331 comments posted · 9 followers · following 1

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Getting Fired for What... · 0 replies · +2 points



Yes, I know that God and eternal suffering and all similar claims of supernatural beings or events are entirely imaginary.
I am a life-long atheist, as were my parents and my only surviving grandparent before me.

All claims of supernatural beings and events are either fraud or self-delusion.
There are no exceptions.

But my comment was an attempt to see the issue from the point of view of the believer (deluded as they are) that makes them think that imperiling an immortal soul (which they don't know is fictional) is more dangerous and horrible than any mere mortal harm, no matter how severe.

And of course, it their basic assumption had been correct (which I know it was not), then they would have been correct.
I know that they are wrong because their premises are fraudulent or delusional, but of course they cannot see that.

That is what causes them to make wrong decisions and conclusions.
They are not evil or insane when they do that.
They are pitifully misguided and misinformed.

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Getting Fired for What... · 0 replies · +3 points


One of our friends who participated with us on one of my old atheist chat rooms told us that her congregation was taught ("drilled," I would call it) to refer every single thing to God or God's workings or presence in their lives.

She said that she experienced evidence of God's existence and reality all the time because of this habit of referring every event, no matter how trivial, to the work or presence of God.
For example, if she felt a breeze touch her, she (as taught) interpreted that sensation as proof that God was near her and interacting with her (to give comfort or reassurance or whatever.)

So I guess a demonic T shirt would be like a fire alarm,

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Getting Fired for What... · 5 replies · +2 points


I wonder if some Christians think that promoting atheism is far more harmful than any merely worldly damage could ever be?

If one T shirt might lead a teenager into injuring or even killing a person of color, might the other one lead a teen into the destruction of his immortal soul in an eternity of suffering?

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Americans Are Increasi... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think you're correct about the correlation between a decline in the belief in organized religion and the uptick in belief in the paranormal.

That is one of the virtues of organized religion -- it suppressed world views that are even less coherent.
The Catholic Church (and other established churches, I think) vigorously opposes supernatural views. The priest chastises children for repeating nonsense about ghosts, black cats, or broken mirrors.

The clergy of the more decorous churches is theologically sophisticated, and well-educated enough to see that a belief in ghosts contradicts their teaching about the afterlife and the circumstances of the dead.

I wonder if the brains of some people have a specific place for supernatural ideation, and if a belief in Jesus is dropped, a belief in ghosts will drift in to fill that space.

As an experiment, I said to a slight acquaintance who was talking about ghosts or whatever .... "But Jesus would never allow that!"
She was rocked for a minute, but shortly went back to her ghost stories, and the hell with the baby Jesus, I guess.

Whether about God or ghosts ...
All reports of the supernatural are fraud or delusion.
There are no exceptions.

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - My Top 10 Favorite Hor... · 0 replies · +1 points

I thought The Shining was an overrated bore.

It persisted in pulling its punches.

For example, that long scene where the wife discovers that her husband's pile of typescript is just one line typed over and over shows Jack Nicholson watching her from hiding while ominous music builds on the soundtrack, long after we get the idea.
Then she turns around and sees him!
But absolutely nothing follows this fake build-up.

It was misleading to pretend that this was a suspenseful scene with the wife in danger.
It was a rip-off, a cheat, a misuse of the viewer's trust in the meaningfulness of the score and the camera work.
It stole its scary value by echoing actual scary scenes from scarier movies with more plot, cashing in on stolen reverbs and reminders of better movies.

Another instance of pulling its punch is the lost opportunity in the chase in the snow scene for Jack Nicholson to murder that little boy.
He should have splattered him with that ax.
That alone would have redeemed this fake story and catapulted it into magnificence and immortality.

There wasn't enough story to fill the entire time.
The movie had to rely over and over on drawn-out scenes that went nowhere.

That is a typical problem with that old windbag Steven King -- yammer yammer yammer, but no plot, no action, no story -- just hundreds of pages of writing that he has learned to churn out.
As Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac, “That's not writing, that's typing.”

The very best part was the trailer scene showing the elevator opening onto a wall of blood bursting out.
My father(?)/grandmother(?) told me that when that scene played as a coming attraction in a movie house, a woman in the audience leaped up and ran right out of the theater, never to return. Hahaha!

That was the very best part of the whole movie, but it lasted only 25 seconds -- AND IT WAS NOT EVEN IN THE ACTUAL MOVIE.

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Beware the Halloween C... · 0 replies · +1 points

You mentioned that the "razor blade in apples" story was a perfect urban legend because " ... it lent itself to everyone knowing someone who knew someone to whom it had happened. In reality, it never happened to any of these friends or relatives of friends, but we thought it did and that was enough. "

This property of urban legends is known as "FOAF" -- they happed to a "Friend Of A Friend."
Researchers have tried to track down the origin of various urban legends, but it never ends with anyone. It's always just a Friend Of A Friend.

The most ridiculous report I heard about the public's reaction to the threat of razor blades in apples was that some town's Fire Department offered to X-ray kids' apples to screen them against razor blades or needles.

Why not just tell the parents to throw suspicious apples in the recycle bin and give the kids one of the apples from their own fridge?

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Suspending Disbelief · 0 replies · +1 points


I am a paid editor (and a teacher.)

It never crossed my mind that you would think that I made a personal attack on you.
I thought i was giving you useful information that you could use to improve your writing.

So sorry, really!

Oh! Wait!
I see that you are defending Jack, not yourself..

Well, he's a lucky guy!
You assume that he'd rather be defended by you than improved.
As far as I can tell, that's not correct, but I see you that you disagree.
And your disagreement is expressed in a friendly and agreeable way, too.

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Why Atheists Sometimes... · 0 replies · +3 points

After death, the body dissolves back into its elemental parts, as anyone can see just by looking.

The soul is imaginary, as anyone can tell from the complete and utter absence of any evidence for its reality.

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Saying Stupid Things o... · 0 replies · +1 points

You said:
"Like everybody else who uses social media, there are times when I see someone say something incredibly stupid and feel the pull to respond."

My response:
Well, I don't use social media, so (proudly swaggering) I say things that are incredibly stupid ALL BY MYSELF!

5 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Suspending Disbelief · 2 replies · +1 points

How to avoid sexist pronouns without resorting to clumsy expressions like "his or her":

It is perfectly possible to write graceful and attractive prose without sexist pronouns AND without distracting locutions.

"In fairness to the religious believer, he or she does the same in most contexts that do not involve his or her religious beliefs."
> In fairness to religious believers, they do the same in most contexts that do not involve their religious beliefs.