Thursday, August 30, 2007


Gee, I've been on about some politically motivated topics lately, haven't I?

How is it that men think they have any right at all to tell women or even express an opinion about whether or not she should or shouldn't be able to have an abortion? It always outrages me when I see men commenting about abortion (especially in the negative, but even in the positive) because a man will never, ever know what it feels like to fear being pregnant/be pregnant/endure labor and delivery. Never. So how can they possibly comment with any real weight?

If you look at the biology of abortion, though, it doesn't even make sense that people should be against it, at least not when it's done early in the pregnancy (I know, I know, what constitutes early?). Anyway, early on, it's just a cluster of cells that have the POTENTIAL to become a human, but if you're going to make that argument, then so do sperm and ova and we kill those cells all the time. Haploid cells aren't afforded the same rights as diploid cells? I mean if we're giving clusters of cells rights now, then what about the haploid cells? Why shouldn't they have the same rights as the diploids? I think we should start a civil rights movement on behalf of the haploid cells. WTF?!? Sometimes I hate people so much. I alternate between empathy and loathing. DON'T COMMENT SO VEHEMENTLY ON SOMETHING YOU'RE NOT QUALIFIED TO COMMENT ON!!! (i.e. a man commenting on abortion) AND IF YOU'RE DETERMINED TO COMMENT ON IT, AT LEAST DO SOME SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ABOUT IT SO YOU'RE MAKING A SOMEWHAT EDUCATED COMMENT!!! That is all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On Becoming an Atheist Part II

I'm still struggling today with Christianity. The number of intelligent people I know who still believe in Christianity just baffles me. How can they possibly be so smart and have so much education and unwaveringly, unquestioningly believe it? I don't know. I'm just struggling because I want to be able to live harmoniously with others of different beliefs, but I'm just really having a hard time doing so. I just think they haven't thought about it enough; they don't let themselves venture that far in their questioning and reasoning because they are scared for whatever reason (being ostracized or whatever). Can I just grab the world by the shoulders and give it a good shaking? 'Snap out of it, will you?' But I can't. No matter how much begging or pleading or reasoning I or any other non-religious person does to our religious counterparts, some of them will just never let go of it. They'll cling to their beliefs like a child clings to ner security blanket.
I think the main issue is that religion IS a security blanket. People really don't realize that they can still be good, morally responsible people without religion. Well, that, and that they find comfort in the thought of God and not being all alone in this giant universe. I must admit that giving up on the idea of God, as we generally think of him, can feel disheartening. I mean, all the times that you're so upset that you're inconsolable and you talk to God in your head and somehow find comfort; it's a little sad to think that no one is really listening. I'm ok with it now, though. I am my own therapist. It's never really done me any good to keep everything inside my head, anyway. I've always felt the need to get the thoughts out whether it be expressing them to a friend or on paper or in a blog. It's always given me a sense of relief to get it out. So letting go of a personal God, for me, wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, once I had done it.
Then all that's left is the universe and whether or not something with some level of consciousness purposefully created the universe and if that did indeed happen, was there any need for this something to exist any longer than it took to create the universe. One thing I definitely think to be true is that if that something (God) does exist, it definitely exists somewhere other than the space-time fabric of the universe or another dimension that is currently not detectable or definable at this point.
And if God does exist and did create the universe, did he have any intentions? Did he really intend for people to evolve? It seems highly unlikely that our ordinary little solar system is the only one in the entire universe to have a planet that has life on it. So if God did create the universe and did intend for people to eventually evolve, does that mean that all the other planets that have life on them are exactly like ours and have or will have people on them, too? I find that most unlikely. What are the chances that on another planet, that life once again evolved in a precise enough way to yield humans? A planet that most likely isn't the exact same as ours? The differences could be ever so subtle (but most likely would not be subtle) and cause evolution to proceed in such a different fashion that the result may be barely recognizable to us. If it is ever determined that we are indeed the only planet in the whole universe that supports life, then I may have to completely rethink all of this, but I'm not very worried that that will happen. Anyway, these thought have led me to conclude that if there was/is a God, he didn't have intentions, he only had laws: the laws of science, nature, physics, the cosmos, whatever you want to call them.

Now for a little lesson on genetics and evolution for those of you who aren't science people:

There's a principle called the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium which describes genetics in populations of organisms that lead to evolution. In order for evolution NOT to occur, these are the things that must NOT happen:

  1. Mutation (everyone knows what this is, I won't explain)
  2. Gene Flow: If Members of a particular population breed with animals of a different population of the same species, the gene pool will be different for the two sets, therefore introducing variation into the population.
  3. Genetic Drift: Since members of the population cannot breed with a different gene pool (because it violates the previous rule), their genes will have certain tendencies and as time goes on, percentages of these traits/genes will steadily rise or drift.
  4. Non-random Mating: Members of the population must mate completely randomly and not be able to be choosy about their sexual partners. (Who expects that to actually occur? haha)
  5. Natural Selection: Certain combinations of genes tend to work out better than others, causing the poor combination of genes to die out.

At any rate, this is something to chew on. To me, the likelihood of none of these things occurring is about 0%, so I must conclude that we evolve and that different combinations of these principles will cause different outcomes of evolution.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On Becoming an Atheist

<---Currently Reading

Since this is my first official blog, I will just say that I stole the title of my blog from Harry Potter (Rita Skeeter's book in the 7th Harry Potter). Anyone who is an avid Harry reader will know what I'm talking about, but that's neither here nor there. There aren't really any lies here.

On to the all important blog...or rant, more like...

I guess I'm in the anger phase of becoming an atheist. The Christian religion just makes me so angry. I just don't understand how people believe that crap. I mean, we are taught to question everything and that the stuff in fairytales is made up and that none of the stuff in them is possible in real life (for instance, you'll never kiss a toad or frog and have him turn into the most scintillatingly hot man you'll ever meet) and no one questions that. That being said, we're supposed to turn around and believe all the crazy fairytales of the Bible? Not very many people actually believe that miracles like the ones in the Bible could happen currently, so why should we believe these things could happen a long time ago? Does separating the miracles by a couple thousand years automatically make them legitamate? Hell no!

I mean, think about it. If some guy walked around, now, proclaiming that he is the son of God, what would happen? He'd be thrown in the looney-bin and prescribed a handful of anti-psychotics, and the people who threw him there are probably the ones claiming that Jesus will return. I guess that's essentially what happened then, except that there was no looney-bin or anti-psychotics, there was death on a cross. So what makes that story any different from the ones that are happening now? There are plenty of lunatics running around who have accumulated a few followers and claiming that they are the son of God or a prophet or whatever. What makes it different now? Nothing makes it different, it was just as insane then as it is now.

Not to mention, people believed plenty of things in Biblical times that have since been completely debunked by science, so what makes this Jesus story different? Why does it get to be the only story immune to skepticism? And for Christ's sake (oh, the irony!), don't say that's the point of faith! That's just a cop out answer to avoid having to use your brain!

And say that I did decide to believe in God and Religion. Which religion do I pick? What makes one crazy story prevail over another? It's all pointless.

As for God, now that we know to some extent how big the universe is, why are we so conceited to think that if there is a God, that that God is concerned with the meddlings of a single species on a single planet? This species also happens to be destroying the only planet they currently have to inhabit. If there is or ever was a God, that god isn't concerned with us. He isn't personal and he never "spoke" to anyone on this planet, ever. Not by burning bush, not by angel, not by vision did this God ever speak to anyone if he even exists.

I'm so sick of Christianity being shoved down my throat at every turn. And if I say, "I'm an atheist, please keep your religion out of our conversations," then suddenly I'm labeled with a stigma and people start wispering behind my back and avoiding me like I'm a leper. Why can't I be morally responsible without being Christian? Why can't I have a sense of morality without having religion? I know plenty of examples of Christians who did horrible things and had a skewed sense of morality as well as I know examples of Atheists who have kind hearts and have done good things. I just want to be able to be who I am and openly believe what I believe without being ridiculed and I shall afford Christians (and other people of differing religions) the same respect.

My main point is: If I have to be respectful of other people and their religion(s), then conversely, they must be respectful of me and my lack of religion, and since no religion anywhere has proven itself to be the true religion, we must live in a completely secular society in order to avoid offending one another, if for no other reason.

*Disclaimer: I know that it may sound as if I'm ridiculing Christians when I end up saying that I want respect and shall provide respect, which sounds awfully hypocritical. I was, rather, merely expressing my opinions about how I came to be an atheist and my frustrations at not being able to be this openly. The point of blogging, after all, is to get things off your chest, and maybe even resolve something in your head, which I succeeded in doing in this blog.