What Mr. Smartypants said….

I often play on the Topix atheist forum, and today, I am reblogging words by Mr. Smartypants from Andover, MN:

Jehovah is presumably omniscient, so he knew at the beginning of time that Adam and Eve would fall prey to temptation, yet he put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden anyways. Also, if he knew ahead of time that they would eat the apple of knowledge, then how could Adam and Eve even have free will in the first place?

(Side note: the apple is representative of knowledge, and ‘Lucifer’ is Latin for ‘bearer of light’. Why is knowledge such a horrible sin in Judeo-Christianity? Is it because smart people realize that the Mighty Oz is nothing more than an image conjured up by the clergyman hiding behind the curtain?)

So, Jehovah banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden forever. Fair enough. However, he basically poisons every human after Adam and Eve with Original sin so that they’re born with one foot in hell the moment they’re born. It wouldn’t be so bad if every human born had signed a consent form, but nobody ever does–they have existence forced upon them.(On top of that, isn’t sin something YOU do of YOUR OWN volition? The idea that Original Sin can be transferred like a disease to non-consenting people seems like a oxymoron.)

On top of that, anybody who’s born with just Original Sin is automatically doomed to eternal torment in Hell, in spite of not asking to be born. Even if your particular denomination of Christianity doesn’t support Original Sin, that doesn’t mitigate things much anyways. He supposedly gave humans free will–not enough free will to cheat death or even levitate, just enough free will to damn yourself to eternal torment.

Jehovah has no sense of proportionality; if the only sin you ever do is steal a piece of penny-candy as a child, you go to the same Hell as Hitler and Stalin and suffer the same torment. On top of that, Jehovah gives no credit for good behavior; if you make up for stealing that piece of penny-candy by spending the rest of your life building hospitals for lepers and doing other good deeds, Jehovah ignores that and focuses only on the one bad thing you did.

And how does he mitigate the Hell which he created in the first place? By some absurd legal fiction in which he sends his kid, who is also himself, to Earth to die horribly on a cross. Talk about the ultimate whipping boy. That, like Original Sin, is based on the absurd idea that sin can be transferred like a disease or a legal contract. To make things worse, he allows billions of people to live their lives totally ignorant of Jesus so that they’re doomed from the moment they’re born. Worst of all, Jehovah knew at the beginning of time which souls would ultimately be doomed to Hell, yet he allowed them to be born in the first place.

Finally, Jehovah never bothered to clarify which of the thousands of denominations of Christianity was the right one, dooming further billions to Hell. Not only that, he sat by and did nothing while Christians were torturing millions to death for heresy and witchcraft, launching bloody Crusades, and committing mass murder against indigenous people.

I really wonder how any decent, ethical person could worship such a cosmic monster. If anybody ever deserves to suffer eternal torment, it’s the cosmic bastard Jehovah himself. It’s a good thing I’m an atheist/Freethinker; if I really thought that such an evil monster existed, I’d probably become a Satanist.

Intelligent, well-thought-out responses are invited, even from True Believers. If your only reply is to threaten damnation, I hereby condemn you to being an idiot…

Stress Kills

dragonflies die from stress when predators are near

With the discovery that just being in the presence of predators is enough to cause a dragonfly to die from stress, maybe we should be extrapolating that back to people and really make a stand against bullies and other human predators.

Whether it’s on the playground, in the workplace or just part of society – bullying is too pervasive and the cost in productivity, relationships and lives is too high to allow bullying to continue at current epidemic levels.

It is obscene with all the research and knowledge about stress – especially the needless stress caused by bullying – that there is so little being done to stop bullying and beleive victims.

There’s a reason why women often do not report rape and why employees don’t file grievances: the corrective processes are often more damaging than the incidents that incited them. The so called corrective processes, put the victims on trial, not the accused, who are then able to use the processes to further harm the victims.

Having to relive the events, retelling, re-experiencing and reliving constantly, documenting evidence, trying to gain the assistance of witnesses who are more interested in protecting themselves – often seeing an advantage of siding with the bully – after all, one surefire way to not be a target of a bully is to be the toady for the bully.

Your life being reduced to waiting for third party decisions in vain hope of being validated, despite the plethora of evidence and reality which already has been ignored and dismissed. breaking under the strain of having the bullies’ unreality forced upon you as if it was true, when you know it’s not.

Being bullied relentlessly is like being sent to prison for a crime that you know you didn’t commit, but that the authorities are satisfied enough that someone is paying the price, and heck, isn’t everyone guilty of something anyway?

I expect that it’s only the faint hope of future vindication that is holding back the vigilantism wave.

Funny story behind this photo:

We were gardening when this huge dragon fly landed on the gutter. I ran inside, upstairs, got the camera, ran back downstairs, took a couple of shots, discovered I’d forgotten the memory card, ran back inside, got the card, ran out, came around the corner, then the batteries fell out, so I had to scramble to get them back in and then I snapped more pictures.

And it sat and sat and finally, The Spouse said “put away the camera, and get back to work.”

So, I said that I was too tired after all that needless running around.

The New Mormon Campaign

CNN reports that the Mormon church has undertaken a video campaign to show the diversity of Mormon believers and to try to normalize Mormon as just one more Christian sect.

This is apparently a serious problem for Mormons, not being accepted as Christian – but it’s a distinction that is entirely lost on me, other than to know that as much as people like to say they are inclusive, that big tent is an invitation extended only to people who look and act like they already belong.

In the marketplace of ideas, mormonism is just as plausible as any other religion; which is to say, they are all equally implausible, given that they are all sharing the same zero evidence.

That the invention and rise of Mormonism and Scientology is well documented and should be extrapolated to apply to the religions who’s origins are lost to history: religion is a human invention to make an easy living off of other people, it’s parasitic and worse, the people who’ve fallen for it are the biggest proponents – it’s like a perpetual motion machination – you kick start it and it just consumes people down through the ages.

Which is why we need more than ever, to be teaching critical thinking, more history and social sciences: education to turn back the coming dark ages 2.0.