Well I just had one of the worst experiences of my life: I was just verbally attacked by an atheist for being agnostic. Apparently being agnostic is an impossibility. What a jackass. Did it every occur to you that just because your mind can’t conceive of something, doesn’t mean it’s impossible? Just because living life as a question with no answer isn’t something you have the capacity to do, doesn’t mean no one else does. Sorry, this has been a text post rant. We will now continue with our regular scheduled programming.
Hey, not trying to attack you here and I’m sorry you had a bad incident with an atheist earlier, but that person was actually right and here’s why: You’re operating off an inaccurate definition of atheism. The reason this matters to me, as an atheist, isn’t because I want you to identify yourself as an atheist, but because I don’t want you identifying me as something I’m not.
See, this “living life as a question with no answer” is identical to atheism. People who claim to “be agnostic” usually say they don’t have a belief in god, but they don’t completely write off the possibility and that that’s the distinction between atheists and themselves. That distinction, however, doesn’t exist. Atheists also don’t have a belief in god, but don’t necessarily write off the possibility. Think of it like bigfoot: If you don’t believe there’s a bigfoot, like if you’re not convinced it’s true that bigfoot exists, you’re an atheist…about bigfoot…even if you don’t assert that no bigfoots exist, even if you’re only not convinced any bigfoots do exist. That’s an atheist.
Theism and atheism are words that describe belief, not knowledge. So I can not know there is or isn’t a god and still be an atheist or a theist. (A)Gnosticism can only describe the claimed knowledge that informs one’s theism or atheism.
This chart helps explain it. Hope I didn’t come off as a jackass.
Honestly, I think even the definitions in this chart put it in harsher terms than it calls for, because gnostic theism or atheism doesn’t really need to be 100% sure, it just requires the gnostic to believe she or he has convincing evidence.
(Stills from video footage of reporter Susannah Cahalan in the hospital.)
When you think about the symptoms — in my case alone, this grandiosity, this violence. In a lot of children, you see hypersexuality. Even my grunts and these guttural sounds that came from me sounded superhuman to someone who might be inclined to think that way. … When you see videos of people — in fact, when I see videos of myself — demonic possession is not far from your mind. It wasn’t far from Stephen’s mind when he first saw that seizure. And I’ve talked to many people who’ve had this disease, and one woman I spoke to actually asked for a priest because she said, ‘The devil is inside of me. I need it out.’ A little girl was grunting — they had a monitor in her room — and she was grunting so unnaturally that her parents looked at each other and said, ‘Is she, is she possessed?’ They actually said that about a little girl. You can see throughout history why people would believe this.
Medical science once again solves what paranoid, superstitious religion (namely Christianity, specifically Catholicism) could only every make up stories about.
September 18, 2012 – Chicago, Illinois – The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), Illinois’ leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, has learned that Alderman Moreno has finalized his negotiations with Chick-Fil-A. Alderman Moreno has confirmed that Chick-fil-A will no longer give money to anti-gay organizations and that they have clarified in an internal document that the company will treat every person equally, regardless of sexual orientation. The Civil Rights Agenda worked closely with the Alderman in an advisory role as he negotiated these concessions with the executives at Chick-fil-A. Additionally, members of TCRA spoke directly with executives at Chick-fil-A during negotiations to aid in educating their decision makers about anti-discrimination policies and issues affecting the LGBT community.
In a letter addressed to Alderman Moreno and signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” Winshape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-a, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT groups, including some classified as hate groups. In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations.
“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda. “I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights. It has taken months of discussion, both with our organization and with the Alderman, for Chick-fil-A to come forward with these concessions and we feel this is a strong step forward for Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community, although it is only a step.”
Q. Help My Parents Are Religious Nuts!: Please help me … my parents are super-conservative religious. They converted when I was 10. I’m 15 now. I never really felt the same, but I pretend to go along, or else I’d be in a lot of trouble. Their new religion is really conservative about anything to do with sex. Well, I totally messed up. I’m a guy, and well, my mom walked into my room one night when I was masturbating. OK, I wanted to die, but she screamed and went and got my father. They were really mad, lectured me about how wrong it is, and just won’t let it go. They told they pastor, and he has recommended that they send me to the country for a while. His brother has a farm, and I’d be expected to do a lot of manual labor in addition to going to school. I don’t want to leave my friends, and I don’t want to work on a farm, just for doing something that the health books I peeked a look at (at a friend’s house) says is normal behavior. How do I get out of this!
A: You’ve let it go, and now they won’t. You should not have to be sent away because you’re engaging in behavior that is totally normal. It is so normal that parents should be more concerned if their teenage son doesn’t start handling such urges himself. I hope you have some relatives who have not converted to this punitive religion who might be able to intervene on your behalf. If not, I think you should go to your guidance counselor at school and explain that you are in danger of being kicked out of your home and you want to be able to continue at the school. It could be that you might be able to live with a generous friend’s family until your parents develop more compassion for their own child.
This is what religious belief does to families. There’s an inverse relationship between devout religious conviction and shitty parenting. The stronger your belief in gods and churches, the worse a mother or father you’re going to be.
Mitt Romney put God at center stage of his stump speech during a campaign stop in Virginia Beach Saturday. Alongside televangelist Pat Robertson, Romney made it clear, in case you were wondering, that he has no intention of taking the word “God” out of his party’s platform or off the country’s currency, reports Politico. It was a not-so-thinly-veiled attack against Obama and the Democrats, who took heat from conservatives for not mentioning God in their platform. They later reinserted it.
After leading a reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in the middle of his remarks, Romney began talking about God. “That pledge says ‘under God.’ I will not take God out of our platform. I will not take God off our coins. And I will not take God out of my heart,” Romney said to roaring applause from the audience. Romney also pledged to “rebuild America’s military might” to an audience that was heavy on military families, reports CNN.