Archive | January 2014

The “Year without God”-project, and my thoughts

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a (former?) seventh day minister who has decided to live one year “without God”.

In his first post, posted December 31st, he said:

For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else’s circumstances. (I trust that if there really is a God that God will not be too flummoxed by my foolish experiment and allow others to suffer as a result).

I’m all for living without any God(s), so basically I should be all for his experiment, but that last sentence makes me think he’s not going all in. Putting in that disclaimer, where he tries to comfort himself by saying that God might approve – if he exist, sounds like putting in a safety net to me.

Anyway, his blog has gotten a lot of attention, both from theists and atheists (afaik, more atheists are there cheering him on, than there are theists commenting).

Ryan Bell, the guy behind the blog, and the project, will

read atheist “sacred texts” — from Hobbes and Spinoza to Russell and Nietzsche to the trinity of New Atheists, Hitchens, Dawkins and Dennett. I will explore the various ways of being atheist, from naturalism (Voltaire, Dewey, et al) to the new ‘religious atheists’ (Alain de Botton and Ronald Dworkin). I will also attempt to speak to as many actual atheists as possible — scholars, writers and ordinary unbelievers — to learn how they have come to their non-faith and what it means to them. I will visit atheist gatherings and try it on.

Personally, I haven’t read most of these guys, nor have I been to any atheist gatherings. I’m an atheist though, and I have a great life. Of course, as a Christian “trying on” atheism, he will have to “read up” on atheist thoughts, because I recon he’s only heard the Christian explaination of what an atheist are. (Satanic baby-eaters!)

I hope to be able to have a chat with Ryan sometime during 2014, because even if I think he’s half-hearted (even though he thinks he’s going 100% for atheism), I think it’s possible to help him understand what atheism is all about, (Basically, there’s no evidence for any God(s), so we don’t believe in any.) and also to understand how it’s possible to live a full life without any religious guidelines. Morality is one of these issues I’d love to discuss, because you can be “Lawful Good” (kudos if you get the reference!) without basis in anything religious.

Anyway, I’m going to follow his blog, and hopefully find time to engage him in a discussion/chat.

Do you eat figs?

Ok, here’s one thing I just don’t get from Mark 11

12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

Jesus is hungry – OK, we all get peckish at times, so I get that.

He sees a fig tree in leaf – well, it might have fruit, I don’t know as I’m no fig farmer.

Ah, He went to see if it had any fruit – clever boy that Jesus!

He finds nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Not the season! They didn’t grow that time of the year!

So, he curses the tree!

Jesus is like, Fuck you tree, don’t you see I’m bloody hungry? Gimme some fucking figs right now, or you’ll regret this day for fucking eternity!!!

And… the diciples heard it all!

Jesus, grumpy when peckish! Does this story tell us that “Jesus was human” (because all human curses trees who doesn’t bear fruit outside the season!), and that he’s “just like” us? I’ve never cursed a tree for not growing fruit when I’m hungry, have you?

Does the story tell us why figs are so awful? “Jesus didn’t like the tree, so now the figs taste like ash. Before Jesus cursed the tree they tasted like rum and coke!”

[joke] Do you know why only heathens eat figs? Because we don’t care if they’re cursed by Christ! [/joke]

Could anyone please tell me what this story is all about? Why is it in the Bible in the first place?