Apr 23 2014
thedragoninmygarage:

"Some claim that evolution is just a theory, as if it were merely an opinion. The theory of evolution — like the theory of gravity — is a scientific fact. Evolution really happened. Accepting our kinship with all life on Earth is not only solid science. In my view, it’s also a soaring spiritual experience."
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos

thedragoninmygarage:

"Some claim that evolution is just a theory, as if it were merely an opinion. The theory of evolution — like the theory of gravity — is a scientific fact. Evolution really happened. Accepting our kinship with all life on Earth is not only solid science. In my view, it’s also a soaring spiritual experience."

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos

via thevalidfallacy
Apr 23 2014
"We now know that 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1 percent. We would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work." via biokitty
Apr 23 2014

This is an honest question, zero hate behind it; if you're excited for the little grape, why don't your husband and yourself what children?

abeautifulliespeakstheuglytruth

Thanks for the honest question!

There are actually quite a few reasons behind why we don’t want children.  

  • My own mental health battles - I struggle with pretty severe depression and anxiety.  There are days where I have to stay home from work, thankfully very rarely, due to anxiety attacks or depression disasters.  This is already managed by medication, exercise, healthy eating, sun exposure, etc..  But it doesn’t solve the issues and all of my therapists and doctors have made it very clear to me that these are going to be issues I struggle with for the rest of my life.  I’m very grateful to have my dogs, but sometimes, even taking care of them is difficult on those days.  A child is much more work than a dog.
  • Genetics - Kind of related to point one, but a bit independent.  Both my husband and I have really crappy genetics for mental health.  On my side we have anxiety, depression, and alcoholism, sprinkled with some narcissistic personality disorder.  On his side we have anxiety and depression.  Health wise, my side has serious heart issues, strokes, kidney issues, and cancer, while his has thyroid issues.  Neither of us feel comfortable passing along the mental health genes, or the standard health genes. 
  • Parentification - As a child, I had to be a parent for a good chunk of my childhood.  My step-dad, at the time, was psychologically and mentally abusive.  My mom shut down due to depression.  So I stepped in and had to be “mom.”  This killed any maternal instincts for me.  Apparently, this is not uncommon in adults who were parentified as children.
  • Selfishness - Now let me clarify by saying that I think both having children AND not having children is selfish.  I just like my selfish to be: sleeping in on weekends, playing video games to unreasonable times in the night, having free weekends, and traveling.
  • Concerns for the future - This one is definitely lowest priority, but still one reason we don’t want kids.  I really am quite concerned as to the world being left behind for future generations.  I can do everything I can to improve it for little ones like my future grape niece/nephew, but there’s only so much that can be done.  Global warming, destruction of the environment, political issues, all lead me to believe that I don’t want to have a child growing up in this world.  Again, I’ll do everything in my power to continue trying to improve the world anyway.

Anyway, those are just a few of the big ones!  We love kids.  I adore teaching and spending my days with my kiddos at work, but I also love sending them home and coming home to a quiet house.  I’m very much looking forward to taking little grape out for auntie dates and then getting to drop her off at her mom’s house again!  It’s all the benefits (in my opinion) of having kids, without the drawbacks!

Apr 22 2014

I’m going to be an aunt!

I finally get to talk about it!  I’m SO excited to be an aunt.  Neither me or my hubby want kids, but being an aunt is going to be the most amazing thing in the world.

I’m SO excited for zoo visits, park dates, ice cream nights, and having little grape over for movies and popcorn.  

Apr 22 2014

Four Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

skepticalavenger:

jlgrace:

Four Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

670pxatheism_symbol-svg_

Calling all atheists and agnostics. May I ask you a question?

Okay, maybe four.

What do, or who do, you believe in since you don’t believe in God?

Is it hard to accept the death of a loved one?

Was there ever a time in your life when you believed in God, or in a higher power?

If so, what happened?Did you just grow out of believing, or did something/someone disappoint or hurt you? You may be as…

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What do, or who do, you believe in since you don’t believe in God?

I think in the context you are likely asking here you mean “believe” as “have faith in”.  I wouldn’t say, for example, that I “believe” in the scientific method as no faith is required.  The scientific method works and it provides it own demonstrations of its effectiveness.

I would say, however, that I have faith that humanity will survive and prosper and go on to do awe-inspiring things in the coming centuries.  The evidence to support this is a bit ambiguous right now, alas.

Take a look at this post for more details.

Is it hard to accept the death of a loved one?

This is kind of a silly question as phrased.  Yes, of course it’s hard to accept the death of a loved one.  What I suspect you mean is if it’s harder to accept the death of a loved one knowing that you will never see this person again in an afterlife.

I would say that it seems no harder to accept for me than it is for my religious family and friends.  I don’t at least have to worry that my loved one will be spending eternity being tortured.  That would kinda suck.

Was there ever a time in your life when you believed in God, or in a higher power?

Kinda sorta yes maybe but not really.  There have been times in my life when I felt depressed or desperate enough to really WANT to believe that there was some loving deity watching over me.  I don’t think that at any time if someone asked me if I believed in a god that I would ever have answered “yes”.  There was a long period that I would have answered “maybe.”

If so, what happened?

I gradually learned more about the historicity of the various holy books and learned more about what “atheism” really meant.  I also grew to learn more about the “fuzzy” areas of science; that is, areas that I didn’t understand very well and I thought might leave room for a god.

There were a couple of incidents that turned me into an active atheist.  One was a rather mind-boggling discussion with someone I had over creationism.  I knew that creationism was a thing but I honestly thought it was just a viewpoint of a few crackpots, kinda like flat-earthers.  I got an unpleasant realization of the reality in a hurry.  I’m still reeling over the number of people who actually believe that in the modern era.

Then I encountered a religious activist on Facebook…someone intent on restoring the U.S. to its “christian roots” and who told me essentially that people like me “atheists” were in the minority and that that proved her point.  Rather than starting a Facebook war I came to Tumblr to vent. While my “rage” has calmed, my state of wonder over the idea that so many people believe in so many ridiculous things in the total absence of evidence, or worse, with a ton of directly contradictory evidence.

What do, or who do, you believe in since you don’t believe in God?

This is a simple question for me; I believe in humanity. 

Is it hard to accept the death of a loved one?

Absolutely.  In fact, I just wrote about the difficulties of dealing with death as an atheist.

Death is painful and something that we all have to cope with.

As someone who grew up religious and who is now an atheist, I’ve found that death is difficult to deal with regardless of religious affiliation. It is incredibly difficult to deal with the passing and absence of a loved one in your life.

In some ways, religion makes it easier to cope with death, as you believe that you will see them again. However, as an atheist I do not believe that there is life after death. I know that when I die, my consciousness, and everything that makes me me will die with me. But I find great beauty and comfort in the cycle of life. My death, and the death of those I love, helps provide space, resources, and so much more for new life.

Part of coping with death as an atheist, in my humble opinion, is focusing more on the life of the one who passed away. I know that I won’t be able to see them again, so I need to focus on the influence they had on my life and the experiences I had with them. I feel like I now spend more time celebrating their life as an atheist than I did as a believer. There are also ways to honor their memory, like taking the positive influences on your life from the individual and caring them forward into your own life in the hopes that others will be able to benefit from the person who passed away through you.

Anyway, just my thoughts on how I deal with death as an atheist.

Was there ever a time in your life when you believed in God, or in a higher power?

I was raised as a believer.  I KNEW that there was a God.  I KNEW that I was raised in the true church.  I cried when giving my testimony of the church.  I had those same feelings of affirmation that all people of religion have; that their church is true, their beliefs are true, etc., etc..  I was not just a bystander in religion, I was a firm believer.

If so, what happened?

Well the first crack in my beliefs happened when I was exposed to the archaeological evidence that the church I was raised in was a complete fraud.  I spent weeks poring over every piece of evidence I could find about my church.  Everything I had been raised to believe, everything I had been taught that was true, every feeling of affirmation I had was shattered.  I went through a very, very angry stage.  I was furious that I had been raised in a church that was so utterly and completely false.  I mourned the loss of my security in my beliefs.  I truly did.

For awhile after I left my church, I considered myself a liberal Christian.  I knew that the church I had been raised in was false, but that couldn’t possibly mean that EVERYTHING I had been raised to believe in religiously was wrong?  Right?

That stage didn’t last long.  After realizing that the religious structure that you have been raised in was wrong, it doesn’t take long to begin to question and research the rest.  It was disconcerting.  It made me very uncomfortable.  I didn’t know any atheists.  I didn’t think that it was ok to lack a belief in a god.  So while these thoughts were running through my head, I was very reluctant to actually voice them. 

One day, while driving back from visiting my boyfriend’s parents, now my in-laws, my boyfriend, now husband, and I were talking about religion.  You see, he was still a Christian.  And I was becoming more and more skeptical of the existence of a god.  And as I drove over the Bay Bridge, I suddenly slammed my hands down on the steering wheel and yelled out: “I don’t think I believe in a god!”

It was the first time that I had ever even thought the idea and I suddenly was overwhelmed with feelings.  I even momentarily considered the idea that I might be struck with lightening right then and there.

My boyfriend was shocked and so was I.  But after the momentary flood of guilt, I felt certain that my exclamation was how I honestly felt.  I confirmed, out loud, that I no longer held a belief in a god and saw no reason to hold a belief in a deity unless reasonable, scientific evidence arose. 

via skepticalavenger
Apr 22 2014

breanieswordvomit:

upworthy:

This School Struggled With Detentions, So They Asked For Students’ Help. Guess What? It’s Working.

What if there were a simple and cheap way to keep kids out of detention and from eventually heading down the wrong path? This school seems to have figured it out, and it’s kinda genius.

Holy shit. Teachers were using police as a first resort?! 

Our high school does this and has found it to be extremely effective. We are currently trying to start implementing something like this in our middle school.

via breanieswordvomit