I've been getting some grief lately from the fact that I have been very public about my atheism. A little bit loud about it in fact. So I thought I would explain myself. First of all, I am an atheist because I don't have faith in anything. I don't believe in things that I don't understand. If I felt there were some supernatural force that created, controls, cares or even exists then I would believe in it and I would not be an atheist. But none of that ever occurred to me. There have been people who told me that I should hedge my bets. Not say anything bad about their god in case I am wrong. Will there are so many gods that I would have to be praying to. Why should I choose yours?
But let me back up, I was brought up by Jewish parents. I honestly don't know what that ever meant to them. I don't know to this day if they really believe in the God of Abraham and Moses, or if they just chose to follow the traditions of their parents. But for whatever reasons they tried to bring me up in their image. Beginning at the age of eight or nine I attended an after school program called Hebrew school. I honestly don't remember anything they tried to teach me there. I do remember I hated it and didn't understand why I was there at all. I also remember I did not attempt to hide that from my teachers. But in the beginning I had no choice but to attend, this was a requirement for my bar mitzvah another thing I had no choice to do. It was made clear to me that until I did this ritual at the age of 13 I was not in charge of my own religious decisions. However, there was some flexibility in actually attending Hebrew school. Since I misbehaved so much the principal/Rabbi made a deal with my parents. As long as they pay the tuition I would graduate from the Hebrew school program. So the one thing I learned in Hebrew school is that paying money to the principal was more important than learning anything.
So I did get bar mitzvahed and that was the last time I did any religious ritual at all. It's a good thing my wife and I were on the same page because we got married by a judge. The only reason my son was circumcised is because I didn't want to have to learn a new skill in how to deal with that thing.
Then there were the people who told me everything happens for a reason. Which implies that everything happens according to God's plan. I remember laying in my hospital bed unable to scratch my own nose and wishing I can kick these people right in their groins. This totally implies that I did something to deserve the shit. FUCK NO
Tim Lawrence is a much better writer than me and he said, "Let me be crystal clear: if you've faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way, shape or form that your tragedy was meant to be, that it happened for a reason, that it will make you a better person, or that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life." He even offered a replacement for the platitudes that people thoughtlessly say to a person who is been suddenly disabled. "When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone—anyone—into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror."
"Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words: I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you."
I really liked it when some of my friends visited and just sat with me. But, I was kinda perplexed when someone said I'll pray for you and then they had a leave to go pray. WTF!
All right, I'll get back towards my feelings about organized religion and God. This study shows that children who do not believe in God are more moral. "the children in non-religious homes most likely to be generous toward a stranger. The longer a child had lived in a religious home, the stingier he was compared to his secular peers." Here is another super scientific study that shows that non-religious children are more altruistic than children that believe in God, "Overall, our findings cast light on the cultural input of religion on prosocial behavior and contradict the common-sense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind toward others. More generally, they call into question whether religion is vital for moral development, supporting the idea that the secularization of moral discourse will not reduce human kindness—in fact, it will do just the opposite."
Then his ass holes like Ted Cruz. Thank fucking God he's not running for president at this time. So I was cursed with my sickness? You and the millions of ass holes who would vote for you really fucking believe that my sickness was caused by my ear with moral behavior.
This is why I think the planet would be better off without religion.
Then there's the ass holes who think that what they believe is more real than science. These are stupid people who are too lazy to figure things out and just float in the sea of randomness and attribute everything to what God said must happen.