September 2013 Newsletter

Thanks to Larry B.  for working on this!

Why I am an Atheist

I have faith in The Human Spirit…and

…I know that the future of human-kind is our

        responsibility…

…Therefore, I cherish my friends and family…

…as I value and cherish all life.

I am Good without God.

I believe in reason and I strive for a rational perspective of the human condition.

I believe in the self-correcting Scientific Method of discovery and the ability of humans to eventually

        understand the fundamental forces of the universe without invoking the super-natural.

I believe that extraordinary claims must be backed by extraordinary proof.

I am not superstitious. I no longer believe in fairy tales.  I do not believe in an ‘after-life’.

I do not believe in demons, devils, sprites, leprechauns, angels, gods or ghosts.

 

 

DESIDERATA © Max Ehrmann 1927

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

 

DETERIARATA by NATIONAL LAMPOON

Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
Rotate your tires.
Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss, and when.
Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do.
Wherever possible, put people on hold.
Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
and despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

Remember The Pueblo.
Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate.
Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI.
Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you –
That lemon on your left, for instance.
Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
Would scarcely get your feet wet.
Fall not in love therefore. It will stick to your face.
Gracefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan.
And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
Hire people with hooks.
For a good time, call 606-4311. Ask for Ken.
Take heart in the bedeepening gloom
That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
And reflect that whatever fortune may be your lot,
It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore, make peace with your god,
Whatever you perceive him to be – hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
The world continues to deteriorate.
Give up!   Full 4:18 version is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCGRDnTySCI

 

 Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.   Be Kind.    Always.

******************************************************************************************************************

Kenneth Copeland, Texas Televangelist, Under Scrutiny After Measles Outbreak

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/31/kenneth-copeland-measles_n_3850299.html

 

“To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear – that you doubted God would keep you safe, you doubted God would keep you healthy. We simply didn’t do it…”

***************************************************************************************************************

Christian School With Creationist ‘Science’ Quiz Closing Down

 

http://www.trtribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6736:upstate-christian-school-wont-open-for-2013-14-supplies-sale-to-be-held-tuesday&catid=42:rokstories&Itemid=219

 

The school, in South Carolina, taught that humans and dinosaurs co-existed in the Garden of Eden.  A ‘science’ test from the school’s fourth grade went viral for its True and False questions.  See the test here:

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/1crzuz/actual_4th_grade_science_test_from_a_school_in_sc/?limit=500

 

The controversy raised $15,000 from donors…sadly $200,000 was needed to keep the doors open…

 

****************************************************************************************************************

Does Exposure to Science Boost ‘Morality’?

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0057989#s1

 

“Science has stood as a powerful force in shaping human civilization and behavior.  Thinking about science leads individuals to endorse more stringent moral norms and exhibit more morally normative behavior…”

***************************************************************************************************************

Christian Man Shoots Atheist ‘Friend’

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/09/03/oakland-man-guilty-of-murdering-friend-during-argument-over-existence-of-god/

 

No cheek-turning Christians in this story!  But, really, cross the Line of Decency at your own peril…

****************************************************************************************************************

Antonin Scalia: ”Capitalism & Society Need

Traditional Christian Morality  to Survive”

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/At-Houston-lecture-Scalia-explores-Christian-4794443.php

 

“…in order for capitalism to work – in order for it to produce a good and a stable society – the traditional Christian virtues are essential…”

 

SUGGESTED ON-LINE VIEWING:

This link is to another TED Talk.  This one by Pamela Meyer, the author of Liespotting.  Both her book and her presentation deal with tell-tales that alert a listener when he or she is being lied to.  According to her, we are lied to between 10 and 200 times in any given day!  It depends on the caliber of friends you keep, I guess….spend 18 1/2 minutes and learn what kind of friends YOU have! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_6vDLq64gE

  

SUGGESTED READING, for the well-rounded Atheist: 

The Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans de Waal.  Our group will hold a discussion of this book, Sunday October 27, 10AM at Durango Joes    732 E College Dr.

Also: 

  • The Particle at the End of the Universe: The Hunt for the Higgs Boson by Sean Carroll.

       Describes the research into the ‘God Particle’ for the lay person.

  • The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins; lavishly illustrated, this lays out the Theory of Evolution in a very readable fashion.
  • Or any other book by Dawkins (The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion
  • Any book written by Bart D. Erhman (Misquoting Jesus, God’s Problem, Lost Christianities, Did Jesus Exist?    And many others); I like to know more about the historic Jesus than the average Christian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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