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westonlockley: (Default)
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 07:04 pm

“That little hypocrites and half-crazed people dare to imagine that on their account the laws of nature are constantly broken — such an enhancement of every kind of selfishness to infinity, to impudence, cannot be branded with sufficient contempt. And yet Christianity owes its triumph to this pitiable flattery of personal vanity.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche
“The Anti-Christ
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Friday, October 1st, 2010 03:11 am
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."

~ Butch Hancock
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Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 04:15 pm
Gautam Buddha believe nothing

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

~ Gautama Buddha
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Monday, September 27th, 2010 10:27 pm
Christianity imposes its supertitious belief upon others

“You have no right to erect your tollgate upon the highways of thought. You have no right to leap from the hedges of superstition and strike down the pioneers of the human race. You have no right to sacrifice the liberties of man upon the alters of ghosts. Believe what you may; preach what you desire; have all forms and ceremonies you please; exercise your liberty in your own way but extend to all others the same right.”

~ Robert G. Ingersoll
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Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 07:34 pm
Religious person putting fingers in ears  to avoid hearing the truth

"Every day the voice of atheism grows louder, more confident, backed by ever increasing evidence, reason and logic. Every day the religious respond by sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “La! La! La! La! La!"

~ Alan Harvey
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Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 11:47 am
"Atheism is more than just the knowledge that god doesn’t exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as part of nature."

~ Carl Sagan
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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 08:26 am
Adolf Hitler admired Catholicism. The ostentatious richness of its rituals, its longevity, its spreading of hatred for anybody who doesn't conform, its dogmatism, its claims to universal domination and, last but not least, its strict hierarchical management: it all appealed to the Führer.

Hitler propaganda messiah

Nazi propaganda poster: Adolf Hitler is pictured as a messiah.
Notice the dove and the beam of light out of heaven.

"For how shall we fill people with blind faith in the correctness of a doctrine, if we ourselves spread uncertainty and doubt by constant changes in its outward structure? (...) Here, too, we can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice, and in part quite superfluously, comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas. (...) it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of a faith."

~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 2, Chapter 5

Is it any wonder Catholics loved Nazism? Of course not, as systems to deceive and subjugate people they used practically the same methods.
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Friday, September 3rd, 2010 09:21 am
Santa doesn't exist, neither does Jesus

"It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities."

~ H. L. Mencken

Santa doesn't exist, neither does a god
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Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 07:04 pm
"To have an invisible friend at the age of eight is charming and not a cause for concern. To have an invisible friend in adulthood is however a cause for concern and could be considered psychotic. So how exactly does giving them the name of a deity change that opinion?"

Phil Slattery

Religion Superstition Imaginary Friend Psychosis
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Sunday, August 29th, 2010 11:30 pm
Christians like to argue that we need objective moral standards and that only faith, their faith of course, can give them.

There is so much wrong with that statement and its wild claims that it would take a book, a very thick one, or even several to just explore how wildly ridiculous this is.

Maybe that is why this argument had such a staunch supporter in Adolf Hitler.

Hitler argues that "the existing denominations", mainly Catholicism and the Protestant Churches, offer the only basis for a moral outlook on life. For this good Christian the world itself would be "inconceivable" without faith. Of course he recognizes its use for the masses. Guess why that is?

"This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people especially, faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life. The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us to think that they might usefully replace the existing denominations."

~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 10

Hitler signing for Catholic nun fan
Adolf Hitler and fan

Interestingly enough, Hitler here makes the link between fanaticism, hysteria, upheavals and faith.

"Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward."

~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 12
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Friday, August 27th, 2010 01:14 pm
"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand."

~ Bertrand Russell

in Why I am not a Christian (1907)
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Monday, August 23rd, 2010 01:00 pm
Both Theories

"Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly."

~ Isaac Asimov
Canadian Atheists Newsletter, 1994

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."

~ Isaac Asimov
attributed, source unknown
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Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 02:37 pm
"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self‚Äźdelusion and ignorance which does harm."

~ Marcus Aurelius

Roman Emperor (121 - 180)
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Saturday, August 21st, 2010 01:49 pm
"I wonder: if I tell my christian friend "Hang on to your dreams", am I being a nice, a mean or just an uncaring Atheist?"

~ Weston Lockley

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 03:18 pm
"Religion supports nobody. It has to be supported. It produces no wheat, no corn; it plows no land; it fells no forests. It is a perpetual mendicant. It lives on the labors of others, and then has the arrogance to pretend that it supports the giver."

~ Robert G. Ingersoll
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 02:15 pm
"The loving do not act.
The kind act without self-interest;
The just act to serve self-interest;
The religious act to reproduce self-interest.
For when Tao is lost, there is love;
When love is lost, there is kindness;
When kindness is lost, there is justice;
And when justice is lost, there is religion.
Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
Closely held beliefs are not easily released;
So religion enthralls generation after generation.
Religion is the end of love and honesty,
The beginning of confusion;
Faith is a colorful hope or fear,
The origin of folly.
The sage goes by knowledge, not by hope;
He dwells in the fruit, not the flower;
He accepts the former, and rejects the latter."

~ Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching

For obvious reasons I like this quote.

I must admit I only explored Taoism very superficially. At first sight it seems the Tao is kind of a description of the natural world. It doesn't seem to have dogmas, doesn't insist on rituals with old men (no women, please) in funny dresses and silly hats and it doesn't require devotion. So far so good.

In its primary and most fundamental text the Tao seems to be just a useful philosophical concept. The Tao is the whole of the universe, even beyond sensory perception. We experience the Tao, but is escapes our efforts to describe it. All That Is. All later religious concepts that came to pollute it can easily be dismissed. Not surprisingly, the plague that is religion tries to contaminate everything, even the Tao.

Among all spiritual concepts I think I like Taoism the most. You could be an Atheist and a Taoist without contradicting yourself. However, you could also say it is an unnecessary crutch for an Atheist. I'm not even contradicting myself, or the Tao, by writing this, since the Tao encompasses everything.

For recovering christians, recovering muslims and other theists on their way out of the mists of primitive superstition, the Tao could be useful. It gives some aura of spirituality, yet is so broad in its concepts, that it can't be used to hate other people like e.g. those blots on humanity like christianity or islam.

You can't control the Tao. You can't rule it. You can only accept it, and through acceptance, find your place within it. It doesn't require you to browbeat, or force, or torture others into accepting your vision of it.

At the center, Taoism could be said to be a philosophy that promotes a kind of universal "rightness of being" of which love, justice, kindness and other such concepts are only imperfect reflections.

Materialists will complain that it contains elements that could be described as spiritual. And indeed, for morality, existentialism could be enough, without the need for any cosmic system. You could simply rely on plain old humanist principles, using experience and reason, to know what is right or not.

Alternatively, you could adhere to Ron Hogan's version of the Tao Te Ching, verse 20:

"Don't spend too much time
thinking about stupid shit."
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Saturday, August 14th, 2010 07:21 pm
"I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being."

~ Dan Barker
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Thursday, August 12th, 2010 08:28 am
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid."

~ Marcus Aurelius

Roman Emperor (121 - 180)
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 03:00 pm
"When I became convinced that the Universe is natural — that all the ghosts and gods are myth, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bards, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave."

~  Robert G. Ingersoll
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Friday, August 6th, 2010 02:37 pm
"Why are many christians so bitter? Does their religion make them unhappy or does their unhappiness make them religious?"

~ Weston Lockley