Archive for the ‘ Charity ’ Category

Life Before Death? There is only life. It All Ends At Death.

Those of you who have read my ‘about me’ page know that “Sometimes I think the way I see the world is perhaps worth writing down.”

That view of the world is as present as ever when I read the posts of other bloggers. I want to know what they wrote and why they wrote it. It tells us something about them, or likely does. One of my favorite theist bloggers is Franks Cottage. His writing is different than a lot of theistic writings. He seems to stay on the positive perspective side of the debate. That he is a theist does not meant that I don’t find cause to stop and think when he writes. That said, Frank has posted recently on life before and after death focusing on the before part from his Christian perspective. Reading that gave me a few thoughts that I’d like to share here:

The entirety of his post is included and quoted but reformatted a bit for ease here.

I guess there are some atheists out there who believe that people of faith are just gritting their teeth and tolerating this nauseating existence before going on to unending glory in the life to come. But from my perspective as a follower of Jesus (whom serious Christians believe is God’s divine Son), atheists and Christians have “life before death” as a common belief. Let me make this as clear as possible: while life after death is of supreme importance, life BEFORE death is just as significant. How can I write that? Consider these words of Jesus, recorded in a section of the Bible called ‘John’: “I came to give life—life that is full and good.” He’s not talking about life after death; He’s talking about life RIGHT NOW. So what does that mean?

This premise is a promise that, as we’ll see, is not a promise of a wonderful life of prosperity

1.  Life becomes full and good because you’ve join a worldwide movement of believers. So you don’t have to make a go of it solo. You can attend a church, read the Bible, regularly pray with (and for) others and support each other through good times and bad.

This indicates that Christians don’t want to do this life on their own, can’t do it on their own. They have to have social intereactions which echo their own beliefs and actions. There is nothing here that could not be accomplished in an Atheist church, outside of praying and which books you read. So here we see Christianity fulfilling basic human wants rather than doing something special this part is a requisite part of human social interaction. Nothing special here. You’d get much the same if you belonged to a D&D club.

2.  Life becomes full and good because you have a new power that helps you set aside the meaningless, superficial priorities of our culture and focus on what’s truly important. So you are put on a path to stop worrying about whether you have a new car, the latest smartphone and the biggest flat-screen TV. You stop looking to your mate or your friends to give you happiness because you realize that happiness comes through following Jesus.

Here is a claim of a ‘new power’ that has no evidence for it. A power which most atheists seem to have or can have, I know I do. So this power being promised is not supernatural nor necessarily derived from a holy text. It’s just humans thinking in one way vs. a different way. That last bit where ‘You stop looking to your mate or your friends to give you happiness …’ is very interesting. You don’t need a god for this or a church or holy text. If you can’t manage this on your own a therapist can help you. This is not a special gift from a god, it is simply good and reasonable thinking. You do not and should not need a god to do this.

3.  Life becomes full and good because you have a pathway to becoming truly generous. It’s no longer about getting a charitable tax break or seeking something in return when you give. It’s about being Christ’s ambassador in a world most of us are willing to admit isn’t doing very well.

Ahh, the old giving altruistically bit. Being religious does not make you charitable or good. Spend a couple of minutes searching for atheist charity on the Internet and you’ll see the folly of this #3 item. In fact, #3 here is rather insulting to those charitable non-believers.

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4.  Life become full and good when you realize that the 70-odd years most of us spend on this planet is merely a blip in time compared to the eternity Christ followers have in Heaven with Jesus. The blessing of that perspective means we no longer have to put so much stake in every good or bad thing that happens to us in this life. We see the bigger picture and it changes everything.

There it is, life is good because there is a promise of eternal life afterwards. Live this life for Jesus so you can live forever at his feet worshipping him and his pappa. That is, unless there is something wrong in that heaven and you want change, then you’ll get cast out. Going to heaven has not been shown to be a one way ticket and it’s hard to imagine what being there would be like if all your loved ones or friends are in hell being tortured for eternity by the very god you worship. This promised next life needs to be approached with logic and trepidation. The promise sounds good but you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, for a reason.

5.  Life become full and good because you realize that Jesus died to make up for all the wrong things you’ve done and the right things you’ve failed to do. So the burden of guilt and shame is lifted from you; God sees you as He sees His Son: perfect in every way.

Well now, for this part you have to believe that this Jesus existed and died. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that most of us do things which are not good at some point. Living with that requires a bit of thinking and attitude adjustment. The Christian’s like Frank think they can absolve themselves of responsibility and guilt by believing a story which says they are forgiven and will even get a reward while their friends and family are roasted in hell for eternity. Sounds selfish to me. Oh, I know. Frank and others are trying to share the free trip to heaven with us. I don’t know about you but I’m a little suspicious of the get out of jail free card given because I believe in the very god who built the jail just to torture me with if I don’t love him. It all seems a bit suspicious. One might stop to ponder at this point how well cows are treated before they are slaughtered for meat. They’ve been taught to trust their human masters who have made life easy for them, keep them healthy, feed them and so on… that small walkway to the new barn is not the stairway to heaven.

Now I’m not going to sugar-coat this and claim followers of Jesus float on a cloud of bliss. In another part of ‘John’, Jesus tells His followers “In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” That means the world doesn’t automatically have the final say on your life. If you decide to follower Jesus, then HE has the final say. And that final say is glorious.

There it is, let me translate: This life is going to suck, sometimes it’s really going to suck. Your 2 year old might even be diagnosed with terminal cancer. Not to worry, if you believe in Jesus you’re promised a full and good life and there is the church to lean on when your mind can’t find the necessary impetus to even walk, they’ll support you and pray for you … and your child is still going to die of cancer before he can be saved by Jesus but hey, at least in the next life you’ll be worshipping the god that killed your kid and doomed him to eternal torture. That, that makes all the suffering worth it, don’t you think?

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On The Meaning Of Life

There is much to be said and much that has been said about the meaning of life. When you peel back all the layers you are left with the primordial combination of eat, drink, reproduce, breath, sleep, and repeat… not necessarily in that order. I think that you’ll find this is the basic life plan for all forms of life on this planet if you allow for some loose definitions of each directive.

The really good question to ask next is what happens when we are trying to accomplish these seemingly simple tasks?

Again, I feel that the rules are fairly simple or can be stated so:

  1. Acquire a foe
  2. Study the foe and find a weakness
  3. Use that weakness to destroy the foe

This is true where foe is one of:

  • something or someone that has what you need or want
  • something or someone that wants or needs what you have
  • something or someone that would prevent you from acquiring the thing(s) that you want or need

Clearly step 1 is easy to do as it can be done without any effort on your part at all. Step 2 is a bit trickier but evolution made cats fast so they could exploit a weakness in gazelles etc. Some species will evolve to exploit a weakness, though this is not a directed action. All predators find and exploit weakness in their prey. Now when it comes to step 3 things get a bit different. If we define ‘destroy’ as genocide it’s not really workable but if we define it as destroy until the foe is not capable of being a foe it becomes more realistic. When our need stops the foe is no longer a foe and so it goes.

There is  nothing unique to any given species in this… it’s a basic plan.

Greed is not part of the basic plan and this is seemingly unique to the hairless ape species called homo sapiens. A misnomer if ever there was one.

Homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man“) is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid; H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, which differentiates them from what has been argued to be their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu.

Most of our philosophies do not advise material wealth as the meaning of life. This basic nature plan does not advise it. Greed is a disease or something like that. A defect of the human brain.

Perspectives On Being Rich…

Think you’re poor? Try this website: http://www.globalrichlist.com

All of the top 1% are looking at it to see if they made it on the list. Did you?

You Don’t Know … So Here You Go, You’re Welcome

There is not much that I can add to this except that Sam and I don’t agree on all things but on this video mashup, we’re in synch all the way.

Enjoy… then go buy presents for people that already have more than they need…

When Charity Doesn’t Count For Shit…

 

I found this at Ha! Tea ‘n’ Danger   and rather than simply reblog, I wanted to post. Often enough I talk about things that center around charities. I’ve been asked to mention a few charities but I do not. I don’t think it is my place to specify where people spend their money. That said, I will be more than happy to tell you where to not spend your charitable cash.

 

 

The video above mentions just a few of the really bad charity organizations. I urge you to give what and where you can but be wary of those that claim to be helping. There are many organizations very near to you (probably) who can use volunteers. If you have more time than money, this is a good way to help those around you.

You can buy a breakfast sandwich for the homeless guy you always see on the way to work, volunteer at the homeless shelter, start a gift list for christmas for those kids living in shelters… a million ways to be a good human. Please be careful of the greedy who will take your money with the specific intent of fucking over the needy.

 

 

 

Be Part Of The Solution….

not part of the problem.

Here in the USA people are finding out that they cannot avoid the argument. If it has not come to their lives yet, it is on its way. Whether it is about the health care that you can afford or who you can marry or whether you are getting paid or not. You can’t avoid the discussion / argument.

What is the solution?

Well, there are hundreds of opinions on that and even more dogma. Anything that is not part of the problem is part of the solution. There is no agnosticism here. No middle ground. No demilitarized zone.

You are either supportive of equality for all, and quality of life for all or you are not. If you do not support these quality steps you are opposing them.

It doesn’t matter who you blame things on, if  you are not supportive of equality then you are opposing it and in opposing it you are the oppressors.

 

If your god teaches you to hate, oppress, and deprive others of the rights you enjoy, you ARE the oppressors.

Affordable Health Care

Currently the US government is ‘shut down’ because the Republicans want to defund and repeal a law they already passed. They are holding the country and world hostage in the thought that throwing a hissy fit will make everyone else give them what they want. This is how revolutions start… when the oppressors think they can do as they wish. If you support the republican party in their whiny ass hissey fit then you are part of the problem. You are hurting good people across the country for absolutely no good reason at all. Your careless support of this childish behavior makes you THE problem, not just part of it. Grow up, wake up. The world is not here to give you what you desire. Your selfishness is hurting people. Your pride is hurting people. Your religion is hurting people. There is no excuse for it. You are the problem and you are an idiot.

 

http://iamobamacare.tumblr.com/

 

If you are not part of the solution you ARE the problem. Wake the fuck up people.

 

 

2 Videos And A Tissue

Well, busy day again. Feeling a bit under the weather, but there are a couple of things worth sharing.

 

Religion is harmful. Here is a really nice explanation of how and why. Notice that this is not a ‘go team’ atheism chat. This is anti-religion at its finest. Not because atheism makes sense but instead because religion is dangerous and stupid.

 

Grab a tissue, but pay attention to the places you can help out. Some times I think she showed more bravery getting up to speak than facing down a tornado.

Groundhog Day… All Over Again

Twelve years ago some people did some incredibly stupid things. As a result, people died. Not just a few like on a redneck camping trip gone wrong or a group of dedicated individuals trying to find Santa’s house. We’re talking thousands of people. If  you add the almost 3000 people who died in NY on 9/11  that to the number of CHILDREN who died of starvation and starvation related illnesses that day, it totals up to 20,000 dead in one day … bumping the average death count of innocents up by less than 15%… for one day.

Children Die TooIt’s done and over. There is not one thing that any of us can do about it. Perhaps we can get together and try to stop our governments from spying on us. We can fix hunger related deaths. The WHO has a plan and they are not the only ones. Still, today there will be thousands of people trying to make a buck off the death of some people in NY rather than trying to stop the death of 17000 kids daily. Yes, today, yesterday and every day.

Religion and bad politics robbed us of safety, security, and our sense of realism. We worry over the dead instead of the living. We are bound to do this every year for a long time. The human race is truly fucked up sometimes.

Sure, if you knew someone who died that day there are bad memories but who among us does not know someone who has died. If you want to commemorate 9/11 I urge you to do so by donating to a charity working to end hunger. Worry about the living, not the long dead.

You can search to see who is raising funds for first responders and how hard the make the 9/11 play. Not all of them give even a penny to NYFD or their families. Stop worrying about the dead. Worry about the living, those that need your help and those that just want to take your money. Next year maybe you can make a big deal out of helping charities stop hunger. Let the dead rest…

 

 

What Did You Just Ask?

What Did You Just Say?

To Celebrate My 500th Post

Well, it’s here. Some time back (see link above), I said that I’d like to celebrate 500 posts with an Ask Me Anything (AMA) of sorts. I Think that I’ll not put any limits on what kind of questions, but I will say that I might not choose to answer in a way that you like … don’t be sad, sometimes that happens.

You can see the topics I post on for inspiration or just pull a question out of your hat.

You can ask here in the comments or at the email address: myatheistlife at G mail dot com

Please, if asking in the comments, start a new paragraph with QUESTION: at the beginning of the line.

QUESTION: Please ask your questions like this.

Heads Up

There are  a couple of topics which the men in black will not allow me to talk about:

  • Faster than light travel
  • Cold fusion
  • Tasteful mother’s day gift giving
  • Why your sports team sucks
  • How I know that you need to do laundry

Other than that, ask away.

MAL

The Atheist Diet

Actually there is no atheist diet that I know of. Perhaps that title was a bit misleading. As much as I loathe the term ‘atheist community’ or ‘atheist movement’ I’m going to ask atheists and non-believers to do something.

Do you know what it entails to starve to death? I didn’t think so. It’s really unpleasant. I mean REALLY unpleasant. While you are reading this, there will be dozens of people on this planet who starve to death. It is estimated that 85% of them are children. The next Vivaldi or Einstein is hungry right now.

I Don’t Give A Damn

Yeah, I understand that. It’s not like you can make sandwiches for all of them or anything like that. The problem is more than you alone can handle. That is the real problem. Being kind to another human being is something you do in person and these starving people are way over there somewhere. Yes, that is how it works out. People who are not starving to death are rarely ever surrounded by people who are.

It’s pretty difficult to interrupt your day to care about people you’ll never see or talk to. I know this, you know this, everyone knows this. That is just how life is. Even those self pious religionists will say the same. They’ll pretend to care but they will still be all about going out to eat some special pasta dish or whatever. Even they don’t care about the people that are starving to death as you read this. Nobody with food gives a damn about people who don’t have food. That is kind of what the problem is. Nobody seems to appreciate the value of that $1 burger menu.

What Can I Do?

I am really glad that you just asked that question. It shows that you care and that perhaps you are human after all. There is no animal on this planet who will not be your friend if you feed them when they are in dire need of food. That is universal. There is no greater act of kindness than to feed another when they are in need.

In the “western world” we tend to throw away enough food in scraps every day to have fed all the starving people that day. That is to say that all the scraps and food which was cooked but not eaten would feed the starving people of the world. There is an imbalance. No, you are not expected to change the world and fix that. I can’t do it, you can’t do it… it just is how things are. What can you do about it?

Actually the answer is simpler than you might think. Each day many of us buy food at convenience stores, cafes, restaurants and so forth. We spend a certain amount of money on food every day. If you could take just 10% of that and give that food to starving people it would make immeasurable change to the world. The trouble is that you can’t just save back 5 chips from the bag as a way to help out. No, the assistance has to be transferable to distant lands. That generally means money.

No, this is not a plea to send money, so what the hell is it then? Now we get back to the diet part. In the western world we eat much  more than we need. So here is the deal. I do this myself. Once week per year, one week per quarter, one day per week or whatever suits you, restrict your calories to 1000 per day or some value that is suitable. Take the other calories and the money you would have spent on them and save it up. Say that ends up being 5 burgers a month. That’s $15 per month that you didn’t need and can do without. Now take that money and give it to organizations who are trying to feed starving people. It’s that simple. No, really, it’s that simple. Take food off your table and out of your mouth and give it to people who are starving to death.

Why Should I Help?

If you want and like to call yourself human there is no greater charity that you can do than to feed someone who is starving. Yes, I mean that. Take a sandwich off your plate and hand it to someone who is starving. It’s that simple. Not ever meal, not every day, but a couple of times per year… do it. You might be hungry for a bit, maybe even grumpy. One thing that you won’t be is starving to death. A small sacrifice on your part could mean and probably will mean the difference between life and death for some other human. It is the human thing to do.

Why Me?

If not you, then who? Who will feed these people? Who will care for them and show them the very same compassion that you wish to feel? You skip a meal, they live another day. Seems like some serious ROI doesn’t it? It is. You skip a burger and someone lives another week. Can you really tell me that you don’t have the time or resources for that? It’s too much bother?

Well, Fuck. How Do I Do This Then?

First, figure out what you can save up or spare. It doesn’t have to be much of anything, just something. One dollar, ten, maybe 200. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that  you are taking food off your table and giving it to starving people. So take the money you did not spend on food and send it to a charity which feeds people. I like Heifer.org  but you can donate to the charity of your choice. All I’m saying is that this small dietary change can change the world… one sandwich at a time.

Try it for just one day or one week. The restrictions on calorie intake won’t be bad for you and it will save another human being. There is no more human of a thing to do than to save another human being. This is your chance.

You can say no, it’s too much trouble. That is easy to do. You can walk away from a restaurant with food on the plates still and not think anything of the starving people in the world. I’m simply asking you to think of them. Just for one week per year. If 1 billion people gave 10 dollars per year that would be 10 billion dollars per year for sustainable food resources for starving populations. That’s right, your simple 10 dollars can be that much of a difference.

I know this is like e-begging kind of. If you think I’m wrong, please comment. If you agree… tell us what week of the year you will restrict your diet to help starving humans survive for one more sunrise. This IS what it means to be human.

 

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