My Impossible: Running

My Impossible: Running. <—– Donate Here

Never did I realize that Marathons and obstacle course were so expensive. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $350 to attend. This is not including transportation to the event (which many of the times is out of town), the equipment needed to train, the clothing, the supplements, and so forth. It is very expensive to say the least.

Nevertheless, I will be attending some of these events. I do it because I want to do something that I consider impossible for myself. I want to do something that I thought I would never do in my life. I want to push myself to my limits. As an added super bonus, much of the money used to register for these events is for charity.

I started on this journey because I have been into fitness for the past 4 years or so, but have never been a solid runner. A 5K run seemed impossible to me at the start of the year. It then occured to me one day to create a list of all the things I wanted to do in my life that seemed impossible….my Impossible List.

My Impossible List encompases various goals from travel, to business, to events, to fitness, among other areas. I am, right now, focusing on my fitness goals, which consists of various running goals such as running a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Triathlon, and so forth.

As of June 24th 2013, I have registered for the Cheveron Houston Marathon, which will take place on January 19th, 2014. I would also like to attend the Half Marathon, 25K, 30K, all created to assist people in running the full marathon. There are also various other 5K, 10K, and obstacle courses that I would like to attend.

I hope you can help me to attend some of these events by donating anything you can. Every little bit helps. I hope you also feel inspired to make your own bucket or Impossible list. There's nothing like putting what you want to accomplish in life and looking at it on a piece of paper. You may be suprised how long that list may be and that you better get to it.

Thank you :)

In God We Trust?

Looking at a nickel: “Only in America do we engrave “In God We Trust” next to the portrait of a non-believer.” – Unknown

I find it rather odd to see on my money, “In God We Trust.” Who is we? It’s not me? It’s not the millions of Americans who are atheist, agnostics, deists, humanists, freethinkers, and so forth. So why is this still on our currency?

First, we need to know why this is wrong. The government is prohibited, and rightly so, from endorsing one religion over another or even theism over atheism for that matter. The United States is a melting pot of various races, cultures, religions (or non-religion), and to pick one group over another is….wrong, offensive, misrepresentative, and whatever other word you can find in a thesaurus.

The government is there to work for all people. To choose a side, religion or non-religion alike, is to dissolve the rights of the other. Now, I’m not saying that the United States should be an atheistic country because that would take the rights away from religious people. People should have the right to pray to Allah, they should have the right to go to church, the should have the right to celebrate Jesus during Christmas, they should also have the right to be wrong. Any person or group who wants to take this away from religious people are wrong themselves, and I would join the front lines of a protest against them.

Now let’s talk about how the phrase came to be. Congress first included the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins during the Civil War in 1864. Congress then passed a resolution in 1956, in response to the Cold War, to recognize the words officially as the national motto, replacing the phrase, “E Pluribus Unum” (which means – Out of Many, One). A year later, it began being printed on paper money.

You might be saying, “But it’s just a phrase. No one really pays attention to it.” Well, you’re wrong. This is the United States government not only endorsing a god but a monotheistic god (believe and worship only one god). This phrase disregards the polytheistic religions (worship many gods), such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, Taoism, Confucianism, and many others. This also ignores non-religious groups. Not only the the groups I stated before, but also naturalists, rationalists, skeptics, brights, and more.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (ffrf.org), along with 19 other plaintiffs, have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department for discriminating against non-believers by including the words “In God We Trust” on our currency. Their argument is that the government is forcing non-believers to adopt a deity whenever money is being handled.

So is this really a big deal? For you theists out there, how would you like it if you were forced to use currency with the words “No Gods, No Masters” on it? I would like to hear your comments on this.

Words are so Confusing

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

This one will probably be one of my more boring posts….I have to be honest, right?

So, I need to clear the air as to what I mean by certain words. It was brought to my attention last week that some of the words I used might have been interpreted in different ways than I originally had intended.

Well, I’m not going to give a definition for each and every word I use. Words can have various meanings depending on what neighborhood you are in (for example: The Bronx and Uptown New York), what town or city you’re in (Houston and Dallas), what state (California and Louisiana), what region (West Coast and East Cost), and what country (United States and England). They can even have different meanings depending on how you use the word, what type of conversation, what tone, what a person’s facial expression is, the person’s personal experience, and so forth.

So why the post then? Well, it’s important to know that it is not so much the words that are used but what is intended or meant by those words. Of course, if you are a mathematician, an engineer, a chemist, or in any other profession, then it will be necessary to speak in the proper “language” that is associated with it. However, in a post by some guy in Houston, TX…..not so much.

You do not have to take everything I say so literally. If I say that the universe is magical, I do not mean hocus pocus or fairy dust here. I basically mean that the universe is mesmarizing, stupendous, and awe inspiring (see Richard Dawkins book: The Magic of Reality). When I say that someone is seeking knowledge, I do not mean the person is getting their doctorate on the subject. I mean that one is merely looking into the matter; that they are obtaining enough information to make an informed decision.

Moreover, do not take my words and look further into it than need be. I mean no disrespect to the well-intentioned. I do not think that atheists are smarter than theists – I think theists are ill-informed and wrong, but they are not dumb. So the words I use are not meant to criticize, but they are used to inform.

So, please use your best critical thinking skills when reading my blog. If for some reason, I do write something idiotic…..remember, I’m just a person. I might have typed it wrong. I might have thought it wrong. I might BE wrong. I am open to your comments. If someone has a good point, I will look further into the matter and make a decision on it – which is what religious people should be doing. Sorry, had to throw that in there.

I hope this clears things. I hope I don’t get comments about words I used that were misconstrued. I highly doubt this will work, but I can always hope.

Are You an Atheist?

What makes an atheist? What makes us so different than everyone else? Could you be an atheist and not even know it? Why do I always start my posts off with questions?

One who would like to know what an atheist is would probably look in a dictionary. Well, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an atheist is “one who believes there is no deity.” This is true, however most atheists are not full atheist. To be an atheist is to know 100% that there is no god. A theist, on the other hand, “knows” 100% that there IS a god. To know something 100%, in my opinion, is wrong and can never fully be proven.

Then there are agnostics. These are the people who state that they do not know if a god or gods exist and that it can never be proven either way. This is another way of saying that they know 100% that a god can never be proven or disproven. Again, I think this is wrong.

What most atheists are are agnostic-atheists. To put simply, these are people who state that there may never be a way to prove or disprove a god, but the evidence sways towards there not being one…..so they do not believe one exists. To put it another way, this means that an agnostic-atheist believes that there could possibly be a chance that a god or gods exist, but the possibility is so small that it’s probably not true. One way you could look at it is you stated to me that fairies exist. I could never disprove that they do exist, so I have to leave my mind open to the possibility that they could exist, but the lack of evidence points me to not believing in fairies.

Now to go on the other side of the spectrum, agnostic-theists believe, like agnostic-atheists, that one may never prove or disprove that a god or gods exists. The two differ in that agnostic-theists believe that the evidence points to the existence of a god or gods. To me, this would be like a person believing in fairies because they saw them, but I couldn’t disprove it so they now believe in fairies.

I, myself, belong in the agnostic-atheist class. I may never be able to prove or disprove the existence of gods, but there is no substantial evidence to say that the do exist. Even if a “god” should happen to appear in the sky for the whole world to see, I would first attribute it to some advance technological extra-terrestrial species. As Arthur C. Clarke stated in the book Profiles of the Future, “Any sufficiently advance technology is indistinguishable from magic.”If we were to go back 500 years into the past, what would you think people would think of our technology? We can go thousands of miles per hour, we can obtain information in a flash, we can blow up whole cities. We would be like gods. So what would happen if aliens who are 10,000 years or more advance than we are were to show up. A lot of religious people would probably think they were gods. This is just an example.

So what do you think you are? Are you 100% certain that a god exists? That there is no doubt in your mind that you are correct and atheists are wrong. Scientists are wrong. Evolution is wrong. Your god is the one true god and everyone else’s god is wrong. Or is there a possibility that gods do not exist, and you need to ask those questions that religious people don’t want you to ask. Think about it. Don’t just dismiss it because you are afraid of the answer.

Would you bet your whole life to a god that may not possibly exist? You’re WHOLE life?…..

The New Crusading Atheist

So you are new to atheism, huh? You have this knowledge that you think no one else has. You feel that you have to liberate all who believe in God.  You are becoming a crusader.

This is not your job.

Your job, at least at first, is to obtain information. You need to become at least somewhat educated on who people believe in, what people believe in, when and where it all started, and how belief in god(s) are imbedded in the minds of people. Of course, there are many more areas you could delve into, but this is a good start.

My suggestion is to read the works of various atheists – Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Charles Darwin, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Carl Sagan…..to start with. Each explain various aspects of atheism, and I guarantee you will learn a lot from them. What’s nice is that what they write are things you have probably thought about in your head. This is very comforting because it’s not just you who have asked these questions. Their answers are very eye-opening and much more eloquently put than I could ever write.

Also, you should read The Bible. Yes, the bible. And no, I’m not crazy. Realistically, you have to know both sides of the story. You have to know what you are talking about. Some questions you could ask are: What has God done? What did Jesus do? What promises were made? What miracles were performed? Does the bible actually prove itself? Where’s the disconnect? What part of the bible is story and what part is literal? Again, there are so many more questions you could ask it would be best to write them down.

Now, one day someone will drill you on what you know and try to prove to you that God is real. This is called a debate. You have your side of atheism and they have their side of theism. You will go back and forth, and it’s always nice to have more information than they do. You will be surprised at how many people who are “religious” have never read the bible.

Other ways to obtaining information is by: finding various blogs and websites about atheism, joining various atheist Facebook pages, and finding an atheist community within your city or town. All can provide a wealth of information.

I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t debate at all, because debates do help you. It gives you the ability to gather information from various people. It can also make you look like an idiot because it can seem you do not know what you are talking about. Don’t fret. You will be bad at it in the beginning, but the more you debate the stronger you convictions will be, the more knowledge you will obtain, and the more confidence you will acquire.

Having the insight of atheism is a wonderful thing, but there’s no need to throw it in people’s faces…especially if you are new to it and aren’t properly prepared to back up your claims. Take a step back, learn what you need to know, have respect towards other people, and remember – there is a time and a place to debate someone. Use your best judgement. You do not want to lose friends and family over this just because you have something new to play with.

Now, have fun, learn something new, and do not feel afraid to ask me any questions.

Our Constitution

Did you know that the words Jesus, Lord, nor God are found anywhere on the constitution? So to say that this country is a “Christian Nation” is totally incorrect, and whoever states this claim should read the constitution of the United States of America. As a matter of fact, the only thing the constitution says about religion can be found in Article VI: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

What’s Wrong with the Bible?

It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to Infidelity. – Abraham Lincoln

There are so many issues with this book that I would need a whole series of my own books to get it all out. For now, here are just a few within the first few pages in the Book of Genesis.

7:4 “Every living thing that I have made, I will destroy from the surface of the ground.” (Noah’s flood) – How did He kill the aquatic animals with the flood?

7:23 “Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, livestock, creeping things, and birds of the sky.” (Noah’s flood) – Why kill animals, children, infants, and unborn children from ALL over the world?

8:1 “The water subsided.” (Noah’s Flood) – Where did all that water go?

1:16 “God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” (Creation of the universe) – The moon is not a light onto itself, but a reflection of light from the sun. They couldn’t have known that at the time.

1:27 “God created man in his own image.” (Creation of man) – An image is a copy of an original. If you image your computer (God) and put it on another computer (man) then the second computer will look and act exactly like the original. Which means whatever faults we have….so does God.

2:24 “Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother , and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh” (Creation of Adam and Eve) – Adam and Eve did not have a father or mother, so what relevance would this have? They were immortal at the time. Well, until they ate from the tree of knowledge, but they hadn’t done that yet.

3:22 “Yahweh God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us” (God’s statement when casting out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden) – Who is us? Is there more than one god?

11:4 “Come let’s build ourselves a city , and a tower whose top reaches the sky, and let’s make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth.” – God thought man was creating a tower which would reach heaven, so he spread the men across the world and change their languages so that they would not longer collaborate with each other. Nowhere did I read that they were trying to reach heaven…and the sky can surely not mean heaven. And why did God have to go to such lengths to stop man. I’m mean, we’ve been to the moon and nothing has happened to us.

11:7 “Come let’s go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” – The first part, “Come let’s go down,” Let’s? Let us? Who is this us God speaks of?

12:2 “I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing.” (God speaking to Abraham) – No where in this book does God state why he chose Abraham to have God’s blessing. It’s a mystery.

12:17 “Yahweh plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues.” (Pharaoh took Abrahams wife as his, although Abraham told the Pharaoh that she was his sister.) – Why punish the Pharaoh and all his people??? It was Abraham who lied. The Pharaoh even asks Abraham why he lied? 12:19 “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now therefore, see your wife, take her, and go your way.” Abraham and God are dicks. Sorry, but that one upsets me.

16:4 “He went in to Hagar, and she conceived.” (Abraham’s wife, Sarai, told Abraham to have sex with Hagar, her slave, since she herself could not conceive….and God approved of this.) – Really? God approves of adultery. Oh, this stuff is everywhere.

17:11 “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of the covenant between me and you.” (God’s pact with man) – Mutilating a body part for religious purposes? God couldn’t think of anything more grotesque? I wonder how many men lost their lives….or their penis because of this? I mean, hygiene and sterility of medical equipment wasn’t really important back then.

19:8 “See now, I have two virgin daughters. Please let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them what seems good to you. Only don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.” (Lot talking to the men of Sodom who have come to rape the two angels that are visiting him.) – This is one of my favorite passages in the bible! So instead of giving the angels to the men of Sodom Lot gives the men his two daughters to rape. Again, Lot gives his two daughters so that they can be raped! Good one, right?

This is only going through the first 19 chapters of Genesis when there are 50 chapters in this one book……and there are 66 books in the bible. That’s scary! Makes you wonder what other issues there that people do not question or forget about all together. Well, stay tuned and I will continue this fascinating look into the wonderful world of the bible.

When I point out fallacies in religious logic, adherents tell me that the human brain cannot comprehend God. They also tell me that God created the human brain. God is clearly inept. – Matthew Benjamin Smith