Sketches on Atheism

Faith, wrapped in plastic

Wrapped in PlasticFaith, to put it politely, is unjustified belief. To put it not so politely, faith is the deliberate jettisoning of reason and adult sensibilities. It is a form of organised insanity; a sanctioned madness that is (presently) promoted to the level of virtue. It is a neurosis, a delusion, a senselessness which adults are free to practice and pass onto children who’re powerless to recognise the farce or understand the disorder. This man wrapped in plastic on board an Israeli El Al plane has faith. This man wrapped in plastic (an ultra-orthodox Jewish Cohen presumably from the Lithuanian-Israeli Haredi community) is also full Hunter S. Thompson, out of his mind, assbackwards insane. The giant condom, apparently, is to protect him from the power-zapping effects of flying over graveyards; a serious no-no for Cohens determined to keep their magic high priestly powers intact and remain ritually pure.

Now let’s be perfectly frank: If religion were true there’d be no need for faith. Faith is religions (necessitated) self-defence mechanism and without it belief would simply crumble under the fallacy of its unsubstantiated claims. Religion knows this and that is why faith is promoted as a virtue whereby the faithful are rewarded for enduring what is called, “tests of faith.” That is to say, the faithful are encouraged to remain ignorant, for without ignorance belief would be impossible. Faith and evidentialism cannot coexist. If something can be believed based on evidence it cannot also be believed on faith, and yet faith is the cornerstone of all religion belief. They are antithetical. The minute evidence appears faith is cast aside in favour of evidence. Belief based on evidence is rational; it follows from the evidence and is justified by it. Conversely, belief without evidence (faith) is irrational and cannot be legitimised by reasonable human beings. Faith, therefore is purposefully regressive, anti-intellectual, obstruent, and is set up in such a way to work against reason… and in the final analysis it will ultimately end with a grown man sitting inside a giant condom.

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116 thoughts on “Faith, wrapped in plastic

  1. Your choice of words is amazing, a giant condom is one such. I wonder if it has holes and while he thinks the condom protects him from flying over graves, I though the fuselage of the plane is just as sufficient.
    Indeed one has to be delusional to be religious

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  2. I had faith that your post would enlighten my dreary morning. I then read it. I no longer have faith that your post would enlighten my dreary morning. I have to accept it due to the evidence.

    Great job here.

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  3. Well that is just about the bat shit craziest thing I have seen..today. Strangely Christians that admire ‘faith’ would not admire his faith. Even they would say it is bat shit crazy, without realizing the contradictions.

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  4. I guess I’m confused. So all scientists who are also people of faith are by definition anti-intellectual? Is there no place for mystery and possibilities? I’m told that there will never be much known about what came before the “big bang”. Yet there will surely be speculation and much of that will be done by scientists. Is there any difference in that than choosing to believe that a transcendent creator is at the beginning? Why are all atheists so very harsh when it comes to believers. Surely you must know we are not all, nor even most of us fundamentalists. We believe in evolution, climate change, and so forth. We don’t consider the bible to be the “word of God” but rather the reflections of various people of their believed experience with God. I keep searching for the atheists I used to know, but all I find are the new evangelical types, who are mean in their rhetoric and unyielding in their position. You cannot prove your position any more that I can prove mine. We each choose to believe in one side of things. And yes, I understand you are not forced to defend a negative. That but begs the question. The agnostic at least is honest–she simply says she doesn’t know and moves on with life.

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    • Why the need for a transcendent creator at the beginning? Just because you can’t count to infinity doesn’t mean you have to stop the count and simply insert “god.” That’s just being lazy, which is precisely what theism encourages… Laziness of mind.

      97% of the National Academy of Scientists are atheist… so yes, the 3% who’re believers are indeed anti-intellectual.

      You say you believe in evolution (and so forth) but this is only because you’ve come to see the extreme irrationality in not accepting it. Faith did not gift our species with this information: science did… those damn heathens!

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      • I’ve never heard the figure being that high. I imagine more scientists are deists than anything else. Again you make a claim that anyone who is a believer is by definition, anti-intellectual. I don’t see the proof in that.

        It is not lazy to conclude that God is a real possibility. Believe me if you read many theologians there is nothing lazy about the rigors of their thinking. I can see no reason to conclude that theism “encourages” laziness at all. In fact trying to reconcile a belief in God with the myriad errors and contradictions of the bible and other religious texts requires intense thinking.

        I never did not believe in evolution. Nor in cosmology for that matter. It was as you no doubt know, a Catholic priest who first coined the term “big bang” and the RCC has long been an adherent of scientific explanations for the universe and human kind. (with one well-known exception of course Galileo).

        Of course belief in God leads to recognition that at some base level, the creation of laws that govern the universe, at least as we understand them today, lead inevitably to humans, the only creatures we know of for sure, who have the ability to discover more and more from whence they came. It would seem that the allegorical story of creation got one thing right–God saw his creation and said that it was “very good”.

        In any event, I appreciate your willingness to engage in the discussion in a pleasant way. I have no quarrel with atheists in general, and certainly not with agnostics. One think I am quite sure of is that belief is something that can’t be ordered or done by choice. It comes if and when it does, without effort, yet not compelled either. My issues are with the those who lump all believers into one bag. I fight with fundamentalists regularly. They mystify and confound me with their compartmentalized thinking and insistence that God is in a book. Indeed it is the book they worship more than any transcendental being, and their interpretation of that book is largely self-serving.

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      • Apologies, I got the number slightly wrong. Its 93% are atheist, 7% hold a belief. If you take just the biological sciences it’s 98% are atheists. That’s pretty conclusive.

        “It is not lazy to conclude that God is a real possibility…” How so? There isn’t a single scrap of evidence pointing to a god. Nothing. The last possible hiding place for a god was the quantum vacuum, and we know now that zero-energy states (quantum vacuums) are incredibly busy places with particles popping and out of existence at whim. What happens when they do is they leave energy traces. Energy is injected into the vacuum: energy from nothing! We don’t need a god to explain the universe. The challenge for most individuals is to find meaning in this reality. Granted, it’d be easier if there was something supernatural, but I personally have found real comfort in accepting that I’m part of an ongoing experiment which started 400 million years after the Big Bang when the universe started experimenting with itself; creating heavier things out of lighter, less complex things. One of my favourite sayings comes from Brian Cox: “Life is the universe trying to understand itself.”

        “God saw his creation and said that it was “very good”….. Really? Skeletons and immune system that play catch-up are very good? 😉 Here, I wrote a post on this which might make you smile:

        https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/lets-bake-a-species-part-1-what-not-to-do/

        We are in total agreement on loathing fundamentalists. If you read through my blog you’ll see I single them as the subject of my disdain. To the average theist I have only genuine sympathy. Fear is a terrible thing, and more often than not theists are just terribly frightened individuals who wish no harm on others. Interfering fundamentalists are another matter altogether.

        Always happy to engage, Sherry. I liked your blog, we have an awful lot in common… and I loved your Family Photos post. We have a small zoo of rescued animals, too

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      • John I wish we could engage, but you seem to find it necessary to insult anyone who thinks of these things differently. Faith is faith exactly because it is not provable. And the slap that we are “so frightened” is really sad. If you think people believe out of fear, then you have a bunch of stuff to learn I fear. Save your pity, which frankly is condescending isn’t it? Larry is a good blogging friend and I trust his judgment, so I thought, “at last, an atheist I can really talk to without all the animus” but alas you seem to be the garden variety new atheist now being called evangelical atheists. There is no common ground, just your fundamentalist mind set that you are perfectly right, and anyone who believes is utterly wrong, and as you put it sad and frightened. It must make you feel quite superior. But to assume that somehow the last few generations of humans have evolved to be “beyond” the silliness of faith, is well, not exactly true as far as I understand evolutionary theory. I’m fairly well versed in particle physics from a lay point of view, and I don’t disagree with your statements, but where that leaves out God, you have failed miserably to prove. The fact that you don’t BELIEVE God to be necessary is hardly proof is it? In any case, I’m sorry. I was so hoping to find a blog with some interesting and non-judgmental discussion. But this, upon further perusal seems the run of the mill, I hate religion blogs. We of course surmise that there is a reason for your hatred, but I would not think to pry. Take care John and good life to you.

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  5. So let me get this straight: a 4-millimeter aluminium alloy airplane skin doesn’t provide enough protection from the power-zapping effects of flying over graveyards, but a 0.4-millimeter sheet of plastic does?
    What’s especially ironic is that this airplane’s aluminium skin provides enough protection to actually withstand and deflect a lightning strike, should God decide to punish this man while he’s still on the plane.

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  6. I used to be an atheist, then I decided that I am part of the designer of the universe, creating as I go. That being said, you have the words of a lyrical ninja. I like that.

    Cmkline.wordpress.com

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  7. “I have great faith in fools, self-confidence my friends will call it.” Poe

    Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see. Am I going to live to 89 like Gramps? I don’t know but I hope I do, and because of that faith my net worth is more than sufficient to live well past 100.

    I know it is hard for you to understand something you do not posses, like faith in a god. The zeal and delight you all take in over-dramatizing your anti-religious point of view is amazing to me and for some twisted reason I check your blog everyday hoping to find my answer. The guy who runs my portfolio is a Christian and he seems pretty smart. He can turn 50k into 250k in about 14 months. Of course his commission is 18% but who cares as long as he makes me a millionaire, right?

    Anyway, I prefer to go with the flow. The Christians around here seem pretty nice. They are all white people, and a few Hispanics.

    I have faith that we are of equal worth to each other, that all cultures and all peoples should be free to form the life and society that is right for them, as long as no one is hurt or abused. There are many religions, many beliefs, many gods, and every single person should have the right to live in their own world view.

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    • Post-meds, no shoes, drooling over SI Swimsuit Edition.

      I was going to go see a psychiatrist till I found out he is just a person who will give me expensive answers that I can get from my wife for free. I told my wife if this relationship doesn’t work out, instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.

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    • We got one last Sunday. It’s a Basenji mix, about 3 years old. Awesome dog.

      We had a Rat Terrier. She bolted out the front door and got ran over by a car. We all cried for two days, man I loved that dog. The Christian lady who ran over her came to our house the next day with flowers. She was crying and wanted to know if we could forgive her. I told her how that dog loved to run and I know she is running in heaven. It seemed to help her saying that even though I doubt it’s true.

      If I could I would have three wives but the people here have laws against that. Perhaps one wife and two live-in girlfriends?

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      • She’s a beauty! Well done. Ours have all come straight from the street. Right now i have a giant Belgium Shepherd sleeping at my feet. Such a magnificent creature dumped. It boggles the mind how fucked up some people can be.

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    • My nipples are hard that we agree on something. Very exiting.

      Where I live there are no dogs roaming the streets, never have seen one in the 10 years we have been in this spot. If I do see one it has tags and escaped someones backyard.

      Gotta go. Permission to rag on your next post Master Zande?

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    • Great, I leave you with this…

      When I die, I want to die like my grandmother, who died peacefully in her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in her car.

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  8. Deary me, what a seriously silly man! I also find the Christian tendency to promote ‘faith’ as some kind of virtue utterly ridiculous. However, I think as long as Christians freely admit what ‘faith’ is – having belief and trusting in something they can’t prove – then they’re not all quite as dumb as your lyrical materpiece would suggest.

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  9. Isn’t there an FAA regulation against guys asphyxiating themselves in pastice bags (or OSHA or something)? Full body condoms, there’s an emerging market there, profits to be made. . . . Hey, it’s the American Way (Charge the Fuckers!).

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  10. I found this picture in “Why evolution is true” (do you follow that blog? It’s pretty amazing) and quickly shared it. It’s pretty disturbing.
    I would say, as a rule of thumb, the moment you find yourself on a plane wrapped up in plastic because of something your religion tells you, it’s probably time to think twice about your religion. He obviously disagrees.

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    • You would imagine so, yes… at least a pause for thought 😦

      I do follow them, but only in my reader so i don’t see every update. i found this on FB and nearly gagged in laughter. This image needs to go around the world and be cast in a million and one ways to show the madness.

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  11. I’m sure many Christians out there are laughing at this themselves (the pic) while having just finished a period where they didn’t eat meat on Friday in fear of being trapped underground burning forever. I doubt they would notice the irony.

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  12. I wonder about alternate universes where people of high faith, who are also truly wonderful people such as my momma bear, lose their faith and utilize their overwhelming internal goodness in ways that are more useful to society in general. It makes me sad that all that energy is devoted to a figment of the imagination.

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  13. Has anyone considered that he might have made up this story of needing to protect himself for religious reasons in order to avoid the inevitable stilted conversation with the guy in the seat next to him?

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  14. Religious nuts can take belief to harmful extremes, but not all belief is bad. Demon-Haunted World by the ever-awesome Carl Sagan is an interesting read. One of his points is that acting on pure belief is (paraphrased) just stupid. However, humans are not purely rational machines. We need a little bit of magical thinking sometimes. And as long as it doesn’t result in endangering others, personal irrational beliefs are a-okay.

    Great post.

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    • Oh, i agree entirely! I’m a fan of fairytales, folklore and crazy superstitions. A little magic is healthy and fun. Creation myths are wonderful and should be cherished as cultural gems. Hope (what some might call faith) is also vital. We need to hold hope in our future predictions. if we didn’t we’d all go insane pretty quickly.

      I just begin to take notice when people start trying to teach creationism is schools, and grown men climb into airborne condoms 😉

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  15. Pingback: Is Faith Important?-Not Just Religion | The Art of Polemics

  16. How did I ever miss this one? Better late etc etc …

    I love this bit “a senselessness which adults are free to practice and pass onto children who’re powerless to recognise the farce or understand the disorder.

    Which is exactly why I keep pounding that point about the desperate need to teach kids how to think.
    If nothing else, then just how to recognise contradictions:

    (a) a loving Almighty compassionate and merciful God
    (b) a whip. A rack. A thumbscrew. A stake. A strappado …

    (a) the infallible agent on Earth of the Prince of Peace
    (b) the crusades, padres in the forces blessing weapons of war …

    Liked by 1 person

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