Kevin. New England. Some of my interests include sci-fi, sci-non-fi, music theory, humor, and Alaska (grew up there). My age makes me more or less a grandparent on tumblr, but I'm not really that old. Not yet, at least. But probably older than you. Just saying.
I started this blog with the intention of creating and capturing cool stuff I find. A scrapbook, if you will.
When I find good internets, I will make them happen here. Check back often for more internets.
OK, so I’ve seen this before and this time I decided to do some fact-checking:
Arkansas - Not only do they ban atheists (“person who denies the being of a God”) from holding public office, they also define them as not “competent to testify as a witness in any Court.”
Maryland - Maryland very neatly tucks their ban into a clause that, at first glance, looks like it protects religious freedom: “That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.”
Mississippi - Ole Miss doesn’t beat around the bush: “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.”
Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania I’m willing to give a bit of a pass to. Here are Sections 3 and 4 of Article 1:
Section 3: All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
Good so far, right? Here’s section 4:
No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.
I’m not sure this qualifies as a ban on atheists. Article 4 dictates that no one who acknowledges the being of a God can be disqualified to hold office on account of his religion. This doesn’t ban atheists explicitly, but it doesn’t protect them either and leaves them open for disqualification.
South Carolina - Again, straight to the point: “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.”
Tennessee - No ambiguity here: “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.”
Texas - Like Pennsylvania, it doesn’t sound like an explicit ban but it does leave the door open for it: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”
So if you want to hold office in Texas, you’re free to have whatever religious beliefs you want so long as a Supreme Being is involved!
All this info was obtained through a simple Google search of “(State Name) Constitution”
Religion does not always correlate with ethics. Get over it.
Almost every developing species had a creation myth buried somewhere in its past, even if by the time they’d become space-faring it was no more than a quaint and dusty irrelevance (though, granted, some were downright embarrassing.) Talking utter drivel about thunderclouds having sex with the sun, lonely old sadists inventing something to amuse themselves with, a big fish spawning the stars, planets, moons and your own ever-so-special People — or whatever other nonsense had wandered into the most likely feverish mind of the enthusiast who had come up with the idea in the first place — at least showed that you were interested in trying to provide an explanation for the world around you, and so was generally help to be a promising first step towards coming up with the belief system that provably worked and genuinely did produce miracles: reason, science and technology.
Post with 11 notes
I assume you mean the story of an all-knowing God willing the universe into existence, and creating Man out of holy breath or somesuch, and then creating Woman from said Man’s baby back ribs, and then the apple, and the serpent, and all that?
Should we also teach the Hindu story, which says that Brahma crafted the Heaven, the Earth, and the Skies from a lotus flower which grew out of Vishnu’s belly button?
Or how about the Shinto belief, which states that when Izanagi and Izanami (the first man and first woman) plunged a jewel crested spear into the ocean and pulled it free, the drops created the first of the Japanese home islands?
Or maybe the Norse story, which says that Man and Woman fell out of the armpit of Ymir, the father of all giants?
Can all these stories be right???
Or is it possible they’re just simply that: stories?
If, when reading some of the above, you thought to yourself, “Oh, that’s preposterous!” then congratulations, that’s how I feel about a literal belief in your story as well.
Please just recognize that you too are an atheist about the vast majority of gods described throughout history. Some of us just go one god further.
And since we can’t agree on which one of these little parables above is correct, maybe we should just teach the one that is supported by all of the publicly verifiable evidence?
I really don’t get the really fervent, zealous atheists.
Of course, I get why a lot of people reject organised religion. There are a myriad of reasons, and I needn’t go into them.
But doesn’t the world seem so bleak when you’re so staunchly against anything spiritual?
The world is astounding. The very fact that consciousness happens is awe inspiring.
As I keep saying, “the concept of religion is offensive to my intellect.” I want inspiration, I drive to the beach, or to Mount Washington, or just look around me at any given moment. Earth *rules* yo.
"Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Some people find that thought disturbing; I find the reality thrilling." - Richard Dawkins
We are all of us borrowed matter and energy, and those are debts that must be repaid. Science shows us that the molecules in my body are traceable back to fantastic and exotic cosmic phenomena. As Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.” And, likewise, when I’m dead, the matter and energy that constitutes who I am as a person will never really go away, it will just transform. Maybe I’ll be part of a tree someday, or a mountain, or something else entirely that is beyond my comprehension. But that part of me will go on for as long as the universe exists.
When you step back and consider this viewpoint, it seems pretty spiritual in a way, doesn’t it? However, this isn’t based on superstitious half-truths or Iron Age fairy tales and dogma. This is how the universe actually works. I’ve come to be at peace with that, but beyond that, I still find myself awestruck because it is so fucking beautiful.
So, no, the world does not seem at all bleak to me without religion. It is extraordinary.
(the-unpopular-opinions is at the end of the .gif)
Christopher Hitchens - Why Fight Religion?
Christopher Hitchens last words in the debate with Turek, answering a question from the audience.
Really thought provoking comments here. I recommend taking the time to listen.
Page 1 of 2