Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Book Signing For “God: The Failed Hypothesis” By Victor Stenger

Victor J. Stenger at MSCD

Victor J. Stenger, Author of the New York Times best seller “God: The Failed Hypothesis” will be speaking in the Turnhalle at the Tivoli on the Auraria campus on November 10th from 1:00-3:00pm. After his presentation copies of his book will be available for purchase and signing. The address is 9000 Auraria Parkway, Denver Colorado, 80217.

GOD: THE FAILED HYPOTHESIS
HOW SCIENCE SHOWS THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST
Victor J. Stenger

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October 26, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Events, Lecture, News, Newsletter, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Religion Ever Be Right about Right and Wrong?

A presentation by Sam Harris

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Lecture, religion | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adam And Eve…And Lilith

A Contradiction in Terms.

Genesis 1:27- “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” You will notice that god creates man and woman AT THE SAME TIME and this woman’s name in never mentioned.

Let us now examine and consider the second verse, which is the contradictory and yet most well known story of the creation of man and woman.

Genesis 2:21-23-“21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man.”

This is the story most are familiar with known as “the rib story”. This woman is then named Eve, however she is NOT the FIRST woman and not the first wife of Adam.

Midrash Explained.

To find this out the name, Jewish scholars engaged in something called Midrash. Midrash, according to the Online Encarta Dictionary/Encyclopedia, is “commentary on Hebrew Bible: a body of Rabbinic literature consisting of commentary on and clarification of biblical texts, first compiled before 500 ad”. If that is not “authoritative” enough for you, according to the Oxford English Dictionary Midrash is, “A Rabbinic homiletic commentary on a text from the Hebrew Scriptures, characterized by non-literal ..nterpretation and legendary illustration.”

Why did they use Midrash?

Jewish Rabbis were not stupid. They understood that these two stories contradict each other. Since, Genesis is contained in the first five books of the bible known as “The Torah” and “The Five Books of Moses” and considered the most direct revelation from god to humans; the Rabbis decided this contradiction had an explanation that could get rid of the apparent contradiction. They did this by looking through the Bible (Old Testament) and looking for clues as to name of the first unnamed woman of creation. The reason, ironically enough, why the name of the woman is missing is because earlier Rabbis, those responsible for putting the Torah together didn’t like the story of the first woman, so they left the minimal amount of the story there, namely Gen 1:27. Why didn’t they like this first woman of creation? That will be explained later. First, let us look at what the Rabbis looked at during this Midrash.

Midrash Evidence

Isaiah 34:15 “…The night-demon Lilith, evil and rapacious, will establish permanent quarters. Scavenging carrion birds will breed and brood, infestations of ominous evil.” Here is mentioned Lilith, a woman-demon. They link this name up with a woman in Jewish lore known to them at the time but coming down to us through a medieval text known as The Alphabet of Ben Sira, in full text and explained later.

Why is this important?

According to ancient Jewish lore, known from a medieval text, based on lost texts of the same stories, known as The Alphabet of Ben Sira, Lilith is the unnamed wife in Gen 1:27. The story explains why the book was left out of the Pentateuch/Torah, how and why Lilith goes away, and is supposed to explain why babies die early, why men have wet dreams and as a way to demonize women.

The Alphabet of Ben Sira

The Story of Lilith

“The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi, Snsvi, and Smnglof. After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ (Gen. 2:18). He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith began to fight. She said, ‘I will not lie below,’ and he said, ‘I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while am to be in the superior one.’ Lilith responded, ‘We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.’ But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: ‘Sovereign of the universe!’ he said, ‘the woman you gave me has run away.’ At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels to bring her back.

“Said the Holy One to Adam, ‘If she agrees to come back, fine. If not she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.’ The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God’s word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, ‘We shall drown you in the sea.’

“‘Leave me!’ she said. ‘I was created only to cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.’

“When the angels heard Lilith’s words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God: ‘Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.’ She also agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we write the angels’ names on the amulets of young children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath, and the child recovers.”

Explanation for why Lilith is left out of the Torah

Lilith wanted to be equal with Adam, and gives good reason, according to the story. Adam did not want this and would not allow it, so she left him. This is quite feministic. She says, “I will not lie below”, during sex presumably and “We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.” She is actually correct, in the sense that they are equals. This is disturbing to the early Rabbis of the Judaism. In the culture of the day, men we seen as superior to women and so having this idea in the bible was unacceptable, so it was discarded. She then leaves him by uttering the name of god (in Hebrew) and then she magically flies away and never seen again. Oddly, neither god nor his angels can bring her back to Earth. She then becomes a demon of night and roams the Earth causing havoc.

The Aftermath and Conclusion

Then we have the rib story, only after Lilith leaves, and Eve is purposely made out of something less than what Adam and was done so to insure that she would be subservient to Adam, and men in general. Eve is then the second wife of Adam and Lilith the first. Lilith’s story brings up one additional problem, one that may actually be worse than having two contradictory stories of creation that is; god- the omnipotent, omnipresent, and all-perfect, creator of the universe- is NOT perfect because he made a mistake. Not only did god make a mistake, he also did not see it coming (therefore not all knowing) and could not stop Lilith or control her (therefore not all-powerful). This is what one would expect from a “quick fix” explanation of a man-made myth touted by believers as the perfect word of the creator of the universe.

by Joel

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, god, Language, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

F.A.Q.

Q-What is Metro State Atheists (MSA)?
A- The Metro State Atheists student organization is dedicated to working for the civil rights of Atheists, promoting separation of state and church, educating the public and changing their perception about Atheists/Atheism. Furthermore, we are committed to; erasing the social taboo of challenging any theistic belief, encouraging the application of reason, logic and responsibility in all circumstances, and coupled with the promotion of the scientific method, we are advocating the aforementioned ideas in an effort to better the society in which we inhabit, including but not limited to the Auraria Campus. We are compelled to pursue these ideals with the utmost professionalism, respect and assiduousness. The faculties’ endowed upon us by Natural Selection, and the application thereof, have inclined us to promote the advancement of reason in all facets of life for every human being.

Q- What if you’re wrong?
A- This is likely one of the most often used arguments to entice someone
to believe in a particular god and it is likely the worst argument imaginable. It was originally conceived by a Christian named Blaise Pascal. He theorized that if you simply believe in the Christian god you have nothing to lose by being wrong, however his argument has so many basic fatal flaws it’s amazing that anyone could think he was a man of high intelligence. First, one must be sure they’ve picked the right god to believe in. There are thousands of gods that have been worshiped in the course of humanity and many if not all require that you believe in them above any other. So if you hold Jesus above Mohammad, you are going to hell, and vice versa. The easiest answer to the question “What if you’re wrong” is “What if you’re wrong.” Additionally any god
that is all knowing would know that we’ve chosen to believe in a god simply as an insurance plan, this god would know our belief wasn’t genuine as one can’t force himself to believe something that he doesn’t think is true. Also, Pascal’s wager suffers another major blow, as he presumes that if he’s wrong to be a Christian he has lost nothing,
however the fact is he has lost everything. He lived a life based on a lie, a myth; he never had a chance to live in reality, and likely gave up substantial portions of his income to the largest conspiracy the Earth has ever known. As a theist you don’t believe in thousands of gods, like us at Metro State Atheists you see no reason to believe in Mithras or Zeus, you are atheist towards all of those gods. When you realize why you don’t believe in all of those gods, you will realize why we don’t believe in yours.

Q- Do you hate god? Do you hate Christians?
A- Of course not. How can you hate something that doesn’t exist? You’d be hard pressed to find something we actually hate. Here Metro State Atheists we recognize that people are brainwashed and indoctrinated into religious belief at an early age and we aren’t mad at them for it. Obviously it’s upsetting to see the obvious, and to realize that our 80%
of the world doesn’t, but we don’t hate that. We dislike severely the extreme negative effects that religion has had on the world, and speak up against religious belief because it is the biggest danger in the world. We don’t hate Christians either, in fact we love Christians just as we love all humans and other animal life on this planet. If we didn’t love Christians we would selfishly devote our lives to ourselves instead of
helping you to overcome the mind disorder known as theism.

Q- You guys are going about this wrong; you need to respect other people’s beliefs!
A- If you truly believed that then how about sucking up your hypocrisy and realize you just disrespected my beliefs. I believe that when a friend or someone I care about believes in superstitious nonsense, I should speak up and help he/she overcome it. I believe that if I don’t do that, I in fact am being very disrespectful and selfish. So next time you tell someone to respect other peoples beliefs take heed to note that you are likely disrespecting theirs.

Q- Why don’t you guys focus on Islam?
A- Often Christians will threaten us and tell us to focus on Islam for several reasons.
1. They haven’t read our site enough to realize we do in fact focus on Islam.
2. They want to take an opportunity to call us cowards, threaten us, demean us, and tell us we’re picking an easy target.
3. They will do or say anything to wipe the problems with their god under the rug and divert our attention to something else.

Here’s the truth, we focus on ALL beliefs that require one to accept a claim based on faith. This includes ALL gods believed in on Earth today and a host of other claims. For example the moronic claim that this is a nation founded on Christian principle, which has bounds and bounds of evidence against it and none for it, is a claim based on faith, and one we confront as often as possible. We tend to focus on Christianity more often because it’s mostly Christians who write us and ask to come on our show, we live in a society heavily plagued by Christian superstition, and we all grew up Christian so it’s what we’re most familiar with.

Q- Do you think Christians are stupid?
A- No. Some are, but some atheists are as well. We choose our words very carefully, and believe that a better word to sum up religious belief is- irrational. While to an outsider it might seem as if you must be stupid to believe the claims in the Quran and Bible without proof, we understand that brainwashing at an early age can cause even the brightest of
individuals to believe some of the most nonsensical silliness the world has ever known.

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Metro State Atheists | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quotes About Religion

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise. – James Madison

This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it. – John Adams

Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies. – Thomas Jefferson

Man is a marvelous curiosity…he thinks he is the Creator’s pet…he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn’t it a quaint idea. – Mark Twain

All thinking men are atheists. – Ernest Hemingway

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him. – Arthur C. Clarke

A man is not moral because he is obedient through fear or ignorance. Morality lives in the realm of perceived obligation… – Robert Ingersoll

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. – Karl Marx

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. – George Bernard Shaw

Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night. – Isaac Asimov

We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. – Richard Dawkins

“The time for respecting religous beliefs of that sort has long past”-Sam Harris at Idea City 05

“Thou shalt not take anything on faith”-Penn Jillette

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
— Stephen Roberts

“Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.”
— unknown

“Only Sheep need a shepherd!”
— unknown

“God is not dead. He is alive and working on a much less ambitious project.”
— graffito (1975), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

“Appraise the Lord: Tax church property.”
— bumper sticker

“Humanity without religion is like a serial killer without a chainsaw.”
— unknown

“Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.”
–Don Hirschberg

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”
–Denis Diderot

“The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.”
— Denis Diderot

“the trouble with theocracy is that everyone wants to be Theo.”
— James Dunn

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.”
–Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor (1769-1821).

“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.”
–Ferdinand Magellan, (1480–1521), Portuguese navigator: discoverer of the Straits of Magellan 1520 and the Philippines 1521.

“Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.”
— Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Roman Catholic philosopher

“Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.”
— Tom Waits

“An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.”
— John Buchan

“The atheist does not say ‘there is no God,’ but he says ‘I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God’; the word ‘God’ is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. … The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me.”
— Charles Bradlaugh, ‘Plea for Atheism’

Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”
Priest: “No, not if you did not know.”
Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”
— Annie Dillard, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’

“I give money for church organs in the hope the organ music will distract the congregation’s attention from the rest of the service.”
— Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)

“Gods always behave like the people who created them”
— Zora Neale Hurston

“Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.”
— Chapman Cohen

“Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”
— Ambrose Bierce

“I still say a church steeple with a lightening rod on top shows a lack of confidence.”
— Doug McLeod

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”
— H. L. Mencken

“Men never commit evil so fully and joyfuly as when they do it for religious convictions”
— Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

“Man has never been the same since God died. He has taken it very hard.”
— unknown

“The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.”
— Abu Ala Al-Ma’arri (???? – 1059)

“No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.”
–Annie Wood Besant (1847-1933)

“Hey, let’s get serious… God knows what he’s doin’ He wrote this book here And the book says: ‘He made us all to be just like Him’, So… If we’re dumb… Then God is dumb… (And maybe even a little ugly on the side)”
– -Frank Zappa

“God created man in his own image. And man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.”
— Rousseau

“You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do.”
–[from Usenet]

“Atheism is a non-prophet organization”
— unknown

“Organizing atheists is like hurding cats”
— Madalyn Murray O’Hair

“In the absence of fear there is little faith.”
— Michael Pain

“If atheists are deaf to the word of God, then theists are blind to the ways of man.”
— Michael Pain

“You’ll never find a dead Christian in a foxhole who didn’t pray.”
— unnknown

“On the sixth day, God created man. On the seventh day, man returned the favor.”
— unknown

“Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”
— unknown

“For god so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son,
that whosoever would believe in him would believe in anything.”
— unknown

“Theists think all gods but theirs are false. Atheists simply don’t make an exception for the last one.”
— unknown

“Fundamentalism means never having to say ‘I’m wrong.'”
— unknown

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day;
Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish”
— unknown

“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?”
— Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith

October 26, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Bible, Christianity, god, Qoutes, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments