Wednesday, 8 June 2011

My morality

One of the main arguments for religion is morality. Without God to watch over us, we'd all be murdering left right and centre....apparently. As well as being a rather appalling reason to be good, it is also ridiculous. We do not need a list of ten commandments to know how to be good. I have never been religious. Even as a child when I was being fed all the usual shit, I think I always questioned it, at least from an age when I was old enough to question it. Despite being an atheist, I still have morals. I would like to share my three rules for living. These are my version of the ten commandments I guess. Three rules which cover everything I need in order to be a good person.

  1. Do not harm anyone physically!
  2. Do not harm anyone mentally!
  3. Do not harm anyone financially!

These three simple rules cover everything from theft to bullying. They could be open to interpretation of course, especially number 2. They are just a guideline for how to treat others. I'm sure there are many situations which would require a more complex interpretation of the above rules. The point I'm making is, it's very simple to be a good person. It's just common sense. You know it's bad to hurt someone physically because you wouldn't want to be hurt yourself. You know it's wrong to hurt someone mentally because you wouldn't want to be hurt that way yourself. You know it's wrong to steal because you wouldn't want to be stolen from yourself. Why do I need religion to tell me this? Quite simply, I don't!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Primitive minds!

In the grand scheme of the universe, and the scale of our evolutionary time line, humans are young. Extremely young. Infants, struggling to stand on our own two feet. We know almost nothing of what there is to know. We can comprehend only a smidgen of what there is to comprehend. Our minds still struggle to accept the reality of our existence, our insignificance. We must evoke magical beings to fill our understanding, rather than accept that we simply don't know yet, and in fact may never know. Concepts like this, like never being able to have an answer, don't sit well with our young minds. They make us uncomfortable. They make us reach for a way to understand, no matter what it is.

We are the first intelligent life to have evolved on this small rotating rock. We have only needed to understand things within our grasp. Medium sized objects moving at slow speeds. But now, our technology has opened the universe up for us. We know of things far faster, far grander, and far smaller than what we have previously needed to understand. Our minds are not yet ready to comprehend these things. So we stick with what we know. We keep our faith in ideas that we are able to understand. Evidence is irrelevant. We can only understand what our young minds allow. Our brains, although extremely complex, are the first such brains capable of this level of thought. It has taken a long time to get here, by our perspective, but a short time in reality. We have a long way to go.

Many generations from now, we will more readily accept reality for what it is. We will no longer fill gaps in our knowledge with anything we can, just because there is a gap. In this time I can foresee, there will be no religion. There will be no need for it. Our minds will be mature. We will have evolved the capacity to understand things out of our reach. Religion, superstition, and magic will be a distant memory. Lost in history. Laughed at, mocked, ridiculed.

Until that time, there is nothing we can do. The truth is simply not compatible with our primitive minds.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Countdown to back peddling

A friend of mine recently challenged me to find 10 positive things that religion has given the world. I struggled to find one. In fact, the only one I did think of at the time was, a fascinating literary work of fiction. However, I have thought of another; after reading an article about the apparent end of days that is promised to be coming to all us non-believers on the 21 May, (that's tomorrow from the time of me writing this, better start repenting). The positive thing I'm suggesting religion has given us? Amusement! A great deal of amusement. With their ridiculous claims of “logic” in their beliefs, to their endless dates for the rapture. These fragile minds continue to amaze us, with our jaws firmly planted on the floor, at how such stupidity has survived for so long.

This claim to the end of the world is from an evangelical Christian group lead by an ageing man with only the slightest grip left on his sanity. The group is unsurprisingly in the US and even less surprisingly, has raked in more than $100 million in the past 7 years. Although funnily enough their leader claims that money is of no importance, as the world is coming to an end. Some followers have quit their jobs to go forth and spread the word about the impending doom.

I am pleased though to have read, in the same article, about an atheist party being held on “judgement day.” It is called “The countdown to back peddling.” This made me chuckle. Mainly because you know it is exactly what will happen. Once the day is over, and we're all still here, guess what will happen? That's right, the group's leader (who apparently came to this date by calculating dates in the bible) will begin peddling, and for the life of him, he just can't seem to get the direction right. His first attempt lead him to conclude that 1994 was the year of the apocalypse, of course, that's when he first confronted his directional problems.

Well, if the world doesn't end tomorrow, and we continue to have religion in the world for the foreseeable future, at least we can count on one thing. We'll always have something to laugh about.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Religion and "moderates"

I want to tell you all a little story. It involves my nephew, who was around 22 and living in Scotland at the time, where he played in a cricket team. The team was made up of various ethnicities and religions. During an after season party, my nephew happened to mention to one particular young man that he was an atheist. The man he told was a Muslim, around the same age as him, maybe a little younger. He was also supposedly a friend and team mate. So what did my nephew get as a response to this innocent remark?

A punch in the face!!!

This man is not someone you'd consider an extremist. He is unlikely to strap a bomb to his chest. This is the reaction of a “moderate.” Violence against non-believers is so inbuilt to the Muslim belief system, it was an automatic reflex. Those who claim the majority of Muslims are “moderate” in order to defuse tension and hatred towards Islam, should maybe be spending their time teaching these people how to actually be moderate in their beliefs. Teach them to respect other people's opinio...Wait, what am I saying? This would go against their religion and make them infidels too. Never mind!

Friday, 6 May 2011


Islam, as I stated in my last post, is an evil religion, however, I would like to say that fundamentalist Christians are not much better. Their attitude towards homosexuality is appalling, (as is Islam's by the way), and their conviction in their beliefs are no less baffling. The difference is the actions that are taken based on these beliefs. While fundamentalist Christians might picket a soldier's funeral, waving banners with vile claims of their god's hatred of “fags”, they still do not go to the lengths of extremist Muslims. By the way, calling them “extreme” is really a misunderstanding, they are simply following their scripture. Moderate Muslims are only different in the fact that they don't strap bombs to themselves. To say there's a difference in their beliefs would be incorrect, for Islam is not a peaceful religion as is so often claimed by “moderates.” They are just not following the scripture precisely, but rather, letting their non-religious, rational, evolution-born morality have a say. They know it's wrong to kill people, despite what their faith teaches. With these people I have no problem, they are free to waste their lives believing in whatever ridiculous hate filled deity they wish (though I would of course prefer if they didn't, wouldn't it be a much more pleasant world?). What I have a problem with is a world where these faiths that allow such extremism are tolerated. Not just tolerated, given special treatment. Given an extremely wide berth. Well, as you can probably tell by now, I will not humour the notion of religious tolerance. I of course will also not incite hatred against anyone of faith, or act inappropriately towards such people. I would treat them as I do any other human being. However, I believe the tolerance needs to end. It should simply not be acceptable for religion to trump all else. I'm ending my tolerance right here.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Beware of Islam

The recent "victory" claimed by the United States government, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, seems a good thing at first. However, it's really just another poke in the eye of this back and forth between the western world and Islam, (or maybe between Christianity and Islam?) A retaliation is sure to follow, that's just the way it works. So while the American people are celebrating in the street, I'd be running for cover.

The government has always avoided calling this war what it really is. It's not a war on Islam, oh no, it's a war on terror. What exactly is “terror?” Is it a country? An organisation? Well, no! In truth it is a religion. The most evil and cruel of all the ridiculous faiths out there. What person in a civilised society would claim to own a women? What civilised man would have his own daughter killed for wanting to marry someone who doesn't believe in the same fictitious god as her? What “culture” would enforce the penalty of death for apostasy (rejecting one's faith)? Of all the religions this is surely the worst, the most violent, the most oppressive.

So what now? We sit back and wait for a reply? Wait for a revenge attack that will no doubt come? Maybe that's all we can do. You can't reason with such strength of conviction, such is the power of childhood indoctrination. They seem no more able convince their own minds of the truth than we are to convince them. The free thinkers of the world can merely sit back and watch the chaos unfold, helpless to intervene. If we do say something, we apparently “offend” their precious beliefs and risk our own lives. It seems Islam has no concept of free speech. I suppose all we can hope for is that our intelligence services can intercept the forthcoming attacks. Good luck to them, they have quite a job on their hands, and will do for many years to come.