My Abortion Story


Before I begin, please don’t leave any comments meant to shame me or any other person who has had an abortion. Regardless of your person views, this is my story. I do not regret having my abortion.

I’ve been coming across an increasing number of women who’ve been posting their abortion stories online. I wrote about my experience about 7 months ago, but it has been a long time and we have gained a lot of followers since then. As such, I think it is about time to tell my story again.

Back in February, Withteeth and I were finally settling down after a long and stressful five months. Our lives had been turned upside down and we were finally settling in to a new “normal.”  By the end of the month we were taking a break from school. A break that we spent pet-sitting for Withteeth’s parents. Then we went back to our regular school routine. After dealing with so much stress, I hardly registered my missed period. My cycle had gotten all messed up, so it was easy to miss.

We went to the doctors when I realized that I could be pregnant. I was. 5 weeks, in fact. Here in Canada, abortions without doctor consent can only be done up to 12 weeks. The doctor told me to set up an appointment immediately because wait times can be ridiculous here. The first thing I did when I left the doctor’s office was set up an appointment at the abortion clinic. At that point I didn’t know if I was going to go through with it, but I knew that I didn’t have any time to waste.

I had to go get some blood work done before my appointment, so I spent three hours sitting in a blood clinic to get my results. Then I was ready for my appointment.

Withteeth and I want kids, which is why I wasn’t sure if I would go through with the abortion. However, had I kept it, I would be set to give birth this December. My due date would have made it difficult for me to finish this semester. And having a newborn would have made it difficult for me to go back to school next semester. In all likelihood, I would have had to take the year off. This is supposed to be my last year of school. It wasn’t an ideal situation for raising a child. And after all the issues we had been through, raising a child wasn’t something that we could emotionally handle. So I decided to go through with the abortion.

Apparently it was a good time to get pregnant: I managed to get an appointment for a week after my initial doctor’s appointment. I was six weeks pregnant at that point, so I chose to get a medical abortion. A medical abortion involves getting two shots in your back. The shots kill the embryo. Then I was given medicine to take. Some of the medicine was to keep me healthy. The rest was to cause a miscarriage. I went home feeling fine, but essentially had the flu for the next week. I miscarried on the Sunday (six days later). Then I went back to the doctor where they determined that everything went fine. I wasn’t surprised: there was only a 1% chance that anything would go wrong.

I have been healthy ever since. I experienced no negative after effects. And my ovulation cycle has gone back to normal. What’s more, I’m on track to graduate this coming spring. And Withteeth and I are in an emotionally stable state, so having kids now wouldn’t cause the problems that it would have before.


10 Reasons Why I’m Not a Christian


*Since it appears a lot of people can’t read, the title says 10 Reasons Why I’m Not A Christian, not 10 Reasons Why Christianity Is Wrong. Please take this into consideration before responding.*

1) A creator is not required for the universe to exist as it is.
We have decades of scientific research that shows how the universe could have come about, and we have evidence that shows that it likely came about in that manner. Scientists go through years of schooling in order to learn both what has been learned in the past and how to perform studies in order to advance our understanding. Science has given us the computers we use to blog, the medicine that has extended our lives greatly, and any number of other things we take for granted. But they have also advanced our understanding of the world we live in. Religion, however, my offer hypothesizes about the origins of the universe and of humans, but it offers no evidence. Science shows that a god is not needed for our universe to exist, nor is it needed for us to exist.
2) The Bible is not convincing.
There are many reasons why it is unconvincing. First there are the contradictions. The Bible was clearly written by a number of authors who disagreed on various things. As such, it is impossible to accept the Bible in it’s entirety, at least if you wish to believe it to be literal. Then there are the stories that are either provably false (like the exodus out of Egypt) or the ones that cannot be verified one way or the other (like the Jesus story), which is usually a good indication that it never happened. There is also the fact that miracles and personal interactions with God don’t really happen any more. If they happened for 2000 years, why would they just suddenly stop? There is no reason to accept the Bible as any sort of authority, especially since there is a lack of corroborating sources.
3) I have never seen any miracles.
This goes with what I said above. I have never personally witnessed a miracle. And every miracle that I have heard about has a very natural explanation. I once heard about a statue of the Virgin Mary outside of a church that was said to cry. Upon further examination, it turned out that there was a leaky pipe that caused the effect. That famous “Jesus on toast” thing was the result of a malfunctioning toaster and the fact that humans are good at seeing faces where there are none. Again, if miracles did happen at one point, why would they just stop? Or is there maybe a more reasonable explanation for past “miracles” too?
4) Christians disagree with each other over almost all aspects of their religion.
Why should I believe your claims that your religion is true when that guy over there told me that you’re not a real Christian? How do I know that you’re right and he’s wrong when you’re both giving me the same lack of evidence to support your version of the story? And if there is one God who came to Earth as his own son, and the story is so obviously true, oh, and people get revelations from God today, then why isn’t there one cohesive story told by everybody and accepted by everybody?
5) I don’t need God to be good.
Like I’ve said before, Christianity is not the basis of morality and Christians are not the only ones with morals. I do in fact have morals. I get them from my parents, my teachers, my friends, etc. But I also get them from philosophy. I have taken a lot of philosophy courses related to ethics, which has forced me to think critically before I accept an idea as moral or immoral. It is philosophy that convinced me that abortion and euthanasia are not immoral and can, in fact, be moral. Philosophy also convinced me that morality is subjective. But my point is that I know the difference between right and wrong. Most people do. And I believe that most people do more moral or amoral (not related to morality) than immoral actions.
6) Even if the Bible was convincing, the Christian God isn’t worth worshiping.
This is a God responsible for genocides. This is a God who ordered a man to kill his son to prove his loyalty, a God who killed their own son because they couldn’t figure out any other way to forgive humanity. This God even threatens to torture people for eternity simply because they can’t believe in him. Why would I worship this God?
7) Of all the religions that exist, I see no reason why the Christian religion is more likely to be true than the rest of them.
There are thousands of religions and millions of gods. Every believer says their religion is the true religion, and they all say their god is, at least, stronger than the others. What’s more, all religions seem to be supported by the same lack of evidence. So why would I accept Christianity over all of the rest?
8) Too many churches teach hate and encourage their congregants to view themselves as superior to all other humans.
If a church could prove that there was evidence to support their religion over all others, then I would understand a church viewing themselves as separate from all other religions, but teaching people to believe that they are better than others only leads to problems. No one is better than any other, and nobody should view hate as acceptable. The number of churches that support one or both of those ideas make it difficult for me to accept the organized religion associated with Christianity. Why would I want to hang out with people who believe I’m less than them simply because I disagree with them?
9) I don’t believe anyone deserves an infinite punishment for a finite crime.
Do you believe in a literal hell? What makes someone deserving of such a place? Disbelief? How is torture an acceptable response for disbelief in anything? Blasphemy? If I don’t believe, does my blasphemy count? If so, am I deserving of hell for saying something about something I don’t believe in? Murder? How many murders can one person commit? Is infinite punishment acceptable for a finite number of murders? Why isn’t imprisonment enough of a punishment?
10) I see nothing wrong with not knowing the answer.
It seems like a lot of people accept God’s existence because they believe it’s better to have any answer, even a wrong one, than having no answer. Personally, I think it’s better to accept that you don’t know until you’re reasonably sure that your answer is the right one. I’m not going to say I know until I have evidence to say I know. This isn’t to say that Christians all say that they know God exists (theism is still a belief and not a knowledge claim), but in every other circumstance the disbelief would be the default position. As such, I will continue to disbelieve in the existence of Gods until evidence of their existence is found.


Being A Christian Does Not Make You Moral


As I have said in a previous post, we get a lot of comments about how we can’t be moral because we are atheists. So let’s discuss what makes a person moral.

To be clear, neither Withteeth or I would say that we are moral because we are atheists. We are moral for other reasons. To be moral requires more than a set of beliefs: it requires actions as well. Withteeth and I have thought deeply about our moral convictions, and we have gone out of our way to act on those convictions. Anyone who wishes to argue that we are not moral is either willfully ignoring what we have done that makes us moral, or they are under the impression that to be moral you merely have to hold a particular set of beliefs. I believe that most of those who comment on our blog are of the second set. For that reason, I’m going to talk about why being a Christian (since those comments have so far come exclusively from Christians) doesn’t make you moral.

Do you go to church every week, or several times a week? Are you in a Bible study? Do you pray to God? Do you evangelize the word or God? Do you go to all of your churches events? Do you volunteer at your church? Basically, are you the quintessential “good Christian”? That’s wonderful if that’s what you enjoy, but that doesn’t make you a good person. Why? Because being a Christian doesn’t mean being moral. To be a Christian all you have to do is accept certain beliefs. There may be some required actions (ie. baptism) to go along with those beliefs, but the requirements are very basic and do not require morality in order to accept them. You do not need to help the poor in order to accept Jesus Christ as your saviour. You do not need to be kind to others to accept the Bible as true (literally or metaphorically). And you do not need to donate to charity to go through all of the programs and ceremonies offered by your church. There are Christians who are moral, but there are also some who aren’t. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be moral if you’re a Christian, but it does mean that you can be a Christian and be immoral.

Likewise, you do not have to be a Christian to be moral. Many of the comments we get are along the lines of “you don’t think morality is objective, so…” or “you need to believe in God to…” when they say we aren’t moral. It is commonly accepted by these commenters that morality is objective. So lets pretend that it is. If morality is objective, does my belief that it is subjective make any difference at all? It shouldn’t. If morality is objective, then it should be built into the foundation of our existence. It would be expected that we would all share the same moral belief systems. There wouldn’t be different moral systems across different cultures. It would also be expected that living creatures in general would treat each better overall. It wouldn’t matter what I believed about morality, because how I treated people would not change. I’d have this objective morality too deeply ingrained into me to act differently. And freewill wouldn’t change anything because this morality would be a part of my very foundation. I wouldn’t have any freedom to do otherwise. The fact that you believe God gave us the freedom to choose wouldn’t change anything either. If we can choose to be immoral, then morality cannot be ingrained into us, so it cannot be objective. If you believe that I can choose to be moral, then you do not believe that morality is objective.

However, if morality is subjective, then you’d see different cultures with different moral systems. You’d see people within a particular culture disagreeing with certain parts of their cultures moral system. And you’d see people acting immorally. If morality is subjective, then you can have a god who lets us decide whether or not to be moral. And you can have followers of that god disagreeing with one another about what it means to be moral. But this also means that, regardless of whether or not this god exists, you can have people who do not agree with this god behaving morally. This is because we can think about what is moral. We can debate the moral implications of a given action. And we can adjust our moral codes to better fit our reality.

Either way, atheists can be moral and it is not your Christianity that makes you moral.

For further reading on what objective and subjective morality are and what they mean, here are some links:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Objective_morality

http://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/six-reasons-why-objective-morality-is-nonsense/

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/why-there-is-no-objective-morality/

http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-morality-subjective

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/subjective-morality-not-what-it-seems/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-elerick/are-morals-subjective-or_b_504262.html

http://infidels.org/library/modern/niclas_berggren/morality.html


5 Logical Fallacies, 6 videos.


I’m a fan of PBS Idea Channel and get a kick out of the serious for cover a wide range of topics. I highly recommend them for those who like to think a little be harder about video games, pop culture, media in many of it’s forms, amongst other related topics. Though I really like this latest video as it gives a handy resource for linking people to a number of common fallacies.  I suspect I have no shortage of opportunities to link to this video in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qb-h0sXkH4

Straw man Fallacy:
http://bit.ly/1nzyoR8

Ad Hominem Fallacy:
http://bit.ly/1wbQnAk

Black and White Fallacy:
http://bit.ly/1th3q0M

Authority Fallacy:
http://bit.ly/1t5DPIn

No True Scotsman Fallacy:
http://bit.ly/1wu6J5Z

Watch the playlist:
http://bit.ly/1sQSSEe


2500 followers wow!


Wow!

Here is a big thank you to all our 2500 followers!

I’m really quite stunned we’ve gotten here so quickly!

Withteeth


Atheists Can’t Be Moral


We get a lot of comments on this blog along the lines of “atheists/you can’t be moral” so I thought I’d link to a well written post about why you shouldn’t say that. Seriously, there’s no way to not be rude when you’re telling someone you think they’re a bad person because of what they are.

Please, if you are one of those people who use this tired line and think it’s okay, read this post:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/06/11/9-questions-not-to-ask-atheists-with-answers/


SoJo Cal


Once again, a reminder that SoJo Cal is in the process of being organized. This is a conference dedicated to discussing the intersection between freethought and social justice, namely LGBT rights and feminism. If you’re a feminist, a freethinker, or LGBT (or an ally to any of those groups), please share our Go Fund Me page. Of course, we’d appreciate it if anybody shared our page, but those are the three groups most represented by our conference.

If you’re in Calgary, please check out our Go Fund Me page as it has all the information about what will be happening.

We’re still sitting at $100 of the $5000 that we want to raise. Please share, and please donate if you can. http://www.gofundme.com/ey9uy4


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