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Belief in Belief…



From Atheist Revolution

Daniel Dennett, author of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, has offered what I consider to be one of the most intriguing arguments about the nature of contemporary religious belief. He suggests that very few people alive today actually believe in gods. But if that’s true, why do we atheists often feel like we are surrounded by believers? Obviously, we feel this way because the majority of people around us claim to believe. But why would they do this if they don’t actually believe? Dennett suggests that the vast majority of people today believe in belief in gods. That is, even though they do not actually believe in gods, they do believe that trying to believe, promoting belief, and telling others they believe are advantageous.

Dennett’s suggestion that few people actually believe in gods certainly seems consistent with the observation many of us have made that most people who claim to believe in gods do not behave as if they believed in gods. As just one example, wouldn’t the world be a vastly different place if people really believed in prayer? If religious believers believed much of what they claimed to believe, they would behave in very different ways from how they do behave. Again and again, their behavior betrays them as not really being sincere about their claimed beliefs.

Best of Non Believers Arguments And Comebacks…



Why the Media isn’t Covering Citizens United…



From Thom Hartmann

Americans have always been skeptical of corporate power. In fact, this country was founded by a revolt against the biggest corporation of its day – the British East India Company. You know how conservatives are always going on about how the Boston Tea Party was an example of America’s anti-government roots? Well, the Boston Tea Party was actually an anti-corporate protest, not some 18th century version of an Americans for Tax Reform rally. When the good citizens of Boston threw chest upon chest of East India tea into the freezing winter water of Boston Harbor, they were protesting a law — the Tea Act of 1773 — that was their era’s version of the bank bailout.

The Tea Act gave the British East India Company total control over the North American tea trade, exempted it from having to pay taxes on exported tea, and gave it a refund on any tea it was unable to sell. It was the largest corporate tax cut in the history of the world, and set up the East India Company to pull a Wal-Mart and put all the small, local tea shops across America out of business. Not surprisingly, this really angered the American colonists, and so they took action, setting off a chain of events that eventually resulted in our independence from Great Britain.

So skepticism of corporate power is in our blood.

Governor Signs Into Law Merciful Right-to-Die Legislation…



From Hemant Mehta

We should all be glad he signed it.

There are religious conservatives who think taking your own life is an affront to God and that you have to let nature run its course — even when you’re deathly sick, in constant pain, and have no hope for recovery. They think the God who inflicted that pain upon you should be allowed to torture you as long as He wants.

Could they be any more cruel?

We’re not talking about people who are having fits of depression or who want to end their lives on a whim. We’re talking about patients whose lives aren’t going to get any better. They should have the right to die, having said their goodbyes, without anyone getting punished for it.

William Edelen: Red Slippers… Red Blood… A New Hope


The Contrary Minister

The Media has fully covered the Red Slippers of the retiring Pope… Red Silk for indoors… Red Leather for outdoors… with the name of the designer and all related facts.

My mind went into a re-wind on the Red Blood that has soaked the earth by that same “Christian” organization. When Alfred North Whitehead was the Chair of Philosophy at Harvard University, he made this observation. “Christian Theology has been the greatest disaster in the history of the human race.” Was he correct? A brief review:

391 A.D. Christians burn down one of the world’s greatest libraries in Alexandria that housed over 700,000 scrolls.

1099: Christian crusaders take Jerusalem and massacre Jews and Muslims. In the streets were piles of heads, hands and feet. Millions were killed as a result of the Crusades.

1208: Pope Innocent orders a Crusade against the French Cathars. Over 100,000 were killed by Armaud’s men at Beziers.

1231: Pope Gregory IX establishes the Inquisition. Inquisitors were given license to explore every means of horror and torture and cruelty. Victims were rubbed with lard or grease and slowly roasted alive. Ovens built to kill people, made famous by Nazi Germany, were first used in the Christian Inquisition of Eastern Europe. The gruesome torturesused on hundreds of thousands of non-Christians were so repugnant and horrible that I cannot even describe them to you. The Inquisition spread as far as Goa, India.

Why Bernie Sanders’ rise is more impressive than Donald Trump’s…

From VOX

Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican polls has been incredible. But it’s obscuring a story that might ultimately prove more meaningful: Bernie Sanders’s increasingly serious challenge to Hillary Clinton.

New polls show Sanders leading Hillary Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire. His leads aren’t Trump-size — at least not yet — but they were secured without the wall-to-wall media coverage that attends Trump, without the name recognition Trump brought to the race, and against a much stronger frontrunner than Trump faced…

Full Story here

Sam Harris on Islam — Message to the Left/Liberals…



Donald Trump: He talks a good game, but he lacks character…



The masters of war are the scum of the earth…



The Great Unraveling…



From Chris Hedges

The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power, buttressed by the utopian ideology of neoliberalismand global capitalism, is unraveling. Most, including many of those at the heart of the American empire, recognize that every promise made by the proponents of neoliberalism is a lie. Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality. The working poor, whose unions and rights have been taken from them and whose wages have stagnated or declined over the past 40 years, have been thrust into chronic poverty and underemployment, making their lives one long, stress-ridden emergency. The middle class is evaporating. Cities that once manufactured products and offered factory jobs are boarded up-wastelands. Prisons are overflowing. Corporations have orchestrated the destruction of trade barriers, allowing them to stash $2.1 trillion in profits in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes. And the neoliberal order, despite its promise to build and spread democracy, has hollowed out democratic systems to turn them into corporate leviathans. 

Robert Ingersoll: Intelligence, not the bible, is the only moral guide…



From Robert Ingersoll

You ask me what I would “substitute for the Bible as a moral guide.”

I know that many people regard the Bible as the only moral guide and believe that in that book only can be found the true and perfect standard of morality.

There are many good precepts, many wise sayings and many good regulations and laws in the Bible, and these are mingled with bad precepts, with foolish sayings, with absurd rules and cruel laws.

But we must remember that the Bible is a collection of many books written centuries apart, and that it in part represents the growth and tells in part the history of a people. We must also remember. that the writers treat of many subjects. Many of these writers have nothing to say about right or wrong, about vice or virtue.

The book of Genesis has nothing about morality. There is not a line in it calculated to shed light on the path of conduct. No one can call that book a moral guide. It is made up of myth and miracle, of tradition and legend.

In Exodus we have an account of the manner in which Jehovah delivered the Jews from Egyptian bondage.

Pascal’s Wager…



WILL PARRISH: ‘Don’t Know, Don’t Wanna’ Know’


Intake pipes directly in the Russian River near Hopland (photo taken July 15, 2015 by Ken Sund).


Last month, the California State Water Resources Control Board enacted “emergency drought regulations” in parts of four Russian River tributaries in Sonoma County with the stated aim of protecting endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout. Among other things, the 270-day regulation forbids watering of lawns by residences and businesses. It places limits on car-washing and watering of home gardens.

It does not, however, restrict water use by the wine industry, which many rural Sonoma County residents recognize as the main contemporary cause of most of these watersheds’ decline.

In response, hundreds of Sonoma County residents flocked to several “community meetings” where the Water Board announced the terms of their regulatory order last month. Water Board representatives and fishery officials responded to the pervasive complaints by saying that their goal is to avoid cutting off water for irrigation, since it “provides an economic benefit,” and that they would only move to other water use curtailments if absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of these creeks’ 2015 year-class of juvenile salmon and trout.

In the meantime, these state and federal officials hailed one aspect of the regulation as an inherently progressive feature, one they touted would apply equally to vineyards and residences: an “information order.” Under this requirement, all water users in the applicable portions of the four creeks would be required to report the amount of water they are using and the source of that water.

My very own social media…



You Cannot Be A Republican And A Christian…



From DailyKos

No one in American life today proclaims their allegiance to Christ more conspicuously than those who have rejected most of what Christ actually taught: Republicans. The modern Republican Party’s hell-bent embodiment of nearly everything Christ warned against has become so serious that we have to call it out. You cannot be a Republican and a Christian.
Of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a time, maybe even as recently as the early 1990s, when to support the Republican Party was not altogether evil. And further back, of course, things were even more different. As Garrison Keillor once reminisced, Republicans used to be: moderate, business-minded civic boosters and unapologetic patriots who were the linchpins and bulwarks of small towns across the Midwest, the enthusiastic backers of projects for the civic good, usually in partnership with the town liberals (the librarian, the bar owner, a lawyer or two, the Methodist minister, the banker’s wife). These Republicans were uniters and diehard optimists and persons of compassionate conscience, inveterate doers of good deeds.

Even today, there are probably some Republicans who still fit that description. The problem is that they are for all practical purposes invisible in American public life, and if their party found out about them, they would be hounded out of it. If they dared to compete in the lunatic talent show of Republican primary politics, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Support Bernie, Not Hillary…


From the recently cancelled Ed Schultz show on MSNBC…

Kate Tempest…


Full performance available here:

Kate Tempest started out when she was 16, rapping at strangers on night buses and pestering MCs to let her on the mic at raves. Ten years later she is a published playwright, novelist, poet and respected recording artist.

Live Lunch is a free all-ages live intimate performance & lunch at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Lunch catered by Taco Bar Company.


10 Stupid Things Evangelical Christians Say..


From Atheist Republic

1) Quoting From Their Holy Book

Some theists quote scripture to non believers as if they were preaching to the pews. Either these theists don’t know their audience or just don’t care about the futility of their actions. Do Christians care what verse 67:10 of the Quran says? Would Jews renounce their faith and embrace Krishna if they read the Bhagavad Gita? The only people who care what a particular holy book says are those who already believe the book is holy.

2) You’re Going to Burn in Hell

That’s nice. Remind me to bring marshmallows and hot dogs. If I threaten someone with a stocking full of coal, would they be any more likely to believe in Santa? Threatening someone with something they don’t believe in won’t make them believe it.

Robert Ingersoll’s Birthdate Today: His Words Still Ring True…



From Freedom From Religion Foundation

Read these quotes and imagine:

“It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring.”

“If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help — we need not waste our energies in his defense.”

“The inspiration of the Bible depends upon the ignorance of the gentleman who reads it.”

Imagine an auditorium, filled to capacity to hear an orator known worldwide discuss atheism and question Christian tenets. Imagine thousands of people willing to pay a substantial admission to hear his eloquence and irreverent wit. Ingersoll, “The Great Agnostic,” would speak extemporaneously for three hours.

He was a lawyer and former colonel in the army. He was called the “most brilliant speaker of the English tongue of all the men on the globe.” Who could this be — Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens? You may be surprised to learn this remarkable speaker was popular over 130 years ago!

I Asked Atheists How They Find Meaning In A Purposeless Universe…


From BuzzFeed

If there’s no afterlife or reason for the universe, how do you make your life matter? Warning: The last answer may break your heart…

Jerry Coyne, evolutionary biologist and author of Faith vs Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible:

“The way I find meaning is the way that most people find meaning, even religious ones, which is to get pleasure and significance from your job, from your loved ones, from your avocation, art, literature, music. People like me don’t worry about what it’s all about in a cosmic sense, because we know it isn’t about anything. It’s what we make of this transitory existence that matters.

“If you’re an atheist and an evolutionary biologist, what you think is, I’m lucky to have these 80-odd years: How can I make the most of my existence here?Being an atheist means coming to grips with reality. And the reality is twofold. We’re going to die as individuals, and the whole of humanity, unless we find a way to colonise other planets, is going to go extinct. So there’s lots of things that we have to deal with that we don’t like. We just come to grips with the reality. Life is the result of natural selection, and death is the result of natural selection. We are evolved in such a way that death is almost inevitable. So you just deal with it.

“It says in the Bible that, ‘When I was a child I played with childish things, and when I became a man I put away those childish things.’ And one of those childish things is the superstition that there’s a higher purpose. Christopher Hitchens said it’s time to move beyond the mewling childhood of our species and deal with reality as it is, and that’s what we have to do.”

See many more here
“It is enough that I exist, that I am here now, albeit briefly, with all of you. And it’s an amazing, astonishing, remarkable, totally mind-blowing fucking miracle.”
And see also: “It will be as difficult to end the myth of race as it will be to end the myths of traditional organized religion. But it must be done…” a wonderfully cogent and meaningful article by Lee Simon in today’s Anderson Valley Advertiser here.


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