Friday, 27 February 2009


I've been asked if I will give up anything for Lent. :-P

Not to celebrate anything religious or the like, but I have put my plans for world domination on hold. Which allowed me a little fun on how I would share out the countries to my loyal supporters.

Note: You can't have Australia. It doesn't exist! No-one has provided any proof that I can be bothered to verify.

Apologising Bishop?

Just a short post today, I'm exhausted!

Anyway, referring to an earlier post about the Holocaust denying Bishop... seems he can't quite make a decent apology.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Offering prayers

So soon after writing a post about how I dealt with the question of death and my father. My mother is ill and mortality rears its head once more. :-(
I have had genuine prayers offered for my mum to get well soon and I really do appreciate their thoughts and concerns. (As I've said, the vast majority of christians are a nice bunch!) Some christians haven't mentioned that they will pray but have offered their best wishes and thoughts. I wonder if they are worried how I would react when offered a prayer. Trust me, I would NEVER scornfully dismiss it or criticise a well meant wish.
I see it as a genuine wish for something good to happen. I wish for good things to happen! It's human nature to want to see good things happen.
Being a atheist, I will not be praying for any reversal of the condition. I have the knowledge that science will alleviate most of the pain and that modern medicine will offer the best chance my mum has. Sadly, in some people's eyes that may seem rather callous - but if that's what they think then I seriously doubt they would understand why I would pity THEM.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Oh the irony...

As you know, I'm a teacher and I have been given the task of planning the RE lessons for the next term.

If there was a god, then I'm sure she would be laughing... ;-)

Explaining death to atheist kids.

I would have to say that my boys are probably agnostics. (Let's get that out of the way.)
But are they missing out on a vital part of growing up? Are they more 'evil' than they should be? Am I doing them a disservice by not getting them baptised 'on the chance there might be a god' and more importantly (in some minds) am I deliberately denying them a place in an afterlife?

Fact: My boys are fantastic. They are all extremely caring individuals. They share with each other and with their friends. They are polite and very respectful to other people even when they have not been appreciated for being so. They are quite altruistic and never expect a reward for being so. I am very proud of them all. Quite simply, if there are any gods out there who still think they deserve to go to a place of eternal damnation, then grow up.

My middle son has started to worry about what happens after you die and I think that we have given a balanced viewpoint. We have told him what some people believe: afterlives, reincarnation and let him think about that. What I say is that you remember people, and your life is changed by knowing them. They will have affected you in a variety of ways - some inspirational, some as a warning, some of them will be key factors in how you interact with the world around you.

When my father passed away, he had a humanist service. My boys all drew pictures to put on the coffin of happy things they remembered. As they have grown, I tell them about things my father did. They like sport for instance, which when my father was a younger, fitter man, loved to take part in. (It's in the blood, I tell them; although it seemed to skip a generation with me...)

And that is where a kind of real immortality emerges. My father lives on through my deeds and actions. I learned a lot about being a father from... my father. When I look at my boys, I hope that I will provide inspiration that will last for generations.

No mysticism, no religious 'comfort blanket', no wishful thinking, no lies...

I have told them the truth and I believe it to be a happy one. :-)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

I'm on the Blogroll

The Random Fish has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

Have a browse. Us atheists are an interesting bunch!

Non-British readers. You might not be aware that 'Blogroll' has a similar assonance to the term 'Bog roll'. Which is a British slang term for toilet paper. It was pointed out to me that a bog roll is used to 'wipe away crap' (not the exact words he used) and that the metaphor of atheists wiping away religion seems ironic. ;-)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Darwin's deathbed conversion? And mine..?

With the celebration of Darwin Day still ringing in my ears, it was curious that one person mentioned to me about Darwin's conversion on his deathbed to christianity.

It's taken a few days for me to give it the consideration it deserves. I have given a few links at the bottom of this article (neutral, atheist and religious).

Number 1: The story has been discredited. All the evidence available suggests that this was a extremely unlikely event. Lady Hope seems a rather biased witness and members of Darwin's own family, who were present, deny such an event took place.

Number 2: Even if he did, so what? The evidence for evolution is still intact. Creationism is still a ridiculous conclusion as an alternative.

Sadly a desperate attempt to discredit a great man's life work. Yet, even today, there are people who still propogate this lie as a 'fact' to prove they are right. (Top tip - At least have the courtesy to do a tiny bit of research first.)

And finally... Some of my family are religious. If it helped them, then I would agree to a full blown, bells and whistles, super lovely christian funeral. I WOULD BE DEAD so it wouldn't matter to me. Sad to think that they might consider me spit roasted on a red hot poker suffering eternal torment if I didn't. :-)

Hats off to Richard Dawkins who says that he wants his death recorded so there will be no possible accustaion of a deathbed conversion. ;-)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The Atheist Blogroll

Sometimes it's great to see what other people think. And us freethinking types are a varied bunch. From the frothing at the mouth to the angst ridden, the observational to the despairing - we want to share our opinions! I love the internet. :-)

There is an atheist blogroll link to the right. Dip in now and again to find out something new. Some of the more balanced have a theistic counterpoint and, personally, I find those the most interesting.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Things I'm accused of... (Part 4 - Parenting)

That my children will go to hell. Brilliant. And laughable. Perhaps you are concerned that I am blatantly playing dice with my children's souls and I would honestly have to say thank you. (Again this surprises people but I do appreciate your concern. It shows you care - and that you might, one day hopefully soon, make a good humanist.)

My children have not been baptised because I AM NOT GOING TO CHOOSE THEIR RELIGION FOR THEM. Face the facts. Children are born atheists. They learn about religion purely by chance of where they were born. There are too many religions all claiming that they are the TRUTH(tm) and as a parent, I am quite worried that I would choose the wrong version of events and condemn them to eternal torment / limbo / destruction / reincarnation / not getting picked for the rapture and other such entertaining ideas. (Delete as appropiate)

That I will raise my children as atheists. Ahem. Just because YOU may choose to indoctrinate / teach / brainwash / scare / encourage (again delete as...) YOUR religion, I take the path that my children should choose for themselves. My children have a natural curiousity about the world and ask questions. I give balanced answers but NEVER tell them that one opinion is better than the other. My children occasionally attend church services (Easter, Christmas, Remembrance Day...) and I don't have a problem with that. As a family, we have visited some of the most amazing temples in Asia and Africa and show the relevant respect for their customs.

Most important thing for me: my children will have an informed choice. They are already kind hearted, polite, sharing children with a concern about green issues. (And they haven't even heard of the term 'humanism').

And the poll result is in!

Seems that we don't have any agnostics reading this blog yet. :-)

4 votes for - No. Obviously!

I will have a 'fairer' blog for you all to vote in next. Enjoy!

Saint(?) Valentine's Day

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day. (I proved my love to my wife by agreeing to go to Ikea on that day.)
But have you noticed that the 'Saint' seems to be dropped by almost all the media and retailers?
Any thoughts? Leave a comment :-)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Australia does not exist!!!

My last post was rather doom and gloom so I thought I would lighten the mood again.

I have come to the decision that Australia DOES NOT EXIST.

The reasons are as follows:

I have never actually seen it.
I believe that all maps lie.
Satellite images from space? Pah! Like I can afford to waste millions to send up my own satellite to check.
Kangaroos? That's just taking the p**s! (Don't even get me started on the Platypus!!!)

Someone has to expose this lie, and I will lead the charge!

After a couple of theological discussions with friends, I needed to bring some humour back before I seriously annoyed someone. This was my response to someone not recognising that evolution is very real and almost certainly a fact. So, despite many people accepting that Australia exists and wouldn't ever consider calling it a 'theoretical landmass' I decided (as creationists show disdain to evidence) that Australia does not exist.

The double edged irony (and I do appreciate this) is that I am 'disbelieving' something else. ;-) But it would take the most pathetic attempt at reasoning to link this with my atheism. For a start you would also have to link it with an almost limitless amount of other things I seriously don't believe in. eg) Unicorns, Horoscopes, Spurs winning the Premiership, Pixies, seven-eyed unicycling wombats...

And if you think I am insane, then please visit I thought it was a joke but, for some people, clearly not!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Extremism - Dutch MP banned from UK

A Dutch MP who called the Koran a "fascist book" has been sent back to the Netherlands after attempting to defy a ban on entering the UK.

Interesting story. The man is trouble maker and can hardly be an advocate for tolerance but was sent back to Amsterdam because he would have caused offence to religious extremists. He previously released a short film showing islamic attrocities coupled with quotes from the islamic holy book.

If you do a search for 'Fitna' on youtube you can see for yourself. Be warned it does contain VERY graphic images, including the result of a beheading.

The problem being is that it ONLY portrays islam as a violent religion. It would be equally as easy to put clips of the gulf war, prison camps and interrogation techniques together with old testament quotes to make a christian version too.

I truly hope that as as the human race advances it will free itself from the shackles of religion and a true, world-wide humanistic approach to each other will emerge.

Sadly, my pessimistic theory is that as more reasoned people drift away from religion you will be left with larger percentages of extremism within their ranks. A minority that have such political sway, they can pursue their own destructive agendas, bringing misery and fear to millions of innocents.

Things I'm accused of ... (part 3)

That I am anti-christian. I can see how people might occasionally think that. And if I come across as such, then I do apologise. The vast majority of christians I have met have been wonderful, caring people. The people I work with at school are all people I trust and care about and I never want to upset. I love a good debate though - and when 'faith' is concerned it is often hard to accept when someone has a 'ridiculous' idea on either side of the argument.

Atheist - means 'without gods'. Many assume it means 'Against gods'. Being against gods would imply that I think they exist... :-)

To summarise, I apologise if 'christianity' is used when 'religion' should be. (Thanks to my colleagues for pointing this out) :-)

That I am narrow minded. To be honest, I find this deeply offensive and barely worth a comment. But since it is an accusation...

I am open to persuasion. In my early years, when I was brought up in a Church of England school, I believed in a god. I had a teacher who encouraged free thinking and looking at evidence and, unintentionally perhaps, started me on a path of reasonable thought.
In my late teens and early twenties I made a point of looking at religions and comparing beliefs, spirituality and hoping to find the answer to the awareness of 'self'. I have talked, at great length to christians, pagans, white witches, muslims, evangalists, witnesses (for far too long!) and (to balance it all) a satanist! (He was quite a nice bloke actually.) All the ideals provided no answers. Then I discovered the term 'Humanism' and found that I had been living those ideals nearly all my life anyway. (Humanism embraces atheists and agnostic points of view)

Call me narrow minded? Well you can just *&%" off. (No apologies!)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

200th Anniversary of Darwin's Birth

This should be a national holiday

To celebrate a great man who opened the eyes of millions; a genius who has inspired generations; an adventurer that travelled the world in search of the truth.

A man who, with one brave book, showed creationism to be an absurd, nonsensical, narrow-minded waste of intellect.

12th February - HAPPY DARWIN DAY! :-)

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Things I'm accused of... part 2

That I should read the Bible properly. I have read quite a bit. Its quite an epic but heavily biased; factually flawed in places; rips off several earlier religions (floods, plagues, ressurections, avatars, afterlife etc...); rather violent, some great stories; some rather nasty ways to treat people; meassages of generous love coupled with messages of eternal punishment; inspirational in places yet nothing common sense or a feeling of self worth should provide.
(If I missed anything, let me know.)

That I am a hypocrite for working in a church school. If someone could explain this to me, I would be grateful. After all, I am allowed to work in a church school, although I was advised against stating I was an atheist in my interview. I regret that decision personally :-(
"Sympathetic to the christian ethos" is the phrase I used. And, yes, I do feel sympathy for christians. ;-)

I got married in a catholic service. Why? The location did not matter to me. It did to my wife's family and it was a fantastic service conducted by a priest who I had a great deal of affection for (He has since sadly passed away). MY vows, MY promise hold more power than the potential displeasing of a fictional character.

More to follow...

Monday, 9 February 2009

Things I'm accused of... (Part 1)

Siding with the devil. Erm... Clearly not. If I don't believe in gods then I certainly wouldn't believe/ support one of their fictional enemies.

That I think too much about gods. Possibly. ;-) But they are fascinating stories! It's just when people take them as role models or use them as an excuse it fills me with despair.

That I don't treat religions with respect. Simple answer - they don't deserve it. Atheists are quite readily prejudiced against in the world (by religions) and there are no archaic 'unblasphemy laws'. There isn't even a word in the English language that shows 'offense to atheists'! (Time to start a campaign methinks...)

That I don't have faith. I have faith that all humans really want to be nice to one another. I have faith that my football team will win matches. Plenty of things in my life require no proof. Accepting that a supernatural power is in control is not one of them.

More to follow...

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Pope welcomes back Holocaust denier? IRONY ALERT!

Again, there are many sites out there that do this story justice. I just wanted to make the point that he doesn't believe that there is enough evidence to convince him about the holocaust.

Amazing. Despite the overwhelming evidence: eyewitness accounts, confession
s of Nazis, graves. If it wasn't so insulting, it would be darkly funny. This is, quite possibly, someone I wouldn't even attempt to convince with an evolution argument. (Some people are just too stupid.)

But people are allowed their opinions, and I would strongly defend that right. I am appalled that the Pope - the highest christian authority on the planet- seems to think it is OK to welcome him back to the church! It really does send the wrong message I think.

I could argue that there is considerably less evidence for the existence of the biblical holy Jesus
! But that would probably just annoy people... ;-)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Aha! The logo is here!

Hope you like it. A little bit of wordart and paintshop pro to give a simple, yet effective message to the world. :-)

And... I have a little poll for visitors to complete. Look to the right hand side.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

What is Humanism?

For those too busy to search it out, I will direct you to the rather good summary on Wikipedia.

That's it for today. I've got to mark some science books before Ofsted* arrive!

*Non UK readers: Ofsted are school inspectors who make sure we do our job properly. Often causing unecessary stress and making snap decisions based on a day or two's observation. Considered evil by many in the profession. ;-)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

My First Blog... an Introduction.

Well, actually my second. I have a myspace account but I couldn't be bothered. I'm hoping that I will add to this regularly (as my time will allow).

I'm a teacher. In a church school. It's not a problem for me (as an atheist) although some people think it should be. It is a good school, not because it is a church school I hasten to add, but because the staff and kids are amazing. It would be equally as good, in my humble opinion, without church blessing.

Firstly, I will not name the school. It (unlike gods) actually exists. If you don't believe me, then I suppose that would make you some kind of 'disbeliever'. (Oh the potential irony.) You don't need to know the school and I don't want to cause any upset with any governors of the school or senior management. There are also plenty of nutcases out there who take offense at being presented with common sense arguments and I would rather they aim any vitriolic comments at me and me alone. (I almost look forward to them.)

Secondly, this is not a rant against religion (there are plenty of great sites out there that do a wonderful job of it) but more a chance to get in the mind of a humanist. If you wish to leave a comment, fantastic! But I doubt you will get a reply. I have a busy life as a parent, husband and a teacher. Don't be offended if I don't become your friend. ;-)

Thirdly, I would like to think that I will leave an impression on you that I am a nice person. I am, honest! Posts will be made in good humour and usually with a smile. If I do cause upset, dismay or even anger then it wasn't intended - unless you are actually one of the very small percentage of people on the planet I don't actually like.

The Randomfish
(Until I get my logo up, work out the significance of my psuedonym.)