6kinds_of_crazy: stupidity demons (Default)
I'm a serious anti-theist.  I oppose the very existence of religion, as I feel that it limits the human race, slaps on us the chains of anti-intellectualism, puts people in a position of behaving well only in expectation of reward or fear of punishment, and generally damages the chances of the human race's long term survival.

I'm not cool with that.  I want us to survive and thrive and colonize other planets, and somewhere in there, stop being a bunch of assholes to one another on a regular basis.

Religion is a direct (and undeniable, to my mind) threat to those things.

Gonna use a snippet of my logic that I posted in reply to a comment by one of my increasingly-few religious friends, here.  Apologies if you saw it on Facebook already.

I deeply, sincerely believe that the energy put into religion by the human race is wasted. Same for the money and the effort.

Apply that energy, that effort, that money, directly to problems like homelessness, mental health, poverty... and you will see a significant improvement in the world.  The psychological and sociological impact would be just as great. Greater, perhaps. 

My attempts to reach the rest of the world, to make them understand that sometimes you absolutely must use your head, must overcome the brainwashing that society tries to do to all of us from very early on?  I can't stop those.  Not and look in the mirror, anyway.

(And before you take umbrage at my use of the word "brainwashing," go Google the phrase "are religious summer camps brainwashing kids" and watch or actually read [no skimming!] some of the articles.  Of particular interest are "Brainwashed at Bible Camp" on Exchristian-dot-net, and the "Brain Washing (Jesus Camp ''Highlights'')" clip on YouTube.)

This is my way of trying my level best to make the world a better place. Well, one of my ways.  The other is writing fiction, because sometimes, a story is the best argument there is, the best teacher there is.  Besides, I love writing.  Might be that I couldn't truly stop writing, not and keep what sanity I have remaining to me.

But make no mistake; the stories I tell, when I'm telling original tales, at least?  (I've been known to do fanfiction, and wipe that smirk off your face, it's story-character-and-plot based, not porn!)  They won't include any acknowledgment that the christian god, or the muslim god, or any other god/dess from any Earthly religion exists.

Because those particular fictions?  They completely overwhelm my ability to willingly suspend my disbelief.

(Welllllllll... okay, there is one original story I've written [and tanked the rewrite on] that acknowledge the christian god and some of the others-- but that story does make most of the "mainstream" gods of the "primary" religions of this planet look like the jackasses that they would be if I thought for a second that any of them were real.)
6kinds_of_crazy: cane fighting (canes)
Events in the world of late have had me thinking about this more than before, even. Cops shooting people, people shooting cops, politicians (all the ones I've seen, thus far, republicans) acting like assholes over both sets of events. Muslim extremists. Christian extremists Political extremists. Conservative extremists. Liberal extremists.

Okay. I'd like to point out that none of these people, even those whom I agree with somewhat-to-a-lot, are actually thinking like sane people, in the judgment of the neuro-atypical, neurotic, anxiety-ridden, obsessively punctual, formerly-conservative-on-matters-pertaining-to-Criminal-Justice (and still conservative on some of those issues, but fewer as time marches on), anti-theistic, curmudgeonly, seriously snarky writer whose work you're reading.

I'm gonna put the example of my thinking that (I think) has the most potential to shock (maybe even upset) some potential readers out there first: I've been an atheist since I was eight years old. Seriously, not kidding, not exaggerating. Sure, there have been a few lapses into some sort of theistic belief or another, most of them when I was hurting emotionally in some way, but there hasn't been a real lapse of that sort in almost thirty years, now.

"What could possibly cause an eight year-old to become an atheist," you ask? You may well not like my answer.

The thing that caused me to decide that god was in no way real, that the bible was a fairy tale from end to end? That would be reading the bible.

I was reading at three. Mostly the magnificent Dr. Seuss and Little Golden Books, sure, but reading them, understanding them, and needing help only very rarely. At four, I started reading my sister's old "Happy Hollisters" mysteries for kids. I climbed the literacy ladder rapidly after that. And, at eight, I read the bible. Somewhere, some relative had found a bible that I'd been given that had the pages split into two columns. On the left, the King James version of the bible. On the right, a "plain English" (they might call it a "New International Version," now, but this was the early seventies, folks) translation.

After finding out, at seven, that Santa Claus definitely wasn't real (I'd suspected for a couple of years), I worked out for myself that the same applied to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Uncle Sam, etc-- and I started wondering about god. My family went to church (which I largely found dull and utterly pointless) fairly regularly for a while, up until I was seven or so, and I knew the basics of Christianity. Not long after my eighth birthday, I found that weird bible again, and I decided to read the thing.

It took me a while, because I couldn't just carry it around like an ordinary book (it was HUGE, and besides, my few friends would've thought I had lost my mind), and it was... well, even at age eight, I was a bit of a continuity nut, and I could only read the thing in small doses because of that. There were "continuity holes" all through the damned book, places where it contradicted itself and said radically different things, and then, of course, it horrified me in other ways, too. (SLAVERY!? Selling my sister for goats!? What the actual [CENSORED]!?)

(On the plus side, by reading both sides of that divided bible, King James and plain English versions? Yeah, I've never had any trouble with parsing out Shakespeare.)

I came out of it an atheist, sometime in early June. No way was I buying into that crap. Stupid, badly written, contradicted the things I was being taught in school, and made no sense! None, at all. Not even a consistent, internal logic, like, say, the Robert Heinlein books I'd read, or Peter Pan, or Robin Hood, or... or anything that, while fantastic-to-impossible, at least made sense within itself.

So, there. The first real example of my love of logic, and how seriously different I think from other people. If it can't be made to make sense, it isn't real. The bible makes absolutely no sense, so god isn't real. Seems perfectly easy and logical to me.

Which brings us to bigotry. I understand it. I still, on occasion, have to fight myself over it. I fail, on occasion, to be utterly honest. I'm trying to get better about that, but I honestly doubt that I'll ever completely succeed. Okay, well, I'm going to keep trying anyway. Because, you see, hating a person or group because of the color of their skin, of who they love, or how they express that love, or because they really, deeply believe that they were born the wrong gender? Because they come from another country or continent, another culture? Because they can't see, or walk, or hear?

There's no logic to any of that. None. So I try, really, seriously try, to avoid it. Sometimes? I fail. Still working on it. Never planning on stopping. I allow myself the luxury of being bigoted against bigots and other willfully ignorant people, that helps. (Ignorance? Not a problem, that can be repaired with time, and often will be. But deliberately staying ignorant, willfully being uninformed? That's stupidity, and stupidity will not be tolerated!)

I can live with that.

But there are things I may never be able to deal with.

Things like the religious extremists who declare everything but THEIR WAY of doing things to be wrong, or sinful, or evil. That's just stupid.

Things like idiots who talk about how homosexuality is a sin, it says so right there in the bible-- and ignore the bits about tattoos being sinful, about working on Sunday being sinful, or starting a fire on Sunday being sinful.

Things like fans of [INSERT FICTION HERE] who insist that a couple of characters hating each other is actually Unresolved Sexual Tension (and never mind the gender of the characters, and their demonstrated sexuality in the fictional universe). (And, yes, it bugs me just as much when someone turns a homosexual character bi or straight as it does to see them turn straight people bi or gay, because I believe that who we love and how we express it is central to who we are.)

Things like people who insist that Donald Trump isn't a racist bag of greed and filth, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Those things will probably always make me angry. Sometimes I can control it. Sometimes... not so much. (Bet on anything that I post anywhere on a Tuesday being anywhere from snarky to vitriolically bitter. I hate Tuesday, it's my shopping day, and I hate having to leave my home and deal with crowds.)

So, again, I ask; if I irritate or anger you (or even just disappoint you), consider that my thoughts are not like yours, that I have my own (possibly [okay, probably, yes]) skewed logic that led me to write/post/reply as I did. I'm not saying that you shouldn't call me on it-- you should, or I'll never figure out the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate-- but don't rip me apart over it, please?

I'm trying to get better about interpreting the world around me, seriously. I'm just... not successful anything remotely like all the time.

This didn't really go where I wanted it to, but... it does have some merit in explaining that I really think "outside the box," as it were, so I'll post it. But I'll be grumpy about it, probably.

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