"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."
-- Thomas Jefferson
Jesus H. Christ!! I cannot believe that the Supreme Court is AGAIN about to debate the legitimacy of the spouting…Continue
In respose to a post about a pretty mediocre study of "types" of atheists (indeed all A/N belong to one of the six categories, antitheists," who regard religion as dangerous fantasy and warn of its many harms and evils), I posted the following categories of religous (non-)belief. Readers are welcome to contribute/commment.
(1) atheist/antitheist/"ignostic" (doesn't care, doesn't worry about it)
(1a) work in progress - trying to free oneself from…Continue
There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it with an air of great seriousness.
– Arthur Schopenhauer
Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series of posts will know that the narrative is not a gothic horror tale…but something that is just as disturbing: resisting the religious programming of a child.
Added by Alan Perlman on July 2, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments
I was contacted by www.askimo.com , a new internet portal featuring video interviews of experts talking on their field of expertise. I decided that my field of expertise would be “what the Torah really says” (since I am one of the few laypeople who has actually bothered to find out), along with related questions about atheism, blasphemy and the “clear alternative to the Torah” (It's SCIENCE!).
The questions were partly supplied by me, generally…Continue
Added by Alan Perlman on May 8, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments
In an email exchange, an old friend and fellow English-prof colleague wrote this:
"I know you're 'the Jewish atheist,' but don't you feel a strong sense of identification with the Jewish ethos, aside from religion? You've sought out Jewish wives, and friends to some degree could be, the way I might seek out writers as friends. I think of my former Catholicism not angrily but gratefully. When I grew up, I decided on my own that I didn't believe. But my Catholic education was excellent;…Continue
“All religions are the same: Religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.”
“Prayer is like a rocking chair: It’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”
--Gypsy Rose Lee
“When you go to war over religion, you’re basically killing each other to see who has the better imaginary friend.”
I have kept…Continue
“Do you know that many people believe in God?
They think God made the world and runs the universe.
Some people grow up and learn that God is JUST PRETEND like Santa.
But some people still believe God is real. . .
Some people believe in a god who gives rewards to favorite people.
They imagine a place called Heaven with gold and crowns and music and no pain or work.
Some people believe in a god…Continue
Added by Alan Perlman on February 9, 2013 at 7:23pm — No Comments
“Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.”
--George Bernard Shaw
“It’s an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don’t try to make it…Continue
“There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it
with an air of great seriousness.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer
“Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most obvious conclusion is that they are all wrong.”
-- Christopher Hitchens
“Society attacks early, when the child…Continue
“Long as You Know You’re Living Yours”
Song title, Keith Jarrett
"The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death."
“In this world, we eat, shit, sleep, and wake up. After that, all we have to do is die.”
“Please enjoy your only life!”
“The power of a man’s…Continue
Added by Alan Perlman on November 25, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments
‘The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors.”
“Pointing to another world will never stop vice among us; shedding light on this world can alone help us.”
Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series of posts will remember that Zach is my 7-year-old stepson, whose task of configuring the world –…Continue
Added by Alan Perlman on November 3, 2012 at 8:47pm — No Comments
“Impiety, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.”
“Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.”
Fuck _____ (fill in the name of any deity, past or present).
There, that ought to do it. I’m an equal…Continue
“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.”
“I find it necessary to wash my hands after I have come into contact with religious people.”
Recent A/N threads have generated much thoughtful…Continue
“..a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them free to otherwise to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”
Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
There’s no debate about what “religious…Continue
“If God wants us to do a thing he should make his wishes sufficiently clear. Sensible people will wait till he has done this before paying much attention to him.”
“I cannot believe in a God who has neither humor nor common sense.”
W. Somerset Maugham
Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series will remember that Zach is my 6-year-old stepson (7 this month) whose task of configuring the world – his…Continue
(Several years ago, I undertook to read the Torah. For specific reasons, see below. But basically I wanted to find out, to my own satisfaction, just what it said, to the extent possible, given that it's such an ancient text that's been repeatedly copied and edited.
To rabbis, thus to most Jews, it is a repository of priceless wisdom. I set out to find it.
What I found was both enlightening and disappointing. …Continue
Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”
It would be great to have reliable numbers on religious migration: how many people change religions each year, how many become new adherents, how many drift away, never to return?
Increasing the ranks
Different religions have different ways of increasing their ranks: birth rate (e.g., all…Continue