My thanks to all those who have sent me e-mails this past year........
I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat crap in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every envelope that needs sealing.
Also, I now have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown); who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.
I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.
Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants to split $7 million with me for pretending to be a long lost relative of a customer who died intestate.
I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St.Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.
I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward e-mails to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up.
I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.
Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my bun.
And thanks to your great advice, I can't even pick up the $5.00 I found under the car as there is probably a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.
If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 7 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00pm this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump.
I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's gay beautician.
By the way....a South American scientist, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with low IQ who have infrequent sexual activity always read their e-mails with their hand on the mouse.
Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.
Through some twist of fate, western society has come to regard dogmatic faith as a virtue. To hold an idea as true despite all evidence to the contrary is an abdication of reason. Convictions are the end of knowledge, not the beginning; they are the enemy of truth more than lies.
There can be no logical argument against apathy. If you don't care about anything then that is pretty much the end of the story. If you don't care about leading a meaningless life, then surely apathy is the key.
Our beliefs are expressed through our behaviour, most explicitly through speech acts (e.g. "It's going to rain tomorrow."), but they also underlay every action we commit. When our actions reflect inconsistent beliefs we are guilty of hypocrisy. Although unavoidable to some extent (there is simply not enough time to consciously check each action and its consequences against every belief before executing it), every effort should be made to avoid major inconsistencies because they undermine our values, goals and plans. Often hypocrisy goes unnoticed because the connections between beliefs and actions are subtle. How many of us would denounce animal testing yet at the same time not think twice about taking medicine? That is why we must constantly examine and re-evaluate our behaviour and the beliefs it reflects.
The 3 Virian Virtues
No other system of thought in history has proven more effective. If truth is the goal, rationality is the way. A good Virion will endeavor to hold a consistent set of beliefs and act in accordance with those beliefs. Think critically, act rationally.
If anything, the ability to see from another's perspective is what sets humans apart from the rest of the animals. It is the basis of many of the qualities that we hold in highest regard: kindness, charity, mercy, welfare, forgiveness. Far from being irrational, empathy confers a distinct advantage in any social situation. It provides a foundation for promises, contracts, and deals. To a large extent it is the glue that binds society.
Vision is the name I give to the quality of possessing a perspective that goes well beyond the individual in terms of space and time. All too often people make perfectly rational decisions which turn out to be bad because they were framed with too limited a scope. They fail to consider the real consequences (meaning) of their actions.
Parenting Beyond Belief is a book for loving and thoughtful parents who wish to raise their children without religion. There are scores of books available for religious parents. Now there's one for the rest of us.
It's hard enough to live a secular life in a religious world. And bringing up children without religious influence can be even more daunting. Despite the difficulties, a large and growing number of parents are choosing to raise their kids without religion.
In Parenting Beyond Belief, Dale McGowan celebrates the freedom that comes with raising kids without formal indoctrination and advises parents on the most effective way to raise freethinking children. With advice from educators, doctors, psychologists, and philosophers as well as wisdom from everyday parents, the book offers tips and insights on a variety of topics, from "mixed marriages" to coping with death and loss, and from morality and ethics to dealing with holidays. Sensitive and timely, Parenting Beyond Belief features reflections from such freethinkers as Mark Twain, Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, Penn Jillette, Dr. Jean Mercer, Dr. Donald B. Ardell, Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons, Rev. Dr. Roberta Nelson, and over twenty-five other doctors, educators, psychologists, and secular parents that will empower every parent to raise caring and independent children without constraints.
Topics covered include: Living with Religion, Holidays and Celebrations, Being and Doing Good, Meaning and Purpose, Dealing with Death, Questioning, the Wonder of Science, and Seeking Community.