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 book.so 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 Martial Epicurus on December 7, 2011 at 8:57am

It's strange but I feel like you're all right. I believe it was Matthew Greenberg (fellow AN member) that posted his thoughts on the implications that would likely arise if atheists became the majority and theists moved into the minority spot. Of course we have no idea what the outcome may be. Someone argued that the world would finally begin to deal with the world's plethora of problems with some rationality. Someone else thought that the switch in numbers would leave the remaining theists clinging to their religion even tighter. I believe there's evidence to support both assumptions. I just know that life can be rough and religion can make the load feel lighter. It's nice to go into battle knowing someone (esp. someone all-powerful) has your back. Still I can't help but wonder how a person would react if a person felt that a piece of toast was their savior. Immediately such a thought is filed under M for moronic...mind-boggling...mentally deficient. Yet...the Eucharist is supposed to be the body and blood of Jesus. Until recently I thought it was a symbolic act and didn't think much of it. Whenever it all becomes literal and taken as unfiltered truth is when I usually feel the need to step in and make myself heard. They have to be rational enough to know that there's a lot of craziness to their religion otherwise they wouldn't skip over it when confronted. Cognitive dissonance, indeed! I agree with John though...there has to be another way to deal with them. 

Thank you all for commenting. You have no idea how much you restore my sanity lol. And Daniel...don't hate me for thinking the scrapple actually looks tasty, lol. 

Comment by John Camilli on December 6, 2011 at 6:55pm

We need to find ways to get people to loosen that grip though. They are delaying progress in technology, and are causing increased political tension. With technology becoming as advanced as it is, we can longer risk such extremism. It'll spell the end of our species. We must find out how to get through to them without pushing them further into a corner. That's not to say that I think the atheit perspective is absolutely right and that everyone has to think like us. It's the open-mindedness and relaxation of judgement that we ought to be purporting.

Comment by Mike Haynes on December 6, 2011 at 3:57pm

Excellent arguing! My hat is off to you, sir!

You have more patience than I do! It seems like your brother found a solid (faulty logic or no) way to combat his cognitive dissonance long ago, and he (and your sister) are going to dig in and cling on to it for dear life.

Comment by Sentient Biped on December 5, 2011 at 9:25pm

Hang in there, you have to be yourself.  

chitterlings look as appealing as scrapple.

and the bible forbids both.

So who gets to pick and choose what bible verses they want? Why is someone else's choice better than yours?  Is the bible ALL the word of Yahweh, or just the jesus-loves-you parts?  Why are the vengeful god parts not equally valid?

I see now your favorite verse explains the Marriage of Kim Kardashian.  Nice!

Comment by John Camilli on December 5, 2011 at 7:33pm

1 Timothy 2:11

"Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent."

 

But you should include this with it:

 

One of the three necessary foundations of epistemology, and thus all of science, is the principal of locality, or local realism. Modern quantum mechanical experiments apparently violate local realism by demonstrating that a single object can exist in multiple locations at once (superpositioning). Demonstrations have been done with photons, electrons, fullerene molecules, glass beads, diamonds and viruses. Observations in quantum mechanics thus defy logic and potentially invalidate a great deal of scientific theory.

Comment by 1311 on December 5, 2011 at 7:06pm

I think your Scripture of the Day was pretty funny!  Yeah, I know most Xians would get pretty bent out of shape just reading that passage.  They try to rationalize themselves out of it.  I can't wait what the next scripture of the day is going to be!  :)

Comment by Martial Epicurus on December 5, 2011 at 8:11am

Though it may look like it evolved to the point of me hating religion, I honestly don't think that's the case. Does it disgust me? Definitely. Do I understand it's purpose and why people hold it so dearly? Definitely. My statuses were meant to be taken as amusement or as a starting point for anyone daft enough to think that the book doesn't have any negative aspects. Nothing more, nothing less. When my sister posts something about my life being empty (not me specifically but anyone without god) because of my beliefs, my brother isn't quite so vocal. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not young enough to think that I know everything. However if I'm told that there is a box somewhere in a house and then I'm told to guess what's in the box, I may never stumble upon the correct answer. The box could contain a grain of salt or an automobile. Still, I could say what isn't in that box with a bit of certainty. It isn't likely that the Pacific Ocean, for example, would be in that box. Out of all of the religious texts that could be true, the Bible just isn't one of them for a plethora of reasons. And if I'm wrong (because I'm open to that possibility) and the Bible turns out to be true (boy, who knew?) then that doesn't make it useful, especially in this day and age. Turning someone away from their beliefs...I honestly don't think I have that much pull and I'm not sure if I would utilize it if I did. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me holding a mirror up. If they don't like what they see, they need do some soul searching and decide where they stand.

People are so quick to talk about how religion and the lord's grace has helped in their lives specifically. Like I told my brother, if there is a Hell, I'm going and our father is already there. Now that's a thought that has been through my mind since January of this year. Lucky for me I know that the concept of Hell was made up (at least in the Bible). May as well be worried about a teenage mutant ninja turtle torturing my father. It's a damn good thing that I don't believe because there simply is no rationalization (regardless of what my siblings would have you believe). How are my beliefs more correct? I don't exactly understand the question. If asked what 2+2 total, answering 3 would not be more correct than answering 5. There's one correct answer and if you don't know, you don't know. If my "belief" in science leads me to a false assumption, my belief in science will correct that assumption if evidence is presented during my lifetime. That's what my experience and education has provided me with. So if I'm ignored, fine. If my poking fun at a book that makes it way too easy pushes any religious zealot deeper into their religious cocoon...so be it. It's a lot better than me writing scriptures on my shirt then throwing rocks at or trying to kill known "sinners". 

Comment by John Camilli on December 5, 2011 at 2:23am

(...continued)

All that you and I have are beliefs too, my friend. Even if we are scientists and philosophers, and even if we don't ackowledge dieties, it still remains that science and philosophy themselves are based on assumptions; on beliefs. The assumptions of the philosophy of epistemology (of which science is a subset) include the principals of causality, locality and identity. Causality is an unfalsifiable assumption*, and locality and identity are beginning to look like shakey propositions in the face of quantum mechanics, so how can we have it in our heads that our beliefs are more correct than theirs? We do not have a perfect model of reality to which theism and atheism can be relatively compared. If I draw a circle and you draw a circle, yet we have no perfect circle to which either can be compared, how can one of us assert that our circle is more perfect? There is no way to say that one perspective is more or less correct until or unless we have reality's actual parameters as a frame of reference, which may be impossible altogether. It's easy to get in the habit of feeling correct because theists tend not to know these things about science and philosophy. If they did know, your brother and sister would be able to quote some of your and my ridiculous notions right back at us.

 

A=A

why? why can't a=b

errmm...I don't know but if we want to be able to distinguish things for the sake of discussion, we have to assert that a =/= b, and that here =/= there

 

There are quantum mechanics experiments that seem to contradict both of those principals (entanglement and superpositioning), so logic may not be nearly as logical as we think. If you want to change their way of thinking, help them get into your way of thinking the way that you got into it. A lot of times it's tough for people to remember how they came to think they way they do, so try to pay attention to every time you have an important paradigm shift. But it's probably safe to say that didn't get into atheism because someone kept saying you were ignorant, did you? You'd be infinitely more fair to introduce them to the doubts in your own logic than to simply point out the flaws in theirs. It's not easy though. Good luck to you.

 

* A lot of people don't understand why the principal of causality is an unfalsifiable assumption. Consider this analogy: if you were rolling six dice over and over again, you might eventually arrive at the result 1,2,3,4,5,6. If someone walked in on you exactly when this happened, and they had never seen dice before, they might erroneously conclude that dice always come up in a related sequence like this. It is entirely possible that humans exist in a non-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. 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.

Comment by John Camilli on December 5, 2011 at 2:13am

Dude, I feel you, I really do, but I really want to recommend that you try to stop hating religion so much. If you believe in logic as much as you seem to, then you must realize why people cling to religion the way they do. They are biologically compelled to; they have no control over it, and ackowledging their lack of control is too de-motivating to contemplate. There's a lot of research these days asserting that people simply survive better by deluding themselves into being optimists and believing in control. Irrational belief has been breed into our species ever since we became consious because those of us who kept asking questions went insane and were less likely to reproduce. You may as well get angry at someone for getting thirsty or hungry or tired.

 

Your education, and your resulting perspectives came from your life's circumstances, added to the initial make-up of your system. You think as you do because of exactly what you are and what you have been through, and your brother and sister think as they do because of the same factors. It is innevitable and unavoidable that they are religious and you are not. Have compassion for the chains they are in. If you truly wish to free them, then you must go about it in ways to which their system will be receptive.

 

"Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it..." -Bruce Lee

 

Hating and angrily railing against theists only galvanizes their resolve to ignore you. You make yourself an adversary, not a voice of reason. I get why that's frustrating, honestly. Only in recent years have I been able to stop hating religion so much myself. I realized that, by wanting to eradicate religion and force people to see my point of view, I was only trying to replace one kind of oppression with another. If atheism is to be anything better than other ideologies, it must be because it does not think it is better. The moment we get it into our heads that we are right and they are wrong, is the moment we have failed to be anything different at all.

(continued...)

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