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cleanhippie's Journal
cleanhippie's Journal
August 29, 2014

Stephen Hawking denies god

August 26, 2014

Can a Godless Parent Be a GOOD Parent?

Back when I was rearing my sons, I knew I wanted them to be creative and freethinking rational individuals. I didn’t think too much about the philosophical, economic, or political issues undergirding my own lack of belief in any supernatural being. Dan Arel is different. He brings everything to his parenting, and thus to his first book, Parenting Without God: How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children, Free From Religious Dogma (Dangerous Little Books, 2014), Foreword by Peter Boghossian.

An increasingly visible atheist and secular activist and blogger, Dan Arel holds uncompromised beliefs (science not faith, equality for all rather than the capitalism we now have in the U.S.) and isn’t afraid to share them. One of the main themes of his blogs and his new book is that religion and its myths and holy books are not only silly but can at times be downright harmful to children’s well-being.

In the Introduction, Arel explains the book’s purpose:

Most [atheist parents] believe atheism is a place you should find on your own; critical thinking, knowledge, logic and other means of rational thought lead people to reject the idea of man-made gods and consider themselves atheist. How, though, do you instill these values as an atheistic parent without force-feeding your children? This is why I wrote this book.

Parenting Without God is divided into three sections: Dealing with Religion; Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life; and Get Active, which includes several essays by other secular parents (disclosure: I wrote one of the essays).

For the practical-minded, here are a few of Arel’s suggestions to try out in your own family:


1. Everything about religion should be able to be talked about, with nothing left “off the table.”

2. Don’t make your kids the billboard for your beliefs or lack thereof. Recognize if they’re too young to understand the serious message on their t-shirt.

3. Teach your kids, with plenty of examples, why they ought to do the right thing for its own sake, not out of fear or for a reward.

4. Explain to your kids that their life’s meaning is to be determined by them, and that it’s fine to change their minds over time.

5. Come out as an atheist whenever you can, in order to increase the chances that people will get to know real atheists who are also good people.


August 19, 2014

Frustrated Christian May Not Pick Up Roadside Trash Anymore Because Atheist Group Adopted That Stret

The Tallahassee Atheists recently “adopted” a nearly-two-mile stretch of road in Leon County, volunteering to periodically clean it up. It’s just a great community service project. On Sunday, though, they received a strange complaint from a Christian who also picks up garbage on the road but may stop doing it. His frustration stemmed from the notion that, if he cleans up the road now, it (somehow) means he’s supporting atheists who don’t believe in his God.

I thought the atheist group’s leader, Austin Aycock, handled the complaint well, alleviating his concerns without mocking what was a completely ridiculous objection:

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/08/19/frustrated-christian-may-not-pick-up-roadside-trash-anymore-because-atheist-group-adopted-that-stretch-of-land/#ixzz3AsrHIpfR
August 19, 2014

Question about Mobile view.

Unlike the Desktop view (at least in iPhone), time stamps are not visible unless one clicks a particular reply. This makes finding the latest replies (especially in long threads with many replies) nearly impossible to locate.

Is there a way to see time stamps or otherwise identify the most recent replies in a given thread?

August 19, 2014

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity..."

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

It's a great read.

August 15, 2014

The Rim at the End of the World

Not only an interesting read, but an insightful look into the ability of humans to rationalize anything they want or need to believe.

As long as I have my copy of Christine Garwood’s excellent Flat Earth (2007) at hand, having retrieved it from the bookshelf to consult it for details about the flat-earther Wilbur Glenn Voliva, who hoped to be called to testify for the prosecution in the Scopes case (see “Voliva!”), I thought that I might take the opportunity to address a weighty question for flat-earthers: what keeps the ocean from cascading off the earth faster than it can be replaced by rain?

The standard answer was proposed by Samuel Birley Rowbotham (1816–1884), who, under the nom de plume of “Parallax,” launched the modern flat-earth movement back in 1849, with his book Zetetic Astronomy: A Description of Several Experiments which Prove that the Surface of the Sea is a Perfect Plane and that the Earth is not a Globe! “Zetetic” means pertaining to inquiry or investigation; in contrast, the idea that the earth is spherical is, in Parallax’s view, based merely on speculation.

“If then we adopt the zetetic process to ascertain the true figure and condition of the Earth,” Parallax wrote in the second, expanded, edition of Zetetic Astronomy (1865), we discover that the earth is a flat disk with the North Pole at its center. Garwood suggests, “The South Pole was naturally non-existent in this scheme, and the circular plane was bordered with an immense barrier of ice,” although perhaps it would be fairer to say that the South Pole was identified with the barrier.

The main evidence Parallax cites for the flatness of the earth involves, as the subtitle indicates, experiments. Well, actually, observations, variously showing that the surface of standing water is not convex, that the horizon is always horizontal, that the surface of the earth appears concave to balloonists, and so on. The main evidence he cites for the existence of a barrier of ice at the world’s rim, however, involves the inability of mariners to circumnavigate the Antarctic circle:

That the south is an immense ring, or glacial boundary, is evident from the fact, that within the Antarctic circle the most experienced, scientific, and daring navigators have failed in their attempts to sail, in a direct manner, completely around it. … But if the southern region is a pole or center, like the north, there would be little difficulty in circumnavigating it, for the distance round would be comparatively small. When it is seen that the Earth is not a sphere, but a plane, having only one centre, the north; and that the south is the vast icy boundary of the world, the difficulties experienced by circumnavigators can be easily understood.


August 1, 2014

Washington School Bans Pastors From Proselytizing

Bainbridge Island School District has said it will no longer allow pastors to proselytize students during school hours. Three pastors, associated with an organization dedicated to promoting Christianity to the youth, were proselytizing students during their lunch break.

After receiving multiple complaints from parents of pastors proselytizing students during school hours, the FFRF sent a letter to the school board stating that “it is both inappropriate and dangerous for schools to grant outsiders carte blanche access to minors — a captive audience — in a public school, let alone have that access to proselytize.”

Danny Smith, one of the youth pastors, said “the only time church may have come in is when they say, ‘What do you do?’ my response is, ‘I’m a youth pastor.’ Even sometimes say I’m a leader because most of the kids don’t know what a youth pastor is.” He says his reason for being at Woodward Middle School is “not for proselytizing or recruiting, but it’s just there to be there.” This is a rather creepy argument. A pastor going to a middle school, to just hang around little kids doesn’t seem appropriate either.

Unfortunately, it seems that this egregious violation has been taking place for years. It is thanks to the advocacy groups, such as the FFRF, that we are able slowly end the systematic proselytizing of our children in school.


Thank god for the FFRF!

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