I believe cheap luxury goods to be a gift from #God, even when limbs are mangled in the process. I believe that my McDonald’s is sanctioned by God, though I am sorry for the clipped chicken beaks. And I believe God intended America to be great, though he played no part in the slavery, the banditry, the pogroms — the long rape — in which it was conceived.
God is where the opportunistic believer wants him to be.
"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."
"As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a God. I don’t think there is a God, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a God. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different God, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It’s strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are."
"Malcolm X once said, “If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” It’s amazing how people will let a news station and the Media tell them what to think. It’s amazing the those who claim to love God are the ones dropping bombs on God’s creations. If you kill innocent Iraqi and Afghan people, you’re still in good standing with Jesus. But if a 14 year old girl gets raped and has an abortion, she is surely going to hell. Why is an American fetus more valuable than thousands of Afghan and Iraqi lives. Why are all the commandments taken seriously but “Thou shall not kill?” I hear people don’t vote for certain individuals because they are pro-choice but they fail to realize that the opponents are pro-no choice for the innocent children being bombed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine. Mothers who already have children and have come to know and love them are losing their children but that’s okay. As long as they aren’t white fetuses."
Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.
Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.
Sam Harris on The Credibility of Biblical Miracles
Harris completely destroys the logic behind believing in Christianity within four minutes.
The entire two hour debate which features Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Dan Dennett going head to head with Dinesh D’Souza, Shmuley Boteach and Nassim Taleb with Robert Wright taking a neutral stance on the existence of God can be viewed here (*warning the full debate link has audio problems).
My journey from doubt to denial is summed up perfectly in these four minutes from the almighty Mr. Sam Harris. This is why I changed my mind, my life, my future, my outlook, my dreams, my hopes, (some of) my friendships, my gods. This is it, and I am ever grateful and thankful.