Sunday, December 16, 2007


"The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness."
Vladimir Nabokov

"You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. . . . Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat's meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough."
Aldous Huxley

I find humans to be quite strange creatures. No other living organism on this planet is as intelligent, yet as gullible as them. To think that the same species that discovered the laws of nature, that created such beautiful music, that made such fascinating art, is the same species that came up with religion, racism, and sexism, is an idea that astonishes me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Days pass by and I still cannot find those elusive words that would give my ideas the form I want. Could it be that some ideas aren't meant to leave the walls of the brain alive? Passing emotions and thoughts, each of which seems like a revelation, like a spot of light passing through the darkness. But alas, the light scatters on the barriers of other people, and one is left waiting for the next glimpse of complete understanding, and hoping....

Sunday, May 27, 2007


One characteristic I've recently come to realize I admire greatly in people is fluidity. Religions, many traditions, and many mentalities adhere to a strict set of laws which are considered "sacred" and "timeless". However, as faults in these laws come under scrutiny, it becomes apparent that one has only three options:

1. Stick to the laws no matter the circumstance.
2. Overlook the faults and pretend they don't exist while making small adjustments to the laws to make them more acceptable.
3. Realize that the laws are man-made, time-dependent, and far from perfect, and discard them completely.

Who has the right to define how you live your life, how you treat people around you, the things you can and cannot do, or even what you can eat or drink? People try to suppress what they cannot understand or accept, their memes fight a losing battle for dominion, hindering progress and destroying generations in the process.

I always find it funny to see some narrow-minded traditionalist, or religious apologist, struggling to keep up with globalization, trying in vain to close all the holes in a sinking boat. A small rubber band, trying to stretch to contain what can no longer be contained until it ruptures. The casualties of the process, however, are children that grow up in a severely contradicting environment, children who are usually not lucky enough to escape the viruses of the mind their environment is infested with....

Friday, April 27, 2007

Virgin Births

Believers always have the amazing ability to look at an event in a completely abstract way, take it out of its surroundings, and fabricate all sorts of stories around it to make it more appealing to whatever belief they hold. As one inspects the history of religious myths, it becomes evident that none is more special, true, or even original than the others, and that religions simply evolve out of each other to escape their natural predators, logic and science.

As an example, I'll consider the myth of virgin birth. This myth is considered by two of the three Abrahamic religions as both true and exclusive to Christianity. However, after reading this article and many other articles available online, one comes to the realization that such a myth was quite common many years before, and many years after the time Christianity was established, which made it a somewhat basic requirement for Christianity to claim virgin birth to gain credibility and support.

However, with all the myths of virgin birth and divine children, and no way of confirming any of them, I find myself compelled to wonder: Is god a womanizer or simply a man-made delusion?

Saturday, April 14, 2007


He saw them toiling, saw them suffering, and becoming gray for the sake of things which seemed to him entirely unworthy of this price, for money, for little pleasures, for being slightly honoured, he saw them scolding and insulting each other, he saw them complaining about pain at which a Samana would only smile, and suffering because of deprivations which a Samana would not feel.

Herman Hesse

I feel truly saddened by how humans trap themselves in self-indulgent delusions and superstitions, how they let themselves be controlled by emotions and lose sight of the big picture, how they allow themselves to be reduced to mere ripples in a pool when they can be waves in the ocean....

Sunday, April 8, 2007


After reading this article I couldn't get the thought of how delusional and stubborn most humans are out of my head. People insist on drawing all sorts of borders around themselves. Borders that give them their much-needed sense of specialness, but are, in fact, no more real than a mirage.

One particularly interesting piece of information mentioned in the article is that love and cocaine activate "exactly the same system" in the human brain. This makes me question the reason why love is considered noble, while taking drugs is considered very low....

In my attempt to answer this question, I recalled Aristotle's statement that happiness is the only thing that humans desire for its own sake. So what difference does it make where it comes from? I believe that one crucial difference is that, for some reason, humans like to have a side nobody understands. Accepting the fact that drugs and love give the same effect and equating them, naturally, violates that.

I find it amusing to watch so many people fighting over matters that, to them, define their humanity and make them higher than other creatures, such as the time at which a group of cells can be called "a human being", at which it is given "a soul" (whatever that means). But I truly feel saddened when these people hinder research that is critical to all mankind, in fields such as embryonic stem cells and cloning, in the name of their own beliefs.

The fact is that humans are nothing more than highly complex systems. If you start taking them apart there are no mysterious basic elements, just regular animal cells. Our lack of a full understanding of ourselves is analogous to the incomprehensibility of a supercomputer to a regular computer user. It's not impossible, it just needs time.

Friday, March 30, 2007


What are humans but a group of cells blessed and cursed with consciousness, condemned to live a short life on this small planet in a corner of the universe, limited in the spectrum of what they can sense without aid? I find it surprising that with all these constrictions humans seek to limit themselves even more. Imposing meaningless restrictions based on gender, race, beliefs, traditions, or other petty differences. I wonder what it would take to make them see....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


It is in the hours of our most dire needs that we are tempted to activate the most delusional and illogical parts of our brains. Ergo, it is in these times that we should be using logic the most....

Monday, March 12, 2007


The commandments written by an omnipotent, omniscient "god":

- I am your Lord and God.
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol.
- You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God.
- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
- Honor your parents.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness.
- You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
- You shall not covet your neighbor's house.

The commandments written by an atheist:

- Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
- In all things, strive to cause no harm.
- Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
- Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
- Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
- Always seek to be learning something new.
- Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
- Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
- Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
- Question everything.

Some additions by another atheist:
- Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none of your business.
- Do not discriminate or oppress on the basis of sex, race or (as far as possible) species.
- Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.
- Value the future on a timescale longer than your own.
Source: Dawkins, R. (2006). The God Delusion

As much as I feel compelled to compare, I think the mere act of putting them side by side does the job....

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Power Problem

Why is it considered wrong for most countries to have nuclear weapons? The simple answer is that nuclear weapons are too big a power for these countries to handle....

I was thinking of the power given to parents in raising their children. This power should not be underestimated. By giving two people almost complete control over the life of a child (or any number of children they deem appropriate), parents are, to a great extent, given control over the way the next generation thinks and acts. This would not be a problem if we assume that parents teach children human values and morals, the basics of how to tell right from wrong, logic and reasoning, and then allow them to explore the richness of the world around them with a free mind. However, if we go to the other extreme, we find that parents may transfer their full set of memes to their children without any sort of filtering, adjustment, or adaptation. With religious fundamentalists or extremists as well as some other cases, children are brought up in an environment that can cripple their thinking process or social activity irreversibly.

"Michael Shermer, in How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science, describes a large survey of randomly chosen Americans that he and his colleague Frank Sulloway carried out. Among their many interesting results was the discovery that religiosity is indeed negatively correlated with education (more highly educated people are less likely to be religious). Religiosity is also negatively correlated with interest in science and (strongly) with political liberalism. None of this is surprising, nor is the fact that there is a positive correlation between religiosity and parents' religiosity. Sociologists studying British children have found that only about one in twelve break away from their parents' religious beliefs."

Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion

After reading the above statistics, especially the last part, one can't help but wonder: How free are we?

In my attempt to find possible solutions for this problem, I was reminded of a post by Devil's Mind about emotional rape that I thought was relevant to the subject. As with every problem, the first step to solving it is realizing that there's a problem to begin with. Psychological damage cannot be assessed as easily as physical damage, it becomes increasingly more difficult to undo as time goes by, and worst of all, the victim is generally unaware of the damage in the cases of imposing social or religious values.

There are probably hundreds of thousands of parents who realize that the world moves forward very quickly and that to bring their children up properly they need to expect change and accept it, be open-minded, and flexible. These present a partial solution to the problem. But what about the tens of millions of parents who don't follow the same course, who think they own their children and have the right to impose whatever ideology they see fit on them?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Mojoey's Atheist Blogroll

I recently joined Mojoey's Atheist Blogroll. I found the collection of blogs in this blogroll to be quite intriguing. If you're interested and would like to join, you can find instructions and minimum requirements here.

Friday, March 2, 2007


Looking at this list, one can't help but feel the despair, and the yearning for a purpose, a higher power, and a reason for existence. A need, though self-generated, so blinding that humans throughout history enclose themselves in fake shells that with time become their whole reality (see Bubbles). The self-sustaining nature of religion that makes people see the lies others live yet consider themselves or their religion exempt amazes me.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I was reading a post on The Dilbert Blog that made me think of how humans see themselves. Why do most people get offended when compared to animals? To me, the logical reason would be that comparing one to an animal insults that person's intelligence. But the fact remains that humans and animals are made of the same building blocks, both function in the same way, and both survived evolution. They can be looked at as two solutions to an equation, one being more complex than the other.

A dear friend once told me: "Most humans are similar in their uniqueness". I completely agree with that point. Almost every person would like to think of himself/herself as being special, unique, unpredictable, and simply different. The truth, sadly, is that this is wrong. I think our need to feel unique and special is, among other factors, what led to inventing the concepts of the spirit or the soul, intelligent design, god, religion, and many other concepts that if inspected by, for example, another species that's as intelligent as us but doesn't suffer the specialness complex would be understandably seen as nothing but delusions.

According to this article, falling in love activates the exact same system as taking cocaine. I will discuss this matter in further detail in a separate post, but isn't this enough proof of how unreliable our emotions are?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Addendum to "Families"

It has been brought to my attention by many who read my post on families that the post is unclear, quite aggressive, and could send out the wrong message to people. It is in light of these comments that I decided to write this extra explanation.

Most people who read the post (and don't know me personally) assumed I had a very bad family, and that I was writing out of a terrible personal experience. That is a totally wrong assumption. What I merely did was take a step back and look at the general picture. Just because a certain concept or a group of concepts doesn't apply to a minority doesn't mean that it's wrong. The problem is that people are usually tempted to look at the matter from a very personal perspective, while in fact it is anything but personal. Once you realize the fact that parents are humans and hence, are as imperfect, as susceptible to over-attachment, and as vulnerable to emotions as anyone else, you'll begin to see the perspective from which I am discussing the issue.

In the original post, I deliberately used exaggerated extremes in an attempt to give those who read it a full account of the extent to which our concepts about families can be wrong (Somewhat similar to when people say "Smoking kills"). It is then up to the reader to choose what matches the specific condition he/she is in, or that with which he/she comes in contact. In case that concept was not apparent or was understood in the wrong way, I hope this little elaboration clears it up....

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Saturday, February 10, 2007


One particularly interesting characteristic I found in humans is their need to understand their surroundings. We always try so desperately to find the general rule, to understand the reason and the purpose of things, and to understand other people. I believe this need is so urgent that each one of us is forced to create a bubble around him/herself. A bubble which, to that person, is the whole world and in which he/she understands everything. Naturally, as we grow and get exposed to a much higher diversity of people and ideas, our bubble grows with us, we understand more, whether through learning or experience.

Humans are, understandably, very protective of their bubbles. Once we believe in something, we don't tend to change it easily. However, what I can't understand is how can a person truly believe he/she has sufficient knowledge not to seek any more? How can one wrap him/herself with a bubble, seal it, and then judge people accordingly? Two of the biggest examples on this subject are: religious intolerance, and the generation gap. Needless to say, these two issues are the cause of many troubles that plague our world, and sadly, the ideology that leads to them is being passed on as valuable heritage from generation to the next, making it increasingly harder to break the circle....

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


When a child's parents allow him/her to do more things than other children, is he/she more free? I believe the answer is no. This merely indicates that the child's parents have a different raising method in their minds than most other parents. It might indicate that the parents are more open-minded towards allowing their child to experiment and experience things. But it doesn't say anything about the child's freedom.

Freedom, as I see it, is about having the choice to do a certain action, not about doing the action itself. When people fight for freedom, they fight to have the choice, to have control. I believe freedom is revealed when people disagree about the action. For example, if a child wants to do something, and his parents think he/she shouldn't, and yet he/she gets to do this thing, then that can be called a free person.

It might be trivial that a child has little freedom, but what about adults? Logically, as people grow up, they should be given more freedom gradually, until they get it completely. There's no clear line as to when this full freedom should be given, but it's obvious that this can only happen when the person can make conscious choices and can handle the consequences of any action he/she does.

This is one of the situations where I see how deep sexism is rooted in our societies. Even though it's a well-known fact that females mature 4 or 5 years earlier than males, we find that most males have full freedom before they reach 20, while most females never get it at all. It saddens me beyond words when I see how lucky a girl in her twenties is considered when her parents allow her to do more things than other girls because they're open-minded, and I cannot help but wonder: How many great minds do we have to lose to oppression and sexism before we realize how silly and stupid this whole thing is and decide to do something about it?

Sunday, January 21, 2007


If we put the parts of a million watches in a big box and shake this box randomly for billions of years, isn't it possible that one watch would come together and work accurately? If there was a watchmaker who knows the design and has the ability to make the watch perfectly the first time, why would he take billions of years and leave so many traces of trial and error before making it?

For most people, the idea that natural selection and evolution are the real creators of our race is ludicrous even though there is so much evidence to support it. I think this is in part due to the fact that 3.5 billion years is a time so long that most people can't even begin to imagine it. When compared to our relatively short lives, a person tends to mistakenly underestimate such a long period and the amount of events that could take place during it. When this is added to humans' desperate need not to feel lonely, their inherent feeling of extreme superiority to other creatures, and the religious brainwashing almost every person has been undergoing since he/she was a child, I find the outcome quite expected.

Sometimes, I find myself wondering if our race (and especially our society) will ever be able to dig itself out of the comfortable hole of denial and ignorance it's so determined to stay in, consider the facts subjectively, and face reality.....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

On Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you
shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

The Prophet
Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


At certain times, one can't help but think of mankind, and ponder upon the darkness so many people live in. So much injustice, so much pain and suffering, so much oppression.....In the midst of this pressing darkness, however, a select few struggle to shine. Lights that work to lessen the darkness, to give you a glimpse of how good things can be. Lights giving off all sorts of colors, in all sorts of places, united in shining as bright as they could, for as long as they could. To these people, I can only say: Thank you, your very existence makes the world a better place to live in....

Monday, January 1, 2007


Emotions......The greatest weakness and greatest strength of humans......Emotions are, in a certain way, what sets us apart as creatures, because we mostly use them to tell right from wrong, and to control pure instinct. However, misuse of emotions can result in things such as religion, unnecessary overattachment, and illogical behaviour. The problem, as I personally see it, is that people try to satisfy their immediate needs without further consideration. How different would our world be if each of us allowed himself/herself to ignore some personal needs so that other, higher needs may be satisfied?