That's me right about now. So I decided to start my Daily Bible Scripture (thanks EvilBible and SAB) on Facebook. Day one's post caused amusement but was mostly ignored. Day two brought a bit of a...stronger reaction from my big brother (Yes, this one). Here is the conversation from Friday until a half hour or so ago:

Bible Scripture of the Day: "And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD" (Hosea 1:2)

Amen brothers and sisters.

SeanHoes be winning.

Rick:why do you hate the bible so? lots of books but you are fixated on the one that if you crack jokes you get more attention. the Quran has stuff to make fun of but they will kill your ass.

SeanPlenty of days ahead. Believe me, I'll get to them. Besides, how could I hate a book that shows us such "beauty"? If it was good enough for our ancestors, it's certainly good enough for us, right? Like chitlins...
For those that may be unfamiliar with chitterlings

Sean: And I'd be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more worried about Christians taking me out of the game if history is a harbinger. I dunno, they all have a violent history.

Rick: but what do you believe? give people a chance to make your belief look dumb are you scared? what does sean think? (I saw this after waking from a nap so I was a bit cranky in my next 2 responses)

Sean: You could have the chance to belittle my beliefs and it wouldn't make a difference. Why? Because Sean doesn't believe in any stupid bullshit. Sean doesn't believe in taking ANYTHING at face value. Out of all the religious books in the world that you could choose from, why the Bible? Answer: Because your parents raised you with the Bible. Why did they use it? Because their parents raised them with the Bible and so on all the way back to slave times. I made this connection at a young age, is it really that difficult for you to wrap your mind around? Is it not obvious? You make yourself look like a moron aligning with a religion that you obviously know nothing about. You don't have a right to try to push your own private brand of bullshit (because whether you admit it or not, that's what it is) while not even following the book you claim to hold so dear. Don't get upset because someone actually took the time to try to follow the book. I know so much about the topic because I spent so many years trying to make it fit into my life. I was never comfortable with being a hypocrite with my beliefs and it sickens me that a "Christian" would love the chance to poke fun at my beliefs as if I was the one trying to get someone to believe in talking donkeys.

Sean: ‎"Someone shut him up! That boy has been reading again! We must shut him up!" Get the fuck...outta here with that silly shit. Are we not living in 2011?

Rick: no little bro i would not ever poke fun at you it is just odd that many of your posts crack jokes about the good book. you seem obsessed. the constitution has silly shit but thats not real life to you. you also chose to deal with passages that are very open for interpretation but thats not the point of the youre a athiest? agnostic? truist? we dont want you to conform i dont conform. and what the fuck is your parents supposed to mean? at the last check we had the same father, update me, and my mom raised me kc and mike to be men and men chose their own beliefs. you missed that lesson and probably a few more. have we ever talked religion? have you ever known me or heard rumors of me being some door knocking donation seeking church boy of any kind? you sound like you are losing the battle and lashing out thats all. im the voice of reason in this fam, ask somebody. you are not out of line to question your beliefs but you are to fuck with someone elses comfort level even if you dont understand

Sean: If you had no ties to the bible you A. wouldn't have even commented in the first place and B. wouldn't advocate me denigrating the Quran or any other religious book. If you weren't introduced to the bible through Richard and Olivia then where did it come from? Some descendant of a slave at some point exposed you to it. I'm old enough to know (and I'm sure you are too) that people are not the same in different relationships or at different stages in life. So whatever version of Richard Williams you got probably wasn't the same as me. If he was the same throughout then he introduced you to the Bible as he introduced me. I was taught that ANY problem you had could be solved by the Bible. It's not the truth. The reality (because that's the only realm I care about) is that according to that book, our father is being tortured in hell right now or at best he's stuck in limbo. There's no open to interpretation in that, Rick. I'm honest enough and real enough to acknowledge that. It's not a pleasant thought by any means because I actually have read what's behind it. According to the book, I'm going to hell for even having my thoughts as if there is some way to control logic. It's a disgusting, evil book that isn't fit for even wiping asses. Once again, if you don't believe me, read it for yourself. 

You want to know my beliefs? I believe in educating yourself. I believe that in this day and age when information is so readily accessible, there is no excuse for being ignorant. I believe that we have come too far and made too many advancements on the sheer stubborn will of humans to waste time wallowing in anachronistic bullshit. The year is 2011 and you live in a country where it's not illegal to learn so get to learning.

Rick: well i cant say if dads in hell or anyone else, and i always said that the bible is a book with a message not just stories. you want to make me out to be ignorant because i chose of free will to believe in a higher power which ive seen in action [and a lower power that ive seen too.] never tried to impress anything on you not trying to convert you. but you fancy yourself a crusader for education and reason and logic and i know youre not that smart or well read enough to spout opinions if you were smart you would find some other crusade, something pertinent like politics or maybe the utter failure of your generation to make a dent in anyones consciousness except by being rebellious sagging stalking on facebook and striking out at your own instead of expanding your mind.

End scene, lol. Now...the last comment came as I was writing this post. Because I'd like to get back to the book I was reading and because I'd like to mull over his assertions before responding, I'll end with his retort. 

Here is one of my favorite comedians (Bill Hicks) discussing his act during an interview. His sentiments regarding his content mirror my own. However there are new developments on the facebook front! Sister Christian has messaged me with:
KarlaLittle brother, why do you believe what you believe? And can you read the entire bible and tell me which parts you don't like?

Oh boy. Not this shit again...

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Comment by Daniel young on December 16, 2011 at 9:46am

A good example.

Comment by Martial Epicurus on December 14, 2011 at 9:48am

@S. Biped: Spot on logic! I couldn't have put it better myself. My atheism actually got deeper from a Statistics course that I took. I still have the book around here somewhere so I'll eventually post the exact section that pushed me over the edge. It basically discussed ways of "knowing". The benefits and costs associated with belief based on tenacity, authority, reason, and common sense were discussed and followed by the benefits of a scientific approach to knowing. I immediately started going through every piece of "knowledge" that I thought I'd attained and scrutinizing it to figure out how I knew that it was true. It was a little humbling to figure out that most of the things I thought I knew, I had no idea about. I started to relearn a lot of things and it was a much more fulfilling experience. Because of that, I'm much more confident about things I know and humble enough to say when I don't know something. Plus I'm eager to find out if I don't know so I've ended up as a lifelong student. 

Comment by Martial Epicurus on December 14, 2011 at 9:32am

@Daniel: My first thought goes to Mother Teresa. She's been beatified and is held as a shining example of selflessness and charitability. When I was younger there was a part of me that admired her example and it made me want to do things to emulate her. That's a positive outcome and I guess it's why symbols exist in the first place. When I actually got older and learned about her, how she worked, the conditions she endured, and her beliefs I became horrified and disgusted. Heading out to work in the medical field without proper training or equipment, reusing hypodermic needles, exposing all patients to ice baths, believing that suffering brings you closer to Jesus, etc. There's no doubt in my mind that she had her heart in the right place. But outside of our world view is the actual world. There are things that we should all be able to agree on regardless of where we stand on any other number of topics. That's probably where my frustration with religion comes from. Like in the blog posting, pure facts are just marginalized or regarded as trivial. I honestly don't know how to handle such craziness. It's why I find myself asking, "Isn't this Earth? Yes and it isn't the Dark ages, right? It's 2011? We live in a country where it's not illegal to learn?" But like you said, in their world, it's totally different and they probably, somehow, look at me the same way. 

Comment by Daniel young on December 13, 2011 at 5:09pm

@ Martial Epicurus

Yup, you could very well be correct.

But my opinion based on my personal experience, is that most all human beings "want" to do good and that they are only sidetracked by bad ideas. I have had many personal dialogs with people that held an extremely different world view than my own, and no matter how much I am in disagreement with them, they are still trying, with the best tools they posses, to do good.

What are your thoughts ? 

Comment by Sentient Biped on December 13, 2011 at 12:05pm

@M.E.  Bible contradictions, combined with my fundamentalist upbringing, resulted in my being atheist.  If we say that ALL of the bible is literal AND true, then we find any, let alone multiple, contradictions, either (1) we delude ourselves or (2) we say it's not true and that should lead to atheism or (3) our head explodes.  Exploding heads is messy, I try to pride myself on not being deluded, which only leaves (2).  Then leading down the path of empiricism, and knowing that science depends on observation, testing, and reality, there is no turning back.

Comment by Martial Epicurus on December 13, 2011 at 11:47am

@S.Biped: Think about that garbage long enough and I swear you'll usually come up with something else that doesn't add up. I don't know why it just occurred to me but Jesus sinned when questioning why God had forsaken him. I'm not sure what happened to all of his superpowers anyway. He can make miracles all day until it's for his own benefit, lol. FAILURE.

@Daniel: This issue has actually popped into my mind again today. There's a professor at an Indiana university that's come under fire for making disparaging remarks about Islam and Arabs in general. I found myself actually siding with the Arabs because 1. the guy was totally out of line and 2. he condemned Muslims while acting like Jews and Christians have monopoly on morality, intelligence, and all that is good in the world. But my thoughts go back and forth because, like you said, giving religion leeway and hoping for the best hasn't had the best luck throughout recorded history. People could spend the time, energy, money, and faith that goes into religion on things that are (imho) more beneficial. I suppose they could do also be devoting themselves to things that are more harmful than religion also. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on December 12, 2011 at 8:06am

Reading this I just realized, for the first time, that if transmogrification is real, and the communion wafer really is turning into the body of christ and the wine into the blood of christ, then communion violates the dietary laws of god as transmitted through Moses.  Of animals, only ruminants are allowed - animals that chew their cud and have cloven hoof.  Jesus is not kosher.  Same as chitterlings and scrapple.  No matter how tasty they  look.

Comment by Daniel young on December 12, 2011 at 4:04am

It's the open-mindedness and relaxation of judgement that we ought to be purporting.

Really? Should we have relaxed our judgement when it came to burning witches? Should we relax our judgement when someone straps a bomb to there bodies with a religious intent to cleanse a small part of the world. Should we relax our judgement when homosexuality is defined by laws as being illegal and is punishable by death ? Should we relax our judgement when a parent refuses to take there sick child to a doctor ?

Religion does more damage than just violence, it stumps the intellectual growth of humanity.

With hope, I dream of a future without religion.

Comment by Daniel young on December 12, 2011 at 3:47am

@ John Carnilli

It is entirely possible that humans exist in a non-causal universe, 

I find no reason to believe this possibility, but I must still accept it as being a possibility do to our vast ignorance of how the universe works.

But not total ignorance, we do understand some of it, and that leads me to lean heavily towards a causal universe.

but have arrived on the scene in a moment when the universe is behaving as if each moment is sequentially related to the next. And there is no way to prove this is not the case.

This is a very week statement, an attempt to promote the idea of a non-causal universe with nothing more than the lack of information.

The universe is only behaving causal ", come on, you can do better than that. 

Thus, causality is an assumption which can never be proven or dis-proven. We assume it for the sake of being able to develope our thoughts further, but it remains possible that causality is an illusion.

This is a poor conclusion. Sorry, you are again making no sense to me.

Non-causal universe cannot be proven or dis-proven, for the same reason God cannot be proven or disproven. We prove a causal universe as defined by our reality and how we perceive it. 

I would like to try to define "possibility", as we are utilizing the word here, through an analogy of my own.

If I where to drop ten thousand eggs from a hight of four meters and all ten thousand times the egg breaks,

I still must say that there is a possibility the ten thousand and one egg will not break. One cannot be one hundred percent sure that it will break.

It will most likely break, I would borrow money to bet on it's breaking, but I cannot say it WILL break.

There is the possibility of a non-causal universe.

Comment by John Camilli on December 7, 2011 at 2:52pm

Why is it strange to feel like I'm right? I feel like I'm right all the time, rofl. I kid. I would be no better than any other domineering ideologue if I felt like that, although the sensation does creep up on me at times, and I have to beat it back with a wooden spoon.


I agree wholeheartedly about the problem of symbols losing their meaning and becoming literal. I think it stems from humans reaching their intellectual limits. Symbolism is certainly one of the capacities that has helped out species advance, but when we rely on symbols of symbols of symbols, we lose track of the original meaning that was attached to them, and have to re-construct new meanings based on our incomplete understanding. Thus, the toast becomes christ, a book becomes The Law, and Einstein becomes the beginning of physics knowledge, even though all these things had pre-cursors that we lack the capacity to grasp. Cognitive dissonance indeed.

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