Atheist 12-Step

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Stolen with pride from http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2011/10/03/introductions-matt-dillahunty/ sadly my de-conversion happened ages ago and I’m a firm believer in never regretting any action I’ve taken. My stance is that if it’s something I am likely to regret, then don’t do it. If it is something that turns out to be wrong after the fact, live with the mistake and learn from it without regret.

1. I’m not powerless and my life is not unmanageable. I’m responsible for my own actions and I can change my mind and my behavior – though I’ll occasionally need assistance from other humans.

2. I’ve come to recognize that I’m not divorced from sanity and that I don’t require any “Power greater than ourselves” to fix me.

3. I’ve made a decision to base my life decisions on reason and evidence and this lead, inevitably, to the rejection of god-claims…but I wouldn’t turn my  life over to a god even if one existed. It’s my life…go live vicariously through someone else.

4. I have made and continue to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. (One of only 3 ‘steps’ that I’ll support, as written.)

5. I’ve admitted to others that I’m wrong…but I see no need to admit this to a god, even if one existed.

6. I won’t be needing any gods to remove defects of character.

7. I won’t be humbly asking any gods to remove shortcomings. (Are there really 12 steps, if so many seem to say the same thing? Is this the ‘let go and let god’ program, or what?)

8. I didn’t make a list of people I’ve harmed, but I’m willing to make amends where they’re needed.

9. I’ve made amends…where possible. This 12-step thing is really tedious.

10. I’ll continue to take personal inventory and admit when I’m wrong.

11. I have no use for prayer and couldn’t care less what “God’s will” is.

12. Nope…no spiritual awakenings here – but I will be carrying a message to others.

Posted here because I am too damn lazy busy to write something myself

 

 

 

 

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Bachmann mocks God

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Michele Bachmann openly mocks the Power of the Lord

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane.”

and later

“What I was saying in a humorous vein is there are things happening that politicians need to pay attention to. It isn’t everyday we have an earthquake in the United States.”

Something nasty happened, lets blame God to take the focus away from our ignorance and/or poor and underfunded emergency response.

I love politicians who make fun of God, even more politicians that make light of human suffering. After all, politiocians are usually jokes, they’re just less honest and less funny than stand up comedians. Of course I have yet to see any evidence of exactly what message god is pushing with these disasters, other than “I have issues trying to communicate” maybe He is protesting against the deafening barrage of prayers for sports team X to win. Maybe he pissed off at people using his name to justify whatever it is they want to do. Maybe, just maybe, he’s a violent, sadistic despot that just likes humans to suffer.

PS There actually has been an nearthquake everyday in the US 2901 so far in 2011  and 8493 in 2010 which alla verages out to more than one per day.

PPS Maybe earthquakes are caused by tectonic activity and have nothing to do with a supreme being, much the way extreme weather conditions are becoming more prevalent with man-aided climate change.

Sex, Lies, and Carbon Tax

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Okay maybe no sex…..

Almost a year ago Prime Minister Gillard said that there would be no carbon tax under a labour government. Sadly faced with political realities the Labor leader was forced into such a tax by the greens just to retain power.

About a week ago Tony Abbot said that farmers should be able to refuse mining companies access to their farms. Sadly faced with political realities the Liberal leader was forced into backpedalling by the pro-mining party stance.

Yet somehow Tony’s backpedalling is being shrugged off, while Julia’s has been paraded around as ‘the great betrayal’. It seems that politics is something I will never get my head around. I do have to love the short memories and lightning fast social media commentaries though. Just last week I was watching Q & A and the Gillard ‘lie’ was contrasted against Howard’s reign of conservatism; seriously WTF? Doesn’t anyone remember the baby overboard lie?  or the smoke and mirrors republic debate designed to distract from the incoming GST? Beneath those comically off-putting eyebrows Howard was the greatest flim-flam man of our time.

“How do we distract the Australian community from a tax that none of them want? I know lets come up with a few possible republic models and hold a referendum,. After all the voting public has a memory of approximately 6 sound-bites in length, a few days of debate and they’ll forget the GST completely.”

Actually that’s an awesome idea, why hasn’t Labor recycled it?

“How do we distract the Australian community from a carbon-tax that none of them want? I know lets come up with a few possible immigration processing models and hold a referendum. After all the voting public has a memory of approximately 6 sound-bites in length, a few days of debate and they’ll forget the carbon tax completely.”

Still, I find it astonishing that smart educated people (we are supposed to be the clever country; remember?) are still dubious of climate change when I can’t find a single credible source against it. The carbon tax will come in, it will change the socio-political landscape and lo and behold after 12 months no one will care. Jobs might be lost from companies that refuse to amend their practices to include more emission friendly technology, but that should be more then off-set by the increase in jobs in alternate energy research, construction, and installation.

The only question is will the Gillard government take a hit for bringing in the most necessary of taxes at a time when Australia is the only country economically sound enough to give it a go. Maybe we’ll show ourselves as the world leaders we could be, taking a chance that we’ll begin the movement towards a cleaner future. The tax is far from perfect, but first attempts to change the world rarely are, and we have to start somewhere.

*Note: This was originally published on my professional blog

Reason + Atheism + Hammer wielding Theists

This came from an unusual source, a friend laughing so hard I just ‘had’ to see what was so funny. The scary thing was that this wasn’t a office joke mail or a lol-cat, but an actual article. An apparently serious article too.

Okay, not that apparent once you start reading it. I got one paragraph in and I got the grins too.

Here’s the link http://www.ncregister.com/reasoning-with-atheists.html and even if you’re as sleep deprived as I am at the moment, the funny should leap out at you.

To paraphrase

“I want to talk rationally with atheists but starting the conversation by suggesting that the discard the rational foundations of their thinking.”

Okay, that’s funny.

JENNIFER FULWILER says you can’t reason with atheists… and she is right; theism has NO rational tools which might be applied effectively. Rational thought is what causes people to leave behind their divine security blanket, you can’t use it to get them to do a 180 and come right back. In fact one of the most effective atheist ‘eye opening’ techniques is to get people to read their bible, look at the horrors it encourages, look at the contradictions, and look at how stone age morals and xenophobic writings apply to the modern world.

Faith is an emotional crutch, not an intellectual construct. Churches exist because of the sense of belonging, the spirit of community (on the positive side) and the feelings of guilt and need for a ‘force’ that forgives us our darkest urges and provides external constraints (on the negative side). Let’s face it, there comes a time when we all just want to stop worrying and have someone to tell us what to do, so much better when that someone has the authority of a thousand year old book behind them. Better still when you can shop around to find an interpretation that is telling us to do what we want to do anyway.

The scariest thing about being an atheist, other than having to face death as a end to everything we are, is that of the independence. You hurt someone, you have only yourself to blame. There is no bearded man in the sky telling us what to do, not force of evil usurping our will. We have to think out our every action and decide for ourselves whether it is right or wrong. More often than not this comes down to “would I want this to be done to me”. It’s actually a lot more difficult… who’d have thought that morality wasn’t black and white?

Back to Jen’s approach. (wonder if she minds being called Jen?)

Okay Atheist person, let’s sit down and for a moment assume that there is a God. Now from this starting point I want to convince you that religion X is rational. Hmmmmm… am I the only one that sees a problem with this? You’ve asked someone to accept something without evidence, that has no supporting proof, thus discarding any critical evaluation and rational understanding, and now you’re asking them to apply those rational processes to your case points.

I’m sorry but once I’ve put aside rational argument, scepticism and logic, then any case becomes presentable.

  • The moon is made of cheese? Yes, certainly, cut me a slice.
  • There a dolphins living in the bottom of my underwear draw? Let me open the draw a pinch to make sure they get some light.
  • There is a God? Sure, why not let his mother be a virgin and his life-story be a carbon copy of the terrible pagan god that came before but was only a myth.

As an added bonus Jen quotes a bit from G.K. Chesterton that I’ve always considered completely insane.

“Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do…. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom”

Really? No mad poets? Could it simply be that we expect madness from the creative and tolerate it as eccentricity? That when the linear and logical mind breaks down that madness is self-evident, but when the artist does the same we simply shrug and say, “he’s in his blue period” or “yeah, but he’s ‘creative’”.

AND

“To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”

The poet guesses, the theologian assumes. Worst still, neither can be proven wrong because their path places no value on truth, only on belief. The scientist studies, and wants to know. There is always another wonder, an undiscovered secret, no scientist is willing to pretend they know everything; such delusional self-assurance is the domain of the priest or fanatic.

Okay there is some good writing here, and I enjoyed the premise. Silly as it is.

Yet you can’t be taken seriously when the foundations of your argument might as well be fashioned of tapioca pudding. Oh and apparently PZ Myers is waiting for a follow up article about converting atheists using drugs and rapid cranial application of a Jesus approved conversion device (aka a hammer ).

Perfectionism

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It’s my curse……. no I am serious….. no really, you can stop laughing now.

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A wise man, or possibly a textbook, once said that more time and resources are lost though indecision than bad decisions. Sad thing is that this is a truism that many of us forget. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort are spent on any one task, unless it is made solely for your own edification, it can’t be perfect. In an organisation that relies on dozens of people working together your perfect project will seem flawed to some, sometimes even downright foolish to others. It is pretty much unavoidable.

We all have our own styles, opinions, priorities, and those will influence how we look at the work we do, and the work others do. Every completed task has to be the result of compromise, thus ‘near-enough’ is the best result we can hope for in any given work. The trick is to know when it is better to deliver the work that meets the fundamental aims of the task, and when it will be productive to keep trying to improve the final result.

We are all, at our core, arrogant. Our way is the best way, our vision the most clear. It follows then that those we work with are the same. Their vision is the correct one (in their eyes), their way the best path. You cannot please all the people all the time, but what you can do is deliver a quality product, that meets the criteria you were given, with the resources and time you had available. You can’t really do more than that.

Far more importantly, it is both unproductive and unhealthy to try. Be good at what you do, trying to be perfect just leads to stress and disappointment when you can’t reach unobtainable goals.

…..and if all else fails, pretend that you’re here

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A New Hope

Yes that is a geek reference, and if you didn’t get it there isn’t much hope for us. I’m sorry, but it’s true, some barriers just can’t be overcome. Of course it might be a generational thing, but even so, that puts the kibosh on us ever being soul mates.

Lovers maybe, assuming you’re not too picky… and have bad vision… and low self esteem… and maybe daddy issues if we’re still talking about the generation gap; but not soul-mates.

Where was I? Ah yes, the new start. This blog is a reboot, and amalgamation, and a refuge for one deranged psyche, namely mine. I have stuff EVERYWHERE and this time I’m going to attempt to consolidate it. Some content will be new, some (if you’re one of the two who have been with me for a while) may look familiar. I mean renovation shows are all the go, how about a a blog make-over?

I may rant, you have been warned. You may however rant back, in fact I’d love it if you did. Because I’m going to be ranting a bit I will be keeping my private and personal blogs separate. So if you want to keep up on what I’m writing, what’s being published an so forth then you might want to jump on over to there.

This is me being all private and mysterious

My hope is that one day I can look back on this and plagiarizer it for ideas I’d forgotten see how my style and concepts have developed. Maybe it’ll be a resource for other failed broke unpublished aspiring writers, maybe not.