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I believe that truth is important. I think most would agree. So how does one arrive at the “truth”?

Let’s start with an example. Let’s say I make a product that I claim cures cancer. I call this product EffCancer. I *could* just say, “Take my word for it,  EffCancer works.” That seems a little odd doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you want verifiable evidence that it works? Instead of just taking my word for it, you could do your own tests involving cancer patients and EffCancer. It would be very easy to see if the product actually made a difference. To test it carefully, you would have to remove all other drugs from the cancer patient (or know very well how the current drugs a patient is on could interact with EffCancer or said patients).

You would use a placebo drug (a drug that you know does nothing, like a sugar pill). This is what is known as your control group. This helps weed out any further irregularities that could affect the experiment.

In this kind of test, you’d also want to remove as much human bias as possible. You’d have the personnel giving the EffCancer/placebos to the patients be unaware whether they are giving EffCancer/placebo. This helps eliminate human bias by not suggesting to the patient what they are getting.

Then, you can finally look at the results. If your study is large, you can plug the numbers into the computer and look at the rates to see if EffCancer actually made a difference.

Science isn’t that hard. We do it every day. On our commutes we try different routes to see which is the fastest. This can sometimes be a moving target in various seasons, but once we have several tests under our belt we look at the data and can tell generally which route is the fastest. This is science. When we are children we bang on pots and pans, testing to see the different sounds and volumes of each. This is also science.

The scientific process can be applied to anything in life. When we don’t use it in certain segments of our lives we are short-changing ourselves in discovering the truth about the world around us.

I think the starting point for a religious person is, is that there IS something mystical, and they start from that viewpoint.

As an atheist, I’m trying to come from the viewpoint of, I don’t know what is there — let’s take a look and see.

In Genesis 2, Adam and Eve are told they can eat from any of the trees, except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.


How did we ever get past this chapter and not realize there is already a problem? Why wasn’t this a clue to me and the multitudes of the faithful that “God” doesn’t want us to know something? It’s immoral to eat from a tree simply because “God said so”, because eating that tree could help you *know* things?

Of course, this is a common argument among theists — “God said it, so I believe it. That’s good enough for me.” What? Seriously? You don’t want to question this supposed being? An “all-perfect God” can’t handle a couple of your questions? This is very problematic. Basically, you are asked to give up your intellectual abilities of question and reason in order to serve him. If God does exist, I ‘m not sure I’d be interested in serving him, if he requires such apparent unthinking devotion.

There are plenty of other problems for religion, but here’s another one I wondered about recently. If these beings were created perfectly, and humans are degenerating because of sin, it would be reasonable to say that earlier humans should be smarter and more capable than we are now. However, the evidence seems to suggest that earlier humans were very ignorant of how the world/universe works. Did Gods forget to explain to Adam and Eve how physics works and that the stars are performing fusion that forges the materials that make up the universe? Or was he too busy telling him which tree they shouldn’t eat from?

Why didn’t Adam and Eve have cell phones, computers, or any other plethora of electronic or mechanical devices that make life more comfortable for us humans? Was God just intentionally keeping them in the dark? Why did God let the people to continue to think poorly of women or own slaves, even telling them at times to take people as slaves? Seems like God could’ve been like, as the comedian Eddie Izzard said, maybe one of the commandments should have been “don’t fucking own people” (this is from a comedian whose name I cannot recall at this moment). No, he felt it more important to tell people which animals they supposedly shouldn’t eat. Bacon? Bad. Owning people? Okay.

Why didn’t I realize how absurd all this was until I was in my late 20s? Maybe, because I, too, was not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, choosing instead to remain in my ignorance. My life is much better now that I do eat from that beautiful and metaphorical thing called the tree of knowledge.

I certainly didn’t want to be one. I fought it. Tried to rationalize a reason that belief in an all-powerful deity was reasonable. But I couldn’t. That’s really the crux of it. I am, or at least was, a reluctant atheist.

I had, at one point in my life, been studying to be a minister. I was very much a Christian and enjoyed all the things that belief provided. A Heavenly Father who was perfect and cared immensely about the goings-on in my life. Someone I could talk to any moment of the day about anything. Who *wouldn’t* want that?

When I first started shedding the idea that a god existed, it was painful. After I fully realized God didn’t exist, I went into a mourning period (am I still there?) — much as if I’d lost a loved one to death. There was nothing easy about it, especially since around that time my grandfather also passed and I was unsure what to do with lack of an afterlife. Previously, I thought that pretty much everyone went to heaven (a heretical belief, but one that stemmed from the idea that God is love). So, of course, my awesome grandpa was going to go to the grand upstairs and I would see him again. Now, the realization of a godless world also meant that the temporary deaths of my loved ones was no longer temporary. The loss of god also meant I needed to grieve the deaths I had experienced more fully than I had.

I liked my life as a Christian — the community, the comforting friend in the sky, the neatness with which everything was all wrapped up. When I was studying to be a minister, my family seemed to take an interest for the things I was interested in, which is really what this post is probably about.

I am excited about the Cosmos re-make. I have posted continually for the last several months about how excited I am about it. I encouraged people to watch and just learn some simple science.  Aside from Mrs. Gupler (who is cool with learning science), have I heard one peep about any interest in it from anyone in my family? Nope. Nada. Zilch. None. This kind of depresses me greatly, as it seems that them being interested in me as a minister didn’t have anything to do with me.

This also troubles me because I’m thinking about going to to school to become an astrophysicist, quite different than my first career direction. I do wonder what my family will think, or if they’ll even care. It can be a little discouraging when considering a daunting task, to not feel supported by the majority of your family (or even have them express the slightest bit of interest). I need to remember that I have to do what is right for me. I want to learn what really makes the world tick.

So, its just me (and Mrs. Gupler, thank His Noodly Appendage!) considering embarking on this career change.

It’s scary and exciting. I don’t *want* to be an atheist, at least by choice.

But, by choice, I do *want* to be an astrophysicist.

Brand: Carlos Torano

Cigar Name: Circa 1995 Dominican Selection Robusto

Had this cigar last Friday night, so my recollection may be fuzzy. Construction seemed quite decent. Smelled average. A little hard to light (my humidor is probably a little too humid). Draw was tight, but not overly so. The burn was a little hard to keep even. Had to touch up several times. Not sure how to describe flavor, but it seemed harsh for what I liked. But not so harsh that I couldn’t smoke it to the nub. 🙂 Probably would not buy again unless it was a good deal.

Apparently I need to take some notes as to the flavors (as Mrs. Gupler suggested), as I don’t really remember those. So, ya.