Nicole writes this stuff for me.  I don’t even have to try.

She includes a cartoon and a quote with the educational packet that she worked for two months to put together for the judge.

She worked for two months putting together examples of the children’s schoolwork that they don’t do. It took two months instead of two minutes because she had to fabricate it out of nothing.

But she took the time to include a cartoon, because that will be so meaningful to the judge, right?

It sort of tugs at your heartstrings, doesn’t it?

It says that Nicole and Joe are trying very hard to treat their kids as individuals and to promote their talents, all unique to each child. So what if they can’t read, or if they are beyond ecstatic because one of the poor kids passes a simple test that the entire population of Kentucky passes usually around age 16.  Doesn’t matter. Reading isn’t important. Hell, the kid knows how to hammer a nail and shoot a gun.  Math?  Who cares? The kid can cobble together a fence out of sticks.

But here’s the problem.

The great alternative educator, Nicole Naugler, included a cartoon along with a quote.

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

The quote, according to the meme, is attributed to Albert Einstein.

Oh, yeah, if a genius like Albert Einstein says that everyone is a genius, then it has to be true, doesn’t it?

I mean, if that meme attributed the quote to, say, Sally Davis, nobody would care.  It has way more meaning and punch if a genius said it.  You can’t get more genius-y than Albert Einstein, can you?

There’s a problem, though, for Nicole’s whole schtick.

Albert Einstein never said that. He never wrote that.  It was misattributed to him in 2004, probably with the sole intent to make the quote look more important and meaningful than it actually is.

As soon as I saw this, I suspected the quote wasn’t real.  Many of these Facebook memes involve fake quotes and it’s always a good idea to check them out.  I suspected it wasn’t real because it’s not true. Everyone is not a genius.

The word has a specific meaning.

I have a dog named Minnie.  She is good at being a dog and doing doggy things. She is way better at being a dog (barking, for example) than I am.  Compare her dogginess to me and she’s a genius dog.

But compared with other dogs, which is what you have to do when assessing intelligence,  Minnie is a moron. She is very sweet and we love her and we are committed to her for her lifetime, but she is dumb as a rock when you compare her with almost any other dog out there.  Having been hit by a car and nearly killed, she still doesn’t understand that cars will hit you. She’s 13 years old and still thinks that everyone who visits here came to see her. She has never learned to behave around visitors.   She does know where her food bowl is and she does know how to ask to go outside.  That’s pretty much the extent of her intellectual capacity.

Everyone is not a genius. Some people are human Minnies. That doesn’t make them less valuable, or less lovable, or even less interesting.  It does mean, however, that they are not geniuses.

Nicole, try again.  Try harder.



41 thoughts on “Einstein”

  1. If she put even half as much effort into homesteading and being a parent as she does being an asshole (and not even a good asshole, just stupid)…wow! She would get a lot accomplished. But, right here, right now, she storms facebook all day, every day while screeching at her litter of kids to get working harder. Can you imagine the effort it took to sneak that cartoon into the packets? She had to find it online, fail to research it and the source, print those off, put them in the packet, somewhere in there a toddle messes with them….she could have weeded the garden instead. Wait…what garden? well. shit.


  2. I dont understand why it took so long to put together a packet. Other then to be extra sure it had everything and more. Which is why I can understand why it took a couple of months. More like a couple of nights, sprinkle here and there over a couple of months. No way she spend all of her free time over 2 months for it.

    What I dont get is why she would include this or the holt quotes in what should be a packet of her child’s work, accomplishments, etc. It makes her look foolish and homeschoolers foolish.

    I’m sure it was approaches like this and the fact the case was meddled with CPS is the reason HSLDA dropped them like a hot potato and didnt really help them when this all went down.


  3. Wonder if she’ll put a picture of some of the kids’ actual work up? Something like, “Here’s a poem written by my 7 year old” so that other people with 7 year olds can see and think, “Yeah, that’s about like what my kid does” because that’s the sort of thing the judge wants.


  4. I highly doubt she even put that damn cartoon in there. Like I said, all bark and no bite. She always acts so big and bad but she really is just a mouse.


  5. And how does Ms Naugler know that the judge didn’t look at the packet? She didn’t open it right there in open court? No, she took it with her paperwork and back to chambers where she probably feel off her chair in disbelief at the wonderful, talented work that was presented to her. NOT.
    Nicole, get a fucking grip on reality. The world in toto does not revolve around you and the pro-fet.
    Guess what Nicole, Al doesn’t take pictures of your glorious forest paradise as he is flying over either. He’s too busy making sure a patient gets to the hospital safely. I suppose if Marine 1 and it’s 2 clones flew over you’d accuse the President of spying on you as well.
    Paranoia is not an attractive look on you.

    Re Minnie the wonder dog, of course your guests are there to see her…like my feline overlady demonstrates, we only exist to feed and water them and make sure they go poo.


  6. This judge has her number, and so will the next one. I also see that they finally took all the kids to the dentist on the same day (well to a dental school I believe). It made me wonder if they were facing a looming deadline to get this done.

    I can believe Nicole would include those two pages in the packet she presented to the judge. I’m sure she thinks that is the height of cleverness.


  7. I was rather shocked to see this in the “packet” it clearly shows how IGNORANT she is and almost mocking the system…… especially the judge! Not cool Nikki! Not cool…….


  8. Nicole shows insecurity of her children’s general knowledge and intellectual performance by adding these two printouts.
    The children’s work will speak for itself.
    Either the children’s work is up to par or it isn’t.
    Being a fish not able to climb a tree has nothing to do with it.
    All of the Naugler children need to demonstrate they are getting a good basic education.


  9. I dont understand why it took so long to put together a packet.

    You are not a fuckwit, so of course you don’t understand why it took so long to put together a packet demonstrating what you kids are learning and mastered.

    Nicole, neglecting your mouth is neglecting your health and by extension, neglecting your family.


  10. I see that the Naugs just bought the kids yet another pet to kill a slow torturous death via ignorance of proper care.

    Ugh. This irritates me more than I can say.

    Nick wrote a post about their new axolotls (funky cool aquatic Mexican salamanders)….that she’s keeping in a bowl on the counter of the pet salon. *facepalm*

    You know…to teach the children “science”. And Nick is excited about knowing the genders of the creatures when they reach a year old….but they will never reach a year old. They’ll likely be dead within a few weeks. (and they actually reach maturity at 18 months to 2 years)

    Why will they die? Because Nick is an idiot and did zero research on their care.

    The biggest problem with these guys…is that they like to be kept in cold water. Specifically, if water gets much over 72 degrees, it will stress them until they die. The juveniles are more forgiving than the adults. They are healthiest when their water is in the high 50’s to low 60’s, and most hobbyists who keep them have tank chillers….which are expensive and a pain in the ass. Why must Mexican salamanders be kept so cool? Because they live at the bottom of very deep cold lakes where the temp never gets above 68 degrees. Not in fucking tupperware on a counter.

    There are two other problems with these guys that make them very unwise pets.

    First….you are in a constant struggle to provide them enough oxygen without damaging their very fragile gills. Most tank filters cause too much turbulence in the water that eventually damages the gills and kills them. Why? Because they’re used to the still water at the bottom of lakes!

    Second…and tied to the first…..these things produce an amazing amount of shit. So in addition to having very tricky filtration, it’s extremely necessary.

    These guys have amazing regenerative properties, with makes people think they’re tough…but they’re not. You should never handle them, even gently lifting them in a net too often is going to damage them. (not even going to think about how they’re changing the water currently)

    I’m guessing the Naugs bought a pair of these guys from a hobbyist with the idea of raising them and selling them. A juvenile pair would likely have cost them around $40. They will never live to adulthood. If the Naugs wanted to spend a couple of hundred dollars on the right equipment, they conceivably could live ten years or more. With exceptional care, people have had them live to be 15-20 years old. It’s irritating on so many levels…because not only are they fragile difficult exotic pets to care for in the pet trade….in the wild they are critically endangered.

    More money down the drain. More suffering little creatures having to die for their ignorance.

    They are disgusting people, and they continually teach their children to treat living things like disposable toys. Teaching kids to provide half assed care to an endangered animal on a whim…..kinda captures who they are. Fucktards.


  11. She thinks she’s “sticking it to the man” by doing this. They don’t care. It may be noted but they are not going to be like omg how clever, she got me with this one. If she taught her kids, she would be confident in her children’s work and abilities and not try to distract from it.


  12. Dental schools are great! We’ve taken our kids to one for years! I can get all the kids seen in about 3 hours. They go every six months almost precisely. Last time we were 7/7 in the no cavity club. Our dental insurance has an incentive program, so after a couple years of regular checks we don’t even have a copay.


  13. The “everyone is a genius” thing is meant to boost self-esteem, but it’s actually harmful. If you keep telling kids they’re all geniuses in their own ways, they will believe it, and that often leads to kids not trying since they’re already super smart, right? It also leads to kids beating themselves up if they make a mistake. If a kid really is a genius, emphasizing it so much adds pressure. I was one of those genius kids, genuinely, and because such a big deal was made of it, I felt like a failure if I got an A instead of an A+, and I was inconsolable when I got an A- one time. Right now, a girl in my Girl Scout troop is dealing with that. Test scores off the chart, high IQ, etc. Her parents put so much emphasis on how smart she is that the girl is close to a breakdown. Because her reading level is a couple grades higher, and she learns easier than most kids, instead of going into 3rd grade, she’s going into 5th and has to do 3rd and 4th grade this summer to make sure there are no gaps in what she knows now compared to what she needs to know. That child is hating life.

    But the you get the kids who lack the basics who are told they’re so smart and that they’re misunderstood geniuses. Like the Nauglets. Does anyone think those kids could handle the truth after being told all the time how brilliant they are when what we’ve seen is, what, 2nd grade level? At best? Those kids aren’t so likely to seek out new information since they’re already geniuses and know it all. So why bother?

    What I do is tell my daughter that trying hard to learn helps make you smarter, and then emphasize the effort, even if she gets the answer wrong. Getting it wrong is part of learning. She’s going into 3rd, and doing the summer lesson books. She blasted through the 2-3, and the 3-4, and is now doing the 4-5. Hot damn, she’s absorbing it so fast, and I’m trying to get her to slow down. But we still aren’t emphasizing that. She doesn’t beat herself up for making mistakes, and she works hard on learning more because that’s where the praise is.

    I could go on and on as basic education and striving to always learn more is important to me. I get so angry at parents like Nicole and Joe who think their kids being behind just means they’re alternative-geniuses, and also at people like my Girl Scout’s mom who is making her child hate learning.


  14. Nicole expected to be praised for only completing 2 or 3, out of 4 court, requirements.

    Golly, Nicole worked hard for two months to put this packet together and goddammit, she wants recognition! You know, the same kind of recognition she regularly refuses to give to those with academic degrees, the kind of recognition she demonstratively refuses to give actual teachers!

    What did she really expect? Did she think the Judge was going to stop the court proceeding to sample the illegible work of her children, with it’s passive aggressive content; that the Judge would then proceed to pat her on the back, remarking on what great, clever work it was…?! Straight delusional. Its court. Not elementary school.

    Isn’t this work that should have already been done? They’ve claimed to homeschool for a great many years now. It should have taken no more than an hour to scour through and pick samples of their best work. Instead, we hear them whine about these two months of actual work… Pathetic.

    We’ve all known she’s been lying about actually homeschooling, but this tantrum of hers just makes it too obvious. She worked for two months, ordering her children to help her forge “schoolwork”. And she expected to be congratulated?! Gross.


  15. “Here’s a poem written by my seven year old…”
    I highly doubt a seven year old of Nicole’s can write even a very simple poem. I’d be surprised if they knew what a poem was. When Nic starts showing off their accomplishments (usually a mistake on her part) their extreme lack of education always come to the front.


  16. “I was rather shocked to see this in the ‘packet’ it clearly shows how IGNORANT she is and almost mocking the system…… especially the judge! Not cool Nikki! Not cool…….”

    Almost? She clearly, contentiously mocks “the system” every chance she gets. Because her system isn’t functional, and she resents that. Only, by trying to stick it to the Judge, she is only emphasizing her personality disorder – the one she was admittedly given by the Forensic Psych. Also, the cartoon plainly says, “Our Education System”, so it can be applied to whomever uses it. It is not clever. It so arbitrary, so stupid, and simply antithetical to the notion of learning.

    I found the following, by Todd Pettigrew, an associate professor of English at Cape Breton University, regarding the Einstein tree-climbing fish cartoon.

    “It doesn’t take much thought to see why this little gem is so popular. We all like to imagine that we are all, somewhere deep down, geniuses, and that the only reason we fail in school, or indeed, in life, is that our teachers and bosses can’t see our natural brilliance. We’re fish and those ignorant bastards are making us climb trees!

    I dislike this little passage though. For while I would concede that various people have various relative strengths and weaknesses, it’s quite clear to anyone who really looks, that there are a great many people who are not geniuses in anything. They may be better at particular things than others, and perhaps even have a knack for some stuff. But genius? Shakespeare was a genius. Darwin was a genius. To say Uncle Eric is a genius because he can reach the green on the fourth fairway with a 7 iron—well that just debases the term.

    But worse, lines like the supposed Einstein quote above reinforce an idea that is actually quite dangerous to education generally: the idea that some people are just good at some things and some are not. This notion is anathema to education because the whole notion of learning is that you can, well, learn things. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a special “math brain” to be able to understand the Pythagorean Theorem. And you don’t have to be “good at English” to be able to write a decent analysis of Death of a Salesman.

    You just have to work hard and learn how to do it.”

    Of course, the Nauglers dont like hard work.

    Source: https://www.macleans.ca/education/uniandcollege/why-we-should-forget-einsteins-tree-climbing-fish/


  17. Please,, some one take the shovels out of their hands, the hole your digging is getting out of hand


  18. Yup, that’s how I like to prove the quality of my education; with a cartoon and a miss-sourced quote.


  19. NN is the homeschooling (aka no-schooling) queen. How dare the judge not acknowledge all her hard work? She is to praised & lifted upon high because of all her teaching of all the children. Judge Embry should be ridiculed in the town square & made to eat NN’s pancakes. That is a deserving punishment for all who defile the great & powerful quasi-homesteader-homeschooling-dog grooming master of all shitsteads.


  20. If I remember correctly this isn’t the first time Nikki did this. Once before when the judge asked for samples of school work Nikki gave her an article about unschooling instead.

    The absolute refusal to educate those kids makes me furious. There are so many free or low cost options for homeschoolers. There are options that the kids can do independently if the parents don’t have the time or motivation to teach them.
    My daughter does an online program called Acellus. She does it while I’m at work. It’s $10 a month for up to six classes. That’s less than a trip to Hardees. After work I take her to violin, fencing, volleyball and gymnastics. She also attends a weekly literature, writing, and Latin vocabulary class. But if the homestead kids could just get the free or low cost online classes it would change their lives.

    A few weeks ago a local private school had a used textbook sale. I bought 10 textbooks for $50. I have one kid to educate and I bought 10 texts. Nikki has 10 kids to educate and she bragged about buying a book about Tesla. Makes me want to scream.


  21. Makes me want to scream.

    I feel ya. That’s my biggest beef about them. I don’t care what Joe and Nicole do to themselves. Nicole can let her teeth fall slap out. Joe can die of a heart attack due to untreated high blood pressure. I will just shrug.

    But the kids are uneducated.

    It’s not that I particularly give a shit about those particular kids. It’s that they live in Kentucky and are unlikely to go anywhere else and are more than likely to end up on public assistance, which I will have to help fund.


  22. Nicole has stated that her oral issues are known, lifelong and there is a history of them on her (mother’s) side of the family. That means her neglect to take care of her mouth is even more startling. She knew that they were going to need more attention, not less. She knew that pregnancy made it even more important that she be seen and small problems be addressed before they became big ones.

    Trusting to luck, particularly in the face of worse odds than average is apparently what she has done for a long time. It continues to be stupid.

    As for the packet she gave to the judge, of course the judge isn’t going to look through them then and there. They need to be looked at closely and I bet they will be evaluated by more people than the judge. Like, teachers who are trained to do so.


  23. As for the packet she gave to the judge, of course the judge isn’t going to look through them then and there.

    If I’m reading what she’s written correctly, the judge didn’t even take the packet. Nicole still has it, unlooked at. That makes it even funnier.


  24. According to the KY homeschool regulations, a portfolio of work must be maintained for each child. So it shouldn’t take two months to gather it together, maybe a few days to check it for completeness and copy it before submitting it to the judge. I’m very curious if she submitted ANY work from the children or if it’s just a packet of articles and memes. She said she needed four packets. I wonder which kids are off the hook? I thought more than four of them were school age. And why wasn’t this task assigned to the great educator himself, HH? (sarcasm of course) We know he is the antithesis of an educator.


  25. Why I Homeschool my Kid
    a.k.a How One Preacher Ruined a School

    My daughter attended a small non-denominational private school housed at a church. It had around 20 students and four teachers so the kids got lots of attention. The minister’s wife was one of the teachers and also director of the school.

    Last December the minister got arrested for soliciting an under age prostitute. It was all over the media. He immediately resigned from the church and was barred from church property. I can’t imagine the pain and humiliation this brought on his family, especially his two teenage daughters. His family had to move because the church owned their house. His wife finished out the year at the school, but then had to leave and search for a better paying job because her husband is un-employable and facing jail time.

    The school promoted one of the teachers to be the new director. I had known her for 4 years and never knew she was actually a fundie. She immediately announced that the school would change curriculum and would be using PACES from Accelerated Christian Education. Took me just a few minutes on google to decide that we wouldn’t be attending school next year.

    PACES teach all the typical fundie crap. Girls are destined to be wives and mothers, segregation was good, the earth is 5,000 years old, dinosaurs are a lie, etc. The director held a parent meeting to tout the wonderful change in curriculum. She asked for my opinion in from of everyone. I replied that based on reviews I’d read, the curriculum appears to be racist, sexist, and educationally unsound. She didn’t even try to deny or defend. Her only reply was “Those reviews were written by atheists.” Then her husband chastised me for believing things I read on line.

    Amazingly, my kid is the only one who isn’t returning. The other parents don’t care, don’t understand, or agree with the new curriculum. I’ve heard that enrollment has actually increased because the director persuaded members of her church to enroll their kids.

    So dozens of kids are getting a biased unsound education because one man couldn’t keep it in his pants.


  26. KatataFish makes some excellent points about the newest “pets” that Nicole has acquired, and it infuriates me just as much.

    This woman has absolutely no fucking clue how to care for anything, including herself. I understand people have dental issues. Legitimate dental issues. She does not. She has told about 5 different stories regarding her meth mouth that isn’t meth mouth….from smoking to genetics, to having a billion children. It’s neglect….plain and simple. And the Naugler’s have pretty much corned the market on neglect. Neglecting themselves, their hygiene, their “pets”, and their children.

    Living beings, both animals and humans are not novelties that you can simply discard once the initial fascination wears off. But this is precisely what they are teaching their children. Oh, well, if you get bored just stop feeding it, or drop it off somewhere…no matter.

    The cycle continues….and at this point, it won’t be broken until someone steps in and breaks it. Notwithstanding the other “issues” that are most likely going on at the “cabin”.


  27. PACES teach all the typical fundie crap.

    Not only that but it’s probably the worst curriculum on the planet. I got some sample copies when we were homeschooling and tossed them in the trash. It was just dumbed-down garbage. It’s full of pages that have some explanatory material and then a couple of pages later, the kids are asked to fill in the blank with the exact words that they read two pages before. A Naugler kid could do those. Anybody could do those.

    The same material goes by more than one name in the homeschooling market.

    For anyone who doesn’t know, they are booklets, not textbooks. The kids write in them. This ensures that every year, each student has to have new ones, and nothing is used again. The “teachers” don’t have to teach. In many ACE schools, they build little cubicles with small desks and chairs and the kids can’t see each other. One teacher supervises umpteen kids and supervises is the correct word because no teaching is required.

    The Bill Gothard bunch use something similar (if not identical). That the educational material used by the Duggars.

    BJU Press puts out fundy homeschooling curriculum. It’s fundy to the core. But at least it’s educationally more or less challenging. ACE is awful.

    You made the right decision.

    And yes, this review was written by an atheist.

    But I wasn’t an atheist then, and I knew it was crap.


  28. Because I’m still feeling pissy about this….
    Look at Nick’s Axolotl video again…she claims hers are 4 months old.

    Now look at this video of a 4 month old Ax from a hobbyist who knows what they’re doing:


    Notice the difference?

    The one the hobbyist shows looks about twice the size of Nick’s. It has healthy body tone, good abdominal development, some color…it’s moving around and responding to its environment because it’s not suffering heat stroke…and looks….ya know…healthy and curious…and not like it’s DYING.

    Nick if you are reading, you need to get those little guys in a tank immediately. You need to do something about dropping the water temp. Put them in the most shaded part of the dog butt wash parlor. Put them close to the floor, it’s cooler. Hell, put some fake trees around the tank to block the light. Take the temp daily and add cold water as needed. You need at least ten gallons of tank per animal. It’s best to separate small Ax’s because they will eat each other’s gills. Do NOT put gravel in there. Nothing smaller than their heads….they will eat gravel and die. They will eat rocks and die. Large stones only.

    I know you won’t listen, and I know you’ll kill them. But I figured I’d try.

    Here are some good instructions on water conditioning, including how to adjust the Ph, hardness, Chlorine, Nitrates/ites, etc…



  29. When I was kicked out of my high school, my mom decided to homeschool me. She used the ACE curriculum with me, starting me over at 9th because that program wouldn’t recognize my high school credits from public school. My father is Amerindian, my mom white (Okie white). They divorced when I was 2, and I looked so much like my father that everyone thought I was adopted. The ACE curricula was so blatantly Manifest Destiny racist, I absolutely refused to do it. Instead I studied my ass off, took the GED, and attended a vocational school. By the time I was 18 I had a career and moved out.

    Although I do homeschool, and I am a Christian, I intentionally avoid essentially all Christian curriculum. History, science, and other subjects shouldn’t start from scripture or church traditions. They are stand alone subjects. I even share atheist logic in my curriculum. Ultimately in my view atheism and theism are a type of faith. You can’t scientifically prove or disprove the existence of a god or gods. One view is ultimately right, the other wrong. I’d rather believe there is a God, but I can understand why others don’t. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Theism is less depressing to me. Belief that there can be a point to suffering, those that have died aren’t really gone, and forcing myself not to act on my negative social impulses certainly isn’t a bad thing. (Preface that the Eastern Orthodox view of hell as well as sin are quite different than either the Catholic or Protestant view). My natural disposition is pretty mercenary, so without an external moral compass I’d probably be an actual serial killer! Just joking, mostly..


  30. In addition:

    Even though they are critically endangered, many companies breed axolotls and sell them as pets to the public. However, axolotls need to be treated with very precise care. Owners of axolotls usually keep them in somewhat large aquariums (since they produce a lot of waste) and feed them large worms and frozen bloodworm cubes.

    Since axolotl skeletons are partially cartilaginous, they are very fragile and shouldn’t be touched. They also shouldn’t be put in bright light, since that makes them shy. Many companies have also figured out how to make axolotls glow in the dark. Anybody can easily purchase an axolotl online. They usually cost around $20 to $25.

    However, there is a much larger proposed solution to help axolotls: forming an ex situ population. This basically means forming a breeding colony of axolotls away from their natural habitat, which would be sheltered from the flaws and problems of their life in the wild. This captive-bred population would live in a location similar to Lake Xochimilco, just without the problems. While this is going on, the goal is to fix all of the problems with Lake Xochimilco so that the captive-bred axolotls can be reintroduced into the lake. So there is still hope for these unique little salamanders!

    Well, there is no hope whatsoever for any of them that are purchased and ‘cared for’ by Nicole. Welcome to the Blessed Little Killing Fields my amphibious friends.

    I doubt Nicole will read anything past the name of the link. Content is for ‘statist trolls’.


  31. forcing myself not to act on my negative social impulses

    I find this interesting. Is that really what you think? You know, that atheists just don’t bother to control themselves, ever? That you have a “moral compass” and I do not?

    I would suggest that maybe you have atheism all wrong.

    Atheism is not faith. It’s the opposite of it. You are correct that we cannot prove the existence of a deity, but we can’t prove the existence of unicorns either. So does that make being an “a-unicornist” faith, in the sense that we (all of us) know that there are no unicorns? Or is it that we ignore made-up shit in favor of real shit?

    Trying to make atheism into just another religion reflects either personal bias or a clear misunderstanding of the nature of it. It’s not like there are multiple choices out there (Christian, Muslim, atheist) and you get to pick one, and ultimately they have the same base. There are multiple religions (based on wishful thinking) and then there is reality.

    I understand what you’re saying that you embrace religion because you like believing in things that aren’t so, though. I have a friend who spent years doing just that. He believed in an afterlife simply because he wanted to. I assure you that it wouldn’t help if I were to decide that Nathan isn’t really dead, but has just gone someplace else. Death isn’t easier with religion. I think it’s harder. I would have been a basket case for sure had I believed that some nasty deity could have prevented his death and didn’t. I cannot imagine having to face that and say all the right things to the church people and listen to the “God had a plan” and “he’s in a better place” stuff. I would have hit somebody.


  32. You need at least ten gallons of tank per animal.

    Hey KatataFish –

    Do they need tanks that are deep and cool/cold too? Or if the water temperature were low enough, do they prefer to have more area to move around in?

    Religion is of passing interest to me only because I interact with people of many faiths and everyone likes to be asked about their lives and events that are important to them. Their habits or rituals. I have habits of my own and while they may be a little silly to others, they get me through my day more smoothly.

    I think the word that best applies to me is apatheism. I simply don’t give a shit. Which is funny because when I have found myself accompanying someone to church (for example) and it’s time to go up and take communion, I stay put. I do not participate. Why? Because while to me it’s a cheap crappy cracker with watered down cheap crappy wine it is an important symbol to others and I don’t want to disrespect their rituals and the meaning they ascribe to it by pretending I buy into it. It’s a strange dichotomy. I think it’s more polite to eschew it entirely and sit in the pew which everyone notices rather than wander up and participate which wouldn’t cause any remark at all.


  33. My moral compass comes from logic and compassion…not religion, which I find illogical and compassionless.

    It makes sense to treat people like you’d like to be treated….because it’s equitable and fair.

    It works to your advantage to follow rules that protect other’s rights (and your own…because your rights end where theirs begin and vice versa).

    Playing well with others is a kindergarten skill that doesn’t require a sky fairy.

    Kindness, love and decency have nothing at all to do with groupthink and shared delusion.

    Very much the opposite, usually.


  34. “so without an external moral compass I’d probably be an actual serial killer! Just joking, mostly..”

    I don’t understand the “external” part. If you are a believer in a given faith, do you not internalize those beliefs and act accordingly? As an atheist I know I should be fair, and kind, and behave decently toward others because I feel – internally- empathy.

    It doesn’t matter to me how people come to be decent as long as they truly are and are not hypocrites.


  35. I do not participate.

    I do not participate to the point that I have not set my foot in a church since 2002. I never will again if I can help it. I don’t even go in a church for funerals, and one time, sat in the car in the parking lot until they were done with the religious funeral stuff. 🙂


  36. Fundys use the old Atheism is a religion nonsense all the time when they have nothing else. Boy did I buy into religion in my earlier days. But something happened along the way, I saw some of the ways my gay friends were treated by the Religious right. I saw how as a country we allowed a compulsive liar in the WH. I saw a supposed god allow 6 million of HIS people to be gassed all in the name of a (solution)
    But back to the what ever Nicky got, lets face facts, things go there to die. Like the chicks, they die, dogs, they die, a baby, it died. I hope that one day the good people of that area dont see the Medical Examiner pull up to the shitstead.
    And by the way, today we are attending the marriage of two of my sons best friends, yes there gay and I suspect its going ot be a great time, great friends, good food and accepting people.


  37. Eh, I don’t mind bringing in a book and whiling away the time in a pretty church (particularly if it’s cooler than the car). I don’t do it very often. Of course, I wasn’t forced to participate and/or believe when I was a child so I don’t have as much of a visceral reaction to it.

    Mehtopia, I guess.


  38. No, I absolutely don’t think atheists have no moral compass. What I said is that I need one. Call it weakness if you like, but I do.

    I’ve actually been on the spectrum of agnostic-atheist and even straight up atheist. I found that my mercenary outlook on life was worse on that spectrum. I found that I was a much crueler and unhappy person that way. Ultimately to my mind, without an external moral compass I should be able to do whatever the hell I want whenever I want. I’m sure you’d think I did atheism “wrong.” I disagree, but this isn’t the time or place for that discussion (feel free to email if you like).

    I struggle daily with faith, I don’t see that as a failing. I choose faith each day, but that is entirely my choice. Faith and salvation are theosis, not a special magical prayer. I haven’t met someone that is anywhere on the agnostic spectrum that doesn’t have moments of wondering if their is a higher power. So my struggle of whether or not I believe isn’t ultimately much different than the agnostic wondering a moment or two if their is some sort of higher power.

    I don’t have a problem with those that haven’t made that particular choice of theism I have. In fact, if my kids didn’t make that choice I would be fine with it. My faith shouldn’t be their faith. I don’t believe in the traditional heaven/hell concept as an Orthodox Christian; so no one (even Hitler) is burning in hell with demons gleefully prodding them. Nor is some Revelation like tribulation coming to torment all the sinners, or an Apocalypse with the horsemen coming. All that crap is new, and has absolutely no basis in church tradition. But that’s another conversation too.

    Here’s the irony to me; ex-Christians are probably the most “missionary” type of atheist or agnostic people. They desperately want other people to “see the truth” like they did. People from other faiths, or those raised outside any faith don’t really give a shit what other people believe. I guess you can take the Christianity out of the person, but the need to convert remains.


  39. I’m sure you’d think I did atheism “wrong.”

    There’s no way to do it wrong. 🙂

    I guess what I con’t understand is that I could not possibly just decide that being an atheist didn’t work for me and therefore make a conscious choice to believe something that I know isn’t so. I just can’t invent “faith,” or conjure it up.

    I haven’t met someone that is anywhere on the agnostic spectrum that doesn’t have moments of wondering if their is a higher power.

    Yes, you have. Me. I never wonder about it at all. I literally had a moment in time when I realized that there isn’t any god, and that was that. I’ll grant you that it took me a while to get to that moment, but I have never looked back for a second.

    I guess you can take the Christianity out of the person, but the need to convert remains.

    I don’t know that it’s that. I think it’s that those of us who were religious really came face-to-face with all this in a much more profound way than people who are “apatheists.” I wish I was able to be apathetic about it, but I’m not. My guess is that a person raised in a devout Muslim home who left the faith would also have strong feelings about it. I doubt that it’s unique to ex-Christians.

    One other thing is that most of us ex-Christians believe strongly that the religion has very negative consequences for not only the believers but also for society as a whole. It’s like asking us to just shrug about anti-vaxxers. I can’t do that.


  40. Eh, I don’t mind bringing in a book and whiling away the time in a pretty church

    Ah, I wasn’t referring to actually walking in the building. I don’t mind that. I was referring to attending any sort of ritual or service in one. I feel the same way about those kinds of things even if they aren’t in a building.

    When we were in Helsinki, we went to the Rock Church and walked around. It’s an interesting building. There was no religious stuff going on. I don’t have a problem with that.


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