Friday, July 22, 2011

Church bells and trash.

I am an atheist and I am out. I don't hide it, and everyone knows my dislike of religion, and that at times I am a militant atheist. I have respect for people, but not for ideas or actions. If someone does something I find to be right, whether they are fundies or atheists or whatever, I will applaud them. If someone does something I find to be wrong, whether they are fundies or atheists, I will berate them.

This is a post about something despicable that a greek atheist woman did. Something that shows an uncivilized person, someone who has a lack of education and culture, someone who is literally a dirty person. Church bells in Greece (and in most countries) are sometimes a nuisance and create sound pollution. This girl is vacationing near a church that rings the bells every hour. As is natural, she was not happy with it. But what she did is what I find totally wrong. She went and emptied trash in front of the church door, and left a note.

I understand the note part. You can write a note and be polite, tell them about noise pollution and try in a civilized manner to make them stop ringing them every hour. I have some church bells that are being rang at inappropriate times like 6 and 7 o'clock in a Sunday morning, when I want to sleep a bit longer. But I would never empty trash in front of the church door, or anyone's door for that matter. I agree with leaving a note.

I disagree with the trash part. That shows a lack of respect for other people. She did not think of the cleaning lady that will have more work only because of pettiness. She did not think of the people that go in and out of the church and see that spectacle, of the children that may touch the trash or fall into it, and maybe put their hands in their mouth. The act of emptying trash in front of a church door, shows lack of respect for other people.

The extended environment we live in, has to be protected and kept clean. Whether we live in a forest or in a big city, we have an obligation to try and keep it clean and pretty. Throwing trash in the street or wherever for any reason is a sign of people with a lack of culture and education, of people without respect for themselves and others. I don't think I need to show pictures of the dirty sidewalks in Athens...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What if you were asked to pray by someone dying?

On facebook's page for the Greek Atheists and Agnostics someone asked the following question:

If someone who is dying, asked you to pray with him would you do it? 

A whole lot of people answered, and there was a debate going because I was one of the few people who answered that I would have said NO. It does seem to be cruel and unkind, but it's not. Not at all. Let me elaborate on this point.

I am an atheist. I do not believe in any god(s) and I will never accept such fantasies without some kind of scientific evidence. Most of my friends and relatives know of my atheism. Those who don't, is just because the subject has not been discussed. However, everyone knows that I will not go to church unless it is for a wedding, or a baptism, or a funeral. And those have to be about people that I am close to. Otherwise, I will not go to any wedding for a relative that I see once or twice per year. I dislike orthodox church hymns to the point of hatred.

So my answer, was no, I would not pray with anyone and for any reason. Not even if that person were dying. I am an atheist, and proud to be one. I do not change my practices and become hypocritical because someone is dying. That would be betraying myself firstly and my lack of beliefs, and being dishonest and a hypocrite towards the dying person. If it were me the dying person, I would prefer truth and honesty from people. So, it is not just about me and my lack of beliefs, but it also is about being honest and truthful to someone else.

Prayer is also supposed to be addressed to someone or something one holds to be a deity. Who would I even trying to pray to? And how can I even utter some phrases and be serious, when faith itself is ridiculous to me? Some people said, to pretend. But I cannot pretend to pray to someone/something I don't believe in. It would be insulting both to the dying person and to myself.

Another thing to note, is that I do not know any prayers. I just know the first couple of lines of one prayer. I stopped praying when I was a little girl, and never looked back. I did try and ask for some favours as everybody else has done, but those prayers were never answered, as is usual. People said to ask him what that person wants me to say. True, that could work, but the other problems remain.

What I could do though, is tell that person the truth. Tell him/her that I do not believe, that I am an atheist, and thus it would be dishonest of me to suddenly pray. It would be hypocritical and insulting for both of us. But, I would add, that I can stay silent and listen to that person praying. I would not mock or ridicule a dying man, and if his/her praying provides some comfort, I would not take it away.

What would you do in that case? Would you pray or not?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Talking internet ads.

There is nothing worse than advertising in internet pages. I never click those links at all. But what is worse are the ones with sound. WTF? Why do I have to close my speakers because some idiot decided that advertising with sound on the net is cool? Well, let me tell you a secret, people. It's not. I hate it. I don't want to listen to some idiot selling me stuff or telling me to answer a few simple questions so I can win a prize.

Please stop the internet banners with sound. There is nothing more annoying than trying to surf the web, and maybe someone has put some music on, and suddenly, hear someone selling whatever.

Stop the internet adverts with sound. As if the normal ones weren't bad enough.