We atheists have been hated and bullied for a long time, and have finally stood up for ourselves in recent years. One of the main goals of this movement is to show the world that we are not immoral just because we are godless. For this reason, I understand the need for secular people to suck up to the rest of the world, and pin a good-guy badge to their lapels.
I, however, might be too big a Nietzsche fan to believe in a false dichotomy such as “good and evil”. For this reason, I tend to stay away from such primitive needs as flashing the good-guy badge whenever I come into contact with a religious person. Personally, I just cannot be completely inoffensive and be a suck up to those who’s beliefs are offensive to me in the first place. Everyone’s always going to find something bad to say about you. I’m a pretty honest and self-aware guy, and I know how much of an asshole I can be. I guess I just like pissing people off – it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve been known to say harsh truths, controversial things, and invite controversial speakers – and I have made many enemies and lost some SSA members as a result. I’m the kind of guy who’ll take being called a Devil as a compliment, and those who know me know that I have a coffin-turned bookcase, and wear lots of black. In my spare time, you’ll find me sitting in front of a fireplace wondering why in the hell I masochistically subject myself to putting up with things that I disagree with so much.
Point is: I don’t like pinning a good-guy badge and pretending to be your best friend all the time. If I hate you, I’d much rather tell you to go to hell. And If I like you, you’ll be surprised by how much of a nice person I can be, despite my asshole-ish tendencies. But let’s face it, I’m just not the happy face of secularism, and I kinda feel bad being a part of this movement as a group leader, knowing that I’m giving atheists a bad reputation.
- The idolization of bloggers and Youtubers
In the movement, there is this ugly inability for many to rid themselves of the tendencies of the idolization of religious figures. I fear that those so called secularists are people who are unable to wash off all of the annoying residue of religiosity. My general feeling is that many of them are just folk who want to feel naughty. It’s one thing to have respect for someone, but I have seen the Youtube videos and blogs of those whom many speak so highly of. Every time, I expect to see something amazing, only to be sorely disappointed. This is no exception to the idolization of the “four horsemen” whose books are unworthy of the praise they receive, as they are mostly repetitions of previous praise-worthy books. The best thing that I heard at the 2012 Secular Student Alliance conference is Jessica Alquist responding to a question calling her a celebrity by saying: “don’t call me the ‘C’ word, man.”
- We’re all Humanists and liberals
Just a quick tip to all atheists out there: not everyone who is godless believes that everyone is entitled to free health-care and hates the death penalty. I’m sorry to say (not really) that I’m probably more of a Libertarian than many of you might like to think. Although that political label, for me, is more of an icon that I use in small talk, it serves its purpose. People have likened me to grumpy old man, and I don’t disagree. I’m a misanthrope, as well as a staunch advocate of justice. I believe that a punishment should fit in kind and degree of the crime. So, if someone is a murderer, they deserve death. Hell with the chair, kill them in the same way they killed. I dislike “hippie” culture and I think people get away with way too much. I also believe that success should be based on merit. Too many liberals act like health care, education, and money in general is a “god-given” right to all human beings. It’s not. In my opinion, the only human right is freedom and equal opportunity. In that regard, I do not consider myself to be a “big H” Humanist. I’m willing to call myself a humanist insofar as much as I believe that humans should try to work together to maintain progress and “peace” as a society. However,I do NOT believe that all humans are required to feel responsible to others. If I don’t know you or care about you, then why are you entitled to my help and services? What if I don’t like you?
I often hear the secular movement refer to itself as a “community”. Although I respect that and know that it is important to have a community of people that stick together to fight for a common goal, I greatly dislike being a part of it. I don’t like being a part of communities and organizing group meetings that seem like AA meetings, like there’s something wrong with us. I don’t need someone to pat me on the back, telling me it’s all right. It just all seems like a big feel-good therapy session.
- What’s in it for me?
Sometimes I just want to quit because I don’t really see what I’m personally getting out of hosting debates and events. I’m a business major who hopes to start his own business. I haven’t even established my own future, and I’m devoting almost all of my time in helping others. I’m also a huge advocate of gay rights, but I’m not even gay. So what do I get out of it?
This last point brings me to the main reason as to why I’m still involved in the secular movement, despite hating it as much as I do. It’s because every time I decide to resign from the movement, I hear of a religious law passed, or a school prayer being imposed on it’s students, or a gay person being bullied to death – I feel like I’ve just been slapped in the face. And you bet I’m not going to just sit there and pretend that I don’t care. The more the religious right gains power and imposes their shitty morality on the rest of the population, the more they are degrading the integrity of the human race. I will not stand for that.
“We would like to see most of the human race killed off, because it is unworthy – it is unworthy of the gift of life.” – Nickolas Schreck
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu
If you drive a vehicle, you most probably fill up gas. And you’re definitely aware of how many times you pump gas and the money you give up doing so. Sometimes, you leave you’re house, get in and start you’re car, and CRAP…you’re almost out of gas, and you’re already late for class or work. You rush to the gas station, shove the nozzle in the gas tank and impatiently wait for the click once the pumping is done. You reach for the nozzle, take it out, and you notice some drops of gas spilling from the nozzle. Some of us even shake the nozzle around as not to waste those drops.
Have you ever wondered how much gas (and money) we’re wasting from these drops? If we are, is there a solution to this? Let’s try to figure it out. Judging from experience, lets say a person spills two teaspoons of gas on average per pump. There are 240 million vehicles in the U.S., and on average one gas station visit per week per person. This means there are around 12,342,857,400 people filling up gas per year. So, people spill 24,685,714,800 (24.7 billion) teaspoons of gas per year.
Finally, this means we spill about 32,142,858 (32.1 million) gallons of gasoline each year! And this is not accounting for all the other ways Americans spill and waste gas.
Are we wasting money? I’d we we are – and lest we not forget the tens of millions of gallons of an already near extinct substance that we use to power our world.
What on earth could be done about this? Well for one, more efficient pump nozzles that, once pumping is stopped and the nozzle lever clicks, the nozzle hole closes from the outside world, therefore…not spilling any gasoline, especially during of one those times when you’re rushing to be somehwere and are bound to spill some drops of gasoline.