People Are Precious 

I was thinking today that we spend so much time chasing material things, and often neglect the truly precious parts of our lives – the people. 

So give someone you love a hug today. I wish I had given my dad more hugs when he was alive and now he’s gone.

My dad in his shed with his two dogs. Both dogs have since passed away.

My mom holding my grandson.

Mom and Dad. This is my favorite picture of them.

Mom, daughter and my aunt.

Have a terrific day all!

Don’t Be a Testicle

Was reading a post earlier about language we use that marginalizes groups of people, especially minorities or vulnerable populations.

It reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my partner. 

We were discussing how some people (mostly men) call others a ‘pussy’, implying that they are being girl-like and weak like a female.

The funny thing is that my partner’s lady bits are far more resiliant than my man bits. Hers are capable of giving birth to a fairly large human being. 

Even the thought of small trauma to my testicles makes me cringe. A kick or even a brush of that sensitive area hurts like hell and is likely to cause vomiting or curling into a ball.

If anything, my partner explained, we shouldn’t be weak and sensitive like a testicle. Being a pussy should be a sign of resilience. 

Funny but true. 

PS: Typed this on my phone. Sorry for any mistakes ahead of time. 

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Few shots of Dex doing what he does best – sleeping.

It’s hard being a dog.

My Answers to ‘A Question For Atheists’

I read a post by flyinguineapig (click link to view original article) earlier that asked two questions of atheists. I’m going to attempt to answer them here.

She asks:

My first question is more general. I see this among atheists and my agnostic friends. People deny the possibility of any deity’s existence because of the lack of some kind of proof. It occurred to me that I have no idea what kind of proof you’re looking for. Furthermore, it seems to me that, in many cases, not just in the case of spirituality, what constitutes proof is at least somewhat subjective. I would love to get a few different perspectives, so my question is, what would prove to you that God exists?

Personally, I don’t deny any deity’s existence. I just see no satisfactory proof (or evidence, whichever word you prefer) that one exists and a myriad of reasons not to believe in the accepted versions of a deity we see in today’s religions. There also isn’t any way to differentiate between which religion would be true and which are false – most religions can claim the same ‘proofs’.

Archaic book full of contradictions?

Most mainstream religions have them. Islam, Christianity and on and on.

Visions and supernatural reasons to believe?

Check! If you’re a Muslim you’ll see Allah and if you’re a Christian maybe Jesus or Mary.

But this question does bring up an interesting point – what constitutes ‘proof’? I see many atheists say something along the lines of ‘there is no evidence for a deity’, and that isn’t true. It’s more accurate to state ‘there is no good evidence’.

Many theists will present their proofs or evidence, such as, say, the bible or experiences or what have you, and the atheist might just dismiss it, but to the theist, these things ARE forms of proof and it has convinced them that their beliefs are valid.

I would argue that the bible isn’t a good ‘proof’, because it contradicts itself, it gives bad advice, it isn’t scientifically sound and historically it’s a bag of ‘let’s play telephone today folks!’, and that’s why I lack belief in it.

But I would go a step further and state that while I’m about 99.5% sure there is no deity out there, I’m about 99.9999999% sure that the Christian deity doesn’t exist. I could say the same about Allah, Odin, Zeus etc. I actively don’t believe in them because the ‘proofs’ against them are so many, the contradictions so great, and the enormity of their claims are so far outside the norms of what we think to be true today.

Many Christians when arguing for their deity will revert to defending their God from a deist perspective because the bible and it’s nonsensical claims are especially difficult to defend.

The deist perspective though is super, super easy to defend.

I’m not sure what it would take to convince me but I’m thinking a God with unlimited power would know and make it possible, especially if it’s a prerequisite to its idea of what it needs from us.

Her second question was:

My second question is a little more personal, but less complicated. I’ve noticed that when atheists write posts or comments, here and in other places, they most frequently attack Christianity in particular. I assume this is partly because Christianity is one of the most prominent religions, if not the most prominent religion in the U.S. and in the West overall. My question here is, do you have an actual problem with Christianity specifically, or do you argue against it the most simply because of its prominence?

It’s the most prominent religion worldwide at the moment and also it tends (at the moment) to flourish in the Western World where we are allowed to criticize it. It’s also easier to criticize something you understand. It’s far easier for me to criticize Christianity, for example, than Hinduism because I used to be a Christian. I understand the religion and I’ve been surrounded by it my entire life.

But if you were a vocal atheist in Saudi Arabia, you’d likely (if you’re not being hunted or killed) be most vocal about Islam.

And there are those who do criticize mainly other faiths. Take Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s very vocal about Islam and she has received several death threats because of it.

You should read her book. It’s freaking amazing. Just sayin’.

And there are several people courageous enough to talk about and criticize religion and religious ideas, such as blogger, Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes who don’t target mainly Christianity.

But I do think FPG is onto something here in that many Western atheists will shy away from criticizing anything but Christianity, because of nonsense words like ‘Islamophobe’ or because they’re afraid to be labeled as racist.

If it’s okay to criticize Christianity, it’s also okay to criticize other forms of religious thought. It has nothing to do with race. Anyone can be part of any religion.

Somehow many of us have fallen for this crappy line of thinking.

Magical thinking with dangerous consequences aren’t a uniquely Christian thing and we should be free to question, criticize and disagree with all forms of religious or non-religious thought without fear of being labeled a racist.

So I hope that answers your questions.

If you’re an atheist reading this, I hope you’ll take a second to tell FGP your answers to these questions from your unique perspective.

 

Just Some Pictures Of My Pup and Turning 40

Just wanted to quickly share some pictures of the Dex man. He’s settling into his new home nicely. 

The last one is Duke (new addition to the fam) going on a car ride with Dex. They make an adorable pair.

Oh yeah…and I’m now officially 40 as of August 6th. 

Jeez. Ha ha!

Another Example Of Why Beliefs Matter

CowHAI often hear the excuse that beliefs don’t matter and have no impact on a persons behavior. This reason is usually  given in defense of religion, even after religion was specifically mentioned as a reason or motive for unsavory behavior.

So let’s move away from the religions most represented here in North America and concentrate on the Hindu religion.

According to Wiki:

To the Hindu, the cow represents all other creatures. Hindus believe that all living creatures are sacred—mammals, fishes, birds. The cow is more, a symbol of the Earth. It always gives and feeds, representing life and the support of life. Honoring the cow inspires in people the virtues of gentleness and connects them with nature.

What could possibly go wrong? Why would you try to rob people of the fuzzy feelings they experience when considering the great cow? What could be the harm?

Turns out that the harm can be considerable. For example, they could make you eat cow dung for transporting cow meat in India. Afterward, you might get arrested as well.

New Delhi, June 28: Gau Rakshak Dal, a self-proclaimed cow protection group in Haryana, beaten two Muslim men who were allegedly transporting beef and forced them to eat cow dung. The incident came to light when the video of the incident surfaced on social media. Dharmendra Yadav, president of the Gurgaon Gau Rakshak Dal, admitted that activist of his group caught two Muslim men on June 10 and forced them to eat “panchgavya” (cow dung concoction).

In the news article, you’ll also notice that the two men were severely beaten.

The two men were then arrested and the police mysteriously couldn’t find the video of the incident. It later surfaced on social media.

You might be thinking that’s horrible, but those two got off relatively lightly. You can get beaten by a mob for over a half an hour:

Two Muslim women were beaten up over allegations of beef possession by a crowd lead by cow vigilantes at Mandsaur railway station in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, reported CNN-News18.

Surprising to no one, the police just stood by and basically watched:

But even after they were arrested, the women were thrashed by the mob for nearly half an hour before police finally took them away. Deccan Chronicle reported that many other spectators stood silently, but nobody came to the women’s aid.

Like the two men forced to eat cow dung, these women were arrested and further punished, while the police and mob were let off free as birds.

Now, this might be considered the worst of the worst, but it can get even nastier.

Last month, a 50-year-old man in northern Uttar Pradesh was killed in a mob lynching over rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence over the killingnearly two weeks later, members of his party thrashed an independent lawmaker in Kashmir for hosting a beef party.

Earlier this month, Hindus and Muslims clashed over rumours, again, of cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh. A row over banning beef is threatening to stoke religious tensions in restive Kashmir.

So you can be lynched for consuming beef or even just storing it (allegedly).

Beliefs can (and often do) translate into unreasonable behavior. Whether that means burning people at the stake, gutting them for witchcraft, lynching people for eating cow meat or blowing people up because they think it secures themselves a place in heaven, it all falls under the heading of superstition and unreasonable belief.

And of course, you can make the same arguments for Hinduism as you can for, say, Christianity. Of course not all Hindu’s are beating women up for allegedly transporting beef. Many Hindu’s would be upset by such behavior etc.

Hell, you could even make the case that what these people did is directly opposed to Hinduism, because they aren’t revering life by killing, maiming and beating, and that’s what the cow supposedly represents – all life.

But that doesn’t mean the Hindu belief structure (and/or the traditional cultural belief) had nothing to do with these incidences or that these types of erroneous, archaic beliefs played no role in what happened in these news stories.

Isn’t it time we start basing beliefs on evidence, rather than superstition and ‘tradition’?

Grooming and Indoctrinating Young Minds

Love, love, love this video.

Did I say ‘love’ enough?

This video explores religious indoctrination and why it is no more (or should be no more) acceptable than political indoctrination.

The author also dives into the common arguments religious people often give to justify indoctrinating their children.

It’s well worth the time to watch. Let me know in the comment section below what you think; whether you agree or disagree and why.

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