Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Someone’s dreaming of an atheist Christmas...


Jewish date:  21 Kislew 5770 (Parashath Wayyeshev).

Today’s holidays:  Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholicism).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Save BioGems: Take Action: Protect the Redrock Wilderness” and ONE | A Global Gift“”.

Thomas Nast's most famous drawing, "Merry...Image of this absurdly alleged atheist symbol via Wikipedia
Topic 1:  “Humanists launch a godless holiday campaign”.  The American Humanist Association, an atheist group, is trying to push the intrinsically self-contradictory notion of an atheistic Christmas again.  This is despite the fact that things with the Greek root christ in them tend to be distinctively Christian.  It does not matter how banal the holiday gets in popular culture.  Everyone knows that Christmas is supposed to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, and people wearing Santa Claus hats and the slogan “No God? . . . No problem!” only looks like an attempt to steal a holiday.  And I think it appropriate to repeat—with updates!—some sarcasm I made at the infamous atheist bus campaign a while back:

No God? How can this not be a problem???  ARGH! All life is totally meaningless! There’s no afterlife, and all life is going to end in dismal oblivion! This is the ultimate problem!!!  What a horrible, horrible situation! How the gezornenblat are we going to handle something so terrible?  How can we possibly not need a god to get us out of such a situation?

Why, why, why can’t the militant atheists get their own holiday and show people the (alleged) beauty of atheism instead of nonsense like this current lame campaign?

Also:  The irony of atheists, who often claim to be pro-reason, trying to make use of the symbol of Santa Claus, belief in whom is often pushed for children despite its well-publicized irrationality, is not lost on me.

Topic 2:  More religious oppression:  “Tibetan Buddhist nun dies. She was in prison for protesting in favour of the Dalai Lama”, “Somalia: Al-Shabaab Kills People Inside Mosque” (Sunnis against Sufis!), “MALDIVES: What do Maldivians understand freedom of religion or belief to be?”.  There is much more of this that gets reported in the news than I report on this blog.

Topic 3:  More religious humor:  “Praeing Mantis needz to prae harder”.
humorous pictures
This picture displays a commonly repeated misconception about prayer:  that prayer itself accomplishes goals.  In reality, all prayer itself can accomplish is to make sound and some psychological effects on the worshipper and those who are aware of the prayer.  To pray is to actually praise, thank, or petition one or more gods.  Note a fundamental asymmetry of power:  one can request something from a god, but one cannot actually force the god do anything.  Sometimes the answer to a prayer is “no”.

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