May 13, 2010

Which Came First the Imagination of the Religion?

All things can speculatively be linked to religion just like all things can speculatively be linked to sex. Can we say that Egyption, Greek or Norse mythology are how the people of those times were able to conceive god? The problem is that even if those people imagined a god different than the gods imagined by Christianity, Islam, Judaism... etc., they're still using their imagination. I think it's a farther imaginative leap to imagine the Christian god as Zeus than imagining that Zeus is the cause for lighting by hurling it from Olympus Mons. So the question is: how can you determine if the religion is the cause of imagination if all the beliefs in god(s) are so varied? Given that there is no reasonable evidence for any kind of god, the idea that imagination comes from god is a farther leap than saying religion comes from imagination.

Humans don't often come up with a completely original concept of anything, mostly we just build upon existing knowledge and concepts. We see something and say "what if it worked this way instead?" Even as a huge fan of Einstein, I doubt he would have developed the theory of relativity without the work of Newton (whom I'm also a huge fan), and Newton would have been farther behind if first mathematics hadn't been built up to point it was when he started... etc. So the idea that people build upon things isn't necessarily because of religion, in fact Galileo might have something different to say about imaginative discovery and religion. Galileo came up with his concept of how the planets move in spite of the religious teachings, not because of.

We use stories to instill and explain the importance of acting certain ways, not exclusively for that purpose but I'm going down a more specific road here. I hardly think that Dr. Seuss was in the business of writing religious stories, I would have to say that the stories are very secular. There is no mention of god, no mention of sin, just story explanations of good and bad things that happen to the characters in the stories because of the actions that they took (or sometimes didn't take). To imagine a world of imagination without religion, just look at all the things created without references to religion or religious principles.

Mar 24, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Donate to Camp Quest Texas

Camp Quest Texas needs to raise about $2000 to cover the full cost of volunteer counselors so that they don't have to pay their own way.

If you can spare a few dollars or even a few hundred dollars it would certainly be a big help.

Jan 25, 2010

Freethought and Fellowship

While a few freethinkers have the benefit of being raised in a secular home, that is not the case for many of us. We grow up in a church, get use to the fellowship of our church community, then realize the folly of it all and venture out into the world with increased knowledge yet less social support.

There have been numerous, mostly failed attempts, at creating atheist/secular/freethought churches both online and off. I can't speak to why most of these attempts have failed but have noticed a few big issues: 1) lack of true direction: you can't build an organization simply around lack of belief in something; it needs community building activities 2) Dictator-like leadership: you can't make freethinkers do anything they don't want to do 5) Preaching: skeptics don't want to be told what to believe at all. Share ideas, don't present them as fact.4)Uncreative: why is it necessary to have the word 'church' in the name?

As a step away from failed 'church' models I am pleased to introduce to you a new community model for freethinkers, the Fellowship of Freethought (aka FoFDallas). It is a young organization but is built by those who have learned from past experience with other models like those listed above. FoFDallas is member-owned, member-run, and open source and boasts a mission statement that most freethinkers would be proud to stand behind:

To create a positive impact on our shared world, our mission is to provide a community that values and promotes a freethinking life unencumbered by the biases of tradition, dogma, and authority and that encourages people to live a reason and evidence-based life characterized by close fellowship, ethical contemplation, critical thinking, community service, and the appreciation of scientific knowledge and understanding of the universe and our place in it.

I am very happy to say that I am one of the founding members of FoFDallas and look forward to our future as a community in Dallas and as an expanded community when others choose to start groups in their own areas. Freethinkers need fellowship; we just don't need the bs that typically comes with it!

You can learn more about Fellowship of Freethought by visiting I'll be posting further updates later as I expect you'll find this as interesting of a concept as many others in the Dallas area have already.

(Names of failed freethought church models have been left out so their feelings won't get hurt.)

Nov 17, 2009

Camp Quest Texas Updates and Fundraiser

We are very excited about the upcoming Camp Quest Texas Fundraiser which will be held at Al-Amir on December 10 in Addison, Texas and hope to see everyone there. In addition to supporting Camp Quest Texas you will have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction (including Cowboys v Chargers tickets and a book autographed by Penn Jillette!) and ‘balloon raffle’ for other great services/events while enjoying authentic Mediterranean cuisine and being entertained by a belly dancer. Al-Amir will donate ten percent of all food and beverage sales from our benefit to Camp Quest Texas, so show your support the way a Freethinker would-with your heart and soul stomach! Tickets are only $25 adults/ $15 kids and include a very generously portioned family style dinner prepared by Al-Amir’s chef. Seating is limited, please purchase your ticket today and be a part of the historic creation of Camp Quest Texas.

Fundraising efforts for Camp Quest Texas help cover the fees of volunteer counselors, allow for enhanced activity options, and covers deposit on future camp locations. Camp Quest Texas needs your support to become a reality! If you are unable to attend the fundraiser, please consider donating to Camp Quest Texas:

Also, registration for Camp Quest Texas 2010 is open! The camp will run from August 1 to August 7, 2010 at the Texas 4-H Conference Center in Brownwood, Texas. Registration is $480 per child or you can put down a $100 deposit to reserve your child’s spot. Kids ages 8-18 are invited to sign up. Older kids, ages 16-18 have the opportunity to be Junior Counselors. Camp Quest Texas Registration makes a great Holiday/Solstice/Christmas/Hanukah/Festivus (or whatever you may celebrate) gift! So, register today: