The Afterlife

This is going to be a bit more personal than my usual fare, but it’s also the most appropriate place right now to touch on this subject.

Tonight, just moments ago, I found out that a close neighbor has been sent home from the hospital for hospice. Her entire family is around her just waiting it out, and just thinking about it much less putting more detail into the wording makes me feel sick, so I trust that speaks enough for itself.

While feeling horrible, my mom reminds me that today is also the anniversary of when another very close neighbor took his own life. My mom was upset too, but I just sort of politely asked her to stop, if I even remember clearly.

And from there, she told me she couldn’t even imagine the despair I felt to believe I’d never see them again, and even though she was trying to comfort me, I felt betrayed and tricked - she said she doesn’t expect me to change my beliefs, and do a 180 right now but to just hold onto any kind of hope that I’ll see these people again, as that’s what brings her comfort. I couldn’t reply at all.

Call me whatever fits here; ignorant works, but I can’t think of death anymore. To me, yes those people are gone and I just don’t want to ever talk about it, and barely ever think about it. No, there’s nothing comforting about it, and telling someone to believe in myths when they’re emotionally crushed is really not okay.

It sucks when close people die, a lot, and that’s really all there is to say.

Belief in Nothing

I’ve touched on this countless times in the past, but it continues to find itself embedded within the subject of Atheism whenever it’s brought up.

To not believe in God is not congruent with a belief in nothing. If I don’t believe in Thor, it doesn’t mean I believe in nothing. If I don’t believe in leprechauns, it doesn’t mean I believe in nothing. If I don’t believe that aliens created the human race, it doesn’t mean I believe in nothing. If I don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster, it doesn’t mean I believe in nothing.

I do believe that we’re all alive walking on planet Earth, surrounded by countless planets within an unlimited vastness of existence. I also happen to think that belief in God takes away the magic of real life, so to me, the belief in God is more aligned with the basis of “belief in nothing” than atheism is. Belief in existence vs belief in non-existence.

Christmas

This Christmas has been one of the better ones in terms of religiousness around my family, and I figured I’d write something less angry for a change within the topic.

Last year, I was subjected to a literal bombardment of guilt and judgement for telling my mom I wouldn’t be joining everyone for church. It was actually a much larger affair than was probably necessary, especially reflecting on it now. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t go into more detail.

This year, however, it was completely different. Nobody even asked if I was going with them, and the only time it was mentioned is while the rest of my family was heading out the door, I heard my dad say to someone sarcastically, “he’s not coming? What, is he afraid the place will set fire when he walks in or something?” And then I heard my mom try to shush him, as if I’d get offended or something, but it was actually amusing - and obviously my dad wasn’t being serious.

An even bigger step is that for Christmas dinner, they skipped right over the prayer and just let my little niece say something instead and I think she just said, “I’m hungry” or something along those lines.

In fact, the only time God was mentioned at all was when my brother in law was talking about a game on his iPhone that creates anything you type in, and just for kicks he apparently made a “God” and an “Atheist” (who he said resembled me), and God exploded when the atheist touched him, which is also amusing.

This is a lot more diary-esque when there’s nothing to actually complain about or criticize, but whatever.

Another Update

I just had another religious discussion with my mom. Neither of us wished to turn it into an argument, so thankfully it remained very civil and calm but nevertheless a few things stuck out that made my eye twitch, and no doubt the same for her, which is twitch-worthy in itself.

I admit, ever since I lost the opportunity to “discuss” such things with my overzealous ex-supervisor, I’ve missed it a bit. Granted he frustrated me to no end with his completely closed mind and utterly perplexing beliefs, it still managed to pass the time and give me something to write about. My mom is much more sane about it in comparison, and doesn’t resort to calling me a heathen or threaten me with Hell anymore.

It began with me mentioning Rick Perry, who is someone she thankfully isn’t a fan of either.

Eventually she told me I “used to hate all Christians” and I told her for the umpteenth time that I never hated any Christians simply for being Christians. This would all get very repetitive if I went into details again, as most of my past entries will essentially say the same thing I would say here.

However, that’s exactly the point. Once again, my mom used the phrase “all there is” in an undermining tone while referring to this current life. She thinks it’s sad that I feel like once I die that’s it, while I feel like that makes every day important and life incredibly worth living.

To me, if life can be compared to a story, it has had a beginning, I’m in the middle, and it will eventually have a conclusion. To her, this life is like the initial inhale of breath you take before even beginning the story, which can have far more devastating consequences as far as satisfaction is concerned. The idea of believing you’re only at the beginning when you’re actually at the end couldn’t possibly breed anything but disappointment.

All in all it was an incredibly long-winded discussion, but no new ground was broken. Everything I had planned to mention has been brought up before, and frankly it’s just become laborious. It bothers me that we both believe the other to be close-minded and delusional, which makes me question the relevance of delusion in itself. If two people are accusing each other of delusion, which one is right? I can honestly tell you I know it’s not me, and plenty would agree with me - but then plenty would agree with her, as well.

It will always be a frustrating battle, and accusations of delusion just further the complexity and tediousness of the situation.

Update

This is largely pointless drivel, but it’s been a while since I got into a religious discussion so I figured I’d write about it.

I was talking to my sister today about how I have finally derived definitive tattoo concepts to make into sleeves, and my mom overheard and was somehow reminded of a Biblical tale. It seemed like such a stretch of a comparison that I figured she just wanted to see if she could sway me back over to Christianity with my sister’s help.

She ended up retrieving our nearly ancient Bible and flipping to the verse about Absalom getting caught in vines, which really had nothing to do with tattoos, but whatever.

I pulled out my handy Bible iphone app to prepare for the impending arguments, but in the end my mother and sister were more apprehensive than I anticipated.

"Have you read this whole thing cover to cover?" I asked my mom. Hesitantly, she flipped a few pages, cleared her throat, and said "No," to which I quickly retorted, "Ha, well if you did-" "I’d probably become a better person" she finished defensively.

"Actually, I was going to say you’d probably be more like me," I corrected her. My sister gave me a bit of a stern, yet helpless look and shook her head a bit.

"How about Revelation?" I asked.

They both sat back in their chairs and said, “oh no way, Revelation scares me. I can’t read it.”

"Convenient," I said. "So you guys just cherry pick the parts you like?"

"No," my mom said, "we just interpret certain parts differently, and-"

"So how do you feel about the Old Testament?"

My sister shook her head again, and said “I don’t like the Old Testament, it’s all doom and gloom.”

"Yes, it is," I said, "but it’s also the original words and should theoretically hold more importance, right?"

To make a longer story a few lines shorter, I mentioned how much it bothers me that people are so willing to omit anything that makes them uncomfortable and thoroughly embrace anything so long as they can take their own interpretation from it and twist it into something pleasing. This makes the backbone of Christianity so reprehensibly weak I fail to see how anyone could predicate a strong faith through the Bible alone. So to me it stands to reason that brainwashing parental and societal influence is the strongest support for religious indoctrination, and not the tenets and ideologies in themselves.

In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.

Thomas Jefferson

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous asked: You said you'd reply to me and you haven't, it's gotta be at least a week since you promised a reply. Here is my post... I'd appreciate a response to it, please...
Here's your quotes from the third-from-the-top post on your page:

“Now, apparently God, as people believe him to be, loves everyone. Why would he so readily condemn those he loves to eternal damnation, while I, just a mere, flawed human being, cringe at the very idea of it?”

This question reveals a fundamental misunderstanding, or perhaps intentional twisting, of basic Christian theology. If you are going to condemn God, I’d rather you condemn the right God than the imaginary one you set up in order to knock down. God condemns no one to hell. Must I remind you of the story in Genesis? How man fell as a result of his wrong choices? How he condemned himself to hell? Jesus humbled himself to the lowliness of man and died an excruciating death for all of us. So if we fail to accept his gift, it is our fault. It is not His; coercing us and forcing us to believe in him, now that would be evil. Is that what you would have? If he forced us to believe in Him, you’d call him wicked; but when he allows us our free choice which might lead to us choosing hell, you call him “wicked” for condemning us all. There is no way to please you! Jesus doesn’t condemn. Remember the part in the Gospels about the adulterous woman? How Jesus scattered her accusers by writing in the sand their sins and iniquities? Then how he said to her, “Neither do I condemn you”? For your own sake, please read the Bible and understand it before you attempt to tear it down.



“I condemn the philosophies of Hitler because he was responsible for the murder of thousands.”
So what? It’s a perfect example of natural selection. The strong win, and the weak lose. Who is anyone to say that is “wrong”?

“I would never harm another individual in the ways he has, most especially if it was through blind hatred.”
Now why not? You’re assuming objective human values. The value of human life. But that’s what your ideology of evolution denies! If we’re just pawns in evolution’s game, what is the reason for your outrage at natural selection’s inevitable work?

“I can tell you, I don’t love everyone. That still doesn’t make it OK to hurt people I don’t like, and on that note I could never hate an entire group of people blindly - only individuals, for specific reasons.”
What do you mean “it’s not OK”?
Why not? You’re trying to be authoritative in your statements on morality, and yet you admit you have no moral authority other than your own opinion. 


“In my opinion, for anyone to give justification over the pain of others is wrong.”

Again, what makes it wrong? You make it sound like things can actually be right and wrong, as if “right and wrong” are tangible and objective. But this is precisely what your materialistic philosophy attempts to disprove.

“The global standard itself should be pain, and perhaps even empathy - if you don’t want to feel pain, what right do you have to hurt others?” Who says you have to have a right do do something? Who told you that? If you can, then why not, according to the brutal Darwinian “dog-eat-dog” ideology.

“... while I, who am none of those things, do not ever want anyone to hurt.”
Why not? That is the crucial question. Give me your reason for such disgust. In today’s society people take the value of human life so for granted that they don’t realize that atheism, materialism, and Darwinism are the ultimate executioners of the value of human life. The idea that we are all equal in a transcendental way, and thus that “hurting people is wrong,” makes absolutely no sense if we are mere dots on the evolutionary timescale, with no purpose but to propagate our genome and no supervisor but natural selection.


Wow, I just happened across this buried deep within my messages. I suppose I owe you the most sincere apology ever for forgetting about this completely and neglecting it for months. I can probably come up with a few excuses as to why that is, but the bottom-line is I did in fact forget about this and I apologize.

I’m not certain you ever glance at my blog anymore, but I’d like to answer this regardless.

First of all, you say that I’ve set up an imaginary God to set up and knock down, while my beliefs hold that any notion of God is just as imaginary as the Easter Bunny, so that’s a relatively moot point.

I do recall the tale of Genesis. God created the concept of right and wrong, and then expected two people who had the innocence of newborns to understand it. Neither of them caused pain or suffering to another individual, they simply took something they were told not to take and then gained the ability to decipher right from wrong through their actions. Is that fair?

To say God humbled himself through the incarnation of Jesus just adds insult to injury by infusing the reprimand of Genesis with a thick layer of guilt. It would be like if I laid cookies out on a platter for a small child and told him not to eat any of the chocolate chip ones and he ignored my rule, so not only do I take away the entire platter but then I tell him I can forgive him for his actions by sticking my hand in the stove and making him watch my struggle in agony.

No, I don’t think it’d be right for God to force us to believe in his existence. However, if 5,000 people tell me unicorns are real and I still don’t believe in them that’s with good reason, is it not? If a unicorn comes up to me and tells me it’s real, it’s not forcing anything on me - it’s removing the natural doubt I’d have prior to meeting it. God would never have to tell me in any specific way that he’s real, if he came down from Heaven and belched in my face that would be enough for me - no coercing or forceful acts involved, so why not do just that?

On to Hitler: The problem with your argument is that’s not natural selection, it’s simply genocide. As human beings, we could go around and kill every animal we see because we have the capability to be stronger and more intelligent, but why would we? It’d just be a cruel act of wanton destruction, as Hitler initiated.

To use the term “pawns” when it comes to evolution and natural selection is entirely off-base. The key word there is natural; we naturally drift towards evolutionary superiority befitting of whatever conditions surround us. It happens so that life may always persist, not simply because it blindly forces change upon us. To destroy and to cause pain goes against life unless one organism biologically improves or sustains itself through a small scale, such as a lion eating a zebra. Lions aren’t just trying to kill zebras because they’re stronger than them, and it’d be self-destructive for the lions if they did try to eliminate all existence of zebras.

My “authority” over pain is a fairly simple one, actually. To tie pain into morals, I’m setting up a global standard of life. Pain is a biological message to tell us something is wrong. You pull your hand away from a fire because it hurts. Hold it there long enough and you lose your hand. Pain is a warning that life is in danger, and there isn’t a whole lot of ambiguity in that, really. That said, pain is a very necessary sensation to coincide with life, but when forcing it upon others it’s counterintuitive because it’s ignoring the natural warning that pain brings.

So why not? Our purpose isn’t simply to evolve, but to live and maintain life. If we were truly all out to be the last man standing, as you make it sound (if I’m not wrong), that would actually only serve to destroy us. If an organism comes along that eats everything and proves much stronger than any other animal and then wipes out everything but itself, that organism will eventually die out as well. Since evolution is really nothing more complex than the maintenance of life, that is very highly unlikely to ever happen.

You seem to make it sound as though evolution is predestined with your mention of a time-scale while I see it as a very simple progression that, as I’ve said a couple times throughout this reply, does little more than perpetuate life.

To be yourself, in a world that tries, night and day, to make you just like everybody else - is to fight the greatest battle there ever is to fight, and never stop fighting.

e.e. Cummings

Exhuming my Blog

I failed at coming back to life the last time I tried, but due to recent events I think I’ll be posting here a lot more now.

For one, I have a conclusive ending with my supervisor from work. A few weeks ago, I wore my inverted cross necklace outside of my shirt (which is technically only a problem because anything that dangles can be caught in a moving conveyor), and he absolutely flipped out at me. He told me if I didn’t take it off and throw it away right then, he would go to the highest administrative level and seek retribution to its full extent.

He attacked me such fervor that I admit I was completely taken back initially, but then managed to laugh it off and tell him to calm down. It actually became quite a huge ordeal throughout the rest of the day. Another supervisor eventually stole his attention and I continued to work with my necklace hanging out, despite the fact that it was against the rules (again, simply because it was dangling, not for what it symbolized). I suppose I was feeling pretty obstinate at this point.

After a while, my other, much more laid-back supervisor came over to me laughing, saying “I heard you pissed <name> off. Can I see it?” I showed him and he just started laughing, highly amused. “He’s such a hypocrite,” he said. “If you were wearing a regular crucifix he wouldn’t have minded, and this is no different. You’re just representing your beliefs. However, I do have to ask you to tuck it in or make it a choker because we can’t wear dangling jewellery.” With that, I did tuck it in because I felt the reason was much more just.

During break, Zealot (who I’ll call him for the rest of this post), was overheard telling people that I was “instigating” and being offensive on purpose. That I had slapped him in the face, and essentially told him to “f*ck his mother.” I couldn’t help but laugh once again.

Later on, I saw him pointing angrily in my direction at a higher-up who just threw his hands up in defense, shook his head, and walked away leaving Zealot standing there fuming. He walked by me very aggressively, pointed his roll of papers at me, and said “Jesus Killer,” with the meanest glare I’ve seen anyone give in a while.

I learned that he went around to everyone on the boxline and told them that I was insulting him, and that I was a horrible person. Every single person. A lot of them just said, “freedom of religion, right?” Some of them just got really quiet around me, a few more laughed, and one exceptional individual stopped me on the way to get a drink to say, “so I hear you pissed Zealot off. I just want to let you know that I was raised Catholic my whole life, and we’re not all like that. You can wear whatever you want, man.” I told him that meant a lot to me, thanked him, and shook his hand.

A few days later Zealot started talking to me again, and I told him that he had been jamming his religion down my throat every day since he learned I’m an Atheist. Wearing a necklace that signified how I felt about it is far less abrasive in the end then constantly trying to convince me that I’m going to Hell, and that every bad thing that happens to me is “the work of Satan.” He looked defeated for a moment, and just said “hey man, I’ve just been messing around - Jesus Killer,” he said with a forced smirk.

So for a few days, “Jesus Killer” was my nickname, in all of its irony that I trust I don’t have to explain here, mostly due to the fact that this has already become long-winded. In the end, that was about the last time anything to do with God was mentioned.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who still follows me, and I think I really will be more active now.

General Concern

For nearly a decade now, I’ve been very displeased with certain ways things are governed, most specifically within America. I have written about it at length, and have never let anyone read anything on the topic for reasons I am not entirely certain of. They have to do with politics, for the most part, but the details are loose. Mostly I was wondering if anyone would have a problem if I published some of what’s been on my mind on that area within this blog, bearing in mind that religion is a fairly significant piece of what this would entail.

So my question is, would anyone who reads this mind seeing the occasional post that pokes at things that veer mildly off-course from religion?

Epic Battle: Christian vs Atheist

I didn’t want to make any enemies at work. Until today that was largely avoided.

However, my supervisor (who is 12 years older than me), decided to call me an Atheist with a derogatory aim and brought it up countless times today. I repeatedly laughed at it, and sometimes bit back by calling him a “delusional Christian” to counteract him.

During some routine work, he tried to tell me exactly what to do and how to do it, and I refuted it by telling him I was just fine doing it my own way. And he said, “that’s the problem with you atheists. You think too much, and if I’m telling you to do something, you do it.” I couldn’t help but burst out with laughter, and once again snap back and say, “yeah, because Christians are so renowned for their higher thinking.” And he said, “I don’t have to just think I ‘know,’ and I think, and I have faith. You can’t do that as an atheist.” To which I said, “no, you have ‘faith.’ You don’t know anything, but you do think you do.”

He began to get very angry with me, claiming he follows a book written by God so he knows he isn’t wrong. I told him Harry Potter was a book too, so perhaps he should start believing in wizards. He then said that Rowlings isn’t a prophet, so therefore her books couldn’t be followed. And I told him if she claimed to be a prophet, perhaps then he’d devote his life to fairy tales. He began to go into false prophets, and I asked him how he knew they weren’t all false prophets. All he said then was, “man, I hate atheists. I’m going atheist bashing today.”

I simply said, “by all means, bring it on.” A co-worker overheard, and he said “<supervisor’s name> you do realize you’re discriminating Andy for being atheist?” And my supervisor said, “it’s about time Christians rise up, we’ve been discriminated and attacked throughout our existence.” And I said, “oh? Just like Galileo and the Salem witch trials, and the Crusades, right? You know, Christians killing people for doubting in your god?” He got very angry again, and just said “no, those were bad Christians. You can’t condemn all Christians for a few of them committing murder.” And I reminded him that religion ruled over everything for centuries, and Christianity infested world leaders and general thinking.

Again, all he could say is that he hates atheists, and here is where my anger finally broke free instead of just laughing at his pathetic attempts to spread his delusion as true knowledge. “If you’re atheist, you’re probably just ‘a gay.’”

I paused in shock for a while and stopped everything I was doing and just glared at him. “So what if I was,” I said through gritted teeth. “‘Gays’ as you so delicately call them are real, and your god is not. I’ll mock something that doesn’t exist as hard as I can, especially if it causes people like you to have twisted, brainwashed hatred towards an entire group of people.”

"So you actually support gays?" he asked in shock. My anger just exploded, and at first I told him to walk away before I said something that got me fired, but he said "you should be trying to save their souls, not support them." And I finally had to say, "walk away. Walk away, now. I’m not getting fired over a delusional, brainwashed, ignorant Christian."

So much more was said but I’m a little too riled up to write as coherently as I would like, so for now I’ll leave it. But yes, I’m back to really hating Christianity (as opposed to being somewhat passively against it) and I’m wearing my inverted cross outside of my shirt at work from now on, even though we’re not allowed to wear anything that dangles.

It has been 2 months since my last confession..

..and tomorrow I solemnly swear to make a post. I have so many excuses as to why I haven’t but each and every one of them are just about bullshit anyway, so until then. Thank you everyone who hasn’t unfollowed me yet.