In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

stay-strong-mydear:

deny—these—butterflies:

raquelegee:

awildhyzyappears:

kids books, reimagined for 20-somethings

are you there god? its me the crushing doubt that you exist

This is utterly genius

Ubi dubium ibi libertas.
Where there is doubt, there is freedom

Latin proverb (via andrewtheis)

Born again, again: how YA literature affirmed my faith and the Bible killed it

….I am no longer the girl with A Time to Cherish and my Bible on my night stand, searching for all the answers that my mother couldn’t give me. In fact, when I sat down the other day to re-read “A Time to Cherish,” I was so perplexed and troubled by it, I wrote the author herself to ask her some questions. One was her advice to me, a reader who had not only lost her faith, but in the parlance of Born Agains, her testimony – her love for God and desire to share the good Word. “Turn to God,” she replied. “Every life is redeemable. … Shame off you, grace on you.

Her answer made me ineffably sad.

How could I explain? I don’t feel that I need redemption. I don’t feel ashamed. I don’t feel lost, or scared or worried about my eternal soul. I don’t even think I have an eternal soul.

I no longer even value faith; I value doubt.

I do know why, as a young girl, I wanted answers: I was angry, like a lot of teens, and I was learning that growing up doesn’t give anyone solutions, only more complicated questions. I loved Gunn’s book so much because, even as Christy struggles with faith, with being a young woman, having crushes and maintaining friendships, her faith allows her to know that everything happens for a reason, and that everything will be OK.

Somewhere along the way I lost interest in everything being OK.

There’s a moment in Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet in which the German writer urges a young and struggling author, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love questions themselves, like locked rooms and like book that are written in a very foreign languages.” More than my politics changing (which they did) or my mother passing (which she did), what separates me from the girl who looked to A Time to Cherish for direction is that I became vastly more interested in questions rather than answers.

Which is not to say that I don’t still try to find meaning in my life, or that I begrudge anyone else their own search. A Time to Cherish is still on my shelf, next to my pink Bible, my Quran, Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, Leon Lederman’s tomes on particle physics and collections of Keats. Reading them all gave me more questions than anyone could ever answer.

I used to live in a world of miracles. Now I live in a world of wonder.

I shared this on Facebook and my mom commented that “Crap like this” makes her “nauseous”. She’s always been one who much prefers a comforting delusion over the hard truth. Seeing the progress-nullifying effect this has had on her life has no doubt helped me realize the importance of this sentiment.

I shared this on Facebook and my mom commented that “Crap like this” makes her “nauseous”. She’s always been one who much prefers a comforting delusion over the hard truth. Seeing the progress-nullifying effect this has had on her life has no doubt helped me realize the importance of this sentiment.

If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it – the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.

A.C. Grayling (via whats-out-there)

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

René Descartes, d. 1650 (via whats-out-there)

Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.

Richard Feynman

confrontingbabble-on:

Have you been conditioned to believe…that to doubt the say-so of the religious with no evidence…is immoral?

It’s not just OK, it’s essential to progress. Truth is not threatened by inquiry.

confrontingbabble-on:

Have you been conditioned to believe…that to doubt the say-so of the religious with no evidence…is immoral?

It’s not just OK, it’s essential to progress. Truth is not threatened by inquiry.

I mean not to exhibit horror for the purpose of provoking revenge, but to awaken us from fatal and unmanly slumbers, that we may pursue determinately some fixed object.

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

And I mean to exhibit skepticism for the same reason. Like ending the concept of monarchy (Paine’s cause), clearing the fog of superstition and finding the natural foundations must be a base goal of progressive society, I.e. One which is to move forward on the continuum of well being. As long as big decisions are being made for imaginary reasons we will hindered at the basic level of our cognitive abilities. It is indeed a fatal slumber; a tragic waste of our unique cognitive skills.

The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life.

Vasudev (via felicefawn)

Exhibit one: Sarah Palin.

(via progressivepost)

(Source: onlinecounsellingcollege)

Thomas got to finger the wounds and we have to take it on faith from old stories. Each generation is just expected to have even more faith than the one before it.

Thomas got to finger the wounds and we have to take it on faith from old stories. Each generation is just expected to have even more faith than the one before it.

(Source: naprasno)