World Wildlife Fund & SocialVibe

The World Wildlife Fund logo, inspired by Chi Chi.

Image via Wikipedia

If I had to pick my three favorite charities, they’d probably be the World Wildlife Fund, Human Rights Campaign, and Toys For Tots, in that order. Easily, the charity which receives the most of my money is the WWF. If I’m a small-time philanthropist, I’m a big-time whatever-the-term-similar-to-philanthropy-but-pertaining-to-animals-is. Seriously, is there a word for that? Zoophiliac has sexual connotations so I’d prefer not to use it. Anyway, the point is that I give a lot of money annually (including regular automatic monthly donations and irregular sporadic donations) to the World Wildlife Fund.

This is why I’ve chosen to “represent” WWF with the SocialVibe widget. For those of you unaware of what SocialVibe is or does, here’s a brief summary directly from their website:

With SocialVibe, individuals make a positive, measurable impact for the charity of their choice just by completing branded activities. In just over a year’s time, the SocialVibe community has raised over $700,000 for over forty different non-profits.

In other words, you and I go to the SocialVibe page, choose our favorite charity, and then complete free quizzes or surveys (which I’ve never seen ask for any personal information) submitted by big-name brands. Those brands then make a small donation to your chosen charity simply because you took a minute (seriously, they never really take longer than that) of your time to complete a quick, simple activity.

With that all said, you may click the widget located at the very bottom of any page, next to the RSS icon, to complete one of those activities. Ideally it’d be in the sidebar, but I’ve noticed that the items in the sidebar are only visible when visiting the main page. In any case, it is what it is. Every little bit counts toward WWF who are working to slow the production of dangerous and harmful greenhouse gases. If you could please just do one activity, as long as you’re visiting my site anyway. Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks!

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Pray for me!

It bothers me when people tell me bad news, then ask me to pray for them, or their loved one, or a friend. I’m not talking about when people say things like that on Twitter or Facebook; I mean when somebody says that to me directly.

Why does it bother me? Because they’re assuming I pray. That’s what our society is like: it’s perfectly okay to assume, without even knowing somebody, that they are religious. It doesn’t even matter which religion, just as long as they believe in the supernatural. Things don’t work that way for us atheists. I can’t just meet a stranger and speak as though I assume they don’t believe in any god(s).

Hell, even I assume people are religious when I first meet them. But the difference between me and theists (especially, I’ve noticed, Christians) is that I won’t act on that assumption or say anything based on that assumption. Because that would be rude.

When people ask me to pray for someone, my first instinct is to say “Okay, as long as you’ll promise to think for me while I’m doing it.” But don’t worry, I’m only an asshole when I don’t have to worry about retribution. My answer is typically something along the lines of “I wish you the best, and hope everything turns out okay.”

Inspired by a Twitter update by @ParsleyV

New New York

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

Image via Wikipedia

Congratulations, New York!

Blogrollin’

I’ve decided to add a blogroll to Atheist Dave. It’s only fair, being that I’ve been going around and having this site added to the blogrolls of others. Perhaps I should return the favor. If you have a blog dealing with atheism, evolution, science, what-the-heck-ever, just let me know. Find me on Twitter, send me an email, leave a comment – however you want to do it.

It’s on you.

I was recently asked what it would take to prove to me once and for all that god exists. I gave my short answer, which is that there really isn’t anything that would quite do it for me. That is to say that there isn’t anything in the human imagination – my imagination, that is – that would prove god exists. Anything I can even dream of could still be explained using natural laws, otherwise it could be discounted as an hallucination.

That’s not entirely true, though. I can think of at least one thing that may do it. If there were some miraculous phenomenon that was witnessed by a sufficient number of people, all at the same time, who could each describe the phenomenon to an equal extent as the next person – that might do it. And by “miraculous” I do mean, of course, something that cannot be explained by natural laws. This would have to be one hell of a show – perhaps a human voice (Jesus?) speaks the exact same words clearly inside the head of every person on earth simultaneously. I would certainly be more prone to believe.

Other than that – some worldwide phenomenon that cannot be explained away by science – I don’t think there is anything that would prove the existence of any of your gods.

But feel free to try. My only request is that you refrain from referring to any of your holy books, as I don’t see that as reasonable evidence for anything. I’ll use the Bible as an example here, since Christianity is the religion I am most familiar with. All the Bible proves is that a couple thousand years ago some guys put pen to paper and made a bunch of stuff up. I’m interested in knowing why you believe the Bible is accurate at all. That may not prove anything to me, but at least it will give me a deeper insight into Christian thinking. I must reiterate, however, that “I believe the Bible is true because I read in the Bible that the Bible is true” tells me nothing other than that you are extremely gullible.

And for the love of your god, don’t tell me to prove god doesn’t exist. You’re the one making a positive assertion – as the title of this article states, it’s on you. It’s on you to back up your statement that god exists. You know as well as I do that I can no more disprove god’s existence than you can disprove the existence of Russell’s Teapot.

I think I’ve said all there is to say without beginning to repeat myself ad nauseum, so I’ll leave you with a quote by Ricky Gervais that pretty much sums everything up nicely:

Why don’t I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, “Why don’t you believe I can fly?” You’d say, “Why would I?” I’d reply, “Because it’s a matter of faith.” If I then said, “Prove I can’t fly. Prove I can’t fly see, see, you can’t prove it can you?” You’d probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ‘’F—ing fly then you lunatic.”

Read the whole article by Ricky Gervais

Thanks to @JulienLynn on Twitter for the inspiration to write this article.