Reading Atheism

How reading the experts falls short of your own observations

I should probably read an atheist Bible. Being a Twain fan I intentionally read “Letters from the Earth” (thanks Mak and Mary) and have since amassed a small collection based on many of your recommendations. But, like any top-notch Christian who has not read his scripture, I claim full hypocrisy. I ably became a complete non-believer without reading the text.

This exercise from belief to atheism had to be my own. From the beginning I steered away from the publications, videos, only reading a few blogs and having discussions with everyday Christians and “common atheists”, science articles, psychology, and google scholar—and by strict observation of the outcomes of faith vs the teachings. Turned out it was easier than I expected. There is no objective measurement that agrees with religions versions—on anything.

How is it possible to become an atheist without reading the material? How could one have the audacity to break ranks with the masses and see the contra-everything in its entirety? Atheism is natural when you don’t have someone breathing down your neck telling you what it all means.

It’s nice to read the commentary (that’s what most believers do) but by carefully listening to what we are told and comparing it to outcomes—what we see in real life, atheism is a shoe-in. It turns out the god charade is well funded, propped up by laws and defended by the sword. Who but a religion could commit genocides and have its followers defend them? Not just a few missteps when it comes to reality, but every single point. Jots and tittles are important enough to be mentioned in the Bible—so they must be important and investigating them should dissuade anyone from believing anything at all.

God is incomprehensible but they just know he exists 😵 (justify that one) merciful, just, moral, righteous, perfect, and so on, are presupposed propagandas that any good PR man can repeat enough times pull the wool while their guy is just an everyday oppressor.

Look at what good PR did for Mother Theresa. She’s a claim to fame but never funneled her money to the poor. Instead she jet-set and collected $millions and members to the Catholic Church. That is the true measure of sainthood—not what she actually did to alleviate suffering, which was nothing—but what she said.

What you say virtuously is vastly more important than what you do. Professing faith is the golden ticket to public acceptance while living life by your own rules anyway.

Any religious belief, no matter how silly, is more respected than unbelief. This is enough to know the game is rigged.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

110 thoughts on “Reading Atheism”

  1. “Who but a religion could commit genocides and have its followers defend them?”

    Its interesting that you would even go there after the 20th century. I mean you could blame Islam in part for the Armenian genocide but other than Islam most mass murders were caused by people who were clearly non-religious.

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    1. So since the time of Augustine’s declaration on the Donatists that allowed forced conversions based on scripture, millions of people have been killed for Christ’s sake. A 1000 years of extermination everywhere they planted their flag. In the name of your god. But that’s just people? This is what religious belief leads to if it is unfettered. Not just on a large scale, but in every town and hamlet throughout the world abrahamic faith has led to bloodshed. Is this just a coincidence? This in no coin flip where a few landed tails. It is the history of Abraham. It’s supposed to bring peace but it doesn’t. It’s precepts of faith is a flaw of nature that manipulated people to do things they normally would not do. Coincidence? Ha!

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      1. Jim:
        “So since the time of Augustine’s declaration on the Donatists that allowed forced conversions based on scripture, millions of people have been killed for Christ’s sake.”
        Joe:
        What are you even talking about? Donatism arose out of Christians being persecuted and killed. Are you saying the Roman intolerance of Christianity should count against Christianity? I guess you could say Rome did it out of its Pagan religion.
        Jim:
        “A 1000 years of extermination everywhere they planted their flag. In the name of your god. But that’s just people?”
        Joe:
        So only a small percentage of people in history have rejected religion. Stalin Mao Pol Pot and I would include Hitler in that group. And that is where we get the huge amounts of massive killings in a very short wait.

        You say 1000 years of extermination? In other words you are trying to make the fact that killing due to Christianity is so rare that it is spread out over 2 millennium into a negative. Christianity has been a huge advocate of peace that you do not see with the other rulers or non-christian cultures.

        Jim:
        “This is what religious belief leads to if it is unfettered.”
        Joe:
        Western Culture and science.

        Jim:
        “Not just on a large scale, but in every town and hamlet throughout the world abrahamic faith has led to bloodshed. Is this just a coincidence? This in no coin flip where a few landed tails. It is the history of Abraham. It’s supposed to bring peace but it doesn’t. It’s precepts of faith is a flaw of nature that manipulated people to do things they normally would not do. Coincidence? Ha!”

        Joe:
        Tell me about these bloodless cultures. I mean yes since most people in history believed in some sort of religion you can always blame the religion – even when wars are very often political and not religious. So you can either talk about the peaceful non-christian societies or you can talk about the atheistic rulers like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot Kim Jong Un. Or the brief times that France was atheistic during their revolution when they went around beheading everyone.

        I just don’t even see why you would even go there.

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        1. I’ll address the first one as I have had lengthy discussion about this before with knowledgeable Catholics that conceded this fact. https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/why-by-force-the-heralded-fathers/
          If you care to click Philip Augustine’s link and see his follow up posts as well you’ll see I am correct. I don’t make things up Joe. Don’t need to.
          As far as the horrible leaders you mentioned, they were not doing what they did in the name of god. Christians are supposed to know better. But alas…

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          1. Hi Jim

            Thanks for that information. I am aware of several horrible acts the church took against heretical groups and non-believers generally. I am was not aware of the details here – and really your sources don’t offer much as far as details. But there are other bad situations over the centuries as well.

            My point is not to deny that. Of course Ancient Christians were not instantly like modern Chrisitians with all our modern sensibilities as soon as they were baptized. Racism cruelity etc did not just vanish. Christ’s message demanded a huge change in emphasis of our morality. The moral views we have no in the west are the product of centuries of Christianity infusing culture. The vikings, the Germanic barbarian Tribes are the cause of our modern moral sensibility.

            What we see in history is that the few times people have fought back hard against religion we have had horrible results almost instantly, with Stalin, Mao Pol, Hitler, Pot etc. I mean say what you will about the views of these people but one thing is clear. They did not think all human life was a sacred gift from God. And the rejection of that notion is typically implied by atheism. Why? Because typically nothing is sacred for the atheist. So once we throw out the idea that human life is a sacred gift from God we can try to come up with some other rationale to justify treating humans better than other animals. But that is not so easy to do.

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            1. Hitler was a Christian. Pol Pot was a Theravada Buddhist.

              But hey, since you brought it up, would you like to discuss diabolical Christian dictators? Apart from Hitler we have

              Benito Mussolini
              Franco
              Napoleon
              Oliver Cromwell
              Maximilien Robespierre
              Miguel Primo de Rivera
              Vlad III
              Kaiser Wilhelm II
              Nicholas II
              Leopold II
              Romuald Traugutt
              Slobodan Milošević
              José Mendes Cabeçadas
              Lord John Russell

              To name just a few.

              We could go through the many Central and South American Christian dictators too, if you like… like Simón Bolívar, Hugo Chavez, Pinochet, Agustín de Iturbide, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Porfirio Díaz, Rafael Carrera, Efrain Rios Montt, Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, Jorge Ubico, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Noriega, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco, Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Getúlio Vargas, Juan Vicente Gómez…

              And let’s not forget the Christian (Baptist) Théodore Sindikubwabo
              who ordered the Rwandan genocide.

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            2. Its pretty clear Hitler rejected Christianity. This is established in many many ways despite the fact that he knew publicly it would serve his purposes to represent he was still a Christian.

              Of course Atheists are just a small percentage of the population and this has been so for most of recorded history. So you will find many more bad Christians because there have been many more Christians. This is hardly remarkable.

              What is remarkable is when we do get leaders who actively fight against Christianity, like the ones I mentioned, we get horrible atrocities almost immediately. That this was so even in the 20th century is really something crazy. Finally, after centuries, Christian culture made the west pretty great. But then you get a few leaders who want to fight against Christianity you almost immediately get these insane atrocities.

              Now I am not saying all atheists are like that. Certainly many cling to Christian notions. And some may shed christian notions and still at least not be horrible people for that matter. But these facts of the 20th century are hard to just call a coincidence either.

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            3. Hitler not only thought himself a very, very good Christian, many church leaders agreed, including Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, Cardinal Adolf Bertram , Cardinal Theodor Innitzer, Bishop Hans Meiser of the Bavarian Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Bishop Rackl of Eichstätt, Kirchenrat Julius Leutheuser, The Catholic Hierarchy of Austria, and Father Senn who wrote in a Catholic publication, May 15, 1934:

              [Adolf Hitler is] the tool of God

              I really wish you apologists would actually *try* to present factual arguments. The ability in which you all lie is quite astonishing.

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            4. As a former believer I understand how to hold something that’s rotting but only seeing the parts that agree with what you think it should be—what you’ve been told it is supposed to be. The problem is through history it hasn’t produced the peace it promises and all the names you mention couldn’t possibly be one of us.
              On a current level, it is Christians that fight social equality, all in the name of belief and some moral superiority that when manifest is simply more cruelty. That is where religion takes us. Enforcement

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            5. You mean Hitler represented that he was a christian to Bishops? How surprising! Here is the problem – Hitler lied. So to understand what Hitlers beliefs were we need to look at his actions and discussions with people he trusted in his inner circle.

              Now of course with actions I am not going to say well everything he did that was bad was unchristian. But we can see that in a country that was about 98% Christian he somehow had what maybe one practicing Christian in his group? What are the odds of that?

              Here are some links that give the real picture:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Nazi_Germany
              “the wide consensus of historians consider him to have been irreligious, anti-Christian, anti-clerical and scientistic.”
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

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            6. Again, Hitler not only thought himself a very, very good Christian, many church leaders agreed. I can provide pages of quotes from the man himself, but it’s third party opinions which really matter. And I can point to newspaper articles detailing his efforts to rid Germany of atheism such as this NYT’s story: “Atheist Hall Converted.”

              “In Freethinkers Hall, which before the Nazi resurgence was the national headquarters of the German Freethinkers League, the Berlin Protestant church authorities have opened a bureau for advice to the public in church matters. Its chief object is to win back former churchgoers and assist those who have not previously belonged to any religious congregation in obtaining church membership. The German Freethinkers League, which was swept away by the national revolution, was the largest of such organizations in Germany. It had about 500,000 members…”
              – The New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 2, on Hitler’s outlawing atheistic and freethinking groups in the Spring of 1933, after the Enabling Act authorizing Hitler to rule by decree

              Or the Associated Press Story: “Campaign against ‘Godless Movement'”

              “A campaign against the ‘godless movement’ and an appeal for Catholic support were launched by Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s forces.”
              – Associated Press story, February 23, 1933

              But it’s clear you’re determined to live inside a historical pantomime. You simply wave your hand and say “He wasn’t a TrueChristian™”. Fine. So were the Crusaders Christians? Is Jerry Falwell a Christian? Is the KKK Christian? Were the slave owners of the South Christian? Is the violent right wing fanatic Gary North (leader of US Christian Dominionism and self-described Tea Party Economist) a Christian? What about the lunatics, John C. Hagee, Benny Hinn, George Morrison, Pat Robertson, and Billy Graham… are they Christian? Is Putin a Christian? And Trump, the darling of evangelicals: is he a True Christian as he cages babies and children?

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            7. You keep asserting Hitler believed he was a Christian but the evidence is very strongly against that view. The wikipedia articles give huge numbers of citations to historical facts that show that not to be the case.

              You want to rely on the fact that Hitler told a church leader he was Christian and fooled the church leader. Of course he did. His actions in shutting down churches and persecuting them does not fit. His choosing people who are non christian despite non-christians being so rare in that country suggests he was not Christian. His private statements to close friends shows he was not christian. His statement to these confidants that he was simply biding his time until he can defeat these churches corroborates the view that he would claim to be christian. How many people who hitler trusted not to expose him need to tell you he rejected christianity before you will stop believing his public statements. Do you also believe Hitler wanted peace? If I tell you well Chamberlain said he wanted peace so clearly it seems he wanted peace.

              Why are his attacks on other countries clear that he did not want peace but his attacks on churches somehow are not clear that he did not what christianity? I think the answer is you are simply biased by wishful thinking that Hitler was a Christian. And no I am not saying that just because he did bad stuff he was not Christian. I mean I think that view is not so obviously a fallacy but that is not the reasoning. Its not just that he did “bad things” that are arguably not christian but that he was expressly attacking Christianity itself the institution in words and deeds.

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            8. Self-evidently you’ve never read Mein Kampf that has over 200 attestations to Hitlers Christian faith, like this: I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2)

              But yes, yes, I’m sure you’re right, because the first thing an atheist dictator would do is run out all the country’s atheists.

              Carry on, and enjoy your historical pantomime. Let me know when you want to talk about other Christian dictators apart from Hitler, like Benito Mussolini, Franco, Napoleon, Oliver Cromwell, Maximilien Robespierre, Miguel Primo de Rivera, Vlad III, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Nicholas II, Leopold II, Romuald Traugutt, Slobodan Milošević, José Mendes Cabeçadas, Lord John Russell, Simón Bolívar, Hugo Chavez, Pinochet, Agustín de Iturbide, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Porfirio Díaz, Rafael Carrera, Efrain Rios Montt, Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, Jorge Ubico, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Noriega, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco, Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Getúlio Vargas, Juan Vicente Gómez, or Théodore Sindikubwabo… to name just a few.

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            9. Oh, the list is mighty long, but oddly enough no apologist wants to ever talk about all these other Christian dictators. They seem fixated on Hitler (a Christian), and present nonsense books like Hitler’s Table Talk… without actually ever doing even a little research.

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            10. It is the same with Augustine and the sword. Forced conversion of a thousand years is handwaved and excused with superficial apologetic skimming. The conversion of Europe and Latin America is unimaginable without the sword and the addiction to torture. The only reason we are safe from it now is secular law. Enough! The safest time in known history to live and it’s because people are less religious than ever—not more.

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            11. I just looked into the admin page of the wiki page Joe attached. It’s a riot. There’s so much wrong it beggars belief. It’s so full of nonsense, and referencing known fraudulent works, it has editors scratching their heads. I’m a wiki editor, but I don’t have the time to fix everything that’s wrong. Hopefully someone will, and soon.

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            12. From your wiki article, the very first line: Hitler considered himself and the Nazi movement to be strictly Christian.

              Regardless of whether *you* think Hitler was a good Christian or not, Hitler himself thought he was a very, very, very good Christian, and so did church leaders. Indeed, he was following Luther’s thoughts on Jews.

              Now, you can see the same thing happening today in the US with Evangelical support of the least Christ-like person imaginable: Trump. Evangelicals praise him as a gift from God just as father Senn wrote that Hitler was the ”tool of God”.

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            13. And I imagine at this point … with all the backing of and all the prayer sessions with (the Evangelicals), Trump undoubtedly believes he is a Christian.

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            14. No source for that first line. The evidence is pretty overwhelming he didn’t care about Christianity at all other than how it could help or hurt him.

              Really just educate yourself. Read the whole wiki articles about the facts that have lead to the consensus historians have. They are not that long. Then read more if you want.

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            15. If anyone can lay claim to God’s help, then it is Hitler, for without God’s benevolent fatherly hand, without his blessing, the nation would not be where it stands today. It is an unbelievable miracle that God has bestowed on our people.
              -Minister Rust, in a speech to a mass meeting of German Chrisitans on June 29, 1933 [Helmreich, p. 138]

              Read the linked article.

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            16. Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich who visited Hitler at his mountain retreat in Obersalzburg confessed:

              Without a doubt the chancellor lives in faith in God. He recognizes Christianity as the foundation of Western culture…[Helmreich, p.279]

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            17. One last thing… As to Hitler’s Table Talk, perhaps you should look up the controversies surrounding this supposed “work.” It is an edited fraud… a mostly bogus work with deliberately faulty translations, inserted words, invented text, interpolations, no source material, recollections that are simply false, and full of “blatant distortions.”

              For example, this here is a straight out lie, a forgery, an interpolation. It was simply made up:

              “Science cannot lie, for it’s always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge, to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does so in good faith. It’s Christianity that’s the liar.”

              And this… simply false, an invention of the so-called ‘editor’:

              “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.”

              Virtually every supposed anti-Christian thought “attributed” to Hitler in this shoddy work is either >deliberately mistranslated or faked. For goodness sake, Trevor-Roper, the ‘editor’, was a central figure in the “Hitler Diaries” hoax. In fact, he’s been involved in hoax after hoax after hoax concerning Hitler and the Nazi’s.

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            18. Yes I am aware of Carrier’s claims and some have some merit, but overall there is good reason the consensus of historians is against his view. But even if I were to agree with some of his claims I find it unlikely that all of the anti-christian comments in table talk were complete fabrications. And table talk is not the only source we have for Hitlers vehement anti-christian views. We have so many close confidants telling us his religious views that are completely in line with the passages of table talk.

              All of these independent sources who were close to Hitler by either being early Nazis or late in his inner circle all tell the same things. Hitler hated the church but wanted to use it as much a possible and did not want to openly break ties until he could clearly win the culture war. His actions are exactly those of someone who is trying to undermine the churches influence yet still tries to claim he is christian.

              Mein Kampf of course was a public book so of course he is not going to tell Germany which at the time was likely about 100% Christian how he hates Christianity. Do you think Hitler would have moral qualms about lying about his religion? The private documents make the case for all but the most biased people. The actions are also overwhelming. Take for example Positive Christianity:
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity

              It is simply impossible to read the huge number of sources that clearly show Hitler was out to undermine Christianity and still think oh yeah I believe he was really a devote Christian. Its simply impossible that is why the overwhelming number of historians say he was no friend of chrsitianity. How much he hated christianity may be debated. And I would say he may not have been an atheist. He may have believed in some sort of higher power. But mainly he was focused on removing all obstacles to his gaining power. And once he realized Christianity would not help him he worked against it.

              I have read quite a bit about nazi Germany and there is a very clear picture of what Hitler thought of Christianity and those wikipedia articles actually do a pretty good job expressing that view. But again feel free to look up the sources they quote. Feel free to read historians on this topic.

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            19. John I read that page before it is obviously not accurate about the historical record. He also claims that positive Christianity which would replace the Bible with mien kampf and replace Jesus with hitler and replace the cross with the swastika shows hitler really was Christian. I’m mean you have to be dumber than sand or completely ignorant of Christianity to believe that. Seriously read some actual peer reviewed information. Even just look at the sources in the Wikipedia article that show walker is either lying or badly misinformed when he says the only source saying hitler was anti Christian was table talk. It wasn’t. Table talk is simply another source that fits perfectly with what we know of hitlers views based on a variety of other sources and his actions – like trying to push “positive Christianity.”

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            20. Not accurate? LOL! The original German versions of table talk DO NOT include the anti-Christian quotes you’re pointing to. Not sure how you get around that tiny little awkward fact. Not to mention Trevor-Roper is a known hoaxer, and Genoud (the source of the fraud) admitted he made all the anti-Christian stuff up.

              So, apart from a *known* fraudulent work, you can produce nothing other than Hitler privately expressing his distaste for the corrupt church organisation. Luther expressed the same sentiments. Do you consider Luther to not be a Christian?

              The fact remains: I can produce pages and pages and pages of Hitler’s own words (spoken and written) professing his belief in God, Christ, and “Positive Christianity.” I can produce pages and pages and pages of church leaders and inner circle associates attesting to Hitler’s Christian belief in God, Christ, and “Positive Christianity,” as well his direct actions to stamp out atheism. He saw himself as a reformer, like Luther, and unless you consider Luther not to be a Christian then the cake is baked.

              Move on.

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            21. So let me get this straight. We are supposed to believe the Bible accounts written by people that weren’t there, writing things Jesus never actually said. But, with hitler he are not supposed to believe the people who were there, closely knew him, praised his Christianity, but believe the commentators who are Hitler distancers?
              This merry go round has gone on long enough. Regardless of hitlers true identity as a Christian, Christians who are supposed to be blessed with this—discernment, rally behind any atrocity with Jesus name plastered on it.
              This is the duplicity of belief John. I know this ain’t your first rodeo, but one thing is clear. The ability to be a Catholic right now, at this very moment in time, is proof enough of the toxicity of religious faith and will overlook its own cancer time and again to spread it as far and wide as they can through faith.

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            22. It’s an ontological staple. Selling is always a deliberate bypass of the uncomfortable. Notice how much attention was given to the rest of the list? Nobody I know of wrote extensively about their belief unless they believed it. Hitler was a believer and those that knew him knew it.

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            23. Must admit, it is kinda’ funny to watch evangelicals refuse to believe that not only was Hitler a Christian but that other Christians thought him a very good Christian, when they themselves are a living, real-time example of this very thing in regards to their ADORATION of Trump.

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            24. Funny from outside the fish bowl maybe. Even real Christians support him. —Make a note of that for when the distancing comes—

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            25. Racism cruelity etc did not just vanish.” No, it intensified. That is the path of faith. And the shame of it all is y’all pray for it to happen again. Stuck in the past, prying the future ends. I know that is mostly evangelicals, but Catholicism had it turn, now they have priests being absolved by popes for crimes against children. There is absolutely no way in hell, if there was a god he would call your church his.

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            26. Jim
              If the confession is not sincere the sin is not forgiven. You may think God could not be so merciful and I am not saying your view is completely without merit. Passages like the talk about the person working for an hour and getting the same wage as those working all day are passages that Christians grapple with. But a passage like that forces us to think about justice on many levels just for example, not everything is a zero sum game, that we owe everything to God who created us freely and the role of envy in our thoughts.

              You say Christianity intensifies racism but that is just an assertion. Sure you can find christians who are racist but that Christianity intensifies racism generally is cuts against history. Even Hitler ended up rejecting and fighting Christianity to support his racist views. As far as I know no one even knows what race Jesus was. I mean if we don’t even know the race of the founder it is hard to say it is a religion that promotes racism.

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  2. To answer implied questions … all anyone need ever do is either look for and point out the Contradictions.

    No religioso has yet been able to rationalise the contradictions inherent in Christianity (as for other religions I ain’t that much of a scholar and really can’t be bothered—why bother, say, in trying to prove to a child that despite the movie Peter Rabbit doesn’t really exist, and talking hedgehogs likewise?

    (But I’m still madly in love with Cottontail — she’s a real kick-ass bunny girl! Boom boom!)

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  3. I didn’t read much either, except for perhaps the God Delusion. I did start watching lots of videos that were anti-religion and read a few atheist blogs, but much of what I read confirmed what I was already starting to believe about Christianity.

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        1. I was flashing my wares as an apologist on WP and felt a tinge of challenge about my biases. Was I really biased? Just happened my wife and kids had left me alone at the jungle cabin three weeks while they were in Panama 🇵🇦 City. Somehow I had some clarity and realized every single ounce of it was propped up and contradictory at every level. It was a true light bulb moment. I felt free and competent like I had never known before. My wife got back and we talked. She had been doing her own searching and we basically ended the charade that day. We had a family bon Fire and burned all our religious shit. Kids were thrilled. It was magical.

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          1. Did you used to write an apologist blog? Lol wow the times have changed. I used to have my own ‘Christian website’ when I was like 16, but I’ll be damned if I can find it now or if it even still exists.
            That sounds like a pretty neat experience though, and it’s good your family was onboard with you. It was anger which sparked my curiosity. I was tired of the petty legalism and bigotry on display at my church, and from some of my Christian friends. One thing led to another, and here we are. I’m not so angry now though, but it doesn’t matter. Once you leave the cave and discover the light, there is no turning back.

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            1. I wasn’t running an atheist blog though. It was just about my life in the Panama jungle. I would comment on atheist blogs. There were several people involved but Violet, John Zande, Ark, Mary, and a few others have become the best of friends, but we’re the ones that gave me the jolt I needed to think for myself. Imagine that, me in the other side of these guys. Lol. I tuned it all out and went through my process of analyzing everything in my own, with no one breathing down my neck. My goal really was to prove my faith could withstand anything in the world.
              None of it could without the blinders on.
              After I returned to the states a couple years ago I started this and they were all here. Really great group to be a part of. It’s amazing how acute my vision became to contradictions I couldn’t admit before. Now as you know, every thing points to a contradiction to what religions tell us. Plain as day.

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          2. There’s that word again …
            … contradictions. How often do we have to face the fact that there’s no such thing as a contradiction? There’s only ever flawed premises …

            If I have to spell it out with an example, try … God is infinitely loving, compassionate, merciful and all-powerful as well as all-knowing.

            So where does the strappado of the Holy Roman Church fit in? And/or The holy Stake? Try this one on your Christian apologist friends next time; they either immediately spout crap-pap or squirm like billyo until they can escape.
            Teach your kids how to spot apparent contradictions. Demonstrate to them how there can be no contradictions, only false premises. (Then get the hell out of their way …)

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  4. I agree…Rawgod.
    Inside I was never a believer…not one bit and I think all people are born as non believers, but then life happens..

    I was fortunate in that life never tried to alter what I knew inside to be true and I always had a curious questioning nature.

    Of the people that have deconverted here, I bet is because of two reasons, basically.

    One…Built in intelligence that ultimately couldn’t resist questioning and critical thinking and observation.

    And two…the need to fit in, follow the herd, be complacent and no interest in learning about life was low in priority as time went by.

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  5. Ah, Jim, a great post, and please go on NOT READING ATHEIST TEXTS and I will go on reading your posts. When I switched over from belief to questioning to non-belief all I had to go on were the words themselves, theism, agnosticism, and atheism. I heard them thrown around in school, but I never even looked up how they were defined. I defined them for myself as I came to those positions in my thinking.
    I will admit I have read a few texts, after I was already an atheist. The Blind Watchmaker for one. Something by Nietzsche, but that was a must-read in university. And something by someone else, but all those books did was to convince me I was best off on my own. And I still believe that today, trustworthy atheists are those who do not need an atheist bible to help them not believe. IF YOU NEED AN ATHEIST BIBLE TO TEACH YOU HOW TO NOT BELIEVE, ALL YOU ARE DOING IS SWITCHING GODS. YOU ARE STILL BELIEVING IN SOMEONE NOT YOU!

    Now, of course, that is only my opinion, but it is one I will stand by to my death. Belief comes from outside. Non-belief comes from inside. And as you say, it comes naturally, as spring follows winter.

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  6. Consider what would happen if you were to be “dropped’ into the world completely alone and without instruction as to the state of the world. What would you be inclined to believe? What conclusions would you draw about the world and the phenomena you’d experience? Would you be inclined to try and explain these on your own, or would you manufacture your own deity? How did we invent god in our own image?

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    1. Good questions. The herd is a powerful thing to us humans. You’d be heavily swayed by the first person you meet. And those eager to meet you at the dock want something. Even today.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Rap—

      haven’t you been listening? We didn’t invent God — He invented US~!

      That is, after He’d first invented Himself (all three of Him) (don’t ask me … I can’t figure it either); and a universe for Himself and all His subsequent other inventions (scorpions, cockroaches, snakes, poisonous plants, wars, priests etc etc.)

      God is good. He was/is the original Prime Mover, the very first First Cause (but why He invented the Devil I’m damned if I’ll ever know …)

      To answer your wee question (sheesh~!) of course I’d manufacture my own deity. Wouldn’t you? After all, the precedents are set all over the globe (everyone has their very own unique “One True God” (and all others are false …)

      Like

      1. Exactly! Until, of course, you learned otherwise. We’ve spent the last 4-500 years learning otherwise but the theists just won’t let go!

        Like

  7. Having swam against the current my whole life I never experienced the process of de-conversion and I applaud the strength of character it takes to shift paradigms leavening your family and community questioning your sanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In the end for most I think, it is too disruptive, too much cost to walk away. The real test, if life were some sort of test, would be to see if you have the integrity to walk away from an overwhelming majority that fears you now for simply not believing a story that everyone else believes with eternal importance.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was the theater quality of the institution that caused my adolescent mind to think more about the claims being asked of me to accept. Special language, special buildings, special clothes and the kicker for my 10 year old self was the my way or to hell with you that made alert to being over sold.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I have written (but still ‘working on’) my memoir about this topic. It is confusing due to all the back and forth in my life. This is the opening quote from that book: “What could be more foolish than to base one’s entire view of life on ideas that, however plausible at the time, now appear to be quite erroneous? And what would be more important than to find our true place in the universe by removing one by one these unfortunate vestiges of earlier beliefs?”
    —-Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, 1988

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The whole premise of the Bible is a fantasy story…the gods, sacrifice, authoritarianism, demands or worship and the horrendous punishments if not followed, sanctified killings of the “other”, animal sacrifice etc…..all so medieval , so outlandish, so absurd.

    I don’t need to read Greek mythology, Stars Wars and Zombie tales to know they are not real. A decent brain capable of critical thinking and logic with a sprinkling of science is all one needs.

    And a little side note…I just started reading “A Darkening Age” The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey.
    It is fabulous! She sets the stage in ancient history and you get much insight to how it all began and the destruction by Christians to the Pagan world is unbelievable and what was lost in art and literature because of them, is immeasurable in loss. I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What better way to write your desired history than to destroy the authentic? It’s a tried and true practice. Even if you look at American history, the indigenous people have a 500 year period where nothing happened at all, while us whites just had it going in grand righteousness. Thanks for the recommendation. You have a keen eye for good.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am continually impressed that you came to your atheism organically. I had to read… or rather listen to the books to be convinced. I mean, sure there was a seed of doubt there before, but it needed a considerable push in the right direction.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was then commenting on a blog as a believer. What Violet (ain’t no shrinking) said something at that time made me stop and think about the exercise. Without all the dissuasion, persuasion, who am I really. What do I believe if there was no churches or preaching telling me what to do and think. I put away everything, cleared the slate the best I could and started to observe it by bit vs what we are told. Virtually every point misses.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Re “Any belief, no matter how silly, is more respected than unbelief. This is enough to know the game is rigged.” I would make one small amendment “Any religious belief, no matter how silly, is more respected than unbelief. This is enough to know the game is rigged.”

    Brilliant comment. I am adding it to my list of favorite sayings.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. The Bible serves the purpose well enough. It was reading that, after all, that caused me to quit believing. The problem is that many people don’t read it well enough, maybe. Anyway, I quit believing while trying very hard to keep believing all on my own.

    Liked by 4 people

            1. Nice to see you John. I remember thinking man, everyone can’t be wrong, can they? Maybe I missed something. Nah. I didn’t, and yes, the majority is often wrong.

              Liked by 2 people

    1. The first time I read the Bible from cover to cover, I was only a new believing teenager and didn’t question it much. There was a period of time where I still believed but didn’t attend church. When I went back to church, I started to try and read the Bible again, and that was when things fell apart. So I guess you’re right. There are also many people who don’t trust the Bible deep down, but they use mental gymnastics to try and squash those doubts, because they’re not allowed.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I was told be people I trust it was true. I never really thought to question it ( or them). If someone tells you an action movie or novel is based on a true story… it becomes even more incredible.
          Have you ever heard of the Anchoring Bias? It’s a weakness most humans have to latch on to the first piece of information they are given. It’s also a key reason children will still love and stay with horribly abusive parents.
          I was presented this at a very young age. My first memories are of church and Jesus.
          You know some old story where the immigrant meets that first person at the dock in the new land—in a moment of need? Anything can happen after that initial loyalty.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. “What you say virtuously is vastly more important than what you do. Professing faith is the golden ticket to public acceptance while living life by your own rules anyway.”

    Those two sentences pretty much sum it up completely, don’t they? How many so-called ministers of god are living lives of luxury by squeezing the last pennies out of the sick, the elderly, the poor? Paul Ryan wearing his catholicism on his sleeve like a badge of honor while pushing budgets that were universally condemned by the church because they would have thrown the poor, the elder, the sick and disabled out onto the streets by wrecking the few safety nets they have left (now a member of the board of directors of the parent company of Fox News I see – sigh…) I could go on and on with this but it’s too early in the morning to get myself worked up and I haven’t taken my blood pressure meds yet.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This has been one of my beefs for a while. The apologists want to separate Christians from Christendom. I don’t give that luxury. This is one of the outcomes I mentioned. Essentially our government has been run (nearly forever) by Christians. A near monopoly and this is what they do with it. They want us to believe it’s separate. It’s not!!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. The only book I read that could be even vaguely considered atheist-inclined was The Selfish Gene, and I didn’t read it for that reason. In fact, I didn’t even know it was it was an atheistic book at all. It was about biology, and I liked biology. A-theism is the default position. It has to be written over, forced into memory, and then maintained by a myriad of tricks, social pressures, and a boatload of bullshit. People like Mel are experts at the bullshit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have the selfish gene. Ubi recommended it. I don’t think it started as an atheist book, but became such. Allele allele, what have you done? You know, altering the smallest of traits can have ridiculous untoward affect. Mans ability to finally walk upright turned his neurology into gullibility. Maybe standing upright we just see more than we can actually process? Even then we only log what we’ve been conditioned to notice. Tsk tsk.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As Adams wrote:

        And so the problem remained, and lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake coming down from the trees in the first place, and some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no-one should ever have left the oceans.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. People like Mel and thousands like him are missing so very much in the fascinating and incredible world of nature and science (although they don’t see it). It is such a larger and more incredible world out there than they will ever have the privilege of knowing….all due to their own self imposed ridged willful refusal to see things as they really are…through science and observation and common sense, rather than through blind belief, a need to feel superior to reality and the sheer inability to think and question.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It always amazed me (and disturbed me, too) when he would go off on something like, say, “weak panetheism” (a completely invented notion) and speak of it as if it were actually real.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Mother Teresa built a fortune around telling people suffering, especially if you are poor, is good. Religion is only second to war in making heroes and heroines out of common folk

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Here’s one of the miracles. “In 2002 the Vatican recognised as a miracle the healing of a tumour in the abdomen of Monica Besra, an Indian woman, after the application of a locket containing Teresa’s picture. According to Besra, a beam of light emanated from the picture and her cancerous tumour was cured; however, her husband and some of her medical staff said that conventional medical treatment eradicated the tumour”. I’m pretty sure the board on miracles was nudged into accepting this one.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Her image is very godlike. Everyone props her up like some posterchild for humanity while she was pathological and did nothing. True type and shadow of the god they love.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. Ah, yes, the Fatima thing at Lourdes – yeah, they’re making a fortune off that, and not just the church but the secular businesses raking in millions off of the disabled and ill in the hopes of some kind of miraculous cure. When I was a kid the nuns used to trot the ‘miracles’ of Lourdes out as proof of god’s mercy — sigh… The church claims about 70 “genuine” miracles have occurred at Lourdes but the biggest problem with that is those were all examined by the church’s own doctors, people who were true believers in the first place. I you look at the actual cases, at the real data (which is surprisingly or unsurprisingly hard to get your hands on) what you have are cancers that probably weren’t cancer in the first place, psychological problems, skin rashes… No one has ever had an arm or a leg grown back or something that was glaringly obviously a true miracle.

              And when it comes down to it, 70 so-called miracles out of all of the tens of millions of people who have gone to Lourdes, well, that’s not exactly all that good, now is it? The chances of someone simply healing on their own without doing anything, of cancer going into remission by itself, for example, are better odds than going to Lourdes.

              Liked by 1 person

          1. It reminds me of Nostradamus; he wrote a thousand quatrains but his followers constantly cite the same dozen or so to support the claim of clairvoyance! And even those are dubious if you really look into them. The remainder are simply gibberish, but they can’t “hear” that; it has to be that those visions haven’t come to pass as yet. Yeah. Right.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. At one point I read a lot of Nostradamus and could find anything clear. It’s a crapshoot and highly interpretive of the glass your looking through. And in the future mankind will be blemished with a sore curse” Those always come true every now and then. That predict is true any day of the year somewhere. I’m pretty prophetic, yes? Yes?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. If you’re going to make predictions about something bad happening in this world, you’ve got a 100% chance of being correct – eventually.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. The ones that blow it are those that give dates. Mormons, JW, And others have failed at this. Now with enough people guessing and the internet, someone somewhere is bound to be right every day. The fact is this is the safest time ever to be alive for a long duration. And it’s less religious than ever. Weird.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. I think that is the reason for the obstensable “success” of the Bible, particularly the Hebrew Bible (OT.) It doesn’t provide dates but it provides enough information about an anticipated event that, when it does finally occur, it seems like legitimate prophecy. As we come to find out, most of the Hebrew Bible was written after the fact, so it’s very easy to “predict” when the subject of your prophecy is the past….Hmmmmmm. Read “Who Wrote THe Bible” by Richard Elliot Friedman, awesome book about the Documentation Hypothesis or the writing of the Bible. Really answers a lot of questions.

              Liked by 2 people

            5. Exactly. As the Church once claimed when confronted with Mithraism’s similarities to Christianity, Satan went back in time and created Mithras (approx 5-6 centuries before Jesus’s birth) just to be able to claim that, if you believe in Mithras, you are falling to the temptation of the Dark Angel.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. That’s the truth..but it doesn’t feel like it. I think it must be a sense of foreboding that it all could change in a heartbeat.

              War, terrorism, climate change, the trump supporting mobs as far as safety.

              And evangelicalism and the end timers here in the US are poised for just the right moment….the old warriors for god bs.

              Liked by 1 person

      1. The catholic apologists are working overtime trying to keep her image untarnished. You can be sure that in the future what she *actually* said and did will be thoroughly buried and/or whitewashed and all that will be left will be the myth the church wants to turn her into

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh I’m sure you can count on it. Look at “god”. He’s defended this way and so they will MT. There’s money in it even though her charities only served the church.

          Liked by 1 person

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