Showing posts with label Atheism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atheism. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I keep none for myself.

So I haven't been here in a long time. Too much to do, too little to say, I guess. It's not you, blog, it's me. A lot has gone on, though. Working backwards; I put in my two weeks notice at my job yesterday. So in two weeks I'll play The Austin City Limits Festival and it will be the first show I play as a full time musician. I have a lot of emotions about this, as I'm sure anyone can imagine. I've been working the last 15 years to reach this point and I really hope that a year from now I'm not looking for another job. I'm excited and anxious and nervous and proud and frankly, scared out of my wits. Please tell your friends about Quiet Company, because now, my family's livelihood actually depends on my success.

 It's also imperative that our next tour goes well, because this is somewhat of a trial run with this booking agent, who is the booking agent we most wanted. So if you live near any of the following towns, please, please, please, make it your beeswax to be at these shows:

Oct. 20 - NYC, NY @ The Mercury Lounge (Official CMJ show, but you can buy tix at the door)
Oct. 21 - Rochester, NY @ Dubland Underground
Oct. 23 - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
Oct. 24 - Akron, OH @ Musica
Oct. 25 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
Oct. 26 - Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen
Oct. 27 - Chicago, IL @ a house show
Oct. 28 - St. Louis, MO @ Cicero's
Oct. 30 - Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
Oct. 31 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
Nov. 01 - Washington, DC @ The Black Cat
Nov. 02 - Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
Nov. 03 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's
Nov. 04 - Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East (upstairs)

All shows, except NYC, are with Brick + Mortar.

 We just returned a couple weeks ago from our first tour in a long while. We were out for about 2 weeks and I can say with no hesitation that it was our best tour ever, both financially, and emotionally. We had a great time, had generally great shows, and I had a real sense of purpose in what I was doing for the first time in a while. It also felt really nice to be playing outside of Texas. I love Texas more than anywhere but it's been feeling like too much of a good thing. 

Last Friday I played my second solo show at the Cactus Cafe. My position on solo acoustic performances is well known to those who know me well. For those who don't: I'm not for it, generally. I've been doing them for a few reasons, 1. it allows us to keep up our presence in Austin without having to play a show 2. it allows me to test new material 3. it gets me out of my comfort zone and forces me to develop further as a performer and 4. because the other guys in Quiet Company told me I should.

This last one was especially interesting for me, as I shared it with Chris Simpson and Lee Bozeman. My obsession with the work of these men is well documented, but getting Lee at the show was a special treat, as he hasn't played a show in 8 years. Friday night was proof of why that is such a tragedy because he was phenomenal. If I could steal anyone's voice, Lee and Freddie Mercury would be at the top of the list.

I played 6 new songs and 2 old ones. My setlist was:
The First Sonogram
The Road To Perdition
Red & Gold
The Parthenon
Hold My Head Above The Water
The Blood
The Pyre
Midnight At The Dairy Palace

 Titles are tentative.
Leah sang with me on "Hold My Head Above The Water" which was lovely, and Matt played piano on "The Pyre" and "Midnight..", which also did not suck. Reception of the new songs was good. So good that it made me more excited about writing the new record. I hadn't realized how excited I was about writing something that wouldn't offend 80% of America until that show. I don't regret anything I said on Belong, I meant every word and I needed to say it, but I am looking forward to not having to worry about other people's reception of the thing being affected or determined by preconceived beliefs. I'm sure our parents are looking forward to having their sons do something new that they're not apprehensive about sharing with their friends, as well.

 I flash between courageous and terrified with bipolar rapidity these days. I'm going to go have a panic attack now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Facebook: Where Christians get to be the majority and the martyr

Someone on Facebook posted a meme that said:
"Dear God,
Why do you allow so much violence in our schools?
A Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student,
I'm not allowed in your schools.
God"


I find this type of thing annoying because it's super lame how the Christian right wants to shout at you about how this is a Christian country where everyone is Christian and the majority should rule, and then two seconds later play the victim like this. Facebook is rife with this sort of thing. Well, I crafted my own "god" response and posted it, and even though it was deleted by the person who posted the original meme, I was so proud of it I just reproduced it for you here:

"Dear Concerned Student,
Jehovah here. I hope I'm who you were looking for. You just said "god" and frankly, that could be any number of people up here, and since America alone is home to hundreds of religions worshiping different deities it's important to specify.
What I meant to say is that I'm actually just as welcome in schools as I ever was, it's just that the constitution prohibits any publicly owned institution, such as a public school, from forcing you to worship or acknowledge me in anyway if you don't choose to. This has always been the case, but I suppose it's becoming more and more important to adhere to as your country's culture continues to diversify. I'm sure you can see how the separation of church and state allows both things to flourish without the other's influence or control and protects your religious, or non religious, freedoms. Your founding fathers understood how terrible it would be to have any governmental authority figure mandate how, when, or what you should worship, if anything. I don't know why this concept seems to be lost on so many conservatives. Anyway, I'm rambling.

As far as your question goes, I have to quote Epicurus:
'Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?'

I hate to admit it but he did zing me with that one. Violence in school is a bummer though. Did you see that Youtube video where the fat kid is being bullied by the skinny kid and his friends and eventually he just has enough of it and picks up the skinny kid and body slams the crap out of him? That was awesome! I watched that thing like 4 times in a row. Anyway, I digress.

Look, I'd love to help you out but I don't really like to get involved, I'm more of a "hands off" deity. You guys are great, though, I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Best of luck and peace in the Middle East!
God
.


I had another line in there that had god talking about watching old Wrestlemania videos online, but it just seemed like too much.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Republican Christianity, everybody!



This reminds me of all those really awesome scriptures where Jesus talks about how important being wealthy is, and how awesome rich people are, and about how you shouldn't care about the health and wellbeing of those less fortunate than yourself. Billboard God is so cool, guyz.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I don't know if I'm fighting the "good fight," but I'm certainly fighting.

The internet is full of people, this much we know for sure. All kinds of people, really. Just look at this blog! In this one tiny area of cyberspace we have quite the smorgasbord of intellects and ideals. Let's look at religion.

We have people like myself and Green (hope you don't mind being lumped in with me) who've done our time in one sect of Christianity or another and though finding it unfulfilling (to put it very lightly), we're still skeptically open to the possibilities.

We have people like the good Teresa, who is very sure that there is no god, and more power to her.

We have people like Travis, who is completely sure that there is a god, and although he has failed to convince me that the case is concrete, god bless him, he keeps trying.

And then we have people like my wife, Leah, who remain comfortably disinterested in the whole matter. This is the stance I envy the most.

So here we are, this quaint little community. I think everyone is, generally, polite, courteous, and pleasant. Even Travis, who opposes almost every single thing I say about religion, does so in a respectful, even tempered, way. For this, I am very thankful. It's not like this everywhere else, as I've just experienced.

Remember The Naked Pastor? I wrote about him, briefly, a while back. Well, David Hayward (the Naked Pastor), has recently decided to leave his church. He just feels like he doesn't belong there anymore for whatever reason and he is leaving on good terms. Of course, this is met with an outpouring of support from his friends and blog readers. I, personally, sent no note of encouragement because, while I enjoy his blog, I don't really care if he works at a church or not. But he seems like a decent guy and I do wish him all the best.

So then there is a blog called Remonstrans written by a guy named Norm who goes by the alias "Dissidens." I believe the blog is set up to be a critique on the "emerging church" but honestly, I haven't looked at it past the post in question. Dissidens doesn't like Naked Pastor. Seems to have a vendetta against him, to me. So he posted this blog about David's leaving. I didn't really find anything terribly awful in the post. He's entitled to his opinions. I thought calling David a "basket case" was petty, but mild.

The only reason I found the blog was because David linked to it in his response. But it wasn't until I saw the first two comments that I thought I should speak up. Here is the conversation, as it pertains to me, in its entirety.
Team Us is in bold.
Team Them in italics.

Dissidens said:

That’s true: the horror of this hits someone who has read Dave’s jitney creed and the sycophants he’s attracted.

When these people desire a theology that commends itself to their sad intellects, this is what they get and this is the price they pay! Hayward questioned everything but himself, and this is his legacy.

What a grisly soul.



So I said:
Sad intellects? Jesus, you guys clearly know everything. Better a sycophant than an asshole.


It was several comments later before anyone thought that what I said was worth commenting on and it came from someone calling themselves "The Divine Passive."

I can't tell if Taylor is both praying AND cussing, or merely cussing. The NP would be proud either way I suppose.


Well, I couldn't have people think I'm praying so....
The Divine Passive,
I'm just cussing.



Simple enough, right? I really thought that I was done there, but Dissidens couldn't have me leave without a dose of good ol' scripture.
Taylor:

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Do you not fear God, Taylor?



Well, he asked me a question, so he deserves an honest answer. I've always thought the terminology of "fearing God" is strange, but I've had it explained to me in more ways than I care to remember so I get it. I know what Christians mean when they say it, more or less.
If there is a god, then I'm relatively sure it's not Jehovah, so I would say that I fear your god about as much as I fear Santa Claus.

Also, I guess I should clarify that I don't fear Santa Claus



Now here is where it gets really juicy. Dissidens comes out swinging!
Taylor:

Now see, this is exactly why I think Hell was a brilliant idea. You’re not sure there is a god, but you’re pretty sure it isn’t one particular god, and on the strength of that uncertainty you blaspheme his name when he explicitly told everyone not to.

If you can’t reason with such a person, what more appropriate future could there than eternal confusion?



So not only is this lovely soul glad that there is a hell (or glad he can think there is, anyway) he's particularly pleased that I'm going. Now the concept of hell is a discussion I'm not trying to have right now, but I will say that the idea that god will forgive child molesters, rapists, and murderers but has no room in his heart for people who are not easily convinced of the far fetched, is....weak sauce. Anyway, this was my favorite response because his was so primed for parroting. So I said....
Now see, this is exactly why I think cussing was such a brilliant idea. You've got no empirical evidence that there even is a god, but you're somehow certain that you've picked the right one, and on the strength of that unjustified certainty you belittle and condescend to people who differ from, but are still just as clueless as, you. At least the folks over at Naked Pastor seem to enjoy a sense of self awareness that you're apparently not privy to.

If you can't reason with such a person, what more appropriate future could there be than to be eternally called an asshole?



So he said...
Who says a) that I don’t have empirical evidence for the existence of Yahweh? and b) that only empirical evidence is sufficient for belief? Why couldn’t faith derive from logic and first principles?

You’re as good a philosopher as Dave is a theologian. I can see how you would appreciate his sense of self-awareness.



And then I went home and lived life and Todd and Hollie came over and we played in the park and ate pizza and watched Lost and went to bed. So I didn't have time to respond and in my absence, Mike The Infidel stepped in and said a lot of what I wanted to say...
I'm more than a bit amused by someone who describes hell as 'eternal confusion' in a comment on a post talking about people's attitudes being non-biblical. Where, pray tell, does this conception of hell come from?

As for:
a) Please, provide it.
b) Faith is enough for belief, certainly, but why should faith be valued?



Before Dissidens could get back to him, The Divine Passive was back and he had some questions for Mike and I...
Mike and Taylor

How should I (or any other Christian) understand your hanging around Christian sites if your "spiritual journey" has taken you away from Christianity? And what is it about the NP that you find attractive?



AND THEN I'M BACK AND I'M JABBING AND I'M SWINGING...
Well, I don't recall being much of a philosopher on here, but this is great, I've been looking for someone who has all the answers and here you've been all along. If it weren't for the Naked Pastor, I'd never have found the one person with empirical, testable, verifiable, evidence that not only does god exist but we know his name.
So, although Mike already beat me to the punch here, if you've got such evidence, prove it. My email is taylorglenmuse (at) gmail (dot) com. If you don't mind, write me an email explaining and demonstrating this evidence. If it is truly empirical, then you should be able to prove yourself right, beyond a reasonable doubt. Try to remember my "sad intellect" though and use small, concise words.
However, if you can't really prove it, then all you've proven yourself to be is an unyielding, arrogant, person who puts theology ahead of people. In other words, you're a pharisee, and we all know how Jesus felt about them.

The Divine Passive:
I can't speak for Mike, but I'm only on this blog because NP linked it, and then this guy called people that read NP "sycophants" with "sad intellects" so I called him an "asshole," and so on and so on. I guess the shorter answer is "because I have a lot of free time at work, and I find religion interesting even if I no longer partake."
What I like about the NP, is that he's often pretty funny and/or insightful, and while a lot of Christian blogs tend to sell what I consider unjustified certainty, while being completely unable to understand how anyone could disagree with them, it's refreshing for someone to be the slightest bit humble about their faith while understanding how some can not believe.



AND HERE COMES DISSIDENS...only he doesn't really want to talk...He'd rather talk about talking.
Taylor:

God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? I don’t guess we get many readers via nakedpastor.com, but then not many people get to Nineveh via a nasty fish. God appears to have a wicked--if I can use that word--sense of humor.

I can see you’re having trouble focusing here, Taylor. I understand how a steady diet of the assumptions and platitudes one gets from Hayward could encourage a habit of sloppy thinking, but let’s tidy this up a bit. Back while you were scrambling for a spell-checker you said, (comment #28) “You've got no empirical evidence that there even is a god…”. That is the kind of self-serving assumption a lot of skeptics make about my life.

If you read my answer more carefully than you read the opinions on NP, you will discover that I never said a) that I ever had empirical evidence, or b) that I could “prove it”—your words. I was challenging your own claim that I had no such empirical evidence; you don’t know if I have or if I haven’t. So here right at the beginning of your gymnastic routine you’ve already fallen slap off the beam.

Make A Note: I didn’t say I had empirical evidence, I said you couldn’t know whether I have or haven’t. That was your first faceplant.

It might—but probably won’t—interest you to know that I believe God is 1) invisible, 2) inscrutable, and 3) ineffable; I cannot see him, I cannot comprehend him, and I cannot explain him—even to myself, let alone to a miseducated skeptic. If God doesn’t want you to see him, he could sit on the bridge of your nose and whistle to you and you still could not detect him, even “empirically”.

Your second faceplant was the assumption that the only way I might come by reliable knowledge (or faith) was empirically. If your Mom could go to the bookstore and bring home an idiot’s guide to flossfy, you could look up the word “empirical” and learn that not all knowledge comes through experience or science. If your Mom won’t do that for you, go here and follow the links.

Read Kant if you can, he’s helped many people all over the world.



"Don't say I don't have evidence!!!" OK, what evidence? "I NEVER said I had evidence, you're stupid. Read Kant."

And then a newcomer joined in, by the name of Warren, and he's got a few assumptions he'd like to make...
Taylor:

I enjoyed the Pharisee slight from someone who believes that Jesus was wrong about Theology and therefore people anyway.

I also like the fact you borrow from Theistic morality to judge. Unless of course you can define morality from naturalism.

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/04/atheist-i-have-honest-questions-dodge.html



I clicked on his link only to be unsurprised by the kind of up-our-own-ass apologetics that are so tiring. "If you want me to believe it I need proof" "You won't believe it no matter what the proof is!!" "Well, we'll never know until you actually show me some, will we?" "First you prove me wrong!" *Facepalm.

While I was drafting my final response, a fella named Joshua Allen joined in. I'm not sure what side he's on but I got a chuckle out of his response, either way...
@Taylor: You're challenging the wrong person. You should demand proof from God Himself. You should challenge God to a game of chess, and publish the challenge details far and wide, so that God cannot fail to hear you. If He shows up and beats you at chess, you'll have a story to tell. But if he doesn't show up, you'll be able to tell everyone that God doesn't exist, or at least that you are a better chess player than God.

Clearly, God would not let a challenge from a mortal like yourself go unanswered, since it would be so damaging to His reputation. Therefore, failure to appear is proof of lack of existence, or else fear of something even worse -- being a bad chess player.



Alas, I already know that I am a horrible, horrible chess player and I'm painfully aware of what a waste of time this has been and would continue to be. I just wanted to throw a little support behind David, call an asshole an asshole and be on my way, so I said...
Well, as fun as semantics and assumptions can be, I don't appear to have been wrong, do I? I said you didn't have evidence, you implied that that was not the case, I asked for it, and now you want to make the argument about whether or not you ever really said you had any. And you want to accuse me of intellectual gymnastics?

I know this is a complete waste of time, but if god is all the things you say he is, how did you come to know so much more about him than everyone else? There doesn't seem to be anything of substance here, just a theological "I know you are but what am I?!"

"...I believe God is 1) invisible, 2) inscrutable, and 3) ineffable; I cannot see him, I cannot comprehend him, and I cannot explain him—even to myself, let alone to a miseducated skeptic."

How convenient. You'd think those beliefs would lend themselves to a more humble approach but I suppose Kant can explain how you should be a dickhead to everyone that disagrees with you. I think we're done now. You talk a lot but don't say very much.

Warren,
Is it not possible to disagree with some things a person says and agree with others? Just because I don't believe that Jesus was god doesn't mean I don't think he said some lovely things. I would ask you to explain how Theists have exclusive rights to morality but I'm probably not going to be around to read it. I would also ask why you assume I'm a naturalist. Naturalists aren't the only thing you can be if you're not a theist, you know.


So that's what I've been doing. It was a good time but I won't be going back to see if anyone responds further, because I don't want to get drawn back in, and I know I could be. But it did make me appreciate the conversations that we have here that much more. I kind of understand them calling me names and saying I'm painfully ignorant or whatever they would say, but I think it's really weird to have that level of animosity towards David, who differs greatly on a lot of issues, to be sure, but still believes the same basic things. Seems theologically cannibalistic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion

I am of the belief that, if you do horrible things, or knowingly allow horrible things to occur when it is in your power to stop them, you should be held accountable, no matter who you are. That's why I believe that every Catholic priest who molested children should be in jail. That's also why I believe that the Pope should be in jail. That's also why I believe that, seemingly, half the Vatican should be in jail.

If your priest touches your child, he should go to jail, or into a body bag and I'd probably opt for the latter. But the Catholics just let that shit happen. They trust in their precious popes, and bishops, and sexless nuns, their Bill Donohues, and their personal priests. They trust that those people of "authority" have the best moral judgement, I guess because they know god so well. I'm flabbergasted by the naivety of it all.

Hey Catholics, you know who generally makes good moral judgements? The fucking police. Maybe call them next time.

I'm glad that someone is finally trying to hold these sex offenders accountable, but the fact that it took 11,750 cases of sexual abuse, 11,750+ lives ruined, all in the hopes of keeping the Catholic church from looking bad, is heartbreaking to say the least.

And let's not fail to notice how G.W. Bush stepped in to save the pope from accountability last time. To me, that makes George W. Bush an aider and abettor of child molesters. Which is just as bad as being a child molester. So rationally, George W. Bush is a child molester.

Here are a couple of gems from LOL god.




Addendum:
Leah has launched her new baby fashion blog, Lennon Closet, and it is adorable. Go check it out to see the best dressed babies and whatnot.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's already Friday.

I generally don't think that I am a person with a lot of pet peeves, but today, I discovered one capable of bringing about an immediate and fiery response. While in a political discussion (which I generally try to avoid, being the only Socialist in the office), one of my coworkers said "Ah, you're never going to change."

Seems simple enough, right? He said this because I made a statement about how I would never vote Republican (again). I've had a two friends say this about me before as well, and it always gets under my skin. While I would normally think that maybe this is a good indication to look at one's self and wonder if, perhaps, they're right about you, I'm just calling bullshit.

First off, what they really mean is "You should agree with me, and I'm unable to convince you to." Your inability to make a concrete case for your position actually says nothing about my inability to change mine. I think it's an even more ridiculous thing to say about me when I think about how much changing I've done over the years and how many people I know that I've never known to change their position on anything.
2000- I was a fundamentalist Christian. I thought it was wrong to intermarry races. I thought homosexuality was a choice and a sin. I thought George W. Bush would be a great president. I thought evolution was a lie. I was convinced that Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Militantly pro-life.
2003- I became a liberal Christian. Realized how ridiculous racism is. Began to understand homosexuality. Thought George Bush mishandled war. Realized there is probably no scientific conspiracy regarding origins of life. Remained convinced of Michael Jackson's guilt. Still pro-life, but not militant.
2009- Realized I could not find a good reason to consider myself Christian at all. Joined Socialist Party. Proponent of equal marriage rights. Evolutionist. Think's Michael Jackson was probably innocent. Not a fan of abortion, but pro-choice.

Those all seem like pretty big changes to me. So when I say I'm never voting Republican again, it's because I have before. If I don't switch to your side, it doesn't mean I'm stubborn, it just means I don't agree with you. I'm very capable of change and before you accuse me of being hard headed, perhaps you should wonder if your case is as solid as you think it is.

Anyway, that's annoying.

Side note: I think it's weird that more Christians aren't Socialists.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's better than texting while driving? Sexting while driving, of course!

Nothing much to say. It's one of those rare days where I actually spend a lot of time reading a book. I'm reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris still. I take forever to get through a book. I just don't feel like reading a lot of times. Apparently, checking my email and other internet bullshitz 1000 times a day is more important.

I guess I've been on a Sam Harris kick since I saw his TED talk about science informing morality the other day. I thought it was good. Did anyone else see it?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"I was God once." "Yes, I saw. You were doing well until everyone died."

I'm talking out of my ass, won't you join me?

One of the things my brain does, when it's not being required to do anything important, is concoct scenarios in which a personal god makes sense. I've said numerous times that I'm not really an atheist, because I don't actively believe that the existence of "god" is impossible. What I'm relatively sure about, is that organized religion is, more or less, complete nonsensical superstition wrapped around a few universal truths that you could learn just as easily by opening your eyes. Christianity's version of god simply doesn't gel with reality, as far as I can see. To my knowledge, neither does anyone else's. Well, maybe the Greeks. The reason I say that is because the Greek gods were flawed. All of the traits, good and bad, that humans, and pretty much everything in existence, have, the gods had also.

Christians need god to be perfect. Well, why is it that such a perfect thing, that you believe created everything, has shown himself incapable of creating anything perfectly? Maybe you're putting too much pressure on him. For all we really know, maybe direction of the supernatural is just a skill set that this guy happens to have, and just like anything else, it seems miraculous and amazing to people who can't do it. Playing guitar is impossible to do until you learn how to do it. What if the same reality applies to things like directing evolution or whatever reasonable theists think god does? If we say, for the sake of argument, that a personal god does exist, and we also accept the fact of Evolutionary Theory, then it looks to me that what we could infer is that god didn't have a goal, started simply, like a novice, and got better and capable of more complexity as time (lots and lots of time) went on.

So what if god is good, but he's not perfect? Maybe all those times that people feel like things worked out so perfectly that god must've been involved, he was, and he's happy he could help. But all those times that things couldn't have possibly worked out worse, he couldn't make it, there's a lot of people on the earth and hey, they all got problems, but he's really sorry. Hopefully, he can get you next time. Maybe we really are "made in his image" but what that really means is that, just like us, most of the time god is good, but he can be a real disappointing bastard sometimes, too.

In such an obviously imperfect world, why do we need to believe in a perfect deity? Why would we even think it possible? To me, if god exists, he has to feel like C-3P0, surrounded by adorable, and well meaning, but painfully misguided Ewoks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Embracing my Inner Theist.

I read blogs. Usually, while at work. I read science blogs, music blogs, personal blogs, atheist blogs and christian blogs. One of the atheist/humanist blogs I've recently started reading, and he has started reading me, is by a fellow named Jeremy called Le Cafe Witteveen. I like Jeremy's blog because he seems to have had a similar deconversion to me, and because he posts pictures like this:



Through Jeremy, I've discovered the Naked Pastor. This is probably my new favorite Christian blog. He is an actual pastor, I believe at a Vineyard Church, but he's also an aspiring artist/cartoonist, and his stuff is poignant.


But my favorite thing about him is that he embraces what he calls his "Inner Atheist," and I really applaud him for being self aware. In another post about his Inner Atheist, he says:

"I validate those who never sense God’s presence. I see honor in rejecting gods. It takes nerve to topple idols and walk away from falsehood. It is fearless to detach oneself from people who cherish counterfeit and peddle snake oil. And I think it sometimes takes courage to be an atheist. I embrace atheists, for in many ways I am one myself."


After reading about the Naked Pastor's inner atheist yesterday, I was inspired to embrace my inner theist. Driving home from work, I was thinking about my life. It is really amazing. I have the love of a beautiful woman who inspires me, adores me, and holds me accountable to myself, a beautiful daughter who is smart and who's personality grows by leaps and bounds every day, a family that loves me even when I shit all over the things they believe, a roof over my head, food in my belly, and music in my heart and in my hands and in my ears. And while I realize that it is possible, nay, probable, that none of these things required or included supernatural intervention to come to be, I feel an overwhelming rush of gratitude for them, and an overwhelming desire for a place to put that gratitude. I find my heart longing for a reason to believe in a personal theistic god, just so I have someone to thank. Of course, after I thanked him, I'd probably have to ask why he's so good to me and so awful to so many other people, but still, the sentiment remains.

Inner Theist, you have been embraced.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On fundamentalism.

This was a question someone asked Leah on her FormSpring page:
Does Taylor realize he is just as bad as Fundamentalist Christians who are intolerant of others beliefs?
Here was her answer:
I wouldn't say he is intolerant by any means because all of his family and most of his closest friends are Christian and he obviously "tolerates" them.


I guess they would say that because of all the abortion clinics I've bombed. Or I guess it could've been the time I tried to deny American citizens equal rights because of something my parents taught me out of a magic book.
Not that either?
I guess it was this blog, then. I have committed some terrible fundamentalist atheist crimes on this blog. For instance, I've asked religious people to defend their position. Gasp! I've also expressed the views that I've come to hold after 20+ years in the church that I now criticize. How unfair! I've also lovingly poked fun at several beliefs held by MANY of my closest friends and family. Shit, man! How can anyone stand to be around me? I also openly mock Scientology, but I really doubt that that has upset anyone.

The problem with the internet is that it's just a bunch of people typing bullshit at one another and on here it's so easy to forget that there's actually another human being attached to the argument. I have these same conversations ALL THE TIME with my friends, and they always seem to be full of levity and respect when they take place face to face. Here, though, I guess I can see how it's easy to think that everyone that disagrees with you is some cold, robotic, unfeeling automaton, when in actuality you would probably get along just fine.

What I'm really arguing for, however, is for intellectual honesty and self awareness. I'm not terribly "tolerant" of people claiming to know things that they don't really know and then insisting that if I don't buy in too I'll go to a place of endless sorrow. But do I know they're wrong? Hell, no. I feel like I go out of my way to say "I don't know what the answer is either."

So it goes.

But in case anyone was was wondering, I don't "tolerate" my religious friends and family. I think asking everyone for "tolerance" is weak sauce. Jesus never taught "tolerance" and it's one of the things I've always liked about him. I love the shit out of my friends and family. I cherish them. I adore them. I "tolerate" the old man at work. There's a big difference.

Friday, January 15, 2010

IntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegrityIntegr

I'm not really a fan of the late night shows on the big networks. In high school I went through a phase where I watched Letterman pretty regularly and shortly after, a friend showed me how awesome Conan is. I've always hated Leno. I don't think he's funny at all. Pretty obnoxious actually. Now in my 27th year of life on the question of "who is the best out of Leno, Letterman, or Conan?" the answer is "Jon Stewart."

Conan deserves the Tonight Show because it was promised to him. I am a firm believer in people doing what they say they will do and this seems to be a pretty clear cut case of that being the problem. To my knowledge, Conan has upheld his end of the agreement, and Jay seems to be under the impression that he can make up the rules as he goes along. I'm sure it's complicated with money and ratings, but I'm not interested in hearing that argument. Conan did his part, now NBC needs to honor their commitments. I heard about Jimmy Kimmel (who's also better than Leno), taking Leno to task on his own show last night and I can't wait to see the footage. I've heard some people saying it was staged but I don't really think so. We'll see, I guess.

When I was in youth group at my church growing up, we had a saying that I'm sure is popular in churches all over the world, "You may be the only Jesus some people ever meet."

People sometimes ask me why I bother spending my time in religious discussions with people that show no sign whatsoever of even being able to see any perspective but their own, and I think of that saying, except now it's "I may be the only skeptic some people ever meet." The only critical examination their beliefs ever get, the only voice of reason, etc. Of course, it's discouraging how little difference these conversations ever seem to make but I was encouraged the other day by my friend and Quiet Company manager, Paul. I was telling him about some of the conversations I'd had recently and I said something like "...it doesn't matter what the evidence suggests, they've made up their mind to believe what they want in spite of it." And then Paul said "Yeah, but I would've said the same thing about you a couple of years ago."

So I believe that people can come around because I did, though sometimes I forget that I, too, was once "blind but now I see" as the song says.
I'm currently involved with such a discussion via Facebook with a girl I went to school with and it has been pretty irksome and discouraging at points. I think the most irksome thing was in her email that I received this morning that essentially said "I don't know if you've ever REALLY searched for god, because the bible says that if you do, you'll find him. So if you haven't found him, surely you haven't really searched for him." Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works!

She obviously doesn't know me very well and never has so I tried to soothe my ire and countered with "I don't know if you've ever really looked critically for god because if you had, I believe you'd have found him somewhat less than present." Somewhat perfectly, as I type this, the shuffle on my Ipod randomly started playing "Godless" by The Dandy Warhols. Maybe that's an ironical sign from god that he does exists...? What does the bible say about god's appreciation for irony?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm evolving as we speak...Well, not me, but killer whales in the waters around the UK.

I've never done drugs and I've never even tasted alcohol. I did enjoy smoking tobacco but that's not so much a drug as it is just a really cool thing to do. See below:

Cool as a polar bear's nuts.


When you're a musician who doesn't drink, I think it's fair to say that you're a bit of a freak. When I was younger everyone generally assumed that it was because of my faith that I didn't drink. That may have been the case when I was 12 and blindly accepted what my baptist church taught about alcohol, which is that it is essentially bottled evil. When I actually read the Bible, I learned that Jesus loved to slow his roll with some drank, so it couldn't possibly be morally wrong, right? Yet, I still never indulged and the reason is that it simply did not/does not appeal to me. I've had friends challenge me with "How do you know you won't like it if you haven't tried it?" Great question. To which I always reply, "Have you ever had sex with a man?" (I say this to men) and they always say "No" (I've only asked this of straight men). So then I say "How do you know you won't like it if you haven't tried it?"
So there's, obviously, nothing wrong with drinking alcohol. The reasons it's never appealed to me, personally, are these: It smells like shit, it makes you smell like shit, and it lowers your inhibitions, which has always scared me because I know what kind of shit is in my head and I don't want anything lessening my ability to keep it in check.

Being a musician that has never smoked pot is almost as weird. Hell, being a person who has never smoked pot is becoming quite the oddity. I've mainly never done this simply because it's illegal and I've always felt like it would just be irresponsible to risk it. I'm pro-responsibility. Recently, I have also come to the conclusion that I would probably be one of those people who get really paranoid. I took a couple of Green Tea Caffeine fat burner pills that Tommy had a few weeks ago, and just that made me trip balls in the van on the way to a show. I can only imagine what real drugs would do to me. Still, I would much rather a teenage Harper be caught smoking pot than drinking alcohol. It's by far the safer drug. Non addictive, doesn't give you cancer, and nobody ever gets high and beats their wife. The irony that the dangerous drug is perfectly legal, and we've got a "war" on the relatively safe one, is ridiculous.

Anyway, who cares about drugs? I'll most likely try and go through my life with as little chemical perspective altering as possible. It didn't appeal to me as a Christian and it still doesn't as an atheist.

Speaking of which, I was looking back through old blogs and I happened upon one where I posted this list and asked all the readers to rate themselves. My position has changed on it since I last answered so I wondered if anyone else's had.

1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.

2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.

3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.

4. Pure Agnostic: God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.

5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.

6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.

7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.


Then I asked these questions:

1. What number on the chart do you most closely relate to?
and
2. What, if anything, would you change about your life if someone, somehow, proved you wrong about your belief?
3. If you put yourself between a 3 and 7, why do you feel the need to live a moral life (assuming that you do)?


Originally, I put myself between the 2 and 3 but now, less than a year later, I find myself somewhere between the 5 and 6. What's changed? I read more books (both atheist and apologist), I had a lot of conversations (with Christians and non-Christians), and I wrote a lot of songs (which is my favorite way of looking at and analyzing oneself and one's beliefs).

Where do you find yourself today?

Monday, December 28, 2009

You really can't trust anyone who won't dance.

Leah and I are now officially home owners. There are a lot of great things about owning your own home and a lot of benefits but the thing I'm most excited about is being done with the buying process. If there is a hell, for me, I'm sure it involves spending eternity trying to buy a house and also, shopping at IKEA is somehow involved.

Another thing I'm pumped about is that, as soon as Harper is old enough for me to push a large part of the responsibility onto her, we're getting a dog. A big, badass dog! Almost definitely a mutt; definitely a rescue. And it will be an inside dog, something I've never had.

Leah and I watched a documentary last week called The God Who Wasn't There, which makes the case that Jesus, not only wasn't divine, but didn't actually even exist. Its an entertaining movie and, despite some cheesy music and graphics, I liked it. Though, honestly, its more of an emotional appeal than an educational one. Ideas are presented but not backed up thoroughly. Its a feel good movie for atheists, in other words. It left me in, generally, the same place I was before viewing it. Which is to say, "I don't know."

Leah and I went to east Texas to celebrate the holidays with our families a couple of weekends ago, so we were tired of driving and opted to stay home on Christmas. It. Was. Amazing. We watched a lot of movies, cooked and ate good food, relaxed, she got some editing done, I got some recording done and also beat X-Men Origins: Wolverine for Xbox 360. My favorite thing was on Friday when we put Harper to bed and made a huge pallet on the living room floor out of blankets and comforters and watched Inglorious Basterds, which is a lovely film. Last night, my mom and dad came to town (because we bought our house from them and we closed today) and we went out to eat and got in some sweet hang time. All in all, one of my favorite holidays ever.

I've been a little annoyed with something on Facebook/Twitter lately. And its not a big deal, just one of those things. But on Facebook, especially on Sundays, you get a ton of people updating their statuses with really exuberantly religious statements. "Going to church to worship our perfect lord and bask in his ray of golden loveliness with forgiveness and mercy etc. etc. etc...."

That's all fine and good, and while I may quietly (or loudly) scoff a little bit, that's not what annoys me, really.
First, let me say that sometimes when I've told my Christian friends that I'm no longer a believer, the news is met with a sort of...I don't know if "pity" is the right word, but we'll run with it. I get the feeling that they think I've lost my faith in the same way that a little boy loses his puppy. But that's not the truth. I haven't "lost" anything in the sense that I've misplaced it or had it taken from me, I've very calmly, and very intently rejected it, least ways until that time where I'm provided sound reasoning to return to it. And I'm not sad about it. Quite the contrary. I LOVE HUMANISM. I love the idea that we can be good for goodness' sake, without the permission, direction, or threat of punishment from an unseen deity. I love the idea that humans are all in this together and I love being part of a community that I feel is a proponent of reason, equality, kindness, and scientific thought.

So, that being said, sometimes I'd love to fire off a status update about how free I feel, having abandoned religion, and how joyous that is to me, but knowing a lot of my Christian friends, I feel like a lot of them see any representation of ideals that conflict with their own as an affront to their ideals. Its a double standard, and maybe one that exists only in my head, but an annoyance all the same. Technically speaking, their status updates are an affront to my beliefs, but I don't get offended. Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit. Maybe we'll never know.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bill O'Reily is an asshole. Also, bears shit in the woods.



If you watch Fox "News" for any reason other than comedic value, then you deserve to have your head filled with polarizing, sensationalist, right wing tripe. Its a testament to Bill's journalistic integrity that instead of bringing on a representative from the American Humanist Association he brings on 2 other Fox "News" talking heads, presumably so they can all agree with each other. That is, after all, the point of Fox: so people who are too conservative for their own good get to hear someone shouting out what they think on TV, regardless of whether or not what they say is factual, objective, or responsible. As long as you're completely sure you're right, no matter what and the truth be damned, you have a place at a 24 hour news network in America.

Since no humanist was present to answer Bill's nonsensical questions, I'll do it.
-Humanist groups have been putting up signage like this all over Europe for quite some time now, and now American groups are starting to.
-Yes, they'll put them up in July.
-Yes, they'll put them up around Easter.
-Yes, they'll put them up around Ramadan.
-No, we don't hate the baby Jesus...moron.
-No, those signs are no more of an affront to religious groups than nativity scenes all over the place are to Muslims or Jews.
-The sign says, "No God? No problem. You can be good without god." it doesn't say "If you believe in god, you're a f**king moron! And we hate you. And we hate your stupid family." What, exactly, is wrong with people reaching out to the like minded for a sense of community? Isn't that what church is? The fact is that we live in a hugely religious society, and its not uncommon for non-believers to feel like they're alone in their beliefs, especially around the holidays.
-Most of us celebrate some form of the holiday anyway so, no, you arogant child, we're not "jealous" of what a good time religious people have around the holiday.
-Christmas, like Easter, is an originally pagan holiday that Christianity hijacked somewhere along the way. So, if you want to get into a game of "who was here first?" the Christians will find themselves pretty far back in the line.

It is trully sad how much Bill O'Reilly depends on his audience being ignorant little sheep. A loud voice does not a sound argument make.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heritage not hate....

By now, most of the people who care know how hardly any of our founding fathers were evangelical Christians. Some were Deists, some where probably Atheists, most were skeptics at least. So I don't know how we got from that point to this point where non religious people can't get elected to any public office without at least paying some form of lip service to one denomination or another.

Well, color me impressed, Asheville, NC. They've elected an openly Atheist man, Cecil Bothwell to the city council. Its only the city council but its a start. Now, I don't know if this is a good choice or bad choice, since I know nothing about his politics, I just think its impressive that he was able to get elected at all.

Apparently, there are some crazies trying to bar him from service because the NC state constitution states that no one can hold public office if they "deny the being of almighty God." Obviously, their constitution is unconstitutional, but you can't explain that to crazy Confederate flag loving, former NAACP president H.K. Edgerton. So it goes.

I recently received an email from girl I knew in high school and also went to church with. She had purchased Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon, off of itunes and wanted to tell me how much she liked it. However she was curious what the terms "Deist" and "Humanist" meant, as she had seen them on my Facebook. I explained the terms and, through a few email exchanges, told her a little about my deconversion from Christianity. Being devoutly Christian herself, I suppose she found this somewhat disturbing and wrote me yesterday to explain that now she can't listen to some of the songs on the record because they show a disregard for the things she believes. She specifically referred to the song "How to Fake Like You're Nice & Caring." I've heard other people talk about how that is the most anti-Christian song on the record and it just goes to show that what you mean for a song to say and what it actually ends up saying to people can be two totally different things.

First off, the record is full of mixed philosophies mainly because there was a lot of time between the first and second record. So some songs have been around for a really long time by the time they get recorded. That's why in "Congratulations, April and Lucas" I'm sure that there "must be a god" but by the time I wrote "Congrats Seth & Kara" I thought that Old Testament Joshua was "an asshole" and by the time I wrote "My new Years Resolution..." I was sure that nobody knows anything about death and the afterlife.

"How to fake" was written out of frustration with our culture's politics and right wing political theatre but I used a lot of religious imagery so I'm sure its misleading to some people. To me, its one of the more, if not christian then certainly, moralist songs on the record.

All these mixed philosophies won't be problem on the third record though. I'm really happy with the way the writing is going. There will be parts that are so epic and anthemic that they'll seem like a Humanist praise and worship record (if that wasn't an oxymoron, that is), but I think it will also be the most personal thing I've ever written.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about losing fans, though. I know that either by circumstance or coincidence, we've aquired a lot of Christian fans over the years and I hope they remain fans. I hope they can continue to listen to Quiet Company and just accept that everyone's journey is different and that they don't have to agree with me to empathize with me. I made mewithoutYou my #1 record of the year and I certainly disagree with the philosophy of that band. But when I listen to them, I'm not sitting here going "Oh, I disagree with that and that and that." Instead, I'm sitting here going "Man, he's a great f**king lyricist!"

But who knows. That's me, I could be wrong.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

With friends named "Boner" who needs enemies?


Do you remember Growing Pains? I loved Growing Pains. No one can deny that the show was largely carried by the talent and undeniable charm of one Kirk Cameron. Mike Seaver was the white Theo Huxtable.

That's why its so painful to watch Kirk Cameron's endeavors now. He and this Ray Comfort character have republished Darwin's Origin and are handing out their copies on college campuses all over the country on the 150 year anniversary of its publication. The problem is that they've added their own introduction trying the tired old (and baseless) strategy of connecting Evolution to eugenics and Hitler and, until they were called out on it, were publishing with 4 essential chapters suspiciously missing.

So I guess he was handing out these copies yesterday and a student decided to take him to task and as much as I hate myself for linking to TMZ, they're the ones with the video. Its a little hard to hear what Kirk says (headphones will help) but its pretty apparent that he doesn't know much about the Theory that he's so opposed to. They clearly think that if they can tarnish the name of Darwin, they're somehow striking a mighty blow against atheism. But no atheist (or any other non religious, critically minded person) believes Darwin to be a prophet or messiah or infallible at all. In fact, he got several things wrong and had ideas about genetics that would have made evolution impossible. But trying to somehow tie him to Hitler doesn't change the fact that he was right about a lot of things and made our understanding of biology today possible. He could've been a child molester, and while that would've certainly changed the way we celebrate him today, it wouldn't have made his ideas less brilliant or pioneering.

Science builds on ideas, like the girl in the video says, and our understanding of Evolution has grown tremendously since Origin was published. If you wanted to learn about Evolution, I don't think you'd even read Origin. Not for sheer understanding anyway. You'd want to read something that has the best and the most information possible so you'd probably read something written recently by a scientist who's currently working in the field.

I wonder what Alan Thicke thinks about Evolution...And by that I mean that I don't wonder what Alan Thicke thinks about Evolution. Not because I don't think he's smart, I'm sure he's a genius, I just mean he's an actor and not exactly a voice of authority on science. I'm not going to ask him to prescribe me medications either.

I still want to like Kirk Cameron even though the general internet consensus seems to be that he's a bit of a douche bag. I heard that even when he's acting he won't kiss any woman but his wife, and while some may think that trivial and stupid, I think its admirable. I'm also sure he loves his six kids and his friends and is probably a nice guy, he's just really, really wrong about Darwin and seems to be unreasonable about science. There are worse things a person can be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"If there's a god looking down below, I hope he sees all that he controls. And if he chooses not to intervene maybe its best that I don't succeed."

I'm going to let my friend, Jason, blog for me today. And by that, I mean that I'm feeling lazy as shit and his blog talks about me so I'm going to link it.


In this one he talks about the conversations that he and I have had, usually over wings at Waterloo Icehouse, about Jesus/faith/atheism/yadayadayada.

In this one he talks about why he likes my song "On Modern Men," and relates it to the first blog.

I love it when people talk about me and Jason's a really kind and smart guy. When you're done reading the blogs be sure to listen to his music and get your life enriched, as well.

I don't agree with everything he says (and I guess that's kind of the point), but most of my complaints with his post are semantics and not worth noting because I think I agree with the core of what he's saying. Enjoy.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
ADDENDUM:
Jason doesn't have a link on his new site to the Jets Under Fire site, and you can get way more of his music there (for free!!) so I thought I'd add it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I heard that Paranomal Activity sucks...


I had a pretty great weekend. Leah had weddings Friday and Saturday, which sucked, but the weather was perfect and Harper and I went for a lot of walks, which was lovely. On Saturday, Jeff and Angela came over and we grilled some chicken, squash, and sausages and watched Serenity. I love Serenity/Firefly. So fun, so underrated.

Sunday afternoon, Quiet Company played at the Austin AIDS Walk. It was really fun, and we were really thankful to have been asked to be a part of it. Between songs, a couple of people who were handing out condoms asked me if I wanted one, and, at the AIDS Walk, I said "No, I don't use condoms." I then proceeded to explain that I was married and that my wife is on birth control so I have no need of condoms, but everyone who's not in a committed, monogamous relationship should use them. I thought it was pretty funny in that way that awkwardness is always funny. It was Harper's first Quiet Company show, outside of her mother's belly. I think she enjoyed it.

Last night, we had a rehearsal with our auxiliary musicians and I must confess, it went a hell of a lot better than I thought it might. Really well, actually. There is a big difference between fake sampled horns and real horns, I can assure you of that. I'm pretty pumped to play with this lineup this Friday. Its starting to look like we may pull off a bit of a rock spectacle after all.


I'm a little disappointed in NPR for this story. Apart from the facts they got wrong about PZ Myer's "Crackergate" incident, they painted the Atheist movement in a wholly negative tone. At least that's how it read to me. I've read a few of the "New Atheist" books and I frequent Pharyngula so I think I'm pretty well versed in the message they're spreading, and I can totally understand why theists think they are awful, mean spirited, assholes. I really do. I'm still not really sure where I stand as far as whether or not I think this is a good approach. I think its easy to see that it is an effective approach though, and I'm inclined to say "it takes all kinds." I don't think I want to be a "New Atheist" (largely because I'm a Deistic Humanist) but its not because I think they're mean. Their message is "religion doesn't deserve our respect" and that is commonly misconstrued as "religious people don't deserve our respect." Its a fine line, and I'm at a loss as to how to embrace one and not the other. I do think that our culture has developed this weird relationship with religion that demands that "kid gloves" be used when critiquing and attacking it. Politics, economics, philosophy, etc, none of these have such a stipulation, but if someone says "Well, that's what my faith teaches. I just believe it." it signifies that any further criticism is unwelcome, and more unfortunately, likely to be ignored. The "New Atheists" say that non believers should be bold and honest, and I would agree (I think its good advise for people of all beliefs, actually) but I don't know if its possible to convince people that just because we don't respect your beliefs because we don't think they were arrived at rationally, it doesn't mean that we don't respect you as people. When people make those beliefs such a part of their identity they don't see the difference, and maybe the "New Atheists" need to realize that if they want to make an even bigger difference. Or not, what do I know?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar...All are offended by what they see.

Today is Blasphemy Day, in case you didn't know.

As a non-religious person, let me say that this is one of the most needless "holidays" a person could possibly celebrate. Sure, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being open about how ridiculous you may find some or all religions, and mocking them among friends, but how is that different from any other day. I'm just worried that people are going to be using this as an opportunity to be assholes and that is counter-productive. Most religious people already kind of think that openly non-religious people are jerks and the fact that we have a day dedicated to blaspheming the things they hold most sacred isn't going to change their minds. All that to say that I will not be taking part in Blasphemy Day.

I'm not in any way saying we shouldn't criticize, its just that dedicating a holiday to Blasphemy seems unwise and unkind. You catch more flies with honey, and all that.

Yesterday, I finished the book I was reading before lunch and then had nothing to read the rest of my lull of a day. So I was excited to get a new book from the library last night but lo and behold, I forgot it in my haste to get to work this morning. If I wasn't so tired, I'd kick myself.

Leah and I have been hooked on the show, Dexter. Its a strange thing to be cheering on a serial killer, but hey, good TV is good TV.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Congress, you're supposed to raise your hand before you shout out like a jackass. Its called "manners," bro.

I often call myself a Deist, though to hear me talk you'd probably say I sound more like an Atheist. I guess they're both correct, in a way. I'm an Atheist in the way that everyone is an Atheist, meaning that there are plenty of gods that I don't believe in. I don't believe in Zeus or Thor, nor do I believe in Allah or Jehovah (though they're essentially the same thing).

Deism, like Atheism, isn't a religion. There is no dogma, no holy text, and no doctrine to which our beliefs must adhere. Its really just a category that you fall into. Being such, Deists more often than not have vastly different beliefs. When I say "I'm a Deist" all I mean is that I accept the possibility that there is something out in the universe that caused the big bang, and at this juncture it is unexplained and unexplainable (though it might not always be).

For some, Deism lends itself to an Intelligent Design explanation of the world, and this is where I think I start sounding more like an Atheist because "Design" implies that there was a goal, and I don't see anything that makes me think that that's the case. I do see a lot of things that lead me to believe that Natural Selection shaped life into its current complexity through millions and millions of trials and errors.

I'm somewhat of a creator, myself, in that I'm a songwriter. I think that any artist will probably agree with me here. When I sit down to write a song I have no idea what the song will sound like, because I haven't created it yet. I'm inspired but I don't have a goal that I'm trying to achieve. As I begin to work I do some things I like and keep them and some things I don't like and cut them. And the truth is that its never really finished, like any piece of art, there's not a finished point. There is only the point at which I stopped working on it. That doesn't mean that I will never change it, it just means I'm through for now. Plus, you have to factor in the other musicians that will play on the song and how their interpretations and style will play a big part in shaping it. When we reach the stopping point, I'm often surprised by what the song has become.

To me, if god has had a hand in the story of the earth, it seems more likely that their part is more like that of the songwriter and that he/she/it/they are just as surprised as we are by what happens. But you never hear anyone entertaining the idea of a god who's not omnipotent, omnipresent, and whatnot. Not as exciting, I guess. Anyway, I don't really have any reason to think either way is true. Its just a thought I had.

Tonight, Quiet Company has a show in San Marcos with The Soldier Thread and This Will Destroy You. I think it will be very good. Also, Sunday is the big video day so PLEASE come and be extras in it. It will be fun and Sweet Leaf Tea is sponsoring the shoot so there will be drinks and whatnot.

I decided last night that its comedy gold to get on Facebook and respond to people's statuses by simply calling them a "nerd." I don't know. The word just got really funny to me last night. So no offense, because I don't think I'm done yet.