Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Confessions . . .

Many people have asked me about my urgency about my atheism. I have often labeled myself a militant atheist. There are many, many reasons for this. However, there is I have not shared but I think it is time to do so now.

As many of my readers know, I grew up in a very conservative Christian community. My family belonged to the church and my father was deacon and an elder in that church. I also went to a Christian school from grades K-12. I was a Christian and I believed firmly in my conservative world views.

In high school, there was a young man who was gay. It was obvious to us by the way he acted, by the fact that he was interested in boys, and other observable behaviors. In our community, homosexuality was clearly a sin. Not only was it a sin, it was a blow to the Christian machismo which dominated our churches and the school.

As soon as we realized what this kid’s sexual preferences were, we were there ready to “deliver” him from this affliction. He caught merciless teasing from the guys at school. Adults did very little to stop or even slow these assaults. He was also attacked by the pastors, the teachers, and the parents who desperately wanted to save his soul from this hell bound state. I was a leader in the school. I was captain of the football team, a leader in our church youth groups, class president, etc. I participated in the abuse of this young man. This conflict went on for at least two years – maybe more.

A few years out of high school, this young man committed suicide. His last words expressed the pain of not being able to reconcile his homosexuality and his faith.

By the time of his suicide, I had already began my journey out of the faith and was no longer part of that community. However, the Christian community that had brow beaten this young man to suicide began to cover their tracks and act as if he was always a “troubled” boy.


We (myself included) pounded into that man the idea that you could never be gay and a good Christian. We harassed him into believing that he could not be who he was. We built this conflict in his heart with no remorse, no mercy, and no respect. He did not need to die. He did not need to face this pain that we caused. That kid’s blood stains my hands and the hands of everyone else who knew him and treated him that way.

I will never live long enough to repay my debt to that young man. I will never be able to take back the words I said and the abuse that I, as a leader, did nothing to stop. I get to live with this for the rest of my life.

What I can do and what I will do, however, is step up and fight against this kind of pain and enmity that Christians have toward those who they consider different. I will speak out again and again in support of the rights of those oppressed by ignorance. I will do what it is I need to so that these things stop happening. I owe at least that much to that young man.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Open Letter to Theists

Dear Theist:

We’ve spent a lot of time debating each other recently. We’ve debated religion, politics, social issues, and science. Often, you and I are on the opposite side of the fence from each other. I am writing you today to tell you that I am tired of these debates. I am tired of the intellectual dishonesty that you employ while trying to make a point. I am tired of you arguing about things of which you have little or no direct knowledge of and of which you have only read the same, weary apologetics. I have precious little time to waste on your silliness, but I try to give you all an equal share of my time. However, if you want to continue having a share of my time, we have to have just a few ground rules.

1. Rules of logic apply. I know, I know. This one is tough for you. You love to beg the question, fallaciously use a priori arguments, and are a good friend of the straw man. However, I will call you out on this. If you want to debate and discuss with me – you have to use appropriate logic.

2. The burden of proof is on you. You are the one claiming to have a personal relationship with a deity. You are the one claiming that god exists and works miracles in your life. It is not my job to disprove your claims. It is your job to prove them. If you can’t perhaps you should shut up.

3. Learn a little science and philosophy before coming into the debate. Nothing shouts ignorance more than when you completely distort a science principle or misuse a philosophical idea. I encourage you to actually read for yourself. Don’t be a parrot for Lee Stroebel or Ray Comfort. Those guys are idiots and you make yourself an even bigger idiot for parroting them.

4. Gaps in knowledge are NOT proof of your god. I will admit here and in any debate that science does not have all of the answers. In fact, the more we learn, the more we realize how much about the universe we do not understand. This does not mean that there must be a creator – it only means we need to keep learning. Moreover, even if it did mean that there must be a creator, it does not at all mean that the creator was YOUR god. The “god of the gaps” argument only reflects the stunning gaps in your logic.

5. Don’t quote the Bible (or other holy texts) at me and expect me to accept it as truth. Really, have you read that book? It is so full of holes, it should be renamed the Holey Bible. Don’t even go there.


It all boils down to this: your world-view is based upon your relationship with your invisible, undetectable, and highly unlikely god. You construct your ideas in science, politics, and other social issues from this world-view. If you really, really want to be able to defend your views on these subjects, you need to be able to defend your belief in god. Good luck with that. I’ll be here . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mother Teresa Was No Saint

The Case Against Mother Teresa

Recently, I have debated some Facebook friends regarding Mother Teresa. In that discussion, I took the unpopular position that Mother Teresa is no saint and that in many ways, she contributed to the misery of those for whom she cared. Needless to say, this has generated a great deal of heat from her supporters. In this brief essay, I will outline my case against Mother Teresa.

Without a doubt, Mother Teresa is one of the most loved and admired figures of the late 20th century. Her efforts to provide care to the most impoverished people in Calcutta, India are very well documented. In 1979, she received the Nobel Peace prize for her efforts. I will not dispute in any way the fact that Mother Teresa was a kind, humane, caring person. I will not dispute that she provided mercy to those who so greatly needed it. I do admire her compassion and believe that if everyone shared this level of compassion for their fellow man, the world would indeed be a better place.

This is all well and good until you consider what she failed to do once she rose to international fame. Mother Teresa had a platform from which she could have advocated an end to this misery. However, she did not. Instead, she used this platform to advocate for and against issues which, in fact, continue and exacerbate human suffering and misery. Mother Teresa was a noble figure against the symptoms of poverty. She provided important palliative care for the poor. However, she also had an opportunity to fight against the causes of poverty which she did not take. For that reason, she should not be considered saintly by any definition at all.

Several years ago, I participated in a large study which examined the roots of poverty, failed states, and economic collapse in the post World War II world. In this study, historians, economists, and political scientists researched several case studies with the hope of being able to better describe the conditions and causes of global poverty. While the circumstances around each case were specific to that case, we were able to identify a list of items which when many were absent from a country usually signaled poverty and misery. When many of these items were present in a country, it usually indicated a much greater degree of stability and far less poverty. While we do not have time here to discuss all of these factors, I would like to look at a few which relate to this discussion.

A key factor in the lessening of poverty can be seen in how women are treated in a society. Societies where women have greater rights and autonomy generally have far less poverty. Sub-points of women’s rights include reproductive autonomy, physical autonomy, and economic autonomy. Reproductive autonomy indicates that a woman has the right to choose how and when to participate in reproduction. Things which indicate levels of reproductive autonomy include access to birth control, access to abortions, and access to medicine specific to female reproduction. Physical autonomy describes the right of women to control their movements. Indications of this are the ability for women to live outside of a patriarchal home (whether that is a father or husband.) The ability travel at will is also an indicator of this autonomy. Finally, economic autonomy describes a woman’s ability to access jobs, money, and other economic resources. Education, relatively free access to the workplace, and the ability to personally own property are all indicators of economic autonomy. While women’s rights are only one of many factors in identifying poverty, they are clear indicators of it.

Mother Teresa was not an advocate of women’s rights. In nearly all of her public discourse, she spoke out against women’s rights. Mother Teresa was vehemently opposed to abortion and birth control. In being so, she was also against reproductive autonomy for women. Mother Teresa public statements also promoted the “traditional” family and “traditional” family values. Traditional family values describe a home where the woman in subservient to her husband and her traditional role is to be a caretaker for the family. Traditional family values are, at their very best, neutral to physical and economic autonomy for women. More often, they are antagonistic toward physical and economic autonomy for women. Thus, Mother Teresa did not advocate physical and economic autonomy for women. In no cases, did Mother Teresa push an agenda which would support these things. In no cases, did Mother Teresa adopt a position which would made positive changes in the overall culture of poverty that gripped large sections of India and the world. Rather, she was willing to provide palliative care for the ailing but was unwilling to participate in the cure.

It should be noted that Mother Teresa was staunchly supporting the larger Catholic positions on these issues. Outside of that dogma, Mother Teresa may have been very different. However, her efforts were tempered by the fact that she had to curry favor from God and the Pope along with provide merciful care for the sick. In being a devout Catholic, she was unable to participate in efforts which would have granted greater autonomy to women and would have help cure the problem. Her desire to help was largely cultivated by her faith. Ironically, her ability to help was greatly hamstrung by her faith. Thus, no matter what we want to believe about Mother Teresa, we have to understand that she was not the saint that we wish her to be. Given the platform that she was, Mother Teresa had the ability to help cure poverty. Instead, she advocated for policies which continued it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

On a More Personal Note

Hey everyone. A friend wanted me to share this with you -- so I will humor him. Last fall, I had to have a procedure to fix a little defect in my heart. Really, it was not a big deal, but I had to actually write and submit some sort of advanced directives and living will to the hospital. Not having enough time to really sit down with an attorney and so something formal, I decided to turn this one in:

Brian J. Dyk
CPR Directive, Medical Power of Attorney, and Living Will

CPR Directive
I direct that any and/or all medical procedures be used to sustain my life and/or stabilize my condition to the extent that it can be sustained and/or stabilized, in other words, "Yes Please."

Limited Medical Power of Attorney
In the even that I am unable to make medical decisions for myself, I authorize Dylan Dyk to make decisions on my behalf. In the highly unlikely event that Dylan Dyk is unable to make these decisions on my behalf, and only in such case where she is unable, I authorize Sheldon Newman to make medical decisions on my behalf. In the even less likely event that Dylan Dyk and Sheldon Newman are unable to make these decisions, I authorize Kevin Dyk to make medical decisions on my behalf. If none of these people are available, it means that the world has blown up and this is all a moot point anyway.

Once I have regained my capacity to make decisions for myself, this limited power of attorney will revert directly back to me. Don’t overstay your welcome in my affairs.

I require, however, that all decisions be made in accordance to my Living Will.

Living Will
Now, with that all out of the way, let’s discuss what I want.

1. I want everyone to remember that I am not dead yet. If we are working with the Living Will, it means that I am still alive. Let’s stay focused people.

2. I want medical, scientific, and medical ethics information to be used as the basis for making decisions on my behalf. I believe that by using this information, you will be able to make the most informed and humane choices for me.

I do not want the following people or deities to have any input about decisions on my behalf:

· God, in any form or incarnation, unless such deity can walk into the room and prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that he/she/it is God. If that extraordinarily unlikely scenario should happen, then let’s give God the benefit of the doubt.

· Any agent of God. No priest, pastor, Pope, minister bishop, shaman, monk, nun, or any such agent shall have input on this matter. It’s goofy enough to consult God, but even goofier to consult someone who acts on God’s behalf. It is very much like asking someone to consult their make-believe friend to make decisions for me. Let’s not have Elwood P. Dowd consulting Harvey on my behalf.

· Congress. If Congress or any political figure tries to take up my cause and make decisions for me, it has gone way, way too far. Pull the plug just to spite those sanctimonious idiots.

3. I want to remind everybody that quality of life is as important as quantity of life. If I am in a chronic vegetative state or other similar condition, and after consultation with at least 3 qualified physicians, it is clear that I have little or no chance of making a recovery, let’s go ahead and pull the plug. If, however, there is a reasonable chance that I can recover to a point where I am certifiably mentally aware of my surroundings, let’s go ahead and wait it out for a little while to see if I improve. If I do not improve over the course of a medically prescribed period, and after more consultations, it becomes clear that I will not improve, please pull the plug.

I understand that medicine and science are not infallible. However, I would like to give the doctors their due and believe that they are doing their best. If they say it is not reasonably possible for me to recover, I will trust their word on it. I also understand that there is a chance, however remote, that someday medicine and science could possibly reverse my condition. Let’s be real folks. That is not today. It may never happen. Hope is a great thing and perhaps the best thing. False hope is the worst of things. I would rather die with dignity than wait around for something that may never happen. Also, I do not want my family to spend all of our resources and energy pursuing a treatment that is unlikely to be discovered any time soon.

4. Let us not confuse chronic vegetative states with my condition on Sunday afternoons watching football. If I am on my couch watching football or any T.V. at all, and show enough capacity to utilize the remote control, please do not pull the plug. That would just irritate me.

5. No one may consult my Last Will and Testament before making decisions on my behalf. I just don’t have that much nice stuff to give away, and what I do have is not worth pulling the plug for anyway. You have a much better chance of getting good stuff from me if I am alive and still drawing a salary.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ag-i-tate 1. To move with sudden force of violence. 2. To upset emotionally. 3. To stir up public interest in a cause. (Webster’s Dictionary.)

Over the years, I have become more and more militantly atheist. I have been more and more willing to take my views into the public square and present them for discussion. Furthermore, I have often used hyperbole, rhetoric, and even some inflammatory statements to start and participate in these discussions. To such ends, I have taken to task by many different people for my militancy. Obviously, the religious set (particularly Christians) have taken umbrage with my statements and stances. At the same time, some atheists, skeptics, and other free-thinkers have chided me as well. While the religious offense should be self-evident, I have always wondered why there would be offense from my own side. It has really caused me to think, to ponder, and to try and formulate a reasonable answer to this. This post is my best attempt at this answer.

As a part of this discussion, I feel that it is necessary to define some of our terms and labels. It will help us to better understand my case. I also need to state that these labels and descriptions are created via my experiences and meetings with various people. I do not presume to be the “definer” of any one person. In no way am I attempting to build a straw man through these definitions. I also know that there is a great deal of crossover from position to position and that more than one label may apply to an individual and that the definitions can be more nuanced that those I have given here. Rather, in my experiences, many of the free-thinkers that I have met fall primarily into one or more of these labels.

Atheism: A lack of belief in a theistic based system or worldview.

Agnosticism: The lack of knowledge or evidence that god(s) exist.

Anti-theism: A direct opponent of religious or theistic thoughts. Opposing religion.

Rationalist: One who uses tools of logic, rational thought, and evidence to form opinions, statements, and ideas.

Skeptic: One who doubts any claim which does not provide sufficient evidence to support its claim.

Free-thinker: One who forms their world-views without the aid of religion.

If I were to label myself, I can see all of these in me. Some, however, are more prevalent. Let me describe myself inside of these definitions. The order presented here also ranks the level to which I see myself.

1. Agnostic: There has been no evidence provided to me which suggests that any god(s) exist or have ever existed.
2. Atheist: Without this evidence, I have no beliefs which are based in a theistic worldview.
3. Free-Thinker: Without religion, I am allowed to form my own world view.
4. Rationalist: I form my worldview paying homage to logic, rational thought, and evidence whenever possible.
5. Anti-theist: I find myself in direct opposition to religion especially in the realm of public policy.
6. Skeptic: I am dubious of unfounded claims.

I suspect that most atheists would be able to define their worldview within these basic definitions. However, many would rank their priorities differently. What I have found is that the concerns expressed to me have usually been those who tend to define themselves around a more rationalist/skeptic mindset speaking out against my anti-theism. Specifically, they frequently suggest that anti-theism can be antithetical to rationalism. While I understand their arguments (and my inner rationalist actually agrees with them), I believe that there can be a case made for my militancy and anti-theism.

Limits of Skepticism and Rationalism
To start, I love rationalism and skepticism. I believe that many of the great thinkers in this world start with a healthy skepticism for conventional wisdom. I also think that rationalism is the foundation for the construction of good ideas. However, when stretched to their limits, both skepticism and rationalism start to show flaws. Furthermore, in many cases, attempting to establish a purist skeptical/rational worldview is a wonderful thought exercise, but is very impractical to live by in the real world. Let me give two examples.

Skepticism taken too far will approach absurdity. For example, when I go to sleep at night, I am sure that I will wake up again in the morning. I am so sure that I will rise again, I tell my wife, my children, and co-workers that I will see them in the morning. I make plans for tomorrow and the future. There is plenty of evidence to encourage my confidence – most notably the fact that I have always arisen from my bed in the morning. However, there is no direct evidence to suggest that I will. Any number of things may strike and prevent me from getting up in the morning. Most skeptics, will as I do, are willing to put a little faith into the idea that they will not die in the night. See, the key is that there are many decisions, events, and other things in life in which we have to exercise some faith. I accept on faith that my wife will not cheat on me when she goes out with her friends. In 17 years of being together, there is precedent which buoys this faith, but ultimately I have to have some trust and faith in her. Skeptical purists would suggest that my faith in getting up or my faith in my wife based upon precedent is not real assurance that the same will happen in the future. True – but what sort of reality do we live in without some modicum of faith? I certainly concede that there is a gulf of difference between blind faith and a modicum of precedent supported faith. However, pure skepticism won’t even allow that. Using this one simple example, I would suggest that skepticism has its limits.

Rationalism also has its limits in the practical, real world. I love rationalism. I love looking at evidence, creating argument, and searching for truths in logic. However, I have found that taking rationalism too far also has flaws. In the first few years of our marriage, my wife and I used to argue bitterly. She would get mad at me about something (usually something stupid.) We would start to bicker at each other. I used to sit and just pick her arguments apart using a disciplined rationalist approach. In nearly all cases, I would be able to win the argument – but somehow I lost the fight. Even though I could pick each of her accusations to pieces and I could get her to concede that I was probably not as much at fault as she accused me of, I would always wind up on the couch and in her doghouse. I learned over the years that when she started to bicker at me, no matter how easily I could pick her apart, I needed to shut up, apologize, and move on. It worked – our fights were less bitter and fewer and farther between. The fact of the matter is that most of her fights were not at all rational. She was very emotional about something. Trying to use pure rationalism to get out of trouble only got me in more trouble. Again, while rationalism certainly is my preferred way to assess a situation, it’s effectiveness is limited in certain cases.

By exploring the real world limits of skeptical/rationalism, I am not at all trying to suggest that they should somehow be less valued. What I am trying to point out is that when we deal with the world around us, there are some limits to skeptical/rationalism. I am a skeptical/rationalist in many, if not most cases, but sometimes I need to step out of the discipline of those approaches and use other tools to make my points – especially when playing the role of the agitator.

The Case for the Agitator
As many of you know, I often wear my anti-theism on my sleeve. Many of my Internet post (blogs, comments, FB, etc.) reflect the general antagonism I feel toward religion of all kinds – but especially towards Christianity. It is sort of funny because people who know me personally would report that I am generally quiet, thoughtful, and gentle spirited. They would say that I reserve judgment on many things and carefully state my opinion when it is needed. Ultimately, I am a pretty laid back sort of guy. As I posted earlier on this blog, I was not always a militant atheist. In fact, I was pretty much a live and let live sort of guy. If they wanted to spend their time and money on something that did not exist; that was their imperative. Who was I to interfere?

Ultimately, however, I was reluctantly drawn into the anti-theist and militant mindset for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:

· The growing influence of the religious right in America over the past decade has become frightening. When religion and politics become enjoined, key public policy decisions are made via the reasoning of WWJD. This is no way to create a pluralistic, equitable, and charitable public policy.

· The ability for man-kind to destroy itself exists. Can we afford to have nuclear codes in the hands of people who make WWJD decisions or as Bill Maher has often stated, “In the hands of people who believe in talking snakes?”

· We have the ability today to increase human rights, to offer unprecedented aid to those who need it, and to ultimately raise the standards of living for all people. Which groups are the most vehement in their opposition to these things? Theistic groups.

· Most religions consider my little girls to be second class citizens. In these theistic world views, my daughters exist to serve the needs of men and to provide and care for offspring. Outside of that, they are expendable. I cannot allow my daughters to be treated in such a way.

· In the U.S. we are still having the incredibly asinine debate as to whether or not evolution should be taught in schools, and then we wonder why our students lag behind much of the rest of the industrial world. Why is this even a debate? Why do we let the theists make science something that we could possible vote on? Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy?

My list of complaints against religion can go on and on.

While the public discussion of these issues is ongoing, the free-thinking voice has often been muted. Certainly there are, and have been, great skeptics/atheists/rationalists who have engaged in this discussion. Russell, Hitchens, Ingersoll, Dawkins, and many more. However, the popular face of atheism has largely been lacking. With the growth and development of Internet networking, this popular face certainly has increased, but it is still dwarfed in the face of theistic thought. I believe that if I am to improve my position in this debate and ultimately improve the conditions of my fellow humans, I have to speak often and speak loudly wherever possible.

Ultimately, I found that to accomplish this, I could adopt the role of the agitator. As an agitator, I have set out to accomplish the following:

· Inspire thinking on a variety of topics. I am not particularly interested in having everyone adopt my views on any particular topic. I just want to see people use their brains more. Thinking is quite often the antidote to blind faith.

· Inspire other closeted free-thinkers and atheists to come out and express their thoughts.

· Challenge the idea that blind faith is somehow a virtue. The whole idea that one can shut off thought, exploration, and debate and be considered virtuous is an anathema to me. This is not a virtue – it is a waste of good, hard working brain cells.

· Add my contribution to the betterment of the world. If I can force some thinking, if I can create discussions, if I can push people out of their comfort zones, then we are more able to develop more creative decisions for the problems that face the world.

Throughout history, every notable social movement has had its agitators. We are the people who spark the fights, discussions, and who rally the base. I would never, ever compare myself to the great agitators in history. I only say that I believe I can add my part to the atheist movement by being one. Being an agitator does sometimes mean that I will eschew rationalism to make a point. Being an agitator does sometimes mean that I will annoy my rationalist/skeptic friends. I guess I am okay with that. We all have a part to play in this – and this is my part: the agitator.

Chat at you all later!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Space Alien Sex RULES!!

Hey everyone! I figured that the title of this post would get your attention. Anyway, 2 posts in one day? Lucky us!

Anyway, I had a brief debate with another atheist today. In this debate, he accused me of being religious about my atheism. (In the land of atheism, that is a bit of an insult. However, being a old, grizzled veteran, I did not take offense.) He suggested that some of my FB posts were not entirely based in reason and proper atheist etiquette. Hmmm . . . How does one respond?

After some time to reflect, I do have some thoughts on this topic. In atheism, there are many different perspectives on how to reflect our views. Rationalists tend to be very strict about sticking to all of the rules of reason. Some people are "soft" atheists. Soft atheists tend to have a live and let live when it comes to spirituality. Some atheists are militant. Militant atheists use whatever tools are at their disposal to force the issue. These tools include reason, hyperbole, rhetoric, etc. Militant atheists are willing to use them all. This is a very short list. Suffice it to say, there are many different shades of atheists. Because of this, there can be a little in-fighting among the non-believers.

I am a militant atheist. I am proud of being so. I will use anything I can to get under the skin of religion. I will use strict reason when it suits me. I will use hyperbole when it suits me. I will use rhetoric when it suits me. I will use any tool that is available to me to advance the cause. I do think that religion needs to end before humans can really reach our fullest potential. (I DO NOT advocate the abolishment of religion. I want religion to die a natural death.) My position sometimes ruffles a few feathers in the atheist community -- especially among the rationalists.

What do I make of this? Let me give you a Star Trek analogy. (Yes, I am that kind of geek.) We're all on board the Starship Enterprise. Each member of the crew represents a different form of atheism. I imagine the rationalists to be Mr. Spock. Logic is the only means of assessing the situation. The soft atheists are like Lt. Ohura they do their job, but are not involved with the dangerous missions. Militant atheist are like Captain Kirk. We tend to be emotional. We use what tools are at our disposal to get the job done. Everyone on the crew is committed to helping the cause, but we all have different things to bring to the table. Without each person carrying their weight, we all fail as a group. We fight; we bicker; we don't always agree on a course of action. However, at the end of the day, we are all part of the same team.

All that being said, my young friend who barked at me today is a rationalist. He is a Spoke. I am a Kirk. Spock is always correct when it comes to the logical conclusions. Spock is always able to separate emotion from facts. Kirk, however, gets shit done. Kirk saves the day. Kirk makes the whole crew better. Most importantly, Kirk gets laid by space aliens all the time. Spock may win the logic battles -- but Kirk gets all the glory and all the lovin'. I am proud to be a Kirk.

Rationalists are a funny breed of atheists. They tend to exist in a very sterile, academic world. They are absolutely correct in logic and in reasoning. This works great in academic settings. In the real world, however, pure reason does not always get you where you want to be. I would love to be a rationalist, but this approach does not always push the movement forward. As a militant atheist, I use the whatever strategy I can to push the movement forward. This can make me an elitist. This can make me a hypocrite at times. This can make me seem like a total asshole.

I am okay with this. I will do whatever it takes to make this a better world for my daughters. Religion is universally prejudiced against them. It wishes to, at best, hold them hostage and, at worst, enslave them. I can not tolerate this. I will NOT tolerate this. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that the world is a safer, better place for my little girls.

I love the rationalists. They are my brothers and sisters. However, I do not have time to debate these issues as a purely academic set of thoughts. I must take action and I will do so in whatever way I can. I will be a Kirk. I will get it done and I will get to have a whole bunch of alien sex along the way.

That's it for now. Catch you all later.

The Cult of Reality

In many of my debates with Xtians, they have often suggested that atheism is a cult or a religion in its own right. While this shows their obvious ignorance of what it means to be an atheist, it has given me a cool idea. I have decided to start the Cult of Reality. If they want me to create a cult to allow them to keep their currently incorrect assumptions, I will humor them.


I have anointed myself the Supreme Reasoner in my new cult. As such, I get to make the rules. If you don’t like my rules, feel free to start your own cult or join an established one. The Catholic Church is always looking for more people to molest ...err... save.

These decrees are in no particular order – so don’t be getting all interpretive or anything. I write them as I think them. That is the privilege I have as the Supreme Reasoner.


Don’t be calling anything a truth unless you can support it with evidence and it can face the scrutiny of reason. We’re not going to believe in cosmic aliens living in volcanoes, zombie Jews, or multiple armed elephant men. Nope. We’re just going to stick with things that make sense. We can find all of the truth we need in chemistry, biology, physics, or other paths of reason.


We’ll have no sacred cows in the Cult of Reality. No Sir! Every idea, every writing, everything can be debated and put to the test of Rule #1. If you believe that any of your ideas should not be subjected to reasonable scrutiny, you can consider your idea false on its face. This also applies to miracles. Don’t be spouting off about any miracles unless you are prepared to replicate the miracle in a controlled, scientific inquiry.


You may be wondering if I have lost my mind. Nope As the Supreme Reasoner, I think that everyone, solely by being part of the human race, should be afforded the same rights, privileges, and accommodations. Even Xtians. People deserve to be treated with dignity. Stupid ideas, however, don’t deserve that respect. We should not respect their willful ignorance. We should not respect their beliefs in things that are not true. However, I will treat their person with decency at all times.


In the Cult of Reality we will do nothing to curry favor from some invisible, imaginary sky-god or other deity. We will do good for its own sake. We will do good because we want to make sure that we leave the world a better place. We will do good because humanity benefits from it. We will do good for its own sake.

In the Cult of Reality, we are okay with not knowing everything. We don’t have to believe in mythical creations to fill in the gaps of our knowledge. We love to learn – and if we know everything – we cannot learn anything else. Worse yet, if we believe that we know everything because we have read some dusty old book that is thousands of years old, we will never progress or advance or otherwise. This decree, however, does not condone willful ignorance. People who choose not to know are fools. In the Cult of Reality, we can not have fools. So, not knowing must be an incentive to continue learning.

That’s about it. Feel free to join. You don’t have to attend church. You don’t have to tithe. Membership is voluntary – but worth the while. Come on – drink the Kool-Aid.
Catch you all later!