Posts Tagged ‘God’

Christmas is over…

December 28th, 2008 1 comment

…and not soon enough if you aks me!

I am not a fan of Christmas. Not only do I dislike the modern festival, complete with three month build up and ridiculous commercialism, but I hate the fact that a “Christian” festival has been nationalised and rammed down our throats to such an extent that every body feels the need to suddenly pretend to be pious and religous! Seriosuly, I know muslims that celebrate Christmas! What the hell is that about?

Christmas is a Christian festival that was created in the 19th centurty when the Catholic Church decreed that the eponymous midwinter festival was now officially a celebration of the birth of Jesus (who almost certainly was not born in December, never mind the 25th!). For most of the rest of that century nobody really gave a monkey, until the Victorians started making something of the festival. The majority of the traditions we now associate with Christmas, the tree, the decorations, the food etc was all started in the latter half of the 1800s by the middle and upper classes of Victorian England and hence the rest of the Empire.

I am not a Christian, so I do not ‘celebrate’ Christmas. I, like many other non-Christians, partake in the festivities surrounding the tradition but I do not hold it sacred in any way and would have no qualms about selecting any arbitrary day to celebrate family, togetherness and peace to all men. These are not Christian ideals, all of these ideas were celebrated for hundreds of years before Christianity and will continue to be celebrated for hundreds of years after Christianity. I just wish everybody would accept that Christmas, as it exists today, has nothing to do with Jesus. We shouldn’t all be forced to take time off work and we should not be subjected to the nationalising of a religious holiday to the point of causing offence to every non-Christian. If I were a Muslim, Sikh, Jew etc I would be similarly outraged.

The fact I am an atheist means I am also outraged at the increasing nationalisation of Eid, Ramadam, Hannukah, Diwahli etc.

When we go to the zoo, why can’t we talk to monkeys?

July 29th, 2008 No comments

I was reading Facebook today and an AHS colleague of mine from Oxford Secular Society had written a note based on a blog post from God Be Gone and the follow up.

It cracked me up. Seriously, how crazy are some people?

For those who can’t be bothered going to the links, here is the the content mercilessly ripped off and reposted…

‘Proof that evolution is wrong’

i saw on your blog that you like to talk about the religion of evolution and trick people by using big words and pretending that science actually proves evolution. I dont know any science or anything and even i know evolution isnt real. for one it isnt in the bible the bible said god made everything in 6 days, not millions of years. second, when we go to the zoo we cant talk to monkies, if we used to be monkies why cant we talk to them? three, how could a monkey become a person over billions of years when they dont live that long? AND why are there still monkies if they turned into people? five, even darwin said he was wrong. on his death bed he converted to christianity and said evolution was a hoax. If there is any science that makes it look like evolution is real then it has to be either a hoax by EVILutionists or put there by god to find out who believes in him.

I hope that after reading my questions you will see that evolution cant be true and people dont come from monkies. i will pray to god asking him to make you think like me.

From: GBG
To: kevin

You are joking, right?

From: kevin

firstly i didnt give you permission to put my email on your blog. teh email copyright is owned by me and i will talk to my solisitor about making you take it down.

And no im not joking, you know im right thats why you didn’t answer. If we used to be monkies we should be able to talk monkey. its like if a french man becomes american he can still talk french, its called logic. also on tv a scientist says crocodiles havnt changed for million of years. if evolution was true they would be able to fly by now or talk or grow fur or invent things. if evolution happens why didnt it make crocodiles better?

the devil tricked you into believing you are from mud to take you away from god. Why would you want to be from mud and monkies when you have the option to be from gods hand? If you just stop thinking the bible makes sense and you dont have to worry about anything. If you just stop trying to find things out and accept gods word jesus will forgive you.

i thing you should watch expelled by ben stein. It shows how science is from the devil and good christians are being fired from jobs because atheists know they have the truth. evolution believers know its evil and from the devil, and thats why they are frighetened of christianities real sciense


London Baby!

November 28th, 2007 No comments

After the mania of Atheist Week finishing the night before, Friday started with me rising early to make sure that Liz and I were all ready to leave for the A-Soc trip to London. We met up with Jack at the university before heading down to Park Row Wetherspoons for a society breakfast. We met Chris there, who following a bit of a rough morning was a littl frought, and planned to meet Moz at the Bus Station. After a quite good breakfast we wandered down to catch our bus. Half the group was getting the 12:30 bus and the others, namely Sarann, Michelle and Charlie, were catching the 15:45 bus die to lectures.

The bus got us into London for about 5pm and we grabbed a quick bite in McDonald’s before getting the tube up to King’s Cross – where we trudged the five minute walk down Gray’s Inn Road to Ashlee House, the hostel we were staying at. The hostel was not a five star resort, the facilities were basic but the atmosphere was friendly. The room was adequate to our needs – bed, linen and a lockable door. In the end, most of us didn’t actually spend that much time in the hostel.

Friday night saw us head into Camden to visit Sin City at the Electric Ballroom. It was a shame to see that even after 11pm when we arrived the club was barely half full and didn’t get much fuller. Most of us then proceeded to get a little drunk, especially Liz and Michelle who subsequently needed carrying home. Who would have thought that the mile or so walk from Camden Town to King’s Cross would have taken well over an hour?!

Saturday morning was quite difficult for many of us. I had a stinking hangover and I was not the only one. Jack, Chris and I managed to force ourselves up and at them to go and visit the Ethical Society’s Library. I had spent quite a lot of time plannign and organising this visit, but unfortunately Jennifer, the head librarian, failed to turn up and give us our tour. AFter an hour or so we decided to move on in search of something more exciting. We ended up lunching in Holburn. The restaurant of choice turned out to be ‘The Ultimate Burger’. We were all a little intrigued to see if the burgers on offer were inf act The Ultimate. Jack went for a satay based burger, Chris a minted lamb burger and I went for the Sunday roast burger – basically a burger with Yorkshire pudding! Now, although the burgers were good they were not the ultimate! I expect a certain je ne sais pas to my ulitmate food and these burgers were tasty, filling and not ridiculously priced they did not leave me gasping, or vowint to return.

We had planned a trip the natural history museum is Kensington but due to the fact that there were engineering works on the Picadilly line, and Arsenal home game and a million people seeimingly wanting to use the tube station at once we gave up on that idea. The mysterious forces of nature then seemed to deposit the three of us on the steps of the British Museum. I have never actually visited this famous museum, but have often been intrigued by the exhibits it contains – such as the massive collection from Egypt and the current visiting exhibition of China’s Terracotta Army. The building itself was incredible, the massive front, the breathtaking interior simply left me speechless. The materials and colelctions inside are equally impressive,d espite a crippling hangover I still managed over two hours looking round. I had to leave to get some air, but Jack and Chris spent a further few hours in there.

Due to the crowds, both in the museum and in the tube station, it was getting past 3pm by the time returned to the hostel. This gave me a few minutes to get ready for the theatre. Sarann, Michelle, Charlie, Liz and I had tickets for the 39 Steps in the West End. The play was based on the novel and film of the same name, but was remade into a rather slapstick comic version. I wan to sure I was going to like it from the programme notes but by the end the incredible acting and wonderful direction had my crying with laughter and applauding on instinct.

Saturday’s dinner wa sa disaster. We ended up at a 50s themed american diner come nightclub. Not the sort of place I would normally frequent, but it was passable int erms of atmosphere and setting. However, the meal stank! We had to send two drinks back, one main course and then I had to complain about the service. All in all it was one of the ost disappointing and stressful meals of my life!

The excesses of Friday night were starting to take their toll, so an evening of Father Ted and an early night were the order of the day.

In my opinion Sunday was the most successful day of the trip in terms of an A-Soc agenda. We had to check out the hostel by 10am, which meant that we were late (in our minds) to Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. When we arrived there was an Imman plugging a socialist agenda without much reference to Islam. There was some speculation that we had missed the speakers but right on queue a lady started claiming we were being judged by god – although what god she was talking about remains unclear to me even now – and how we must all return to our racial homelands. There was a preacher who called Chris and I qualified unbelievers and then started spouting homophobia. What really made the morning were the satirists – the people that took the mickey out of the main speakers! Due to growling stomachs, Chris, Jack, Liz and I headed to McDonald’s on Oxford Street for some lunch. We then spent the afternoon wandering down Oxford Street.

The weekend finished with us collecting our luggage and cathcing the bus home at 20:30.

A good weekend that I am going to be recovering from for a few days yet!

God exists, He is vengeful!

November 3rd, 2007 No comments

I guess that the Almighty wopuld eventually punish me for my infidelity, heresy and down right disbelieving nature evntually. The last week has seen His vengeance in full and glorious Technicolour and Dolby Digital Surround Sound!! It’s almost enough to convert even the hardiest atheist to a religious fanatic. The timing was just too bad to be coincidental.

Now, in case you are worrying that I have gained my faith I can assure you this is just a temprary lapse. I can see why people are religious now, it is amazingly useful to have someone to blame…

It all started a week or so ago whilst I was watching the baseball blue riband event, the Major Leage Baseball World Series, a best-of-seven series of games between the winners of the two professional North American baseball leagues – the National and American Leagues – between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. Game one is a big event, so I was staying up to watch Five’s live coverage of it. During the seventh inning stretch I was popping downstairs to fetch a drink when I missed the bottom step and went over on my ankle :( After a prolonged trip to A&E I was diagnosed with torn ligaments in my left ankle. After a little wait I left equipped with crutches and a bag of pain killers. It has been a while since I last had to use crutches and the skill required to use them seems to have evaded me. I seem to spend more time on the floor with the crutches than without!

The worse thing about injuring my ankle was the fact that it prevented me from driving, which kind of messed up my weekend plans. Firstly, arrived on Thursday for a quick visit and I was supposed to be driving her home and then on the Sunday i was supposed to be attending a family Christening in Northwich, Cheshire and then on the following Tuesday I had planned to visit Liz in Lincoln! In the end then I had to call my mother and have her drive to Leeds, pick Liz and I up on the Friday and drop Liz off at the train station then take me home to Kirkham. After a rather lazy Saturday we attended the Christening of Isabel Emma, my cousin Helen’s baby. I probbaly wouldn’t have attended this Christening under normal circumstances – I am really not a bug fan of the Catholic way of indoctrinating babies and their families – but it was the first time that my entire family had got together for over a decade. By the end of the day we were only missing three members! This is remarkable as half my family live in New Zealand!

Tuesday saw my mum and I rise at 3.30am so we could drive the 150 miles from Kirkham to Potterhanworth so as to arrve in time to pick liz up and get her to Lincoln for 8.30. It is a long time since I have experienced a day that seemed to last so long. Due to a number of circumstances it was a really tough dayto start with, add to that the fact that I was awake for a good twenty-odd hours and that I had barely slept the night before and you can picture the scene. Anyway, the day went without too many hitches and we all made it home safely, which I guess is the main thing. Many thanks to my Mum for her help and dedication to the cause!

As an aside, Tuesday also saw the first meeting of Liz’s parents and my mother. I think it went ok, although not the ebst circumstances to be honest. Hopefully they got on ok and don’t want to kill each other just yet.

Anyway, as you have just read it has been an eventful week to say the least and an insightful one as well.

Fence Sitting Anonymous

August 15th, 2007 2 comments

I’ve just finished reading a blog post on moderation and anti-fundamentalism and it got me thinking about a number of things. Firstly, is the age old question of fundamentalism. Is it wrong to believe something so strongly that you pursue it with all your might, literally in some cases? I still cannot make up my mind, my fellow A-Soc member Chris Worfolk says that moderation in religion is wrong, a cop out even in his article “The problem With Religious Moderates”. I am not entirely convinced by his arguments, I like to think that there is room even within the most deep set of principles for self censorship and the need to balance your convictions against the freedom of those around you. It is important as a religious commentator that balance is given to all arguments. It is fine blasting non-fundamentalists for failing at their religion as long as you continue that crusade against all non-fundamentalists in every walk of life. Every conviction out there can be followed fundamentally. If fundamentalism was to be applauded then shouldn’t we all be members of the BNP or the Communist Party? Extremism is not the same as fundamentalism, I think it is important that is clarified, but all fundamentalists are extremists in the modern sense.

I like the idea of fundamentalism, I think it allows an easy life. The rules and thought processes are simple. you just follow the guidelines set down by your conviction be it religion, racism, anti-semetism or just that all meals must be eaten at the dinner table! However, there is no flexibility in it, which is the crux of the issue for me. We need flexibility. We need to be able to say “wait a minute?”. There must be room for criticism, for question, for reason.

As an atheist I am often barraged with the question, “But, isn’t Atheism a religion?”. I am often forced to concede that certain aspects of the atheists beliefs can be construed as religious. Especially with idealogies such as Buddhism and Humanism. I, however, an neither of the above. I am an atheist. I have no reason to believe ina god or gods, so I don’t. Is it, therefore, possible for me to be a fundamentalist atheist? I am sure that there are many out there who would say that some of my actions within A-Soc and in public could be cinstrued as fundamental. I am not known for my lack of convictions. However, as a rational thinker I require flexibility. None of my convictions are set in stone. This would pique the author of the initial article as he suggests that weak convictions are a curse on society. it would also cause some concern for my esteemed colleague, Chris, as he maintains his convisitons as the bedrock of his motivation to pursue his goals for A-Soc World Domination!

Anyway, I hope some of you enjoyed this little discussion and I welcome your comments on the issue!

Another productive day

April 4th, 2007 No comments

It is surprising how productive I have been recently. Today was another massively productive day! I was up well before 9am, had some breakfast and then tidied my room – which really needed doing. All it requires now is a final bit of filing and a quick vac.

Ended up heading to the Llama for lunch and was massively surprised to find they have changed the menu! It is all colourful and modern. It was diasppointing to find they have added 50p or more to the price of everything and have fiddled with the 2-4-1 offer. they have taken the burgers off and the BBQ chicken melt, but have replaced it with a pasta dish and an all-day breakfast. Drinks are pretty much the same. When Si headed back up to DEC10, me and Chris decided to call it a day too – about 5.15. Chris headed home to sort himself out for A-Soc and I popped into the Brotherton Library.

The Brotherton Library is scary! I had to delve deep down in the stack shelves and ened up getting trapped! I did, however, find all but one of the books I went in for. I am researching for a debate I am involved in – “This house opposes that there is enough evidence to believe Jesus is the son of God”. So, a lot of bed time reading for me!

6pm saw the penultimate A-Soc planning meeting for Rationalist Week. It was a really good meeting and we got a lot of the little niggles sorted out. It did take over three hours though!

Finished the day with take-away and WOW!


March 30th, 2007 9 comments

While at Sarann’s this week, I got involved in a long conversation about religion and rationalism with Kat, Sarann and Joanna.

I am a Rationalist, I belive in what I can prove. I do not believe in a god because I can define no experiment that can prove their existence independently. This means that I cannot consider myself Christian and live according to the Bible. At this stage Sarann pipes up with “Am I a girl?”, an interesting question as how can I belive Sarann is a girl without any evidence? After some debate on definition, I decided the only way to prove Sarann was a girl was by testing her chromosones. However, I act as if she were a girl without this evidence, so – as Joanna asked – why can I not believe in God existing and live my life according to the Bible without the proof? An interesting point.

I decided that, ultimately, the answer lies in the methodology of the proof process. I can define an experiment that can prove that Sarann is a female, this experiment would have repeatable outcomes that could be verified by any number of witnesses. I cannot say the same for proving the existence of a god. I think, in the end that rationalism is determined by the definitions one applies to a situation. I am rationalist and define my rationalism by saying I choose to belive that a god does not exist because there is no evidence to the contrary and that Sarann is a girl becasue there is no evidence to the contrary. Would it be wrong for the opposite to be true? I.e. could it be rational to believe that a god exists until their is proof to the contrary and that Sarann is a boy until there is proof to the contrary? I think not.

This conclusion has led me to the belief that you can be rational and religious.

Another night of shenanigans

March 27th, 2007 1 comment

Today has been fun, I say fun, I mean wierd.

Started off with a telephone call from my Mum, who has agreed to finance me until my next student loan comes in, which is always a good thing. Then had the thrill of a meeting with someone from the NHS who decided that I was relatively fit to look after myself, which is also always good!

Ended up in the Terrace with George, Kara, B, Maths Chris, Kat, Matt, Si, Izzy, Chris and Michelle over the evening – there was much coming and going! I hadn’t been out drinking in ages, so decided to quaff a few pints of Guinness as it is still £2 a pint after St. Paddy’s day. As I got tipsier and tipsier I started to chill out quite a lot, which I have really needed after all the stress of the last few weeks and months. Michelle, Chris and I ended up back at Chris’s as usual, with guest appearances from a drunken B and a seriously pissed off Maths Chris.

The topic got onto freewill, something I feel very strongly about, especially as I do not believe that it is possible to have an omnipotent “creator” and free will. Hence my atheism! After a long debate and various metaphors ranging from breakfast cereals to video players we eventually agreed to disagree. Me and Chris still maintain that free will cannot exist within a theistic belief system and Michelle still thinks it is compatable – although I think we raised some very interesting points for her to think about.

As it got to 3am (having been in the Terrace since 5pm) I called it a night. Just got to grab some sleep ready for my adventures tomorrow – me and Kat are off to Sarann’s for a bit of a holiday.

Night all.