Here is a brilliant piece of comedy from That Mitchell and Webb Look, that award-winning British comedy team.

Question is – what will YOU do when you’ve seen the unholy fruit?  Rape and pillage? Murder?  Hire a prostitute?

Enjoy, you heathens!

So, this is it folks – the high point of the Christian calendar year – both the pinnacle and foundation of the Christian faith itself.  Easter Sunday.  That day where we all pause and reflect on the anguish of that one man 2000+ years ago, and the miracle of his rising victorious even over that which we mere mortals can only hope to conquer.

Oh yeah, and kids eat a lot of fucking candy and adults eat lots of ham and those people who begrudgingly go to church twice a year dust off their suits and pastel dresses and wipe the chocolate off the kids’ faces and go do their church duty.  Some of those kids even get a cute little pet bunny which they will, most likely, end up hating and giving away to someone else or releasing into the woods behind their house or just merely allow to starve to death in the garage.  Spoiled little brats.

You know what I’ve never fully understood about Easter?  The way in which it is observed.  Sure, I can understand the parallel between the alleged resurrection and the rebirth of life in spring time.  But… to observe the very underpinnings of the Christian faith on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox?  How much more pagan can you get than that?   I know, I know, the reason that this and the Christmas holiday are observed the way they are has its historical roots in smoking out the wiccans and pagans and bringing them over to the Good News side of things.  But I mean, come on… you’ve got all these biblical scholars and theologians and the like that have studied this shit for centuries and you mean to tell me that they don’t know exactly when this great miracle of Jesus’s resurrection actually took place?  They can’t even get a rough idea?

Hmm… maybe that’s because it’s all a myth – a really nice story that makes some people feel better about themselves and about the apparent meaninglessness of our random existence – a myth that parallels nicely with the real miracle that is the vernal equinox, the constant struggle of life against death – and how, for instance, up through the cracks in a city sidewalk, little green shoots still find the sun, still find what they need to survive, thrive, and keep returning, year after year.  To me, this is a much more reverent and much more beautiful image upon which to meditate than some martyr being nailed to a couple of logs.

Enjoy this photo, taken from my favorite website of the week.  And Happy Spring, you infidels!!

atheism_motivational_poster_41

My favorite video of the day.  What makes this video so great is, at first, I had no idea whether this was real or parody.  You’ll quickly figure it out, unless, of course, you’re stupid.  Heh.  This video is absolutely brilliant!

Enjoy, you fiendish monsters!!

Am I close-minded?

January 17, 2009

Am I being close-minded when I say that things like:

“There is no god.”

“Homeopathy is bullshit.”

“There is no such thing as reincarnation.”

I could go on, but you get the picture, right?

There was a time when I would’ve believed and sometimes did believe in any number of these and other similar, fantastical things.  What has made me so cynical, so doubtful of everything?

Years ago, I saw an interview on TV of Billy Bob Thornton, and, while I’m not a huge fan of his, he did say something that really stuck with me.  He said, “It is arrogant to say that something isn’t true simply because you don’t believe it.”  That statement has been like a koan for me all these years, and I think of it sometimes when I ponder the growth of my skepticism.

I really want to believe that anything is possible – that, for example, a woman performing Reiki can put her hands on someone dying of cancer and the patient is spontaneously healed.  (I do not, however, as is sometimes the claims of the religiously devout about atheists, yearn to believe in a god – I have no desire to live my life under the rule of a sadistic, absent, yet supposedly all-powerful and benevolent father figure “in heaven”, or what Christopher Hitchens humorously calls “a celestial North Korea”.)  It is a beautiful thought and many of us have heard of such spontaneous healings – but these are all anecdotal accounts and are hardly a good basis for any kind of proof.  Once again, my intellect, and my constant and insatiable desire to know what is actually true, will not afford me the faith that is required to completely believe in those accounts.  Of course, I really cannot rule out any possibility, but I also cannot fully embrace every “low probability event” as an indication of a likely trend, either.

In other words, I need proof, dammit!

But yes, haven’t all of us had experiences that we cannot explain?  I, for example, once had an out-of-body experience for which I have no reasonable explanation.  I was completely lucid, sober, not under the influence of any drugs, stimulants or any other physical stresses, such as lack of sleep, food, or water.   I can recall exactly where I was, the feeling of floating in the room, looking down at my body.  It was a bit alarming, but, once I got over the initial shock of it, the experience was also very peaceful and dream-like.  I was actually watching myself doing things as I was doing them.  Whenever I have spoken about this to others who are, for lack of better terms, “New Age-y”, they say things like, “Oh well, it was your soul yearning to be momentarily free of your physical body” or things of that nature.  They say these things so unabashedly, believing them so completely, that I sometimes – only sometimes, mind you – wish I had the ability to engage in that sort of willful abandon of my critical thought.

However, given that all my searching leads me back to the mind, the intellect, reason, logic, and critical thought, these tools obviously have their limits (at least at this point in the evolution of our species).  For instance, no one really knows, empirically, what atomic particles are made of.  (String theory, anyone?)  No one really knows the answer to my friend Marde‘s favorite question:  Why is there something rather than nothing?  No one really knows why – the larger why – bad things happen to good people.  Perhaps faith in the unseen is necessary for those who would otherwise lose themselves too easily in the idea of oblivion, or of the seemingly random nature of what is surely the miracle – yes, I said miracle – of our existence.

So where does all this mental meandering and search for meaning leave me on a daily basis?  Sometimes it leaves me breathless, when the search is frustrating.  Sometimes depressed, when the search seems fruitless or even pointless.  Sometimes overjoyed, when I reflect on the sheer luck of the draw that I should be existing at this moment on this amazing planet, for all of its and my flaws.

But most often, it leaves me with this belief, which I know I’ve written here before, but it is worth repeating:

I would rather know the cold, hard, unequivocal truth of something than be comforted by something that is false.

If you have a bit of free time to spare, you MUST watch this amazing display, broken up into 14 parts.  Hitchens v. Hitchens.  Enjoy, faithful readers!