Sunday, January 27, 2008

The No Huddle Huddle part 1

I've been slacking. Sorry. It's been a busy couple of weeks. Work has gotten busy. I've had to flight off the flu. Uck.

Anyway, did have a couple of cool things happen to me this week. Hemant at the Friendly Atheist linked to my Full House post! Yay! You have no idea how cool that is for me. I've been reading his blog for ages. That made me as giddy as my older sister whenever Kirk Cameron was on the cover of Tiger Beat.

The Full House conversation, if anyone is curious, is typical of me and my roommate. Army Guy, my roommate, and Michigan Guy, my old roommate, talk like this all the time. We took to calling ourselves the Sons of Hammurabi years ago. Typical conversation, what are histories five greatest moustaches? Which hat had the greatest impact on American history? Stuff like that. Yeah, we're idiots with too many books and a lot of free time.

Also, was called a "humanist" in a meeting at work last week. We were talking about service and what service means. There was a lot of spiritually oriented ideas of why we serve being discussed and I, perhaps foolishly, brought up the idea of altruism as a beneficial evolutionary adaptation. I got a few eyebrows raised and the comment that you can look at service from a religious perspective or, with a nod to me, a humanist perspective. Now, as far as I know, only two people I work with no I'm an atheist, but I guess it would start to get around at some point. Oh well. Don't put your candle under a basket, right?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Full House of Worship

My roommate and I had an interesting discussion the other day that I wanted to get someones opinion on. We have some very odd conversations. Anyway, we got into a debate about which Abrahamic faith was most like which of the three male leads on Full House. And, when I say debate, we actually discussed this for nearly an hour. My thoughts went along this line:

1. Danny Tanner is Islam - Fanatical about the rules. Wants total control of everything around him. Case in point, when poor Danny was dating the woman who was untidy, he couldn't take it. Or look at the time Stephanie and Michelle put a hole in Danny's bedroom wall while wrestling over a pole from the closet. Everyone knew of Danny's controlling streak, and they all took great pains to avoid offending him.

2. Uncle Joey is Judaism - Great sense of humor, self-depreciating, often overshadowed by the other two housemates. At one point felt he needed to leave the house because he was being overworked. He needed to make an Exodus, you might say. His catch phrase, "Cut it out, man!" sounds like it comes straight from a how-to guide on being a mohel.

3. Uncle Jesse is Christianity - He's hip, he's now, he's full of himself. He's also kind of the rebel, see any episode where he plays rock 'n' roll, see the Scott Baio Dr. Dare episode. His music career was given new life when he joined Hot Daddy and the Meat Puppets. It was, in fact, resurrected. Also, his catch phrase is "Have Mercy!"

So, those are my thoughts. Next week, is Michelle's "Don't have a cow" indicative of a conversion to Hinduism?

Also, which Christian heresy is Zach Morris? Arianism? Tritheism? Albigensian?


Monday, January 14, 2008

The Five Stages of Ron Paul

I need to take a deep breath and admit my guilt to all of you.

I was a Ron Paul supporter.

You see, alongside and, in my opinion, inextricably linked to my atheism is my libertarianism. I subscribe to Reason Magazine, I read Radley Balko's blog, I own Radicals for Capitalism and, yes, I do like a lot of Ayn Rand's books. I believe that the highest ideal and virtue we can offer a man is liberty. Liberty in all areas social and monetary. I believe in Capitalism. I am against "The War On (insert whatever ideological war the government feels the need to fight)."

I believe Libertarianism is the political philosophy that best fits free thought. It teaches self-reliance, personal judgement and choice. It has taught me to think critically about what I'm being told and who is telling it to me. Thomas Paine taught me about freedom in the face of tyranny and Hobbes taught me about the inevitable decent into authoritarianism that most governments fall prey to. Ayn Rand taught me about philosophical materialism and objective reality. The most liberating thing I've ever read is something John Galt says in Atlas Shrugged. "I am the man who loves his life."

And, yes, I was ready to vote for Ron Paul.

Why? Well, Ron Paul seemed to be that candidate. He is against the war on drugs and the war on terror. He is for Free Enterprise. He votes "no" on virtually everything he can vote on. And I like that, I really do. But, I cannot any longer support Ron Paul.

Because of this and this and this. Because I can't remove the man from the vitriol. Because evolution happened. Because allowing racism in your name is tantamount to endorsing it.

And this has been difficult for me to admit.

Denial: No, no that can't be true. CONSPIRACY!
Anger: Who are these people trying to destroy my guy!?!?! Damn them!
Depression: Ugh, I think he really said those things. Why? Ron, why?
Bargaining: Well, I can still support the man because of his politics despite those things, right?Acceptance: Enough, Ron Paul. May flights of angels see your campaign to their rest.

So, there you have it. I offer a mea culpa and I beg for leniency. I am officially disavowing my support of Ron Paul.

Now what do I do? My number two, Bill Richardson, is out. The Republicans are a joke, Edwards comes off like an ambulance chaser and voting for Hillary would endorse the aristocracy that has had a stranglehold on the White House for two decades. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.

Than there is Obama. A man whose politics I hate but whose humanity I admire. Can I vote for someone who, on a personal level, I can point at with pride and say "That's our President" while disavowing his politics? That's a tough thing to do. As Larry David once said, "I'm in the muck, I'm trying to ascertain if there is any mire involved."

Any thoughts?


In the same spirit as the previous post, thanks to Mike and the folks at the OutCampaign for adding me to their list as well. It can seem very isolating being irreligious in communities like Muncie. So, the Blogroll, the OutCampaign, and commenting on other people's blogs have become a lifesaver. Like Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball, sometimes you just need to communicate with people.

The Atheist Blogroll

In my ongoing effort to open myself up to the larger Atheosphere, I've joined up with the Atheist Blogroll. Hat Tip to Mojoey over at Deep Thoughts for this. I've found many of the blogs and sites I love to read by linking and jumping from site to site, often times through the Blogroll. So, to any new readers who stumble upon my humble abode, welcome. And to Mojoey, again, a big thanks.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Can we be good without God?

Yes, of course we can. Can holding supernatural beliefs and basing your worldview on the cosmology of nomadic shepherds lead people to rationalize and do awful things?


To any Christians who may be reading this blog: When atheists start murdering their children because they are possessed by the demons of a competing idea of Cephalopod speciation, come talk to me about morality. Until than, get your own damn house in order.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Well, he's logically consistent

From CNN: Finally, a man who truly believes what he believes. Now, if we could only get the guys behind the Left Behind series to go this route, we could save trees and not be plagued with an endless and inane and a barely cogent understanding of the English language. I mean, Rayford Steele? Come on!