Tag Archive | "secular"

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How Should Secular Humanists feel about ISIS/ISIL?

Posted on 18 September 2014 by The Secular Nerd


If you identify as a secular humanist, and try to live by the philosophy that is secular humanism, you may be feeling conflicted about ISIS/ISIL. For purposes of this article, we will just call them ISIL for now. If you are like me, and believe that life is very precious, and that religion should never dictate how other people live their lives, you may see the conflict in dealing with ISIL.

On one hand, you have a classified “terrorist” organization hell bent on establishing an Islamic state that is beheading and killing people left and right, those who don’t agree with them. On the other, they are human beings with a very radical ideology, but human beings none the less. How do we, secular humanists deal with two major things that we are directly against (killing others and forcing religion onto others)? They are beyond reasoning with since most radicals are focused on the extremes of their religion.

One thing in particular that I’ve seen, as someone who does not believe, or follows a dogmatic religion, is a very scary similarity between ISIL and our own Republican party in the United States. A similarity that can only occur when extremes from most religions inject themselves into politics. Below are the beliefs shared by ISIL and most if not all of the Republican GOP:

  • They both are strongly against Evolution being taught in school [ISIL Link] [Republican Link]
  • They both liken gays to pedophiles [ISIL Link] [Republican Link]
  • They both believe that religion should rule quite like a theocracy for the government

The only difference here between Republicans and ISIL, is that Republican extremists don’t go on religious holy crusades and kill people. They usually just stick with the 2nd amendment as protection enough to “defend your family” and justify things like “Stand your ground” and other things Republican supporters and congressmen alike have defended.

That doesn’t make Christian extremists any less dangerous or violent though. Throughout the last few decades we have seen many people kill in the name of “God” and Christianity in America. We have seen abortion clinics blown up by “pro-life” supporters (the irony is killing people, but they believe it’s justified to save an unborn zygotes life). We have seen mothers justify the death of their children, saying that “God” told them to. In the bible, as well as the Koran, we can find it laced with violence, rape, murder, torture, slavery, and other things we Secular Humanists feel are extremely unethical and immoral.

So this leads us to a fork in the road. Do we need to take out ISIL before more innocent people die by a radical extremists hands? Do we justify murder, to prevent murder? Is it considered murder instead of defending the weak or diversified population of the world? How can we Secular Humanists solve this issue when it’s beyond rational and reasonable negotiations?

We have similar conflicts in the United States. We find that talking to right-wing extremists is impossible because they won’t see the reasoning in our ideology. We don’t see what they call rational in their ideology, but we understand what makes them think like they think. They make up lies and propaganda for what we non-Republicans believe. So what do we do in a situation where rational discussion is impossible to be had?

In the United States, we can vote to rid those who refuse to see reason or compromise. In the other parts of the world however, where they don’t respond to voting, only violence, I’m afraid the only response is violence. We have an ethical obligation to humanity to protect itself against credible threats. We fight viruses all the time. We fight harmful diseases all the time. How is ISIL any different than a disease or virus that can kill you?

Follow me for a moment into my reasoning. I view religion as a virus thanks to Dr. Darrell Ray and his book, “The God Virus”. With an overwhelming amount of people carrying this virus of death, destruction, and destabilization, there’s no inoculation. We can’t treat this virus with a dose of rational thought. These people were born with an AK-47 in one hand, and a Koran in the other. Quite like the Republican extremists of today except it’s a Bible.

The Islamic extremist point of view goes one step further than Christian extremists. It actually acts on killing, rather than talking about killing (for instance, Christians wanting to put to death all gay people). Some Christian extremists do indeed act on that impulse to kill. Luckily, it’s not an epidemic (yet). The Muhammad Virus is strong with these Islamic extremists. It’s too powerful to inoculate, and it has consumed them whole.

Do I believe they are going to come to the United States if left unchecked? It’s possible. Do I believe they have the power to destroy the United States? No. Why? Because only we have the power to destroy ourselves. Look what we did in the name of freedom? We took our freedom away, to protect freedom. Patriot Act, Global 24/7 unwarranted surveillance programs, police departments receiving war equipment. We sacrificed our freedom, in the name of freedom. We wracked up a debt in the trillions by putting two wars on a credit card.

We bring our own pain onto ourselves. We meddle. We screwed up going to Iraq, and now we need to meddle some more. We have been caught in this endless cycle. I do believe we owe it to the world though, to try to clean up a horrible mess. A mess that was already there, but we decided to make it worse. This conflict has been happening since the dawn of religion and man. So because we meddle, we have threats against us. We are NOT the world police, but I do believe the world should come together to eradicate this virus. We as one planet need to fight ISIL, just like we would fight AIDS, or any other disease or virus. ISIL is no different than Ebola when it comes to trying to rationally get it to stop killing. The only difference is that ISIL will discriminate against who it kills, while Ebola doesn’t care who it kills.

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Secular Sunday Matinee #5 – Carrie

Posted on 29 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd





This weeks Secular Sunday Matinee is Carrie. Who can resist Stephen King’s work, a young John Travolta, the awesome Sissy Spacek, and the overzealously religious acting of Piper Laurie as Carries mother? “They’re all going to laugh at you!” has been parodied by so many films and television shows, but in reality, this movie touched on some really serious issues regarding mental illness and religious fundamentalism/extremism.
From IMDB:

Carrie White is a shy young girl who doesn’t make friends easily. After her class mates taunt her about her horrified reaction to her totally unexpected first period one of them takes pity on her and gets Tommy Ross, her boyfriend and class hunk to invite Carrie to the senior prom. Meanwhile another girl who has been banned from the prom for her continued aggressive behaviour is not as forgiving and plans a trick to embarrass Carrie in front of the whole school. What she doesn’t realise is that Carrie is … gifted, and you really don’t want to get her angry.



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Secular Sunday Matinee #4 – God Bless America

Posted on 22 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd


From IMDB:

Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and offs the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society. He finds an unusual accomplice: 16-year-old Roxy, who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement.

The Secular Nerd:

This movie did not disappoint at all. It touched on the world we live in today, and showed what one man who has had enough and had nothing to live for would do. I’d never support something like this in real life, but to creatively and imaginatively think about it? Absolutely. It spoke volumes on things we may be too afraid to admit to.



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Secular Sunday Matinee #3 – Contact

Posted on 15 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd



The Secular Nerd:

This movie is based off the novel written by Carl Sagan which was published in 1985. Ann Druyan, his wife co-produced it. If you haven’t seen the movie or at least read the novel, you need to get on that. I recommend it to anyone who has an appreciation for Astronomy and Science Fiction. 



Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, the project takes on a whole new dimension, which strengthens for Ellie the quest for the truth. Thrown into the mix are the unknown person who has up until now funded most of Ellie’s work and what his motivations are, and Palmer Joss, a renowned author and theologian, who despite their fundamental differences in outlook, is mutually attracted to Ellie, that attraction based in part on intellect and their common goal of wanting to know the truth.


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Secular Sunday Matinee #2 – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Posted on 08 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd




If you are looking for some slapstick comedy, blasphemous zingers, and all around fun this Sunday, then Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life is for you. Enjoy such hits like “Every Sperm Is Sacred” and the “Galaxy Song“!


Why are we here, what’s it all about? The Monty Python-team is trying to sort out the most important question on Earth: what is the meaning of life? They do so by exploring the various stages of life, starting with birth. A doctor seems more interested in his equipment than in delivering the baby or caring for the mother, a Roman Catholic couple have quite a lot of children because ‘every sperm is sacred’. In the growing and learning part of life, catholic schoolboys attend a rather strange church service and ditto sex education lesson. Onto war, where an officer’s plan to attack is thwarted by his underlings wanting to celebrate his birthday and an officer’s leg is bitten off by presumably an African tiger. At middle age a couple orders ‘philosophy’ at a restaurant, after which the film continues with live organ transplants. The autumn years are played in a restaurant, which, after being treated to the song ‘Isn’t It Awfully Nice to Have a Penis?’ by an entertainer, sees the arrival of an extremely fat man. He can eat a lot, but also throw up quite copiously. The Grim Reaper brings for the final stage of human life, death, a visit to a mansion, where the people are rather interested in him. But life doesn’t stop at death. It’s onto heaven, where it’s always Christmas.

The Official Trailer for Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

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Top 5 – Secular Games to play with the Family

Posted on 07 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Everyone loves games, especially spending time with the family and playing games with them. These days though, with all the distractions we have (Smartphones, Tablets, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook) it can be really easy to let time pass without a good wholesome game with the family. Below are our Top 5 – Secular Games to Play with the Family that is for a wide range of ages.


#5 – Monopoly


Who could resist the fun of Monopoly? It teaches a valuable lesson in saving money, investing, and anger management. Many hours can go by moving the pieces up and down the board, bankrupting your partner, or making your child understand the importance of buying Boardwalk and Park Place.

# 4 – Uno


Uno is great for almost all ages. Playing for the title of “Uno Champion of the World” can be your childs ultimate goal here. When I was young, I played this with everyone, including one on one’s with my sister. The constant abuse of four draw four cards in a row will greatly ensure victory for you and yours!


#3 – Sorry!


Who doesn’t love this game?! An endless battle to get your little peg around the board, knock your opponent back to start, and cry out “Sorry!” when you win! There’s nothing like being apologetic after a victory! Fun for nearly all ages!


#2 – LIFE


What better way to teach your children the values of life, than by driving your car down the board, having unrealistic amounts of children, and never having actual real life issues such as STD’s and other diseases than LIFE! Enjoy a good solid hour of putting the board together, and 30 minutes of playtime with this awesome game!

#1 – Apples to Apples

apples to apples

Now that all the filler games are out of the way, we present you the number one game to play with your family. Apples to Apples. This game will give you hours of entertainment with judging and choosing the appropriate card to play! The goal of the game is simple. Each person takes a turn at being a Judge. The judge picks a special card and reads it out to you. The other players has in his/her hand several cards to choose from, that they think would fit best with the judges card. The secret, is to pick a card you believe the judge would love the most, to match with his/her card. This game is pretty safe for ages 10+. Great party game too!

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Secular Sunday Matinee #1 – Paul

Posted on 01 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Our first Secular Sunday Matinée is Paul. When I first saw this movie, I thought it was going to be completely ridiculous but I’m a huge fan of almost the entire cast  and decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed at all. From IMDB:

Two sci-fi geeks take a pilgrimage to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. When he discovers he’s been taken prisoner, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town – a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes. Written by Universal Pictures


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