Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Anti-Atheist Meme #24

Full credit goes to the Freedom from Atheism Foundation. For more on that group, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Richard Dawkins is Wrong (as Always)



The following article was written by Michael Brendan Dougherty. For the link, click here

The justly celebrated biologist Richard Dawkins has kindly asked that we stop ascribing religious beliefs to children. It would be silly to refer to a four-year-old as a Marxist because his parents are Marxist, so why in the world should we credit to children a belief in the Resurrection or Muhammad riding to heaven on horseback? “Don’t Force Your Religious Opinions on Your Children,” the title of his newest article instructs us.
I used to agree with this, broadly speaking. I thought the fact that my mother left if it up to me to decide whether I wanted to continue to go to Mass — I didn’t — made my later reversion to faith more authentic. I imagined that I would be really cool and liberal about the religion thing when I had kids. In a sense, I would leave it up to God and them.
I was wrong about it all. And so is Dawkins now.
Actually, to be fair to myself, Dawkins is much more wrong. He goes further than pleading for a hands-off approach. “What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe," Dawkins has said. "That’s child abuse.”

He is not exaggerating his view for effect. On the subject of priestly sex abuse, he once told an audience that “as horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place."

Let’s take his claims one at a time. He says that we cannot call a child a Christian in the same way we might call him French. He writes:
Citizenship of a country, whether we like it or not, has legal implications... But if you know somebody’s nationality that doesn’t tell you their opinions about anything. That French person may be left-wing, right-wing, pacifist or warlike, pro- or anti-abortion, the death penalty, vegetarianism, Windows, Macintosh, or Linux. [Time]
But citizenship is hardly the only aspect of belonging to a nation. Nations pass on a story of their own history, their own languages, civic holidays, and rituals. Nations impress on their members a character that is unchosen, even if it contains all the variety of opinion that Dawkins names. Even if someday I came to hate America, renounced my citizenship, and sought refuge in another country, I would still have thousands of Americanisms imprinted on my experience, expectations, and manners. These would instantly reveal me as an American.
Dawkins approves of cultural things that may be connected to religion, including feasts, art, and music. But he writes, “There really is an important difference between including your children in harmless traditions, and forcing on them un-evidenced opinions about the nature of life or the cosmos.” He tosses off sentences like, “Indoctrinating your opinions into the vulnerable minds of your children is bad enough.” And says that religious education “negates the ideal, held dear by all decent educationists, that children should be taught to think for themselves.”
Notice the language he uses: force, indoctrinate. And the implication that religious kids cannot think for themselves. Of course, I don’t intend toforce religious convictions on my children or indoctrinate them any more than I intend to force on them good manners, or indoctrinate them in the conviction that “might does not make right.” I simply intend to teach, guide, instruct, and correct. Rarely will that even involve formal lessons. Most of it will simply be implied.
Parents can’t help teaching their children lessons. And they are often a little overwhelmed to see their child learning them, acquiring habits of behavior and thought that they never meant to pass on. These can be good or quite damaging. A father that says, “Let’s go help your mother with the dishes,” to his son and accompanies him in doing so is teaching something different about family life, women, parenting, and service than the father who commands, “Go help your mother with the dishes!” while he entertains himself with his iPad.
The little expressions, eye rolls, and groans that parents attach to ideas, people, dress, or even dinner plates pass on good or harmful lessons without ever presenting themselves as “indoctrination.” So, too, do the books on the shelves, and the books that come off the shelves more frequently than others. These are the very things that teach children how to situate themselves in the home, in the world, in their social class — how to value themselves or others.

There are ethical and metaphysical stakes even in watching television. The way a father leers at a beer commercial may inadvertently teach his daughter to see herself as only worthwhile to men as an object of pleasure. People live, imperfectly, according to what they believe and value. And when children are around, these decisions are constantly explained, justified, and weighed within earshot. Parental influence is so obviously powerful that it ought to inspire great respect for those who wield it.
Children will notice their parent spending 20 minutes a day praying the rosary. Or their parents consoling each other with words from the Psalms. Or their parents fasting for Ramadan. They might even hear their parents pleading for mercy from their sins, or see them donating money to a social cause.
A child notices and then does exactly what Richard Dawkins fears indoctrinated kids won’t do: she asks questions. At age four they may be answered simply and even enigmatically. At age 17, a great work of Augustine or Avicenna may be pulled from the shelf. And in the case of my own home, a copy of the Koran and several translations of the Bible are on the shelf near an autographed copy of Christopher Hitchens’ God is not Great. And next to that a copy of Michael Martin’s infinitely more challenging, Atheism: a Philosophical Justification, which I’ve read twice.
And yes, the happy presence of all those books in my home teaches something as well. Namely, that in this house we have nothing to fear from the best arguments of Richard Dawkins.
Dawkins should give children more credit. Children know instantly the sincerity of their parent’s convictions. They know intuitively what is really important to them. Adolescents, because they are unused to decades of bargaining with their own weaknesses of will, are absolute hounds against hypocrisy. Children invariably test their parents' ideas for themselves.
So what would Richard Dawkins expect religious parents to do? The only way to satisfy him, of course, would be to renounce religion entirely, to become an evasive hypocrite, to diminish religion's importance in your life to that of a hobby, like archery or collecting old coins, to make it a thin set of convictions added to the otherwise real and secular. I’m sure that would suit Dawkins just fine. A faith of this sort is practically the established state religion in Dawkins’ England.
Perhaps that’s why he can’t help being fond of it.

Yet more evidence that atheists are idiots. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

9 Ways The Bible is Better than 50 Shades of Grey



Before I get started about this, a quick disclosure: I have not read 50 Shades of Grey or seen the movie, nor do I have any intention of doing either. Most of the information I have on it is from wikipedia, but from what I can tell, the movie version doesn't deviate that much from the novel.

9. Contracts vs covenants

While on the surface both seem like the same thing and they both deal with how a relationship would work between two parties, the key difference lies in the covanant's ability to allow one party to be closer to the other; the contract doesn't allow for that, especially in the novel where it flat out says their relationship is just sexual (much more on this later).
Actually, I don't think the contract in the novel is a true contract because no way exists to enforce it.

8. How each challenge sexual norms

Since the standards in 50 Shades are well established, it's better not to get into them a little further….although I do find it a little confusing that Christian says he doesn't want to get emotionally involved yet keeps doing things that show he is getting romantically involved with Ana.

Now, we could go into what the Bible says, but suffice to say studies have determined the Bible is better for a marriage or relationships.

And by that….the Bible wins.

7. Who the ideal woman should be

In the novel, we're lead to believe Ana is book smart but naive about the real world. I say that because the novel says she's 21 and a college senior. This means either she skipped a few grades or worked her tail off for years to get to this point.
I bring this up because neither of those traits seem to exist as soon as Ana meets Christian. This is a disturbing trend I've found in media: it's fine for the ideal woman to be a hard worker or smart but those are not acceptable if she wants to find a man or be admired.
For what the Bible says what the ideal woman should be, I suggest reading the book of Ruth, Judith, or even approved works concerning the Virgin Mary.

6. The use of the name Christian

This might sound like it's deviating from the main point but I think this shows an underlying attack against the word. In the Bible Christian the word was first used in Antioch to describe Christ's followers. People were executed if found guilty of being a Christian.
Whereas in the novel the one named Christian can't approach women in a grown up manner.
Speaking of which...

5. How men should treat women

In 50 Shades, Christian views Anastasia as just a cheap score or at worse the center of his fantasies. At one point, Christian has Ana sign a contract flat out admitting theirs will be just a sexual relationship. Not only that, it will also include just dominance and submission.
Whereas the Bible calls on men to love their wives as Christ loves His Church; men are to also treat their lives as they treat their own bodies. 

4. Subjective vs objective truth

Every time I bring up how immoral the themes in the novel are, I hear the same thing every time:
"That may be true for you but it's not true for others."

That argument might make more sense if a) the people touting this subjective notion didn't hold it as objectively true, which refutes the whole notion of subjectivity and b) at one point in the novel, Ana hesitates and wonders whether this is the right thing to do.

Humans know when something doesn't add up even if it's just by instinct. Even Ana at one point has to look online to see what that lifestyle entails. It doesn't matter whether you call it your conscience or the law written on your heart: listening to this hunch saves you.

The Bible knows this; 50 Shades denies this.

3. How subjugation works.

Yes, believe it or not, this notion is in the Bible but unlike 50 Shades which says subjugation is meant for selfish pleasure at other's expense, the Bible uses it so to eliminate one'e tendency to self-centeredness. This could mean anything from tithing to skip eating out to sharing your faith.

Donating verses whipping…guess which one comes out on top?

2. The basis for determining who's right.

Besides the fact we're supposed to buy Christian is a billionaire but no one hounds him whenever he goes, we're supposed to buy the fact that because he has that much money, that must mean he's right in his view about sex. I know that's not what the story flat our says but that's what it's implied.

This is a logical fallacy called argumentum ad crumenam. It's when you think someone must be right just because they have money or have a high social status, or as the novel implies, someone must be right on something because they have more experience.

The Bible on the other hand asks us to test things to see if they're true. Even Jesus called on those who doubted Him to search other sources to see if what He said was true. Notice how at no point did anyone ever show Jesus was wrong on something.

I'm not saying someone should be right to the level of Jesus, but I do find it telling Ana looks online about S+M but at no point does she look into whether that lifestyle has any merit…in spite of being a college graduate. You would think her critical thinking skills would be better.

For the reason I believe otherwise, see #7.

1. How a man should be a man.

In the Bible, men are called to reflect Christ and His three main traits: priest, prophet and king. It's not saying every man should wear vestments, predict the future or have their own kingdom. It is saying men are called to be examples of faith, speak with wisdom and display leadership.

To put this another way: if you were a billionaire, you're considered one of the most beautiful people in the world, you have your own private jet, but you still resort to garbage like S+M, then that is just unacceptable.

Clearly, 50 Shades has its roots in atheism and atheists are idiots

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Just Pay the Fine: Refuting Obamacare: Part 7



All this week, I've pointed out several flaws with Obamacare, why it doesn't work, why it wasn't needed (mostly because the number of people with health insurance was not significant enough to actually matter, plus of those who did have health insurance, the vast majority were happy with their at-the-time coverage), and even an alternative to it. (For said alternative, click here).

But now we conclude this by getting to the heart of the matter: we hear the message that we have to get coverage or we have to pay a tax penalty.

Well….what is the penalty?

It's $95 for someone filing as an individual or $95/1% of household income filing as a family, whichever is greater.

In other words, which the cheapest plan in my area going for about $100 dollars a month, it would be much better to just pay the fine. Even if I was filing as a family, and assuming combined income was $40K, that then means the penalty would be $400, but that still would be much less than paying for the lowest price plan in my area.

Now, clearly your results may vary and this in no way is meant to be tax advise. But the way I see it, you have two choices:

1. Just pay the fine and it will be taken out of your taxes.
2. If you insist on getting coverage, then look into the alternative previously mentioned. You can even look into dental plans in your area for you and/or your family by clicking here.

This whole law stinks to the highest angelic choir and the sooner we get rid of it, the better off America will be.

Only atheists would be dumb enough to support this law and atheists are idiots.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just Pay the Fine: Refuting Obamacare: Part 5


Now, time to focus on another player being hard hit by Obamacare: business.
Yes, I know for the most part we've been brainwashed into thinking businesses are greedy and they try all they can to cheat people out of coverage, but drop that communist/atheist notion for a moment and listen to people who actually run a business:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just Pay the Fine: Refuting Obamacare: Part 4


So far, posts concerning Obamacare have focused on how much the law makes no logical sense. However, we haven't scratched the surface concerning the premiums. You think the prices now are through the roof? You don't know how bad it actually is until you watch this video:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Just Pay the Fine: Refuting Obamacare: Part 3


Monday, February 9, 2015

Just Pay the Fine: Refuting Obamacare: Part 2


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Just Pay the Fine: Refuting Obamacare: Part 1



With a week left for the individual mandate deadline, I decided to make a week series about how misguided the Affordable Care Act is, as well as some talking points people can use as to why one should refuse to buy into this.

This will be more a video series and I apologize in advance if it seems like I'm focusing on just one person or the notions are repeating themselves.

So here's the first video. I especially like the question raised near the end:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015