I’m sure by now most of you have read Devin’s article about the fallacies of religious belief. If you haven’t, why haven’t you? It’s right here. Just click it. You know you want to click it. It’s so easy.
Maybe his reasoning makes sense to you, or maybe you’re simply a member of the Just Like Devin club, as I am. (You should really consider joining. In addition to playing lots of Rock Band and being disappointed in Batman Begins, we also take turns having sex with Mila Kunis. Just like Devin.) Regardless, this whole atheism thing holds some appeal. In addition to great minds like Devin’s, disbelief has also wormed its way into the worldviews of such quotable notables as Douglas Adams, Woody Allen, Isaac Asimov, George Carlin, Pope Benedict XVI, Bill Gates, Ricky Gervais, Gene Roddenberry, Mother Teresa, and most people with a college education.
Being an atheist isn’t as difficult as you might think. The Bible is full of platitudes that may shine a light of warmth into your heart, but there is also an awful lot of harvesting of your enemy’s foreskins to be found within its pages. Have you harvested your enemies’ foreskins lately? Congratulations! You’ve taken your first step on the road to intellectual independence.
No, I don’t mind if you worship that golden calf. As long as you can do that and listen.
Okay, obviously you can’t. Bring the golden calf up here.
I try to promote atheism wherever I can. On a local level, this means reminding people of the Holocaust and taking groups of small schoolchildren to pediatric cancer wards. It’s a tough message, but a necessary one. For older children, I suggest making a field trip to your local VA hospital. Have them observe the grieving family members clutching Bibles over the bandaged bodies of their loved ones and praying for a quick recovery. Notice how none of them are praying that P.F.C. Raymond’s leg will grow back? Even the religious have dialed down their expectations of God.
To reach a wider audience, I run the science-based blog The Amateur Scientist (for which I also host two entertaining podcasts to which you should subscribe) and write a weekly nonsense-debunking column for Pink Raygun called “Ask an Amateur Scientist.” Is this shameless promotion? Yes. But so was God’s killing of all those first-born Egyptians. No publicity is bad publicity.
(Programming note: On this Saturday’s podcast, I will be interviewing Dr. Seth Shostak, chief astronomer for SETI, about whether or not SETI employees regularly fornicate with Matthew McConaughey. And no, I didn’t research how to properly spell McConaughey. I am, after all, an amateur scientist.)
And while my website is all a budding atheist like yourself truly needs (drink my Kool-Aid), I can’t spoon feed you all the time. Even though I’d like to. It’s a fetish of mine.
No, you’re going to have to leave the nest eventually. Good thing there are other nests in the world of books, television, radio, and pornography into which you can fall. Every good heretic should have a few standard tomes on his shelf: Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion; Sam Harris’ The End of Faith; Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great and The Portable Atheist; Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim; Martin Gardner’s Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science; Robert M. Price’s The Reason Driven Life; James Randi’s Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural; Michael Shermer’s Why Darwin Matters; The Book of Mormon (it’s like Conan the Barbarian, but hilarious); and How to Make Loads of Cash From Linking Titles of Atheist-Friendly Books to Amazon.com and Other Blogging Schemes.
The world of podcasting (it’s like broadcasting but without all the archaic slang terms for women) is lousy with religiously skeptical programs. Thankfully, it’s not lousy with lousy skeptical programs. The highlights: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, Are We Alone?, Point of Inquiry, Skeptoid, Skepticality, and (above all else, obviously) The Amateur Scientist Podcast.
Are you writing this down? You can have your golden calf back if you promise me you’ll write this down.
Here you go.
Oh, don’t rub your penis on it! Germs!
Jesus. Anyway, there are also a few websites you need to read regularly if you’re going to finally slough off your superstitions and fully grasp the power of your evolution-granted reasoning skills. In order of remembrance: Bad Astronomy, Skepchick, NeuroLogica, RichardDawkins.net, Science-Based Medicine, The Skeptic’s Dictionary, The James Randi Educational Foundation, THE AMATEUR SCIENTIST, The Rogues Gallery, Pharyngula, THE AMATEUR FUCKING SCIENTIST, and my own website. (The Amateur Scientist.)
Television is a bit of a skeptic’s wasteland at the moment. Oprah, Tyra Banks, the hosts of The View, and the editors of NBC Nightly News will believe anything they’re told because their brains have been replaced with a delicious recipe for bread pudding. Larry King will believe anything that may lead to another few days of precious, precious life. But it’s not all crap. There’s Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!, MythBusters, and, occasionally, PBS. Of course, there’s also Paranormal State. Let’s just move on.
So there you go. Enough to get yourself started at least. We still have a long way to go. Did you know there are still people who believe a man rose from the grave and rose into the sky without one eye-witness ever writing about it? I know! This is an uphill battle, folks. And probably a never-ending one. Think of it like the last episode of Angel. There’s no point worrying about victory when the nobility is in the fight. Also, there’s a good chance we’ll be cancelled by the network. Look, it’s nothing personal, they just have to make room for another season of 7th Heaven.
See what I did there? Metaphors are fun. Now remove your penis from that calf and get to work.