Wasps

I originally posted this today on my personal blog, Fancy Hollywood Frogs, but as it pertains to atheism (in the sense that wasps are evident of a cruel or nonexistent god) I thought I would share it here too.

I hate wasps.

I’m not talking about WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), though they sure annoy the hell out of me too, but wasps – the spindly, black-and-yellow, six-legged, winged harbingers of misery and impending doom.

Yeah, one of those.

Wasps serve no purpose whatsoever other than to scare the ever-loving shit out of me. They are aggressive, hideous, and haunt the worst of my nightmares. Oh, and they come with a weapon. Not that anybody needs to be educated on what wasps are, but they will sting you. Not only will they sting you, they’ll hunt you down for miles just so they can sting you. And you know what else? Unlike bees, which lose their stingers (and die) after stinging someone or something, a wasp will just keep stinging. With no regard whatsoever to your overall happiness, a single wasp will release up to six pints of venom into your body through its stings.

Wasps do not care about your well-being. They will happily kill a man and then fly home to their colonies of buzzing death and brag to all their friends. Wasps are known for their ability to kill entire crowds of people without so much as blinking one of those horrid, black eyes. For the record, looking into a wasp’s eyes is like peering into the depths of Hell itself.

There is nothing on this world (or, I would wager, on any other world) worse than a wasp. They are evil, conniving, and full of pent-up teenage angst. Except instead of wearing dark eyeshadow and cutting themselves, wasps will cut you. Because some of them carry knives. Wasps are worse than Hitler.

Here in Texas we have what are conveniently called “red wasps.” These are like normal wasps, except their bodies are red and their wings are as black as their hearts (picture below). According to a website called “What’s That Bug?” red wasps are known for their non-aggressiveness. Oh wait, except they are aggressive, according to the editor’s note at the bottom of the page linked above:

April 11, 2011. We have gotten so many comments of first hand accounts of aggressive Red Wasps that we feel compelled to withdraw our statement that the Red Wasps pose no threat.

The editor then goes on to say, basically, that there must be some new species or subspecies of red wasps that are pissed off, all the time. What’s worse is they won’t tell us what we did to make them so angry.

Death on six legs.

I had an encounter with a red wasp yesterday. There I was, minding my own business, when I caught a flash of red out of the corner of my eye. I spun around to see what it was, but nothing was there. Suspicious, I took my next few steps very carefully. Suddenly, from about ten yards away I spotted something flying at me fast. I ducked to one side and saw the unprovoked, pissed off kamikaze wasp soar by my head. With barely enough time to readjust my footing, the wasp pulled a perfect 180ยบ and came at me again. I ducked the other way and managed to evade the hate-copter a second time.

Now when I turned to face it, the thing was already preparing to strike at me a third time. It was hovering in the air at eye-level, about two yards away. Hovering. It was just watching me. This insect was judging me, trying to determine whether it could take me in hand-to-hand combat. It was soon clear that ultimately the wasp decided it did not fear me and wanted nothing more than to taste my blood. It came at me again and I swatted at it with an open palm but missed. I spun to face it just in time. It was now right. in. front. of. me.

My enemy and I danced for a while; the wasp swerving this way and that, growing angrier by the second while I flailed my arms about in a panic, wondering nothing but whether this would be the day I died. With a stroke of luck, my open hand made contact with the wasp and it fell to the ground. One slap, I knew, would not be enough. Wasps are like zombies: they will keep coming after you until you put a bullet into their brain. Even if I had managed to find shelter while it was still incapacitated, the wasp would have eventually found me. Maybe not right away – maybe even six years from now – but the important thing to know is that a wasp will never forget you, and it will never find solace until it has killed you.

So I stepped on it. I crushed my foe under my shoe, but when I removed my foot with a sigh of relief it was still moving. I think it even managed to flip itself over onto its feet after having landed on its back – I’m not sure, though. My next act was not a conscious decision I made, but an animalistic impulse. I drove my heel into its pathetic, wounded body and dragged it across the pavement until it had been properly shredded.

My only regret is that I did not then gather its body parts and craft myself a necklace out of them, to serve as a warning to any other would-be attackers.

Wasps are proof that either god does not exist, or he hates us.

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Miracles?

Yeah, yeah, Brandon made a post with this same title a while back. But mine has a question mark. So it’s different, see? See? Anyway, the subject matter is slightly different and it’s been, like, almost two months. Now that we’ve settled that this is an entirely different post from Brandon’s, we can continue.

What is a miracle?
A miracle is any event that betrays the laws of nature. It is not simply something science has no answer for, but something science and scientific laws explicitly state could not happen. It is a phenomenon which, without “divine guidance,” would otherwise be impossible. A meteor hurtling toward earth and then stopping, abruptly, about a mile before impact is an example of something that betrays the laws of nature and science and could legitimately be called a miracle.

Some people think a miracle is “anything that happens at just the right time when it is not expected.” This is okay, if you’d like to consider every single coincidence or stroke of good fortune a miracle. By that definition, you would say that winning the lottery is a miracle, but it would be one hell of a stretch to call it an act of god, let alone proof for god’s existence.

There are no miracles, ever.
Now that we’ve got that explanation out of the way, I can make my assertion: that there has never in history been such a phenomenon which, by the above definition, would be considered a miracle.

For the record, I should point out again that as an atheist I am prone to disregard the Bible as a factual account of historic events, so using any examples from the Bible would be completely futile. To argue while citing the Bible as proof is to assume the Bible is one hundred percent factual and accurate. That just doesn’t fly with an atheist. To quote Damon Wayons in one of his greatest characters ever, Homey don’t play dat.

Word of mouth also doesn’t count as a legitimate source. If that were the case, I could tell you that I fell from the top of a skyscraper the other day and landed head-first in a garbage bin full of nothing but broken glass and fire ants, yet suffered no injuries whatsoever. And you’d have to believe me. Because you believe personal accounts of miracles.

All that said, you are welcome to provide me with examples of any miracles for which there is not only documentation (from a reputable source) but, ideally, photo and/or video evidence.

Biblical miracles
Even the so-called miracles in the Bible can be more or less explained away by science. It is entirely possible that “back in the day,” natural events happened. God-fearing people did what they did best and feared god. They embellished the natural events in their tales and as they were passed down more and more through the generations, by the time they were written down they had been so embellished they could now be mistaken for miracles.

Look, I realize the Bible is an actual book. It was written by people who believed in the business they were writing down. That doesn’t make it any more accurate, however. While some of the primary parts of the Bible (Jesus, as an example) are clearly sampled from previous religions, I’m sure some parts are simply huge exaggerations of actual events. Fascinating stories require fascinating embellishments in order to be fascinating.