[EN] No basis for morality?

Posted on March 23, 2012
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This was originally a Google+ post comment (about “an atheist cannot be moral because without religion there is no basis for moral judgments”) that turned into a nice little rant.

Basic human morality has nothing to do with religion. If that were the case, I, as a life-long atheist who was never indoctrinated by religion, would not be moral, would not be able to discern between right or wrong. I would be in prison, hunted down, or dead. And we all know who are actually in prison… and who touch the little boys …. and who lie and cheat throughout their presidential campaigns .. and who reject science because it doesn’t fit their outdated world view.

Morality based on religion? My ass. There’s nothing more hateful and bigoted than a religious society. Give me an atheist anytime, give me a secular society always. At least I know they have their own innate morality, not an indoctrinated set of Stone Age rules that totally cloud their own healthy human judgment. At least I know that these people, that these societies, will take responsibility for their own actions, every single time, not trying to appeal to some “higher authority”, let alone some “immutable Truth” — the most dangerous and lethal concepts in human history.

Again: morality existed before it was written down and frozen in time. Morality has evolved ever since, and the fact that “Christians” are denouncing the horrible, bloody, hateful, misogynistic, inhuman, and inhumane Old Testament (basically denouncing their God) shows that this idea of a frozen morality that should rule mankind forever is a worthless and valueless piece of shit, and the sooner we kick that entire book out the better. Talk about meaningless.

If you start murdering people the moment you lose your “religious morality” that says everything about you as a human being. So long as you cannot see that morality is deeply ingrained in all of humanity, that humans who have never known religion are entirely moral and decent, and that religion is in no way the mandatory facilitating factor in that humanity-morality connection, but in fact a highly damaging and regressive and noxious tribal artifact, you will never get how quaint, awkward, and even backward, your “religion=morality” comments are.

So where does morality come from? Lessons learnt from human evolutionary processes. Certain types of behavior advanced the species and its well-being. This evolved into a sense of what was right and wrong (for the species), a sense of morality (of mores, simply habits and behavior, that worked well). No fixed morals, morals that changed over time, responding to changing circumstances, needs, social developments (like societies settling down with the advent of agriculture, market towns, cities, scientific progress, etcetera).

Not exactly a big secret, dude. Nothing to do with a religious “basis for everything”. Religion did play a role for a while in human evolution, abating fear, trying to explain phenomena that no one could understand yet, and providing a sense of togetherness by using a common focal point, and no one denies that. But its role is now over for any modern society.

It’s not needed any longer, and more and more countries (esp, Europe) show this to be a beneficial turn of events. The figures that are consistently correlating secularism with things that humans hold dear, from health, to wealth, to civil liberties and higher life expectancy, lower child mortality rates, higher rates of literacy, lower crime rates, etc. etc. etc. should speak volumes.

Religion has had its chance, but no one needs the Dark Ages any more.

[EN] What irks me about popular science

Posted on March 4, 2012
Filed Under English | 1 Comment

I know, I should be grateful that there are a number of great and communicative scientists who are willing to invest time in bringing their research and theoretical insight to a wider audience. I do believe though that they sometimes resort to rhetorical tricks to help that understanding. The one that annoys me the most is the humanization (or the suggested anthropomorphism) of evolutionary processes.

I was watching the BBC series “How to grow a planet“,  presented by geologist Dr. Iain Stewart, and the first episode was about “Life From Light“, or basically: how plant life came into being and started dominating the planet. So far so good, interesting enough despite the popularized approach.

But then it happened: the emergence (and immense growth, in number and in height) of the dinosaurs threatened plant life: they were hungry beasts, and daily diets of a metric tonne weren’t that uncommon. So what happened, according to Dr. Stewart? Yes: the plant kingdom “defended itself” by becoming toxic, by growing spikes and thorns, or by shooting up to 300 feet in height.

So not a word about “easy vegetation” (from the point of view of serving as food) being wiped out by hungry hippos (sorry ..) and “difficult vegetation” surviving or even taking the place of the former competitor for light and nutrition .. no: the “plant kingdom” was said to be “reacting to” changes in their habitat and “defending itself” against attackers. They’re scheming, sentient beings now, actively playing the chess board of nature, borrowing tricks (quod non, of course) from chameleons and armadillos?

I know, it’s popular science. I know, it helps in getting the general message across, and it will likely increase the interest in science, which we should all applaud and commend.

It still irks me.

It irks me that evolution is portrayed as anything other than a series of random mutations, the most (unintentionally) “beneficial” of which are (unintentionally) conducive to a species surviving under their particular contemporaneous circumstances.

Should I get out more?

[EN] If you ask me to respect your religion and beliefs …

Posted on February 21, 2012
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If you ask me to respect your religion and beliefs …

  • You’re asking me to include and accept you, when you exclude and disrespect anyone not like you
  • You’re asking me for the same thing you refuse to give to a non-believer or other religions
  • You’re asking me to casually glance over your blatant disrespect for science, facts, and observation
  • You’re asking me to disregard hypocrisy, child abuse, indoctrination, misogyny, homophobia
  • You’re asking me to insult caring, helpful, and kind people by attributing everything to a sky daddy
  • You’re asking me to buy a car from you without GPS, taking directions from a donkey-riding hippie
  • You’re actually asking me to join you in condemning all other cults, sects, and denominations
  • You’re asking me to censor myself around you, but to accept the vile and ignorant opinions you spew ..

Go on, ask me again.

 

[EN] Christopher Hitchens – Collected Articles, Memories, and Obituaries

Posted on December 16, 2011
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The End of God.

“Oh, Lord?”
“Hm, yes, Peter?”
“Someone here to see you.”
“Ah, I see. Who is it?”
“One Christopher Hitchens, Lord.”
“Oh. Oh shit! Oh fucking shit!”
“Yes, Lord. Shall we drink the Kool-Aid now?”
“Yes. Yes! Hurry!


In remembrance of my friend Hitch – Guest Voices – The Washington Post

A lesson from Hitch: When rudeness is called for – – The Washington Post

The Blog : Hitch : Sam Harris

Simon Hoggart’s week: Christopher Hitchens: monster and turnip | From the Guardian | The Guardian

Christopher Hitchens: tributes and reactions | Books | guardian.co.uk

God didn’t kill Christopher Hitchens – Christopher Hitchens – Salon.com

My take: My love/hate relationship with Hitchens – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

The dark side of Hitchens | Pharyngula

How Christopher Hitchens Inspired Me to Become a Journalist | Friendly Atheist

Christopher Hitchens dies at 62: Sharp-tongued writer fearlessly challenged moral, religious hypocrisy – The Washington Post

Christopher Hitchens Is Hailed by Stephen Fry as a Man of Style and Wit – The Daily Beast

Christopher Hitchens: ‘the consummate writer, the brilliant friend’ | Books | The Guardian

Richard Dawkins: Illness made Hitchens a symbol of the honesty and dignity of atheism – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent

Christopher Hitchens: God’s favorite atheist? | Conservative Republicans of California

James Randi: We’ve lost a giant

My Take: An evangelical remembers his friend Hitchens – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

Christopher Hitchens’ atheism was a gift to believers – The Washington Post

Christopher Hitchens, under siege from book reviewers – The Washington Post

For atheists, this life is enough

Tikkun Daily Blog » Blog Archive » On the Death of Christopher Hitchens

Sleep Mad, Christopher Hitchens, in this age of American unreason – The Spirited Atheist – The Washington Post

Hitchens and I Shared an Office | Mother Jones

Affected by an Atheist: How Hitch Changed Me | Secular Coalition for America

RIP Hitch | What Would JT Do?

News Desk: Postscript: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011 : The New Yorker

Christopher Hitchens has died: Fighter, doubter, provocateur – latimes.com

New Humanist (Rationalist Association) – discussing humanism, rationalism, atheism and free thought

Christopher Hitchens and Courageous Writing | Book Think | Big Think

God is not great, but Christopher Hitchens was! – National atheism | Examiner.com

RIP Christopher Hitchens. Provocateur and Damn Good Writer | Mother Jones

BBC News – Christopher Hitchens on life, death and lobster

Obituary: Christopher Hitchens – FT.com

Hitch is not in heaven | Pharyngula

So Long, You Magnificent Sonofabitch | Blue Collar Atheist

Atheist intellectual Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 | Reuters

Christopher Hitchens: His greatest Slate hits. – Slate Magazine

Christopher Hitchens Is Dead at 62 — Obituary – NYTimes.com

Vanity Fair essayist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 – CNN.com

Author, Atheist Christopher Hitchens Succumbs to Cancer | TheLedger.com

RIP Christopher Hitchens, the Cicero of the saloon bar – Telegraph Blogs

Christopher Hitchens, in his own words – Under God – The Washington Post

Christopher Hitchens 1949 – 2011 | Rock Beyond Belief

Olivia Wilde | Stars Pay Tribute To Hitchens | Contactmusic

Contrarian writer Christopher Hitchens dies at 62 – The Globe and Mail

Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian – Telegraph

Christopher Hitchens in quotes – Telegraph

The Immortal Rejoinders of Christopher Hitchens | Video | Vanity Fair

Ferocious atheist Hitchens is dead | FreeThinker UK

“Christopher Hitchens is Now Burning in Hell!” | Debunking Christianity

Christopher Hitchens Dead at Age 62 | God Discussion

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011 | Greta Christina’s Blog

Christopher Hitchens, a Vanity Fair Writer, was a religious skeptic and acerbic master of the contrarian essay – The Washington Post

RIP Christopher Hitchens | Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Farewell, Christopher Hitchens « Featured « AtheistConnect

Christopher Hitchens, Controversial Author and Television Personality, Dies – ABC News

Christopher Hitchens is Dead | Friendly Atheist

BBC News – Christopher Hitchens dies after battle with cancer

Christopher Hitchens obituary | Books | guardian.co.uk

God is not great: Remembering Christopher Hitchens, Atheist hero – National Humanist | Examiner.com

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011 | Blogs | Vanity Fair

[EN] The Hand of God

Posted on November 7, 2011
Filed Under English | Comments Off on [EN] The Hand of God

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