Tag Archives: Atheism

Atheism Video Resources

Understandably, few people want to devote possibly hours to searching Google and sifting through/watching numerous video links on Atheism in order to eventually find the best ones unless they possess a healthy dose of obsessive curiosity. Even so, if you are unaware of the type of material available, for example, you may not know what search criteria is best. In the end, many will conclude the rewards are not worth the effort. Therefore, in the interest of promoting Atheism awareness, I have done the work for you.

After a while of searching and compiling, a centralized source is now available.

It is useful if:

  1. You are Religious and want to learn more on Atheism/Agnosticism. If you wish to discover what we believe on a given subject, chances are you will find the answer in one of my links because many believers have asked the questions before you. The reality, is that the same themes arise time and again. Curious? Follow my link at the end of this entry and see for yourself.
  2. You are Agnostic/Atheist and know little of the work available.
  3. You are Agnostic/Atheist and have already seen many videos on the subject.

The descriptions that come with the links are fairly self-explanatory. I have amassed many hours worth of video and arranged them first under General (which includes documentaries) and later under Individuals (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Dan Dennett and Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

If you have a link you believe is good enough to be added, include it in your comment.

Feed your mind.  Access my Atheism Video Resources page here.


A film for Atheists

The Mist, based on a Stephen King novella, is advertised as your usual plot-less monster movie, however, it proves to be far more than that. It is a psychological thriller with an obvious Religious social commentary, and as much about the monsters within as those outside ourselves.

Stephen King:
But the story of “The Mist,” in the background, there’s this idea that the military has been fooling around with something that’s too big for them, and has torn an actual hole in the fabric of reality, and these awful creatures from another dimension have come through.

In another part of the story, there’s a religious zealot, Mrs. Carmody, who’s in the market, and to begin with she’s sort of a figure of fun. Because everybody’s pretty well solemnly grounded, and nobody’s worried about anything. But once the disaster strikes, Mrs. Carmody gets a weird power. And certainly we’ve seen this time and time again in our own lives, that as the situation worsens, in various parts of the world, the religious fanatics have a tendency to become more and more powerful.

What we see is a very clear devolution in many of the characters and the worse it gets, the stronger the foothold of the religious fundamentalist Mrs. Carmody. Eventually, she presents herself as being in direct communication with God.

Only about 10 people remain who do not turn to Religion for comfort in their times of need. It is implied that the majority of these 10 are secular. At some point, one of them named Ollie says, “As a species we’re fundamentally insane. Put more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreaming up ways to kill one another. Why do you think we invented politics and religion?”

Ollie: [Mrs. Carmody is preaching to her ‘cult’ and they’re repeating expiation] Welcome to Sesame Street, kids. Today’s word is ‘expiation’.

Perhaps because the absurd appeals to my sense of humour, I found most of this film comedic. Frankly, I am surprised Hollywood has produced a film of this nature. The religious criticism is very thick. Many reviews depict the movie as bleak, depressing, nihilistic and so forth and condemn the ending as unnecessarily ‘unfair’ and especially sadistic.’ The film is controversial in part, because of the number of suicides.

The ending is rather graphic but not gratuitous. The blood is there for the purpose of letting you know what has transpired. It is emotional, without needing to zero in on the dead bodies. As Stephen King stated in an interview, it was the necessary and logical ending to the film. It is realistic. It is what people do when they do not have the luxury of seeing into the future, and can only infer based on the evidence available. Difficult decisions must be made.

In extreme end-of-the-world scenarios, very rarely are there happy endings. I commend the film for not taking the easy way out, and creating a standard everyone-lives-happily-ever-after ending.

This film is definitely a must see.

Would you marry a Theist?

I just finished reading Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris.

“The Bible is either the word of God, or it isn’t. Either Jesus offers humanity the one, true path to salvation (John 14:6), or he does not. We agree that to be a true Christian is to believe that all other faiths are mistaken, and profoundly so. If Christianity is correct, and I persist in my unbelief, I should expect to suffer the torments of hell. Worse still, I have persuaded others, and many close to me, to reject the very idea of God. They too will languish in ‘eternal fire’ (Matthew 25:41). If the basic doctrine of Christianity is correct, I have misused my life in the worst conceivable way. I admit this without a single caveat. The fact that my continuous and public rejection of Christianity does not worry me in the least should suggest to you just how inadequate I think your reasons for being a Christian are.” -Sam Harris

Sam Harris succinctly states his position (and my own as well) right on the first page. I am sufficiently unconvinced of Christian doctrine to not lose any sleep with angst over eternal damnation. Moreover, my skepticism directly influenced my younger sister’s Christian deconversion years ago (she is now an Atheist) as well as that of a former significant other who is now a pantheist. My current offline friends whom also attended Catholic schools right up until their High School graduation, are now Atheists as well.

“If I were to turn into a deeply religious believer, my wife has threatened to leave me.” -Richard Dawkins

Hearing him say the above, gave me a chuckle.

He brings up an interesting point. How important is it for an Atheist that their romantic partner be Atheist/Agnostic?

My first significant other was a Mormon who had done missionary work in Africa. The missionary work had the opposite effect on their Faith. When we met, I was calling myself Agnostic and they confided that they had been having serious doubts about their Faith for several years since. We had many discussions about Religion and by the time our friendship turned to romance, they were defining themselves as Agnostic as well.

The sheer terror they felt at confessing their Agnosticism to their parents–much less that they were dating an Agnostic–greatly disturbed me. The fear was justified. I feared for their life as well. In the end, that former significant other died without the family knowing of their Agnosticism–or my existence for that matter. I could not even attend the funeral.

It is baffling that in many parts of the world, one can fear for one’s life for simply refusing to believe in absurdities. That people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali must live under armed guard for the crime of reason, is disgraceful.

In my case, I cannot respect and therefore accept an individual as a potential romantic partner if they see enough justification for belief in a personal God. That level of cognitive dissonance greatly diminishes their desirability. Even with the ex that was a Catholic, by the time we began dating, Christianity was out the window.

So, for Atheists, how important is lack of religious cognitive dissonance in a mate? Would you date a Theist? Would you marry a Theist? If the answers to the last two questions differ, why so? In the mate selection process, does extent of religiosity make a difference? Does the type of Religion make a difference? Let us exclude Buddhism from the list as it resembles a philosophy more than a Religion.

How many phobias can YOU get from reading the Bible?

I was thinking of phobias earlier today, and decided to compile a satirical list of phobias one could conceivably ‘catch’ from reading the Bible, believing in its contents, and partaking in its practices. I have separated them into the following six categories: Time, Environment/Animals, The Church, Unworthiness, Pleasures and the Body, and Punishment. They are self-explanatory. Within each category, the phobias are organized alphabetically.

Apeirophobia– Fear of infinity.
Chronophobia– Fear of time.

Antlophobia-Fear of floods.Arsonphobia/Pyrophobia– Fear of fire.
– Fear of thunder and lightning.
Astrophobia– Fear of stars or celestial space.
Aurophobia-Fear of gold.
Barophobia-Fear of gravity.
Cibophobia-Fear of food.
Ichthyophobia-Fear of fish
Ophidiophobia/Ophiophobia-Fear of snakes.
Ornithophobia-Fear of birds.
Ovisophobia-Fear of sheep.
Taurophobia– Fear of bulls.
Thalassophobia– Fear of the sea.
Xerophobia-Fear of dry things or places such as deserts.

The Church
Automatonophobia– Fear of fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being – dolls (think Jesus and Virgin Mary representations), ventriloquist’s dummies, mannequins, animatronic creatures, wax statues.
– Fear of books.
Fear of wealth.
– Fear of demons.
– Fear of church.
Fear of freedom.
– Fear of knowledge.
-Fear of marriage.
– Fear of saints or holy things.
– Fear of challenges to official doctrine or of radical deviation.
– Fear of priests or sacred things.
– Fear of sermons.
Fear of responsibility.
Fear of Jews and of Jewish culture.
– Fear of stooping.
-Fear of talking.
Fear of darkness.
Fear of becoming insane.
– Fear of the color black.
– Fear of myths or stories or false statements.
– Fear of numbers.
Fear of crowds or mobs.
– Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.
Ouranophobia/Uranophobia-Fear of heaven.
– Fear of the Pope of the papacy.
– Fear of dolls.
-Fear of spirits, specters, and incorporeal beings.
– Fear of noises or voices or one’s own voice; of telephones.
– Fear of beards.
Fear of alcohol or alcoholic beverages.
Fear of mind.
– Fear of Satan.
– Fear of crosses or the crucifix.
– Fear of symbolism.
– Fear of symmetry.
Fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.
– 1) Fear of definite plans. 2) Religious ceremony.
– Fear of theology.
– Fear of gods or religion.
Fear of poison or of being accidentally poisoned.
– Fear of tyrants.
– Fear of words.
Fear of witches and witchcraft.
– Fear of God or gods.

Atelophobia-Fear of imperfection.
Fear of being forgotten or ignored or forgetting.
Fear of being dirty.
Fear of ugliness.
Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.
Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror.
Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin or of criticism.

Pleasures and the Body
Androphobia-Fear of men.
Fear of depth or bathing.
Fear of sexual love or sexual questions.
Fear of female genitalia.
Fear of sex.
Fear of nudity.
Fear of women.
Fear of feeling pleasure.
Fear of blood.
Fear of sameness, monotony or of homosexuality or of becoming homosexual.
Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
Fear of genitals, particularly female.
Fear of menstruation.
Paraphobia-Fear of sexual perversion.
Fear of rectums.
Venustraphobia-Fear of beautiful women.

Catagelophobia-Fear of being ridiculed.
Fear of stealing.
Fear of hell.
Fear of sinning.
Fear of the number 666.
Fear of ideas.
Fear of leprosy.
Fear of punishment.
Fear of pain.
Peccatophobia-Fear of sinning or imaginary crimes.
Phronemophobia-Fear of thinking.
Fear of being severely punished or beaten by a rod, or of being severely criticized. Also fear of magic.(wand)
Fear of monsters or giving birth to a monster.
Fear of death or dying.
Zelophobia-Fear of jealousy.

Isolate me from a line-up, and call me an Atheist.

I recently commented on an entry titled “what is your purpose” at asl001’s Atheist blog. A Christian blogger named poppies–whom also responded to the entry in question–followed me to my blog propositioning me to continue/expound the discussion by creating an entry here for us to debate–long posts are the norm on my blog.

To address everything in this post alone, would make for a very long entry. For that reason, I will only tackle the issue of whether or not most Atheists are typically ‘powerful or aggressive’ in this segment, and if so, why. I will end with what will be the introduction of the next post–morality.

poppies wrote:
. . . an atheist worldview allows only for subjective morality typically dominated by powerful or aggressive individuals, but I’m open to the idea that I’m wrong.

First, I can guarantee that you would not be able to tell an Atheist from a believer if you saw them on the street and both were dressed in normal clothes. You certainly would not be able to tell that I am an Atheist if I sat next to you on a park bench.

If by ‘power’ you mean managerial positions, it depends on the type of degree a person has. If by ‘power’ you mean intellectual prestige such as undergraduate or graduate degrees . . . you may be partly correct in that regard, as the more advanced an individual’s education, the greater the likelihood of Atheist/Agnostic views.

On that note, if by ‘power’ you mean elected officials, or lawyers, judges, and so forth, it is important to note that due to the current political climate in North America for instance, you would not know they are Atheists. If you were to label these people aggressive, it would not be for their Atheism, as you would not know it exists in them. There is no evidence to suggest that Atheists are typically aggressive.

On the subject of aggression, I take it you are not suggesting violence, but rather a passion for making one’s views known. Christians make their views known to the world all the time. United States politicians speak of God at least once. You have numerous television channels dedicated to Religion where they speak passionately about God and spreading the message of Jesus. You have Churches with billboards advertising that Jesus is the way. If making one’s views known to anyone who will listen is synonymous with aggression, then there is a lot of Christian ‘aggression’ in the United States.

Now we have individuals like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins promoting Atheism awareness and it becomes obvious that Atheists are perceived as aggressive only because our silence has been mainly the norm. Our collective voice right now does not in any way equal the viral nature of the Religious, who think their rights to be vocal outweigh our own, or who suggest we can only be truly tolerant through silence whilst they can bask in the luxuries of tolerance by doing the reverse.

Until recently, Atheists were the least trusted/liked minority in the United States–it now appears Scientologists have the honour of that title. Richard Dawkins’ OUT Campaign encourages Atheists/Agnostics to be open about their disbelief, to make our presence known, to remind others that we have equal rights and encourage awareness as a whole–hence the reason for the Scarlet A on my blog.

When minorities are silent because of fear of persecution for an extended amount of time, when they suddenly do begin to speak, they are seen as intolerant and aggressive. It is similar to the feminist movement. Several decades ago, most men believed women lacked the intellect to hold positions of power. This was strictly sexist and clearly not based on evidence but passed down through a patriarchal tradition.

Today, we still have Religious individuals claiming that we lack the morality necessary to hold positions of power. There is zero evidence to suggest this. We do hold positions of power, win humanitarian awards, and our morally is never doubted until we reveal ourselves as Atheists/Agnostics. It plainly illustrates the fact that because many religious individuals cannot fathom how we can be moral without a God(s), does not mean their lack of proper understanding/vision makes it correct.

There are no studies that prove when Atheists/Agnostics are rounded up, followed around for a week at least, and analyzed by their capacity to perform good acts on other humans or be moved by the suffering of others, that they perform worse than their Religious counterparts. You can bet if this is ever proven through multiple studies and the results were the same again and again, that the Religious would not hesitate to wave the studies in the air as ‘proof.’

We are considered morally bankrupt/inferior because of tradition passed down by individuals who would not have profited from saying Religion was not likely to make you any more moral than no Religion. If this were so, their converted-to-be would have asked, then why be Religious?! In the same fashion, those already Religious would have asked, why remain so?

Agnosticism vs. Atheism Part 2

This discussion continues from my previous blog entry: “Agnosticism vs. Atheism Part 1.”

Children are not born believing in God.

As such, I did not believe in God in my early years. When I was eventually told of Jesus by my elders, I thought the claims fantastic. It is fair to say that at that point, I believed. However, that stage was short lived, for almost immediately after hearing the stories, my questions began.

As I have said before, religion cannot survive genuine scrutiny. To genuinely scrutinize religion is to make oneself open to the possibility of being convinced that God is not real. Yet, when many individuals are raised to fear eternal punishment, it follows that attempts at scrutiny be half-hearted at best.

Since Part 1, I have performed periodic tag searches on Atheism. Not all of those entries are made by Agnostics or Atheists. Some are clearly created by religious individuals.

I read a ridiculous claim not long ago, by a Christian attempting to justify the ‘validity’ and ‘truth’ of God through children. The argument was that children were more aware of the deeper truths in life than adults since the latter are more likely to allow the world, experience, and rationality to ‘blind’ them from the ‘truth.’

Tell any child why unbelievers deny God and ask them to tell you why they are being ‘silly’ and how it is impossible that God does not exist and they will tell you the simplest explanation, said the Christian blogger.

Their argument is that the simplest explanation the children provide is correct. This highlights the Christian penchant for valuing innocence–as seen in children–which is in most cases indistinguishable from ignorance. Ask a child to prove a fantastical claim such as that God exists and they will provide you with equally (if not more) fantastical explanations. The exercise illustrates precisely what happens when you approach the world based on the unrealistic and absurd–you must undeniably stretch your mind to its limits in order to justify your distortions.

Ignorance fuels Religion. Humans have active imaginations. Use fear to stimulate those imaginations, and the God Delusion survives. Obedience through fear. Imaginary rewards. An effective method it seems, at intellectual castration.

User Joadist from Richard Dawkins’ forum makes the following distinctions between Agnosticism and Atheism:

Weak agnosticism: I don’t have knowledge of Superman.
Strong agnosticism: It is not possible to have knowledge of Superman.
Weak (implicit) atheism: Absence of belief in Superman (no claims or denials made)
Strong (explicit) atheism: Denies the existence of Superman.

The change on my About blurb from Agnosticism to Atheism is recent, but the internal modifications go back years. Religion persists in many because of ignorance and not necessarily stupidity. This is very encouraging. One need only look at many of the Christian blogs on wordpress and take note of the reasons why they think Atheism/Agnosticism makes no sense, and a pattern emerges. The same fallacious arguments are recycled. Study their reasoning and you begin to see a fair amount of order–provided how little they know that is. If only they cared to research just a bit more, than they would inevitably discover that their arguments have been debunked for ages now.

It is precisely ignorance of these counter-arguments that kept me a Strong Agnostic. The belief in God does not have equal weight as lack of belief. In other words, it is not validity of Religion equals 50% and Atheism/Agnosticism equals 50%.

I knew this back then of course, but was unaware of the degree of absurdity in the God Delusion. What that delusion faces is the harshness of reality, and therefore, of extreme improbability. Given this, the label of Strong Agnosticism no longer describes my point of view as accurately as Strong Atheism.

Debate and Commentary, Perceptions and Misconceptions

I recently changed my About information by replacing the word ‘agnostic’ with ‘atheist’ and in the interest of Atheism awareness, included the scarlet A on the front page. I performed a tag search on Atheism and stumbled across a blog entry by a Christian. Of all the Christian entries that popped up, his appealed to me the most. His major claim was not only that an Atheist’s God was Science, but went as far as to say he believed Atheism to be a religion–which is plain ludicrous. I will not address the reasons here as I already stated many on his entry ‘Blinded me with science.’

I commented on Deacon Blue’s blog (is an actual Deacon by the way), because beneath the bad points, I perceived a genuine desire to understand Atheism and his logic skills were a bit better than the average person’s. I thought he was more misguided than anything else, and that had mostly been a byproduct of beginning with a faulty premise. Once you do that, your chances of arriving at truth are severely handicapped.

The debate began well. Yet, soon enough, it went to hell. Anyone who has read my previous posts here and/or comments on other blogs such as Nessa’s, quickly realizes I have a direct and unapologetic attitude. I detest hypocrisy. If I believe you to be deluded and/or misguided for example, I make no attempts to hide it. If I believe my arguments are superior to yours, I will not say, ‘your idea of truth is just as valid as my own.’

Logic has rules for a reason. Some arguments are better than others. I will not lie just to make you feel better about yourself. Conversely, I have no respect for someone who decides to lie to me to keep from offending my sensibilities. Growth comes from being challenged. How presumptuous to think they understand what truths I can or cannot handle. The choice is mine to make. How presumptuous to think I place my own emotional comfort above truth. To do so, is disgustingly weak.

I decided to stop posting on Deacon Blue’s blog. Below is a quote from his response to my final post.

The time I have spent responding to you is time I have NOT spent writing my next post. According to my own internal schedule, I am behind. In fact, I have now missed a day of posting. In that sense, Satan is using you quite nicely, because I have been moved, either through defensiveness or pride…or both…into engaging you even though it is clear that discussion with you has become a circular argument and a dance with no end in sight.

It was not a circular argument. I was pointing out contradictions in his claims, and when his counter arguments contained more contradictions, I pointed those out too. His logic was poor. He accused me of trying to poke holes and tear apart his arguments when that is precisely what the point of debate is. If you make a claim, it must survive rigorous testing or it is just a bad claim.

He then became defensive and emotional. He said that I was attacking him and trying to make him look like a fool. He mistook aggressive debate with aggression against him personally. I said I considered his view a delusion and proceeded to explain why. If my arguments are strong enough to mow down his, it does not necessarily make him a fool. If he felt like a fool, that is an entirely different matter.

He said one cannot help but feel wounded if one loses points. This is not true either. It sounds like low self-esteem. Perhaps he cannot help but feel wounded. But, even if he did, that does not excuse his emotional responses to me. Defensiveness has no place in a debate other than making you look bad. If you ‘lose points,’ then make better arguments to gain more. Do not turn around and say that I am out to get you, when in reality, I am far more interested in the debate itself than in you as a person.

That last claim of his is so baffling to me. I have no qualms about admitting I consider many people to be intellectually inferior. Even so, there is a difference between considering someone intellectually inferior to an extent that simply makes them average in regards to the general population, and then there is thinking someone a downright idiot. Really, if I think you an idiot, you are beneath me. It is not worthwhile for me to acknowledge your existence. I certainly would never post on your blog.

Furthermore, if my intent had been to offend, it would be reasonable to assume given my directness, that I would leave as little to interpretation as possible. I would use my eloquence to annihilate your character, your humanity, and all that you stand for. But, such an act would demand a great deal of emotional investment from me. For someone who is usually by considered by others logical to the point of robotic, such an investment seems . . . not worth the trouble and uncharacteristic at best.

If I may make an analogy, if this site is my dinner-table discussion with folks, you have started to veer into the realm of the guest who in an effort to show just how smart he or she is just forgets when to be quiet and let people talk about something different. That may not be your intention, but it sure seems like it at this point.

My dinner-table discussions must be very different from his. Heaven forbid I say enough to make me sound smart. If I see a multitude of holes in an argument, I must point out only one just to show that I am paying attention. I must not say any more or others will start to feel inferior and defensive. I must be quiet so that others get a chance to contribute and therefore feel we are all intellectual equals.

If they proceed to counter with an argument that has holes, I cannot say more because it its not my turn yet. When my turn comes again, I cannot propose a counter an argument against what anyone said whilst I sat quietly in waiting or it would be proclaimed a circular argument. Worse, if that counter argument is strong, I will unfortunately show just how smart I am. It may not be my intention, but I will make a nuisance of myself!

At any rate, Deacon Blue claims in his last response to me that I am welcome to post on his blog as along as I follow the rules from his particular version of dinner-table discussion–rules which by the way, he states only now and were supposed to be obvious before. I do not know what would possess him to say that. Political correctness? I stated several times that I enjoy debate and even went on to describe what type. It is entirely incompatible with his penchant for commentary only. My approach is disruptive to him. Satan is ‘using me quite nicely’ to prevent him from making new blog entries because he continues to respond to my comments ‘either through defensiveness or pride . . . or both.”

The above, are poor reasons to debate. Avoid ulcers by doing so because you like it. The main problems with Deacon Blue is that he is prone to overreacting, making arguments that contradict, and lacks specificity. At one point, he refers to our exchange as a never ending dance. If this were so, there would be no need for defensiveness and overreacting. Those responses make sense if you see yourself in a quarrel or at war, things which he keeps denying all the while acting in ways that undermine his objections.

He ends with the following:

*sigh* Now I probably look like someone who doesn’t want to hear any other opinions. And maybe I have overreacted. But I’m tired of hashing out a dead topic.

Actually, he does sound like he wants to hear other opinions–the latter being the operative word. Opinions do not have to be supported. Arguments on the other hand, demand it. It may not make you sound very open minded, but that is a price to pay for your desires. When you make any type of stand, you must be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you cannot handle people picking apart your statements, do not claim to be open minded to all types of discussions. He should make this clear, because evidently his blog is new and when more Atheists stumble upon it, what happened between us will occur once again.

To avoid it, he should make a note on his About Page that opinions are preferred over arguments. Of course, not only will he not be respected by most Atheists who read it, but also written off as another Christian that lives in a bubble. If he wants to appeal to Atheists, he will need to grow thicker skin and welcome rigorous arguments or else eliminate Atheists from his list of target audiences. This is no doubt a difficult decision to make for someone who sees himself as fighting a war against Satan.

As for my own blog, I will not say that I welcome all types of persons to comment. I definitely do not. I am not receptive to bullshit.

You need not be a genius. Your logic need not be equal or superior to mine. But, if you cling to bad arguments just because and fail to acknowledge a superior argument out of pride, this is not the place for you. If you are prone to overreacting and allow your responses to be influenced by that, this is not the place for you. If I attack your arguments aggressively, it does not mean I am attacking you as a person or that I am out to get you. If you have a genuine desire to learn and value self-improvement, I encourage you to post even if you do not consider yourself an accomplished debater.

I admire the desire to improve. Compared to what I am capable of, my skills are rusty. I have not had the opportunity to debate in a long while. In fact, the main purpose of this blog is to use it to improve. I have had the fortune of debating others in the past whose logic was equal or superior to my own, and those experiences were amongst the most rewarding I have had in my life.

Debate is a form of mental intimacy. My most intense friendships and romantic relationships were born through debate. Generally speaking, this is easy for INTPs, other Rationals, or Thinkers of other types to comprehend, and yet ever so bewildering for the rest. The human mind can be absolutely fascinating.