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“Hitchens accepted Jesus”

So I stumbled over this article about Christopher Hitchens maybe having accepted Jesus before he died from cancer and I have a few things to say about this.

Disgusting sales strategy!

How dare you take a great man’s life work and the things he did in order to promote reason and logic, and twist it sickly into something that simply isn’t true?
Christians like to argue with “how do you know morality without religion?”
Well how is this morally acceptable at all? How about you start with yourself. If you have an actual argument, it will hold up without a famous name in it. If you count on the famous name to make your book sales and to win over more sheepish followers towards your faith, or in order to be able to boost your ego, then your argument is already worthless.
And it is especially disgusting, considering that the man is dead and can’t even speak out about this anymore.

Sources!

Since when are hearsay, personal experience, and Amazon valid sources?
So in this article, one of the leading points that Christopher Hitchens has accepted religion / Jesus in the end was a powerful story about some apologetic’s HIV positive daughter. Yes, HIV is shocking diagnose and living with it, going through all the medical things, medicines, doctors, therapies etc. It requires a lot of strength and great medical professionals PLUS friends and family that stand by your side and catch you when you fall. I understand that her story, whatever the story was, might have been moving and powerful. But it is not a valid source and, as far as I can tell, also not a logical assumption that the claim of the article itself is true.

Manipulative phrasing!

The whole phrasing of the article already annoyed me from the get go. (this is a screenshot following. Find the link to the article in the end. Yellow marking is by me.)

fthat

It should be unnecessary to use all this emotional language, if you actually have a point. Because if you do have a point, if you are actually speaking something based on evidence and proof, you can show sources > trustworthy sources. How about Christopher Hitchens himself stating how he considers accepting Jesus, in a video. Just an idea, you know.

I don’t know who Mr Taunton is, but he is obviously lacking ethics, common sense, and moral based on the article there. I don’t know about that friendship or those road trips. But let’s, for the sake of the argument, consider that a fact. In that case, being friends and studying a book together, doesn’t make an acceptance of its truth a given. Did that make sense? If Mr Hitchens and Mr Taunton would have studied the Q’ran together, it would not mean that Mr Hitchens has no accepted Islam and Muhammad. If they would have studied freaking Harry Potter together, it would not have meant that Mr Hitchens now thinks he is a wizard and lives with muggles and that Harry Potter himself is the saviour.

This is the article:
http://www.charismanews.com/culture/56590-did-famed-atheist-author-christopher-hitchens-accept-jesus-before-he-died

 

Last thoughts:

Hitchens was a very logical and reasonable man with a wonderful sense of humour. He made great speeches, gave great talks, he wrote good books and was generally a very well educated man as far as it appeared to me. I am sorry that the world lost such a great mind and promoter of logic and reason!
I tip my fedora and bow: Great show sir! Good work! Rest in Peace!

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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“Christian discrimination” on WWYD – No, you’re wrong!

So this segment has been online for about a week now and I wanted to write a blog post, but before I did that, I wanted to calm down and get my senses together.

So for those who don’t know this show. There is a show on American TV, called “What would you do?”. It usually shows you an every-day situation, that you might encounter but for the show you will have actors staging the situation. This usually happens in public places like restaurants or on the street. The focus is on the reactions of people who witness the staged situation.

In the case of the video “Christian discrimination”, as they call it on their YouTube channel, the set up is as follows:

A Christian family (actors) is praying over their meal in a restaurant. An atheist (also an actor) is interrupting them. The atheist in this scene is asking them to stop or to pray quietly, to take their religion home and practice it in privacy, etc. This atheist is acting as if anybody was doing her harm or bothering her while in reality, in this scene, the family is simply quietly praying.

Here is the problem:

Atheists are already being mistrusted and disliked. There is often so much hate towards atheists that those people who lost their faith have to be scared to lose their job, family, living situation, friends, and in some cases even their lives. If you are an outspoken atheist in America and a lot of other countries, you will be a social outcast in no time.
Atheists are fighting very hard to remove all the negative stigmata and to be accepted in society while mainly churches and extremist believers keep spreading bad messages and lies about atheism.

WWYD is a very popular show and people are in general gullible. So they are spreading the message that this is a normal, every-day situation, that the good Christians of the world may have to face.

But that is untrue. It depicts atheists as obnoxious people who can’t mind their own business.

Here is reality:

  • I know a lot of atheists and none of them, zero, would ever dare to act the way depicted in the video.
  • It is indeed religious people who keep imposing their faith on those who do not share their beliefs.
  • A lot of atheists fight hard for freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
  • Most atheists are for separation of state and church but will not try to remove religion from places where it is legal to practice faith.
  • No atheist I know, including myself, would ever impose their own lack of belief on to others.
  • No atheist I know, including myself, would ever ask anybody to stop practising their faith.
  • Christians are amongst the most annoying religious people, to knock at your door to spread the “good news” or to stop you on the street in order to preach to you. Atheists don’t do that at all.

I am a pretty laid back person and the only time, you will see me acting aggressively when it comes to religion, is when someone tries to convert me. As long as no one pushes their religion down my throat, I will be quiet and mind my own business.

What bothers me most is the lack of response of ABC and/or WWYD after thousands of atheists have responded to this segment in disgust. There has not been an official statement but I see more and more blogs posting about it and more and more atheist activists spreading this. Still no “sorry”, nothing.
Well WWYD is getting lots of clicks, it makes them money. And it is the media, so nothing is easier than to just ignore the angry crowd, right?

I personally have responded to the post they made on Facebook and I sent them a feedback to the show. For privacy reasons, I am not posting my comment, that I made on Facebook. But here is the feedback I provided to the show directly.

abcWWYD

Now here a few links:

Feel free to discuss or comment or mail me. Also feel very free to provide feedback to the show itself.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Here are some answers

A viewer who watches the Atheist Experience, sent some questions to the show. The hosts decided to publish the questions in order to get this person as much input as possible.
http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2015/06/10/viewer-asks-for-your-help-with-some-questions/

Here is mine:

1. Someone I know told me that the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us, not only because there is a new covenant, but also because God made those laws for a specific purpose, for example, selling off your daughter to her Rapist only applied to the people at the time. What should I say to that?
This is textbook cherry picking. If someone is a Christian, the bible is the foundation of their belief system. The bible has two testaments. If the old testament doesn’t apply because it was another time, then the same applies for the new testament.

2. He says evolution is discredited by the amount of genetic mutations that are negative instead of positive. I replied with the mutation that allows some people to drink milk is positive because it helped people back when food was scarce and also how most mutations don’t do anything, they’re neutral. Was that a good reply and how is his argument true or false?
I am unsure as to what exactly he meant. But evolution is just a huge line of genetic mutations. Some of those mutations got whole species extinct because they didn’t work out. Not sure how any type of mutation could discredit evolution. I am also not sure how you’d make a distinction between a positive and a negative one.

3. People claim the bible is scientific but the story of Noah’s ark is in there? What other stories show that the bible is as scientific as Harry Potter.
* Jonah and the big fish (oh don’t you dare talking about a whale 😀 )
* Virgin Mary or not depending on the gospel
* The resurrection being told in different ways depending on the gospel
* Original sin (talking snake with legs, hello?)
* A woman being made out of the rib of a man
* Making wine from water
…. etc ….
The bible is full of these treasures

4. How do I explain to those who don’t understand about how “information” cannot exceed the speed of light and how DNA isn’t a written set of instruction that the way most would think of it?
We do not know if there is a way to exceed the speed of light. Just because science hasn’t seen or found it yet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I would never make a claim like that.
DNA > Take some lego blocks and build a tiny tower. Then explain how this is like DNA having certain components that fit together. If more explanation is needed, you can totally dive into biology, take out a 5th graders textbook and check it out with that person.

5. Why is Theistic Evolution wrong or unreasonable? I may have gotten the name wrong but a friend of mine says theistic evolution is evolution but with divine intervention behind it all.
Theistic Evolution starts with the assumption that “God did it” and as a reasonable person, this should never be the first assumpion. They only do theistic evolution anyway because there is too much evidence supporting evolution to keep telling people that it is not true. The fact that we do not know what exactly made evolution start etc doesn’t mean that this knowledge gab needs to be filled with “God did it”. It should be filled with curiousity instead.

6. My friend crashed in a plane recently and he was unscathed. Now all the uber christian kids at my school keep saying Jesus saved him, but for me I ask why he didn’t prevent the crash in the first place. Then they say Jesus doesn’t check planes before they take off. I know this is a subject that hits the emotions, but how do I convince the crash wasn’t divine but instead was a lucky crash?
So how was this divine for those who got injured or died in the crash. How was it divine for the owner of the plane who lost a lot of money and reputation there? How was it divine for everybody surviving the crash, who will now probably have to deal with trauma? It is a great thing that the friend survived, but that does not mean that a higher being hand picked him. It simply means he survived. It would be a morally very misguided Jesus, who preaches in the bible to love everybody, but then let’s a crash happen, causing a lot of pain just to hand pick one person. Could he not just given one of those signs, enlightenments, etc without the whole drama?

7. Would finding how life forms can arise from inanimate organisms not just disprove but destroy any religious claims to creation? Also what would you think the response to new extraterrestrial life being discovered? Hement Mehta believes this would be a huge blow to organized religion.
There are forms of belief based on “Extraterestrials have visited earth so and so long ago. They were Gods and then they left earth…”
You can find that on History Channel a lot. So that part is not a good argumetn against religion or gods.
If a scientist would be able to create life from inanimate parts, then the next step would be that the scientific community retests this over and over again. If it really worked, it would not disprove a god though. It would probably be a great argument for a believer that someone in the beginning must have done something like that. The fact that there are strong forces in the galaxy that can probably do that, wouldn’t count anymore at that point.

8. Many creationists claim that the odds of humanity coming to be is so improbable. I was thinking before I slept the other day about a new idea(which probably was thought of already because it’s simple). I call it the argument from hindsight. Is this a thing(argument from hindsight)? Is easy to say it must be hard to get to where we are now, but that because we’re looking back. How many Martians are saying this? None because there isn’t anyone to look back at what needs to occur for life.
It is very improbably indeed but it turned out this way anyway. Humanity had billions of years to arise from simple one-celled life forms into more and more complex beings. At some point something humanoid came out of it and it kept evolving to what we are nowadays. This stuff doesn’t happen within 20 years or any timespan that one single person could observe. The time frame is too big so we rely on fossil records and such things. Those records that we rely on, to understand how humanity came to be, are pretty clear.

I am not a scientist, just a normal freethinking person that tries to help out.
If you actually got to read this and wanna keep talking, feel free to drop me a comment.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Leaving religion

I’ve been an atheist for about 5 years now.

My religion was not one of the “main stream” religions. In fact I know of nobody who ever left this religion. Why? Because it is just too tempting to stay in. My religion worked with a lot of positive reinforcement and the things you were afraid of were everything BUT leaving the religion. This stuff was not taught like a usual religion, it did not behave like one. It had all the components of a religion though.

I used to be a witch.

It is not the same as being a christian, moslem, hindu, or anything like that. It is very different. Since there are almost no people who ever leave witchcraft I was on my own.
When I started asking the critical questions and researching everything, I found no atheists who had been through the same. I only knew ex-christians and while some parts of our stories were somehow a bit alike, most of it was very different.

I already had my own student who was eager and I taught him all those witchy things. My student was 13 when I accepted him. And he was the beginning for me to lose my faith. He asked me very honest questions about everything and this is something that I encouraged. I had to, somehow, explain everything to my student.
His questions went deeper than I had ever had anybody ask me about witchcraft.
My generic answers weren’t enough for him and so, as his mentor/teacher, I had to research deeper as well.
Over time, more and more, I got the feeling things in witchcraft only worked because of psychology.

The more I tried to prove things, the further away did I drift.

Now just like Christianity has this fear of hell that keeps people from leaving and it also keeps people fearing hell after leaving the religion, witchcraft has something like this as well.
While there is no fear of hell because witchcraft has no hell, there are other things that you fear. Bad spirits, ghosts, negative energies, bad thoughts, magic mind attacks, negative rituals that target you, reincarnation (which can also be scary in some scenarios, and mine was), and many more.
Leaving witchcraft meant that everything that makes your life save and secure from all these things would be gone. And somehow your brain doesn’t make that leap to understand that if you leave witchcraft, that also those bad things are gone.

Anyway, moving on:

I moved in with my boyfriend who was in a similar place – spiritually – as I was. He was in the process of losing the last bits of Christianity. He had found a few really good podcasts on YouTube. The Atheist Experience and The Thinking Atheist were the first two atheist programs that I ever listened too. While they made a lot of sense to me and I learnt a lot about Christianity, there was never anything about witches and that was a problem. Why? Because they were great at debunking everything a Christian said but all the questions that were still in my head stayed there.

I asked myself everything and I did not want to debunk my own brainwashed self. But I just found too much real information and science behind things. It was so frustrating and scary to leave all of it behind.
And even more frustrating that there was no ex-witch ever to talk to. I now had a lot of atheists to talk to, but they usually came from some godly religions and I didn’t feel like anybody understood me. I had to draw parallels to Christianity to make points. But the problem is that witchcraft is completely different.

The last two things I lost, from my belief system, were fate and reincarnation.

It took me very long because these were the very core of my life. I had so many defense mechanisms to keep them, that it just took longer. I am not even going to debunk those right now because that would take too long.

Sometimes I still feel like I should go back. Sometimes I still feel like some of the believes I used to have might be true.
In these cases I have to pretty much explain to myself why exactly I had to drop those believes. I am so tired of it.
The idea of reincarnation is still so deep in me. I understand all the science and the reason that I heard and that was told to me. I even agree. But something in me still says “but what if….”

When will this stop?

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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