Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Pretty soon I will be leaving for home so I can't guarantee anymore posts on topics. I have been working on typing up my exit story though, so I will post it in parts over the break in case people are interested in hearing that. For today though, I wish to talk about Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

I love this woman. LOOOOOOVE HER! Seriously, Ayaan inspires me so much. And I haven't even read any of her books yet.

Born in Somalia, she was raised in the Islam faith where the culture supports intense subjugation of women, including genital mutilation. She later ended up in Kenya. Ayaan is repeatedly asked in interviews about women in Islam, especially in that region, but she generally brings up how the hate and abuse is not just geared towards women, but everyone. She defends her brother, explaining the expectations that were on him, how he was supposed to treat women and girls, and things he could get in trouble for, just for being a boy. She also explains many times how Jews are treated (poorly), and how infidels or apostates are abused, and literally anyone who does anything wrong. I believe in an interview on she explained that everyone was literally watching everyone else, looking for slip-ups where they could accuse the others.

As I've said before, studies (no links to give) have shown that often the most supportive group of a religion will be the believing group that is subjected to the most abuse and inequality, generally women. Ayaan supports this belief by her examples of how dangerous your fellow women are in an environment like that. No remorse. Always trying to catch you, keep you down, crush your dreams, physically abusive, and it's the women who are the most aggressive with female genital circumcision, or cutting, or my preferred word; mutilation.

Forced to an arranged marriage with a cousin (not a close relative though) she was on her way to Canada to seal the deal but took off while in Europe and sought refuge in the Netherlands. This is where I need to read her book, because less than a decade later she was in Parliament. Later she worked on 'Submission' with Theo van Gogh who was brutally murdered (I've heard his throat was cut, stabbed 28 times, and shot several times, all in interviews, but I'm unsure if some of these could be exaggerations) with the last stab leaving the knife in him with a note to Ayaan, telling her she would be next. Now she speaks publicly, always accompanied by bodyguards, is part of the New Atheist movement, close friend of Christopher Hitchens (watch them together and there seems to be some kind of platonic love), is outspoken against Islam, freedom of speech and expression, and women's rights. She is an amazing figure.

I really enjoy listening to her, she's so smart, and has this calm 'aura' about her. I also enjoy it when she doesn't care for what she's hearing or disagrees, she get's this look on her face and just blinks. Here's a good example of Ayaan saying how it is.

'People speculated how Theo had upset him by calling Muslims goat-fuckers.' She is so great, in every way. Even the video of her and Glen Beck was good, even though he doesn't know when to censure himself.

Ayaan became an atheist shortly after 9/11. Already disillusioned to Islam, and seeing similarities in Christianity and other religions she seems to have been becoming deistic, but eventually became an atheist. She doesn't care for Christianity, but she likes it better than Islam and drew up some controversy when she stated that if Muslims couldn't become atheists they should at least become Christians, lol. She has written at least three books, her 'main' one being 'Infidel,' which I found at the BYU bookstore actually.

This post is mainly just a bio and praise for her. I really enjoy the podcasts where she's been on, or interviews she's in. She is a big atheist figure, but she's so much more. I recommend checking her out, not in the sensual way though feel free to do that as well, it will be worth your time. Lastly, here is a well-done Fox News interview from a few years ago.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mormonism Has Issues Part 3

These posts are not necessarily in a particular order, or need to be read together. Long ago I said I had no plans on bashing Mormonism out-rightly, as in, making specific posts. I've made fun of the culture, I've pointed out issues or qualms I have with it while also pointing out some of the good, but these posts are meant to deal wholeheartedly with Mormonism in it's negative light. I've given the outline of issues, not promising to go into any, and then last time was enraged when I decided to use my god Google to find articles about gay teen suicides in Utah. I was pretty enraged by the stories I was reading about, the stats I would find, the poor and sometimes fatal parenting some Mormon households were doing, and I even posted a links to a few of my 'favorite' stories I had found. But I'm done with that for now. Maybe I just miss USGAY at BYU, I haven't been in a while.

Nope tonight, or this morning, I hope to do just a small post on one area of Mormonism that most people probably know about personally. It is best explained by this video:

Now, I'm pretty sure the LDS church was overstepping some of its tax exempt status with Prop 8 and that was one issue that put me on the fence with the church. I loved the church and believed, but I could not support Prop 8. Peter Danzig's story is pretty similar to the beginnings of how I doubted the church.

But that's not the point, the point is how the church reacted to him. Or to Cary Cralls article. Or to anyone who disagrees with them. There is no open dialogue within the church. You cannot express doubt or insecurity for your leaders, and of course this leads to some issues. In my mission there was an area several years ago where a person high in authority went on a power-trip of some kind and excommunicated a lot of people and upset even more. The classic case of someone who felt teens should be excommunicated if they had lapsed on the law of chastity. As if those teens would ever come back for being excommunicated at that time in their life.

The church is set up so that if your bishop is the one causing problems you can't go to anyone. If you send letters to the Stake President he simply sends it back to your bishop, and then he READS it. Everyone hears horror stories like this, some first person, but I went to this area that I'm talking about, and every Sunday there was a large number of people who were excommunicated and working on coming back, and on the roster there were tons of less actives who had no interest in coming back. Tons of part-member families who had been 'whole' member families before. This is meant to be an example of the authoritarian structure within the church.

The video shows what happens when you disagree publicly. Sometimes postmos in groups I go to will ask how to get excommunicated, cause they do tons of 'bad' things and people know but no one is doing anything. Easiest way? Get up in sacrament meeting and talk about a point you disagree with the church on. In fact there's a video of a guy doing that and then they shut off the mic. Lol.

Being that there is no dialogue about issues within Mormonism many people who wish to talk about it slowly become disillusioned to it. Some people would stay in the church if they could voice their opinions. Well, this could be a benefit actually, rather than an issue.

This stagnates a lot of thinking though, so it is an issue. Perhaps the blacks would have received the priesthood sooner if people had been allowed to question this 'doctrine,' or perhaps members would be educated on the genetics of homosexuality so parents wouldn't kick their kids out onto the streets or how the church used to employ shock therapy. Perhaps if the membership would allow science to explain things instead of scriptures they would understand how depression actually works instead of saying it comes from sin.

I had a hard time accepting that Mormonism was a cult, but any religious organization that tightens its grip on original thought and uses authoritarian rule generally is going to be a cult when you look deeper. Mormons are told that to be truly happy you have to be Mormon, to associate with fellow Mormons and try to convert your neighbors, avoid non-members who can easily corrupt you or your children. They form tight-knit societies wherever they go, they are told to avoid discussing anything against the church, and then they all judge each other, such as who's had all their children go on missions. Told to doubt scholars who aren't Mormon. To distrust anyone who has anything negative to say about the church.

Now, for the churches benefit, many of the Brethren talk about being more open and loving. But at the same time they enforce a cult-like atmosphere. Why do postmos talk about the church? Because we all have so much to readjust and go back and make meaning of after we leave! Lol, there's a level of brain-washing we have to throw off. In the real world I have some odd views that don't really agree with progressive thought, such as women.

This is a lot of rambling, and not very well thought out. I'm getting kind of sick again, probably stress due to finals. The video probably lays it out best, lol.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Small Note

Aimed at the Screaming Nephite:
Okay, so I've noticed you've deleted my older comments on your blog. Now, being that I am cordial and not vulgar and offer you to reply, I don't understand your need to delete my comments, especially when you ask for them. As to why I am posting this on here. Not only can you not delete them, but I don't see how you can avoid seeing this post.

Is it cause I actually don't rant but give an intelligible response? That some of the things I say are true, or are 'facts' and that some of these 'facts' are not spiritually uplifting for Mormonism? This is especially so with your Bountiful post, you even posted that you wanted people like me to comment. And I come back a few days later and you deleted my comment?! I beginning to debate if you are sincere at all. For one you are so indoctrinated you don't seem to find anything wrong with your views to people of other beliefs or homosexuals being that my last post was about gay teen suicides and your comment didn't reflect any remorse.

You have caricatured Mormon-Haters and atheists in a predictable Mormon fashion. I recommend listening to the Mormon Expression podcast so that you can at least begin to understand what it would be like to be a more liberal Mormon. Having just listened to the depression episode I'll ask you -
If someone is depressed is it due to their sins or failures?
Is sin truly never happiness?
Are atheists just hating God?
Can anyone be happy outside of Mormonism?

Four years ago I would have answered: they certainly add to it, of course sin is never happiness, most of them, and no - not truly happy.
Now? - No, but many times religion can be too extreme and only make the environment worse for the person, of course sinning is happiness, a true atheist can't hate God that's an oxymoron, and OF COURSE. Because billions of people are happy outside of Mormonism. And going back to depression rates and drug abuse in Utah, it seems Mormons are not as happy as even the general American population. Ahh!!! I'm getting frustrated. This is a pointless post. I should never post something like this as a post for my blog. But, I do promise that if I write it, I post it. So here goes, but this will be replaced with a newer post probably later in the day, after I finally get to sleep.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Atheism Is For Nerds

I mean, we've all known this for a while. Atheists. Are. Nerds. We all are. I don't know a single atheist who wasn't very nerdy on some level.

Okay not true.

But the real 'generalization' is that an abnormal amount of atheists, when compared to the general population, are nerdy. Full-blown video game, RTS, Popular Mechanics, 4chan, l33t speak nerds. And so I ask:

"Why is that?"

I'm truly serious, cause statistically speaking the population is skewed. This is a very nerdy bunch. Even the girls are nerdy ... and bi but that's not important right now. Though, many atheist girls are hot and sometimes bi. Many guys will like that last link ;) But even my gf is nerdy! I don't wish to be boastful, but usually nerdy people are pretty smart and intelligent. Well, that isn't being boastful, using the 2 studies from Profiles of the Godless (Reasonable Doubts) we do have a much higher education level than the general population. So maybe nerdy people like to go to school, play video games, keep tabs on the latest Hadron collider updates, and spend countless hours ... doubting ... God?

Not sure on that one. But this comes up after nerding it out a bit amongst my fellow atheists and agnostics down in Provo. Amazing hot chocolate. I don't particularly care for coffee. I'd say maybe that's why Joseph Smith and Brigham supported the Word of Wisdom ... but they actually drank too, so ....

Beside the point, I'm just caught up on it. Generally nerds like to think, and that seems pretty legit. And I don't mean that in a demeaning way, but lot's of nerds I know actually enjoy thinking. I mean, sitting there and just thinking. Obviously not all, and obviously not for long periods of time, but we like to think. And especially when it comes to Mormonism if you stop and think you'll stop believing in it, lol. And for most people this means it's time to move on. And then still for most it means they'll 'think' about other religions. And then for a good portion they apply this 'thinking' to God, and then the whole thing just seems ... fluffy.

I'm not really sure what to make out about it. The popular, preppy groups I know generally are pretty concrete in their beliefs or non-beliefs. While my nerdy Mormon friends are the ones with doubts. And within the local atheistic community a good portion are pretty nerdy. I love nerds, I've only recently accepted my nerdiness in the last few years of my life. I know plenty of people who are not nerdy in just about every way. Most people have a nerdy area to their life, and then a decent population is very nerdy but realistic, while another decent population is very nerdy and delusional. The live in your grandmas basement kind, falling in love with anime girls, and staying up late playing WoW. So many atheists I know fit in the nerdy but realistic realm. Why is that?

Hands down win for Google for me ... thus far!

And now I'm asking you, dear reader. I'm betting I have some nerdy followers and lurkers out there. Maybe someone has put some thought into this. Cause statistically we are not representative of the population. In fact, besides nerdiness, it seems lots of doubters and atheists and agnostics love fantasy, and stories, and the fantastic. Shouldn't religion be inviting then? So many of us seem to love a good book or story more than usual in comparison to my believing friends and acquaintances.

Gods, so many different things, and I just have no idea where to start.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mormonism Has Issues Part 2

So more about those issues. I already brought up some, but let me elaborate a little more. And first, point out my thinking. I will probably post my exit story soon, which will help to make sense of my thinking some more ... hopefully. But one thing that was liberating in leaving the church and 'becoming' a non-believer was how more ''me'' I felt I became. Now I really do act the way I want to, and sometimes it is scary, and I'm unsure on some things or how I feel about them, but being let loose has been an overall very good and, as I said, liberating thing. I focus on virtues like truth, integrity, acceptance, and others. I accept Mormons, good ones, but I find it very easy to disagree or dislike them if they are completely bigoted. And then this isn't just towards Mormons either. Sometimes my fellow agnostics and atheists don't even like what I have to say.

Having said that there are many reasons I would not be in Mormonism anymore. One that comes to mind is Pres. Packers talk at General Conference. In an older post I said that he gets props for speaking his mind and not giving a damn what others think. He says what he wants with seemingly no understanding of political correctness and in that sense I give him a thumbs up. Way to be your own person. But then what does he say? Some more hateful speech directed at gays (I'll say gays, but I'm including lesbians, just the church rarely admits lesbians exist, especially since they don't admit women even look at porn). And again, I love the gays, but this wouldn't be such a big issue if there wasn't such a big issue with teens and gays in Utah. Utah has an epidemic of problems with teens, especially the gay ones, if they don't kill themselves. Which it's pretty easy to find stories and stats on suicides in Utah, I found one here at the Bloggernacle, oh, and one here, and another here, and yet another here. But perhaps that's not enough diversity, so there's these three as well (1, 2, and 3). What the fuck! WHAT ... the Fuck!?

Things like this make me outraged. Bill Bradshaw, everytime someone asks, "what should we do, how should we react?" he's like "love them! don't stop loving them!" and this is why! Teens already have enough issues and parents, especially Mormon parents in Utah (not so much outside of Utah) are hating them, disowning them, kicking them out of their homes. And then some of these teens end up killing themselves. Some people say, "oh, they had other issues," so yeah, you're not gay unless you have issues? I have gay friends, outside of church, and sometimes they had 'issues' that we're only there because they were gay. Yes, being gay can sometimes be enough reason for a teen to take their own life. Wonderful job parents.

By the way, those last three are pretty good, I WOULD go check them out. I hope that's enough diversity on the sites I chose. And they cover a few years, doesn't seem to be much change. I love the internet, full of information. I hate it when I hear professors say they don't accept Wikipedia as a source. I like books. I have the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for psychology and psychiatry. And I have gone on Wikipedia and compared the writings. You know what, Wikipedia is pretty dead-on with what it says. Maybe paraphrased, but pretty dead on a lot of the times. You look and search and do background searches and compare sources and material, it isn't hard.

Enough of that soapbox, how about the gay teen suicide epidemic we have. And then it's furthered along with statements like "if you didn't change then it's your fault, not the program we gave you to stop being gay." Yes, their fault, not the program. Then this leads to the pogrom of the gays within the church. Being told it's sinful and evil and disgusting. Mormons already fret over masturbation as if it's the equivalent of killing animals (or more for some, I know plenty of Mormons who abuse animals but won't masturbate, lmao. [i say that mainly cause i hate hurting animals, so having been in the situation of seeing the abuse i'm a little scarred]. Also, being into 'science' and 'psychology' there has been genetic correlation, statistically significant, to say that homosexuality can be in the genetics. I say 'can' cause some gays say they chose, and I think I'll take them for their word, but many say they didn't choose, and I'll take them for their word too. I don't feel like I chose to be sexuality attracted to girls, and I was long before I should've been and was told to not be interested, and yet ... here I am.

The Mormon church doesn't even seem to realize the damage it does. The problem is with their whole approach. They've been improving, but it is not good enough. The USGAY group at BYU (really USGA btw) isn't affiliated yet. And they were told that they should "take it slow," "there's no rush," "maybe this coming spring we can see about making it official." Bullshit. Bullshit! There is a rush to get more understanding into members minds, and to have a place for college-age gay students. How can there not be a rush? Guys and girls are not only feeling alone, confused, self-loathing, hated, misunderstood, depressed, and sinful (as if these weren't enough), they're also FUCKING KILLING THEMSELVES!

But there's no rush to reach out to them, or to have the church affiliated, indirectly through BYU, with anything being supportive of gays, even if it is from an LDS perspective and supportive of the church. Ridiculous. Completely ridiculous.

Wow, I was gonna just list off some 'issues' and move on, but this has me so riled up right now. Lol. And I'm not even sure why. I guess it's all the names of dead people I've read about. Looking at life as finite I have a really badly bleeding-heart now for needless deaths. This is one of those things that I want to see stopped. And I don't think I'll ever hide that now, and I don't think I'll be ashamed bringing up the suicides to make my point. I cannot stand the level of ignorance the bulk of the membership expresses. And to add more pain to measure the rest of America isn't much better.

So yes, this is an issue with Mormonism, and is enough that if I was a member I would leave. Nothing to do with God or doctrines or such, but purely actions and culture. This is not something I would want to be a part of until it changed. In the sense of being Christian and spreading good in the world, instead the LDS church here is spreading death by indoctrinating teen minds with a vileness of human nature that can alter their very will to live. Acceptance. One of my virtues, lol. The church has had great speeches on the subject of love and acceptance, by Pres. Faust, or Wirthlin. It's about time they make some doctrinal leaps with homosexuality, and spread that love to their misunderstood, hated, depressed, and dying brothers and sisters.

Some do okay, but many aren't, and it only takes one to make it an issue.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Something Good to Talk On

Well, I have some BYU stories to tell. First off, I've found some new wonderful people through my blog, it makes such a good tool. In the least it offers 'community' to people who want it, more possible friends, parties, activities, girlfriends, and plenty of single guys cause the ratio of guys to girls is like 2:1. I wish more girls would at least be agnostic about the LDS religion.

Being that some new people have gotten into the group we had a nice turnout last night for the coffee group. And I had one of the most amazing hot chocolates ever. Ever! It was transcendent. But it was nice. And we've even got a nice plug on, though I guess we aren't as cool as CALM. Now, I know we mainly ramble and don't have a led discussion, and some people may have an axe to grind while others want to talk about normal things not related to Mormonism or atheism, or that not all the people are even atheist at an atheist meeting. But we are so much cooler than anyone else, come on. Also, as awesome as it makes me feel to be called the 'one in charge,' I am too humble to accept that title. I will accept the 'smart one,' or the 'cute flirty guy,' or the 'director.' Lol, I did mention starting an official group, but sadly I was not the one who did it on Facebook, it was two other people and me and St. Pickle helped.

Then I found out about one very interesting BYU site - The Locked Lip Project. It seems some girls, probably guys, wish to get some juicy stories from BYU Mormon kids. I even made a post, though from now on I think I will title myself jdog when I do. No one calls me jdog. You guys know where I got it from? Jaydogs (or however it really is spelled) hotdogs southeast of campus. Excellent hotdogs with BBQ sauce. Yum. So, that's the meaning behind my ridiculous nickname for this blog. What was I ... Locked lips, that's right. This may be something to keep an eye on. Or for risque people to make risque posts. Could be entertaining and sexual.

Which I am giving props to BYU. I saw some people painting boards (?) outside the Cannon center and some asian guy was bent over and some girl was putting painted handprints on his butt. Full girl hand on guys butt. Yes. Bring on the sexual tension. Bring on the inappropriate touching. For once BYU students have acted like normal college students (not really, I am exaggerating my reactions, ... obviously) and this makes me happy. I clapped and cheered. Again, no, I didn't. But I did.

And then, as if today couldn't get any better, there was a gay meeting up in Alpine. It was affiliated with the USGAY group at BYU, and was a panel meeting with audience questions. However it was cut shorter than I had planned on. To my slight surprise 2 friends were there that I hadn't known were going, I had a friend with me, and a friend was actually on the panel. The audience was generally concerned people and parents. Bill Bradshaw was there, every word he says is pure gold, and the panelists did a good job taking turns answering questions, and being personable and sincere. I even met one of 'Hermits' friends, but she didn't like me.

Now, I was gonna talk more on Mormonism's issues, or gay penguins, or my exit story, but this was just too much to update on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mormonism Has Issues Part 1

I guess I'll work in reverse. I'll now make a post briefly about some issues with Mormonism, at least in my mind. Then I'll work backwards and start posting my 'exit story' in parts, and hopefully by the new year I'll do a post on Patriarchal Blessings! I forget all the other posts I've promised to do. Oh, here's a new one, so maybe in two months or so I'll do it - Lady GaGa.

So Mormonism. It would be handy to know that I didn't lose my faith due to Mormonism. I lost faith in a God (and gods in general). The idea of a higher being is inviting and can help to make sense, but also doesn't make sense in a lot of ways. A literal Biblical god is a tyrant regardless of which sect you come from. A loose one is just a hater and incomprehensible, and a deistic god is something so alien to us and so apart from us why should we even care about it if it obviously doesn't care about us? This is a different rant for another time though. I will say that my idea of a God is nice and warm and fuzzy, but it doesn't make it real. And it took me a while to figure that just because my God in my mind worked, didn't mean it actually existed.

Again, rambling, but it's important to know that I didn't really have a beef with Mormonism. No anti or anything. Lot's of reading, some taboo, but really Mormonism was helping me to believe in a God and when I began doubting Mormonism it opened the way for me to admit that I didn't really believe in a God.

Growing up and maturing in high school I had lots of Christian friends, some who didn't care, some Indian spirit friends, friends and relatives interested in eastern thought and philosophy, and later some atheist and agnostic friends. Which, I can say all the ones I've asked as of now are agnostic atheists. It isn't necessarily fair to put all gods into one bucket and doubt them all, but being how similar they all are, and how similar religions are in the basics, especially with how they all know their god or gods is/are the right one(s) ... I think it's prudent to be brief with them. Especially since if you spent a good week researching a religion to know if it was true or not you'd spend the rest of your life looking at them all.

So that's partially, fractionally, how I moved from agnosticism to agnostic atheism. Almost nothing to do with Mormonism. But having moved on from God I decided to look where I had been counseled to never look. And things got interesting.

I had already gotten into the Women and Authority articles, thanks to Demosthenes, and Rough Stone Rolling thanks to some missionaries, and the Setting the Record Straight series from some members on my mission, so I had begun looking into the gray areas of the church and it's history but I hadn't moved to what most Mormons call ''anti.'' Word of caution: some anti is stupid. Pure, idiot lies. Usually from Evangelical Christians. Anti like this actually kept me in the church cause I was like ''wow, this is a lie and i know it is, anti is dumb. these people are dumb. satan must be using them." Thank you Evangelical Christians who keep Mormons in Mormondom. Mainly you Southern Baptists.

No, I'm talking about good, researched, scientific maybe, honest, personal, smart anti. And maybe it takes some research classes to get a bearing on how to differentiate the good from the bad, but I recommend trying. And always being open to the fact that something you learn could be have been wrong on a point, or all together incorrect. Now, one problem with Mormons and anti is that anti, to them, is ANYTHING against the church, or ANYTHING that they 'feel' is against the church. Therefore most Mormons, especially TBM, don't ever see the stuff. They may hear about it once or twice, but move on cleanly.

So I had gotten into the rough history stated in Rough Stone Rolling and had discussed some things about Fawn Brodies No Man Knows my History book, but I still felt that it was all okay. Blood atonements, okay. Blacks and the priesthood, okay. Women in the church, okay. Gays, okay. Sex is almost as bad as murder, okay. Do your home teaching or you won't be exalted, okay. As I said before, I'm the all of nothing type, so it made perfect sense that if I couldn't do my home teaching I wouldn't be fit to be a god with eternal numbers of children. Miracle of Forgiveness was one of my favorite books.

But all this put together was heavy. And taking God out of the picture opened the floodgates, so I got into it. And only since this last spring, months after I really made my transition. The two biggest ones that ruin Mormonism for me is the Adam-God theory(AGT) and the Book of Abraham. Most people say this, and I'm no different. I can handle racism with the blacks, women getting the priesthood in heaven, Joseph Smith stealing Hydes wife while he was on a mission, and Brigham Young getting other people's homes. But people always skipped around the AGT and would give ambiguous answers. The Book of Abraham was almost not even known to me, only a snipit from high school, till this last summer. That would have been all the nails in the coffin for me if I had learned everything I know now (about the BoA) back two years ago or even on my mission, though not in the first half. For me the BoA is tenfold, it ruins so many levels. Joseph Smith as a later character overwhelmed by the church he had made, pleasing the populace, but also loving and using them. Making specific claims with the hieroglyphs which survived and are obviously wrong. Finding most of the original sheets and having expert opinions on them that disagree with everything the religion holds dear, even BYU professors disagreeing. The present-day corporation of a church covering it up as best they could to bury it and keep it out of the minds of the members, throwing doubt on the doubts.

But that will have to be it for now. Most people don't even really care. I guess once you get into disproving something like Mormonism you really get into it. For me it was never really about that, and only once have I ever tried to throw doubt on the religion to someone who wasn't looking for it. But being asked why I left or how in the world I CAN'T believe anymore makes me go out and reinforce my reasoning. Till we meet again ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Heart Videos of Humor

I am so glad that I was taught all to embed and copy and paste and apply and link and whatever else I'm doing to bring videos to my post. Yay for me. Let's just hope I can remember for this post ...

I want to post a couple of my more favorite funny videos. If the links 'die' at some point or the videos are removed, then I recommend searching for the names in Youtube cause they will just crop up somewhere else.

First, Mitchell and Webb. These guys are great, I've watched dozens and dozens of their vids. One of my favs is the historian who can't keep his arms and body still for the shoot, lol. Classic and so true. But I can't find it anymore, sad day. However, here is the first one I ever watched, and it's really funny.

"Helen! Get in here!" - "Oh my-" - "Finally, after all these years of doubt!" = hahahaha.
"This melon blows my tomato out of the water. It's a full sentence, punctuation and everything." Probably more punctuation than me, sometimes, and most teens in the world, except probably the Koreans.
I'd like them to explain that watermelon though, "Probably just some random mutation in the watermelon's genetics ... oh wait, not that!"

Also, we move on to another comedian, Ricky Gervais. I had no idea about him till I watched The Invention of Lying through Netflix, not knowing it had a major atheist agenda, lol. This is part of an interview with him commenting on a lot of things, and this is where it switches to religion, his super hero, Jesus, and how his mom lied to him only once.

I have to recommend Ghost Town to everyone, it is such a funny movie. Anyways, I liked it. "Jesus is like an unpaid babysitter" - pure genius, lol. "Also ... if there is a God, why did he make me an atheist? ... That was his first mistake."

And moving to even more irreverent comedians, this is Jim Jefferies, who is also getting drunk on stage, and who doesn't care to upset the American crowd he is performing for. Switching from his hate of life, religion, namely Christianity in this part, to Noah, to pandas, this is absolutely hilarious and crude.

"I won't even know I'm dead, you know why, cause I'll be fu**ing dead!" - "What's at the end of the light ... all your dead relatives. ... Hello uncle who use to touch me. How did you get up here? Oh that's right you use to work for the church." - LMAO.
"WHAT? I'M MYSTERIOUS!" - So true. It took me a while to realize it, but if we took the Bible literally and said that is what God is like, he would be the biggest douche ever.

"There's a panda! Go f*** the panda! And they just look at each other! You put in a cage with anything, ANYTHING, and after a week I'll f*** it!" ROFLMAO.
Gods I find that video hilarious. And because of it, I've learned that pandas are stupid, and I will never support those pandas. Maybe gay penguins, but never the pandas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hitchens and Hannity / 9th-Page Reply

I just feel an urge to throw these out there. I've said before that I haven't ever really planned on discussing reasons to not believe Mormonism and I don't plan on getting into it much here, but I kind of want to collect my thoughts on this. Mainly I'll just list them off with a little explanation as to why they 'matter,' my ''so what'' statements. - Or so I thought. Now it's some ramblings about the Hitchen's video I posted, for no reason really, just cause, and then some references to the 9-page email from Demosthenes 3 months ago.

I'm not really sure what this blog is. Sometimes I post things with readers in mind, sometimes I post things as if I writing to myself or in a journal, and then I regret having posted at all, lol. And then sometimes I just try to work things out. Discussing things with Demosthenes helps in that area. For example, in my last post I put up the Hitchens video with Hannity. Now, Hitchens is just an atheist evangelist, and I have no problem admitting that. When Dan Barker was at UofU he said he was kind of an atheist preacher, and he willingly admits it and doesn't find it wrong as long as people are looking to listen to him speak. Now, Hitchens is probably plastered as usual in that video and he makes many quips, but having watched it many times, to laugh, I eventually started listening to what he was really saying.

Overall he makes a lot of sense. The universe doesn't really speak of some great design, at least in the sense of 'for humans,' so a deistic god of course still works. A Christian God IS like North Korea, only worse. Don't worship Him and you go to hell or outer darkness. Forever! I have actually done my research on North Korea, it is disturbing, surreal, in fact I watched a political video of Hitchens talking about his 'trip' to North Korea and I think he said it was first time he felt he could describe something with the word 'surreal.' When you look at North Korea it isn't hard to see the relation between the speakers praising Kim all day and people 'worshiping' his dead father to Christianity (in the very least).

Having talked about charity Hannity brings up all the good religion does, and Hitchens points out that atheists do charity as well. For him he says 'more convincingly' lol, and he's entitled to his opinion, but his main point is after that, saying that good actions by atheists doesn't proof atheism is true no more than good Christians prove that their religion is true. Demosthenes brought up a lot of points like this back with my 9-page replies. Which I never found a reason to make a 9th page reply, only had 8 pages, or posts. Though maybe this one is kind of a post. In fact, this whole post is far from what I had planned on talking about, now I'm critiquing a Hitchens video.

(Billboard from the FFRF campaign)
In my not-so-humble opinion I felt that Hannity was p'wned by a drunk Hitchens. He didn't seem like he knew what he was talking about.
(Though I am grateful to Hannity for the things he said to Shirley Phelps when she came on his show.)
His main argument was that he can't believe all this energy could come from nothing. I still hold the belief/theory of alternative/parallel universes to our own and that all energy has always existed, though maybe not always in this universe. But with Hannity he puts forth that God was needed. Infinite regress. So you have a problem with the world existing without God but you don't have a problem with God existing without ... a ... God? This that whole bottom-most turtle thing. Doesn't disprove religion or God, but it doesn't prove itself either. The argument only takes the whole 'issue' one more step back, placing God in the equation and not solving the issue of something out of nothing. Unless Christians say God always was and is eternal ... then why do they have a problem with energy and matter being eternal?

I don't get it, perhaps I'm missing something, but even when I believed I never followed this argument.

However, even if atheists can't come up with real substantial reasoning of evidence to disprove a god, and even if theists can't prove the existence of a god I still think this is proof enough to not worry about gods in any religion. Why add something in that seems to have been made up in the first place. Take the good out of religions, fight the bad, let people live good lives if they are regardless of beliefs, but don't tell me to believe in something that, for me, is unnecessary, unfounded, invisible, magical, and continuously looks more and more like it doesn't need to be a part of the world to make the world, universe, and all matter, to work.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BYU BYU BYU - Things to do in the Happy Valley

I have been busy as usual, and now feeling slightly sick as well, behind on homework, but you know what, my room is clean, I've cleaned it up, gotten rid of piles, I feel I have accomplished something.

So I've decided to give a kind of hodgepodge of things to do that are taboo, against the norm, or atheistic. And then I will give a little treat of a video. Over the course of the blog I've listed off some groups and things I've done and now I wish to put them all together.

First is SHIFT. Up at UofU the Secular Humanist Inquiry and Freethought group meets every Sunday. You can find them on Facebook. I like SHIFT cause they have a slightly led/open discussion and are pretty accepting of different views. Obviously if a creationist is putting forward his ideas though they won't garner too much respect, but SHIFT is a fun place, and once I'm at UofU I hope to be a part of it more.

Down here at BYU, and one group through which I've met some people, is USGAY, I mean, USGA. Understanding Same-Gender Attraction. This group is churchy and supports LDS theology, but is very liberal, and pretty open-minded. Most people who go have some kind of qualm with the way the church approaches gays. It is not atheistic though, let's make that clear. But I enjoy the group, though sometimes I may cringe. I've found that a decent amount of people who are disillusioned to the church or don't believe usually are quiet, but cannot remain quiet when it comes to the LGBT crowd. Most people can't hold back their resentment for the church or its actions, as a whole, when it comes to the gays. And for me that's a good thing.

Also, there are plenty of atheists at BYU that I personally know and have met, and sometimes groups of us get together. One friend started a regular coffee meeting on Tuesdays in the evening. That's the Utah Atheists - Happy Valley Branch group. A nice place to bullshit with similar minded people.

Then of course their Godless Coffee up in SLC at Mestizos on Thursday evenings, and the Sizzler group once a month, I think they are having a gay-rights speaker come present this Sunday ....

Plenty of people to meet and things to do. And it's nice to put it all together. So for anyone horribly bored, here's a nice little video of Hitchen's giving it drunkard style to Hannity. A personal favorite of mine.