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.