God, The Bible and Religion: all figments of a drug-fuelled imagination

 

I have often pondered the possibility that the story of a senior citizen finding resources for and building an arc of unimaginable proportions, then filling it with two of each animal, or Noah’s Arc might seem more believable if I were extremely, impossibly high on drugs. Now, Professor Benny Shanon of Jerusalem University has written of his theory that the biblical Israelites were high while they wrote their stories.

The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet which the Book of Exodus says emanated from Mount Sinai were probably just have been the imaginings of a people in an altered state of awareness, Professor Shanon hypothesised, writing in the British Journal Time and Mind.

Anyone who has travelled deep into the jungles of South America and conversed with a tribal Shaman and been persuaded to try the intense hallucenogen, ayahuasca, can attest to the profound and elegant closeness to the universe it provides. A plant with the same qualities as one used in the ayahuasca brew has been revered by Jews in the region as having magical and curative powers.

This plant, readers, is commonly found around the Middle East, but most notably, on Mount Siani. That’s right boys and girls, when Moses met God for the first time, he was high, so high in fact that it took him forty days to come down… from the mountain.

So, riddle me this; have you ever gotten toked or tripped your way to heaven and written some seriously profound poetry, the kind that might change the world, then the next morning, awake with the same feelings of elation and read the garbled mess of semi passable prose that was your ticket to martyrdom and had it shunned?

Doesn’t it sound more likely that this is what transpired on the Siani; Moses mistook a commonly found herb used for tea and garnish for the hallucinogen, got profoundly high, talked to god (who was actually a talking burning bush (which was actually a small rodent)), wrote down what god said and walked back down the mountain with a satisfied grin on his face.

Then, he would have presented his writings to his peers, who would have laughed at and ridiculed him. Then, Moses, in a giant hissy fit, smashed the tablets on the ground and walked away in a huff. Then, incomprehensibly pissed off with his mates, got high again and talked shit about them, how they were worshipping idols and coveting other peoples wives.

How could he have known that his drug-fuelled, jive talking rant would go triple platinum?

So, there you have it, the Bible, God and stone tablets, were all written while profoundly high. It’s all a sham, a drug fuelled, garbled, rambling sham… no wonder the Christians rewrote it, it didn’t make any frickin sense!

Good night, and [drug-fuelled imaginary] God bless.

Source.

Euthanasia: The true, sad, horrible story

Euthanasia is another one of those taboo subjects that comes to the fore every once in a while when one advocate or another, usually one with a terminal illness, dies as a result of suicide, assisted or otherwise. We’ve also discussed it at RustyLime on a couple of occasions.

Last week I received a call from my local member for Federal Parliament. He was calling to discuss an email I had sent him recently.

My email told the story of David, my grandfather, who is dying from the physiological effects of a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia after experiencing after a stroke just before Xmas last year. In graphic detail, I outlined the rapid descent from a productive, lively, elderly man, to a vegetable, who wears a nappy and needs a nurse to change him regularly, babbles incoherently, does not recall his own son, and drools constantly.

I informed my local member for Federal Parliament that my Grandfather had been a proud advocate and campaigner for euthanasia and is now incapable of feeding himself. He is victim to a disease which will bring an agonizingly slow, undignified death. He is now in the very situation he once campaigned to eliminate.

I simply asked the question, how can you condemn someone to live when they have no quality of life?

I described David, who only ten months ago, kicked a ball around the yard with his great-granddaughter, laughing and cheering. A man who only ten months ago, landed several huge flathead and coral trout, expertly scaled and filleted the fish and cooked them on the barbeque to the culinary delight of his family. The same man who loved to read one or two books a week and some time ago, worked as an engineer on such famous builds as the Centrepoint Tower and Harbour Bridge in Sydney . What is left is not what this man wanted.

I told my local member for Federal Parliament about a conversation I had had fortnight ago, while I visited the man who had taught me to drive. As David sat in an old armchair in his nursing home, he had an ultra rare moment of lucidity, these moments which are now few and far between. My granddad, the man who picked me up every day from primary school looked at me, and with a tear in his bloodshot blue eyes, told me that he was sorry for putting us through this. He said, “it shouldn’t be this way”. I held him while he sobbed absently.

Two minutes later, his mind had slipped again and he had no recollection of where he was, or the man holding his hand. He was visibly frightened by the presence of his own grandson who he could no longer remember.

I begged my local member for Federal Parliament to petition or put pressure on the government to hold a referendum to legalise euthanasia.

The answer was, respectfully, no.

That is not good enough. Euthanasia gives those without hope a fast, meaningfull goodbye in the place of a horrid, slow, wasting away. When I die, I don’t want my family to hate themselves because they’re glad I finally passed, I want them to give a high five to the recipients of my organs, throw me in the ground and have a fabulous party.

What are we waiting for, why is euthanasia still illegal, why must these people die in tourmented agony?

Torture is a criminal offence, yet we inflict it on all those struggling in their own nightmarish amalgamation between hell and life, as they wait for the release death. That is criminal. Legalise euthanasia in Australia, if not for David, then for your own peace of mind.

Terrorism is not isolated to a region, it is isolated to religion

Like most atheists with an above average intelligence, I realise that while religion serves no rational purpose for the individual or collective humanity, it does offer some people the illusion of purpose.

I also realise that while many religions have instigated and perpetrated many deplorable acts which contravene their laws of morality, many more remain peaceful and community oriented.

With objectivity, I find it hard to look at any religion without a contemptuous eye. Even the most liberal of religious sects still preach hatred of those who do not fit into their religious ideal, regardless of whether they do so passively.

Regardless of the religion though, one segment is always responsible for any atrocities committed in the name of that religion; fundamentalists.

Fundamentalists, also called purists/ultra-conservatives/extremists, are the ones responsible for the Bali Bombings, the Twin Towers attack in America, the recent bombings in Indonesia and a myriad of others were all masterminded and committed by religious fundamentalists, Islamic extremists.

As a consequence, Islam has simultaneously become the most feared and hated religion in the western world and a beacon of hope for the disenfranchised. This is nothing new; in essence, religion has spread in this same way since the beginning of theology. After all, if you lived in constant terror, in absolute destitute squalor, wouldn’t you want to believe that it was ‘all for something’ or that there was ‘salvation after death’?

Militant fundamentalists like the Taliban and Jemaah Islamiyah pray on the fear that these people live with every day, give them a purpose, a ‘road to absolution and salvation’ and send them into hotels with canisters of trinitrotoluene or other explosives strapped to their chest.

We can’t feel sorry for them because they kill fellow human beings of flesh and blood in the name of gods of imagination that can not fight for themselves. What terrible atrocities must one have seen or gone through in order to carry out a suicide attack? And all in the name of an utterly impotent god. It just makes no sense.

How can one cling to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies all logic, all reasoning and all evidence to the contrary?

When a religion appears charitable with the left hand, but terrorises the remainder of the earth with the right, can we absolve it for the good it has done? No, we can’t.

What is the answer? I don’t know; outlawing fundamentalism seems rational, but how do you define that?

Do you believe in something ancient with no evidence to support its authenticity? If the answer is yes, I would call you a fundamentalist because you believe in the same convoluted, irrational and misguided theology that was created by people who would be institutionalised if they lived today. You also share the same beliefs that rationalised the crusades, the holocaust and a thousand other stupid and pointless events throughout history.

I am not so naïve to assume that my thoughts would change a stagnant, ignorant mind, and while I realise the irony in this assertion, I truly believe that the world would be better off without religion, what purpose does it serve?

The Evolution of Superstition and Religion

If you take an animal like a bird in it’s nesting phase and provide it with a choice between it’s own eggs and larger plastic eggs with artificially attractive blue polka dots, it is completely unable to refuse the ‘prettier egg’, at the expense of it’s own eggs.

Experiments with butterflies, whereby a painted cardboard tube with more stripes on its underside than a natural butterfly is placed in front of a male butterfly, have shown equally interesting results. Despite the fact that the cardboard tube ha no wings, the male butterfly chose to mate with the cardboard tube instead of the female butterfly.

In contrast, humans are equipped with a massive cerebral cortex which enables us to be sceptical of our environment, it enables us to realise we’re sitting on large blue plastic eggs or trying to mate with a piece of cardboard over one of our own species (except those of our species who purposely buy ‘life-like’ latex or plastic dolls to mate with).

With that said though, while our brains were indeed designed by evolution to be sceptical of our surroundings (i.e. hear a twig break in the savannah and assume it is a lion stalking you in the bushes), this evolutionary advantage also provided us with a significant drawback; religious belief.

Religious belief is simply ‘connecting the dots’ where there are none. Inserting supernatural explanations in the place of natural ones would have made perfect sense when early hominids were trying to survive in a world where everything is trying to eat you.

If one of the flighty members of your tribe came back empty handed from a hunt, had lost his spear and had an open gash on his side and his explanation was that a gigantic new predator had moved in, you were inclined to believe him!

Had one of the elders questioned the flighty hunter, he may have confessed his secret.

You only need to take one more step and have an older, seasoned hunter or elder suggest that he had dreamt that the big beast would attack during the next hunt, and the superstitious belief becomes and exercise in the preservation of the tribe. One hunter might go off after the beast, fall off a cliff, and the tribe will forever tell stories of the ‘great beast’. This is the stuff of myths and superstition.

Due to the fact that our ‘instincts’ are still demonstrably strong, religion is still a most prevalent superstition; as a species, we still continue to ascribe supernatural explanations to our very natural lives.

Religion has convinced us that by living a certain way, we can preserve ourselves with eternal life. The derision of this belief, of course, deserves eternal punishment, pain and torture.

We are however, as mentioned above, equipped with a huge brain which enables us to be sceptical of such things. As we question the various forms of ancient superstition, they will break down and dissolve. Slowly, and carefully, we will evolve beyond our need for such acutely honed ‘instincts’ and ‘gut feelings’ telling us that Satan and the bogey man is lurking around the corner.

Only then evidence based claims take their rightful place.

Source:
1 - Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, Deirdre Barrett – “Supernormal Stimuli” 2010.
2 - Professor of Evolutionary Medicine, Dr William Meller M.D. – “Evolution Rx” 2009.
 

 Can you think of the evolutionary stimuli for any other modern dysfuntions?

9 reasons why Mormons are better than Atheists

1 Mormons wear magic underpants;

Atheists only have normal underpants. Some, like me, don’t even wear underpants!

2 Mormons believe that Jesus came to America and visited their founder Joseph Smith in 1820;

Atheists don’t even believe in Jesus.

3 When Mormons are doing their ‘real work’, they wear short sleeve button up white shirts and ties and door knock to spread the word;

When I, an Atheist, am doing my ‘real work’, I’m usually either naked and either in bed or a public restroom.

4 The Mormon church founder, Joseph Smith, first translated a golden tablet written by a lost apostle of Jesus who traveled to America, gave it to his friend, a publisher, who lost it (thinking that if Smith could reproduce the tablet, then his claims of a lost gospel would be true). God was angry with Smith and disallowed him from reading from the same tablet. So smith then translated an entirely different golden tablet from a different lost apostle of Jesus and got roughly the same message… just written a little differently. The religion of Mormonism followed hence.

Atheists believe that if Mormons know that and still follow the faith, they are either brain damaged (though that is offensive to people with brain damage) or just plain stupid.

5 Mormons believe that stimulants and alcohol are poison to the body;

Many Atheists couldn’t f*cking survive without them.

6 Mormons will often profess that attending church is among the most fulfilling experience in life;

Any Atheist that has ever been to any church, ever, knows how horribly, horribly mind destroying going to church is.

7 Mormons believe that their theology and doctrine is in line with the original Ancient Hebrew theology and doctrine;

Even Atheists find this offensive… let alone the Jews!

8 Mormons believe that their God is the father of everything and everyone;

Atheists’ naïvely believe that they were conceived through the fornication of their parents, who are most assuredly not Gods.

9 Mormons clearly, from their many websites and propaganda promotional material, believe that Jesus was a tall bearded white man;

Using very basic factual based logic, Atheists assert that a person born in the Middle East, to Middle Eastern parents, would have looked Middle Eastern… as such, Atheists are so silly! Atheists can’t even grasp the fact that as the sun of God, bloody Jesus could have looked like whatever he wanted… he could have even looked like James Caviezel if he wanted!

iFriends Interview with David G McAfee – [Bonus Show]

Wassup ninjas?

This last week, we recorded an interview with David G. McAfee, author of “Disproving Christianity:Refuting The World’s Most Followed Religion.”

Listen for your chance to win a copy of David’s book: http://www.blip.tv/file/4043247

David’s Website: http://davidgmcafee.wordpress.com/.

Purchase ‘Disproving Christianity:Refuting the world’s most followed religion’: http://www.amazon.com/Disproving-Christianity-Refuting-Followed-Religion/dp/1451555334/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282746562&sr=1-1

Enjoy.

Jake Farr-Wharton

Imaginary Friends Show – Episode 10

Dear Anthropomorphic Robots,

We have for you, this week, a decadent melange of news, music, interviews and sexy Korean pizza dances. If you don?t love it, you may have broken your funny bone… or you?re a Muslim. Speaking of which, here?s a picture I drew of Mohamma… wait, who are you, what are you doing here, put down that kni…. ahahh.

Listen Here: http://blip.tv/file/4031543
Or here: http://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/imaginary-friends-show-episode/id369614166?i=85208209
Or subscribe to the iTunes RSS here: http://ImaginaryFriends.blip.tv/rss/itunes/
Or subscribe to the Blip.TV RSS here: http://imaginaryfriends.blip.tv/rss

Lastly, we recorded an interview with the author of Disproving Christianity, David G McAfee. Listen to the interview (to be released on Wednesday evening) for the chance to win a copy of David’s awesome book, which I personally endorse!

Enjoy!

Jake Farr-Wharton

Imaginary Friends Show – Episode 9

Dear Quadrangles,

Ted Haggard called me this morning to let me know that he’s left Christianity to pursue a career in gay methylamphetamine production. I’m not sure what that involves, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy it more than denying his very nature.

That said, the 9th Imaginary Friends Show.com Podcast is friking live, man.

Imaginary Friends Show Episode 9: So much freaking news and current affairs; plus, Prop 8 was repealed, so I wrote a song for the religious – “Pray the gay away”; we discussed what non-religious reasons exist that should prohibit same-sex marriage; God goes through the 12 step program and Gina destroys another cult (religion).

Subscribe and and listen on iTunes RSS: http://ImaginaryFriends.blip.tv/rss/itunes/
Listen On Here: http://blip.tv/file/4016039
Subscribe to the blip.tv RSS: http://imaginaryfriends.blip.tv/rss

Interviews aplenty of the next few weeks!

Peace,

Jake Farr-Wharton

Kent Hovind’s – 10 Questions to ask ‘Evolutionists’, answered by me!

Kent Hovind’s – 10 Questions to ask ‘Evolutionists’, answered by me.

1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
2. Where did matter come from?
3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?
7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain the origin of reproduction?)
10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)

I’ll answer your questions, but keep in mind that much of it is mathematically verified, observed and empirical, however because of the nature of science, could be disproved or further expanded on in the future, nothing is set.

1. Depends on which theory you subscribe to. Super String is most interesting and I’ll let you explore it. Short answer, the Big Bang. While we know that the Big Bang occurred (through various means but the most observed is through the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation or CBM) and there are plenty of theories on how, none is set. It’s science, baby, and we’re just in our infancy!

2. The matter that exists in the universe is effectively the 1 part in a million which is left over after the cataclysm following the big bang.

3. The natural laws are observed laws, they are the observable constants in our universe and without them, and we would not exist to ponder them. An infinite number of universes may have existed before this one or even parallel to this one, and they may indeed have different laws which prevented or supported their rise. This one in infinity occurred, and has observed constants, but what of those which inevitably failed? Did their god not care or was it just natural?

4. The laws of nature. That said, the universe is headed, as it has been since the Big Bang, towards a point of maximum entropy and heat death. Just another one of Nature’s laws.

5. I won’t bore you with mathematics, E=mc2. Don’t underestimate the Big Bang, or more specifically, the events which occurred afterwards. Did you know, for example, that for around 380,000 years after the big bang, the universe was so hot that electrons could attach and detach to atoms freely (i.e. without decay)? This allowed new elements like helium, lithium, deuterium etc to be formed.

6. Plenty of great theories on this, personally, I quite like the theory that in the proteinic soup which resulted from a cooling, mineral rich earth, amino acids (i.e. the ones which comprise our DNA) found their way to basic cell membranes such as lipids, which ultimately better protected their newly formed chains of aminos, which later became DNA, cell-nuclei etc. (I’m not doing this justice here, sorry). The first organisms could have easily been chemosynthetic; photosynthetic (this most certainly happened later if not first). Live could have been seeded by comets, by cataclysms, or mud.

7. Amino acids pair up/off pretty easily as do enzymes and proteins. Once the long chains of polypeptides formed, it was only a matter of time (3-4 billion years) that they would find better ways of survival.

8. This is a rather pointless question, as it presupposes that it is not possible without intervention. Obviously it is possible because it happened. Osmosis is most likely, and a mutation that caused a cell to divide instead of just fuels it, resulted.

9. Everything in this universe is in competition. Richard Dawkins explains if far more eloquently that I can, in his latest book “Greatest Show on Earth”.

10. The answer is that they don’t. Most mutations have no effect. Some cause cancers. Some cause bad eyesight. The idea of natural selection is that any mutation that provided a greater chance aiding in the survival of the organism had a far greater chance of a mutation which, for example, slowed an analogue of an antelope down so the predator could catch it.

We are the result of billions of years, the complexity of which can not be explained here, or in any other single book.

We’ve discovered much in the last 200 years, we’re finally able to ponder both the future beyond tomorrow and the past beyond yesterday.

But here is the question; does the absence of a complete explanation for our existence mean that we should subscribe to the arrogant musings of desert nomads from 2-3,000 years ago?

F*CK NO!

Dear Australia: Vote Below The Line!

Dear Australia, 

While I acknowledge that we’re not all lazy bludgers, in the coming weeks, there will be a great opportunity to vote in a new government or vote out the substantiative government.

The importance of your vote is not just with the House of Representatives either, your senate votes count just as much – a government with a greater numbers in the House of Reps and the Senate have a greater chance of having legislation passed.

While it’s tempting, I know, to vote “above the line”, and get it over with as quickly as possible so as to get to the sausage sizzle outside the booths, but there is a very good reason why you should spend the extra 90 seconds, filling out all of the boxes: if you don’t you’ve thrown your vote away to your chosen party’s preferences.

 From the site, “Vote Below the Line”:

“Did you know that ALP and Democrat voters helped elect Steven Fielding of the Family First Party to the Senate in 2004?

They may not have intended to but that’s what happened when they voted above the line in the Senate. When you vote above the line, you’re letting that party determine the way you vote and their preferred vote may not be what you expect. The only way to be completely sure that your vote goes the way you want is to check where your party’s preferences are going and if they’re not going the way you want then vote below the line.”

For your information, Senator Steven Fielding, of the Family First Party is a young earth creationist. He believes, in spite of the insurmountable evidence, that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, the Biblical Genesis account of direct creation by his god. This man will make decisions on behalf of the country, but is apparently unable to understand basic geology, let alone chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics.

So, a lazy vote ‘above the line’, does have ramifications.

Essentially, when you don’t personally spend the time to number your preferences (i.e. actually voting), you run the risk of your personal preference not matching up to those of the party you’re voting for. 

Why? Because when you align yourself with a party, and they give their preferences to someone else to strategically strengthen their chances of election, you let them fill in all of the boxes below the line FOR YOU.

For example, were you to vote 1 in ‘QLD Group T: Australian Labor Party’ (I am in Queensland), then your preferences will look like this: https://www.belowtheline.org.au/qld/group_t.html. This is because this is the sequence of preferences that the Australian Secular Party has preselected.

Another example, were you to vote in the Australian Secular Party in ‘Group L’ above the line, your vote will actually look like this: https://www.belowtheline.org.au/qld/group_l.html.  

 Filling out 80 boxes in order of your preference is necessary to ensure that your vote counts.