Monday, December 29, 2008

Abstinence Pledges

We aphids have made the observation before that abstinence pledges are a good example of a self replicating meme. No matter how untrue or unworkable it is, an abstinence pledge tends to work in favor of populations that promote it. Parents that tell their kids that abstinence is good will end up having more grandchildren sooner (because their kids will have more unprotected sex), expanding the population of believers. The aphid kids on the other hand, while sexually active, are all birth controlled up. And so the rational aphids will tend to diminish over time as a percentage of the overall population.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let Christmas be Christmas

I say let Christmas be Christmas.
I have no need to step on your holiday.
No squidmas, or newtonmas or giftmas for me.
No renaming or coopting of that which is holy.
Celebrate the birth of your savior,
that I might celebrate that which is holy to me.

I've never understood the need to place alternative displays on the town green or at the statehouse for that matter. It is your holiday, not mine. If I had an atheist holiday, then I might want to put up a display myself. But I don't. I do understand that a lot of traditions have their celebrations at this time of year, and want to be recognized too. I have no truck with that.

As for the town green and statehouse, yes, I grew up with displays in those places and I never understood the controversy. Separation of church and state I suppose. But I liked them there. Without them, how could the kids carry on the tradition of stealing the camels? Or the baby Jesus for that matter?

So I suppose if you are going to allow them to be put in a public place, then you have to allow all faiths and demoninations to put up a display in a public place. That or nothing at all. Yeah, that makes sense.

Wow, could you imagine if competing christian faiths disagreed on the specifics of the creche scene? If some thought there were 5 wisemen instead of 3, or if some used weasels instead of camels, and what about the catalonian caganer? Would we need multiple creche scenes put up side by side, each depicting the details in its own way, each taking up additional space on the town green?

And "Happy Holidays". That has slightly rubbed me the wrong way since I was a kid. Mom explained that it was a way of sending the same holiday card to all our friends, no matter what they celebrated. What's wrong with Merry Christmas? Or Happy Hanuka? Or Happy Kwanza? Or Happy Monkey? Or Happy Solstice or whatever? Why lump them all together? Don't you know your friends and what they celebrate? Can't you get the right card for the right family? And anyway, chances are they only celebrate one of them, so what's with the "Happy Holidays" anyway? Why not "Happy Holiday", and get rid of the plural? Except that it acknowledges that we all have our own special holidays to celebrate, and is kind of a scattergun approach to saying the world is holy at this time of year. I suppose that's right.

But, you know, I'm being far to serious today. Sure, I'd like it if we didn't make fun of each other's traditions. I'd like it if we all had something sacred and holy to hold onto all at the same time of year. And I'd like it if there was one true thing that we all knew and held onto that gave us hope and spirit. But liking it to be true, wanting it to be true, doesn't make it so. I find the hope and spirit in all of us and count myself among the lucky, the very, very lucky.

And I wish you peace in the coming year and good wishes to all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Intelligent Design

Just as a watch could not exist without a watchmaker, a god cannot exist without a godmaker.

A god is supreme in that it is intelligently designed to be supreme. If there were a more perfect design for a god, then it would be natural for us to replace the lesser design with the improved one, just as watch designs have improved over the past few centuries. If there were a better, more perfect god design we would have ourselves a new god-template and soon put it to use. This is something we see manifesting itself in modern culture, with the many offshoots of any particular religion, each claiming to be more correct than the others, each trying to win converts from the others, each competing in the marketplace of ideas.

And what is a god-template? Clearly, the christian god-template is the bible, a book which describes, albeit abstractly, the many attributes of their god. The fact that it is abstract allows it to be interpretted in many ways, and gives us many flavors of the same kind of god, just as we have many different types of watches.

Now the question remains, who made the godmaker? Which is almost the same as saying who make the god-template? And that is one for another day.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion. But I wonder if it has ever been tested with regards to Atheism?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The One True Religion

Well, anything besides Atheism is just made up.  So of course it is the one true religion.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tis the season...

Hey, that's just a made up holiday !
Oh wait...
They're all just made up holidays, I get it !

Doesn't mean I cannot enjoy a made up holiday, as long as there's food and fun and friends any excuse for a party is fine by me.

Full Moon

The quiet Atheist remembers that there are pagan legends and myths just as there are christian, and that they all need to be treated with equal skepticism. Tonight is the full moon which is ripe with tales of lunacy. Which isn't to say they aren't fun. Just not to be taken seriously.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Is my intolerance any less excusable than yours?