Why respect religion?It is often said that we must respect the religious beliefs of others. Simply put, I don't. That is not to say that I see religious people as less deserving of equal protection, but I do not see their beliefs as fundamentally reasonable and worthy of respect, and I think that this claim that we must respect the rights of others undermines our ability to have substantive debates on moral and political issues, by treating certain ideas as immune from debate and criticism. Why, as an atheist, should I respect those who believe, on religious conviction, that atheists should be put to death? Should I not show them the same amount of respect they show me?Why respect religion?4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
The evidence in favor of most religions is weak or nonexistent. I focus on the religions I am most familiar with, but I have reason to believe that other religions have the same general flaws, as these flaws appear to be intrinsic to religion and not simply features of a few specific religions. One key flaw in religion is reliance on faith.
Satan Is Dying What should a priest do if he were to find Satan himself laying beaten, bloody, and broken in a ditch? One would think the answer is simple. Any priest should leave the villain to die on the side of the road and be happy at the good fortune of the universe, right? Wrong. A wise priest would stop be the bleeding prince of lies and think for a moment. No Satan means no Hell, another plus. Wait, if there is no Hell there is no damnation. If there is no damnation there is no punishment for sins, then the wise priest begins to realize something that never occurred to him. If fear of Hell is all that holds back sinning, then is the saint unnatural, inhuman and fearful? Is the sinner natural, human, and fearless? Then the priest realizes that he is lying to himself and his very human nature by being a servant of light, no a slave to fear of the dark. Disliking this train of thought, the priest begins to ponder the fallen angel before him. He thinks of all the sins that Satan has committSatan Is Dying4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
Epilogue TaliMass EffectEpilogue Tali3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
ME3: Epilogue Tali
Two years later after Shepard had left the council due to all the political bullshit (if he accepted the offer), Shepard wakes up and looks to his right to see Tali laying there beside him her eyes closed and breathing softly, with her mask off and was cuddled up close to Shepard.
"Commander," Edi said contacting Shepard through his omni-tool, "we are approaching the Citadel."
"Thanks Edi," Shepard said as he looked at Tali's face.
"Shepard there something else," Edi said.
"What's that, Edi?" Shepard asked.
"The Quarian Admiralty board wants to talk to you and Tali about the recent news you dropped on them," Edi said.
"Keelah," Tali said drowsily, her eyes still closed, "I knew there was going to be repercussions from telling them that about us, but this is the fifth time they have called."
"Shall we ignore them a bit longer?" Shepard asked.
"No we better see them this time," Tali said as she sat up and put her mask back on.
"I thought yo
Mercenary 1-1MERCENARYMercenary 1-13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter 1: Blood is Beauty
Release One: Pages 1 - 3
THE COLD AIR in Baron Rorke's study did little to calm his nerves. He was expecting visitors this night and they were not the best of company. A shiver of dread ran down his spine and he spent most of the twilight hours staring out of a large window which stood behind his writing desk. It was amazing, he felt, how quickly a man could become attached to a life of luxury; only to be made painfully aware of how easy it was to lose it. War was always a frightening thing, even more so when one had the knowledge and sense to realise that it was no longer an exercise of glory, but a simple festival of bloodshed and cold murder. In war it did not matter if you impaled a stranger on the edge of your sword, such a thing would be punishable in any city or country, but in times of war it became an accepted norm. If the man in front of you wore a different colour, then it was alright to kill him, it was alright to rip him apart fo
Dear OCD.Dear OCD,Dear OCD.5 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I won't die if I stop counting my steps. Each step is unique, and therefore can't be counted. Each surface is not a planet, each room is not a galaxy and each house is not a universe.
Nobody will get killed if I don't keep count of how many times my fingers hit the Enter button, or how many times I tap my phone before I slide it open. I don't have to touch that headset eighteen times before I put it on, and there's no need to count the strokes of mascara I take on every morning.
I don't have to clean my hands the very second they feel dirty, or oily. My iPod is not something that has to be kept sterile at all times, and I won't be killed by the germs on it. My phone is just as dirty, as are my clothes.
The dining plates can be placed between each other, there's no real need to put the white ones together, and not let the blue ones touch the red ones. They are all made of the same material, and there's no need to create systems in everything. The world isn't like that, not eve
Here's to those who are hurting You're not poison ivy and you're not crushed mimosa, you're not a history of screwed ups and let downs, you're not choked hazard with nothing else to give. You're not his or hers or theirs to be tugged and pulled around by their selfish and egocentric whims and your future is certainly not on their leash. You don't combust into flames and extinguish into ashes on the click of their fingers, so breathe and relax. You don't owe anyone anything and you certainly are not their definition of damaged cassette tapes.Here's to those who are hurting1 month ago in Philosophical More Like This
Tell anyone who had ever told you that you're not gritted teeth and clenched fist to screw off because you had been inhaling vile smoke and your lungs are turning black and your kidneys are rebelling into cement and stones and you are in the middle of pitfalls and booby traps and all you have are wrong wrong wrong advices that made you cry until your bones f
TimeThe Ice King wasn't sure why he had decided to sneak out to the candy kingdom that night, to lean there, peering over the edge of her roof, watching as she stood there, whispering prayers for the safety of her people, and happiness to those around her. Oh, he knew why he had come there, as he was fully planning on kidnapping her as she slept, but when he saw she was awake his heart, as cold and made of ice as it was, melted by the beauty and warmth the moonlight gave her pale cotton-candy skin.Time5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Foolish, it was, for him to be as obsessed for one particular princess. But obsessed he was. Even his own heart desired nothing more than the princess', and although he would call the methods of retrieval unpractical at best, it still rang true to the Ice Kings own desire for her. It felt as though he could go without his heart at times if her safety was at stake, as he could say, in completely metaphorical terms of course, that she had stolen his.
She would not be his, though, and
The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.The Man in the Coffee Shop4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.
Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.
Sometimes the man is working at th
Atheists and AgnosticRead Journal Before Posting A Comment PleaseAtheists and Agnostic4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
I don't care how you grew up. Whether you were force fed religion or grew up with none. Whether you grew to hate religion all together or you love the idea of it, but you think it isn't for you. Whether you respect it and would never take it away from someone, but you would also never attend religious related events. Anyone and everyone, in MY OPINION should be, at the very least, agnostic.
Why? Well, for the simple reason of admitting to the fact YOU DON'T KN OW EVERYTHING. From the moment of birth to the second you die you are constantly learning. You are always finding things out that you once did not know existed.
Everyone needs to accept the reality of life. There are things out there that we do not yet understand, and some things we may never understand. For example, I can't grasp the fact that there are people so willingly dumb in this world. I know it exists, but I just don't know how. So, until you KNOW because you have the P
YouKnowYou'reObsessedWhen.....YouKnowYou'reObsessedWhen.....5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
1) You know the names of all the actors (As in David Tennant, not just The Doctor)
2) You know what David Tennant's real last name is
3) You own all the DVD's
4) You own at least one Other piece of Doctor Who merchandise
5) You know that Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who
6) You have to knock on you knock four times
7) Every time you see a phone booth you wish it was blue and bigger on the inside
8) Every time you see a statue of an angel you make sure that there in the same position after you blink
9) You watch the episode 'Blink' you don't blink
10) You have seen at least one of the original episodes
11) You get annoyed when someone types "Dr" instead of "Doctor"
12) You own/want to own a item of clothing the Doctor does
13) You try turning things on/opening locked doors with your sonic screwdriver
14) You think Bananas are good, even though you hate the taste of them
15) You went to a dress up party as the Doctor
16) You know what TARDIS stands for
17) If anyone says somet
50 Signs of the Apocalypse1. A man burns down New York City trying to microwave Canned Bread.50 Signs of the Apocalypse4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
2. Alaska passes a law enforcing a mandatory bikini dress code for all persons outdoors.
3. Texas becomes its own Republic (again) and invades Oklahoma.
4. North and South finally settle their differences and become one big Dakota.
5. A Mary-Sue becomes an International Best-Selling Author.
6. The Government hires zombies and trains them to eat vegans.
7. North Korea has a Nuclear Misfire and blows itself to kingdom come.
8. A private detective reveals a clan of lethargic, overweight ninjas.
9. The Earth's core spontaneously turns into fondue.
10. Violent Riots of angry Pacifists strike major streets across the nation.
11. The USA suddenly turns to Soviet-Dictatorship rule by Evil Robots.
12. Artificial Intelligence becomes a reality, soon followed by Artificial Stupidity (think GIR from I
Poetry Self-Edit ChecklistPoetry Self-Edit Checklist4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Poetry Self-Edit Quick Start Guide and Checklist
The idea behind this is to give newer poets a way to better edit their poetry themselves, without having to rely as much on an external editor. It can be frustrating, especially for new poets to request feedback from a friend, or worse, to post a poem, and have all of the responses be about grammatical errors and other details. We write poetry to convey ideas and emotions, and when something is off technically about the poem it distracts the reader. When a reader is distracted enough to notice an error or other problem it means they might spend the time they might otherwise have spent glowing about your poem to post a comment correcting you instead.
After this introduction is over the checklist will be as brief as possible while retaining its utility. The idea is to serve as an organizational tool and a reminder rather than to educate on effective
:ocd:You're lucky it's not that bad yet.:ocd:5 years ago in Emotional More Like This
Yeah, well you don't know what I do on my own time.
On my own I let it all go. Sit on the floor and claw at mind. Turn out the lights and stare.
Then it comes to me.
You tell me to think about something else.
But everyting else on my mind just swallows up the distractions.
Do something to get your mind off it.
But it's not that easy. Honestly, the things I think about
I'm afraid to write down.
I don't want people I know to know.
Hell, I don't even want people I don't know to know.
And it's past the point where I'm scared of it.
Past the point where I hide myself because I'm afraid I'll do it.
No, no, no.
I'm at the stage where the thought of doing something drastic just makes me smile like fuck. It makes me start to think about what I'm going to do to get away with it. Makes me sit there and think about it. Now I don't know if the thoughts are causing this, or if they're calming me down.
And now I love it. I feed off it. I don't want to get over it.
this probably isn't about youthis probably is about how the sun was on the opposite side of the sky when i woke up this morning. and how my name looks wrong every time i write it until it's gotten to the point that i'm not even sure how to spell it. it's about how everything has been flying out of my control so that i can't remember how to walk without making a sound. or how to hold on to the edges when my vision gets too blurry. this is almost certainly about how you live one and three fourth miles to the north of me, but i forgot and slept facing the south last night so now i just feel like i turned my back on you.this probably isn't about you6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
but really, this isn't about you.
it's about how i've subscribed to the same three magazines for three years now, and every time i open them i feel like i've seen it all before. and how today is like yesterday and four days before that. it's about how i'm a repeat stuck on repeat, and we're all the same, and i'm drowning in an ocean of these fluid lies and tired eyes. this is maybe, almost completely
A Christmas KittenShe came today.A Christmas Kitten6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She hasn't come for a lot of days. It's too cold. But today she came. Today is Christmas Eve and she came for me.
She is happy today. She talks a lot endless chatter as she sticks a handful of food in my cage, which I gratefully eat up. I am hungry, and it's cold.
She doesn't stop talking. I don't know what she is saying. She knows I don't know. Or maybe she doesn't. Maybe she thinks I know. But anyway, she doesn't stop talking. I listen to her, glad of her voice in the glum silence. The others listen too. They are lonely, like me.
Cat, I can take you home now, she says. She says it in Human and I purr at her. I have no idea what she is talking about.
Cat, we have enough money, she says. Her eyes sparkle in the gloom like something shiny dropped in dog dung. Her eyes sparkle in the gloom like hope. I nuzzle her outstretched hand. I have no idea what she is hopeful about.
Cat, you're my Christmas present, she tells me. I flick my tail. She keeps talking. She says,
LoveIt's the song on the radio that reminds you of what you had and what you lost.Love4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It's the smile that a baby gives when she is genuinely happy.
It's the sound of a laugh from someone who hasn't laughed in a long, long time.
It's the friend who still remembers you even if you call after fifteen years.
It's the last piece of chocolate saved for you in a box you thought was empty.
It's the gift that is exactly what you needed, when you needed it.
It's the two hour ride across town, just so she can see you before she leaves.
It's the dog who waits for you to come home, just to give you all the affection in the world.
It's the companionship one feels in silence when they have found their best friend.
It's the feeling of a warm blanket someone put on you after you fell asleep.
It's the boy who does the stupidest things in the world, just to see you laugh.
It's the girl who kisses you the way she has never ever kissed anyone before.
It's the woman who gives up her seat on the train to the old la
Cowgirl TFIt was Wednesday night and Amanda was changing in the locker room after field hockey practice. It was her senior year and she was determined to improve the team and herself so that they could win the district title.Cowgirl TF4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Amanda had always been fairly attractive, standing about 5'8" with long dirty blonde hair. She had a so-so face, but beautiful blue eyes. Her breasts were full D cups and she had a fit waist from being in shape. Her ass was okay, but not that impressive and her legs were a little on the short size.
Amanda always had the same routine after practice: she would change, drink a carton of milk she bought earlier and then drive home. Today though, she forgot to bring her milk. She was a little mad about forgetting but didn't mind making a quick run to the store.
When she got to the store she wanted to hurry because she was really tired and sweaty from practice so she was just going to grab the first one she saw and leave. She walked in and saw a special on milk sitting close to c
The Suicide PhotographerI am a photographer.The Suicide Photographer2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
People hate my work. You may ask why, but when you see my shots, you'll understand. My work is very controversial. I am sadly proud of my photos, for I may be the only one who's adopted this style.
I capture photos of suicide.
No matter where I go, I carry my camera with me, ready to shoot anything that may happen. There's surprisingly a lot of suicides in this city and the next city over. I've gotten beautiful shots.
The most common ones are those of people jumping from buildings. Of course, there's usually a crowd of people pleading for the person to come down, so I know right away what I am about to get. I stand to get a good perspective, hold up my camera, and snap the photo right as the person plunges to their demise. I take a couple one after the other so I make sure to get the perfect shot. People surrounding me shout at me and call me heartless.
On the contrary, I am more caring than them. That person wanted to end their life, so they had a perfect reason t
The Fall of Ariamis …Priscilla.The Fall of Ariamis3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I will keep you safe.
I will keep you company.
Do you remember all those years ago – when we first met? I remember it perfectly. I was so very close. So very, very close to my last shred of sanity snipping. And then I saw a peculiar little girl in white dress – you. Your left hand was occupied by a tattered doll. Your right was wet from wiping your tears. Your eyes began to water again, but I caught it for you that time. I still had a shred of humanity left, gnawing at my heart's strings to care for you, to pity, and to comfort. You were scared by my face, but I mustered a smile, and told you not to fear. You told me that you were lonely, that you were unloved.
And from that point on, I never left your side.
Do you remember all those years ago – when I saved your life? I remember it perfectly. The cursed fellow had threatened you, and I had intervened. You were bigger, but still, I needed to protect you. He chased you up the tower,
The Wilding of Sarah PalinThe Legendary ChroniclesThe Wilding of Sarah Palin5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Book V: The Wilding of Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin did not need a pregnancy test or any other piece of cheap human technology to confirm what she knew; she was with child again. She murmured wordlessly with pleasure and lovingly stroked the contours of her slightly-rounded belly. It had been less than a week since she had copulated with her mate, but already she was keenly aware of the precious new life growing within her....
....as for her mate, a series of sounds downstairs indicated that Todd had returned from the frozen plains where he had been hunting for several days with the other males. He entered their chamber and removed his heavy outer skins which were still coated with frost, and stomped triumphantly while snorting and snuffling, indicating a s
Fan Fiction for the UnconvincedThis is an attempt at an informal essay on fan fiction, by a middle-aged woman who reads and enjoys fan fiction. It won’t really be a balanced argument—I will be concentrating more on what I see as the positive aspects of the genre. I’ll be using mainly examples from the Sherlock fandom, that being the fandom I’m most familiar with. (There will be some spoilers, especially for series 3, so if you haven’t seen the series yet and you intend to, it might be wise to give this essay a miss.)Fan Fiction for the Unconvinced1 year ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Why do I read fan fiction? The basic reason is exactly the same reason I read anything—some of it is of astounding quality. I think fan fiction is often saddled with the image of being written solely by beginners and being uniformly terrible. But it’s like any other kind of fiction. You have beginners, you have the competent, you have the talented and experienced. The very best fan fiction writers write at a professional standard; the very best sto
OrdinaryMost people fall in love with the extra-ordinary.Ordinary6 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
You are not most people; never for a moment try to believe you are. You stand out from the crowd, with your quiet ways and subtle humor, and, in the beginning, that's horrifying. But soon enough, you will learn to lift your eyes and set your jaw; you will learn the word no when it comes to fools; you will live emblazoned over the world like a fiery rainbow.
You will learn many, many things in the coming years.
You will learn to smile with all the vibrancy you have tucked away inside of you, and you will learn to be that other kind of beautiful. The kind that dreamers and thinkers are. You will grow your hair out - yes, down to your waist like you always dreamed - and it will tickle your elbows when you laugh. You will define your own fashion sense - not what's popular, but something entirely unknown and entirely you. And it will be more than ordinary.
You will learn to laugh and cry and love and talk. You w
my heart beats in dialtones -chello?my heart beats in dialtones -c6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
maybe there are too many things ive been waiting to say.
you don't have to call me back, but i wanted to tell you that i love you. i love you and that messy printing you always use to write the inaccurate equations that lead to my heart. i love you and the beautiful mess you are that smiles when i pick up trash in my pretty pink dress that i say makes me look fat but you tell me that i never could because i am as thin as the ice that covers me when you aren't around. i love you even though you never answer your phone; even though i've been calling you for years and you never left me any messages.
i would say that i'm ugly but we look so alike.
im thinking maybe youre easier to talk to when youre not really you. so lately that means im questioning your answering machine again and addressing you in faceless nouns since i cant begin to say the things ive been meaning to te
Of Pig's BloodI'll never forget the first time someone told me I was going to hell. I was twelve.Of Pig's Blood3 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
The grounds of the Conference Center were breezy, the buds of the coming spring dappling the many thin trees in shades of light pastels. All around me, packs of women and young girls - some my age, some older - bustled towards the great, granite building that towered above us all. I held tight to the large, square ticket that was going to grant me entrance, huddling close to my small group of friends as we were guided towards the gate.
It wasn't until we rounded the turn that I saw them. There was a small cluster of people who had lined the entrance to the grounds, holding signs and blow horns. One man was standing above the rest, holding himself up on the wall as he called down to the throng of swishing skirts and flapping ponytails. "Ladies!" he bellowed, his voice cracking like thunder above the traffic sound of Salt Lake city. "Ladies, I warn you! You step into that building, and you're stepping rig