Category Archives: Ease your Inhibitions

My Awe-mazing Life, pt.4 – Parenthood

When you see you children conceived, developed in utero and then born thru this amazing process, it doesn’t make you wonder about the mind behind such a design?

101003205930_1_900x600.jpgI think I’ve said this before but of course I do! Wait, no, I don’t wonder about the ‘mind’ behind it because I don’t see the need for a mind behind it. I am in awe of the process and the intricate details that must be in just the right place and time for the sperm to fertilize the egg, for the sheath to form so only one sperm gets in, for the DNA of the two to combine to form the zygote, for the embryo to attach to the wall of the uterus in just the right place… I understand the process and wonder at it. But there is no reason to explain it away with a god.

images (1)Being a parent is more of an experience than I ever thought it could be. Everyday I am amazed at something Sariah or Sophia have done. One day I came home from work and Sariah was in her room reading to herself, I didn’t know if she would turn out to be a reader. Another day I was taking a nap and Sophia found me, woke me up, asked me to bite her apple for her (she can’t take the first bite), and then went to Crystal to tell on me for eating her apple! Hearing her exasperated sighs and explanation in her baby talk was incredible. These are my accomplishments, not your god’s.

How about one last Tim Minchin quote and video link.

And you, my baby girl
My jetlagged infant daughter
You’ll be handed round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school
And you won’t understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world
My sweet blue-eyed girl
….
And if my baby girl
When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You’ll know what ever comes
….
Your brothers and sisters and me and your Mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
Whenever you come
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun

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My Awe-mazing Life, pt.3 – Design

All the knowledge you hold about the human body and at the cellular level and the intricate detail involved in development and sustaining the metabolic process, you don’t ever wonder if their is an intelligent mind behind that design?

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Just as this person said, the details of the processes our bodies go through everyday with zero active involvement by us. It is awe-mazing. I don’t need to use a god to explain these processes because evolution does just that.

I’m sure there is contention in your mind about the idea of evolution but I’ll tell you this, in the scientific world there is evidence enough to have attained the status of scientific Theory (big T).

Evolution is powered by survival of the fittest. This means that the individual or group that is most adapted to the environment will be thrive while less adapted ones die off. I see it as a very simple and logical idea. The main problem people have is the amassing of very many extremely small changes causes a large change over a big period of time.clock2

I once explained it as a clock, don’t know if I came up with this or heard it from somewhere else. If I were to show you pictures of a clock at different hours and told you that the pictures were related but didn’t have a picture for every second in between each picture, you could say you don’t believe they’re the same clock because there were holes in the timeline. If we were then to look at the clock in person you say “See, only the second hand moves, you can’t watch the hour hand move so those pictures must be of completely different clocks.

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This analogy relates directly to the erroneous distinction of micro vs macro evolution. Just as the only difference between an hour and a second is time, so to the only difference between micro and macro evolution is time. Extremely small, even imperceptible, changes can add up. So the changes between each successive individual is unnoticeable but if you can look at the difference between individuals thousands of years apart the change could be drastic.

Some advice on reading about this subject would definitely include Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Magic of Reality, or The Selfish Gene. Another great analogy is in the Ancestor’s Tale (I think) where we take an elevator down the floors, each a different step on the evolutionary chain, towards the ancestors. If we stop at each floor along the way we won’t see much, if any change, but if we jump say 100 floors or 1,000 floors the differences would be immediately noticeable.

If the mechanism can be explained then there is no need for a designer. The next book I will recommend is The Blind Watchmaker. When you believe everything is divinely designed what makes anything more amazing than any other thing?

The problem with saying there is a designer is the the design flaws. Glasses and hearing aids are the least of the worries, what about childhood cancer, or cancer at all. It is easily explained with science, why try to give credit to a faulty designer when you can’t also give the blame for the flaws.

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My Awe-mazing Life, pt.2 – Morality

Why you think some things are right and others are wrong?

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Morality. What is right and what is wrong. Of course I’ve thought about this, I’ve decided to take the burden of deciding what is right and what is wrong on myself, and I think if we look hard enough some theists have too.

To understand my morality I will link a video here that explains the basis for a secular morality. This talk was given by Matt Dillahunty, a well known, outspoken atheist who is one of the hosts of The Atheist Experience, an atheist talk show (now on skype/internet stream) that actually welcomes questions and comments from theists.

GoldenRule-2.jpgFollowing the dictates of a higher power isn’t morality, it’s following orders. Basically the foundation for my morality is empathy. You know the “Golden Rule”, but just to stop your thought process, this isn’t a Christian idea. Every religion/culture throughout history has had this idea, if they didn’t have this simple thought the civilization wouldn’t last. It isn’t rocket surgery to know murder is bad, but in some instances I think we would agree that the death of one individual is acceptable. This is a very big thing, situational ethics.

moralityGood and bad are within us all because that is what is required to keep our society around. I see no reason to give the credit for our good deeds to a god, especially when we would still keep all the blame for the bad.

Can a deity be both just and forgiving? Forgiveness is to take away the punishment for a misdeed, while justice is the rightful punishment of a misdeed. Seems like a contradiction to me but, then again, it isn’t my god so I don’t have to rationalize it.

If you have a good sense of humor about your belief and could use a laugh check out this video of Tim Minchin’s song The Good Book. The morality part of the song lyrics are here:

Morality is written there
In simple white and black
I feel sorry for you heathens
Got to think about all that
Good is good and evil’s bad
And goats are good
And pigs are crap
You’ll find which one is which
In the Good Book
Cause it’s good and it’s a book
And it’s a book (yeah!)

My Awe-mazing Life

Do you never wonder about the immaterial things like, why you have a conscience? Why you think some things are right and others are wrong? All the knowledge you hold about the human body and at the cellular level and the intricate detail involved in development and sustaining the metabolic process, you don’t ever wonder if their is an intelligent mind behind that design?  When you see you children conceived, developed in utero and then born thru this amazing process, it doesn’t make you wonder about the mind behind such a design?

 These are comments that were sent to me recently in an email, they reflect questions that many atheists are asked every day. I don’t think I’ve ever done a post about this particular stuff so here it is. I’m going to break down the quote into each question and address each one individually.

Do you never wonder about the immaterial things like, why you have a conscience?

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Of course I do, who wouldn’t!? I just don’t feel the need to answer every question with ‘god did it’. I can’t explain the exact parts that make us have higher brain functions than other animals but I am confident that it is something like Aristotle described it “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

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We don’t know exactly how much ‘feeling’ other primates or other animals have. It has been shown that mice will stop pressing the button that gives them food if they find out it is causing another mouse pain. Sharing and apparent caring have been observed in gorillas. To deny that animals have morality is some sort of special pleading and denial that we aren’t completely unique in this world.

More immaterial concepts exist; love, hate, etc. These are usually brought up so I will address them beforehand. Some people claim that the skeptic can’t be sure of love because there isn’t evidence for it. There is evidence if the love is there. In the little looks and caresses you and your partner share. A kiss feels much different when the feelings aren’t there to motivate it. Hate is much the same, except for the kiss part. A lovely post I came across recently on Imgur.com recounts children’s answers to the question ‘What is love?’

I’ll link this video by Tim Minchin here and the most relevant lyrics below.

But the human body is a mystery!
Science just falls in a hole
When it tries to explain the the nature of the soul.
….
Life is full of mysteries, yeah,
But there are answers out there
And they won’t be found
By people sitting around
Looking serious
And saying isn’t life mysterious?
Let’s sit here and hope
….
Does the idea that there might be knowledge
Frighten you?
Does the idea that one afternoon
On Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you
Frighten you?
Does the notion that there may not be a supernatural
So blow your hippy noodle
That you’d rather just stand in the fog
Of your inability to Google?
….
Isn’t this enough?
Just this world?
Just this beautiful, complex
Wonderfully unfathomable, natural world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?

My Resolve

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but, if not, they currently have a way for people to make their own electronic billboard banner. Bring a picture and a good quote and make your own at FFRF.com/out!

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Before the last week or so I hadn’t had anyone challenge my posts or ideas. In light of a large fight recently I have become one of the people in my family and community who is out, and I will continue to post not only for myself but for the people who are unable or unwilling to come out publicly. I see these banners as a perfect way to show my support of the out community and I’d like to see many more around the net! My recent battle has not weakened my resolve to get the information out there; in fact it has probably caused me to kick into a higher gear.

 

“God is an ever receding packet of scientific ignorance.”

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

 

I love this quote. I came upon it in a video on YouTube, seen HERE the instant he said it my mind clicked telling me that quote is the best wording of an idea I have been trying to verbalize for a while now. Dr. Tyson has recently become one of my favorite people. He is not only an insanely smart astrophysicist he is funny too, as most of us know you don’t always get intelligence and personality; check out his podcast StarTalk. (cosmic queries are my favorite!)

Great Quotes posted by MuggleinConverse

An awesome quote I’d never heard before. Had to share.

“We tend to defend vigorously things that in our deepest hearts we are not quite certain about. If we are certain of something we know, it doesn’t need defending.”-Madeleine L’Engle

via Great Quotes posted by MuggleinConverse.

 

**After posting this quote I feel the need to add to the post one of the best quotes I have seen that I use constantly to my religions friends and family (actually mostly just the mormon ones) when they question me and my motives in exposing fraud, deceit, and ignorance in their personal religions.

​“If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.”
George Albert Smith, 1st Counselor to Brigham Young

 

Check out the Musings Of A Muggle In Converse

 

Removal of Aversions

As a part of my apostasy I am removing some of my aversions that I had before, the first is to drinking alcohol. I am not going on a drinking spree, I am going to familiarize myself with the different categories of drinks and the specific brands. I know some of these will take a couple of tries to make them palatable, I’ve already started and I can confirm some of these are horrible.

So far I have tried a few beers, a few whiskeys, and some vodka. I am sure I will mislabel some of these, let me know so I can fix it. I have gone to the liquor store and not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars, I bought a couple of the mini drinks. I am sure that this is what these were made for because who would want to spend $50 on a jar of drink that you might not like? Good idea companies!

I will try to put my thoughts to pen but I am having a hard time wording my thoughts to make sense to anyone else, so I’m sorry if you can’t understand my writings. I did not drink all of these on the same night (Usually just one/two a night, and I didn’t drink more than a sip of some of them)…I want to go about this as scientifically as I can and I thought the tastes and types would not mix well with each other. I am going to score each drink that I try using a 5 point scale:

1 – Something I’d never try again.

2 – I might try it again if someone vouched for the drink.

3 – So/So.

4 – Pretty good, but I will probably just stick to the minis

5 – I like this very much. Would potentially drink this often.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beer

Rolling Rock

Blah. Not good for me. I couldn’t finish it. I tried this one b/c it was a light ale and I thought the taste would be milder, it was but it wasn’t good. 2/5

Blue Moon-Belgian White

My favorite so far, but I don’t think I’d drink it often. I am just not a fan of the “beer” flavor. 4/5

Blue Moon-Agave Nectar Ale

Pretty good, pretty much the “beer” flavor that I had in my mind. I couldn’t detect the Agave Nectar addition I use this in my tea and I know it is a subtle taste on its own and can easily be overpowered. 3/5

Smirnoff Ice-Green Apple

Pretty good, not much to say really. This is a true starter drink. Not much alcohol, nice taste with the green apple (look forward to the other flavors). 5/5

Whiskey

Crown Royal

My mouth is numb. Wow, I’ve never had anything like this…I’ve never thought about something being like that. I can perfectly understand now why people shake their heads in movies/tv when they take a drink of whiskey. Pretty good and it soothed my sore throat, keep this one in the medicine cabinet i think. 3/5

Jameson

Whats up with the Irish and green bottles? Whew, strong. Good job Irish. Def. too strong for a newbie like myself. I’ll keep the little bottle around and retry it in the future. 2/5

Jack Daniels

I actually didn’t know what to expect when I bought this one. I’ve grown up in TN and heard about Jack all my life, never tried it. My grandfather even has a good story about someone in his family selling the recipe for Ole’ Number 7. I might go for the big bottle on this one. 5/5

Vodka

Smirnoff-Green Apple

Wow, not at all like the other Smirnoff I had. This one is hard to drink, apparently it is completely different than the beer-like one I had earlier. A lot, A LOT, more alcohol and green apple taste in this one. 2/5

Hpnotiq

This one is pretty good, not very harsh, nice fruit flavor apparently mixed with Congac (will try that soon). 4/5

A Spoonfull of Sugar

An inspiring view of the calm after the storm of leaving the church. I don’t know if I am to the point of not wanting to show everyone my evidence yet but I will get there eventually. I am not on a crusade and I will not jam it in anyone’s face but if they ask me I am ready and willing to provide it.

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via A Spoonfull of Sugar.

and a big Thank You to the Man Upstairs

So, the MTV Movie Awards are wrapping up and I just realized that through every speech I don’t think I heard anyone thank god, they all thanked actual people who had a hand in helping them get to where they are. I was excited to come to this realization, there is hope.

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