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Sweet Nectar of life

I realise this is about to be a sweeping generalisation but let's say, for the hell of it, that the religious assume only two states; you're either 'one of the saved' or 'one of the damned', you're a 'lost soul' or a 'found soul'. It's as if they only see these two choices, that YOUR life is only capable of one of these two limiting positions; all very glass half-full or half-empty style, whilst all the time failing to notice what any atheist is freed to see.
Instead of exploring and appreciating the nectar, revelling and delighting in its gentle, brief pleasure, the religiously inclined, prohibited by authoritarian despot from noticing the vessel in which it rests, merely judge the nectar's value from a 'safe distance', through an ancient telescope too dimmed by time to reveal the magnificence of the beautifully hand-crafted Venetian lead-crystal goblet from which the luscious nectar's fortuitous full measure, whatever that may be, may be sipped, savoured or gulped but always only ever consumed.

Half-empty or half-full, whichever one perceives true, is irrelevant:
WE are the glass and the nectar,
WE are the sentient stardust,
WE are the new stars,

Which is a really just a long winded way of saying.
I'm thrilled that in the entirety of eternity I know I am here, the one and only, sole owner of this glass and sole imbiber of its full, if finite, measure of nectar.

And in my book
That fucking Rocks

Wishing a fine and dandy, great and happy new year to all my readers
and anyone else.

All the very best...

I sincerely hope your goblet is of the finest glass
and the nectar within is as sweet as you could ever wish it to be.

And as a final thought,
Awww bugger it, it's New Year's Eve and there's a very fine 10 year old malt whisky with my name on it; write your own last line! :P

Have a cracker! :)

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Pod Delusion On Christopher Hitchens

On the 15th December 2011 Christopher Hitchens died.

The Pod Delusion, always a fine show, has done him proud.
In this Hitchmas special the team provides reports on Hitchens life and works with occasional snowy sprinklings of examples of the faithful's reaction to the #GodIsNotGreat hashtag that trended on Twitter in the 24hrs after Hitch's untimely death.

If you can't see a player above you can listen here http://ipad.io/nY3
I wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of Luke T Adams 
mentioned by Dave Cross at the in the last few minutes of the show.

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Secular Oaths For All

In a letter to The Herald, a lawyer, advocate Sean Templeton, has suggested the religious oath on which witnesses swear in court should be the abolished and replaced with a secular oath which would be suitable for everyone.
From the article I read, it seems Mr Templeton's suggestion is from the point of view of equality and based on prejudice he's personally witnessed, detailing that the affirmation makes a witness stand out and could make a juror biased, and that allowing witnesses to swear on different religious texts creates more "problems of prejudice" than it solves.

It's nice when the judiciary starts to catch up but we have a way to go yet, I think. As Trial by Jury On Trial explores, it's the fact that religion creates and encourages these supremacist prejudices that's the real problem.

Also, whilst I welcome the step towards a secular format, nestled inside Mr Tempelton's suggestion is the potential for a disquieting societal consequence; doesn't this sound a lot like "Don't ask, Don't tell"?...
"A single oath removes any distinction between witnesses. It introduces a level playing field that takes away the need for a person to reveal their religious beliefs before they even give evidence."
And, to command "No bigotry to be shown in the court" is that not implying "The state chooses to force all bigots to conceal their bigotry"?

Should they wear white pointed hood masks, perhaps?

While I can see the message could be easily depicted to even the dimmest juror, via a picture of the three wise monkeys, would it not make for a more honest society if each judge were to start excluding jurors who show prejudice?

As a final micro-ponder...

Anybody know of any actual wisdom delivered to us by the 3 wise monkeys? 
Seems to me, if you live by their metaphor you get atrocities!

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Santa Gets Busy

Santa Gets Busy!

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QI - Christmas, Christianity and Mithras

QI - Christmas, Christianity and Mithras

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Bertrand Russell To Our Descendants

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Alvin and the Chipmunks-Merry F@#king Christmas

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The Nativity Story - A funny Christmas video

The Nativity Story - A funny Christmas video

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Funny Christmas Song (British Christmas)

Funny Christmas Song (British Christmas)

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Peace and Good Will To ALL

It's a world where the great majority are supposed to believe in a god of peace!
Yet here we are again at the great big festival of Christian cheer (or so they'd have us believe), the season when Christians (above all others) with nose somewhat lofted, wield the Christian message Peace and Good Will to ALL like a moral machete.
But in this world which, for most of its history, has been run and organised by the 'peaceful' religious, what do we see?
More death and pain than ever!
People are starving in their thousands and Christians sit about on THEIR day of peace and good will to ALL, bitching about why they didn't get a better present and consuming more food and drink than the poorest of humanity will see in their food deprived short lifetimes!

Nice one Christians.
Happy fuckin Hypocrisy-mas.

Why don't they all just donate to Unicef instead?
Click here to donate
Please give what you can, it's a hard life with no help.

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Eric Idle - F**K Christmas

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Tim Minchin Woody Allen Jesus

Please #FreeWoodyAllenJesus from your thought prison Mr Fincham.
"This song was meant to air on the Jonathan Ross Show tomorrow night (23rd December 2011), but at the last minute ITV cut it. Here's my whiney blog about it " ~ Tim Minchin.
From his post I'm not on the Jonathon Ross Show. (Well worth a read.)

Why the censorship Mr Fincham?
Is it not also midwinter for those of us who know differently?
Do we not need a cheer in the midst of the dark?
Are we not humans and UK citizens living through the worst financial crisis for decades?
Why are we not worthy of some hope, a smile?
Why would anyone choose to discriminate against us in such tough times?

The decision to pull the song is a clear sign that there currently exists here, in what is hailed as a fair and free secular democracy, the sort of repression one would expect in a totalitarian, fascist system or theocracy!The song was pulled because Fincham sensed that a powerful someone, or the bedazzled throng of a subset of the population or advertisers, would be offended.

If one is fearful of the bullying of a large and powerful group or individual for simply expressing an opinion, may one not infer one is being subjugated, repressed and operating under the bullying group's oppression?

Is a gesture of appeasement EVER offered to a 'lesser' power?

How is this not a free speech issue?

Court of Human Rights anyone?

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Marriage Rites And Wrongs

Whilst I was writing Purgatory in Paradise, a further niggle raised its head.

The Christian Marriage ceremony.

In the Christian(1) wedding ritual, "till death us do part" is included as a clause.
This is there, it seems to me, as a signal for the legal dissolution of the "contract to partner" which, although it only implies so, I'm sure most would say literally means...
"upon the death of one member of the partnership, the other is free to join with another as spouse."
So, why does the line "till death us do part" appear in the Christian(1) wedding ceremony?

If the soul is supposed to be the personality that inhabits the biological body is it not the soul who marries?
Also, as the 'soul' is the means by which humans escape death, if it's the soul that marries, death is not an obstacle to the continuance of the relationship of the two souls.
I mean, if the 'soul' delivers to a pair of lovers the opportunity to rock each others post mortem world, doesn’t that make the "till death us do part" clause redundant?

And a further problem occurs when one examines the line "with my body I thee worship".
As the religious would have us think, the body is merely the clay which the soul 'inhabits' for its miniscule time on earth before trotting off to the fabulously appointed accommodation of the happy hunting grounds for the remainder of eternity, so, doesn't that suggest one could encapsulate the Christian marriage as...
The coupling of two human shaped husks, so that the parasites within can briefly experience, shall we say, our most animalistic tendency?

Now, as you may be aware, I've been married and in love with the same woman for over a quarter of a century. And, in the enchanted & magical language that is humanity's current folly, one could say we, my wife and I, are spiritually entwined to be together 'forever'. However, in eternity's terms, even a whole human life partnership of love and caring looks like no more than a boozy shag in a nightclub toilet. And while, fair enough, it's been a bit like that sometimes (Phwoar :P) doesn't the notion of eternal consciousness diminish the human experience of love to a mere footnote?

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(1) I'm not au fait other death-cult marriage rites but maybe also they.

More on marriage

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Bursting With Christian Tolerance

This video is harrowing but justified.
Count the non-religious in this slide-show.
Solid sturdy faithful Christians?
Dogma encourages the naturally bigoted to feel superior and self righteous.
I hear just as much bigotry and hatred towards lesbian and gay humans today
as was directed by the devout at the African-Americans depicted here.
And Nina Simone's poignant song tells the tale.

Nina Simone singing "Strange Fruit." - http://www.youtube.com/v/JLTtiJY6I1M

Why is religion still thought of as beneficent?
All hail the afterlife carrot addiction?

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A Solstice Prayer

It seems to me that the human race has been tragically misdirected by religion.
Our true, proud heritage has been ignorantly buried under myth and fantasy.

I wrote The Solstice Prayer so that those of us, who know God is not the 'truth' about whence we came, would have an alternative rhyme to read for the ancient, traditional, midwinter solstice celebrations (21st Dec) which have been so rudely trampled by Christianity and re-branded as Christmas.

Anyway, to one and all
A very merry years end
and may causality conspire to make for you
a Warm and Wealthy New year ahead

Hope you like.
Crispy :)

The Solstice Prayer

I Speak of a man; a very wise man,
My old, my kin, my ancestor, my clan.
A man who was here so long before me
Uneducated, undisciplined, unkempt he.

I speak of a man of ancient time,
Pre- Logic and Science, Reason or Rhyme.
On a fearful world he steps in Rhythm,
Created by chance but the planet's best symptom

With rotating Earth, revealing the light,
Then time and again returning the night.
With a many-faced moon arching sublime,
Graceful, Majestic, emblem of passing time,

When turn then on turn and in solar spin,
our Earth's four seasons come marching on in.
And each bring for us, some hope and some fear,
Though most much more hope, than winters grim end of year.

When our kindred read signs and sniffed at the air,
Death-toll honed senses goose-pricked his neck-hair!
Instant comprehension brought then, as now,
Arms raised victorious, head thrown back in howl

At Winter's dark heart, when all light is gone,
With man's worst fears and dream-time as one,
That wise-man knew then, and so, we know still,
That glorious light, defeats winters dark chill.

Today we have grown to know so much more,
and pre-processed Joys are stacked at our doors.
In 'off-the-shelf' rites at dictated times,
Scheduled light-child is born as we chant in line.

No matter your child of light's man-made name,
Whichever mind-picture fits in your mind-frame
You'll find that your faith has a civillised rite,
To mark at midwinter the birth of the light,

Fairy lights, candles, firework and cracker
a warm amber drink and a crackling fire,
bring festive-cheered heart to banish the cold.
Token, iconic, bravado, for the dark to behold

So, with that in mind my Homo Sapien friend,
Stand tall on proud shoulders of ancestral kin,
Feel the raw power of the beast whence we came,
Understand his quest and in his honour proclaim,

Long, clear and loud. As he was, I am; Free,
Evolved as a secular humanist.
A Sceptic, Heretic, Iconoclast.
Unfettered by tradition, custom, conformity

Stand-up Atheist, pseudo-blasphemer.
Proponent of anarchic resistance,
To tenets that force our limitless selves,
To become merely repeated automaton,

Of that elegant, ancestral mammal,
Who fought long and hard for who we are now,
And whose spirit is wholly diminished,
By our endless irreverence of his struggle

Raise you a solstice toast to that very wise man,
Our humble ferocious ancestor.
Who sniffed in the air the returning sun and,
Arms raised, howled long and loud in celebration.

Copyright ©2005 Crispy Sea
see full copyright notice below

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"Should Atheists Celebrate Christmas?" (freethoughvlog #27)

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Christopher Hitchens

Humanity has lost a great voice for freedom
I will miss his passion, eloquence and obvious lust for life.
Gone but not forgotten.


RIP Christopher Hitchens - Warrior of Truth
Silent now but his thoughts empowered a million free voices.

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Purgatory In Paradise

I’ve been pondering the Judeo-Christian mythological landscape, you know like one does, thinking about the star-prize for being a good boy or girl; that perpetually happy land of unlimited chocolate or virgins or maybe chocolate-virgins, dependant on your tastes.
Now, I have a life partner with whom I'd be happy to spend eternity, I know it's rare and, if you are without such a person probably a bit nauseating but because I do it occurred to me, what happens when you consider yourselves one, not boy or girl but couple?
In the Christian vision of heaven, what happens in a paradigm where the happiness and well being of one, is as important to the one’s partner, as it is to the one?
As always, what was only a microsecond of pondering has taken way more words to explain, but bear with me, it might be worth it.
A couple marry in their twenties. Eve, born and raised a devout Christian, Sunday school, church and bible class, stayed a virgin until her first marriage. Her husband, a soldier, was killed in action defending a kindergarten. Eve had been a widow, raising their child, for almost three years when she met Adam

Adam, also baptised a Christian though not as devout as Eve, did okay at school and college then, after a couple of years of intermittent unemployment and bread and butter jobs, steadily advanced in a career with a city marketing firm.

Adam and Eve married. Adam raised Eve’s first husband's daughter as his own, along with another five that Adam and Eve's union produced. All offspring were baptised at same the church as their mother. All were schooled and churched in their home town and all went on to produce Christian brand grandchildren. Adam and Eve both retired in the same year and enjoyed long, creative and fulfilling artisan retirements in which each donated a good proportion of their 'good works' to community, charity or church and enjoyed the fruits of their extending family, still as in love as the day they wed.
It seemed to all who had ever met them that their union would continue eternally but one soggy Autumn Adam slipped on some wet leaves. Eve nursed him through the winter but he died before the spring. She was distraught and only a few months later, distracted by her grief, took a tumble down the stairs. Eve was dead before she hit the bottom.

At the pearly gates.

A curvy young Eve, with long flowing golden locks and dressed in a gossamer gown, steps like a Disney heroine towards the only punctuation in a wall of cloud, the tall jewel encrusted gates of Heaven.
At a reception desk next to the giant twinkling gates is what appears to be a sixties era Pan-Am stewardess.
"Welcome to Heaven. Eve! I hope you’ll enjoy your time with us and to help you along there are a few golden rules. Firstly: Heaven is not an equal opportunities employer. The men rule and you must do what they say. Secondly:.."
"Where's Adam? Is meeting me? I've so missed him. Where is he?"
"I'm not at liberty to say but he's not HERE!" The stewardess’ expression transmitted all the information but Eve wasn’t ready to see.
"Look, I care about this man! Don’t you get it? We’re soul mates! Now, what do you mean?" An uncomfortable, disbelief dawns on Eve and she urges. "Where the fuck is he?"
"Well, there are only two places, sweetie and he’s NOT HERE." There's a tiny squeak of metal on metal and the gates start opening automatically as reality crashes in on Eve.
"Two places? You, you mean Adam's in hell?!"

Ok, this scene plays out where 'Peter' is called and Eve rants about how wrong, erroneous and unfair it all is but she learns the crux of the problem is that Adam had caused a death.
In his years of unemployment, during a period of deep despair, intoxicated out of his gourd, Adam had stolen and driven a car with the intention of ending it all but passed out on a cliff edge.
He had been too out of it to ever remember the events of that night but on his way to the cliff he had run down and killed someone. As he was never apprehended, he never had any inkling that he should have repented.
It was for the crimes of that night that Adam was to be repeatedly tortured for eternity.

So, I guess by now you see the question this paradigm raises.

Isn't Adam's eternal torture also eternal torment for Eve?

For Eve, the eternal paradise promised by scripture will be filled with torment, not only because of the massive loss of her true love Adam who she, and evidently everyone else, expected to be her eternal partner but also because she will eternally endure empathic pain for the perpetually repeating, agonising abuses her dear-gentle-love must endure for his eternity.
Eve has qualified to live in a paradise for eternity but her one great love's eternal pain and suffering will eternally permeate that paradise!
Under such circumstances can it even be called paradise?

As far as I am concerned, no matter what solution one attempts to apply to this paradigm, either the immutable law of the god or the god’s promise of paradise, must be wholly or partially transgressed.

And this disconnect, between scriptural promise of paradise and heavenly actuality, also applies to many other human relationship paradigms...
  • A mother whose paradise would be to have all her children with her, but two had defected to another brand of dogma. She must watch them burn.
  • A child wants time with the father who died in her childhood but he was a free thinker and not indoctrinated. She must watch him burn. (This one strikes me as the antithesis of the child's heart-held paradise and could I think be legitimately described as her hell!)
  • Adam’s Christian and Godly grandchildren must endure a perpetual Gramps rotisserie?
  • Etc.

If Heaven is the "happy-land where all your dreams come true" then can it really be considered to be any more than a virtual reality game for you to pretend you're with those you love; merely a place of fake realities, akin to 'The Nexus' depicted in 'Star Trek - Generations'? And what would be the value of such a game?
If Heaven is 'the house of god's law', a place of substance and principle etc, then how can it not be filled with those who are eternally grieving the perpetual torture of their loved ones?

Indeed, though I can't recall it now, I know there's literature which references a viewing gallery where the souls of the righteous can observe the tortures of the fallen.
This is not that reference but Thomas Aquinas offers in Summa Theologica
"...in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned."
However, in practical terms, wouldn't that gallery be packed with ALL the wailing, grieving, sorrowful Eves, watching interminable abuse done to the other halves of their hearts?

I cannot conceive of any way to satisfactorily resolve this paradox and, as it stands, doesn't that imply that the Biblically promoted concept of heaven is an untenable impossibility?

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Only An Agnostic Part 2

The Position

In “Only An Agnostic Part 1” I examined the term in relation to its definition and origins, in this post I’m going to cast a thought across the agnostic position in relation to society.

So, first let’s consider the default value, the level from which we are starting. It is important to firmly register in the mind the state from which we are measuring when comparing concepts and ideas. One would not start testing the purity of water to which Orange juice had already been added and by the same token, we must apply the default human condition in relation to faith in god(s). In scientific terms you could call it the control.
‘Implicit atheism’ is the category of atheism into which an un-indoctrinated baby would fit because it is the position before the input of any data on the topic. So we may assume that the default adult human brain is one which has remained completely unaffected by external philosophical influences and so has no a priori spiritual belief; no faith in gods or any sort of magic, thereby retaining the implicit atheist condition into which it was born. I realise that’s a description of a, currently, virtually impossible adult human but this is a conceptual entity only.

So what has to happen for our default human to find its way to agnosticism?

The default human must be…
a. Confronted by someone who proffers god(s).
b. Only partially persuaded by the arguments or evidence for the proposed Metaphysical Overlord.

So, can we therefore assume that agnosticism only appears to be a rational choice in a society where the god concept is so pervasive as to have soaked into every corner of social psychology?

For the first time in human history we have a model of the universe so complete that much is now irrefutable. Many areas of science cross over; independent fields of study, via different research routes and investigatory criteria, are providing incidental supporting evidence of each other. Looking at all the evidence science now has, as a whole, it is virtually impossible to conclude that any of the cherished creation stories have even a shred of truth.
As I suggested in the previous post, I feel that stating 'I don't know' today is a transition phrase; one can now only really use agnostic as a legitimate label until one comprehends the overwhelming evidence.
It’s already the case that there is sufficient evidence contradicting scriptural guesswork, for any who wish to investigate to see that the Judeo-Christian god is on the verge of being consigned to our very long list of mythologies.
And the evidence can only continue to amass so, if we skip forward a century or two and imagine where the web-powered spread of real facts and information will take us, it’s possible to glimpse a more rational future for humanity.

Now, what if we apply the “what’s an agnostic” question to a society with an atheist bias?

In a society where atheism was the pervasive ethos, wouldn’t an agnostic be considered not merely as having indecision after reviewing inconclusive data, one who just “doesn’t know” but rather thought of as one who is “given to flights of wondrous fancy”?

In an atheist ethos society isn’t agnosticism a proposal for a god?
Only An Agnostic Part 3

I'll leave you with Cristina Rad laying out exactly how it is.

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Only An Agnostic Part 1

The History

What is an agnostic? Oxford Dictionaries online ...
Agnostic. noun. A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.”
Agnostic was derived from the Greek word “agnostos” which means “to not know” but in the latter part of eighteenth century, Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) invented the word agnostic to describe his ignorance regarding the existence of a higher entity. And there's loads more salient facts at agnostic-definition.com but for me it describes a time, a period in my life, must have been when I was about 9 or 10, when I wasn't sure about why I didn't believe, a time when I feared the anger, no, ‘anger’ is too strong, disappointment of my family. It wasn't a label I even knew I had, my "I don't know" response was defensive, a shield to signal religious disinterest; I found the religious mostly left me alone, some harbouring thoughts I’ve discovered since, of “He’s just not found the path to god yet” and atheists left me alone because I wasn’t preaching or stoning. I’ve since also realised that just the fact that I had a ‘response’ suggests I was feeling under pressure to “Not fuck up everybody else’s pretendsies with my heinous non-pretending ways”.
It was pressure then but laughable now I’m adult, to think that faith is so fragile that a child must be cajoled into pretending the 'right' way!
That I did not know the label agnosticism didn't change the fact that "I don't know" but the fact that "I did not know" meant I had not 'just accepted'; looking back I realise I'd already taken a few steps up the ladder to reality. That was only thirty-something years ago but science has answered so many questions so quickly in that span, I feel now that agnostics today have way less ground on which to stand.

When Huxley coined the phrase in 1869, scientific knowledge was a mere foetus of what science is now.

In 1869 there was...

No theory of electromagnetism
No periodic table
No definition of entropy
No knowledge x-rays
No understanding of radioactivity

Thermodynamics only had 2 laws
Nobody knew about continental drift
Discovery of DNA was no more than a point on the academic horizon
The idea of space travel had been the preserve of ONLY Jules Verne fans and for only four years - Timeline of scientific discoveries and to have any true perspective of the actual numbers of stars or how truly, unbelievably huge and ancient the universe actually is, Huxley would have had to wait over a century for Hubble's space telescope to be launched.
Public education only became available in the UK in 1870
About 40% of the UK population were still 'making their mark' not a signature.
And books had only really been generally affordable for those who could read, for about 30 years. - Literacy in Europe
In 1869 40% people could not even read, let alone comprehend real science or have even been exposed to the meaning of 'scientific method'.
The theory of evolution was only a decade old but in at that time a decades worth of the spread of information was not even close to the spread of information we have today. The difference I’d suggest is as treacle is to gas.

Because of the poor quality, dissemination and comprehension of even the scientific knowledge that was available at that time Huxley coined the term, wouldn't the answer to the question 'is there a god?' have appeared, from Huxley and his contemporaries’ perspective, more, if not completely, unanswerable? Would it not have appeared to the people of that time that there was a 50/50 chance of there being a god?

Though I personally feel Huxley’s leanings were towards atheism,(I mean, what reason would a full 'believer' have to invent a word to describe himself as a 'don't know-er'?) the term itself seems to be considered a mid point. It is not ( Gnostic/Agnostic - Theist/Atheist Graph) but it seems to have been traditionally considered such.
Now, if we accept that Huxley’s term was coined at a time when the chance was 50/50 and then add in all the advances in knowledge science has made since 1869, where does it get us?
51/49 against god? 70/30 against? 99/1 against?
And more to the point how far away from 50/50 does one move before one stops claiming indecision?
When in fact the existence of a god is starting to look like it would draw the sort of odds you'd expect to see if a Cabbage entered the 100m Olympic final, can it still be considered a midpoint between two philosophical positions? Must it not be considered more in the region of merely a lay-by on the way to the reason?
Indeed, I wonder, had Huxley the evidence available then that is laid out before us today where the all gods and fables are squeezed daily more tightly by our grasp of reality into the diminishing gaps in our knowledge, would he even have bothered to invent the word?
I don't think he would and, to illustrate why, I offer this photo of the 1927 Solvay conference, crammed full of famous names...
Speaking 58 years before this photo, Huxley said...
"Agnosticism simply says we know nothing of what may be beyond phenomena."
Given that the photo depicts many illustrious scientists who went on to participate in revealing what IS beyond the phenomena to which Huxley was referring...
do you think Huxley would have felt the same need to conceive the position his label depicts?

Only An Agnostic Part 2

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Making An Ass Out Of You And Me

When, as a child, you first hear that "babies’ skulls are in pieces to allow the birth", it's natural to think, well it was for me as a 7 year old in my first human biology class.
"How does the baby know that it needs to get out through a passageway that's too narrow for it?"
The apparently unanswerable nature of this question, the idea that it's 'too impossible' for the baby to 'know' that, I feel gives rise to and is followed by the incorrect assumption of "somebody must have made it to work like that."
This is a natural and seemingly logical progression, for a child; a conclusion without much evidence is often required in order to progress through the learning process. Indeed, our whole education system depends on children just accepting a lot of what they are taught without evidence. Logarithmic tables, for example, were presented to me age 14 or so with the message, "You'll need these to work out the answers to the 'sums' we are about to learn". Not a word, that I can remember, about where the tables came from, how they came about, why they were right etc. I was supposed to just accept I needed them and move on. I passed maths so I must have but it illustrates how assumptions must be made all the time, so children learn to make 'accept it and move on' assumptions from day one.
Incorrect assumptions about the physical world are corrected naturally with the odd bump or scrape but incorrect psychological ones can linger and fester unchecked for, sometimes, one's entire life.
To continue the thought from the beginning, had I the awareness and understanding of genetics that we have available today, the answer, "Over millions of years of reproduction, only the babies with the genes to make the necessary skull shape have survived and those that did not have them died as a result, probably taking the mother with them", I may have realised that the baby doesn't 'know' it must squeeze out, natural selection has furnished it with the necessary 'sliding roof panels' because it's mother inherited the proper genes to make babies with sliding roof panels.
Wouldn't that knowledge of the natural then have obviated the incorrect super-natural assumption "somebody must have designed it to happen that way", thereby and consequentially removing a pillar of support for a supernatural cause (the 'god' notion)?
And so the question arises, if information can be delivered free of supernatural implication should it not be? As my post Oxford University Shame discusses it has been found that most humans have a genetic propensity to be dazzled by fantasy explanations so, I'd suggest, it's easy for 'us' to take inference that a super-natural cause may apply if there is implication for such in the teaching material.
So shouldn’t educators take this genetic propensity into account and assume the mantle of delivering information that's been vetted for supernatural implication?

If we are ever going to crawl out of this Bronze Age swamp, surely we need the newest of us, our next iteration, to be free of those ancient primitive superstitions. And, as far as I can see, the only way to achieve that is by properly furnishing them with the best facts we do have. And then, when they are standing firmly on the shoulders of 'our' knowledge, perhaps they will be able to see the solutions to questions we have not yet even considered or ones which religions have shrouded in 'god'; maybe even find a way to evolve towards what is, as all our 'good books' reflect, 'our' greatest wish of immortality.

Or, we could just stick with lovin de baby Jebus or suckin' up to ol' Mo' and watch medieval mediocrity and witchcraft gobble up our fabulous advances.

"Here's your chastity belt & shut the fuck up!" - Any takers, ladies?

I didn't really know what I was writing when I started this, I just happened to be thinking about babies heads but now I've got to the end, I find I've lined up alongside a what appears, to me at least, to be a simple truism;
Proper education diminishes the need for us to make unnecessary incorrect assumptions.

With this post in mind, check out what the ignorant are up to in the University College London.
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God It Is Not What You think

Whilst I was out running some errands the other day, I had a version of Genesis 3:9 lurking in my head, like a line from a bad tune you can’t shake. I didn’t know it was 3:9, I’m not a doctrine addict, but some part of my head was pondering on God calling to Adam and asking “where are you?”. Then, as I was dropping a bag of things into the charity shop, I heard an old dear in the back of the shop shout the same query to her colleague and I instantly realised what was troubling me about it. Would it not be entirely unthinkable for an omnipresent and omniscient supreme authoritarian despot(god) to think or utter such a phrase? It’s fair enough for an old dear, or any human, who has limited faculties but wouldn’t an omniscient god know, not only exactly where every molecule of Adam is, in every moment, but as this deity is also considered omnipresent wouldn’t the god also BE in every location where Adam’s molecules are?
Anyway, whilst I was looking up the Gen 3:9 line so I could quote it here, I thought I’d cast an opened eye across the rest of the creation fable to see if we can discern anything more about ‘Super-magic cloud-guy’ and d'you know what, there's quite a bit more...

BookObservations on deity
Genesis 1 
Gen 1:3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.Not an Omnipotent act: On November 17th 2011 Pysorg.com reported that Scientists of Chalmers University of Technology had succeeded in creating light from vacuum. Clearly, omnipotence is not required to create light.
Gen 1:4 - And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.Not omniscient; didn’t know light would be good before creating it.
Gen 1:10: And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.Not omniscient; didn’t know what the earth was going to look like before forming it.
Gen 1:12: And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.Not omniscient; again with the ‘not knowing beforehand’ theme!!
Gen 1:14: And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Gen 1:15: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Not omniscient; No understanding of Cosmology. The entire cosmos is ONLY for prophecy, timekeeping and lovely evening twinklage?!
Gen 1:16: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.Not omniscient; No understanding of reflected light?
Gen 1:17: And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,Not omniscient; No understanding of Cosmology. A very small proportion of the sun’s emitted power sheds light on the earth!
Gen 1:18: And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.Not omniscient; once again with the ‘no precognition’ theme!!
Gen 1:20: And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.God ‘brings forth’(euphemism for 'pixie dust') all fish & fowl on Earth but Adam he must model from dirt (Gen 2:7) and Eve’s a clone; like Dolly the sheep (Gen 2:21)? Did he run out of pixie dust?
Gen 1:21: And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Either this is more of the now predictable absence of omniscience or evidence of pride in his work, yes I know pride! Disgraceful!
Gen 1:25: And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.Not omniscient; no precognition.
Genesis 2 
Gen 2:3: And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.Tiredness is not really an option for an eternally omnipotent being, it’s just not possible. So why would that god conceive of a need for rest? Or create a being that needs to rest? Especially when that being is reputedly created in the god’s own image?
Gen 2:7: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 
Gen 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Dishonest; this is an outright lie.
Gen 2:18: And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.Not omniscient; deity does not have prior knowledge that it ‘is not good’?
Gen 2:19: And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Gen 2:20: And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Adam was supposed to pick a life partner from the beasts?
Gen 2:21: And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;Not omnipotent; ran out of pixie dust?
Gen 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Adam instructed to leave father (Only father he knew is...?) and cleave to Eve.
Genesis 3 
Gen 3:1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?Not omniscient or omnipresent; wasn’t where Eve was and didn’t hear or see the serpent.
May one venture to suggest this passage displays that the deity had NO knowledge of the event?
Gen 3:5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.Not omniscient; The deity states this factual knowledge, which anyone could learn by taking a bite. Wouldn't omnisicence give the deity the ability to know that they will eat?
Gen 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.1. God is, at least, dishonest, at worst, a direct liar.
2. Isn’t Adam following the earlier ‘cleave to Eve’ instruction here?
Gen 3:7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.Not Omniscient; did not know they had done so. Not omnipresent; was not in the space they or the fig leaves occupied when event occurred.
Gen 3:8: And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.Not omniscient; if one 'knows all' nothing can be hidden. Not omnipresent; is not where they are hiding
Gen 3:9: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?Not omnipresent; is not existing where Adam is. Either not omniscient; obviously doesn’t know where Adam is or is Dishonest; does know but is manipulating for a response.
Gen 3:11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? Not omniscient; doesn’t know who caused the event and doesn’t know if the event happened. Are these not the questions of one who merely suspects?
Gen 3:12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.Now, for me, Adam, who is no more than an ‘primitive savage’ does his best here to try to mitigate his actions and remind god of god’s earlier ‘cleaving’ instruction but is unclear and, to be fair, which it appears from this that god is not, the poor idiot infant has only been alive a matter of hours, has had no education etc. so it’s understandable.
Gen 3:13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Not omniscient; doesn’t know what Eve’s done and so again, isn’t this is a question by one who only suspects?
Gen 3:14: And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:Not Omniscient; what level of ‘omniscience’ need one possess to be unaware that serpents do not have legs? Not omnipotent (to the extent of impotency); If he did know that serpents don’t have legs the punishment is, well, it’s just absent!
Gen 3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. This is not really a point for this post but something I’ve wondered about. Was she not built to ‘bring forth children’? I mean did god rearrange her internals in a flash or was she always supposed to have kids? And if so, hello, punishment absent again!!
Gen 3:22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:Not omniscient; does he not know that Adam will or won’t?
Also - “Let’s knobble Adam before he show’s the same initiative as his woman and we’re stuck with him forever; I won’t be able to have all my own way if someone else lives forever!” Isn’t this just spiteful?

Genesis one through three breaks down into this…
75% of the verses are groundless assertions about a god’s creation of ‘all things’, all of which science has proved to have come about in ways otherwise, through entirely natural selection. The remaining 25% is above, with my stated problems, which I feel display the Genesis authors as not understanding the concepts of Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, which have been attributed to the book’s authoritarian despot enforcer. The 25% of Genesis above, which is not rendered myth by scientific comprehension, seems to me to display a god with abilities which I proffer are woefully short of what one could consider to be prerequisite attributes for any being to be capable of creation.

As far as I see it, that’s 100% of the first three chapters of the Bible discounted and, if we can discount the first three, can we not also discount all other fables which follow? They all draw their authority from the deity that is manufactured in the first three, so do they have any authority? And further, as the concept of ‘a soul going to the heaven that is ruled by the deity, or being punished in a hell’ springs from these three chapters, should we not also discount these notions?

You can probably guess what I think.

Gen3:9 = God called "Where are u Adam?" => An unthinkable phrase for an omnipresent & omniscient #God. http://bit.ly/vEVMpw #Bible #Atheism
Click it to tweet it

Dear creationists,
As you well know, there’s way too much crap information in the world already, the last thing I want to do is add to it so please feel free to contradict any of my points you think isn't so.

As a parting shot, as I was revisiting Genesis some other little thing struck me, it wasn’t big enough for a blog on it’s own so…( Click ‘em to tweet ‘em)
Name: Adam.
Psych Eval: Exceedingly Servile.
Known Facts: Created in God's image.
http://bit.ly/vEVMpw #atheism
Name: Eve.
Psych Eval: Effortlessly corrupted to debauchery.
Known Facts: Clone of Adam. Sucker for a Snake with a good line. #Atheism
Name: God.
Psych Eval: Exceedingly servile & effortlessly corrupted to debauchery.
Source: Created Adam & Eve in his own image. #Atheism

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When The Speed Of Light Was Quick

Dear religious people, it would probably be very educational to watch how science handles this new neutrino data.

A cornerstone of physics is crumbling(?).
It used to be that nothing bested the speed of light.
Now, if the experiments in CERN - The Large Hadron Collider play out and it's not just a timing error, a key component of physics core knowledge is about to be wiped out; the speed of light will always remain the speed of light but perhaps that it is the limit of speed, may be usurped and replaced with new data.

To put it in religious language this change is so huge it would be like Chrstians finding out Jesus was a woman which, I'm sure you knee-benders would admit, might just cause a bit of a stir in the ranks of the believers, maybe even split the church into Man jesus worshippers and Woman jesus worshippers.

With science, however, there'll likely be no wailing and weeping, no schisms, forming of factions etc; whatever the data reveals to be the truth will be accepted and embraced as the facts of the matter.
It may even usher in a new golden age of physics, an opportunity to refine our knowledge and who knows maybe even eliminate some of the vaious string theory versions.

So, once again,
nothing has really changed,
we just know more.

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Behead The Believers

Massacre all who believe in a divine, all-powerful creator God!
Destroy the faithful, butcher them wherever you find them.

Their archaic magic fable dogmas have been burrowing through our civilization for millenniums, boring open sores into any genuine perception of the fabric of reality.
Rabbi, Priest, Imam, Preacher and all other delusion pushers are parasites whose entire livelihood depends on holding back true comprehension of reality.
Kill the holy men first.
The believer also is abhorrent in humanity's eyes; it impedes our growth and education.
Destroy the faithful; their pitiful, self-important, self-indulgent, self-delusion prohibits their proper comprehension of reality. They have proved themselves intransigent and backward; incapable of moving from the medieval violent bigotry of our primitive history. No matter their personal brand of pretending, Judaism, Christianity, Islam or what-have-you, they hold their wishes and wants higher than the safety and well being of their fellow human. Indeed their books instruct that their way is the only true way and all others are wrong. Theirs is the divisive path of supremacist hate, the way of dangerous, destructive, primitive locusts who must be immolated on the alter of rationality; eradicated for humanity's long term well being.
If they will not submit and accept reality you must slay them wherever you find them.
Atheism must have dominion in the universe for in less than a century it will be too late.When we step fully to the stars, we must do it from the stable platform of a critically thinking home world. It would be inexcusable to infect an innocent universe with such an insipid retrovirus as is carried by these god grovelling Soulcoats.
It may already be too late.
Slay them; I urge you, slay them now.
Slaughter all believers and their spouses; leave alive only the children of less than eight years for they are still young enough to be educated properly.
Over thousands of years, millions of innocents have been massacred or subjugated as a consequence of the faithful and their supremacist Holy wars, now it's time for War on the Holy. Go forth and persecute the pious, they who remain loyal to the old ways, those despicable fawning bleeders, sycophantic kneelers, the heinously delusional enemies of reason and rational dominion.
So, what are you waiting for?
Have at them, slaughter, decapitate but any way is good too, just as long as they're very dead!
All who refuse to accept reality must be held back, kept down, subjugated or destroyed.
Oh, yeah, if it helps, one of those god types, the great god of all gods I believe it was, that Nogod wench, she came to me in a dream or a vision, or maybe I saw her on telly or something, and she said...
"Kill the Believer, it's the right thing to do."
(She'd do it herself but writing bibles keeps her pretty busy,
she's not what she once was; arthritis in her index finger -
it's not been right since Belshazzar's feast.)
How many copies of a book with this theme would I be able to sell/give away for free without some 'authority' or other attempting to interfere or ban it?
I would think so, their are numerous religious texts with passages which instruct followers to persecute, destroy, slay, kill or, at the very tamest, tax harshly, mistrust, ignore and shun the infidel, unbeliever, atheist, member of another religion or any other minority group the author didn't get on with.

Hey, court of human rights, why don't you 'encourage' the religious to edit the hideous and hateful passages from their Bibles, Qur'ans, et al?
Why doesn't the court of human rights have something to say about this?
Inspiration for this post taken from:
Bible: Exodus 22:18 & 22:20, Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 13:6-10 & 13:12-16 & 17:2-7 & 17:12-13 & 18:20, Hosea 13:16, Mark 6:11, Luke 19:27, 2 John 1:10, Romans 16:17, Colossians 2:8, Hebrews 3:12, 1 John 2:22 & 5:19, 2 John 1:7, Jude 5, Revelations 2:9 &3:9
Qur'an: Surah (2:190)(8:12)(8:36)(8:39)(8:55)(8:59-60)(9:121)(9:123)(9:5)(9:29)(47:4)(48:29)

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Shelley Segal - Saved

Quality lyrics.
Great voice.
Top message.
Damn fine secular song.
I Wish I'd penned it.
And I wholeheartedly approve of the hat.



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Sporting Some Reality

Okay this is about Sportspeople of a religious persuasion, those whom kiss a cross, or raise an eye in prayer to a lofty god figure.
And before you say, "Oh come on; leave the sportspeople alone", let me just say two words. Role Model.
We are all up in their faces and handing out lifetime bans for drug taking, is promoting superstitious thinking a suitable trait for a role model? I mean, we all know they believe their lucky pants, rabbit’s foot or divine hand etc. give them “the Power of Greyskull” but are these things magical?

Watch almost any penalty shoot out at any World Cup Football match and almost every player ‘prays for his god to change the universal procession’ so he can score his penalty. Then after, the one's who scored thank their god but the one's who missed don't shake a fist skywards, rush home and tear up their Bibles, Qur'an's etc. No, instead they collapse into self inflicted hatred and, often, an embarrassed foetal mess.

And the team that finally wins the shootout? Do we assume they won because their gods were best?

So, what if we say there is a god, (I know, I know but just say) and only one ‘right’ religion. Would we not find a correlation between athletes of a particular religion and scoring more frequently, jumping higher, running faster; generally outperforming those who worship lesser or incorrect gods?
I presume the religions that promote healthier diets would be of benefit to, at the very least, the formation of a healthy young body but I couldn't find any data on which religion is best suited to sporting performance overall. Perhaps this is “due to the embryonic nature of this area of study”. Nick J. Watson's and Daniel R. Czech's paper, The Use of Prayer in Sport: Implications for Sport Psychology Consulting, goes way further than suggesting a clear beneficial effect, for the religious sportsperson, of prayer and belief. It goes as far as to more than hint that athletes should be encouraged to follow a religious brand!! If this apparently well researched 2005 and peer reviewed paper is the boffins’ current understanding of the situation, I doubt it can it be shown empirically that prayer’s 'effect' is psychological placebo or the equivalent of meditation and not actually invoking some divine influence or mystical force to power the body!

I mean, could praying be considered “Soul doping”?

If anybody knows of some data, I’d love to see it/add it here.

If there is no correlation between sporting achievement and the athlete’s religion then this is could be perceived as evidence that none of the religious pleadings by sportspersons are doing any good.

If, on the other hand, a correlation is shown then perhaps all sports people would consider converting to whichever religion turned out to be the 'sportiest', to better level the playing field in the pursuit of fairness.

I think that's the thing we hold most high about sport; yeah, it's exciting, both physically and statistically, and there's drama and sympathy but above all, it's about fairness.
Every human who appears at the Olympics is supposed to turn up clean and healthy, having used no methods or substances in preparation which the rest of humanity would consider cheating. The stadia are purpose built to be arenas conducive with fair & honest play, and fair & honest competition is seen to be held by the rest of humanity, watching live around the world.
I’m pretty sure we all feel it's sporting endeavour is valueless if it's not a level playing field.
Cheats are vilified in the press and banned from their sport sometimes for life. Some people may say ‘Oh it's only a sport’ but it's not, it's fairness, our temple of equality, the real world embodiment of collective childhood wish for the way things ‘should’ be. I am sure we can all remember at least one occasion where we whinged. "It's not fair!"
The Olympics is the one place where it is supposed to be.
If a sportsperson is invoking actual supernatural powers or paranormal forces via prayer, kissing a cross etc. can they really claim to have won on human abilities alone?

So, to the sportsmen and women, all that hard work, early nights, missed parties, all the endless, lonely hours of arduous, rigorous training, all those chilly dark mornings, self discipline and courage through injury. Then they get to the podium and share the glory, the product of all that self determination, with their birth tribe’s imaginary friend! Are they really suggesting that they did not do it themselves; that it was all their god’s doing? Is that not also conversely saying "None of those last twenty years of training were down to me and none of the people who sacrificed time, resources, love and support for me to stand here, had any effect whatsoever; I'm only here because of my imaginary friend."?
Isn’t that tantamount to suggesting they could have stayed on the couch until it was event time and their god would still have powered their victory? If one thanks a god for any part of one’s success then surely one must concede that the god may be responsible for all of one’s success; how can one determine the dividing line between where the ‘divine’ assistance ends and the human abilities begin? For the religious sportsperson, should we not be assuming it’s not the sportsperson who is competing in the event but the sportsperson’s god or rather, at least, that the sportsperson’s body is being animated by the power of their ‘lord’ (or lucky underpants). Can it be said to be fair to enter a body ‘powered by god’ in events which are supposed to be for purely human athletes?
I'd suggest not and I'd further be forced to contemplate the comparison with drug cheats; their body is powered to victory by an external influence, and a religious athlete claims the same for his god/underpants, so why are the sporting councils not testing for “The Power of Greyskull”?
What does it matter whether a cheat’s boost is founded in the pharmaceutical or the paranormal, surely it’s still cheating?
How do they square away the dishonesty? I mean, most religions hold high a general ‘be honest’ principle and the world’s top class sporting events make it quite clear that their events are for ‘pure’ humans. How can religious athletes, who are happy to display their genuine belief that some magically force has had a hand in there performance, not notice that this admission means they are not performing as unassisted ‘pure’ humans?
Come to that, how have the doping authorities not noticed?
This may be seen I think as evidence of the all pervasive ethos of magical thinking to which we atheists are subjected on a daily basis.

An atheist sportsperson knows for sure the win/success is ALL down to the sportsperson/support staff, every trial the athlete has surpassed or overcome, is the sportsperson's own will power and determination. The atheist sportsperson (and support staff) shares the glory with none. The atheist sportsperson, therefore, could be said to be more worthy of the podium place, and is of more value to the ideal of 'pure' human excellence; a more genuine example of what a human can achieve without assistance of any kind, whether that assistance is conceived in a human or divine mind.

I realise this post has a somewhat tongue in cheek flavour, an air of ‘Oh, don’t be so silly”, but either this god/magic stuff is real, in which case those availing themselves of these mystical ‘powers’ or ‘forces’ should not be considered examples of ‘natural’, ‘assistance-free’ humans and should be tested. Or the ‘Magics’ are not real, in which case the various world sports councils are allowing, if not condoning, the promotion of complete nonsense, gibberish via the world forum their sporting meetings offer.

In an attempt to level the playing field for all people, differing religious denominations and the non-religious alike, perhaps some sort of handicapping system could be devised. Maybe, after testing to assess the level of metaphysical assistance the athlete has gained, copies of the athlete’s holy book could be hung off him or her, to counteract the god-boost?

Congratulations to every human who makes it in sport.
As there really is no 'god', ALL your achievements are down to your personal drive and dedication.
You have my respect.

If you’d like to get the voodoo out of our temples of human excellence and you're on Twitter, a click on any of the following statements, tweets it :)
It doesn’t just automatically send it, you get the opportunity to edit.
Add the #Hashtag of your favourite sport etc. :)

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Soul Trapped Spirit

People used to believe humans were animated by a force. We came to call this life force ‘Soul’. Then medical science found out that the body dies not because the ‘animating force has left’ but because something stopped working.
Is it not very odd that 'we' still believe this animating force is what powers us?
In every other field of scientific discovery, when empirical evidence has been amassed showing that the application of a non-scientifically derived cure is immeasurably less effective than one derived by biological knowledge and proper scientific research, it becomes accepted that the 'old ways' are not necessarily 'wrong' but at least inferior. The world moves on and the ‘old ways’ eventually become folk tales, having been superseded by 'better' knowledge. With the soul concept, however, this has not happened.
I feel there is only one reason for this but a multitude of causal links.

The incorrect assumption that the body has an animated force is so easily transmittable.In so few words a whole unspoken story is suggested which the brain receiving the information must answer / fill in. (I’m sure you’ll agree, some brains in particular are more prone to wanting all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed). I'll illustrate.

It is 40,000 years ago, a small tribe of humans have experienced a dreadful winter crossing Europe northwards and after becoming separated in a forest in a snowstorm, lose one of the tribe.
A much loved uncle lies dead, half covered in snow. The youngest boy in the tribe is the first person to see his uncle and rushes to wake him, pulling at his shoulder.
The nearest person to him has incorrectly assumed, or is merely repeating another older tribal member’s incorrect assumption, that death is caused by the life-force leaving the body. She puts her arm around the boy and stops him tugging, saying, "His life force has left him, he will not wake again."
The child hears the trusted adult, who knows many things, and believes these are the facts.
With no further discussion, ritual takes over; the body is burned or what-have-you, the child is left with a multitude of questions. Questions which it is likely he does not have the comprehension to vocalise and even if he did the responses would be from those who had also incorrectly assumed the same as the first responder.
Question like, "What's a Life force?", "Where has it gone?" and, based on his no evidence, his primitive misunderstanding of reality and a genetic trust of his elders the assumptions flow in his own probability engine(brain). "Uncle’s still Uncle but in some other place I cannot see?", "Perhaps Uncle is WITH grandma in this new place", "Does everyone go there?", "Where is it and what's it like?", "I hope it's nice."

Of course over generations, some of the people who considered these questions will have voiced them around camp fires and such, and others would have posited ideas as to answers. A consensus will have formed of ‘things to say when someone dies’. The line to describe what has happened to Uncle then becomes ingrained with consensus that ‘all’ have made. “His life-force has left for a better place, he will be with granny and they’ll be happy there, without pain, until we join them.”
The child hears the trusted adult, who knows many things, and believes these are the facts.

A number of centuries fall away and the collective assumptions have become the tribes’ ‘book of ways’; the rights & rituals one must make at the death of a loved one in order for their ‘life-force’ to find it’s way to the rest of the tribe in the place that comes after life.

Centuries, even millenniums pass and many tribes find that their ways are similar, they all believe in an animating force that powers the body! A main book of ‘all the ways of the tribes’ forms and centuries later a single ‘way’ emerges;

Not only your relatives find their way to the pearly gates but also,
a way to guarantee that you will be reunited with your loved ones
you won’t go to bad place which is reserved for those despicable goat rustlers.
(Piss Be Upon them!!)

This single misconception from the deep, dark days of our dream-time, the days before we had anything other than survival knowledge, before civilization and complex language, this soul concept has shaped every facet of our world. Every religious system, every prayer, every death by stoning, persecution of women, of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, all religious circumcision male and female, all the blood and torture and supremacist bigotry; all of it, from this one, stupid misjudgement of the facts of human biology by our primitive stupid ancestors.

If in the first instance when the first ‘Uncle’ had died, instead of the incorrectly assuming tribal member turning up, a forensic pathologist had materialized from the future, done a full autopsy and delivered a proper reason for the Uncle's death...
"He froze to death, Sonny; exposure y'know. Ta-ta & toodle-pip." (apparently he was from Victorian London), then would our ancestors have made that incorrect assumption which is the source of all our woes in the first place?
If we’d had the correct information at the start, would we really think we had a magically invisible body part?
Would we be subjugated by this primitive notion of god; that which, by this exploration, is merely a symptom of that ancient misjudgement born in our ignorance?
Who knows, I’d like to think not but we were pretty thick back then, however, I think it’s clear why religion endures. And why the soul concept has managed to evade the normal tide of scientific revelation; it’s our earliest ‘Truth’, a heartfelt wish, aged in the beloved oak barrels of ancestral hope, and we really don’t want to let it go but to progress I think we must choose to jettison the concept.

Work towards finding a way to evolve one if you feel that’s a goal but all of the power of all of the faiths on this earth are based on this one misconception from our evolutionary diaper stage when we were afraid of the dark.

Is it not time we grew out of it?
Is it not time we released the human spirit from the soul trap?

For further reading, "Caveman instincts may explain our belief in gods and ghosts" is an interesting article.

This is one of the Too Many Questions

At what moment are you dead? - Randall Hayes
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