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Oct 03 2011

9 out of 10 cats are secretly aliens!

As they say, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and here we see all three in action.

This post attempts to depict christians as some sort of minority, that somehow while 5% of americans identify as atheist their numbers are much much larger.

It complains about atheists as if we are some sort of plague. The sheer indignation in the tone of the article about atheists doing the same thing as christians is evident throughout as is the surprise that you can have an atheist summer camp. (Surely that means a secular summer camp or indeed a plain old normal summer camp right? I mean atheists don’t have any religious texts and maybe I would want my kids to go to a bit of a sciencey themed camp because I like science and I hope my kids can see my love of the subject too.)

The christian message is still loud and clear, the day you should be worried is the day one of your politicians stands up and claims he is a creationist and is soundly ridiculed for being an anti-science luddite rather than applauded for his ignorance.

The article then proceeds into giving advice about living in christ as if the difference between a good atheist and a good christian is something magical. A good person is one who does the right thing, not one who believes the hardest. To quote Gandhi, “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world”, and it’s something that atheists and those who believe in a god must understand. That to be good you have to be good, and no ancient book can tell you how to be that.

A lot of christians feel they are under threat because their core beliefs are being challenged. That is not true, we merely are fighting bigotry, it just happens that some of christianity’s core beliefs come under that moniker. Would you find the islamic burkha acceptable or something to fight? That is prejudice against women. The hindu cast system? Prejudice against the low castes. The christian attitude towards gays? Prejudice. All these are fought not because we are anti-faith (We don’t care about what you believe as long as you keep it in your own private area and out of public life) but because we are anti-bigotry.

Moreover, nine out of 10 Americans believe that there is no God and one fifth of the American population is more or less atheistic, according to the most recent Harris poll. 

Another survey on atheism in America, conducted by the Pew Forum of Religious and Public Life, showed major changes in the religious make up of America.  
More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion, or no religion at all, the Pew Landscape Survey released this week found.

Note how laughably bad the stats are. 9/10 americans believe in no god but 1/5 are atheist?

Being atheist means you don’t believe in any god so if 90% of americans don’t then 90% are atheist. The truth is roughly 15% of america are atheist/agnostic which works out at around 1/6 people.

Either the author has no grasp of statistics or is plain lying about it, but then comes up with various faulty reasons why people become atheists.

However, as discussions of widespread turmoil, increasingly turbulent weather events and wars increase, so do the number of Americans who say they believe Christ’s reappearance is close at hand. A poll conducted last year by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 41 percent of Americans expected Jesus would return before 2040.

Oh my! More bad stats, if 90% of america don’t believe in a god then how the hell does 40% believe that Jesus will return?

This is faulty, the weather is not related to any gods. This we proved when we found out that churches are more likely to be hit by lightning (Hey if you have a tall building while everyone around you doesn’t then you get hit by lightning). The day science defeated god was not the day Darwin wrote the Origin of Species but the day churches put lightning conductors on their steeples.

If anything this proves that atheism is not on the rise because if you said that you were scare of weather because of a god then I would call you a backwards hick and encourage you to read about weather rather than believe it is created by a magical entity.

Christians have stepped up to defend the faith in high-profile ways. As the non-believing community began to widen its reach in America in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in a major document in hopes of drawing attention to its evils. 

“A world which has to create its own justice is a world without hope,” he wrote in the letter. In his second encyclical, Benedict also critically questioned modern Christianity, saying its focus on individual salvation had ignored Jesus’ message that true Christian hope involves salvation for all.

Perhaps the pope should clean out his own faith’s issues before he pokes into the lack of faith of atheists. The systemic abuse of children and the lack of sexual education has caused unimaginable suffering the world over. The world is not fair, it’s why Pope Benedict basically has a comfortable job which may not pay well but has all the perks of a comfortable lifestyle while large numbers of people in Africa have to make do with no clean drinking water and a life fraught from the dangers of HIV.

It really is not fair, justice is a human concept. It is humanity that balances the scales. There is justice for the pope because he is rich and famous. There wasn’t any for those children his priests molested. And that may have been in part due to his interference in the matter. 

The pope is also walking on dangerous ground here. Salvation for all in Catholicism means conversion. And conversion historically was often done at the business end of a weapon.

A final word from Billy Graham ends the piece.

“Many atheists, I find,
reject God for one reason: They want to run their own lives,” Graham said in a popular sermon on atheism. “Atheism says we are here by chance, and life has no meaning or destiny. Taken to its conclusion, atheism ends in despair.”

We rejected our gods, not god. We rejected all the gods, be it Zeus or Shiva or Jesus and Jehovah. It’s rather arrogant to assume that Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and all the other religious world views don’t have atheists. There are plenty of us out there, it’s just that we don’t really have a big voice unlike Dawkins or Myers or Hitchens.

We reject these gods not because we want to run our own lives, but because they are not real. In the same way Graham rejects Shiva and Bal Thackeray rejects Jesus, I reject both these men’s gods on the basis of none of them are real. These beings never really ran my life, I did, I just pretended to follow rules blindly just like everyone else without really thinking who made the rules and why the rules were so stupid.

We aren’t here by chance, we are here because of evolution. You the reader is specifically here because of the efforts of the people that raised you and you are formed by their actions. You are not here by chance nor by the actions of magic, you are here because of the actions of your parents. Of sweat, blood and tears of your ancestors. Not because of some mythical being, give credit where it’s due.

Life has meaning, the meaning we give to life is entirely up to us. For me life is good friends, enjoying good food, conversation, love, reading books and having a job that makes me feel happy. Life is entirely what you make of it, and I am blessed with the ability to one day have a comfortable life where I can achieve the things that make me happy. Life is really that simple. To basically try and leave the world a little bit better than when you arrived on it.

Atheism isn’t despair, it is bravery. It is intelligence over ignorance, it is reality over fantasy. It is the honest answer, to stand up and say “I don’t know what’s out there, but I am kind of sure it’s not a magical being who tells you what clothes to wear and doesn’t like you eating beef or working on one specific day of the week”.

I maybe atheist but at least I am good at statistics.

1 comment

  1. 1
    Tonja Wheelan

    When i was a wee pup. Steve finger banged (more like raped)my pet hamster. Its cool though. He promised me when i got older he would make me a hamster condom. And he did. So remember. Even though steve may rape your pets as a child. He keeps his word.

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