Oh for god’s sake! How I knew there was no god. My road to Atheism.

I have been asked by someone for the details as to how I became an atheist. Again

I have mentioned before that I grew up in a very laissez faire Church of England environment and never had a devout belief in Christianity at all but this isn’t the entire reason I gave up on the Christian faith. And god belief in general.

When I was nine we used to live in a small town called Ramsey in the South of England. We were there for  two years. We used to go to a local church called St. Mary’s  and after morning service the kids attended Sunday School In the hall adjoining the church.

I don’t remember much, but I do remember one or two things. The smell of course. Which was of polish. It must have been some sort of universal floor cleaner/polish as the school hall always smelled strongly of the stuff.  I couldn’t stand it.

There were also lots of those wooden folding chairs in a large storeroom at the back of the hall. It was divided in two, one half for chairs and the other for tables. I remember the chairs because some were left out once and we kids had to put them back and the one I picked up folded in my hands and trapped my fingers, and I lost the nail on my right index finger.

The other most striking memory is of thrupenny bits. A hexagonal coin that was vital for Sunday School. Not three pennies or any sort of numerical equivalent. It had to be a thrupenny bit.

Simply because it made a noise when you spun it. And this was the game we played before the Sunday School teacher arrived.

He was a church warden or something. He was called Cecil Lea. He was old, or oldish. Around 30. Which is old is if you’re nine.  I remember he had round glasses. And I only remember this because I had a pair the same. They were horrible and everyone called me four eyes.

We used to call him Cecily behind his back and if he heard we would get a whack.

Such punishment was de rigeur in those days and you didn’t tell your mum or dad in case they give you a whack too for being cheeky.

So, while our parents all went home, the kids filed into the hall next door to await the teacher. We always had about twenty minutes to ourselves while Mister Lea collected bibles or prayer books or whatever and it was the only lesson I ever remember being so happy about being early.

Once at our desks the spinning contest would begin. And because the coins were hexagonal they made a noise on the ancient wooden desks. And noise is also important to a bunch of nine year olds. It was a bit like attaching old cigarette boxes to the spokes of your bicycle with a peg to make it sound like a motor bike.

So a class of about 15 kids all spinning the thrupenny bits on wooden desks in a draughty old church hall made quite a noise.

Oh, I forgot to mention the money was for collection. Before the lesson started a small collection plate came around and the money went for charity, presumably.

Well, the kid that sat next to me was a friend:  Gary Luton. He lived next door. We still keep in contact to this day. Anyhow, he told me and another kid, Andrew I think he was called; can’t remember, that  his older brother David had said that Mister Lea was nicking all our collection money and was planning on running away to America.

Yeah, well, nine year olds will believe anything I guess. And it sounded plausible, although I can’t imagine how many thrupenny bits he would have needed, but this is beside the point.

So we were convinced and decided to hang back after Sunday School to see where he hid the money.

We had some colouring in to do and so while Mister Lea was collecting all the other bits and bobs we lagged behind. When he left to take some things back to the church proper we quickly hid in the storeroom and waited to see what he did with the collection money that still sat in the plate on his desk.

Well, it wasn’t the money that became the issue, because old Cecily came back in the room a few minutes later with someone. He locked the door and then went into the part of the storeroom with the tables and proceeded to undress the person he had brought in with him and then when they were both naked they got  ‘’busy’’.

We could easily see what was going on as we crouched in our half of the storeroom and we  were petrified. I nearly peed myself.

When they finished they left and we crept out, scared out of our wits.

We agreed that this was one  time we would tell our parents.

I don’t remember much only that I had never seen two naked people before and that god must not be real if he allowed such a thing to happen.

I cried for days and my folks seriously considered sending me to see a specialist.

Anyhow Cecily got fired because of us three boys and when the local paper found out it made headlines.

I remember my folks saying that he was subject to such humiliation that he did eventually move and to America to boot. I asked my mum about it years later and she said he ended up as a sports coach teaching soccer at some university in the south somewhere.

And that’s more or less how I knew there was no god because of my Sunday School teacher Mister Lea bonking some woman in the store-room of the church hall.

And if you have read this far just pause for a second and check the date on the post or your computer. If it says April 1st. Smile.

Leading you up the garden path. Tic tock?

While  making the bed this morning something on the bedspread caught my eye. My first thought was: Tic. These little nasties have a habit of  finding their way onto the dogs and cats so I wanted to make sure this one did not escape. As I bent down to carefully scoop it up, it moved. Dammit! But I slammed my open palm over it then veeeery carefully bunched up the bedspread and managed to get it into my hand, which I immediately balled into a fist.

Gingerly I released one finger and then another until I was able to peek at my captive. And what a pleasant surprise.

Not a tic but a tiny jumping spider.

I opened my hand fully and for a moment  it simply sat there. Then it scurried over my palm. But I was not ready to let it go just yet.

I gently balled my hand once more then went to the office to fetch my camera.

Once I’d prepped it I opened my hand again.

Spidey was quicker off the mark this time and made a dash for freedom.

He ran along my palm and up a finger,  but I got off two one – handed shots, although no full-frontals I’m afraid and then … he was gone. After all, he’s jumping spider and I had no desire to keep him from his freedom or his breakfast; which he had still to find, of course, whereas mine was ready and waiting in a cereal box!

Spider Finger 2

spider finger 3

 

Oh, for gods’ sake! Young Earth Creationism – another eye opener

I posted this yesterday then withdrew it trying to get clarification.
I am letting it stand one way or another.

If you object, feel free to express your views here.

Sometimes I must force myself to blink a couple of times, then read the post or a particular comment a few times more.
Then I think: does this say what I think it says?
Then I ask and wait. Later I discover the second clarifying comment has
been deleted. And I think … ah!
Okay, I am aware that Young Earth Creationists view the bible as literal. Verbatim and to the letter.

Of course one may ask: But which bible?

Yes, it does get rather complicated, does it not? Though I am led to understand that they seem to prefer Ye Olde KJV don’t thouest knoweth? Lots of smiting, serious bonking and lots of blood.

Even though I think they are talking out their ass they believe the ass is really talking.

Also, I am fully aware that there are tens of thousands of different Christian denominations/cults. In fact, I am convinced they are just a bunch of sects maniacs to be honest, and ‘they’ all believe ‘they’ are the right version of Christianity.

But I never gave too much thought to what each sect considered would happen once the ‘other one’ kicked the bucket.
Food for thought then in that case.

I mean, they all repent of their sins, are all re-born or born again, all believe Yeshua Ben Josef is The Man with holey hands and thus, by swearing allegiance to this Norman Greenbaum fixation they all get to go live in the Mansion of Many Rooms.

Well, hold the bus!

Apparently this is not the case. News to moi, I tell you.

We all know that those sneaky little gits who opted to side with Luther in the days of pre-Yore no longer consider the Catholics Proper Christians, right? Course we do.
Well it turns out that some YECs believe all the non-literal bible interpreting
God-Botherers are not going to Heaven in a hand cart because they do not believe in a literal bible.

In other words … they are Hell-bound. Yes indeedy!

Don’t you just love it when Christians kick the shit out of each other!
But the really dreadful thought is that I might end up sharing a room in Auld Nick’s Place with a not-a-real-Christian, Christian. I shall pray to the gods it doesn’t turn out to be that Divine Command Theory wanker, William Lane Craig or even some of the Christian notables we have all come to love.

March 28, 2015 at 3:12 pm
So every Christian who is not a Young Earth Creationist is going to hell because they do not believe God’s word, right?

Reply

Eliza says:
March 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm
Whether born again through faith in Jesus Christ, or an unbeliever they both need to repent of letting man’s doctrine supersede God’s sure word.
If there isn’t any repentance then it is questionable whether or not one is a genuine believer, because accepting the testimony of the Bible is a work of the Holy Spirit in the life of His children, and though we can be deceived for a time, He will ultimately bring us to reject the lie and hold fast the truth. Those who reject the Scripture give evidence they have never had that supernatural encounter with Christ where He transforms them from objects of wrath bound for destruction in hell, to beloved children destined to spend eternity in heaven with God their Father and Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior.

———————————————–

And there you have it. Right from the horse’s mouth. Or the ass’s.

Follow the thread. It is still going on and you can imagine the stick I am getting!

https://holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/how-old/

For my Christian Friends. ;)

See you down ‘there’?

And talking of the stones …

Haven’t posted any writing stuff for a while. An oldy, but one that makes me smile.

For new xian blogpal … Luke.

Roll Away The Stone

After two weeks deliberation the Bishops’ Council was trying to finalize the Nicene Creed.

All they needed was one shred of evidence to support Constantine’s express desire that the Prophet was indeed divine …

Eusebius sighed.

“Sigh. So who’s this then?” he asked.

The clerk looked down at his list.

“Septicus Tanckus, Your Most Worshipfulness”.

“And what is your story … Mr. Tanckus?”

“He was there!”

“There?”

”Guardin’ that stone. Y’know?”

“Who was, may I ask?” Eusebius mumbled, cradling his head in his hands.

“Me grandad,” beamed the grubby-looking man.

Eusebius groaned then leaned back in his chair to confer with a Bishop sat next to him.

“I am not sure if the Emperor’s suggestion of offering a reward for any eyewitness accounts to the resurrection was such a good idea after all. I mean this is the …” he paused to consult a list of his own, “Fortieth eyewitness. Considering the event was supposed to have been nearly four hundred years ago I can hardly see any of these people being eyewitness to anything remotely divine. In fact I would go as far as to say it would be a miracle if most had seen a bar of soap.”

The clerk approached the long table at which all the Bishops sat.

“Pardon, Your Graces’, but the man means his great, great, great – at least -grandfather. He was a Roman Guard, we believe. I have checked the records and we do have such a name.”

This caused a minor stir and one or two mumbles of interest.

“Will someone please wake up Cardinal Hartly Sinin,” said Eusebius.

Someone nudged an ancient figure snoring peacefully towards one end of the table.

The old man came to with a start:  “Never laid a hand on her!” he announced to the world in general. “Besides she said she was over fourteen. How was I to know?”

“Cardinal Sinin?” Eusebius interjected. “Are you with us?”

“Huh?” said the old man.

“Oh, for goodness sake. Someone please take him away.”

The old man was escorted from the room by a young priest.

“Now, Mister Tanckus. Your great, great grandad you say.”

“Er … one more great, Your Grace,” prompted the clerk.

“Quite,” Eusebius added sharply. “There seems no end to this man’s relation’s greatness. I presume the account you will tell us has been passed down through your family by word of mouth?”

“No, sir. Me mam told us. And her mam before ‘er right back to me great, great … er … great granny.”

“I am a little confused at this point. Was it your great … etcetera grandad or your great etcetera grandmother?”

“Well, ‘he was on duty by the tomb like, and she come to keep him company. You know how it is, Your Worthlessship, right? Bit cold standing there on his own.”

“So exactly what happened?”

“They was busy an’—‘

“Busy?” Eusebius interrupted.

“Yeah, you know? Busy, said Tanckus wiggling his eyebrows.”

Eusebius shook his head.

“And then what happened?”

“Well the stone began to sorta move t’one side a bit. On little castors it was. Anyhow once the tomb was open, proper-like, out steps this bloke in a long nightshirt affair, right as nine pence. My old granny apparently squeals a bit and tries to push me grandad off her. Thought she’d seen a ghost, I reckon.”

“And did this ghost say anything to your great etcetera grandfather?”

“Well, apparently he gives him a wink, held up his finger like this, see, and went “Ssssh! So, do I get my reward money now, or what?”

The Ark

©DSP

And more Stones…An appropriate song, I think. :)

Leading you up the Garden Path. Night and Day & Santana.

There was some serious buzzing around the lamp above my head last night and as I closed up I looked up and saw this moth.

I stood on my chair to take a photo and the moth left  the lamp and flew behind my glasses! Most disconcerting, as you can imagine.

Probably worse for the moth.

Anyhow, I fished the moth out and it fluttered along my finger to sit quite unperturbed on my arm.

I stepped off the chair and took a photograph. As I pressed the shutter the moth took off,  I imagined I had missed the shot.

As it turns out I didn’t …

Moth taking flight

Have no idea of the species, but I managed to coax it back onto my hand once more and snapped these.

moth 2 90

moth 90

Below is an African Grass Blue, I think. Taken earlier.

african grass 50

And  this is  a  Common Hotentot.

I initially thought this was a moth. Saw it in Ems garden and thought …wow!

First time ever seeing this species and haven’t seen it since.

Talk about a lucky shot. Notice the  unique way it folds  its wings? I thought it looked a bit like a B2 stealth bomber from this angle?

hotentot 2

This is a Veined White. A regular visitor. This one hung around the fading cosmos for ages so I obliged its patience and  took a few shots

veined white

Santana – Who wants to soar?

Primavera

In the cool of the evening …

when everything is feeling rather groovy. I sit at my desk,  office door open – I am brave like that – and   listen to the splash of the koi in the pond, the chirp of the  cicada and  the  occasional scream of a mugging victim. Just kidding.

Anyhow, I am quite often visited by ground dwelling creepy crawlies that venture in from the garden and sometimes bombarded by night flying visitors.

Such as these two.

new butterfly 4

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new butterfly 1

moth on Pratchet

Here’s the Stones.

Nite nite.

How to court controversy

Originally posted on nobodysreadingme:

I am definitely going to upset a few people here, so if you’re of a religious bent, you may want to stop reading now. I’ll give you a minute or so. Dum dee dum dee dum dee dee…

Right, here we go. I’m an atheist, but have no problem at all with religion. I do have a problem with actions that are carried out in the name of the religion, and are clearly at variance with teachings. I also object to blind stupidity.

A small minority of religious people appears to have had a logic bypass. You may not have noticed that there was a tornado in Oklahoma this week. One person died, there was a swathe of destruction. Then the nutters came out of their storm shelters and started posting photographs. There was one of a broken power pylon, dangling from the wrecked power lines. It bore a passing…

View original 256 more words

Leading you up the Garden Path. Flower Power!

My early morning constitutional takes me along a  quiet part of the suburb called Ridge Road, where I have been surreptitiously ”nicking” a cutting or two from the fuchsias that grow on the garden outside one of the properties.

I have managed to get one species to grow and once a few ‘took’ I moved them from my shed to the garden under the bottle brush tree. When they were stronger I planted them out and  took further cuttings  from these.

But the species with the white inner flower I have struggled with and none of the cuttings over the past year or so ‘took’ – until now!

Imagem 001

It might seem nuts to get excited over a flower, but there you go.  That’s me. Nuts.

I will be planting this out soon and with a bit of luck we’ll have a decent, healthy plant within a few months.

Imagem 002

Once I had photographed this beauty I thought I’d take a couple of shots of the fuchsia with the purple inner flower to show a comparison.

As I knelt on the grass and focused, this delightful little hover fly buzzed into shot. I snapped off half a dozen photos and this one turned out a smasher!

fly fuschia 70

Finally;I took the shot below yesterday. It is a Garden Commodore  and this is the most handsome specimen  I have managed to photograph to date. It’s colouring is superb.

commodor 80March 27th 2015

 

How about some rain?

”Peace Out”, as  Sheldon Cooper says.

Ark.

Cake over the Fence. If the shoes fits ….

I thought these rather novel and  artistically exquisite; and as they were so impressive, after the order was collected, Ems decided to make a few more – just for the family.

Every part of the shoe was edible, including the cupcake paper.

I can report they tasted superb!

Want more? Click on the Emily’s cakes link on the side.

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And what do a nice pair of stilettos require to show them off?

Why, legs, of course! And ZZ Top have the perfect song. Legs.

However …. in  light that the video looks just a bit too sexyist you’ll have to suffer this … My Heads in Mississippi. Er … whoops this one had lottsa wimmin too. Dammit …

Let’s try this one … Fool For Your Stockings.

Oh for God’s Sake! Goddidit. The dishonesty of Theists.

Or, lying for Jesus.

One of the great things about trying to be scrupulously honest is when it comes to the question of the Origin of Life, I have no qualms about saying: ”I don’t know.”
It is marvelous because I know I stand with the rest of humanity in this and although some claim that goddidit – a real phrase I was surprised to learn – there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support this erroneous claim.

Things begin to get even murkier when theists not only assert it was their god that is responsible but worse, it walked among us in human form under the guise of someone called Jesus of Nazareth, of whom there is also no verifiable evidence whatsoever.

Whereas I am perfectly happy to say: ”I don’t know” and leave it at that until such time as verifiable evidence demonstrates otherwise, the theist has been intent on introducing their god to all and sundry and as history shows, often whether they want it or not.

In fact, refusal or simple denial has often resulted in severe punishment including at one point the death sentence for such innocuous acts as reading their supposedly divinely inspired book in any language other than Latin. Ironic as the book – numerous ”books” actually – were never written in this language in the first place and in many instances the text is not even an honest reflection of the original languages, notably Hebrew and Greek, having been so badly redacted in some cases and also replete with spurious text up to and including, wholesale forgery; which sounds a far cry from divinely inspired in anyone’s language, I’d say.

So while preaching that the entirety of humanity – past and present is not only in a perpetual state of sin ( whatever this means) inherited from the supposed first man called Adam for eating an apple at the behest of his partner, Eve, after she was goaded by a talking snake, everyone is now condemned to eternal exile and torture in a place called Hell. A place which does not even exist and was simply made up by the Church. The only option available to avoid this heinous place of make-believe is to admit being a sinner and swear allegiance to a deity for which there is no evidence, and acknowledge he loves you.

I cannot find a shred of honesty in this approach at all.

I believe therefore, that for the meantime, when it comes to the Origin of Life, it is a lot more honest to simply stick with ”I don’t know.”

Leading you up the Garden Path. Bee Prepared

It rained a bit this morning and we generally keep the dogs in during a downpour but when the sun comes out we let them stretch their legs and they invariably indulge in what has become known as a mad half hour.

This usually entails one or the other of the boxers hiding while the other hares around the garden like a  mad thing until the other jumps out on her. Meanwhile, Kishka, our small white Heinz 57, stands in the middle of the lawn and barks her blinking head off.

Anyway, when they had let off steam they  both climbed the steps onto the patio and made a bee line for the front door.

Bobbi stills has a ball in her mouth and Bella has her mouth on the ball.

If you can picture this?

As they got to the door I  noticed a bee clinging to Bobbi’s chest.

Worried that she might get/have been stung I quickly flicked the bee off and  called for assistance to check if the bee had managed to sting her. I couldn’t see anything but then I am not so  good at close up stuff.

No problem.

I went back out to the patio and the bee was still on the floor and looked done in, doing little pirouettes like an organic toy whose Duracell was about to run flat.

I managed to encourage the poor thing onto a leaf and then onto my hand in the hope that it would revive itself.

But she didn’t seem too happy.387

Then I thought: Water?

Done this before so why not? Worth a shot, right? Went in the house and called for Ems who  took  a small bowl and dripped sugar- water onto my wrist so the bee could have a chance to bee 75drink if she wanted.

Imagem 393

Here you can see Ems about to remove a tiny  hair attached to the bee’s back leg – not one of mine, I hasten to add. It came pre- attached. Probably one of Bobbi’s.

”What if it stings you?” asks the Missus.

I shrug. It never crossed my mind to be honest.

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Lo and behold, two minutes or so later she walked to the ball of my hand  and buzzed off!

Watch the birdy

It’s fantastic get to visits from the more exotic or rarely seen species of birds, such as the Sunbirds, the Eagle Owl or the Heron, and their infrequent sightings and visits add a bit of spice and excitement.

But the regular visitors are also great fun and a delight to have around. They are a constant reminder how fortunate I am that so many feel comfortable enough to  visit on a daily basis.

So far, I have noted fifty two species of bird at The Ark’s spot and have photographed twenty nine.

Here are a couple of shots of one species that we can say has acquired ”permanent residence”.

The Laughing Dove

laughing dove 2

laughing dove

Touch of the Blues -

There are around twenty-five species of butterfly known as Blue in South Africa and  a few visit our spot. They are small; some are tiny, and once spotted it’s best you keep your eye on them as they flit across the lawn or surrounding ”undergrowth” as they easily disappear among the plants, grass and especially the weeds.

As we let parts of the garden go wild, we regularly get outbreaks of  bidens pilosa. That’s the blackjack to most people.

For me, not being a lepidopterist person, individual species are sometimes a bit difficult to positively identify, as many are very similar and especially as the only way to positively ID at least one species is to dissect the creature’s genitals. Er … no thanks!

I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant rather than indulge in that level of (in my opinion, needless) entomology.

So, I will simply watch them flutter around the garden and set off in hot pursuit, camera in hand and  the almost certain likelihood that once I have ‘snapped’ my prize I shall be pulling blackjacks from my clothes and shoes and even my bare skin for the better part of the rest of the day.

But I think it’s worth it and my portfolio of photographs of the fauna that is so abundant at our spot increases.

Species here include; Little Grass Blue, African Grass Blue, Rayed Blue Babault’s Blue and the Common Zebra Blue.

butterfly on blackjack

open butterfly on blue 2

blue butterfly 1

tiny blue b 2

African grass blue2

African Grass blue 7

babault's blue 2

More Blues …

Gazania: Ark

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