Another Earth Trailer:
This science fiction looks like a potential classic.
Followers of Abrahamic religion (christianity, islam or judaism) believes, by following the correct religious doctrine you will enter heaven in the afterlife, if not you will be consign to hell. This mechanism raise the ultimate cost and benefit of good and bad to infinity. Without it there is in the long run (death) no cost nor benefit to acting morally. This is perhaps what fear the Abrahamist about atheists the most. Not only do the atheist deny the existence of heaven and hell, they consider the very concept of afterlife to be complete nonsensical.
I suspect that there are closet-atheist-elitist (CAE) who denounce atheism and promote religion because while they are comfortable with themselves living without heaven or hell, they are uncomfortable with others doing the same. These CAE fear the freedom of knowing the ultimate cost and benefit is zero may lead to nihilist social unrest. They imagine nightmare of nihilists going around raping and pillaging, doing whatever they want with completely disregard for other people, and if thing turn for the worse, either because they got caught committing crime or whatever they can just kill themselves to set all balance to zero.
I as an atheist obviously do not subscribe to CAE’s fear. I am convinced that human internal moral compass develop via evolution and the incentive mechanism of modern legal institutes are very effective. To the contrary of CAE’s logic, if ultimately the cost/benefit is zero after death, than the only cost/benefit is that will affect you when you are a life. It does not make leading a life of crime more attractive, it make it less so.
While its extremely difficult to have a watertight demonstration of correlation between believe/non-believer and morality/criminality, because we dont have the technology (yet) to read peoples minds to know if they really believe in god or they are just paying lip service. There is at least some evident to suggest that atheism dont necessarily lead to more, but less crime.
More than half of Japanese consider themselves to be irreligious, they also have one of the lowest homicide rate in the world – 0.5 case per 100,000 people. While in the United States, where only 15% consider them self to be irreligious, their homicide rate is 10 times higher than japan at 5 cases per 100.100 people.
Ricky Gervais sums up the benefit of teaching your kids Christianity (he is now an atheist).
over drink last night, a dilemma was put forth:
“Would you become christian if its the only way to be with your dream girl/boy?”
hmm.. first of all i thought she wouldn’t be my dream girl if she is a Christian.
but let say, she is although not a perfect dream girl, but one close to it. She happens to be ritual Christian who does not believe in the supernaturals in bible or the existence of god, she just follow the rituals and consider them community bonding exercises. However her parents are real Christians and somehow she feels that she needs to marry a Christian to keep her parents happy. Is this a probably senario? probably not, but just bear with me for a bit longer.
First i thought, fuck that. i cant pretend believe in a 2,000 year old rumor.
Then i thought, yes i can, i will just have to interpret bible slightly differently:
1. God by its most fundamental definition is the creator of the universe. So God is Big Bang
2. Everything in the new testament that cant be logically or scientifically explained are metaphors. Jesus was great as if he was the son of god. We were so inspired by Jesus, water tasted like the more expensive wine.
3. All the crazy stuff in the old testament are stories that were result of corruption by wrong headed/fanatical translators or transcribers.
There we have a modernized bible and me a modernized Christian now with a hot ritual Christian girl.
(hat tip: Jefferson)
My atheism is ultimately faith based
My atheism derived from my observation of reality,
since the accuracy of observation cannot be proven,
conviction in my understanding of reality is therefore an exercise in faith.
Thus, my atheism is ultimately faith based,
as with almost all forms of knowledge,
except for the existence of self.
(hat tip: René Descartes for “cogito ergo sum“, and Monicks for my muse.)
Christopher Hitchens – my favorite humanist public intellectual is dying of cancer and i am teary for it.
He have lived a great life, venturing the world, writing and saying exactly what he believe and imprinting minds of many.
I would love to live like he has, even if i have to die in my 60s like he probably will.
He recently debated Tony Blair on the subject of religion.
First 3 parts of 9 part youtube video
and also check out, his lengthy interview with ABC on various topics.
In response to Sue Lawley’ introduction as a “devout atheist”
“I don’t know what it is to be a devout atheist any more than what it would be to be a devout non-stamp collector.” – Anthony Grayling (link).
I was just in the shower thinking about the Vatican and the raped children then realizing how fortunate i am to live in a society where we are govern by laws of humans instead of 2,000 years old laws of “god” and justice is not determined by theologians but by lawyers (who are essentially logicians). thank god (pantheist) for that.