Sunday, December 16, 2007


All of you...listen. I respect your right to believe what you want but please stop trying to convert me and others on this blog. This is an atheist blog. If you have something to so but please STOP evangelizing here. This is not the place to proselytize. You'll get nowhere.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Perfect Woman

The LDS Conference, which took place in October, escaped my attention because of recent changes in my life and circumstances, however Julie Beck's .Mothers Who Know talk deserves some comment from me.

As many of you know, my daughter married a mormon a few years ago. I watch her struggle with the expectations of this very demanding organization. Recently, I noted a change in her behavior: she started cooking again! She has been the queen of fast food but suddenly (around October) she became more domesticated. I wondered about the change but now I understand.

I read Beck's talk and some of the comments about it. This one puts it into perspective for me...I wish my daughter would read it.

"Mothers who know are nurturers. ... Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house."

And this comment:
I can’t get this Julie Beck thing off my mind now so I keep logging in to RFM and reading those threads when I’ve got a shitload of work piled on my desk.

But it’s exactly that (work) that keeps me thinking of that stupid talk. I’m sitting here surrounded by working women. OK, from my office I can hear people in 5 offices—all of them just happen to be women. All of them have incredible families. One is childless by choice, one is a mother and grandmother, but has been in a happy lesbian relationship for a number of years. Three are married and have school-aged children. Four of them are corporate attorneys (also, it’s a Fortune 100 company), two are also managing directors. One is a senior paralegal. I am the lone former “Mother Who Knew.”

I DEFY any mormon woman to match their families, their relationships and their children up against any of these women. Yes, they make hard CHOICES. They are all very well paid. They have to decide what they can delegate to paid help (e.g., a nanny who picks up the kids from school and gets them started on their homework, a housekeeper who does the bulk of the major cleaning, a gardner, etc.) and what they feel is important to their family for them to not delegate (making dinner, attending soccer games, church and school activities, planning and taking fun family trips). They have marriages or relationships that I can only dream of. Where my temple-married husband got bored with Molly Mormon who “knew,” but was burnt out and uninteresting, their husbands see them as fun, interesting and someone they’d better stay in line for. Where my children were lucky to be able to take a trip to the desert to see their grandparents with their cash-strapped mother who “knew,” theirs are taking trips to Europe and Prague and China that they all planned together as a family. Where my children were “contributing” to the world by being forced by their mother who “knew” to get up too early for Seminary and hating it, theirs are working on Habitat for Humanity and the food bank and things that actually make a difference.

Where their children who are grown treat them like treasures, call them regularly, respect them, my children can barely stomach the fact that they had a mother who was so stupid and made such stupid decisions (somehow they were all able to figure it out for themselves). And I have no answers for my daughters who married too young because I let them stay in the brainwashing cult long past when I really believed, but I was too insecure to get out and face motherhood in the real world. My one child who respects me is the youngest—the one who was there when I made the transition out of TSCC, went back to college in my 40s and finally got a respectiable career.

I also have some friends who are happy stay-at-home moms. One even home schools her kids. But they don’t have so many kids that they don’t have time for themselves also. Their husbands have good enough jobs that they truly can afford to make that decision and it isn’t forced on them because the meger income they could make would barely pay for child care. And then I have friends who are childless by choice. Most of them are better parents to their dogs than I probably was to my kids when I was strung out on Paxil. They deal with zero guilt or ridicule over their decisions to be childless.

So Ms. Beck, all I have to say to you is Shut the F*** Up! How DARE you heap more guilt, more ridicule, and more despair and dejection on women you don’t even know—women who are just trying their best as it is to be a perfect member of your mindf***ing cult!

And yet another:
The Church relies on cliches, mindless obedience (aka faith),guilt, meaningless ceremonies, hierarchies, and all sorts of really complicated and convoluted doctrines and promises and ceremonies in order to teach what they claim to be "plain and simple" truth.

.... truth is really simple and self-evident. It doesn't take a genius to see that ... strong women in her office were living fulfilling lives which are the result of making right logical decisions.

Living a fulfilling life has NOTHING to do with weird ceremonies, faith, or magic. A fulfilling life comes from working to reach one's potential, to love and be loved by those you care about. The truth is simple and brilliant.

There is NO TRUTH in the MORG. It just uses convoluted explanations, demands of faith and obedience as a smokescreen for teachings that really don't make any sense.

It is true that we make our own decisions and should be responsible for them but it is also irrefutable that one's religion plays a large part in influencing these choices particularly when the religion is as intrusive and all encompassing as Mormonism. After all, what other religioni dictates what type of underwear you can wear, how you can have sex, who can or cannot attend your wedding, how many earrings you can have, and how much facial hair men can have.

I can credit the MORG for encouraging me to get married early, pump out a bunch of kids, and to send my sons to the lame scout programs organized by the Church out of guilt.

I immediately regained at least 14% of my time after I quit the MORG and also recouped quite a bit of income (even though I wasn't paying 10% before I quit I did lose the occasional several thousand that I paid out of guilt when tithing settlement got close)

I encourage everyone who is doubting to get out and really "investigate" the Church. Find out the truth and then have the guts to make the choice that their findings lead them to.

Another well written article on this subject can be found at More on Mothers

Monday, December 3, 2007

Men of the Cloth

I recently read a book by Susan Ray Schmidt His Favorite Wife. My interest in the mormon church and its history, continues to be one of MY favorite things. As I finished the book I was left wanting more so off on a search to find something I have not read.

I found an article on that reviews a book by Martha Beck who is the daughter of Dr. Hugh Nibley, professor emeritus of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University and "arguably the leading living authority on Mormon teaching." She is also the author of a new book where she reveals being sexually abused by her father and explains why she left Mormonism.

Although the article was posted in 2005 it seems timely today. With the rise in reported molesting by "men of the cloth" I become more frustrated by religion every day. What is it about these men that makes them such a despicable, evil characters? Is it religion and the belief that they are working for god?

If so I am certainly glad god is imaginary.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celebrating Christmas

I received this by email this morning from a very fundamental Christian.

Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a "Holiday".*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
; * Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

not Happy Holiday!*

I guess I will probably still say Merry Christmas but not for the reasons implied in this little ditty. Christmas is a family holiday for me. It has nothing to do with religion or Jesus; just family. We get together and celebrate being together, we give and receive because we love each other. Some of my family pray, some do not. It really doesn’t matter what we believe during our brief respite from the work-a-day existence many of us live.

However, my reason for this post is to ask: Just how many Christians realize that the celebration comes from pagan rituals? Do they know that many of the modern church rituals were lifted directly from pagan rites?

I guess not.

Pagan Roots

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Political Correctness

I borrowed this from Richard Dawkins site because it makes a point I think important.

Political correctness is a gag on freedom of speech that is stopping us from saying that a religion is wrong, when it clearly is, while simultaneously allowing them to say we are wrong with out their religion. How is this equal?"

Richard Dawkins

Wrong is subjective, based on one's belief, education and experience. I'd rather not accuse someone of being wrong, rather I look for evidence of their being right.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baptism for the Dead: Update

Phillip Graham makes the assertion that the threat of baptism The Mormons: Our Secret Weapon of all the suicide bombers and jihadist, by the Mormon hierarchy, would force them into submission. I had a good chuckle reading this article but it brought to mind my feeling about being baptized after I’m dead. What impudence!

I recently had the conversation with my daughter about my death and subsequent baptism; it did not go well. She was hurt and angry because according to her since I don’t believe in anything it should not matter to me. She asserts that I am “getting back at her” for converting to Mormonism. She says that it is something that would make her and her family happy, eternal families and all that, and that my objection is unreasonable.

I did give it a lot of thought. What difference would it make to me; I’m dead? Is it not a gift I could give my daughter and her family to show my love? Would it make a difference in scheme of things? My answer is yes.

My reason is simple: When the Mormons baptize people after their death they distort and rewrite history. Each person baptized, whether dead or alive, is added to the roles of the LDS church. So, years from now, when someone does the research on my life it will appear that I was a Mormon. Think of all those people that are listed on their roles who never set foot in a Mormon temple or meeting house. People, who like me, have no belief in the supernatural or people who have strong beliefs in another realm.

It is distortion and dishonesty.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I couldn't sleep this morning so as usual I'm up lurking around the web to see what's new. I ran across Simply Me. Just had to repost it.. Thanks Tina.

This is a free country so why is it not okay to criticize. Someone told me recently that we should never say negative things about the president out of respect for the office, but it is precisely because of my respect for the office that I am critical of the present holder. I am posting comment from that blog as well because Tex said it better than I can.

Our freedoms are actually being reduced not saved or enhanced and the newspeak being used is blatant opposite labelling of what really happens - if our freedoms are reduced, they say "this is to protect your freedom", if they support a non conventional military campaign, it is called "freedom fighting", if they don't like it, it is called terrorism. If bureaucracy is increased they call it "red-tape" reduction policy. The examples pop up every day, and are so prevalent that we tend to overlook many of them because they have become normal.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Bible

In a recent discussion with a friend the subject of the bible stood front and center. Because she is a believer, she stated that she believes the bible “completely”.

In a conversation later with a Mormon friend, I mentioned the previous conversation. My Mormon friend stated that only parts of the bible are believable.

So off I go to do what I most enjoy; research.

What I found is interesting in that, like my two friends, it depends on who you ask. Many Christian will state that the bible is not contradictory and others will disagree. I think it is confusing at best and downright ambiguous at worst.

Was Abraham justified by faith or works?
Romans 4:2
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory.
James 2:21
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Does God want some to go to hell?
1 Timothy 2:3-4
God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Proverbs 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.

These are only a few of the many differences or contradictions I found. What is a believer to do? I’m not a believer but if I were it would be hard to reconcile these ambiguities.

Oh and this one…What’s up with that?

"Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourself every girl who has never slept with a man." (Numbers 31:17-18)
Positive Atheism
Skeptics Bible
BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS - The Truth About Christianity

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

“Who cares, if the founding fathers were believers or not?”

Actually, I don’t care one way or the other. But it comes into play when we begin the conversation about the separation of church and state. Our founding fathers were wise to create a constitution that provides for such a state. They had lived under the rule of the Church of England and they were well aware of the problems created when church and state are mixed.

You asked how it affects my life and the answer is in several ways;
• First I am a patriotic citizen but when the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America is recited “under god” is injected, not in the original by the way. The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag
• In many schools children are never taught the science of evolution. Whether you believe it or not, children should be taught science not religion
• I am an atheist and I pay taxes which are used to promote religion Americans United: Home Page
• Churches are exempt from taxes when they often use the pulpit to promote political values Preacher Against Romney
• Political leaders are heavily influenced by the Christian right which promotes an agenda with which I don’t agree.
• And then if religion is a part of policy, which religion? Christian? Judaism? Islam? Mormon? Scientology? Wicken? They are all represented in the US population.

We must, as a nation, remain secular; our freedom depends on it.

Prayer in Schools? Only for Muslims
Muslim Prayer Protected in Texas Public School

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Christian Nation ?

In a conversation with a fellow teacher recently, I revealed that I am an atheist. She immediately asked me, “So you worship Satan, then?” Of course, I told her that I do not worship any supreme being. The conversation then turned to the fact that we live in a Christian Nation and that our country was founded on Christian principals.

In searching for items that would disprove or at least argue her point, I found this well done article. Every Christian should read it.

Daylight Atheism > Is America a Christian Nation?

Monday, October 1, 2007

To Believe or Not to Believe

Some time ago I was in a conversation with an evangelical concerning whether or not we could choose to believe. My argument was and is that we do not choose to believe or not to believe.

1. I find “belief” to be a lot like “love” (i.e. love for one’s spouse). Something magical and ineffable draws us to an idea (or another person). But some effort is usually required to make that attraction last. Love requires one to continually expend emotional, physical, intellectual, etc. effort in one direction (i.e. toward one’s spouse); and at the same time one willingly withholds or does not expend such efforts in the direction of others.

As I read this post it started me thinking again. My mother always told me that we cannot choose how we feel or with whom we fall in love. But she also said that we can choose where we go and with whom we associate. In that way we do choose to a certain extent for where we go determines who we meet and we can only fall in love with one we meet.

Now, how does this relate to belief? Lately I have read many posts and responses about persons who have begun to question their belief, often in Mormonism but also in the existence of god. Something that really stands out is the number of people who say, “ choose to believe because…” and they have a multitude of reasons:
· It makes my family happy
· It is easier at work
· Everyone else is doing it (going to church)

So, I don’t know…can one choose to believe? Or do they just go along to get along?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Creationism Explained

I came across this interview of a South Hampton Creationist by Sam Harris. I was stunned at the absurd answers he gave. Can you imagine a Tyrannosaurs Rex on a boat with several thousand other animals and humans? Seems to stretch the imagination beyond all. This is a sample of the questions.

How has mankind developed into so many different races in such a short time?

Adam and Eve would have had all the genetic information there and as they breed their offspring would have different
characteristics, and as the breeding continues and certain groups breed within themselves then certain characteristics would start to dominate, such as blackskin and smaller eyes. There is no reason that couldn't occur within several
hundred years. The common thinking at the moment is that Eve came from Africa.

What happened to god created Eve...from Africa?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Baptism for the Dead

I am not ready to die, but then who is? Lately I have had a lot of medical problems and it has brought to the forefront that I am mortal! One day, maybe sooner than I think, I will die. I don't think I am so concerned about dying because, after all I have had a very good life. I have some wonderful children with whom I believe the world is in good hands, almost.

My daughter is smart and beautiful and truly works at being a good person; she is Mormon. Therein lies the problem. I'm not and I don't want to be Mormon, even after I die. I feel sure she plans to baptize me as soon as my ashes are cool. Why should I care? I'm not sure but I do. I remember all the Holocaust victims whose families were devastated because the Mormons were adding them to Mormons roles right and left. What right did the church have to do such a thing? I feel that if she is allowed to baptize me that somehow puts me in agreement with her; a position I would never assume in life. I am an atheist and I am comfortable with so being.

How do I tell her that I forbid it?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Preventing groupthink

According to Irving Janis, decision making groups are not necessarily doomed to groupthink. He also claims that there are several ways to prevent it. Janis devised seven ways of preventing groupthink (209-15):Leaders should assign each member the role of “critical evaluator”. This allows each member to freely air objections and doubts. Higher-ups should not express an opinion when assigning a task to a group.

The organization should set up several independent groups, working on the same problem. All effective alternatives should be examined. Each member should discuss the group's ideas with trusted people outside of the group. The group should invite outside experts into meetings. Group members should be allowed to discuss with and question the outside experts. At least one group member should be assigned the role of Devil's advocate. This should be a different person for each meeting.

By following these guidelines, groupthink can be avoided. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, John F. Kennedy sought to avoid groupthink during the Cuban Missile
.[5] During meetings, he invited outside experts to share their viewpoints, and allowed group members to question them carefully. He also encouraged group members to discuss possible solutions with trusted members within their separate departments, and he even divided the group up into various sub-groups, in order to partially break the group cohesion. JFK was deliberately absent from the meetings, so as to avoid pressing his own opinion. Ultimately, the Cuban missile crisis was resolved peacefully, thanks in part to these measures.

If only those in religious circles could or would be so inclined.

Friday, September 7, 2007

September Dawn

In a discussion about the movie a writer states:

This subject has become very personal to me as of late. I have read Jaunita Brooks and am now reading Will Bagley. Having been to Mountain Meadows twice in the last year, the latest about 10 days ago. It is history and as important to know about as any other tragic event.

Some questions I pose are:

1. Why did BY parade around for several years after in one of the carriages owned by the Fancher party, of course the best one?

2. Why did the small children remark that some lady was wearing their dead mother's dress?

3. Why is it when the children were returned to the families the people who had tended to them filed claims against the government for foster care payments?

4. Why were the children, dirty, lice infested when they were returned.?

and lastly,

5. Why weren’t the children returned immediately to their families, why the hold up?

These are questions that were raised in my mind, in researching the
tragedy. It happened, the Mormons participated, acknowledged that they did and answer the questions if you can.Hollywood is Hollywood and will add to the story, but instead of focusing on the Hollywood aspect, focus on the event itself.

I found this while lurking about and I would love to hear the answers.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Good Word

Thanks. Sometimes, much too often I think, we forget to say thank you to those who make our life better in some way. Today I want to take the time to thank those of you who have patiently or not so patiently delt with my ravings. You have made my life interesting and I look forward to your continuing comments.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Demands of Society

“I know four Mormons very well. One is a close friend. At least three of them appear to be good, decent people. The other may be something of a racist. One of them is an umpteenth generation Mormon, has a high position in the Mormon Church, and is a closet atheist. The point, if there is one, is that society demands that people profess to have "faith." If your family is from Utah, that faith best be Mormon. Not everyone actually believes it.”

I was lurking around somewhere and saw this comment. Sorry, I don’t remember where; I liked it and emailed it to myself for later use. What struck me about this is the simple truth of the statements. Substitute any religious organization for Mormon Church and you still have simple truth.

We live in a society that demands that people profess to have some kind of religion. I recently became aware of a prayer group at my place of work. I received an invitation in my company email and my company mail slot. What is wrong with that picture? Let me count the ways.

1. Use of company resources for personal agenda
2. Mixing of church and state (my “company” is government)
3. Unfairly pointing out those who do not wish to participate
4. …and others which do not readily come to mind.

I am not offended that someone wishes to have a prayer group at work. That is certainly not for me to decide. If the management doesn’t have a problem with it and it does not infringe on my personal space, go for it. However, it is an infringement to invite every person, including those not personally known by the organizer of such event. In my case a few people know my disposition but it is not something I make a point of telling all. As stated above “society demands that people profess to have faith.": I refuse to do so but I do not make a point of advertising that I am atheist. If I am asked, I am honest about. I wish the religious would be so considerate.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Under God

The Texas Legislature recently passed a new law that changes the pledge to the Texas Flag.

Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.

Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.

The law suits have already begun. How much money will be spent on this? How can we have separation of church and state when god is forced everyone?

Now before anyone makes the statement that this nation was born on Christian principals or that our founding fathers were Christian please check out this site;

The primary leaders of the so-called founding fathers of our nation were not Bible-believing Christians; they were deists.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mother Teresa, Atheist?

During the summer I read a book by Christopher Hitchens. PositionMissionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (Verso, 1995). I had heard about the book and I was really angry, because Mother Teresa has always been one of my heroes. I am not religious but I believed that she was one who truly helped the poor. The book opened my eyes. I did more digging and learned that she had billions of dollars in banks all over the world and yet people were dying in her facilities for lack of proper medicine and care. Hitchens accuses her of being political…okay maybe.

Today, thanks to the astute observation of a friend, I find that Mother may have really been an atheist like me. It seems she had doubts and serious concerns about god’s lack of help. But atheist, monotheist or…whatever she was, all that money should be used to help the poor.

MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?

Mommie Dearest
Letters reveal Mother Teresa's doubt about faith - Yahoo! News
Missionaries of Charity

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More on the Problem of Evil

Much has been discussed on this blog

about the existence of god, the power

of prayer and the damnation of hell.

I set out to find more information that

would help me explain why I cannot

believe there is a god. I found this

article and I hope you will take the

time to check it out.

The Justice Defense
The most straightforward explanation for the existence of evil is that we suffer because we deserve to. The Hebrew Bible, for example, repeatedly claims that the destruction God visits upon the Israelites is in retribution for their idolatry; likewise, some Christian apologists argue that the original sin inherited by all humans justifies any punishment God wishes to inflict upon us. Eastern religious traditions often embody this concept in the principle of karma.
The major problem with this explanation is that it fails the test of common experience; evil is plainly not distributed fairly. Everyone knows of instances where the evil have prospered while the good have suffered unjustly. In fact, too often it seems that it usually happens this way. Wars tend to disproportionately harm civilians who had nothing to do with the reasons for fighting; diseases usually strike those who had the closest contact with other sufferers rather than those who deserve it the most. Newborn babies and children suffer as well, sometimes from horrific diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa, cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease - what sins could they possibly have committed to deserve such a fate? Even Psalm 73 of the Bible notes such a phenomenon. The indiscriminateness, the sheer randomness of suffering refutes this explanation.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Remember when...

Old Methuselah...finally died.

It was a long, long time since the days when God walked
with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and things had changed.

Everyone forgot about God. They didn't pray to him
anymore.They didn't care about pleasing him. All they cared about was themselves. All they cared about was getting what they wanted when they wanted it.

And after a while it didn't matter if anyone had to get hurt to get it.And the world became a terrible place. It wasn't safe to go out into the streets anymore. Robbers and bandits would jump on you and take your loaf of bread. And if they beat you up, no one would stop to help.

They would just walk by, and maybe take the apple you had in your pocket too.

People were lying and cheating - and even killing each other - everywhere.

There was no safe place. You weren't even safe in your own bed at night.

God's beautiful world became a mean, awful, scary place to live.

That's what happens
when people forget about God.

But god is not forgotten and 85% of Americans believe in god and want to please him. Prayer goes on every day by millions all over the world and yet...

  • It isn't safe on the streets
  • People lie, cheat and steal
  • I don't feel safe in my home

..and the world is still a mean, awful and scary place.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When will we ever learn?

I started today with the thought that maybe I can begin to understand why so many people are led to follow religious rigor in order to secure the dubious promise of “afterlife”. How sad to squander the only life of which we can be sure to secure what exists only in the minds of the superstitious.
I stumbled on this posting today and it states what I feel and could not express. Green Oasis
Religion is a vapor of darkness which blinds our eyes and binds us down to the foolish traditions of our ancestors. It is a collection of the ideas of fallible men mingled with ancient scripture. It is a collection of half-truths and obfuscated wisdom which has outlived the peak of its usefulness. It feels good, so we don’t question its foundations. It is often the tool of the powerful to control the powerless, to lull them into complacency. Promises of rewards in heaven keep us from acting against the injustices in the only life we know that we have. It destroys our natural propensity to think and ask questions. It causes good people to do evil things. It diverts our energy and our resources from more useful efforts. Whatever benefits we derive from religion can be replaced by less destructive methods.

I have hope.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Does Prayer Work?

Yesterday I ran into my neighbor as I was taking my morning walk. We stopped to chat and knowing that I had interviewed for a particular position, she asked if I had yet heard. I told her I had not and she told me she would pray for me.

Whenever I encounter people who want to pray for me I am inevitably uncomfortable. What should I say? I suppose there are many things I could say but I usually just say thank you. I am honored that she cares enough about me and my needs that she wants to help. I have no belief that it will or even can help my situation but she does. It makes her feel better even if it does nothing for me.

Perhaps, like giving a gift, prayer helps the one who prays more than the object of the prayer.

There is some evidence that prayer does help. In this BBC News article some felt that prayer had helped.

But according to Dr David Laws of the University of Manchester the kind of
prayer which asks God to do something is only relevant if you have a
particular understanding of God.

"It depends on God being an intervening God who breaks
into our world and mops up our mess whenever we make one."

So my conclusion is the same. If god is able to intervene and correct the problems he allowed to occur then what kind of god is he to have let it happen in the first place?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Proof of God's Existence

Whenever I out myself as an atheist I am often asked if I have read the bible. It seems a strange question. Since I do not believe in any god why would I read a book that protends to prove the existence? However, I have read the bible and continue to do so; I just don't take it as anything divine or inspired by a god. As history it is only minimally reliable.

Many times believers will retort with "I know from personal experience and prayer that God exists."

This is a statement based on a feeling. Mormons call it a "burning in the bosom" . I found this website that offers information about the atheistic argument.

If this were a court of law the prosecutor (believer) must prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendent cannot prove he did not do the crime. One cannot prove a negative. The best the defense can do is create a reasonable doubt. In my case, I have much more than a reasonable doubt.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent…really?

If god is all powerful (omnipotent) he able to do away with evil.

If god is all knowing (omniscient) he knows there is evil in the world.

If god is love (benevolent) he would see the evil and defeat it.

Therefore if god is omnipotent and does not defeat evil he is not omniscient or not benevolent. If he is omniscient and does not defeat evil he is not omnipotent or not benevolent. If he is benevolent and does not defeat evil he is not omnipotent or not omniscient.

I stumbled across this site here . Although this is an old argument it is worth revisiting.
As I study and move along on my journey I find more questions than answers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

God vs God or Truth vs Truth

"The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found. Possession makes one passive, indolent, and proud. If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his left only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err i n the process, and to offer me the choice, i would with all humility take the left hand."
--Gotthold Lessing, Anti-Goeze(1778)

I have, for sometime now, been a daily reader and sometime commenter on Mormon Coffee. My daughter became Mormon a few years ago and it has disturbed me greatly; thus the search for understanding.

I have come to the conclusion that the evangelicals have a very mean and vindictive god while the Mormons see a god as almost an aside to their religion. Both camps make very interesting arguments but neither is convincing; I'm still an atheist for like Lessing I would still chose the left hand.