The Power Of Light Works
July 2019
LightSail 2 is changing its orbit using only the power of sunlight. The Planetary Society announced this week that their LightSail 2 solar sail is working well, and actually raising the orbit of the spacecraft as it travels around the Earth. According to mission managers, they've been able to raise the orbit of the spacecraft by about 2 kilometers at the high point of its orbit. Unfortunately, they'll only be able to go for about a month before the sail dips into the atmosphere at the low point of its orbit and it crashes.
Sci-Fi Writers Include Religion
October 2018
At his appearance at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, John Scalzi said that it is important that science fiction writers include religion in their universes, "When 5 billion people out of 7 billion very strongly have professed religious belief of some sort or another, to ignore it, minimize it or just say it doesn't matter is foolish," he said.
No, I'm Not Broken!
James C. Rocks
Note: This article was written to address the concerns/assertions of those who think that, as an atheist, I am somehow "broken"!

I am an atheist and, quite frankly I am damned proud of being one! As an atheist, one who has debated fundamentalists and theists of varying beliefs for many, many years, I have had many people tell me I am wrong, broken, immoral or in some way flawed. Indeed, the funniest thing I was ever called was "the antichrist" ... at that point I truly thought I had reached my pinnacle.

No, I'm Not Broken!

In my online life I have met many other Internet denizens &, like "real people", they vary ... they can be smart or dumb, knowledgeable or ignorant, eloquent or inarticulate, nice or nasty. What has struck me most though is that the internet exaggerates behaviour, something I suspect happens because we often hide behind handles, names that disguise our true identity and sometimes portray an image of us we'd rather others saw.

Much of my debating has been with theists of various stripes and many, seemingly most, of them view me as somehow broken because I not only don't believe in their god I don't believe in any gods at all. You wouldn't believe the name-calling that has happen (and I'm no saint either) just because I couldn't accept the superiority or otherwise correctness of a given believer's view so the following is my attempt to set the record straight about what it is to be an atheist.

  • An atheist is simply the reverse of a theist i.e. atheists don't believe in your god (or indeed any other).
  • You (the theist) may well be full of fire, desperate or determined to convert us (the heathens) or think we want to ask you questions about why they believe whatever the chosen mythology might be but we aren't and, quite frankly, most of us have seen it all before.
  • An atheist doesn't hate "God" (yours or any other) ... we can't hate what we don't believe in.
  • An atheist isn't rebelling against "God" (yours or any other) ... as above, we can't rebel against what we do not believe exists.
  • An atheist isn't a devil-worshipper, a follower of "Satan" or whatever gods or demons you happen to believe in the existence of which, despite humorous comments to the contrary, we regard as every bit as unlikely as that of your "God".
  • An atheist doesn't want to go to "Heaven" or gain some other eternal reward ... not only is your "Heaven" apparently as fictitious as your various gods and demons but the idea of an eternity in the company of some of the believers we've "met" would be something other than heaven for an atheist.
  • An atheist isn't afraid of going to "Hell" indeed some of us (ahem) have an unfortunate tendency to laugh at those who tell us we're going to some hell dimension or other ... not only is YOUR "Hell" apparently as fictitious as YOUR "Heaven" but a casual glance across "the lists" of those we're often told are going to "Hell" makes such a place quite attractive.
  • Atheists are not in league with or under the control of evil spirits (or any other evil agency) ... as above, we can't be in league with what we don't believe in.
  • Atheist don't typically disbelieve because they were abused and, in most cases, the only bad thing that ever happened to any of us (WRT deity) is that we were conditioned to believe the same kind of myth you're advancing as truth.
  • Atheists are not immoral as evidenced by the fact that many atheists live very moral lives, often more moral than those lived by some theists, including some significantly "upstanding" ones.
  • Atheists don't need you to tell them that your god loves them or that you'll pray for them ... it's like us as saying, "We hope your head gets better".
  • Atheists do not accept that your Bible/Koran/Torah is proof that your god exists because, even if some of the historicity is verifiable, the essential claims they make cannot be reliably validated.
  • Atheists do not accept that the Answers in Genesis website (nor any of a staggeringly high number of similar ones) has proven the theory of evolution to be false.
  • Atheists typically tend to view those who claim that evolution is "only a theory" as showing little more than a lack of understanding of what a scientific theory actually is.

I am aware that many of you are brought up to believe that we are immoral, god hating, devil worshipping, low-brow heathens, that we can't have been properly taught the word of Jehovah/Allah/Yahweh/Odin/Ra and that all we need is to be shown "the revealed truth", as you believe you have, but the actual truth is somewhat different. Not only do I (along with my fellow atheists) reject your mythologies in favour of logic and reason (regarding them as somewhat primitive and out-of-sorts in today's more educated & knowledgeable climes), not only do we as atheists seem to live happier and sometimes more moral lives without your god, not only do we seem to know your own scriptures often better than you do but we simply don't need whichever god you believe in to do it.

As I said in this article's synopsis, I like that I don't subscribe to anyone's particular way of thinking. Of course, like anyone else, I am influenced by views I hear or read but I believe I think about those things and decide whether or not they make any sense. Whether I use it or not all the time, I believe I have the ability to think critically ... that's why I am a fan of science, why I am an atheist and, more recently, why I am not a Brexiter. I like to think of it as an alarm bell, a bullshit-o-meter that goes off whenever I think something doesn't feel or smell right.

So, to answer the original premise, despite theist assertions to the contrary, no, I am not broken ... atheists like me simply don't need anyone's hokey religious bullshit to make our lives more meaningful or complete.

Live long & prosper!

    UK Atheist, 2020    

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All dogs go to heaven. Cats watch them leave.