IFS 94 – Freedom Sauce

Dave ‘The Happy’ Singer, Martin S Pribble and Gregg Savage join the show to talk royal commissions into Catholic sex abuse; HIV is a deadly weapon; 14 YO married necrophiliacs in Egypt and; Nuns gone wild! Enjoy.

Watch here:

Download MP3 here.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace and love.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Episode 69 – American Atheists Dave Silverman and a cigar…

Dave Silverman from the American Atheists (www.atheists.org) joins Jake and Gregg to talk religion, science, politics, rationality and The Reason Rally in 2012. Dave also says some stuff… really riske` stuff… and I think I want to go to The Reason Rally 2012!!!

Watch here:

Download MP3 here.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace and love.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Episode 68 – Pray The Gay Away… again… and again!

This week we talk Gadaffi; ex-gay bigots Exodus International; discriminating against ones right to discriminate; Harold Camping fails again; Richard Dawkins gets bitchslapped by Gregg… and more. Enjoy.

Watch here:

Download MP3.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace and love.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Ok, so I occasionally feed the trolls…

One of the greatest thrills I’ve experienced as a podcast host is “listener mail”. It is an incredible feeling to have listeners of the show write and ask for advice; provide commentary and feedback; ask questions; correct mistakes (many…); and so on.

With that said, I also receive creationist ‘semi-spam’, from both Christians and Muslims, which I find myself unable to respond to without a certain amount cynicism. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome mail from anyone and everyone on just about any subject, but what I meant by ‘semi-spam’ is basically ‘copy & paste’ blanket emails that act as a script filled with unfounded rebukes to atheism. Most of these rebuke emails contain very little thought and even less punctuation and proper grammar.

Here is my ‘copy & paste’ response to these emails:

Dear [insert name],

Many thanks for taking the time to send an email to ImaginaryFriendsShow@gmail.com, we greatly appreciate the effort necessary to copy and paste your questions from an online forum into the body of your email. It shows you care! That said, I’m curious as to why you have chosen to send an email to me, instead of those people who actively and directly contradict your ideology.

What I mean by this, [insert name], is that I, and my non-theistic pals, DO NOT assert that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Nor do we assert that the universe is 13.7-15 billion years old. We are not responsible for the assertion that the universe came in to being by completely natural means (i.e. without any influence or interjection from a supernatural source), and we do not assert that no god that humans have previously, or currently believe in are any more plausible than the assertion that a copy of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species is currently in orbit around the Earth.

These are the findings of the most intelligent physicists, geologists (and geophysicists – which IS a different field), astrophysicists, astronomers, biologists, zoologists, chemists, anthropologists, archaeologists, etc. that the world has ever hosted. Their findings are based on mountains of supporting evidence and confirmatory experimentation which has been amassed and accumulated since the Enlightenment.

So, the logical question, [insert name], is, why is creationism not viewed scientifically derived theorem? The answer to that, dear [sir/madam] is that the ‘supporting evidence’ for creationism is the bible, a text that is full of scientific claims, which, once tested, prove to be false.

Consider the following. In Genesis, God creates light, and then later that week creates the stars, which are the source of all light and heat in the universe. He also creates the plants and animals prior to creating the ‘stars in heaven’, which, as I’m sure you’re aware, all plants (and thus animals for the food chain) rely on for photosynthesis.

There is, unfortunately, no evidence to support the belief that a benevolent creator played any role in humanity’s rise to supremacy on this planet. Furthermore, the evidence which directly contradicts the view of both creationism and so called ‘intelligent design’ is insurmountable and suggests, without any bias, that the universe formed naturally and that a process of evolution, by way of natural selection, is responsible for our existence. A great experiment, which replicated the early environmental conditions of planet earth, found that after only a very short time, the most fundamental building blocks of life, amino acids, formed in great abundance – google the Miller-Urey experiment for further detail.

With that said, another phenomenon which appears to be a completely natural product of natural selection and our evolution on this planet, is the human propensity for belief in the supernatural. It seems that for the past 70,000 years – likely longer, but we’ll go by what we have evidence for – anatomically modern humans have been playing a real life game of connect-the-dots. Certainly, the proclivity to place ‘the supernatural’ and ‘god(s)’ at the fore of everything we can’t explain is something undeniably human.

As humans learned to interrogate and interpret the universe they found themselves within, however, the places where ‘the supernatural’ and ‘god(s)’ could hide became ever smaller. Now, with our sophisticated technology and insatiable thirst for knowledge, there really is nowhere left for a god to hide, and yet, there still remains no evidence of such things. Of course, absence of evidence does not necessitate evidence of absence, but it certainly does imply it.

Nonetheless, you didn’t write to me for evidence, did you? No. You wrote to me because you’re trying to save me from ending up in hell; the place where all non-theists end up when they die. Well, while I admire the sentiment, I’ve always found it odd that Christians don’t seem to realise that the Jewish books, the books of the Old Testament, the books that contain the laws that Jesus professed that he came to fulfil, contain no mention of heaven, or hell.

So, it’s worth asking yourself the question; if Jesus didn’t write anything in the New Testament, and none of the New Testament was written until well after Jesus had died (theological fact, not atheist propaganda), and if Jesus claimed to fulfil the Old Testament and not to change anything, why are you denying science in order to go to a place that Jesus didn’t believe in?

You are not inhibited by a lack of intellect, this much is clearly evident in your writing (though I implore you to use punctuation in future), so why not go and do the work, instead of questioning those who simply follow the evidence? Read a text book. Do a biology or physics degree. Read a popularised science book. Make love to a librarian.

Believe me, if you found god’s “signature in the cell” (a book by Stephen Meyer which asserts, without evidence and in direct spite of contrary evidence, that everything has been ‘intelligently designed’) and had the evidence to back it up, you’d have a Nobel Prize and billions of adoring fans. A couple of scientist friends of mine (one in molecular genetics, the other in microbiology) have remarked on the amount of money awaiting them if they forsook the evidence and wrote a book supporting intelligent design or creationism. And that is the point.

In order to believe in creationism, in intelligent design, or a similar motif, you must stand at the foot of the mountain of evidence and ignorantly, gouge our your eyes, cut out your auditory nerves, remove your hands and feet (lest you learn brail) and lobotomize all parts of your brain which cause you to question.

Why? Matthew 18:9 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”

Before I go to get my morning coffee, please, let me invite you to refute and rebuke me on my podcast, the ImaginaryFriendsShow.com Podcast. Send me another email and we’ll hook it up, in person or via skype.

Peace out!

Jake.

Come to the Dark Side, we have numbers

Darth Maul - definitely One Of Us

The Dark Side Skincare and Cosmetic Range Also Available.

There’s a census coming up soon here in the UK. Now, just as in most countries, the stuff the Government learns from the census is taken far more seriously by ‘Them, the Government’ than it ever is by ‘We, the people’ ticking the boxes.

The information on religion has in the past been used to attribute cash – real, hard, taxpayer’s cash – to religious projects and organisations rather than secular ones, on the grounds of there being significantly more people who claim to have a faith than those who come straight out with it and say ‘Nah, it’s all nonsense.’

The trouble with such a system, and letting the great British public loose with it, is that the nature of the great British public is fundamentally to take the piss and go for the gag. No really – we’re a nation that, above all – above its ability to queue, above its insensitivity to flavour and its casual racism, above even its own staggering apathy, prides itself on its over-inflated Sense of Humour. Get a Brit in an airport and watch them physically struggle not to make jokes about the bomb in their luggage in loud theatrical whispers. We’re just that funny.

Now, what that means in real terms is that while there are genuinely a minority of people who have a strong, guiding faith, and a minority who don’t believe in anything and are quite prepared to say so, the actual majority of British people are piss-taking shruggers who really couldn’t give a toss about religion.

That means, when faced with the census, and having to define their ‘religious affiliation’, they do one of two things. Either they shrug and go ‘ah to Hell with it, I’ll tick the box I was brought up in’…or, if you give them a comedy option, they will flock to it in droves.

Which is why in the 2001 census, Christianity claimed 70% of the population, despite dwindling church attendance records, and why a staggering 0.7% of the population of England and Wales chose ‘Jedi’. Yes, really.

Now, on the one hand, I love this, and it genuinely does represent the sense of humour – and largely the position – of the more than 390,000 people in England and Wales, who really, frankly, couldn’t give a damn about religion, and chose to be a Jedi in 2001. It was a movement that wasn’t confined to England and Wales – in Scotland, there were 14,000 Jedi. In Australia, more than 70,000. Over 53,000 in New Zealand, and 21,000 in Canada. Worldwide, there were enough Jedi hanging about the Earth in 2001 to kick the Sith’s ass back to a galaxy far far away. I even toyed with the idea myself, before going for the more accurate and honest ‘No Religion’ option (You could tell, couldn’t you?).

On the other hand, every Jedi contributes to the idea that Britain (and the other countries where the Jedi option is on the list) is a country ‘of faith’ – as indeed do those who choose the faith of their childhood if they no longer actively espouse it. And while I’m not about to tell anyone they don’t believe in a religion they say they do, the latest research shows that just 15%  – rather than 70% – of people in the UK go to church at least once a month.

In the 2001 census, incidentally, those who had the courage of their atheism in England and Wales amounted to 14.7% of the population. Now let’s do the maths. 14.7 plus 0.7 would equal 15.4% – that’s more than the UK population of regular churchgoers.

So how about this: If you can persuade Imperial Stormtroopers these aren’t the droids they’re looking for; if you can pull spaceships out of swamps with the power of your mind; and if you can come back from the dead for cameos in other people’s lives, looking all blue and fuzzy, and just occasionally being played by an entirely different actor – then you can call yourself a Jedi. Unless you can bring the Force-mojo, save the laugh for people who appreciate it – the British Government don’t – and come join the dark side; tick the ‘No Religion’ box in the 2011 census.

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