Rant Back

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Religious Freedom


I'm not one for censorship, except for some very special cases. For instance, children should not be viewing pornographic images because their cognitive ability has not developed to the point where they can process sexual ideas and images properly.

Or ideas that incites racial hatred. Even then, one could argue that by letting racists sound off, we'll be exposing how absurd racist ideas are. By suppressing them, we are almost giving a legitimacy or handing them the 'persecution' card. We are giving them the opportunity for the racists to say "well, they're scared of the truth, that's why they try to oppress us, but we will not be oppressed." And people usually sympathise with persecuted people.

There's also religious freedom. I'm all up for it. I am. I may not be a fan of religion, but I believe that people are free to believe whatever it is they want to, just as long as they don't try to make their religious beliefs as part of the law. In fact, I'm all up for people to advertise their beliefs, if other people are allowed to dissect and criticise said beliefs rationally and methodically.

Which brings me to this.

See the USA's report on religious freedom in Brunei:
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127265.htm

This report caused a minor stir in Brunei. Even Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin defended Brunei's religious policy:
http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/2009111610630/First-Stories/us-criticism-of-brunei-too-harsh.html

What I can't understand is, why is the criticism harsh? Pretty much most of the report is accurate. The 'freedoms' the Pehin mentioned is not criticised in the report. So it's not providing an unfair review by stating untruths. The Pehin did not, however, address the issues mentioned in the report, mainly:

(1) Non-muslim religious education is not allowed/heavily restricted in schools
(2) Muslims trying to convert to another religion face huge official and societal pressure not to.
(3) Proselytism of other religions (or even other sects of Islam other than Mazhab Shafi'e) is heavily restricted
(4) Interfaith dialogue is realistically non-existent due to regulation

When the Pehin (hereafter named as GKC) mentioned mutual respect, I think personally, that the 'respect' that the government gives to other religions is pretty low. There are still a lot of hurdles to be passed through before we could say there is any sense of actual religious freedom in Brunei. It's defined pretty loosely in Brunei as simply being free to believe in what you believe in. That's what religious freedom is. While on the surface it might seem pretty good and dandy, it's really just an incomplete, minimal understanding of what the term actually means.

Religious freedom means that there should be no restrictions that state Islam should be the only religion taught in schools. Even in Christian schools Christianity is no longer taught anymore (anecdotal. If I'm wrong, correct me). Religious freedom means that other Mazhabs should be free to be practiced and preached in public without fear of being arrested. Religious freedom means that religious conversion should not be such that converting away from Islam should not be a million times harder than to Islam.

GKC says that "there is no problem unless 'you create one'." Well, this is really just saying don't mess with the status quo. The laws are unfair on other religions. There are many problems, but as GKC says (unintentionally), people dismiss it in fear of 'creating one.' That's how the Bruneian mentality works. Don't mess with the status quo. It's worked till now, didn't it?

It has worked because we have blinded ourselves to the regulatory, bureaucratic religious persecution that other religions face because we assure ourselves that a country that has Islam as its official religion should only have to provide minimal freedom to other religions. But oh the hypocrisy. When countries such as Sweden ban the building of new minarets, we cry loudly and say 'where is the religious freedom? They are persecuting Muslims!.'

Imagine this. Imagine if Brunei was a Christian country. Only Christianity is taught in schools, and every Christian child is required to attend six-years of 'Sekolah Ugama Kristian.' Melayu Kristian Beraja. Churches instead of mosques. Christians pressured with regulations and social obligations not to convert to Islam. Everyone must respect the saying of grace in meals, even non-Christians. The sound of church bells every Sunday in every part of the country (not even five times a day!).

I bet most of you are fuming. I bet you're thinking, 'they're persecuting the Muslims!'. But hey, there's only a problem if you 'create one.' Note the sarcasm.

I think religion is a bit rubbish anyway.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Finally

Hello fellow Bruneians, not forgetting the non-Bruneians too. Some people might wonder why I have very long breaks inbetween posts. Well, this is a blog about my beliefs as an atheist (and other things) in a Muslim country. And being an atheist does not define all of me. By all means, no. Sure, being an atheist also leads to or overlaps with some of the other things that I do believe/support, like secularism, humanism, tolerance, equality in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. So I don't feel the need to talk about it all the time.

Okay, now I'm going to present you with a theory of mine. I'm sure some people will completely disagree with me, like they always do. I must emphasise though, this is a theory that is completely dependent on my own experience and speculation. Therefore I will be honest with you, I have no evidence for this and will not pretend to have any. But I think I'm justified to deduce, from whatever I've gathered, the points that I will make here in this post.

The idea of a 'moderate' Muslim has always puzzled me. I mean, the concept of it is great, it's progressive. Some moderates even advocate secularism. So to be clear, I'm not against the idea of moderation in terms of religion. I believe it's a healthy step towards secularism. You're free to believe in anything you want just as long as you don't impose it on others and do not expect others to follow the same rules your religion impose on you. That's totally fine with me. (Not completely, but that's a whole other topic).

I'm just perplexed by it.

Let me tell you why. If you do believe in Allah, then you definitely believe in Heaven and Hell, unless you're the extreme Muslim minority who believe in God but not Heaven & Hell (who can be argued to be distorting the Quran). The people who believe in Heaven & Hell would then in turn believe in the Quran. I'm leaving out the hadith because I know a considerable minority can find fault in the nature of them.

So why are you moderate? For many moderates, many of the little, everyday things they do would surely make them 'hell-bound'. Things like women not wearing headscarves, guys wearing shorts that go above their knees, getting and paying interests in banking, superstitions, etc.

Surely then you've realised many of the restrictions imposed by religion are simply impractical, nonsensical and backwards? At least subconsciously you're being skeptical of some of the major and minor rules in Islam. Do we demand that a full Shari'a court be installed so that adulterers would be stoned, thieves would have their hands cut off and ex-Muslims be beheaded?

No. Deep inside we know they are wrong. Deep inside these moderate Muslims who might be good friends with gay people, sexually active people and hedonistic people know that these people don't deserve what the Quran says they deserve. In fact these moderate Muslims might even be gay, sexually active or hedonistic themselves.

The thing is, I think a lot of Muslims are more skeptical/agnostic than they would like to believe they are. But culture and tradition does not allow for even the mere thought of doubt to form inside the head. It is considered a virtue to never question the core belief that there is a god, that Allah is the one true god and Muhammad is the last true prophet.

So 'moderate' believers are left with just ignoring and choosing to leave out the parts they know to be wrong and still stick with the core beliefs, unable to go further with their own skepticisms.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The cBox Is Not The Best Place

Okay, first I apologise for having been absent for what has been quite a 'productive' exchange in the cBox. I've been really busy for the past couple of weeks.

The problem is, the cBox does not notify me nor is it convenient for me to check [older messages]. Please, if you can, if what if you're trying to say requires more than one line on the cBox, please, please use the comment box on the blog entries. It's easier for me and everyone else to keep track what comment refers to what post, and so it's easier for me to reply. And comments stay on the comment box. Comments on the cBox disappear after a while, so people might not know if they're repeating the same point a person made a few weeks before.

After going through the cBox, I still find many comments not worth replying to.

I don't really mind people coming to this blog challenging what I say. I'm not one for censorship here. It's just that there's always the temptation to really filter out stuff that their best are irrelevant, and at their worst just too plain stupid. But hey, I've not acted on that temptation so far.

I guess for people it's an easy idea to just banish people out of the country who simply doesn't agree with you. People don't really get the idea that you can still criticise something while appreciating it, or even loving it. There's so many things wrong in Brunei, but then there's always something wrong with any country. Running away from the problem does not fix it. Nor does exiling people who voice out the problems.

One of Izzati's points. About the scientific nature of the Quran. The idea of modern scientific theory can be derived from the Quran, is quite frankly, in my opinion, just bullshit. I don't assume people who say the Quran is scientific to be idiots. I'm saying the arguments I've read so far are ignorant, manipulated propaganda. It does not help that one of the proponents of Quranic science is shown to be a criminal, manipulative bastard. But I know it doesn't invalidate the arguments either. The thing is, the arguments themselves usually don't validate themselves. Trust me (or not), I've read and seen people argue for Quranic science (and other forms of 'science,' mostly creationist 'science). Many make me cringe. I don't assume. I actually research a lot of this stuff.

I can't challenge the Quran? What is that supposed to mean? And saying something is a linguistic miracle is a bit meaningless. Shakespeare managed to write whole plays using iambic pentameters and still manages to write dialogue that is both insightful and entertaining. Milton wrote ten books of Paradise Lost while being blind. C.S. Lewis wrote poems with nonsense words that are revered as a magnificient use of linguistic rules that seem to mean something and nothing at the same time. The term linguistic miracle is a subjective term. Miracle is a subjective term. Some palindromes here and there do not constitute as a miracle. Seeing patterns here and there does not constitute a miracle.

And I still find it hilarious how Bibit does not remember how he said these things:

bibit
: the more I read your blog, the more i find it absurd. you're talking as if you studied Sociology and religion for two years and bammmmmmmmm you are an Atheist. Cali.

bibit: how old are u again Jason? 19, 20, 21? you still need to learn more..iatah ni baru jua abis belajar.

For some reason people cannot imagine a 7-year-old being inquisitive and curious. Is it too hard to believe a child may just question what people are saying because it doesn't make sense to him? Of course I was playing guli, gatah and skopong with my friends, but I bet your 7th year alive did not consist solely of those things. If it's really that hard for you to imagine an inquisitive 7-year-old, then I cannot hope to convince you.

And again, why does my age matter? I could be 20, I could be 15, I could be 35, heck I could be fucking 5 or 95 for all you care. Does that make my points less valid? Heck, a 5-year-old making a good point is still a 5-year-old making a good point. An 80-year-old making a terrible point is still an 80-year-old making a terrible point. And it could be vice versa. Why has my age become a topic? It's weird.

And it's kind of stupid telling people they're being blasphemous when they don't actually believe what they're blaspheming against.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

I'm Old-Skool

Bibit: ya ryt... ko ingat pecaya ku tu ko doubt religion since u were 7? pls ok... kesian eh, semua points mu atu mcm belajar sociology all over gain and ko masukkan verses atu ani as if ko paham apa yang ko buat ah. Jgn ckp ambung. Anytime God can cabut nyawa mu ah... dibagi chance to live, tapi menghina ur own creator... inda tau beterima kasih... all these atheist any bnrnya sick of living rules them of doing whatever they want, don't read too much nonsense, gila ko krg. Ani pun udah ko ranting pasal org bekonvoi smbyng jumat, sakit plang atimu. Haha. Ari jumat, I bet ko tdur masih, sal bejaga meliat dvd, nada jua org sibuk and marah2. Lau ko nda suka mndgr what came out of your ugama teacher's mouths, napa ko inda beranti? To be honest, aku pun beranti ugama awal sal ku sanak mendagar ceramah tapi udah basar ani tah bru ku nyasal and balik semula belajar ugama bh bye.

SOA: seriously, you're being such a baby. Complain pasal ugama nganya. Live ur life and shut your mouth. No one cares what u think. But hey, its not like kami totally ignore u. we've warned u n everything. If u think u dont have a purpose in life, do this. Grab a gun, put it in ur mouth and pull the trigger. Here's what I think. I think you have a serious childhood problem. Full stop.

Bibit: SOA I second you. Ranting about religion ani old skool berabis. Bangga ia bah tu, kiranya ia think outside the box. Modern, know it all, iatah ia rasa he's superior than God.


Hahaha. These messages on the cBox actually made me laugh so hard. I'm not even offended or anything. I just shook my head and and smiled. These words have come so many times before from various people in various forms. And I've replied to them several times. I remember when I first started this blog, these kinds of comments made me really angry, but answering them, I had to make myself calm first. Here I'm trying to keep calm, but not from anger. Instead I'm trying to keep myself from laughing.

None of the 'criticisms' here are original. Some of the questions that asks bits about my personality, I feel do not warrant an answer, since, well, they bear no relevance, really.

Okay.

Bibit first says “ko ingat pecaya ku tu ko doubt religion since u were 7?” and then later says “ To be honest, aku pun beranti ugama awal sal ku sanak mendagar ceramah.” So you don't believe me, but you've been in my 'unbelievable' situation? It's okay. I don't need you to believe me. You can go on believing I'm a 20 year old sociology graduate, if you must. I prefer to think of myself as the guy from American Pie. But hey only I and some people close to me know who I am offline, and they'd be laughing their ass off at some of the assumptions people make about me.

And your assumption of me as a sociologist is somewhat peculiar. I'm very surprised that you only see the sociological side of everything I say. What about the scientific, the philosophical, even with just plain, old common sense? Are you a sociologist by any chance?

“Ani pun udah ko ranting pasal org bekonvoi smbyng jumat, sakit plang atimu.”

Proof you did not read the entry. Nothing other than that captioned photo of kittens was about sembahyang jumat. Hell, if you've read me before, I've used kitten photos before (once, I think), usually as an introduction to what I feel will be quite a heated rant.

“Lau ko nda suka mndgr what came out of your ugama teacher's mouths, napa ko inda beranti?”

That's the point. I wasn't allowed to 'stop' listening to them. Ugama school is a dogmatic institution. They force-feed you religious tripe till you either quit or graduate. Being a kid with religious parents, quitting wasn't an option. So I had to swallow all that bullshit for a few years then vomit it out.

“seriously, you're being such a baby.”

Hahaha. This comment is so funny it made my day. No further comment needed.

“Live ur life and shut your mouth.”

Offline, I do have a life, just like everybody else. And I'm not what you would say a content apathetic person. If I see something wrong, the least I can do is write about it. And hey, at least I'm not invading your personal space while I do it. I don't write pamphlets and shove them at people's faces. Hell, I'm still here in my own personal blogsite (well, Blogger's, really) writing for those people who by their own choice come to my blog. I've only ever promoted my blog once, and that was way back when I first got started. Now I guess it's just through word of mouth, which brings me to my next point.

“No one cares what u think”

You'd be surprised how many do care. You don't realise there's Bruneian atheists out there who feel unsafe about telling people what they think (and from the replies I get on this blog, it's easy to see why). You don't realise there's Bruneian muslims who are eager to seek out active discussion and opinions from an opposing/differing side. If nobody cared about this blog, I would've deleted
the blog a long time ago.

“If u think u dont have a purpose in life, do this. Grab a gun, put it in ur mouth and pull the trigger.”

Wow. So you think your life's purpose is defined by God. In my honest opinion, that's pretty damn sad. By the way, read this. I've addressed your suggestion before.

[link to Optimistic Nihilist]

“Ranting about religion ani old skool berabis.”

I did not realise I was catering to the 'cool' people here. The hip hipsters, the nu-skoolers. And there I was thinking that I should just start a blog because I had something to say.

“Bangga ia bah tu, kiranya ia think outside the box. Modern, know it all, iatah ia rasa he's superior than God.”

Hahaha. I cannot feel superior to a being whose existence I don't believe in, much like I don't feel superior to a unicorn, or even Ultraman. I don't think I'm even thinking that far outside the box. This is not some meta-physical existentialist debate. Most of it really is just common sense.

The saddest thing about it all is both these people didn't actually make it their point to argue against anything I've said. Most of it were just personal attacks. “you're this, kau atu.”

There were more messages on the cBox after, but they were just petty insults (or sad attempts at insults), I felt no need to reply to those.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Purpose


3 Jul 09, 06:34
Izzati: Islam actually gives me a sense of liberation and a feeling of inner peace. Deal with it.
27 Jun 09, 09:22
bibit: religion for two years and bammmmmmmmm you are an Atheist. Cali.
27 Jun 09, 09:21
bibit: the more I read your blog, the more i find it absurd. you're talking as if you studied Sociology and

Bibit, I think you simplified things just a tad too much.

If you did read my blog, you'd know I've been doubting religion and God ever since I was about seven years old, and especially in my days in the Agama school where I could not take in what I thought and still think is bullshit coming out of my teachers' mouths.

And Izzati, asking me to 'deal with it' is kind of hypocritical of you. I think you're the one having a problem with dealing with the fact that I'm criticising your religion and that I cannot find the same feeling of 'inner peace' you tried to convince me you felt. Ever since I found my mind free of religious constraints, I feel more spiritual than I had ever been. And yes, spirituality is a separate thing from religion.

"What is your purpose in life? Why do you think you are here?"

This is why I feel liberated. I don't feel burdened by the thought of my life devoted to a 'Supreme Being' that I've never seen or felt. I didn't choose to not believe. It was not a rebellion borne out of a desire to be different. It was just a state of mind shaped by years and years of personal thoughts and moments.

I've addressed this point in detail by the way, in a previous post. I can't be bothered to to look up the title, but it might be something about being an optimistic nihilist.

And yes, this is a busy time for me, and I have a lot of things to do. You're right. Haha.

So replies and posts might be few and far between.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Slaves & Women

rebelle: Men all over the world twist the teachings of Islam to justify their actions of abusing their wives or ‘mistresses’. So you see we can’t really blame the religion. . Blame the men who perverted islam for their own ‘evil’ purposes and personal sexual gratification.




One example of Quranic verse manipulation does not mean every 'evil' thing every Muslim has done in reference to the Quran is a twisted interpretation.

For example. there are various mentions of slavery in the Quran, none of them in a disapproving manner.

"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers, and whose whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom God has assigned thee."
- Verse 50, Surah Al Ahzab

"There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And (ladies), fear God; for God is Witness to all things."
- Verse 55, Surah Al Ahzab

"And say to the believing women they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons. their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hand possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss."
- Verse 33, Surah Al Nur

I've given the verses from where it came from so that before you accuse me of quoting out of context, you can check the context for yourself. Or maybe you want to question the authenticity of the translation. For your convenience, I used this specific version:

The Holy Quran, Original Arabic Text with English Translation and Selected Commentaries, by Adullah Yusuf Ali (2000, Saba Islamic Media). It was printed in Malaysia, and has a stamp in front of it showing it is approved by 'Kementerian Dalam Negeri' (it does not tell if it's from Brunei or Malaysia). I've checked various tafsirs online, as I currently do not have several different versions of Quranic translations lying around, and they pretty much say the same thing.

So it's not something I pulled out of the internet from an atheist website. It's taken straight out of the Quran. I did not take quotes from hadith (not even from one as acknowledged as Bukhari) because, well, some people might argue they're not authentic or suspect in accuracy.

There's also the devaluing of women in the Quran:

"...And get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her."
- Verse 282, Surah Al Baqarah

"God thus directs you as regards to your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females..."
- Verse 11, Surah Al Nisa

"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hand possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."
- Verse 3, Surah Al Nisa

"Truly man was created impatient. Fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him; Not so those devoted to prayer; Those who remain steadfast to their prayer ... And those who guard their chastity, Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hand possess - for (then) they are not to be blamed."
Verse 19-30, Surah Al Ma'arij

Apologists argue that it was a different time then. People in Muhammad's time were not subject to the same ethics or moral system we apply to ourselves today. So then, why are we still using the Quran to shape our morality? Doesn't that show morality is not something Allah showed us, but merely our own sense of what is right or what is wrong?

When we begin to cherry-pick verses and say that slaves are not acceptable anymore or that women can work and don't have to stay at home all the time, then we are contradicting the Quran's teachings. So the 'moderate' Muslim is caught in a weird place.

If one were to accept Quran as the true word of God and Muhammad was the last true prophet, then one would think the Quran is infallible. That would mean obeying it to the smallest detail. Yet we don't, because we know deep in our minds that many of the things in the Quran are morally suspect, ambiguous or even clearly wrong.

We don't stone adulterers. We don't cut off hands of thieves. We know these are harsh punishments.

And why would God, the omniscient one, not see this coming? Did God not see that morals and ethics would change in the next thousands of years? If the excuse is to 'ease' converts into the 'new' religion at the time, as people have argued, then it is quite inconsistent of God. Okay. So God writes (or reveals) a whole holy book meant to tell you how to live your life in staggering detail. Then God puts in a few bits just to 'ease' people into converting? And hey, it's not minor offences like not covering your hair or washing parts of your body before a prayer. It's about owning a slave and undermining women rights! That should probably be the first things on God's list if God was introduing a new religion to a merchant.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Opening The Mind

Dayang: Also remember that Islam is a religion whereas Malay is a race and culture, thus treat each as such.
23 Jun 09, 04:40
Dayang: so keep debating, but do not lose sight of your purpose, in hope that you may find your answers.
23 Jun 09, 04:38
Dayang: I applaud when and if you debate with due intelligence, because Islam encourages man to use his mind
23 Jun 09, 04:36
Dayang: ...content in the remembrance of Allah.
23 Jun 09, 04:34
Dayang: What's beautiful about Islam, if you dare open your heart to it, is that the true Muslims are...
23 Jun 09, 04:33
Dayang: It's rather ironic that the self-proclaimed "open-mind" resorts to such parochial tactics.


Hi Dayang.

My last post was a rant. I made that clear. But I understand your point.

In addressing one side of God that Muslims usually ignore (or even become apologists for), I am trying to highlight what I think are absurd qualities for such an influential 'God' to have. I also think that religious people are so caught up in the 'beauties' of their religion, they tend to forget the blindingly obvious, like their God being unreasonably punitive, narcissistic and flawed.

For the sake of argument, I will use Islam here, even though it's general to most religions.

While you claim that Islam encourages using the mind, it has made many people narrow-minded and 'parochial.' A few verses in the Quran saying you should use your mind contradicts the assertion that Islam should not be questioned. That doubt in the belief of God itself is a grave sin in the eyes of Islam is something that does not cater to the 'open mind' claim.

When you say what's beautiful about Islam is that 'true Muslims are content in the remembrance of Allah,' has been said about every major religion out there. 'You will find true happiness if you open yourself as accepting Jesus as your personal saviour,' for example. It's easy to say about anything, and thus will never sway anyone. Heck I can even say that for things like Star Wars or stamp-collecting.

'If you open yourself to it, you might find stamp-collecting is a rewarding experience.' Notice how easy it is to say it, but how hard it is for someone listening to it to be convinced? That's how I feel when you say 'open yourself to Islam' to me. Unless of course you happen to like stamp-collecting. In which case, replace it with collecting Star Wars figurine.

I've got a better idea. Let's use Atheism. If you open your mind to atheism, you will find content in knowing you've got one life to live and you might as well live it. If you open your mind to atheism, you will find content in knowing that it's your conscience, not fear, that is dictating your actions, and thus your good deeds become all the more valuable and rewarding. If you open your mind to atheism, you will find content in the remembrance of humanity. You get the point.

I'm quite confused about your last statement. I have never confused the Malay culture and Islam. I often talk about the two side by side because in Brunei, they intertwine a lot of the time. So I really don't know what you're implying I should do here.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

If God Is Real

Ah yes. This is a rant. So if you're easily offended, here's something to look at. Another photo of kittens.


I don't fucking get it.

Is God really that petty?

Oh, don't wear your tudung. You'll go to hell for millions and millions of years. What the fuck. Talk about some harsh punishment there.

It's like any kind of torture, genocide or general stupidity can be justified if God does it.

What? You worshipped a golden cow while my boy was gone? Go kill yourself in a mass suicide. What? You didn't slaughter that animal in the exact way I asked you to? You're fucking filthy, you filthy haram-eater. Really. Some of these rules are fucking ridiculous.

If you were just to think for a moment about these rules, then you'd notice that a lot of them are so trivial yet disobeying them could land you an eternity being sodomised by Satan. Is this the God I'm supposed to worship? Really? Fuck him (it's always a him with these Abrahamic religions). I'm not worshipping that prick. God is like an angry child who's got too much power in his hands.

God is a cock-up. Human beings as the most perfect beings on Earth? Unlikely. We nuke each other up just because of big egos and money and greed and power and land and pride and ethnocentricity. We've spoilt the Earth so much we've probably already went past the point of no return. 99% of all species already extinct? Not very efficient eh, God? Tsunamis, natural disasters, terrorism, general fucked-upness. I think God needs secretaries. Oh wait, that's what angels are for. Beings created solely to worship him.

Wait. What. The. Fuck.

How more narcissistic can you be? You created a whole species (?) of beings just so they could worship you? Really? No wonder Satan fucking rebelled. I know where he's coming from now. With a boss like that, who needs, urm... Dictators? Mass-murderers? Narcissists?

Aaaaaah!

Did I make you angry?

Do I fucking care?

This here is, I admit, not a discussion. It's a motherfucking rant. I will be more civilised in my next post. But hey, I'm not done with this one yet. Oh, you didn't think you're gonna be let off that easily, did you?

Well, you're right. I'm done.

Friday, 22 May 2009

I'm Back For Seconds

I'm kind of back. But I won't be blogging as often as I did.

There's things left unsaid, I think, from before the very long hiatus. I've still got bits and bobs of thoughts floating here and there, but I haven't had the time to actually write it down properly.

So in the meantime, I'll just go on like before, on the top of my head, and no punches pulled.

In spite of how my tone has been for a lot of the entries, I don't think the world is so black and white. There's no good and evil people. People never think they're bad, or that they're doing the wrong thing when they believe in something.

Of course thinking they're right and believing what they're doing is good is not necessarily a good thing. For example, Hitler. He believed what he did was helping the Jews, putting them out of their misery of their 'sub-human' existence. He truly didn't think what he was doing was wrong. Yet in hindsight we knew what he did was unjustifiable, horrific and inhumane in the grandest of scales.

A study a few decades ago on mafia dons in New York revealed that these bosses thought they were doing the community a service. That they had their justifications for doing so. Yet we would never accept their justifications, simply because our instincts say that murder, violence and terror cannot be justified with anything.

Do I sympathise with these people? No. Do I understand how they could've been so blindsighted? Yes. It takes some kind of neurological disorder or self-denial for them to be able to justify their motives and their actions.

The thing is, we do this too, albeit on a much smaller scale. Have you ever done something bad to a person intentionally, and then justify it by saying "he/she deserved it" or "it's just for fun"?

If you have, you're guilty of the same technique. Special pleading. This is when you give yourself the privilege of being excused the reality of your actions. If someone else were to do to you the same thing, you would never give them the same excuse. You would maybe even instantly label them as bad people.

People do this all the time. It's in our nature. If we're late, we can easily explain away our lateness. If someone else is late, we tell them off for their rudeness. If we get told off for being late, we'll talk behind the person's back and make them out to be unforgiving, uptight and unreasonable.

There's a reason I use the pronoun 'we.' Because I'm sometimes guilty of it too.


In other news. And at risk of contradicting myself.

I do find this ridiculous.

"I think of those in religious orders and some of the clergy in Dublin who have to face these facts from their past which instinctively and quite naturally they'd rather not look at. That takes courage, and also we shouldn't forget that this account today will also overshadow all of the good that they also did." - Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Sure, it sounds okay. But when we put it in context, it sounds utterly ridiculous.

This is the response to the reports of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in Irish Catholic churches. So you're saying it is courageous for the Church to acknowledge that your priests are fucking molesting the children? Fuck, I'd call that too fucking late.

You know what courage is? It's fucking handling it when it's going on. Not after a third party reveals it to the whole fucking world. That's not courage. That's fucking damage control.

[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/20/irish-catholic-schools-child-abuse-claims]

This is quite narcissistic, really. Think about the fucking children! Oh wait, the priests are already thinking about fucking the children!

I shouldn't really depend on the Church to be doing the right thing. Or acting with consideration or reason anyway.

The Church has excommunicated gays and pro-choicers, but it is funny they've never excommunicated Robert Mugabe or Adolf Hitler (both are Roman Catholics), even when they have been repeatedly called upon to do so. So apparently homosexuals and pro-abortionists are worse than mass murderers and power-hungry dictators.

Of course now they can't excommunicate Hitler because he's dead, but the Church has never tried to stop or say anything against Hitler in World War II even when it was clear Hitler was a practicing Roman Catholic. Now the same thing is going on with Robert Mugabe, but they've not said anything.

So why not excommunicate the paedophile priests?

Wait, if you've been reading this wondering what the fuck is an excommunication, here is its definition:

(noun) the act of banishing a member of a church from the communion of believers and the privileges of the church; cutting a person off from a religious society

Wait, did I just target on Christianity rather than Islam? I surprise myself.

Monday, 11 May 2009

My Name Is Jack

You know what made me laugh?

Sections of the Jewish and Muslim community thinking swine flu validates their beliefs.

"What did we tell you? Pigs are dirty! Now they've got a virus and you still keep eating them. Islam is the one true religion! We've warned you all along!"

Never mind that it's still unclear where the virus originated from. Most unlikely it did not originate from pigs at all, the reason why they're renaming it the H1N1 virus. And funnily enough, the first case this year about the infected pigs was suspectedly because a human being (yes, a fucking homosapien) infected the pigs. So by that logic, human beings are dirtier than pigs. Which is of course what the Christians have been saying all along.

"Men are full of sin! Jesus saves. He died for your sins! We fucking told you! You ungrateful bastards."

Funnily enough, when you think about it, Jesus is a bastard, literally. I mean Mary and God weren't married to each other. Heh.

I have no idea where I'm going with this.

I really do miss ranting here.

I've been watching a lot of Bill Maher lately. I like him, he's occasionally funny. The thing is, sometimes he doesn't have to make an effort when it comes to making fun of religion. Really, religion just makes fun of itself most of the time. Sometimes he just needs to say it matter-of-factly and it'll be plain hilarious. But there is one thing I don't like about him. Just this one particular thing. He dismisses all religious people as stupid and irrational.

You know what I think? He's partly right. But it's not that black and white.

People are irrational if they think a guy can split a moon in half and make it go through both his sleeves. I mean if I told you someone survived days inside a whale's stomach (where it's impossible to live in, despite numerous cartoons saying it's possible) and he came out unharmed, would you believe me? If I told you someone just woke up from a 1000-year slumber in the caves in Sarawak, you would think I was making things up.

Fairytales gain credence when it's associated with religion. It's ridiculous. I mean if I replace Jack with, say, Adam, and make him climb the beanstalk, we would be saying "oh how marvelous of God to have given Adam the magic beans."

That's what I think. Is that really that controversial?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

How To Be A (Non-)Believer


I saw this posted on someone's Facebook. From the tone, I'm thinking it's supposed to be satire. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a bit biased, but this isn't funny at all. I've read some Christian comics and some are actually quite funny. This, not so much.


Source is here

http://ourdailythoughts.com/2009/04/13/how-to-be-an-atheist/

How to be an Atheist:

  1. Refute everything in the Bible because men wrote it.
  2. Believe and quote other writings of men to prove that the Bible is wrong.
  3. Completely ignore the inconsistency between steps 1 & 2.
  4. Call yourself a “freethinker” and “open minded” but don’t practice such virtues when it comes to Christianity.
  5. Try to laugh out loud every time a Christian makes a statement about what they believe even if you don’t think it’s really that funny. This helps avoid a “serious” conversation.
  6. Always bring up Zeus, Allah, and Santa Claus to prove that if you must believe in one God then you have to believe in all of them otherwise it’s just not fair.
  7. When referring to the Bible use the word “myth” as often as possible and call believers whatever names you want because the goal is to frustrate the Christian so that his sinful nature comes out and he gets angry and then you can call him a hypocrite.
  8. Set your own moral standards very very very low so that you’ll never look like a hypocrite yourself. The lower the better.
  9. Never answer a question directly but quickly change the subject to make a completely different point. If you’re asked why you keep changing the subject just repeat this step as necessary.
  10. Be as argumentative, loud, sarcastic and verbal as possible – there is no need to make sense or use logic in your arguments – just keep arguing.
  11. Use words like “strawman,” “ad hominem,” “fallacy,” “red herring” and non sequiturs” against every argument whether you understand those terms or not.
  12. Claim that atheism is rooted in “common sense” even though less than 10% of the human population claim to be atheists.
  13. Reject all notions of faith even though you must put your faith in pilots, cars, food, doctors, evolution, and the next chair that you sit in.
  14. Always ask for evidence for God but never accept anything presented to you. At the end of a discussion remind them that all you needed was some evidence for God.
  15. Quote only the Bible verses that make God look mean and unfair.
  16. Talk about being a good person remembering that you are allowed to define good however you would like because there is no objective moral standard.
  17. Say that you have read the Bible and that you understand what it teaches whether this is true or not.
  18. Only pick on Christians – you don’t want to get killed in a Jihad. However, be sure to say that there is no difference between Radical Muslims and Fundamentalist Christians.
  19. Always use the crusades to make the point above.
  20. Remember that you are looking for faults in other worldviews not trying to defend your own – do not try to prove atheism! Remember, it’s much easier to destroy than build up.
  21. Make the claim that you only have one life and don’t want to waste it on religion.
  22. If your conscience begins to bother you because of moral guilt you can numb it with drugs, alcohol, sex, or pride. You can give up the first three but never give up your pride.
  23. Everyday feel free to thank God that you’re an atheist – just in case.


Then I tried to reply, using the exact same devices this person applied. But hey, as soon as I pressed 'Submit,' the words 'awaiting moderation' suddenly popped up. So there I was thinking, wait, there's a chance my reply will be moderated out. So here I've posted my own.

1. Believe everything in the Bible because ‘God’ wrote it.
2. Believe and quote the Bible to prove that the Bible is infallible.
3. Completely ignore the inconsistency between steps 1 & 2.
4. Call yourself a “tolerant” person and “open minded” but don’t practice such virtues when it comes to Atheism.
5. Try to laugh out loud every time am Atheist makes a statement about what they don’t believe even if you don’t think it’s really that funny. This helps avoid a “serious” conversation.
6. Always bring up the existence of everything to prove that there is a God and ignore the argument that this is a ‘God of the Gaps’ fallacy.
7. When referring to the Bible use the words “accurate” and “historically” together as often as possible and call unbelievers whatever names you want because the goal is to frustrate the Atheists so that his sinful nature comes out and he gets angry and then you can call him a hypocrite.
8. Act as if your moral standards are higher than everyone else. Stereotype atheists as morally-suspect people and cast them as evil.
9. Never answer a question directly but quickly change the subject to make a completely different point. If you’re asked why you keep changing the subject just repeat this step as necessary.
10. Be as ignorant, close-minded, dismissive and verbal as possible – there is no need to make sense or use logic in your arguments – just keep arguing.
11. Use words like “sin,” “hellfire,” “saviour,” “Satan” and “Jesus loves you, no matter what” even when the other person clearly doesn’t believe in them.
12. Claim that Christianity is rooted in “faith” even though faith is just another word for blind belief.
13. Try to use the “faith” argument back to the atheists even though science is not faith, it is a method of finding truth through rigorous experimentation and rationalism.
14. Always ask for evidence for the non-existence of God but never accept anything presented to you. At the end of a discussion remind them that all you needed was some evidence for the non-existence of God.
15. Quote only the Bible verses that make God look good and fair.
16. Talk about being a good person remembering that moral standards have change dramatically over the centuries.
17. Say that you have read the Bible and that you understand what it teaches whether this is true or not.
18. Believe that people only pick on Christians – Christians are the victims! We all know Christians have been discriminated against more than Atheists.
19. Always use Hitler to make the point above. Even though Hitler was actually a Christian.
20. Remember that you don’t have to prove the existence of God, though the burden lies on you, the person who is making the claim.
21. Make the claim that you have an afterlife, so you can waste your life on Earth worshipping a God instead of the hundreds of other Gods out there.
22. If your conscience begins to bother you because of moral guilt you can numb it with the Bible. The Bible justifies a lot of the nasty stuff.
23. Everyday feel free to thank God that you’re saved – just in case.



I'd like to think I'm a good person, and I know most Muslims and Christians are actually good people. But so are a lot of atheists I know. So from the evidence so far, goodness has nothing to do with religion.

And yes, if you replace the Bible with the Quran, and Christians with Muslims, my reply would also make sense. Except of course. Hitler. He's still a Christian.

But again, Hitler being a Christian is not really a proof against Christianity, is it? If he was an atheist, it would also not be a proof against Atheism. I mean, Osama bin Laden is not the sole representative of the whole Muslim population. Funnily enough, people have been using Hitler as a retort to anything. The funniest one is actually against vegetarianism, when in fact the Fuhrer actually loved Bavarian sausages. Sure, he loved animals. Don't many of us?

Actually, I'm still on hiatus. Maybe. Is this the right time to come back? I don't know. We'll see.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Hiatus

If you have not figured it out by now, Jason Biggs is on hiatus.

I will be back, at one point.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Overdue

Talk about bad timing. It turned out to be a very busy weekend.

I had not had time to check Liyana's replies or Facebook posts until today. And I've come to a conclusion of what she's saying.

She's ranting. The same thing I do, but at least I'm honest it's a rant.

Surprisingly she's also prone to taunting, which in my opinion is quite juvenile.

"sure Nietszche did collapse the belief system only to reorganize it again in his later writings, take that nihilism!"

"HAHAHA thats what they say when they dont understand post modernism, when people are SOO ethnocentric "

"I rest my case. :) "

Actually I'm having quite a hard time reading it because I don't know where the sentences begin and where they end. Really. I'm trying hard to read it, but I can't really filter the junk from the points. It's frustrating. Liyana, if you're reading this, I'd be glad to analyse your arguments if they were properly worded, paragraphed and punctuated. I wouldn't be so fussy if it wasn't for the lack of coherence and cohesion.

There are things I managed to pick out:

Apparently I don't have a philosophy. Or at least I don't write my philosophy here.

Well, even the most well-known philosophers can't explain their philosophies in their lifetimes. They wrote numerous books over the course of decades and I bet they still had a lot to say. I've only been blogging for about a year. Do you expect a detailed overview of my views on everything?

You can't dismiss a problem because other religions/countries/culture have it worse. And besides why would I be talking about the USA's policy on abortion. Besides, Bush is known to be a man of faith, someone who is deeply Christian. This influenced his stance on a lot of key policies, such as stem cell research (which he opposed) and of course abortion.

And do I really have to attack every single perpertrator of any of the wrongs I mention? Should I mention the names of every singly sexist priest as well? Or mention all the religions that don't have a female God? Or mention every single case of book-burning? Or list every massacre or infanticide case out there?

Do I really have to mention every single kind of religion there is?

I'm not talking about Islam vs The West here. I never was. I was just talking about Islam.

And by the way, I'm not glamourising the West (which is really too broad a generalisation).

You keep saying I think tribesmen are primitive. I don't. I meant no disrespect when I merely mentioned the phrase 'Bedouin tribesmen.' You gave that definition of Bedouin being the 'lowest of the low.' In fact you implied that I don't know that they're supposedly leat-regarded. How can you accuse me of looking down on them?

Why am I ethnocentric? I'm not promoting my ethnicity or culture as superior. When someone criticises a way of living does not mean he or she is ethnocentric. When someone criticises somebody's beliefs it is not ethnocentric. When someone criticises someone's religion that is not ethnocentric.

I think I've explained why I attack Islam the most. I really don't feel like reiterating this point.

My arguments are based on mass media? What mass media in Brunei?

I'm representing only one side of the argument. Fair enough. That's because I am one side of the argument. I'm expecting other people to be the other side of the argument. This doesn't mean I haven't looked at the other side of the argument. I could argue the same thing against you. This really does not hold.

Maybe I'll write more once I get through that mess of a reply.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Ethnocentricity & Chauvinism

I assumed that Liyana would've been fine for me to put it on this blog since she wrote it on my wall. If you, Liyana, don't think this is appropriate, I'll be glad to take it off the site.

This is continuing the discussion from "To Think About Heaven."

Written on Facebook wall by Liyana Tassim:

ah, u remember that controversy about whether or not the Koran was created or uncreated?
1) the prophet did not ask for the Koran to be made into a book, he is a prophet why did he not ask for it to be made into a book?
2) the Koran was collected by the Sahabah and certain versions which Umar Al Khattab did not like was burnt.
Btw, the Bedouins are not all Muslims, they are considered the lowest of the low, and its kind of an insult for someone like you calling them low when in their society they are already considered low

I wonder why you're always ethnocentric, empirical thought has its problems are already countered by post modernists, one of which is although you disagree with evolutionist thought what you're very much associated with, the idea that organized religion especially monotheistic religions are at the top of the food chain, I dislike such a presumption, after all aren't polytheistic religions part and parcel of organized religion?

In addition matrilineal as well as female Gods and Goddesses of polytheistic religions, such as making the female as a High God are many in different cultures and societies, to mistake that they do not have a right to religion is very insulting. Its so la di da to be accusing mass organized religions which on the one hand are already making small polytheistic religions anyway but adding you to that is just making it even extra ethnocentric. The whole point of some societies creating religion is that it provided a social aspect to it, what you're presenting, the need to be atheistic is in line with evolutionist thought, Sigmund Freud had talked about this in Totems and Taboo and I've talked about this as well, Freud argued that being atheistic is the highest of the high, with monotheistic thought second and polytheistic thought and religion as primitive and lowly. What makes you think that simple societies are in essence actually 'simple'? And that your modern thought is above polytheism? IN addition to that is the multiplicity in which religion manifests itself,

The problem here is you're disallowing people of ALL religions, regardless whether they're polytheistic, animistic, monotheistic and in addition Godless religions such as Buddhism from having A religion in particular. I myself am not an atheist but neither am I a Muslim, but I do know for one thing, to accuse hotentot almighty and chucking in the bin monotheistic religions who have insulted animism and polytheism and philosophical religion as one, is a pretty chauvinistic attempt. Here, here let me point this out to you, religion is a belief in the supernatural, therefore whatever belief in the supernatural including say Buddhism, what is intangible IS religion. To think of tribal peoples and summing them up as primitive and backward is rather insulting, I believe that even the Penan have something to tell us, the Bedouin are a nomadic tribe, some of them have followed their older religions are what one would say 'half' Muslims. Some of them who have settled in Saudi Arabia is ofcourse 'fully' Muslim, whatever Islam means.
Not all organized religions believe in the idea of Heaven
although there has been 'corruptions' from the original ideas proposed by Siddhartha for example Mahayana Buddhism (Greater Cycle - does not mean that it is the better Buddhism haa) however, Theravada BUddhism with its strongly strict scriptural interpretations are more in line with the idea of attaining Nirvana. Thats the part where I found what you said as insulting and chauvinistic, the part when you said 'organized religion', Nirvana is not heaven, the idea of attaining NIrvana is to simply blow out, organized religions are not as simple as you think, there are sociological and anthropological reasons as to why people have religion in the first place, it is after all the root of all technology, science, art and culture, it is not necessarily a completely bad thing. There are several religions that have also amalgamated the idea of Buddhism and traditional religion such as totemism, this also includes Shintoism, to say that ALL organized religion is USELESS is a very as I said, narrow minded conception.
Oh yes, before I end it, I gave some thought to the idea of heaven, you see religions evolve, they continuously from time to time adapt and change according to what the demands of the then contemporary times are. For example, today, Catholicism has already chucked massive bits of heaven out of the window, the problem with Islam is that they have hooked on to orthodox and traditionalist interpretations of Islam, remember certain factions of Islam have thrived during the 15th century and they have claimed that the Koran is 'created'. And I see nothing wrong for a Muslim to not believe in heaven, as I said your conception of religion is pretty narrow, and whoever said jihadists make sense in the first place? Try reading Clifford Geertz when he compares to Islamic societies, to depend on people like Gellner as a source of Islamic thought I think is very one handed. I don't care if you insult Islam, by all means trample on it, but that's because I am part of it, but if you start insulting other religions such as polytheism, animism and philosophical religions and lump it together with monotheism, dear you know nothing about and stick with your monotheistic toys

Reply on Facebook from Jason Biggs

I was impressed with the number you assumptions you made. Though I would appreciate it if you used some appropriate punctuations (like a fullstop) every now and then. It's very hard to read one sentence that's five lines long and with nine commas.

To assume I think tribesmen as backward and primitive, you must be joking. From that single mention, you think I'm ethnocentric. What a big leap.

Anyway, to say that I think all religions are 'useless' is untrue. I would say a large number of them are dangerous. When I say dangerous, I don't just mean jihad-dangerous. I mean science-hindering dangerous. I mean blind-faith dangerous. Homophobic-dangerous. The reason I talk about Islam is it's one of the fastest growing and biggest religion out there, and it's also one seeming to be permanently stuck in its ancient form.

To say I think I'm superior to religious people is an assumption you made without sufficient evidence. I have not said that. The reason I started the blog anyway was because I believe that people, no matter what their beliefs are, will be able to discuss their views intelligently. And I don't see atheists as the 'superior' kind. I don't see the need to categorise how superior people are by what they believe in. I fail to see atheists as a kind or even a group of people. You cite names and attribute their believes onto me. You assume I fit into these philosophies. You don't know what my philosophies are. For example, just because I accept evolution doesn't mean I am a social Darwinist.

Yes, I think religion did (and do) have a social aspect to it. Yes, I know religion was a major part in uniting people. Yes, I know theology is a deep subject, and religion is not a simple make-believe, imaginary friend thing.

But can't I argue that it has become obsolete? Or even harmful? When it forces people to become irrational? Or unable to accept criticism?

I don't have a problem with Muslims who don't believe in heaven. But I do have a problem with Muslims who support fatwas to kill authors. I have a problem with Muslims who advocate mysogyny. And I have a problem with Muslims who want abortions illegal even in cases of rape and incest.

In fact, why I discussed heaven anyway is because the idea doesn't appeal to me. I'm not saying people who believe in heaven are stupid. I'm saying I'm not a Muslim because I don't believe in the idea of the Quranic heaven, amongst other things.

To say empiricism has already been countered by post modernists is preposterous. Empiricism is the foundation of science. Post modernism is too vague a term, blanketing too much while saying very little.

I'm a bit confused as to why you say I'm ethnocentric. I have made no references to ethnicity nor of superiority of any kind. I think superiority is arbitrary anyway. Please do enlighten me.

Not all religions believe in a heaven. Fine. I was specifically discussing the religions that do. Particularly Islam.

Can I try you trick? That is to use one point and to exaggerate it to the point of beyond recognition?

You said I should stick with my monotheistic toys. Just because you think I'm younger than you doesn't mean I know less. Just because you like to use big words and mention names doesn't mean you know more. You're the chauvinist here. To label me as narrow-minded without actually knowing the full extent of my philosophy, and then falsely attributing beliefs from well-known figures just because they have a bare resemblance to what I've said. And what are you asking of me? Do you want me to include or not include polytheistic, animistic and philosophical religion?

Do you see what I've done there? Do you see what is wrong with my approach in that paragraph?

Really. I expected more from you than this.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

To Think About Heaven

One of the main reasons I don't believe in organised religion is their concept of heaven. It's mostly quite sexual, materialistic and misogynistic, with no similar sexual pleasures for women offered. Why aren't there 72 celebrity-lookalike male virgins for each women? Why does the Islamic concept of heaven resemble those of oases and palaces? Sounds like a heaven imagined by some bedouin tribesmen to me.

I've heard of the 'beauty' of these angels. They don't seem to be beautiful to me. Everytime the Quranic version of these angelic sexual servants is mentioned, I actually get turned off.

But that's beside the point.

The concept of eternal happiness or everlasting bliss is a flawed and logically impossible. What does it mean to have eternal happiness? Surely a million years in heaven would be boring. Monotonous. I might even turn gay out of boredom.

And what about knowing that the people you love and care about are rotting in hell? How is that supposed to be blissful? How is that supposed to make you happy? Truly the most rewarding thing about being human is the ability to connect with other people, to share your life with others. In the long term that is what matters.

Imagine this situation. You have a partner, who you love very much. You're religious, yet your partner isn't. Your partner is a wonderful human being, charitable and humanitarian. He/She is considerate to other human beings and has contributed to society in many ways. You feel like your partner is your soulmate, but no matter how hard you tried, you can't change your partner's mind about God. But you go on with the relationship anyway, hoping God will forgive him/her or show the way. You have a wonderful sexual relationship that goes beyond its physical pleasures, as well as a healthy romantic relationship that is mutually satisfying.

Both of you die in a car accident. You go to heaven, he/she goes to hell.

Will you be happy in heaven knowing the only human being who knows who you are and loves you more than anything in the world is being tortured because he/she didn't believe in a god who never made Himself clear anyway?

People argue that the pleasures of heaven is so great that you will forget your earthly nature. Isn't that basically changing the way you are? It's erasing a part of you, who is forever in love with a hell-bound human being. If you forget that part of your earthly past, you forget a part of yourself. Was your love meant to be meaningless? Is it supposed to be a test? What kind of considerate, forgiving God would do that? What human being would even think that's right?

Will you enjoy sex with angels/servants who you have no connection with? Would you enjoy your palace knowing that for eternity you would spend it without your partner?

I reject that heaven. I reject any form of 'everlasting happiness,' because it is itself a contradiction. Happiness is relative. If it is everlasting, it loses its meaning. It loses its delights. Happiness will become the new indifference.

Life on Earth for me is enough. I don't need an afterlife. A life without an afterlife makes it infinitely more special. It makes you cherish life more. Heaven is an illusion, a dangerous one.

I remember watching a film called 'What Dreams May Come.' It forced me to re-evaluate my thoughts about heaven, and how troublesome and conceptually flawed such a concept is.

Monday, 9 March 2009

50 Reasons I Reject Evolution

This is just brilliant.

Taken from Bobbie-The-Jean's deviantart.

50 Reasons I Reject Evolution


1.) Because I don’t like the idea that we came from apes… despite that humans are categorically defined and classified as apes.

2.) Because I’m too stupid and/or lazy to open a fucking book or turn on the Discovery Science Channel.

3.) Because if I can’t immediately understand how something works, then it must be bullshit.

4.) Because I don’t care that literally 99.9% of all biologists accept evolution as the unifying theory of biology.

5.) Because I prefer the idea that a (insert god of choice) went ALLA-KADABRA-ZAM MOTHAH-FUCKAHS!!!

6.) Because I can’t get it through my thick logic-proof skull that evolution refers ONLY to the process of speciation, not to abiogenesis, or planet formation, or big bang cosmology, or whether God exists, or where they buried Jimmy Hoffa, or why the sky is blue, or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a fucking Tootsie Pop.

7.) Because the fossil record doesn’t comprise the remains of every single living thing that ever existed on this 4.5 billion year old planet, even though fossilization is a rare process that only occurs under very specific circumstances.

8.) Because science has yet to produce any transitional species… except for the magnitudinous numbers of them found in the fossil record which don’t count because… I uh, OOH LOOK! A SHINY OBJECT!!! *runs away*

9.) Because I know nothing about Darwin except that he had a funny beard.

10.) Because the theory of evolution (which, according to scientists, perfectly explains the richness and diversity of life on Earth) contradicts biblical literalism… ya know, flat Earth with a firmament that keeps out the water, talking snakes, people rising from the dead, bats are birds, flamey talking bushes, virgin births, food appearing out of nowhere, massive bodies of water turning into blood… etc etc.

11.) Because I think the word “theory” actually means: “random stabs in the dark” when it really means: "an explanation of certain phenomena that is well-supported by a large body of facts and often unifies other similarly well-supported hypotheses" i.e. atomic theory, gravitational theory, germ theory, cell theory, some-people-are-dumb-motherfuckers-theory, etc.

12.) Because the fact that science is self-correcting annoys me. Most of my other beliefs are rigidly fixed and uncorrectable.

13.) Because I am under the severely mistaken impression that evolution implies someone in my very recent ancestry was a chimp.

14.) Because everything appears designed to my mind which was expertly tuned by nature to perceive design, probably as a survival mechanism.

15.) Because some secretly fabulous closet-dwelling televangelist (who unironically preaches hate towards gays) told me that evolution is Satan’s way of leading me away from God.

16.) Because that same guy (who was also caught snorting blow off a male hooker’s shiny naked ass) told me that God planted those fossils to test my faith.

17.) Because I’m 100% correct about everything 100% of the time and there is 0% chance that some snooty Oxford educated scientist with numerous honorary doctorates could possibly know something that I don’t.

18.) Because I don’t know that fossils are found in sedimentary strata corresponding to their age as one would expect if evolution were true.

19.) Because I don’t understand why, if we share common ancestry with chimps, there are still chimps. And when someone with more than three brain cells in their head inevitably replies: “for the same reason Americans share common ancestry with Brits but there are still Brits, I can’t follow the logic. It’s just too big a leap. Who am I, Evil Knievel?

20.) Because my mom dropped me on my head when I was a baby.

21.) Multiple times.

22.) On purpose.

23.) Because the idea that life evolved naturally over billions of years is infinitely less believable than the idea that an 800 year old man crammed two of every species into a giant wooden boat when the entire planet flooded, an event for which there is absolutely no geological evidence whatsoever and also makes no fucking sense at all.

24.) Because Jesus totally rode around on a fucking t-rex. He’s just that badassed. And also, did you know that t-rexes were vegetarians? Ken Ham says so and I believe it.

25.) Because I don’t realize that saying “microevolution is possible but macroevolution isn’t” is as stupid as saying “I can pick my nose for one second but I cannot pick it for 10 seconds.”

26.) Because the education system failed me miserably.

27.) …and then took a big wet dump on my face.

28.) Because I think that knowing how nature works magically obliterates all of its beauty.

29.) Because I didn’t know that evolution has been tested and observed in laboratories.

30.) Because when confronted with that, I refuse to believe it. It’s obviously a scientific conspiracy aimed at turning everyone on the planet into atheists... even though evolution says nothing about god's nature nor whether he, she, it, or they exist.

31.) Because I’m too stupid to realize that Social Darwinism has nothing to do with evolution and is actually a pseudo-scientific bastardization that real science largely rejects.

32.) Because the planet and all the life on it was designed for humans… kinda like how the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY was designed specifically for the dust-bunnies that may accumulate on the floors.

33.) Because I don’t realize that if we actually found croco-ducks in the fossil record, it would falsify evolution.

34.) Because plenty of respectable people like Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee (who are not scientists) don’t accept evolution, and that somehow validates my opinion.

35.) Because my mother didn’t know not to drink while she was pregnant. She also didn’t know not to repeatedly throw herself down a flight of stairs in an attempt to undo the accident of screwing someone who voted for Bush both times.

36.) Because I don’t know that “irreducible complexity” has been debunked a frazillion times by a frazillion different people and is no more credible an argument than “NEEN-er NEEN-er NEEN-er, I’m right and you’re wrong.”

37.) Because I have never seen a duck evolve into a cat over night, despite the fact that such a thing would be contrary to all known scientific disciplines.

38.) Because I have no imagination, learning is too much effort, I don’t like proven facts, change scares me, and I think deoxyribonucleic acid is something I’m supposed to clean my bathroom floors with.

39.) Because evolution means that I absolutely MUST reject everything else I know, abandon all my beliefs, and start aping around my house like a fucking monkey. OOOh-ooohh-ooohohh -OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!

40.) Because I haven’t put my cave on the market and moved into the 21st century yet. I’m waiting for the cave market to rebound from the recent financial meltdown.

41.) Because I don’t know what an atavism is and if you told me, I still wouldn't believe it. Too weird.

42.) Because I don’t know that evolution explains methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and also provides the answer in preventing it from turning into a superbug and killing massive numbers of people.

43.) Because I don’t know that evolution is routinely used in medicine to diagnose and treat certain illnesses such as genetic ailments, bacterial infections, and viral infections.

44.) Because I believe there is a strong comparison between designed inanimate objects such as buildings, paintings, and watches (which we know were pieced together from identifiable components by human beings) and living organisms (which reproduce with genetic variation under the effects of environmental attrition).

45.) Because I see no significant similarities between humans and apes. *scratches my ass-crack then smells my fingers*

46.) Because I think I’m too special to have been crafted by any natural process and the entire planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe were created with me especially in mind.

47.) Because I unquestioningly swallow the ignorant anti-science bullshit spewed directly from the fraudulent stupid asses of people like Ken Ham, Ted Haggard, Fred Phelps, and Kent Hovind.

48.) Because I’m a freethinker and freethinking really means ignoring anything that contradicts what I already believe.

49.) Because I don’t know what confirmation bias is.

50.) Because despite the fact that in all my years of life, I have never seen any magic, I still believe magic is the answer to anything I don’t immediately comprehend.

Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case. Quod erat demonstrandum, I fucking win. Take that you EVILutionists!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Facebook

Hey. This is going to be short. A proper update is coming soon.

I've just recently (yesterday to be exact) made a Facebook account. Why, you ask? I know, Jason Biggs isn't my real name, and my alter-ego is also somewhere on Facebook.

I'm using Facebook as a mirror to this blog, so if anything happens to this blog I'll still have everything on Facebook (as notes). If that fails, I've also got everything backed up.

My name on Facebook is Jason Biggskills, as FB didn't allow the name Jason Biggs Kills. I'm guessing it sounds too violent. Oh well. JB on FB it is.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Harun Yahya, You Say?

I just realised why so many Muslims are against evolution. At least partly why. It's because they've read books by a supposed Muslim scientist who "disproved" Evolution. I've also seen people reading his other books, like "Quran Leads The Way To Science" which ironically only gives the name of only one Muslim scientist in his 'Scientists of Faith' lists. [1]

This person is of course Adnan Oktar, who is better known as his pen name Harun Yahya.

Did you know this guy has no scientific background? There's no mention of him having qualifications in biology, chemistry or anything scientific for that matter. Not even on his own website. [1] For a guy who is so against materialism, he really loves his Versace suits, Versace shirts, Versace tie and Versace sunglasses. He's even got a Versace tie-clip thing [1].

Never mind many of his books are inaccurate and erroneous. He also has poor grasps of scientific facts and theories. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. He also distorts hadith to serve his own meaning. [1]. He also cannot take criticism well, trying to censor/ban anything that disagrees with him in Turkey [1] [2] [3]. For someone who claims to have disproven Evolution, he doesn't even understand the concept of Darwinisn. [1] In that video he also shows himself to be fond of conspiracy theories.

Did you know this guy is trying to avoid getting into jail after being arrested for "creating an illegal organization for personal gain"? [1] [2]

A Turkish TV video of Harun Yahya's "arguments" being refuted by someone else. Also, you can see how irritating broken English can be. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Here are my own about evolution vs creation: [First] [Hoax?]

For me he doesn't sound like a reliable source at all. For anything.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Buses II

Sequel to Buses.

Number One:
Something for National Day. Kedewasaan Bernegara. Being proud of our Sultan's obscene spending habits.

Number Two:
If God is omniscient and omnipotent, I find it absurd that he's always angry at me all the time. He knows what I was going to do, and he made me do it using his will, yet he's mad at me anyway?

Number Three:
The fear of hell. Manipulating our fears, using them to make us believe. Don't do this, or else you'll get tortured in Satan's fiery abode.

Actually, I feel sorry for Satan. Allah is a twat for punishing Satan. He knew all along it was going to happen anyway. He knew by creating Adam & Eve he would make Satan jealous. I mean, I would be. Satan wasn't top dog anymore. It was a case of nepotism of godly proportions. I'll say it again, Allah is a twat.

There's also a theory that the supposed '72 virgins' promised to martyrs could've been mistranslated. It could mean raisins.

Number Four:
The hypocrisy of men (and boys). After an afternoon of making fun of gays, they go home, turn on their PCs (or Macs) and start masturbating to lesbian porn. Apparently they don't want to be turned gay with dicks everywhere in hetero porn.

Number Five:
Why is faith good? says Bill Maher. Having faith does not make it true. I mean, Hitler had faith in Nazism. Tom Cruise has faith in Scientology. Does faith make it true?

Number Six:
Islam as having all the answers. Anyone who claims to know all the answers, I'll treat with extreme suspicion. Especially one who follows a dead person who claimed an indescribable powerhouse is watching over us and that we shall all not eat for thirty days in a year and wash our hands from right to left 3 times for each, and do the same things with other parts and then do a serious of rituals in a building that costs hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to make.

Number Seven:
Self-explanatory. Well, kind of.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Buses

I'm sure this will offend people. But what I hope most is that it'll make people smile. Here I'll discuss a few things aided with some bus ads. A few months ago I stumbled onto an article saying how atheists in UK put ads on buses saying 'There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.' I thought that was brilliant. Now in tribute to that I've made these (not on real buses) using an online bus slogan generator (no Photoshop, as it turns out).

Number One:
A lot of muslims cannot accept criticism. Some are very anti-Western or anti-Semitic. Even in islamic books and so-called 'ceramahs' you hear these people blaming the Jews and spreading hate. 'Yahudi' this, 'Yahudi' that. I don't know about you but I'd call that hate-mongering and obscenely racist.

Number Two:
This is an inside joke. A few posts ago, I wrote about sex and violence. And I used eating chocolate and smoke pot as weird analogies for sex and violence respectively. Read that. Although right now it doesn't make sense, it will after you read it.

Number Three:
Sex. This was just intended to be humorous. But intention does not equal output. I really don't get it why sex outside marriage is unacceptable (other than because of religion) and then in marriage it suddenly becomes good, or in some people's cases nauseating and repetitive. Refer to previous posts for detailed discussion.

Number Four:
This is for people who use religion as an excuse to do horrible things. Of course for me religion itself gives a lot of excuses to do bad things (like treating your wife as second-class or beating up your children, just to name the milder stuff).

Number Five:
The art of taking quotes out of context. People used to quote Einstein as being religious just so that they think one the greatest human minds ever agreed with them on religion. Truth is, he was not religious in the way you think. It's more spiritual. This is his reply to that claim:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
-- Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

Number Six:
The four wives thing. Mysogyny and sexism at its best.

Number Seven:
We'll ignore facts. We'll ignore science. We'll ignore evidence. Because Islam is the one and only truth.

Of course when the science is compatible with Islam, we''ll have no problem accepting it. We'll use it as a weapon to convert or humiliate unbelievers. Any other scientific facts that aren't compatible with Islam can go to hell.

Number Eight:
I'm getting tired of hearing "God will punish you for that" or "I'm only doing what God would want me to do." Who are you? God's chosen representative on Earth? The 26th Rasul? Or the 124,001st prophet?

Number Nine:
Self-explanatory.

Number Ten:
What I think of the Quranic God. He commits so many acts of violence and has such a bad temper, he should either be in anger management or a maximum security prison. He also seems like an angry child.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Evolution vs Creation: Hoax?

I forgot to discuss one of the most ridiculous things people say about Evolution in my previous post.

That it is a hoax.

How is this idea even credible? How can people be in so much denial that they fail to see how a hoax is impossible. I use the word impossible here to mean extremely, undeniably, next-to-impossible unlikely. The chance of it as a hoax must be somewhere between 0% to 0.0000000001%, surely.

Think about it for a second. Let's assume for a second that all the scientists in the world agree to everything, to every single detail. How would they even begin selling this hoax? Are they under some secret scientific umbrella corporation that is bent on misinforming the public and telling lies about one of the most important scientific theory in the history of civilisation? How would you get in into this secret society? How would you qualify? Do you just have to believe in evolution? Why has nobody ever blown the whistle? Not even rumours of a secret pact between scientists to keep evolution alive. Surely if such a society exists there would be ex-members who see it as wrong and reveal the 'evils' of such a society. Even religions have ex-members like that. But there's none whatsoever here.

There's so many ground for them to cover in terms of secrecy it's really just practically impossible. There is no secret society of Evolutionists.

Okay. Say the idea of Evolution is only an idea concocted by the elite few, and all the other scientists follow it because it is by the elite. That is not how the scientific community works at all.

Any theory has to be published in scientific journals, however elite or famous or influential you are, and these theories are scrutinised to the smallest detail by some of the most brilliant minds in the planet. If it's wrong or incredibly unlikely, then no matter how many scientific discoveries you've made or how much contribution you've made to the scientific community, it is still wrong.

If Evolution is as weak as the Creationists want us to believe, it would've never passed this rigorous process in the first place.

And what was Darwin's motive to commit this alleged 'hoax'? Such a theory in his time would alienate him in such a religious environment. He published his articles and books because he researched it thoroughly and had reasonable and sufficient evidence to claim it happens in nature. There were death threats and disbelief thrown at him from a variety of sources. That doesn't seem like the universal recognition a fraudster would want to strive for.

This is an excerpt from a website that claims evolution is a hoax:

"But how, exactly, did these changes take place? What are the mechanisms and required steps? How did the bones form? Or the muscles? Or the nerves, or the auditory and olfactory systems?"

Clearly they don't understand how evolution, be it macro or micro, works. And that's the problem. Creationists do not bother to understand how the theory works.

Here is another problem.

Scientists start from the evidence, or to be accurate, clues. From these clues, they work out the puzzle and then make a conclusion. If any evidence shows the contrary, they go back to step one, work out the puzzle with that extra piece and make another conclusion. Science gets revised. It evolves.

Creationists on the other hand begin from the conclusion, and from that they try to find evidence that supports their conclusion, therefore ignoring any evidence showing the contrary. So when they hear a theory that is completely against theirs, they dismiss it without considering its plethora of evidence, and then try to disprove it through a process of highly selective deductions.

Evolution is without evidence, you say? That is a laughable statement. It has been observed in real-time, and through fossil records. For references, see my previous post.

From what I've heard or read so far, the basic argument is this. Many of the living beings on Earth are too complex and too perfect for it to be borne out of evolution. Therefore it must be an Intelligent Designer.

Again, natural selection and Evolution explains the complexity. Through millions and millions of years of genetic mutation and adaptation. Too perfect? No, nothing is perfect. By the way, complexity is a different thing from perfection. You can be perfectly simple, or complexly flawed.

People say the eyes have to be formed perfectly from the start. What good is half an eye? Or a blurry eye? This argument is extremely flawed. Our eyes are not perfect. It gets damaged. There are people with short-sightedness or long-sightedness. It is not as light-sensitive as other animals'. Some people will develop cataracts. And there are animals with 'half-eyed' features. Some have eyes that can only tell them if it's day or night.

We humans are so prone to diseases that we cannot be said to be perfect. Our bodies are frail little things. We cannot hear far. We cannot smell far. But evolution has stopped for us at the moment because we don't need it. Technology does the evolving for us. We do not need strong, fast legs like cheetahs because we have created cars. We didn't evolve any defense mechanisms like shells because we have no more predators anymore.

This is more like a rant rather than a proper scientific article. Sorry about that.

And oh, this article made me laugh, because of its ignorance and stupidity:
If Earth is that old, history records should stretch back to millions of years (!)

Edward Current's brilliant satire on the faulty reasoning of religious apologetics (you can even replace when he says The Bible with The Quran, and it makes sense):
Occam's Razor Is Simply Wrong!
Godless Scientists Are Ignorant!
Stop Taking The Bible Out Of Context!
God Only SEEMS non-existent!
An Atheist Meets God