Debbie Reynolds is not with Carrie Fisher

debbie-reynolds-carrie-fisher-minShe’s not. Debbie Reynolds might well have believed when she died she would be reunited with her daughter but she wasn’t. There’s a lesson here. For all of us, Atheist or no.

Debbie Reynolds was with her daughter. She raised Carrie Fisher to be the woman she became, flaws and all. She was with her every day of her life and she made a difference. She influenced Carrie Fisher. She shaped her. Carrie Fisher was her own woman but she was also a product of those who influenced her, and Debbie Reynolds was one of the most important.

You are a product of your life’s experiences but you are also your own person. You make your own decisions. We make your own way in this world and yet all those decisions, all those results are based to some degree on our friends, our family, our mother.

I’m an Atheist. I know there is nothing after life. There is nothing. Carrie and Debbie have not been reunited. Some might consider me a cold-hearted bastard. Perhaps I am. That doesn’t stop me from knowing that Carrie and Debbie are bound together, as are we with those we love. Those we admire. Those who influence our decision.

Does it make you feel better to think that Reynolds has been reunited with Fisher? Why?

Such fantasy does not soothe me nor will it ever.

Life is what we have. Make the most of it. As did Reynolds and Fisher.

That is what I conclude from events of the last two days. Life is what we have. Live it.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

How I Feel Talking to a True Believer

uzz_Aldrin_Describes_His_UFOI’m an atheist. I’m not a what I would call a fundamentalist atheist in that I’m not out there trying to convince every Christian, Jew, and Muslim that atheism is the only right thing to believe but I do get into conversations with religious people on occasion. I think religious freedom is extremely important to the survival of the United States and people have every right to believe what they want and every expectation that the government cannot try to influence those beliefs.

I just read an interesting article from Yahoo Finance, of all places, about Buzz Aldrin‘s supposed experience with an alien space-ship during the Apollo 11 moon landing. It was during this mission that Aldrin saw a light apparently moving in tandem with his own craft. His words on the experience have long fueled those who believe aliens are among us.

So what’s the connection between Aldrin’s supposed alien experience and my atheism? If you scroll down and read the comments on the Aldrin story you will encounter what I frequently see when discussing the existence of God with the faithful. In the article Aldrin states specifically that when debriefed by NASA after the mission both he and fellow astronauts were of the opinion the light was sunshine reflecting off just released panels. He was interviewed about the matter years later and during that interview said the same thing but the producers of the show left that out of what was later aired.

While reading the comments below the article I was struck by how often those who truly believe in aliens were willing discount Aldrin’s explanation. They believed the original quotes without their attendant explanation were his true opinion and that he was hiding something now by giving a new explanation. This, of course, defies the fact that Aldrin’s original explanation is the one that makes the most sense and is a story he has told from the beginning although it wasn’t always published.

I’m not here to discuss the merits of aliens or religion but simply the idea that it is all but impossible to convince someone that the thing they believe is false. I can present all the evidence I want for the lack of a divine being in the universe. I can trot out all the Flying Spaghetti Monster arguments that illustrate the bad logic of many religious claims. I can point out the huge gaps in logic in the Bible and other religious texts. I’m not getting anywhere with the True Believers. They have faith and you can’t argue logically with faith.

So what’s the point of my little blog? I’m speaking to those of religious faith who think the idea of aliens visiting the earth is a rather silly notion. Have you ever tried to convince a True Believer that their pet alien theory is nonsense? If you have, you know exactly what experience I have had trying to talk to people about the notion of God. I know this comes across as insulting, even demeaning but I hope that it will give those of faith some insight into what the atheists among you feel when discussing such topics.

Believe what you want, that’s not only your business but a Constitutionally guaranteed right. I’m not here to convince you you’re wrong. I’m here to tell you that I know you’re wrong. There’s a difference, however subtle.

Care to tell me that you know I’m wrong? The comment section awaits.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
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My Friends’ Children and My Atheism

atheistsThere was an interesting question in Dr. Abby this morning and it made me think about my own situation in regards to Atheism and my friends’ children. In the column an atheist couple had been asked by their parents to refrain from telling nieces and nephews about their lack of religious belief.

I’ve been asked by children of my friends on a number of occasions about my religious beliefs and I don’t hesitate to tell them I’m an atheist. I like to think I’m not a jerk about it. I tell them that I think everyone should believe what they want to believe and that I don’t think any differently of them for believing in god or not. That I like them just the way they are.

The thing that I wonder about is that by doing so am I alienating my friends. Do they cringe when I tell their children that I’m an atheist. When I explain that I don’t find the evidence for the existence of god to be convincing. Do they perhaps not invite me over because they are afraid I will expound on my atheism to their children. Are they concerned that my arguments will turn their own children into atheists.

One of my friends has a son who has become an atheist himself and I wonder if there is some resentment that I perhaps my own lack of faith was instrumental in his turning away from their religion.

These are not lighthearted concerns. If a person is of a deeply religious nature and their child becomes an atheist it is their belief system that this child will be forever torn from them in the, admittedly non-existent, eternal afterlife. While I’m absolutely certain that no such afterlife exists, my friends feel differently and the idea that their children will not be with them in this fantasy realm is emotionally and likely physically disturbing.

None of my friends has asked me to refrain from talking about atheism and the only time I do so is when I’m directly asked about my religious beliefs. However during everyday conversation I often speak about scientific topics that contradict biblical inerrancy; including things like continental drift, evolution, and space-time. For example I occasionally talk to children about how North and South America fit together like puzzle pieces with Europe and Africa and how this relates to plate-tectonics. These are topics that I worry about.

I do think the grand-parents in the case of the Dr. Abby column are making a mistake by hiding the fact that atheism is even a possibility and this is clearly demonstrated by the fact that their children have become atheists. I don’t think lying to children, or anyone for that matter, is a good or effective policy. The truth almost always makes itself known in the end. I think the grand-parents would be better off explaining that some people don’t believe the same thing as they do. That being said, I’m not a parent.

Any other atheists out there have any thoughts? Any religious parents with atheist friends?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Broken Throne
Next Release: The Black Sphere

My Friends' Children and My Atheism

atheistsThere was an interesting question in Dr. Abby this morning and it made me think about my own situation in regards to Atheism and my friends’ children. In the column an atheist couple had been asked by their parents to refrain from telling nieces and nephews about their lack of religious belief.

I’ve been asked by children of my friends on a number of occasions about my religious beliefs and I don’t hesitate to tell them I’m an atheist. I like to think I’m not a jerk about it. I tell them that I think everyone should believe what they want to believe and that I don’t think any differently of them for believing in god or not. That I like them just the way they are.

The thing that I wonder about is that by doing so am I alienating my friends. Do they cringe when I tell their children that I’m an atheist. When I explain that I don’t find the evidence for the existence of god to be convincing. Do they perhaps not invite me over because they are afraid I will expound on my atheism to their children. Are they concerned that my arguments will turn their own children into atheists.

One of my friends has a son who has become an atheist himself and I wonder if there is some resentment that I perhaps my own lack of faith was instrumental in his turning away from their religion.

These are not lighthearted concerns. If a person is of a deeply religious nature and their child becomes an atheist it is their belief system that this child will be forever torn from them in the, admittedly non-existent, eternal afterlife. While I’m absolutely certain that no such afterlife exists, my friends feel differently and the idea that their children will not be with them in this fantasy realm is emotionally and likely physically disturbing.

None of my friends has asked me to refrain from talking about atheism and the only time I do so is when I’m directly asked about my religious beliefs. However during everyday conversation I often speak about scientific topics that contradict biblical inerrancy; including things like continental drift, evolution, and space-time. For example I occasionally talk to children about how North and South America fit together like puzzle pieces with Europe and Africa and how this relates to plate-tectonics. These are topics that I worry about.

I do think the grand-parents in the case of the Dr. Abby column are making a mistake by hiding the fact that atheism is even a possibility and this is clearly demonstrated by the fact that their children have become atheists. I don’t think lying to children, or anyone for that matter, is a good or effective policy. The truth almost always makes itself known in the end. I think the grand-parents would be better off explaining that some people don’t believe the same thing as they do. That being said, I’m not a parent.

Any other atheists out there have any thoughts? Any religious parents with atheist friends?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Broken Throne
Next Release: The Black Sphere