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Saturday, August 9, 2008

I realized something this morning at the DMV

I was standing in line at the DMV (oh, don't even get me started on that) and it was going to be a very, very, very long wait. I got there before they opened and there were already several hundred people in line. (No, I'm not exaggerating that number.) So I stood there thinking about some of the comments on Ray's site about evolution and how fundies seem to hang their whole belief in a deity and their faith in that deity on their idea that evolution is a lie.

Now, I know that the theory of evolution is correct. There is no debate about that for me. Some xian could stand there for years and blabber on about Behe, Ham, Hugh Ross, ect. and I just wouldn't care. If they want to be that gullible then, well, unfortunately being gullible is not a crime.

But here's the thing. As Penn Jillette would say 'I'm beyond atheism'. My lack of a belief in your deity and your holy book has nothing to do with evolution. That's why I rarely even get into a conversation about it. It does no one any good, as far as I can tell. If you want to understand evolution there are thousands of books you can read, you can take college courses, you can research all on your own. What a lack of a belief in a deity really does boil down to for me is the fact that your book is error-ridden, unprovable, myth and legend written by men with an agenda and the knowledge of human beings, not the knowledge or guidance of a supernatural being. That goes for any holy book of any religion.

I get sooooo tired of hearing how the Bible won't make sense unless you read it in a certain way. I've heard it all. I've heard that you have to read it with a 'humble heart', I've heard that you have to repent first, I've heard that you have to read it with faith.....I'm wondering if someone is going to tell me next that I need to read it standing on my head while eating wheat crackers at midnight. And I have read it. I've read it as a Christian (cover to cover) and I've read it as an atheist (cover to cover). I actually had a better time reading it as an atheist than I did as a Christian. The only thing I can figure is that when people say you need to read it with a certain mind set, what they really mean is with a sense of gullibility. The point is that if it were so blatantly, obviously true then no one would have to keep reading it zillions of times just to get it.

And to those theists that say that their deity has hidden the true meaning from unbelievers, I say if he's that sneaky and can't make himself known through a simple reading, then why are you always telling us atheists to read it in the first place? By the logic that you guys use there is no point in any person that doesn't already believe in your god to read your holy book, because your deity only reveals himself to those that already believe.

Now, speaking of already believing, I think theists might actually be on to something with the above line of reasoning and here's why. Instead of seeing is believing, it's believing is seeing. It's called confirmation bias. If you are looking for something to be true, then you will find reasons to confirm to yourself that it is true.

Just to briefly touch on another line of reasoning that I've had theists use on me, some have told me that I just haven't heard about this preacher or that apologist or had it explained this way or that. Once again, if it made sense in the first place, you wouldn't have to have so many different people making so much money off it trying to explain it.

So, that was it -- The sum total of my thoughts while in line at the DMV for what turned out to be a completely futile trip. Just thought I'd share.


  1. Thanks for sharing NMT, some good stuff to chew on here.

  2. Evolution is far from being the main reason I'm an atheist. And the main reason that I'm not a Christian is because of the Bible. It's possible that someone like Francis Collins is right, that "God" used evolution, but it doesn't make sense to me. If there was a being capable of creating everything just like that, why would that being use a process that takes billions of years? But then, why would an all powerful creator take six days when they could do it instantly?

  3. The DMV Blues

    Lined up this mornin',
    Lined up at the Dee Emm Vee,
    So many people there, you couldn't even see
    The end of the line, man,
    Couldn't see to the end of the line.
    Had a bad feelin' this was gonna be a waste of time.

    Stood in line all mornin',
    All afternoon, all day;
    When I got to the counter, they said "Please go away.
    It's closing time now -- I'm sorry but we close at five."
    After all that standin',
    Now I'm walkin',
    'Cos I cain't drive.

  4. 'I'm beyond atheism'
    My kids are like that. It's a non issue, not worth discussing. Me, I like to think about it.

  5.      Really? You know? So, you have conducted the relevant experiments yourself, created a timescope, or some such thing? Sheesh, I don't even claim to know that atoms are real. I believe they are real. Some observations make more sense assuming that they are real. But a claim of knowlege is stronger than that.

  6. Pvb,

    Don't let the spirit of Sye overtake you completely.

  7. Nonmagical:

         Oh, don't worry. It's not the spirit of Sye. He pretends to "know" his nonsense. Here, I am distinguishing between actually knowing something and accepting the assertion of another. My point is opposed to Sye's claim. Knowlege does not come by decree. There are claims that I believe because trust the people who made them. But to know the claims are true, I would have to verify them myself. If you have not tested evolution yourself, you do not know it. You perhaps believe it because you have seen reports by people you trust.

  8. Pvb,

    I find it rather comical that out of everything I wrote you chose to pick one word and call it out.

    I'm much aware of the distinction between knowing and believing, but that was a rant, not written for those that want to be pedantic because they can.

  9.      Then I apologize. I thought you were trying to put something on firmer footing than it belongs. As that tends to give weight to christian's claims of non-christians being "unwilling to look at evidence," I am rather sensitive


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