Politics or Paradise?

The guy with the suicide vest on isn't thinking about politics, he's thinking about paradise

"The guy with the suicide vest on isn't thinking about politics, he's thinking about paradise"

I think that this is an important distinction to make. There is a common argument that terrorism is more politically than religiously motivated. While there is certainly a political element to terrorism, as I’m sure guys in charge like Osama Bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri are using jihad for political means, it would be nothing but hot air without the religious backing to grease the wheels of the machine. The men and women who are detonating themselves in crowded places are not doing so for political gain. These people are blowing themselves up because they believe their respective god wants them to and will reward them greatly for such a vile deed.

If there were no scriptural support for martyrdom there would be no suicide attacks. Jihad may be a political tool, but it would not exist without the already prevalent irrationality inherent in religion. And let’s not forget the suicidal attacks on abortion clinics and the many religiously motivated militia attacks that have been thwarted here in the United States. Conversely, I seriously doubt we ever see an atheist commit a suicide bombing.

The image above is available as a wallpaper on deviantART with 1920×1080 resolution of my making (click here).

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Fuck truth! I’ve got my gut!

Today, I argued with crazy people. Why? Because I’m a stubborn fool.

My Tea Party-loving cousin copy-pasted some trash from another fool’s Facebook page talking about Obama having stopped having the National Day of Prayer crap in the White House. Somehow they managed to turn this into:

Barack signed a new proclamation in May, 2009 which did away with National Day of Prayer. There’ll be no public ceremony involving prominent clerics, lawmakers or prayers. There goes the RIGHT to gather peaceably and puts a huge dent in the FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

Yes, really. The President deciding not to have his National Day of Prayer meeting inside the White House ends the right to protest and freedom of religion. Needless to say, an argument ensued between her, her friends, and myself. It ran the full gambit, from them discrediting any opinion I had because I wasn’t a Christian like them to the conspiracy theory that Obama is part of a fifty year-long secret Communist plot to take over the government and destroy freedom (not to mention being knee-deep in logical fallacies). Which gets me to my real point, which I tried to express to them: Conspiracy theories are illogical. It is no different than religion in this respect. They are completely scientifically unfalsifiable to the persons who believe it. Anything you try to say only solidifies the conspiracy to them.

No evidence? Because they are hiding it!
Evidence to the contrary? Because they are making a coverup!
Showing you have a history of mental illness or heavy drug use? They are trying to silence you because you know the truth!

The sad fact of the matter is that the government is absolutely terrible at hiding things. We find out shit all the time about how they get caught doing stuff. CIA running and selling cocaine? The government helping Chiquita take over Guatemala? Assassination attempts of various leaders? I mean come on, they really suck at keeping secrets and being discreet.

Humans naturally try to see agency behind every action, this is well known. It works great when you’re in the woods and hear a stick break  and turn in time to save yourself from a wild animal, but not so much in the complicated world of human civilization where we have access to every drop of news from the entire planet. Of course this is going to play out in spectacular ways with some people. This is the same kind of thinking that makes people think that because they personally survived some bad accident that a god saved them on purpose. Sometimes things are actually coincidences. Sometimes you just luck out and survive. Sometimes people die in weird ways.

But these people would rather think that they’re on to a concerted effort to take over the world because it feeds their ego and they’re drummed up paranoia from watching too much Fox News. They’re the ones who were smart enough to have caught on! (Lets not even mention how often these people have been shown to have drug use with chemicals that have been scientifically proven to increase paranoia and permanently alter brain chemistry) In their world, they hate the government so much that there is no such thing as a coincidence. They have made a boogieman for themselves. They turn an incompetent government into a patient and hyper-intelligent foe for them to be the hero against. This boogieman continues to grow bigger and bigger in their eyes and it can do no good unless they’re in control of the boogieman personally.

When you try to show them how crazy it is they always follow the pattern too.

The government is a good thing only when their political ideology is in control.
They sensationalize everything their opponents do and then pass it through their crazy little grapevine until it becomes something that actually sounds scary to their buddies.
The conspiracy is in plain sight, if only you would open your eyes!
If you don’t agree with them then you’re not thinking for yourself and you’re believing everything “THEY” are trying to feed you.

I’ve given up for now. I’m not going to try to argue with my cousin anymore for a while on any of her crap. I just don’t have the patience to deal with such willful ignorance and blind devotion.

For more conspiracy fun click here! (Warning: WND link)

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Babies, Babies, Babies..

The last thing I want to hear about anytime soon is having children. Unfortunately, I doubt this wish will happen. Ever since we got married about 3 months ago (as of the 19th) my wife has pretty much spent everyday trying to get me to start having kids.

We had a lot of candid conversations about when we’d like to start having kids prior to the wedding. Before we actually got married it was about two years after the wedding. Now, it’s yesterday. At first, her trying to convince me was cute, but now it’s down-right obnoxious. She’s forced some pretty heated arguments about the topic in the last couple of weeks and it has actually made me want to have kids even less than before. Every time she’d get so upset and start crying. Every time I’d feel like I was stealing her dream. This sort of thing is NOT good for a relationship. I’ve done my best to relate to her that her approach is not helping her out, but she’s so caught up in this now I’m not sure she can even turn herself down.

I still want to have kids eventually, just not right now. I’m not ready to settle down like that just yet. I like having the freedom to do the things I want to do. I like having the (however small) excess of money to spend on things I want to. I also would like to be much closer to finishing my degree before we start adding to the family beyond an extra cat or two if our current cat, Seven, allows for that.

Aside from all that, there is the issue of our differing faiths, her being a Catholic and me lacking one at all. When we start having children that difference is going to need some working out and I’m not really prepared for that headache just yet. Am I comfortable with my kids getting dunked in some water if it makes my wife feel better? Am I okay with them going to church with mom? Is teaching them about critical thinking skills and logical fallacies going to be enough to make sure they don’t bomb abortion clinics or refuse medical treatment? My wife isn’t like that, but when you put religion in someone’s head it becomes a coin-toss as to what direction that stuff will lead someone. I’m sure that I’m probably over-reacting but I have no frame of reference for this sort of thing. Godless parenting is a new frontier of sorts.

When I look at this all I see is “me me me, I want I want I want”. It all sounds so very selfish, but in reality, shouldn’t it be about what I want as well? Shouldn’t my wants matter just as much as my wife’s? If 1/2 of the parents aren’t ready yet, shouldn’t that mean it gets set aside for a little while?

Stuff came to a head recently and tonight my wife claims to have given up for now on her baby-quest. She seems so defeated. I know she wants a child badly and I feel like a total prick for telling her I’m not ready yet but if I’m not then I’m not. I realize I have some more growing up to do before I’m ready to be responsible for the life of a child. We’ll see how things go.

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Atheism-themed wallpapers and stuff.

When I get bored and feisty, I make atheism-themed wallpapers and stuff like that.

I’ve upgraded my monitor to 1920×1080 and therefore I require a larger wallpaper to satisfy my godless needs. Several excellent quotes. If enough people want different ones I’ll comply.

For the rest of my atheism-related wallpapers that I failed to post about previously just click here: http://unikraken.deviantart.com/gallery/#Atheism

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The four horsemen of atheism sitting around a table and talking about religion.

Absolutely wonderful.

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The great beast has awoken…

The water foams as the writhing mass rises to the surface. A small fishing vessel nearby is quickly smothered in thinly furred tentacles. The fishermen on board scream and begin to pray as a single, giant, twisting horn slides up out of the crashing waves followed by the cephalopodic head  it is attached to. The Thing laughs at the sailors’ prayers to non-existent deities and inspects the boat. Upon realizing no virgin maidens are on board, the creature dispassionately tosses the ship behind itself and sinks back into the cold, deep void in search of more prey. The dreaded Unikraken has awoken…

I’ve decided to start this blog to chronicle the parts of my life I’m willing to share. To start this thing off I’ve just created a DeviantArt account and posted my first try at an atheist wallpaper with some of my preferred quotes that I’ve found from all over.

Atheist Quotes

The wallpaper is 1280x800 because I made it specifically for my cheapo laptop.

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