When we are asked to swear in American courts of law—that we will tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”—we are being asked the impossible. It is simply beyond our powers. Our memories are fallible; even scientific truth is merely an approximation; and we are ignorant about nearly all of the Universe. Nevertheless, a life may depend on our testimony.
—  Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Equality Golbat: “Calling religion a mental illness is offensive to religious people and mentally ill people.”

Religion is something you believe, not something you are. 90% of religious people are neurotypical, the same as the percentage of atheists who are neurotypical.

–Nidoqueen

"A bill proposed by Oklahoma Republicans would restrict the right to marry to people of faith, and would mandate all marriage licenses be approved by a member of the clergy.

House Bill 1125, filed on Tuesday by Republican State Representative Todd Russ, is a radical measure that would end secular marriage licenses in the state. In addition, the bill would bar all judges and other secular officials from performing marriages in Oklahoma.

Russ claims the radical legislation is motivated by his desire to protect court clerks from having to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Russ says he doesn’t want these workers put in the position of having to condone or facilitate same-sex marriage.

Russ claims those not wanting to get married by a religious official could file an affidavit through the court clerk’s office claiming common-law marriage. However, as KSWO-TV reports Oklahoma does not currently recognize common law marriages.

The bill is ludicrous on many levels, and it would be laughable if it were not such a mean spirited attempt to prevent people from entering into a legal marriage recognized by the state.

For the record, marriage is a legal contract between two consenting adults, and as a legal contract it is governed by the state. A wedding, on the other hand, may or may not be a religious ceremony, depending upon the wishes of the couple.

If conservative Christians could only understand this simple and basic distinction, which in many ways mirrors the constitutional distinction between church and state, a great deal of time, energy, and taxpayer money could be saved, and used towards more productive ends.

As it is, House Bill 1125 is Christian bigotry, pure and simple. The bill is a naked attempt to force Christian theocracy upon the citizens of Oklahoma.

A toxic combination of anti-gay discrimination and discrimination against non-theists, the bill is emblematic of the dangerous and hateful nature of conservative Christianity in America.”

3

The Charlie Hebdo incident showed me as a still relatively new atheist that I was glad I had abandoned ship…just in time.” - ursamiel

When it comes to stopping lending active, passive or tacit support to religious folly, fraud, fundamentalism and bigotry…and openly supporting rationality, reason, demanding verifiable evidence and secular humanist values…sooner is always better than later…

;D

biggest science pet peeve:

people who think that listing all of the possible uses of a chemical constitutes a real argument against its safety.

Like I have news for you: chemicals have multiple different properties! Water, in addition to being very necessary for us to survive, is also really useful as a lubricant and flame retardant. But basically no one looks at a glass of water and thinks “gee that may not be safe isn’t that the same stuff that the sprinklers would spray out if my apartment caught fire?”

Also, the constituent parts of any given chemical have absolutely no effect on its toxicity. To use the cliche example table salt is made of equal parts chemical weapon and explosive.

And that’s leaving alone the biological interactions. We all need liquid water to live but very few of us would enjoy having it in our lungs. Toxicity depends on the way that something is taken! You should get this intuitively- put some shampoo on your skin to put it in your hair, you’re fine. Get it in your eye? That hurts but probably won’t leave any long term damage. Did you drink half the bottle? Call an ambulance.

And this even isn’t getting into minor things like the fact that our bodies produce lots of toxic shit that we get rid of regularly and that we have lots of fairly sophisticated mechanisms to not die from small amounts of, say, formaldehyde. There is a dose-response effect to all of this shit- below a certain dose you’ll have no ill effects, and above a certain dose you’re all but dead. That goes for everything from sugar to cyanide.

tl;dr chemistry and biology are complicated, stop drawing conclusions about the safety of things from context-free lists of random properties it has

Found this on Craigslist and I think it's perfect

What NOT to say to an atheist (Lubbock)

1) “I’ll pray for you.” First off, don’t try to act all nice and shit; we all know you’re being snarky when you say that shit to an atheist. Plus, what we hear is “I’ll talk to myself for you.” Just remember, two hands working can do more than a thousand closed in prayer.

2) “You’re going straight to hell!” If hell does exist, and it most likely doesn’t, I’ll be in very good company. I’d rather spend my hypothetical eternity with Susan B Anthony, Albert Einstein, Richard Dawkins, Thomas Paine, and Neil deGrasse Tyson than Hitler and Jeffery Dahmer.

3) “If you don’t like religion in schools or the government, then you can LEAVE MY COUNTRY!” I get this one the most out of all of them, and let me tell you, it’s the most ignorant. If you don’t like the separation of church and state afforded to Americans by the establishment clause and the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding that clause, then you can take it up with the SCOTUS or leave MY country.

4) “If you’re wrong and there is a God then you are going to hell. If I’m wrong and there is no God then I have nothing to lose.” Pascal’s wager never, ever works. There are 2,000+ hypothetical gods that have been worshipped by people just as convinced that they have found “the one true god,” as you are. Newsflash: we could both be wrong! Plus, you have a lot to lose. You’re losing money putting it in the damn collection plate every Sunday. You’re losing time that you could spend doing things much more useful than church. People, like homosexuals, are losing marriage rights because some book says they’re abominations.

5) “Atheists have taken away our children’s’ rights to pray in school.” LOL NO. Your kids can still pray in school; however, school employees cannot lead organized prayer. That’s not infringing on your rights, that’s not persecution, that’s just equality.

6) “Evolution shouldn’t be taught exclusively in school because it’s just a THEORY. We should be teaching our kids creation also! After all, they’re both theories.” First off, evolution is a theory just like gravity is a theory. They both have insurmountable evidence to back them up, and they are both SCIENTIFIC FACT. Don’t like it? Prove it wrong. All it takes to shatter the theory of evolution is finding ONE fossil where it’s not supposed to be. If you want to keep asserting that evolution didn’t happen because one book told you so, you better have that fossil in hand. And, to be clear, creation isn’t a scientific theory. Scientific theories require a shit-ton of evidence to support them, and creation has absolutely none. 

7) “I know God is real because the Bible says so and I know the Bible is right because God said so.” Oh, okay. Well, if you want to continue to believe in a hypothetical god just because a story book says so, that’s your call. Harry potter is much better story-book character to worship in my opinion, but to each their own.

8) “Why are atheists only concerned with CHRISTIANS. Why aren’t they out trying to take rights from Muslims or Hindus!” Because here in the Bible Belt, Christians like to shove their religion down everyone’s throat by putting it in school, the government, ect; The second a Muslim teachers tries to lead a prayer to Allah in school, I will be on the phone with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

9) “We Christians aren’t able to practice our faith anymore. What happened to freedom of religion.” Here’s the thing: American xtians have had special privileges for soooo long that they don’t know how it feels to be on equal footing with atheists, muslims, ect; Your freedom of religion doesn’t permit you to shove god in everyone’s face. Freedom of religion gives you the right to go to church, pray to whatever gawd you want, and read your bible wherever you please without the government stopping you. Instead of whining that you can’t shove gawd down everyone’s throat, be thankful that you live in a country that allows you to worship one.

10) “If you don’t believe in God, why do you hate him so much!” Ugh, no. Atheists don’t hate God. We don’t believe God exists. We hate what religion does to society when one is given special treatment over the other. We hate that religion is restricting other people’s rights everyday, despite that being completely unconstitutional. We hate how hateful and disgusting some “christians,” are. But we do not hate God because God is a mythical character.