Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”
― Christopher Hitchens

Thank you Christopher, we will take it from here…

He Died For What?

Jan 6, 2012

An Essay by: Wrath

Often, I have been chastised by believers for turning my back on the “Son of God”, “Our Lord and Savior”. How dare I reject the one who suffered and died for my sins? The object is to make atheists feel some sort of misguided “obligation’ to believe, shaming us into believing by equating not believing in Christ to African Americans not believing in Martin Luther King Jr. or Harriet Tubman or Jews not believing in The Holocaust. Odd when you consider that atheists don’t believe that Christ died for anyone’s sins, least of all ours. So why would we feel guilty? That creates a bizarre form of circular reasoning. “You should feel guilty for not believing because Jesus died for your sins, but if you don’t believe then you wouldn’t feel guilty which should make you feel guilty for not believing.” It makes no sense.

For the sake of argument, let’s agree that two thousand years ago, a guy named Jesus, believing himself to be the living offspring of the one true god (delusional or otherwise), allowed himself to be beaten and crucified for the sins of man. He became, “The Lamb of God”. “Lamb” in the sense that lambs and goats were often sacrificial animals. Apparently, deities can create animals but can’t eat them unless they are murdered during ceremonial rituals or burnt upon an altar. Or, they just like to watch the beings they created prove their devotion by destroying their own food, goods, and valuables, when really gods have no use for these things. Either way, pretty weird when you think about it. And the ladder is just plain vain and capricious, which of course fits perfectly in line with the other dominant personality traits of the Christian deity. But I digress. If Jesus was or was not the son of God, but believed himself to be in either case, his “sacrifice” was both stupid and unnecessary. How about simply asking daddy to chill out? I don’t recall ever reading about Jesus just asking his dad to loosen up before taking such extreme measures. Imagine if your kid sold an organ to buy a bike before ever asking you for the money to buy it. You’d think the kid had lost his mind. The story of Jesus is no less extreme.

Okay, please help me understand this. Jesus is god but yet he had to die in order for his father, who is also him, to forgive the creatures he created for the natures that he authored that led them to commit atrocities he could have prevented so that he wouldn’t send them to hell? Did I miss anything? Jesus sacrificed himself to himself in order to save his creations from him? Am I the only one who sees something idiotic in this? Am I the only one who wonders how anyone could believe this nonsense?

Self-sacrifice is one of the highest of human virtues. One person’s willingness to sacrifice their happiness, wealth, or well-being, even martyr themselves, for others is a virtue almost without parallel. It’s what makes the biblical story of Christ so compelling. “Oh, he didn’t get crucified for being a rebellious lunatic who thought he was the son of God. He actually was the son of God and he meant to get himself crucified as a sacrifice to his father so that God would forgive man of all his sins.” It’s an emotional story. It pulls all the right chords and pushes all the right emotional buttons. After all, who would not feel obligated to someone who sacrificed themselves for you? The only button it doesn’t push is the logic and common sense button. Because immediately after telling us that Jesus sacrificed himself to God for us, we are also told that Jesus is God. What the fuck? That doesn’t make sense.

Imagine if I were to tell you that I had to torture and murder myself in order to keep myself from torturing and murdering you. It would only make sense if I was psychotic in the true sense of the word, schizophrenic, voices and all. I would have to be bat-shit crazy. And if I did martyr myself in this psychotic way, perhaps you would be grateful to me or fate or luck or the deterministic laws of the cosmos that I sacrificed my life rather than taking yours, but you’d still be rightly freaked out that I was thinking of torturing and killing you in the first place. I’d hardly qualify for sainthood for killing myself rather than murdering you. You certainly would not feel the same gratitude you would have felt if I were interceding to prevent someone else from torturing you by offering myself to be tortured in your place. That would be virtuous, the former is simply twisted. Would any of his victims have worshiped Jeffrey Dahmer if, after luring them to his apartment and drugging them, he tortured and cannibalized himself instead of them? Would they have felt gratitude toward him or would they have just thought, “What a fucking nutjob!” and got the hell out of that apartment as fast as they could? We may never know the answer to that, but I think we have a pretty good fucking idea.

So, when people are horrified that I do not worship or believe in Jesus Christ because he is/was my savior who sacrificed himself for my unending sins, I point out that he must have been nuts to do that. If he was god, he could have simply made the decision to welcome us all into heaven and not send us to hell anymore instead of going through all the theatrics. If Jesus = Lord then what he did was more like some extreme form of masochism rather than self-sacrifice. Lunatics should be medicated, not worshiped and revered.

By: John Tremblay

In a recent online debate with multiple theist I submitted the following thought experiment as an example of the nature of evidence with regard to decision making.

John Doe stops you and informs you that Jane Doe has just been murdered.  You ask John Doe to take you to the scene and show you the body. When you arrive at the scene of the crime there is no body, no blood, no physical evidence of a murder; yet John Doe swears by everything that Jane Doe was just murdered in that very location.

What would you do?

Would you accept John Doe’s testament on faith or would you doubt his claim until further evidence were found?  Let us suppose, just to spite me, you accept John Doe’s assertion on faith.  Great, no harm no foul, John Doe can believe anything he wishes.  But wait, John Doe then informs you that he witnessed a Mr. Jeff Davis commit the murder and implore you arrest and charge Davis post-haste.

Now there are consequences, now your choice of belief or non-belief will inform your actions, what would you do?

Would you, upon faith alone, arrest Mr. Davis on the charge of murder and take him before a Judge?

If it is not obvious to the reader, only a complete imbecile would do such a thing as you would be laughed out of court and possibly charged with violating the civil rights of Mr. Davis; arrests are not made without evidence.  Jane Doe could very well be dead but until evidence of the murder is found then you cannot rightly claim to KNOW that Jane Doe is dead.  No matter how much John Doe cries foul, cusses at you, demeans your character, insults you, tells you that you are of the devil and that you are going to hell for not believing his message.  No matter what John Doe says, you simply cannot act without evidence.

John Doe’s claim may be true and the murderer so thorough that he was able to remove every trace of the crime within a very short time span; or John Doe could be under a mental delusion of some sort. At any rate, you cannot base a case upon the mere statement of John Doe. Human perception is sometimes flawed and influenced by outside forces.

The default position is non-belief, until such time as objective evidence is located to move to a belief that Jane Doe was, in fact, murdered. These rules are the foundation of our legal system and work to ensure that lies are discarded and the truth, as much as possible, is discovered.

Likewise, millions of people claim that a supernatural entity exists based upon hearsay from millions more people who were born before them, and so on and so forth, going back 2000 years. They have no evidence, only a collection of writings by unidentified sources based upon stories passed down from people who could not write.

There is, in reality, no evidence for the claim that millions of people make.

Therefore, the default position is non-belief until such time as objective evidence is located to move one to a belief that any god actually exists.  I hold the default position and it seems to anger the religious when I point out why their position is flawed and challenge them to support their position with evidence.  Religious advocates only produce appeals to emotion, circular appeals to authority, and worst of all, empty threats of eternal torment.