Beyond The Wand

Showing posts tagged atheism
…It’s nice to see an Arthur C. Clarke quote that isn’t about science and magic.

…It’s nice to see an Arthur C. Clarke quote that isn’t about science and magic.

(Photo reblogged from academicatheism)
Just 500 years ago Atheists were setting fire to churches, and killing priests, claiming allegiance to various hethan lords pagans or witches.
Your daily dose of WTF courtesy FSTDT.
It is better for the genes of Darwin’s ichneumon wasp that the caterpillar should be alive, and therefore fresh, when it is eaten, no matter what the cost in suffering. Genes don’t care about suffering because they don’t care about anything. If Nature were kind, she would at least make the minor concession of anesthetizing caterpillars before they are eaten alive from within. But Nature is neither kind nor unkind. She is neither against suffering nor for it…. The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive; others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear; others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites; thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease…. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

Richard Dawkins

(via fauxerious)

(Quote reblogged from academicatheism)

deconversionmovement:

The God Who Wasn’t There

A must watch!

Sorry, but I’ll recommend that anyone interested in an honest examination of the origins of Christianity pass on this one.

About 20 minutes into the documentary, it brings up the hoary old claim that Jesus was preceded by a glut of virtually-identical savior gods.  It ain’t so.  Jesus has much in common with many gods and savior-archetypes that came before and probably after him (suggesting that he was the product of a larger paradigm), but he wasn’t a perfect play-by-play copy of anyone.

Just as an example of how wrong this documentary is, it lists Baldur as one of the dying-and-rising gods that fit this perfect little mold.  First, it’s questionable whether the story of Baldur’s death and resurrection as we know it even existed before Scandinavia was Christianized.  Secondly, Baldur doesn’t resurrect as such until after the death and rebirth of the world.  Thirdly, he has NOTHING ELSE IN COMMON.  He was NOT born of a virgin, let alone on December 25th.  He did NOT have twelve followers.  He was NOT visited by magi.  A star did NOT herald his birth.  He did NOT turn water into wine, or ANYTHING ELSE on the list.

This whole piece is shoddy reactionary propaganda with little to no regard for intellectual honesty.  There IS evidence that Christianity was very much a product of its time and place (a combination of Jewish apocalypticism and messianism with Hellenic mysticism and possibly Buddhist asceticism), but this film doesn’t contain it.

If anyone is interested in an honest approach, I highly recommend Pagan Origins of the Christ MythTruthSurge also has some excellent videos, and presents a rather good case that Mark’s gospel was inspired by the Odyssey in Excavating The Empty Tomb, parts 5-9.

This documentary comes off more as a wankfest for non-Christians than a genuine attempt to convince anyone of anything.  It contains no arguments that would be even remotely convincing to most Christians - it does not, for example, address the belief that the Old Testament does not apply to Christians (hence absolving them from stoning their children).  It largely relies on appeals to consequences, most of which your average Christian won’t care about because they think they don’t apply to them.

(Video reblogged from academicatheism)

Do atheists have anything to learn from religion? (USA Today)

pagannews:

Stripped of its supernatural elements, does religion have anything to offer atheists? What can nonbelievers borrow from the organizations, practices and rituals of believers — without borrowing a belief in God?

According to Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton, a lot.

In his new book, Religion For Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion he outlines an array of things he contends religions get right and that atheists can adopt to create a better, richer secular society.

“The starting point of all religions is that humans are weak and vulnerable and needing direction,” de Botton said shortly after arriving in the U.S. from his home in England to promote the book.

Read more at USA Today

I think he makes many valid points.  That said, I can fully understand and appreciate why many atheists are very wary about this book, and I really hope religious people don’t use this an an excuse to point to atheists and say “See?  They REALLY want (my) religion deep down after all!”

I mean, I can totally see any number of believers finding this book and essentially saying: “Religion For Atheists?  If they want religion, why don’t they just convert to my One True Faith already instead of beating around the bush?”

(Post reblogged from pagannews-deactivated20130221)

Spiritual. Atheist. (Daily Maverick)

pagannews:

Just because atheists don’t pray, don’t worship a deity, and don’t participate in religious rituals, doesn’t mean they’re not spiritual. Au contraire. By MANDY DE WAAL.

There’s this commonly held misconception that atheists aren’t spiritual. That if you don’t have faith, if you’re unconvinced of the existence of that deity the religious call “God”, or aren’t praying at some kind of altar, you’re devoid of spirituality.

Theists commonly think the word “spirituality” is synonymous with searching for meaning in life using faith as a vehicle. For others spirituality infers some kind of communion with an intelligent creator of the universe.

It’s curious for theists that people who reject the notion of a God can have a deep and intense spirituality. But they do.

Of course I cannot speak for all atheists. I can only speak about my own journey of abandoning God to come home to reason, logic, knowledge and truth, and from what I have learnt from the works of other atheists during my own journey.

Read more at Daily Maverick

(Post reblogged from pagannews-deactivated20130221)

Question of the day: How do atheists treat you as a Pagan, and how do you treat them?

I’ve been given flak (sometimes understandable, sometimes not) by some, but others haven’t really been confrontational.  Also, I try to remain civil and polite to atheists because they’re even lower on the religion privilege ladder than pagans (seriously, they’re on the very bottom rung), and we both want freedom from Christian kyriarchy.

(Post reblogged from pagannews-deactivated20130221)
christinsanity:

Damn it! We loose again!

EARTH DOESN’T FALL INTO GINNUNGAGAP!
CAN’T EXPLAIN THAT!

christinsanity:

Damn it! We loose again!

EARTH DOESN’T FALL INTO GINNUNGAGAP!

CAN’T EXPLAIN THAT!

(Photo reblogged from christinsanity)
(Link reblogged from cosmicwitchery)