Why I’m An Atheist – #1: Unbelievable Stories:

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When you’ve heard the stories of the bible all your life you tend to take them at face value. You assume they’re true without any critical analysis. You may dissect them for what god is trying to communicate to you during your morning devotionals, or for what you think god is trying to tell the people of your congregation, but you never question the story you’re actually analyzing. If you’re a Christian your presupposition is that the Bible is God’s Word. Therefore it’s true. But what if your presupposition is false? What if the stories aren’t true? What I’m arguing is that the stories of the Bible are so ridiculous that they cannot be true. In my opinion you have to resort to sloppy thinking to believe that they are. To demonstrate this I’ll tell you a tale from another religion. You may know it. It’s the story of Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism.

A long time ago in the year 1827, an angel named Moroni appeared to Joe Smith and told him about golden tablets that were buried in the country side. Eventually after many attempts Joe was able to find these tablets and read the hiroglyphics encoded onto them with the help of special glasses given to him by the angel Moroni. Eventually the plates and the glasses would be lost. The translation of the plates would become the book of Mormon used by the church of Latter Day Saints all over America.

The story sounds ridiculous right? There’s angels, hidden treasure, decoder glasses, and nothing about the story can be proven (sorry Mormon readers…you know its true ). It’s totally unbelievable that anything like this could happen, (and harder to believe that you could lose golden plates…I wouldn’t let those babies out of my sight!) but it serves as the foundation of Mormonism. Any Evangelical or Catholic Christian would reject this story outright as being untrue, but would turn around and refuse to apply the same standard of reason to their own book. It happens all the time, Muslims reject most of the teachings of the old and new testaments, Christians reject the Quaran. What we see as ridiculous stories in their book, we embrace in our own. Even when they’re very similar.

All this to say that the Bible has a lot of unbelievable stories in it. First God makes man out of dirt and woman out of a rib, then a snake gets them to eat a fruit and that screws up the whole world. Next the world is flooded when god gets pissed off, but luckily all the animals (even dinosaurs according to some Evangelicals) come to Noah and he builds a giant boat that fits them all in, saving them from the torrential rains. Oh and there’s a guy getting swallowed by fish only to re-emerge to preach hellfire and brimstone, another guy who flies a chariot into Heaven, and another who splits a sea in two just by waving his staff in the air. There’s a donkey that talks, a little boy who kills a giant with a slingshot, and finally god’s son comes down to save the whole mess by being brutally murdered, coming back to life and then flying off into the sky like superman. Oh and don’t forget he’ll be back to toss all the people who doubted him and this book into hell.

These stories are so far fetched that if someone was telling you they saw them take place you would think they were nuts. We’ve just heard them repeated over and over again until we believed them, and afterwards turned off our brains. Think critically about the stories in the bible. They cannot be literally true. When was the last time you saw a talking donkey, a plague of frogs, or people coming back from the dead? I’m sorry, it just doesn’t happen. It’s nice to have something to believe in, but the stories of the bible have very little substantive basis for our belief.

Coming Soon: Part 2: We Don’t Get Our Morality From the Bible

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Why I’m an Atheist – Intro

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It has been a long religious journey for me, beginning around the age of ten when my family first took me to church. I was baptised when I was fourteen, catechized, and later majored in Pastoral Ministry at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. Thats around fifteen years of religious training, praying, mission trips, sermons, and endless rounds of praise chorus’. I know my stuff.

Over the last three years though there has been a nagging suspicion that God wasn’t all he was cracked up to be, and today I’m officially declaring myself an Atheist. Losing my faith so to speak, was a slow process of disappointments and the accumulation of scientific and theological knowledge. I’m not really fond of the term Atheist though, because it only describes what I’m not. I’m not a Theist. I don’t believe in a god. I prefer the term Rationalist or Secular Humanist to Atheist, because both terms describe what I am: committed to reason, science, and the belief in the beauty and sacredness of the lives of human beings. I’ve come to the conclusion that the proof for an all powerful God is lacking, especially a God who ‘loves and wants to have a personal relationship with me and others’.

The reasons I don’t believe are numerous so I’m planning on discussing each of the reasons in depth in different posts. In these updates, I’ll mostly be discussing this as arguments against Christianity, only because its the religion I am most familiar with. Sorry if you guys from other religions feel left out.

I think you should also know that I’m a really happy person, much happier than I was as a Christian. Because I’m criticizing something though, these posts are probably going to sound pretty negative. I apologize for that in advance but hope you’ll keep reading.

I also hope these posts can in some way raise your consciousness about the subject or at least let you know why I believe what I believe. Feel free to disagree with me, or argue a point I make. I’m open to hearing you’re opinion too. I won’t lash out or say you’re stupid for believing in god, I think its an important part of many peoples lives. But these are the reasons I cannot believe.

Map Out The Places You’ve Been

Vodpod videos no longer available.I found this cool website that allows you to map out all of the places that you’ve traveled to. Check it out at Travbuddy.com. I was a little disappointed to find out that even with all the traveling I’ve done, I’ve only seen 5 percent of the countries in the world. This year I’ll be knocking out some big ones though, with possible trips to India, China, and maybe Sweden (Yeah I know that sounds random…I’ll explain it to you later) Needless to say I’m really excited. Especially about India. The culture and architecture there is really amazing. What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?

Politician Steve Novick Has A Link To My Site on His Webpage!

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I just happened to check my blog stats today and found that Steve Novick, who is running for a U.S. Senate spot in Oregon, has a link on his site to my blog! How cool! I’m not so sure if thats a sign that their campaign is desperate for blog coverage (my blog is so new! I’m amazed that they would link to it) or that they just liked my site. Either way I think its really fun. The internet makes the world such a small place. Check out Novick’s Media Roundup Page to see the link to my blog. It’s at the bottom (probably an appropriate place for it) under the title of my post 4’9″ Man With a Hook Runs for Senate (haha I’m feeling a little self conscious about that title now). Best of luck to Mr. Novick in his bid for Senate. If I lived in Oregon he’d have my vote! (And not just because he stroked my ego a bit by linking to my site haha!)

Barack Obama Timeline

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 I saw this on Barack Obama’s webpage today.  It’s really cool!  If you don’t know much about Senator Obama’s life you should check it out. I’d also recommend reading his book Dreams From My Father.  I’m about half way through right now and its really fantastic.   He’s a great writer and has had such an interesting life.  Enjoy!

A 3 Year Old Explains Star Wars

This was just way too cute not to post. I stumbled across this on youtube and it made me laugh.  Obi Kenobi!  LOL! So Cute!

Hillary Clinton Mocks Obama

Wow. I figured Hillary would eventually stoop to attack politics, as the loses keep piling up, and she continues to get more desperate, but I didn’t think it would come to outright mockery. She really has no class at all.  As one commenter on the Huffington Post put it:

If Ms. Clinton were to continue along this destructive path, she might as well kiss her NY senate seat good-bye. By mocking unity and idealism, the very core of progressive politics, she has (in my eyes) reduced herself to irrelevancy and is simply unfit to become the leader of the free world. What a sorry denouement to an illustrious career…

I couldn’t agree more. Click the link at the bottom of the page to see Barack Obama’s response from Cleveland Ohio. Continue reading