The Soul Scapegoat

What do you do when someone is doing something you don’t agree with, but you can’t definitively say why it’s bad? Well there’s one thing that you can always claim is feeling something even though there is no physical or emotional stimulus by which to measure it:

“It may not be bad for the body, but it’s bad for the soul.”

That’s what someone said to me when he was trying to explain to me why homosexuality is a bad thing, because for some reason this argument is still going on in Orem, God Damn Utah.

Yes, claiming something happening to the soul is a great way to shut people up for a few seconds because, for some reason, even many atheists are reluctant to say it doesn’t exist. If they don’t call it a soul, they’ll call it something else: Life force, energy, aura, or sometimes even just something.

Why are people so drawn to the idea of invisible, intangible things that they have no reason to believe exist but still think they have a complete understanding of what’s good and bad for it?

“You should really try meditating from time to time, Taylor.”

“That’s never really been my thing. I just don’t get anything out of it.”

“Well you should really give it another shot. It’s good for the soul.”

Dude, shut the hell up. That’s a really condescending statement. Insinuating my life is somehow less fulfilled because I can’t appreciate this one thing that makes you feel better from time to time. Attacking someone’s “spiritual fulfillment” is one of those masked pretentious arguments. The non religious type that brings up the soul is the kind of guy that wants you think his life is so well put together and he’s reached total nirvana- not that he’d ever admit that. No, it is his habit to act continuously humble, act like there’s so much about this “big amazing world” he doesn’t understand and how he just wants to go see all of it. The type of guy who never gets angry and always has a big fucking grin on his face.

I know your life isn’t as great as you want me to think it is, man.

This is one of the first image results for "soul." Makes about as much sense as any other interpretation.

This is one of the first image results for “soul.” Makes about as much sense as any other interpretation.

Going back to that example, how is saying that any different than telling me I should pray? They’re both insistences that there’s some supernatural experience I’m missing out on because I’m not getting it right.

What I really love about the fact that I don’t get anything out of prayer or meditation is that it’s apparently because I’m “not really trying.”  That’s beautiful. In an exercise that is literally just sitting and concentrating on something, I’m somehow not doing it right (And here is where the religiously pretentious will shake their heads and say “he just doesn’t get it”).

No, the real problem is that after I sit there long enough I don’t instantly believe that the slight shift in my physical being is god or enlightenment. I’m not going to fucking sit there and fall prey to confirmation bias. I won’t tell you that whatever you feel is fake, so don’t fucking tell me that my not feeling something is because I’m just not trying. Screw you, man. I was 10 once, I gave prayer an honest shot. Didn’t do anything for me. It was always an empty feeling. Are you going to insist that’s my fault? I wasn’t skeptical back then, I believed what everyone told me to believe, but I never felt what they told me I was going to feel.

The soul is a nice imaginary construct people have created to give them a term to measure progress in things that really aren’t making any difference in their lives at all.

“Go for a walk, it’ll be good for your soul.”

…. Man, there’s like 50 other reasons taking a walk is good for you, and you chose to go with that one? What the hell does that even mean? You may as well have told me it would be good for the humours. Seriously, sit down and explain to me what you mean by that statement. How is that good for my ‘soul’?

They can’t do it. All they’ll do is use a lot of buzzwords.

“It just fulfills you and clears your mind.”

You could have just said it clears my mind in the first place. Saying its good for my soul gives me no clear idea as to what will be beneficial about taking a walk. I’m just going to go out there hoping it makes me feel better without any inkling as to what will be improving.

But that is what people who promote the soul concept want you to feel like. Because without a clear marker as to why it’s good or bad, it’s impossible to say that it isn’t. Homosexuality, masturbation, tattoos, cursing, there’s absolutely no legitimate reason why these things are bad, but god damnit, they’ll twist your soul until it’s black and shriveled.

Meanwhile celibacy, which causes so much frustration and physical pain because it goes against your body’s natural instincts and every fiber of your being will scream at you “FUCK FUCK FUCK”, is good for the soul. Why? Well because it’s godly. Don’t you want a nice, clean, pure white soul? You may not feel better physically or emotionally, but in pretend land you’re doing fantastic!

A Good Parent Never Teaches Right From Wrong

Most people seem surprised when I tell them I became an atheist as early as 13. I’m more surprised that anyone could continue to believe into that stuff well after the age where they start thinking for themselves, but I’m an arrogant prick, so whatever.

The truth is I always kinda knew I was an atheist. All my time in Catholic school I went along with it because adults told me it was true, and you go to school to learn things, right?

Man, what a joke that makes religion class.

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Philosophy Turned Me from Religion, Not Science

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m not one of obstinate “everyone who believes in god is an idiot” atheists is because my reasons for leaving faith are more philosophical than scientific.

Sure, when I was a kid my atheism started when I realized I only believed in god because adults told me to. When you start thinking critically for yourself you have to question it. I believe it must dawn on everyone that spirituality is completely incongruous with what we understand about the world around us. A choice must be made to put faith in the comfort of supernatural guidance or seek new answers.

Honestly, I don’t think any atheist turns from religion because god “obviously” doesn’t exist. I also don’t entirely believe the ones that claim they “wish I could believe in god.” The truth is that if you really want to believe in something you can convince yourself to, especially in religious matters. Confirmation bias will provide you all the proof you need that god exists. If you are of a more skeptical nature than it will do the opposite, no matter how much you “want” to believe.

I turned from religion because I completely disagree with the philosophies of supernaturalism. In fact, I despise them. That’s not to disparage those that don’t. If you find comfort in the idea that all powerful entities looking after you then that’s fine. It is a lifestyle I simply cannot abide.

To me a lifestyle with god is a life of submission and restraint. Why is it that every religion asserts humility and meekness? Judeo Christian: You are a child of god, he is your savior. Buddhism: in the beginning there’s so much wrong with you that most of your existence will be spent fixing it to reach nirvana. Hinduism: Seek awareness of god and the blessings of deities.

I am so fucking sick of hearing how our species is broken and wrong. How many times do we have to be reminded that people have done horrible things? Why is it that no one is born enlightened and great? Why must all our effort be put into seeking the perfect self?

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t like arrogance, I don’t think anyone is born perfect, and I think we should all aspire to greatness, but it seems to me that religious and spiritual philosophy claims we are much farther behind in our development than we actually are.

Imagine a religion where you are told from birth that god created you with the expectation that you will be better than him. Instead of being born with the guilt of “original sin” (a crime you didn’t even commit), you are told that your species has so much potential it can surpass its creator. What kind of fire would that light in you?

We are not weak, we are not flawed, we are not predispositioned to sin and debauchery. Humankind is an awesome species that will reach out to the universe and overcome any challenge thrown at it.

I don’t need or want some all-powerful entity holding my hand as though I’m an accident-prone child. I can’t stand the idea of something that considers itself the ultimate authority watching me all the time, casting judgments in matters it has absolutely no business judging. How, exactly, is my participation in pre-marital sex an affront to god’s sensibilities? Why should it care? It baffles me that people who follow the strict tenants of the church hear all those rules and think “god sure is a great guy.” To me he’s an overbearing parent more concerned I do things his way rather than finding my own path.

Do you find comfort in the idea that every action is judged?

Do you find comfort in the idea that every action is judged?

When I was a kid I spent way too much time worrying whether my actions would send me to hell. I always wondered if god would be okay with my rationale for doing something that went against church doctrine. Man was that a horrible way to live. Who is god to judge me? All powerful, all knowing, creator of the universe, I don’t care! Why does it get to be the ultimate judge of every living thing?

I was so sick of the tenants religion gave that it was easy for me to accept that god doesn’t exist. I realize some people of religion might claim that I abandoned god as an “excuse to sin.” That I am so arrogant I believe my way is better than that of the almighty.

Please.

I have fundamental disagreements with the philosophy that made me more inclined to believe it untrue. Maybe if I agreed with them I would have clung to religion longer, but when you take an objective look at things god is a difficult concept to believe in. You’d have to really want to believe in religious philosophy to have faith in the supernatural.

In simpler terms: If I liked the idea of an all-powerful protector it would have been much easier for me to ignore the fact that there is no evidence supporting the supernatural. In the same vein, if someone was desperate and seeking answers, it would be much easier for them to accept the comforting thought of divinity and that everything is part of a plan.

So, evangelists and Christian “scientists,” please save your breath. Your promises of an otherworldly kingdom and questionable discoveries supported with pseudo-science will do nothing to sway me. Divinity is a hard pill to swallow, and without indisputable proof I will never believe in it. The idea of god is completely repulsive to me.

god (sic) Made Girls to Shutup and Look Pretty

You know, nine years of Catholic school and I never heard this before. I can promise you I would remember it if I had ever been taught this. Even as a kid it’s the kind of thing I would raise an eyebrow at.

Truthfully, I’ve only heard it very recently. Given that I’ve gone so long without knowing about it I feel confident that even among the “believe or go to hell” sect this group is a minority.

The idea that it is a woman’s duty to look pretty because not to do so is rejecting god’s gift.

Wow.

I mean, just, wow. What do you even say to something like that? Are you kidding me?

What kind of pretentious, stuck up, over-privileged prude could buy into something like that?

First of all, ouch to everyone who doesn’t fit the typical consensus of “attractive.” Guess god felt you didn’t deserve his gift.

But those of us with any semblance of decency and human respect know that there is no pure definition of beauty, so I guess from there the question is “Which standard of beauty are these women supposed to pursue?” Well, I have a good idea of what the people who actually buy this absurd notion picture: Nice dress, long, pretty hair, makeup on the face; the kind of woman you know stays at home and cooks a nice big meal for her husband every night. Stepford wives.

Yup. Man in a suit, woman in a dress., couches at weird angles 2 inches from the TV. That's the dream.

Yup. Man in a suit, woman in a dress, couches at weird angles 2 inches from the TV. This is how you relax.

I was always aware of the trope, but I never knew some people tied it to religion. What really gets me is that so far I have only heard this sentiment from women.

Man oh man, if I had heard it from guys I would at least know some of the motivation for clinging to this belief. Well, I’m sure the idea still came from men, because the kind of women who would embrace this notion clearly cannot think for themselves.

Just to be clear, I’m not criticizing women who take time to make themselves look nice. I’m criticizing the ones who do it because they believe it’s their “duty to god” and that any woman who doesn’t is a sinner.

Let’s get something else straight right now. I realize that because I’m a man whenever I go after things that keep women down I may look like a pandering, self-righteous jackass who champions myself a great friend to all womankind. I’ll be completely honest with you and say that my primary reasons for aligning with feminist values are completely selfish.

My last girlfriend, a feminist, once told me men resist feminism because it means giving up a life full of advantages, to which I responded, “How on Earth could any guy see it as at an advantage!?”

REALLY. Explain to me how living in a society where I’m expected to work and the woman stays home is considered the better position. Explain how constantly shoving half naked women into every piece of media because it’s believed my gender can only enjoy things when they’re drooling with a hard-on makes me the more respected sex. Explain how living with a meek woman who never challenges me and does what I say because it’s her duty to be mindful of her husband is any fun. (I might only think that last one because I only have fun in relationships where we argue three-fourths of the time because I’m Italian).

I would never be with a woman whose highest aspiration in life was to raise kids. That’s basically her way of saying “I want you to work all day while I contribute nothing and pop out more mouths to feed.” Before anyone goes off, I’m not disparaging stay at home parents. My mom was a stay at home mom, and raising kids is a legitimate fulltime job. My problem is with the idea that it should be a woman’s sole purpose in life.

Guess what? Kids grow up. The “I can’t work because I need to look after the kids” excuse only works for about fourteen years (resetting with each new kid). After the kids are gone that poor woman is going to look at her life and say “Well, what now?” My mother went through quite a struggle when my sister and I left. Maintaining a household for two adults is not a fulltime job.

I honestly do not understand how any guy would be upset with their partner having a job. Are you so in love with the idea of being the breadwinner that you’ll cut your income in half? Are you so insecure in your masculinity that the only way to affirm it is to have someone in your life that depends on you?

Jeepers! A woman working and doubling the income our household so that we can live in nicer places and secure a financially stable future! My dick is shriveling at the mere thought of it! Which I guess is why I’m using words like “jeepers.”

Having a woman cook for you also sucks. One of the best parts of getting my own place was that I got to decide what I’d eat every night. Steak, hamburgers, chicken, porkchops, pasta—all made exactly the way I want it. Never have to eat someone else’s food and pretend I’m enjoying it. Never any anxiety about what will be for dinner; I know exactly what I’ll eat and get to look forward to it all day.

Getting priority for a job over a woman—that’s the pits. It’s not really an accomplishment if the deciding factor was the dick between my legs. I’m a strong proponent of earning what you get. I’d never take satisfaction in something I got through privilege.

You should be getting the picture now. I openly admit my feminist values are selfish because they best fit the lifestyle I enjoy. That’s not to say I don’t also support equality, fairness, and human rights. Of course I believe in those, and you can trust me when I say that because you know it’s not about trying to get on anyone’s good side. There are several greedy underlying reasons.

Back to the topic at hand, the idea that god made girls pretty is just… so stupid. You know we used to be cavemen, right? Technically, if you want to be pretty the way “god intended” you’ll need to devolve into a Neanderthal with a slouched back and shit ton of hair on your body. Maybe that rationale doesn’t work for you because it involved evolution.

So god gets mad every time a woman doesn’t spend twenty fucking minutes in front of a mirror making sure she’s pretty because that’s rejecting his gift? Yeesh. Ever get a Christmas present with a card that read “Use it, or else.”?

For the sake of fairness I strained my brain to think of some way I could, to some extent, relate to this “moral.”

For a little over a year I lived with a girlfriend. Every day she got home from school she looked nice, but then she’d run up stairs and immediately dress in PJ’s. I saw her look nice for a few seconds per day. The rest of our time together she was dressed way down. It got to me after a while. I’m only human; obviously it was harder to be attracted to her when she looked like that, granted a myriad of other issues probably contributed to that. Some days I would ask her if she would stay dressed just this once, to which she always responded “No, it’s too uncomfortable.”

Mind you, I wasn’t asking her to get dressed up. All I wanted was for her to have enough clothes on so that if we wanted to get a quick lunch or something she wouldn’t need to change. Jeans and a T-shirt, that’s all I asked for. Is that really so uncomfortable? Don’t bother responding, the answer is no. I should know, it’s what I wear almost every day.

So, jeans and a T-shirt. That’s the extent to which I feel a person has a “duty” to dress up, but you know what? Even that’s just personal preference. People can do whatever they want in their own household. Who cares?

That’s the secret to world peace, by the way. Stop caring about how other people live. Is that so hard? Of course it isn’t. It’s literally the route that takes no effort.

For other explanations as to why god made girls, make sure you listen to “god made girls.” If you ever wondered exactly what god intended when he pulled that rib out of Adam, this has all the answers you’re looking for.


Quick notice. There’s been a dip in post frequency lately and will continue to be for a little while. I’m working part time and hitting the search for a real job very hard so I don’t have a lot of free time.

Plus Smash Bros just came out and I want to spend the few hours I have to myself screaming obscenities at my 3DS when anybody online uses Little Mac.

If you're getting relentlessly comboed by a Ness online there's a good chance you're fighting me.

If you’re getting relentlessly comboed by a Ness online there’s a good chance you’re fighting me.

Don’t Be A Cutie

I don’t ask questions, don’t promote demonstrations,
don’t look for new consensus, don’t stray from constitution
if I pierce the complexity I won’t find salvation
just the bald and over truth
of the evil and deception

there is an inner logic,
and we’re taught to stay far from it
it is simple and elegant,
but it’s cruel and antithetic
and there’s no effort to reveal it

 

I figured out what I love most about Isaac Asimov’s writing: he has an extremely entertaining and gratifying method of reasoning.

Today I read his short story “Reason” in which a robot comes to the conclusion that it was created by god rather than man. “god” is a huge Energy Converter on a space station. The robot, “Cutie,” convinces himself humans could not have created him because humans are lesser creatures (need sleep, inferior strength, etc) and it is impossible that lesser creatures could create a greater one

These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.

Ah, a self-evident fact. Cutie considers his reasoning abilities to be far more advanced that his human creators, so why should he bend to what they tell him?

Cutie is also under the belief that there are no other planets, there are no stars, and there is no space. There is only life inside the station. His creators have him observe space and planets through a telescope to prove their existence, but even with evidence flat in front of his face he denies it.

Do you think I’m going to waste my time trying to pin physical interpretations upon every optical illusion of our instruments? Since when is the evidence of our senses any match for the clear light of rigid reason?

Then the creators have Cutie read scientific books full of evidence, facts, and statistics that make it very clear that stars and planets exist.

I certainly don’t consider them a valid source of information. They, too, were created by the Master- and were meant for you, not for me… Because I, a reasoning being, am capable of deducing Truth from a priori causes. You, being intelligent, but unreasoning, need an explanation of existence supplied to you, and this the Master did.

In a last ditch effort to force Cutie to come to terms with the truth of his existence, his creators build another robot in front of him.

You have merely put together parts already made… but you didn’t really create the robot. The parts were created by the Master.

Exasperated, the creators give up on trying to make Cutie realize the truth and come to this conclusion:

You can prove anything you want by coldly logical reason- if you pick the proper postulates. We have ours and Cutie has his… Postulates are based on assumption and adhered to by faith. Nothing in the Universe can shake them.

This is basically a more eloquent version of my statement a few posts ago that arguing religion is just a battle of make believe.

robot-cutie

Here is your explanation for how certain stubborn people can have undeniable facts put in front of them and still deny what they see.

I will not spoil the story for you by telling you how Cutie came to this conclusion or how it ends. I will say the climax does not involve a robot revolution. Asimov is far, far too brilliant a writer for anything trite as that, despite what that god awful movie would have you believe…

Often I come across blogs, books, and twitter posts where an individual claims that he has proven creationism true.

Well, Sir, let me shake your hand. You are the man who cracked the case. You, the man who has a majority of posts declaring to the world that Obama is an Islamic terrorist, are the world’s most brilliant researcher. Why isn’t everyone in world on their knees praising you? I’m sure your low readership is due to the scientific conspiracy to keep god down. I don’t know why the pope hasn’t canonized you yet, perhaps he’s part of the conspiracy. Damn it, people, stand up in your chairs and shout, this one man has proven creationism true and thus proved god true! He’s the most brilliant man the universe will ever know!

Thanks, guy.

I love how these people always say I have proof, I wrote the book, I figured it out. Right dude, I’m sure in between beers and screaming at Obama on the TV you found time to prove that which thousands of theologians have been trying to prove for hundreds of years.

Meanwhile those books on evolution that are peer reviewed, meticulously studied, and detailing observations and experiments that have been tested dozens of times over are all bullshit. Nothing but tawdry lies attempting to separate society from the good and almighty god.

These people are Cuties. They have very clear and well put together evidence that explains how the universe works and they deny it, postulating alternatives from their own twisted sense of “reasoning.”

As always I must point out accepting new discoveries is not abandoning god. I promise you a majority of scientists don’t care if people believe in god. The goal is to explain the universe in ways that replace the myths. Those answers are outdated, they don’t apply anymore, but that doesn’t mean a god couldn’t exist. It just means there were never two people in a magic garden with a talking snake!

Don’t be a Cutie. Embrace an ever changing understanding of the universe.

God Explains Everything!

Seems like every time I post on here I somehow get sucked into the world of religion vs atheism.

Outside of this blog I stay as far away from that shit as possible. It’s depressing and infuriating.

For instance, during my last foray I came across several over zealous Christians saying that god is the best, and most logical explanation for the world’s mysteries.

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5 Dumbest Reasons People Think I’m an Atheist

A large number of religious people seem to have a hard time grasping how anyone can be an atheist. If you’ve ever seen those questionnaires for atheists a lot of the questions circle around the theme “how could you not believe?”

Guys, take a step back and think about which of the options is the harder pill to swallow.

This shock and awe at a person’s capacity to not believe in supernaturalism has led several religious to create some bizarre rationalizations for atheism. These explanations often belittle the intelligence and reason of nonbelievers. This way insecure religious individuals can feel better about themselves by disregarding the mental validity of those that disagree with them.

Here are five of the worst ones I’ve heard in my 10+ years without a god.

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