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.