It was a cold January afternoon in 2009 when USAir flight 1549 departed LaGuardia airport with 150 passengers, three flight attendants and pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and first officer Jeff Skiles at the controls of the Airbus 320. Beginning their climb to 15,000 feet, everything was ordinary and routine, just another milk run to Charlotte, North Carolina, right up to the point where Captain Sullenberger noted: “Birds.” Hardly half a breath later, several dozen Canada geese…Continue
The atheist movement seems to be losing ground as its adherents grow in number. I propose that this will continue until everybody who counts has no supernatural beliefs, and atheism as a movement is dead.
Here's why. How many of you grew up religious? (You may put your hand down.) How many grew up in a culture saturated with religion? How many, listening to adult conversation, remember on a first meeting "So what church do you go to?" I suspect quite a few.
Do you still…Continue
New Year's resolutions are passé. I don't know any one who makes them, any more. Some claim that such resolutions don't work at all. So why make them?
I don't think it hurts to sit down and ponder the events of the past year, or years, in a context of what works, what doesn't work, what lessons can we learn, and what can guide us to a better life today and forward. We only live once. During the daily routines, requirements, goals, demands, and jostle of daily life, the…Continue
Let us say a woman patient was hemorrhaging badly. She felt weak, cold, and the pain in her abdomen was excruciating. A nurse ran out to fetch the doctor, but by the time they arrived she knew she was slipping away. The doctor was shouting instructions when quite suddenly the pain stopped. She felt free—and found herself floating above the drama, looking down at the bustle of activity around her now still body.
“We’ve lost her,” she heard the doctor say, but the woman was already…Continue
During the past couple of days, the annual holiday death toll included two more well known entertainment figures - Carrie Fisher and George Michael. I think it would be a public service for press to discuss potential roles of drugs in their deaths, rather than treating it almost as a random event "found dead" and "massive heart attack". There is no harm in discussing their drug addictions at the outset, even if it's speculation. For what it's worth, drugs like cocaine have long term high…Continue
Cognitive dissonance (CD) is the concept of holding two very different ideas in your mind at the same time. This is something all the great composers do when they think of two melodic themes and how they can intertwine, adapt and combine them. We would find it very difficult to whistle one tune while thinking of an entirely different one but that is the sort of thing that Beethoven or Mozart would consider trifling.
Let us take two different ideas:
1. Man created god(s), and the…
Winter Solstice offers a time to look back on the past year to acknowledge my challenges and the things I chose to do to solve those problems. This recent past year was a very hard one for me with the death of my oldest son, Cary, a victim of cancer at the young age of 53 years and one month. This loss turned out to be harder on me than I imagined. Thankfully, Craig and Laura and their families walked these dark days with me.
After wallowing in that pain I turn my attention to the…Continue
Since time immemorial, believers in a loving and just god have looked around at the world we live in, filled with toil, strife and suffering, and have pondered how to reconcile their belief with the facts at hand. The solution which most religions have adopted is to assert the existence of another world, beyond this one, to which the souls of the good will fly in order to receive their due reward.
Poets and dreamers throughout history have filled their scriptures with rapturous…Continue
Know this from the get-go: I do not claim to know Donald Trump very well if well at all. What I’m laying out here is something which may be semi-plausible, based on what little I DO know and have seen of the words and behaviors of the man who is now the president-elect of these United States.
There can be no doubt but that the healthiest (or at least most active) characteristic of Donald Trump’s psychology is his ego. Regardless of what he has or has not accomplished, Trump is…
Is there anybody out there who thinks like me? I have been an Atheist all of my life and I resent religious people who want to force everyone else to live the life they envision. However, I respect any religious person who lives his/her life and doesn't tell or force other people to live as they believe.
Although I have always supported organizations like Secular Coalition, Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Ethical Union, American Humanist Association, etc, I am not an…Continue
Added by Winona on December 8, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments
It is often said that many are atheist because they read the Bible. This is my story. I did not know there were atheist books, activists or anything of the sort. I was a christian with my Bible. I could not discuss doubts with other believers I had to study the Bible that was my only choice.
This is one of my favorite passages that led to my disbelief. I did not know that Nazareth was not inhabited at all during Jesus's life time, that there was no census or that it couldn't have…Continue
I felt almost scared clicking the checkbox that said I was a non-theist when I signed up for Atheist Nexus years ago, even though I knew it was true. And how my heart pounded when I saw that big glaring red "A" that was my default profile picture!
Talking with Atheist Nexus folks helped me adjust to a new identity, and transition to a new way of thinking about life. Too bad the community doesn't seem to be as active as back then. But it is good to check in anyway.
Fuck you and the dinasour you rode in on doesn't work when bible based legislatures use tax dollars for biblical interpertation.
MAY 30, 2011
The American landscape is dotted with tourist attractions created with the help of government subsidies bestowed in the name of economic development. Think of the…Continue
1. First, choose your parents. At least one of them should be religious. If you say it is impossible to choose parents, then wish for dame luck to favour you with religious parents.You should also love your parents and be obedient to them. It now becomes easy to believe in gods, because you love your parents and your parents told you that there are Gods.
2. Next, understand that believing in Gods in the absence of evidence is especially noble. What is…Continue
Part 4 Booms and busts punctuate the history of capitalism; it is a systemic problem.
Remember General Motors, producer of automobiles? Over the last thirty years, General Motors created a subsidiary called GMAC, General Motors Acceptance Corporation. It is a bank. It lends money. It began by lending money to people to buy cars because their wages couldn’t pay for them. Then GMAC discovered they could make more money off the interest of the loan than they could make…Continue
Part 3 We reached the limits of the kinds of capitalism this society can endure.
Turning, now, to the big business community, the last thirty years have been spectacular. Everything about the working class, with the introduction of computers, U.S. workers became more and more productive. We had a thirty-year period of rising labor productivity. Each year the worker produces more, and the wages stayed the same.
The gap between what the workers…Continue
Part 2 How do people cope with so many changes taking place in such a short period?
First, wage-workers dealt with the end of rising wages by adding women and other family workers to the paid labor force, and they worked more hours per year. Between the 1970s and today, the average number of hours worked per year by a U.S. citizen rose by about 20 percent. We worked 20 percent more hours on the job than we did thirty years ago. By comparison, for example, if you…Continue
Part 1 Why did the wages stop going up? There are four reasons.
There were a hundred and fifty years of rising standard of living for all people. Workers every decade enjoyed more because their wages rose, and they could buy more. They understood more and more work meant they could buy more stuff, i.e. homes, cars, education, health care, retirement, and recreation.
In the 1970s, that history of the United States stopped. Real wages…Continue
We are heading into the end of another calendar year. This is an interesting time for me each year. My birthday is in December, so I tend to do a personal inventory sometime in November or December. I find it usually depresses me, so I try not to stay on that for too long.
This year, from the physical standpoint, I have done well. I have continued with the walking and watching portions that I eat, and have managed to lose about 113 pounds since late January. Still a work in progress,…Continue