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Atheism

about Religion and Atheism, often touching on Science topics because they all tend to overlap.

Timeline and Structure of the Universe

Last week, I was visited by two ladies who are Jehovah's Witnesses. I always enjoy talking to Jehovah's Witnesses, but they are just never prepared to talk with someone like me. One of the women took the lead and within 5 minutes or so, she realized she was seriously out of her depth, so she asked if she could come back with "someone smarter." I told her she was welcome to come back.

Evolution is a controversial topic among the religious-at-large, but it isn't among scientists (many of whom are religious). When I talk about Evolution to people who do not believe in it, I usually find that they don't actually understand the Theory of Evolution. So, I'd like to address a couple of misconceptions about Evolution and then talk about why I would like you to take some time to sincerely consider the case for it. There is some technical info below.

Pascal's Wager is a idea that religious folks, especially Christians, use against atheists all the time, even if they don't know that the idea is called Pascal's Wager. In short, the wager goes like this: If God doesn't exist you gain nothing for believing and lose nothing for believing. If God DOES exist, you gain heaven for believing and you get stuck in Hell for not believing. 

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It's true. Jehovah's Witnesses can SEEM like really nice people, but they will TURN ON YOU in a heartbeat... and more viciously than some other religions. I think it has to do with a high level of devotion to the religion. The more serious you are about those beliefs, the more seriously you take your orders.

When it comes to Bible stories, there are few as silly as the story of Noah's Ark. When discussing the events of the Bible with believers, I often like to ask them how they would react in such a situation if it were presented to them today... so this tweet fit right in:

Christmas Tree

I can't speak for all atheists, I can only speak for myself, so please leave a comment below and explain why you celebrate Christmas! When I hear someone ask, "Why do atheists celebrate Christmas?" my first thought often is: Better Question: Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?

The Oatmeal is awesome and you should go read his comic strip about How to Suck at your Religion. The part that speaks to me was the above panel:

"Allow me to now parrot what my parents told me as a child, thus perpetuating 2,000 years worth of bizarre, backwards, ridiculous beliefs that no one in their right mind would believe unless an authority figure taught it to them while they were young."

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I discuss religion with people and I often have to field the question of how I changed from devoutly religious to atheist. I figure I'll post it here so that I can refer people to it in the future. 

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We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief. -- Ronald Reagan

Full Transcript of Reagan's Speech to Temple Hilell, October 26, 1984

‎"If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that is completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need then. We need scientifically literate voters and tax payers for the future. We need engineers, we need people who can build stuff. Solve problems." -- Bill Nye, the Science Guy

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