Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Winter of Car Accidents

Last Thanksgiving, I posted about the death of my uncle in a car accident.

Well, last Friday brought another tragedy. Last Friday night, a friend of mine got in a car accident. In the accident, he hit his head in the exact wrong way, and it caused a very serious subdural hematoma. Aside from that, he had no other injuries whatsoever.

He was rushed to the hospital, and the doctors did scans and tests, and then determined that they needed to operate. They cut his head open and tried to fix the problem by relieving pressure and a few other things (I don't know all the details because I'm not a medical professional). Long story short, the operation did not work. My friend is now brain dead and on life support.

But the news gets worse. His chance of recovery is 0%. He is a vegetable. He will not wake up again, ever. The only reason he is still breathing is because a machine is pumping air into his lungs. His mom is probably going to pull the plug soon; the family has already had a priest and a nun stop by to give last rites (the family is Catholic).

This news has devastated me. Not only because he was a close friend, but also because it is the second fatal (or about to be fatal) accident of someone dear to me in only 2 months.

And to top it all off (as if it couldn't get any worse), my friend is only 22 years old. 22 years old!

His MySpace page is full of comments from friends and family, offering memories, support, wishes, and prayers. Actually, there are a lot of prayers in there with things like "God, hear this prayer!" and "I have faith that you will get through this." There is even one prayer in his comments section that actually says at the end "In Jesus' name, amen."

Many of my friends are religious, and I don't hold it against them. But these kinds of comments piss me off, and rightly so. Not because of their expressed desire for the guy to recover, but because of at least two other reasons. First off, it incorrectly places certainty where uncertainty is more appropriate. Secondly, it makes an appeal to the grand cosmic fuckhead who, if he did exist, was responsible for the accident in the first place! Why appeal to Him for a speedy recovery when this was part of His plan in the first place?

So like I was saying, the prayers piss me off. The best chance of recovery that my friend had was due to one thing and one thing only: the efforts and knowledge of our fellow man. The doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, etc. Those are the people who deserve the credit and the appeals, not some imaginary fucktard space ghost who has all the power in the universe yet fails 100% of the time to wield it properly.

Anyway, the prayers didn't work. The plug will be pulled. The priest gave his last rites. Maybe everyone should have prayed harder and stood on their heads while doing it. Maybe they should have performed sex magic. Maybe they should have drank chicken blood. But God forbid that anyone actually gives credit, trust, and responsibility where it is due! God forbid that anyone says "It's in the doctor's hands."

My friend will be no more. His consciousness will not go to another place. It will not go to a better place. It will not go any place whatsoever. It will simply be no more. To fail to recognize this is an insult to him, and a failure to recognize the severity of the situation. It does a huge disservice to fail to call a spade a spade in this situation. His consciousness will simply no longer exist.

Why do people always want to avoid the gravity of this kind of consequence? People would rather spare their feelings than learn from the reality of the situation. Well I say fuck that. My friend deserves better. He deserves truth between those who care about him.

The more that the afterlife gets killed, the less likely humans will be. This is because people will stop thinking that fatal accidents are a miraculous act of God and instead they will realize that accidents are preventable by our actions. They will realize that accidents can be prevented, and that by taking responsibility for ourselves, we can increase our chances of surviving and recovering from accidents. Putting it in God's hands prevents these things from happening. Putting the responsibility in God's lap retards our own progress.

I used to think that the afterlife was a shitty concept when I first started this blog. I'm surprised to realize that I feel even more strongly about this today. I don't think I have ever been so upset at the idea of making up silly childish afterlife myths as I am now. They are insidious. At first, an atheist may disregard them as silly or infantile. But that is not so. They are fatal. Truly fatal.

Kill The Afterlife. Save a friend's life.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Got Tagged by Krystalline Apostate Again!

Ka has yet again gotten the best of me, and tagged me for the Five Things About Me meme.

Before I plot my horrible atheistic scheme of revenge for such treachery, I must respond like a proper man of honor and present my five random facts about me. I especially liked Ka's 14 martial arts awards fact. I don't think I can live up to that level of random fact coolness! Nonetheless, here I go!

1) I have Asperger Syndrome. Despite my Aspie status (some would say because of it), I am quite preoccupied with socializing and mingling, and most of my real life friends don't know that I have an autism spectrum disorder.

2) According to others, I talk, walk, and generally do everything very fast and purposefully, which is funny because it feels like a perfectly normal pace to me. I constantly get comments about my high energy level, and was even misdiagnosed as a child with ADHD (this was pre-1994, before Asperger Syndrome was in the DSM).

3) My highest IQ test score ever was 146, and while in high school I scored a "perfect" 99 on the ASVAB (but I never joined the military).

4) While practically everyone knows that I am an atheist and a Market Anarchist, not so many people know that I am hopelessly obsessed with aerospace.

5) I am addicted to the dance floor, and consider the song "Common People" by Pulp to be a great descriptor of me and my life (although for reasons other than the financial ones that the song references; I'm not rich). These two seemingly unrelated facts came together in an exceptionally profound way when, not too long ago, I was in the middle of the dance floor at a Junkie XL show and a house remix of that same song was played. My eyes got rather watery, for never before has the bittersweet reality of being my quirky self been so obvious to me, and never before have I felt so lucky to be so tragically uncommon.

Well, there are my five facts! Time to do some tagging. I hereby tag Zachary Moore of Goosing the Antithesis, Francois Tremblay of Check Your Premises, Olly of 10,000 Reasons to Doubt the Fish, Sean Prophet of Black Sun Journal. And Beep Beep of Beep! Beep! It's Me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Prayer Challenge

Update: The post seems to have been removed. Looks like Satan prevailed, as usual.

Brian Flemming and the Blasphemy Challenge team are worried. Very worried, in fact. This is because some group of Christians have begun an organized prayer front in order to thwart the Blasphemy Challenge movement through divine intervention.

Needless to say, I am also alarmed. I myself took the Blasphemy Challenge not more than a month ago. If these Christians get God to take away my free DVD or somehow change the past so that I never even did the challenge, then all my Evil Atheist Conspiracy plans will be ruined!

Oh prayer, how I despise you!

Fortunately, I came up with a great idea. I decided to infiltrate the prayer team and sabotage their efforts. I posted a comment at their blog, and have reproduced said comment below for your convenience:

Wow, great idea guys! Those Blasphemy Challenge sinners wont know what hit them! Glory!

Okay, I’m going to synchronize my West Coast prayer team to pray simultaneously with your forces. We have youth groups organized from about twelve different California churches, so the numbers are definitely there. But there is one issue of concern that I need to address: during prayer, should one have their finger interlaced or non-interlaced?

Studies have shown that interlaced fingers during prayer are up to 33% more effective on a per-prayer ratio than having non-interlaced fingers. This includes interlacing one's own fingers (in solo prayer) as well as interlacing fingers with another (in a prayer circle). If we are going to prevail over this Blasphemy Challenge then that means that we need every bit of prayer effectiveness possible, for I feel that the forces of Satan are exceptionally strong here.

Quite frankly I'm a bit worried that your prayer team may not perform proper and consistent finger interlacing technique, so please make sure that you advise your prayer battalion accordingly.

In fact, I have decided to conduct a pre-prayer session on Thursday night, where I will pray to God that all of our prayer groups will, through divine providence, simultaneously interlace their fingers during the super-prayer offensive on Friday. I can only pray that God hears my pre-prayer clearly. Actually, I might have to do a pre-pre-prayer session to ensure that He does just that.

In My Prayers,

Aaron Kinney

My sabotage strategy is twofold. First, it is a little known secret that interlaced fingers are actually 33% less effective than the flat palm prayer method (also known as the karate chop prayer style)! This means that I am removing 33% of their prayer power by tricking them into praying with interlaced fingers!

And second, while the prayer team is conducting their offensive, I will simultaneously be praying to none other than Satan Himself! Yes that's right, every single atheist in the world is secretly a Satanist. What, didn't you know?

I will be asking Satan to instead divert the prayer team's energy into framing more ministers at the New Life Church!

If my strategy is successful, then the Blasphemy Challenge will continue unhindered. Keep an eye on it this weekend, and if the Blasphemy Challenge still exists come Saturday, then you know that my invoking of the Prince of Darkness prevailed against these wretched Christians and their feeble Jesus. The showdown has begun!

Hail Satan!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Televangelist's Family Says Prayer Doesn't Work

Darlene Bishop is a popular televangelist with a new book out called 'Your Life Follows Your Words.' In the book, she claims that prayer works so well that it healed her family of various diseases. Most controversially, Darlene Bishop claims that prayer healed her brother of throat cancer.

I say controversial because Darlene's brother actually died from throat cancer 18 months ago! And now her own relatives are suing her over this big fat lie:

His children, Bryan, Justin, Olivia and Christian, have issued a lawsuit for wrongful death against Mrs Bishop because they claim she persuaded Perry to stop chemotherapy and rely instead on God's healing. They contend in legal depositions that at the moment Mrs Bishop and her brother were touring the country preaching about the miracle of his recovery, they were both aware that he had been advised by doctors that his illness was terminal.


Prayer doesn't work. It simply fucking doesn't. In fact, prayer can even be counter-active to recovery from an illness, because of two main reasons. For one thing, every moment you spend praying is one less moment that you can spend actually working on curing the illness (let's hold off on the blood transfusion, there's a-prayin' to be done!). The other reason that prayer is counterproductive is that you can lead yourself into a false sense of security over your condition and/or eventual outcome, possibly deterring you from seeking proper attention at all or ignoring the worsening of the condition altogether (my own mother once suffered from this kind of ignorance at the hands of her parents, and you can read about it here).

It is a shame that Darlene's brother died over a bullshit belief. It is an even bigger shame that countless others have suffered and died over bullshit beliefs too.

God, prayer, and the afterlife are all bullshit beliefs. They never have, never will, and never can rise to the challenge, because they are nothing but little imaginary concepts inside our heads.

Just Say No to prayer.