Category Archives: Uncategorized

Michael Shermer: Why people believe strange things

Execution of web programmer in Iran may be imminent

A Canadian resident visiting his dying father in Iran was arrested in Tehran in 2008 and may be facing imminent execution. What was his crime? None. He wrote a Computer program you can use to upload pictures to the internet, which someone else used to upload porn and the programmer is taking all the ¨guilt¨ and being charged with “insulting and desecrating Islam”. He was not aware that someone was uploading porn using his program. Talk about stupidity, but this is what religion does when taken to the extreme (or seriously) and mixed with politics:

Malekpour, who is a Toronto resident, was arrested in October 2008 while visiting relatives in Iran. He was convicted in a short trial and was sentenced to death in October 2011, according to Amnesty International.

Iran’s Supreme Court confirmed the sentence on January 17. Malekpour’s lawyers have been unable to ascertain the whereabouts of his court files since Tuesday and fear this could be an indicator that an executioner could carry out the sentence soon, Amnesty said. A court official suggested to the lawyers that the file had been sent to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences, according to Amnesty.

Malekpour sent a letter from prison detailing beatings and other mistreatment at the hands of Iranian prison officials to obtain a confession, said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

You can read the rest of the CNN side of the story here.

According to The Iranian Times, the fact that Malekpour is Canadian may have something to do with how this case is being handled since both governments have a sour relationship:

The fact that Malekpour was a Canadian resident may have something to do with the way his case was handled.  Iranian relations with Canada have been very sour ever since the July 2003 death in Iranian custody of Zahra Kazemi, a 54-year-old photo-journalist and dual Iranian-Canadian citizen.  Since then, Canada has led the annual effort at the United Nations that always results in Iran being denounced for human rights violations.

Malekpour is not the only Iranian with Canadian links to be in trouble with the Islamic Republic.  Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, a Canadian citizen and Toronto shoe salesman, has also been sentenced to death by Iran.  Another Canadian citizen, Hossain Derakhshan, known popularly as the “blogfather” for his role in promoting blogging in Iran, is serving a 20-year sentence for those efforts.

It goes on to add that the Iranian regime is persecuting bloggers and Internet users. You can sign a petition to free Saeed here. It´s time to take action. For more information please visit the International Center for Human Rights in Iran.

The pootin´ preacher

I take this as an example of how stupid you can be but if it´s in the name of Jesus you will gain some type of acceptance. This dude had his own show and judging from the first video it seems he had many viewers who took him seriously. Enjoy!

More? 🙂

 

 

What would Jesus NOT do?

It doesn’t matter that I believe that Jesus never existed and even if he did, that still would not lead me to believe that he was born from a virgin or that he came back to life after three days of not only being dead, but of having suffered in Hell as well (according to some so-called “scholars”).

What I wish to point out in this article is that the Jesus of the Bible is not taken seriously by most Christians (and I know that many of the ones I know would agree with me on this point). Except for a couple of nonsense reactions this Jesus character had, the Bible tells that he was a great moral teacher. So why then do so many Christians behave so unlike their Christ?

“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

The Bible explains that Jesus gave his life for the sins of the people so that the people would not have to perish. According to the Bible, Jesus explained that Christians need to sell everything they have in order to be worthy of following him, and he meant it. I have seen very few Christians giving it all for their fellow humans. I can use the story of the cross to show how Jesus himself set the example by selling himself so that humanity could have it all. According to the Bible, he sold his essence (his possessions are his body) so that the poor (humanity) could have everything. I’ve actually seen far more Atheists, Agnostics and Humanists acting “Jesus-like” in this sense, humbly giving the best they can (including possessions) for the good of human kind.

Not only do most Christians not give their best for a greater humanity, but some Christian leaders are some of the most greedy people I know to exist. Benny Hinn comes to mind right away, spending thousands and thousands of dollars on the best Hotels all over the world, flying in private jets and living in a huge mansion on one of the most expensive properties on earth. He is just one example out of hundreds if not thousands. But what about the regular people who attend Church every Sunday?

Let’s say for a moment that you do not need to take the “give all to the poor” literally (would the ex-poor have to give it right back to you since you are the poor one now and viceversa in a never ending circle?). People have to eat and need a place to crash, right? People need cars to get around, to go to work in order to survive. So far so good. Studies show that the average US citizen is Christian and that 40% of Americans attend church on a regular basis:

Click here for more US Church facts.

We can conclude from this that approximately 40% of the total of US citizens are so called “real Christians”. So how do the average US citizens spend their paycheck?

Would this be the lifestyle of Jesus? Absolutely NOT. So why is the average Christian so different from Christ in this sense?

And what about the institutions? What do they teach? “Give me your money” seems to be the sermon of a lot of them. The most disgusting example is the Catholic Church as a whole which keeps taking money away from ignorant people that are already poor (the Catholic Church has more power in poor countries). Did Christ go around asking for money? No. What about the huge megachurches in the US with all their merchandising and TV shows and radio programs trying to take more and more from the people? Do those sound like Churches Jesus would attend? I think these places sound more like places where Jesus would get all badass and would start tearing the place apart. I join you on that one Jesus!

Don’t get me wrong: I respect the community Churches that strive to survive and when they can they give back to the community and although I’m an Atheist I have nothing against them. I think that’s as close they can get on giving to the poor and staying humble at the same time. Jesus taught humility.

But why do so many Christians prefer Churches that look more like going to a concert? Did Jesus put up these huge concerts and entertainment shows so he could attract people? NO. He was quite unpopular actually, so much he allegedly got himself killed.

And why do they love to show off so much? Would Jesus pray in public? NO. He called people that pray in public hypocrites:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

-Matthew 6:6

Not most, but ALL Christians I know are hypocrites according to Jesus. And they call themselves Christians. Christians should listen to Christ and behave like Christ.

This is a no-no

Would Jesus tell a Christian to go to war? Never. Then why did George W. Bush, Republican Christian and conservative voted by a Christian nation say that god told him to go to war and received virtually no criticism from Christians?

Why have there been so many wars in the name of Christianity? Why have there been so many Crusades? Why do certain Christian sects kill members of other Christian sects? Why have Christians always persecuted the non believer? And why do most Christians keep their mouths shut when they see other Christian groups harming society and giving the “good Christians” a bad name? By doing that they are being accomplices of the groups causing harm. Would Jesus shut up if, say, he stumbled upon the people of the Westboro Baptist Church?

What else would Jesus NOT do?

  • Run or walk away
  • Complain
  • Avoid difficult decisions
  • Worry
  • Become a priest
  • Be unkind

Christians, start behaving like Humanis… I mean, Jesus.

The following is my favorite “what would Jesus not do” from NonStampCollector:

Robert Ingersoll on human rights

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself

-Robert Ingersoll

A great BBC documentary on Hitchens