • Antinomian

              “All culpably ignorant just means you know about theism and don’t believe it.”

              Speaking for myself: I’m also culpably ignorant of Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, Unicorns, Leprechans and the thousands of other gods that preceeded yours. These things share a commonality of evidence with your (which I’m sure you believe is the only true) god; none whatsoever.

              Do you have any other fractured fairy tales I should be ‘culpably ignorant’ about?

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Looks like others talked about evolution and the origin of life, so I’m going to address the soul.

              We have nothing other than a brain and a body. Of course, our brain is part of our body, so they affect each other in complex feedback patterns all the time. You’re absolutely right that a strict mind/body dichotomy is extremely flawed. That said, a “soul” isn’t a thing either. Our mind, consciousness, and personality arise from our brain’s complexity in ways we don’t fully understand, but we do know that those all change when the brain is damaged, so they’re definitely seated in the brain and not in some spiritual thing. That also means when we die, our brains quit working, and that’s it. We’re done. There’s no bit of us that keeps going, because “us” is the electrical patterns of our brain.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Vulgarity, eh?

      If you’re getting butthurt about swear words, you’re missing the point. I could call you every 4 letter word in the book and toss a few made up ones in there on top and what I said still wouldn’t be half as bad as what the bigots are on TV preaching daily.

      The words used matter vastly less than the message you’re trying to get across. If you refuse to listen to someone because they say a word you don’t like once in awhile, you’re being immature and you’re missing out on a ton of people who could teach you a thing or two.

      And, frankly, I’d like to take you up on your offer, but I don’t want to waste my time with someone whose going to pearl-clutch if I use Fuck for emphasis.

      • EpicusMontaigne

        I don’t mean swear words, I couldn’t care less about that. I mean inane, gratuitously vicious language that adds nothing constructive to anything. Use fuck, shit, balls all you want. I meant vulgarity. Profanity just makes things more fun. (A semantic distinction, perhaps) Calling Catholic priests pedo-priests, for example. If you want to accuse the priests who have molested children of being pedophiles, you can, and I support you. But to lump all priests into a pedo-priest term is unproductive to actual discussion.

        • TrickQuestion

          Give us a list of the priests that we’re allowed to call pedophiles then, and unless we’re referring specifically to them we’ll not use the terms.

          • EpicusMontaigne

            The ones who belong behind bars. So… the pedophiles.

            • trickquestion

              Right…so…list of names, please?
              Plus the names of all the members of the catholic church who helped hide what they did. think they should get a little something, too.

    • Piet Puk

      this is not “I will prove to you God exists

      Just to check your intellectual honesty, would you agree that, at this time, there is no evidence to proof the existence of any god??

      • EpicusMontaigne

        To “prove”? No, there is not. The point of my post was to show that Dacey does not “prove” there is no God, and the point of the discussion I want is to show that there is such a thing a reasonable and rational theism.

        • Piet Puk

          the point of the discussion I want is to show that there is such a thing a reasonable and rational theism

          Well, there isn’t. Believing that late-iron age scripture is the word of one of a deity that is indistinguishable from non-existent is simply not rational.

          PS: I’m not trying to be mean here, I am just being rational.

          • EpicusMontaigne

            If you were trying to be rational, it would make sense to read the opposing view first. Seriously, I promise I have no intention of being mean here, but what you’re doing is the same thing as Evangelicals when they stuff shit in their ears whenever an atheist talks.

            • PietPuk

              Eh, no. If anyone were to try to convince me alien abduction is rational, I would first want proof of aliens actually existing too.
              If you would be rational you would investigate outside of your conviction. Start by assume there are no gods, then find answers to rational questions.

              • EpicusMontaigne

                Alright, this is not really what I was looking for, but I appreciate the comments.

                • PietPuk

                  And I appreciate yours!

              • EpicusMontaigne

                I will say that “evidence” doesn’t equal “proof”. “Evidence” equals “reasonable”.

                • PietPuk

                  Doen’t matter. Something that will show you, me, anybody, that it is real/existing.

      • EpicusMontaigne

        If I could “prove” the existence of God to anyone, even myself, it wouldn’t be a matter of faith. If it could be “proven” absolutely, there would be no atheists, just as if atheism could be “proven” absolutely, there would be no theists. Again, all I’m saying is there is a rational case for both sides. I’m not even talking about how often either side uses or even knows the rational case.

        • Piet Puk

          Again, all I’m saying is there is a rational case for both sides

          There really isn’t, since one side actually consists of a lot of sides believing in one or multiple different god of which no proof is ever found. The other sides does not believe in any gods.

          If one side would believe in the exact same god, you would still not have a point, but it would be more consistent.

          • EpicusMontaigne

            You could also read the post. There’s a case for theism, that doesn’t preclude the opportunity for different views on God or morality.

            • Piet Puk

              I have no interest in your post. Fisrt prove this god of yours exist, than tell me how rational it is. Because right now, If have no reason to find you more rational than people who claim to have been abducted by aliens.

    • Wild Rumpus

      Try http://www.reddit.com/r/debateanatheist – we’ve been waiting a long time for a rational case for a god.

      • EpicusMontaigne

        Done. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • northierthanthou.com

    Okay, that is pretty funny.