Contact

Email Al Sweigart [email protected]

CoffeeGhost is Albert Sweigart (but you can call him Al), a software developer in San Francisco, California who enjoys bicycling, reading, volunteering, network security, haunting coffee shops, and making useful software.

He is originally from Houston, Texas and went to school in Austin. He finally put his UT Austin computer science degree in a frame. He is a friendly introvert, a cat person, and fears that he is losing brain cells over time. He laughs out loud when watching park squirrels, and people think he’s a simpleton. Listening to NPR news reports has always been his cure for loneliness in an empty apartment. He is, of course, an atheist. For some reason, people give him Barnes and Nobles gift cards for his birthday with uncanny consistency.

Al dislikes verbosity, so he tries to keep this site terse.

Favorite quotations:
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” -Abraham Maslow

“Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.” -Matt Groening

“No nation was ever so virtuous as each believes itself, and none was ever so wicked as each believes the other.” -Bertrand Russell

“This film was made for middle-aged men who in their youth dreamed of a pure life, faithful to their principles, but who, little by little, are transformed into ‘pigs’ through the pressures of working like madmen. Despite their intention to reject merely mercenary goals, they are drawn into the world of hyper-consumerism, and when they look for the purpose of their lives, they feel themselves alienated…these men live in solitude and regret.”
-Hayao Miyazaki, on his anime “Porco Rosso”

“Back off, man. I’m a scientist.”
-Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkmen, “Ghostbusters”

98 Responses to “Contact”

  1. tony Says:

    Hey I enjoyed your videos, very insightful, and I like the rapid quick fire presentation “I know its edited, lol”. Im a speed reader so I was able to stay on track, some atheist videos are slow and boring. I hope you get the exposure as Gisburne,Captain-O-Awesome and others, keep up the good work with the educational videos-Tony

  2. bikingnerd Says:

    I love this site!!! I find that we have a lot in common. Having said that have you ever had the privilege of reading any of Tom Robbins books? If not may I recommend that you do and start with Jitterbug Perfume.

  3. Alex Says:

    I love your videos! It’s nice to see someone whose views on religion and science are so similar to mine. Keep up the good work and don’t let religious freaks discourage you from what you are doing.

  4. Yrrek Says:

    Saw you over on LJ’s Atheism community where you posted your video.

    Do you have an AIM SN? You seem like someone who’d make for awesome conversation. Mine is ‘AdmYrrek’

  5. Njaa Says:

    I think you pull off the Ze Frank style very well. Enjoyed your videos :o)

  6. mindl Says:

    I just would like one thing.
    Please, when addressing religious “gods”….
    It would make more sense for you to say, “a god” as opposed to “god”
    Saying “god” implies that a god exists.
    Try it, and you will understand.
    People of all religions tell me about “god” as if it is real.
    “A god” does not imply such.
    I think your videos are exceptional. Try the “a” word and please think about it.

  7. mindl Says:

    Ok…let me put it to you this way.
    If I approached you and said, “Do you believe in god?”
    You would assume I believed in such an existence of what you do not believe in.
    Now, if I were to say….
    “Do you believe in a god?”
    You would not presume I believed in anything….I might, but it is not definite.
    Saying “a god” to me, is the only way to say it.

  8. mindl Says:

    If I could speak as well as you do, I could talk for 15 minutes.
    I cannot, but I hope you GET what I am trying to say!

  9. mindl Says:

    OK OK one more try. Think of a good friend, and replace their name with the word god.
    Now, nobody else in the world has their name, so it is unique.
    Ok, now, pretend they do not exist.
    Someone now walks up to you and asks….”Have you seen X?”
    OR….someone walks up to you and says, “Have you seen an X?”
    Only you know it exists, but, it doesn’t, nor do they. So, how can they take your imaginary friend for real?

  10. mindl Says:

    I screwed that last comment up but I still hope you get what I want to say, and how damaging our thoughts are, and how difficult it might be to change.
    Change means equality, less poor, less rich….EQUAL. And that in itself is a whole new topic

  11. mindl Says:

    BUT I can tell you one thing….the poor fight better than the rich!

  12. mindl Says:

    off topic, a little drunk on Canadian hockey. I swear this is my last message.
    I’ve honestly never heard a better argument of my beliefs than what you have said.
    Also, we might not have came from apes, we may have just evolved in a different direction.
    We probably evolved one way, and the rest turned into what we now know as apes.

  13. Chris Coco Says:

    Al,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your videos and I’m glad I found them!

    With one exception, I almost always find at least one thing to disagree about with everyone and this is my one and only disagreement with you. I like to party on the weekend with my friends and not worry if all my time is being productive or not.

    Keep up the good work, PLEASE. Your friend,

    Chris

  14. Adam Gardiner Says:

    Hey Al,

    Stumbled across your videos on Digg.com and really enjoyed watching them. Basically you rock! Your arguments are brilliant, interesting and completely sound. we need more people like you! Looking forward to anymore videos coming to the web!

    I’m behind you!

    Adam (UK)

  15. Ken Says:

    ROCK ON! Great vids Al! I couldn’t agree more!

    K

  16. Tom Bamburak Says:

    Thank you, Al. Hopefully more people will stop being afraid of thinking. You are a leader. Keep on.

    Tom (Ohio)

  17. pixieq Says:

    Have you considered teaching? ..or perhaps even just speaking to university students at special engagements or conferences? Panel discussions?
    If you’re not too attached to your current career, you ought to consider it.

  18. Steve Carter Says:

    I just tripped over your athiest video’s,not too bad, rather intersting but there is one thing that really annoys as related to the athiesim and evolution dialog, that is “believe”, you don’t “believe” in evolution,you don’t “believe” in athieism.Evolution just is,the facts all support it ,unlike a God, evolution doesn’t go away if you stop “believing”,same with being an athiest.

    The “Faithfull” Atheist.

  19. Danny Says:

    Totally awesome. Have you heard of that very outspoken British atheist? I forgot his name but i much enjoyed your video. Very entertaining an informative. I actually can’t believe those people behaved the way they did on CNN. Something about religion, the topic is always bound to get someone fired up right off the bat. Anywho, great vid, hope to see more!

  20. Richardj Says:

    Well put together videos. I have enjoyed them all. Thanks for the food for thought.

  21. Tommy Says:

    Hi Dude,
    (a) Thank you for your clear and tight presentation of a position.
    (b) I was raised as a Mormon dude, but these days, I am largely resigning from all religions, because they are irritating. Despite that, I like Jesus Christ and Buddha, so I try to copy what I think is of value from their ‘gospels’.
    (c) Despite my a-religiousness, I do believe in a god/gods/thingy of some sort; mostly because of some sense within. But also because humans are so bloody improbable (especially within the context of the evolutionary time frame usually suggested) that I think some earlier versions must have give us a boost – and since any sufficiently advanced science could be construed as magic…or perhaps, a miracle…maybe God/gods were a kind of earlier incarnation of Us.
    (d) By the way, I am no braniac like you or many of the other cats I’ve read the comments of on this page. I just a dude… so at worst, I made you hungry/sleepy. A slightly better response would be a belly laugh. And the best case might be a ‘Hmmm… wierd,…need coffee.”

    Peace,
    TOmmy

  22. Mark Says:

    Al,

    As a predicate matter, let me say that I am a theist, specifically a Catholic. I was greatly impressed by the reasoned tone and thoughtful analysis that your videos embody.

    Too often, this debate gets set into a strident tone that makes any real discussion impossible. Both sides have been guilty of attempting to manipulate the political arena. Whether we’re talking about the Christian right and ID or the ACLU and the attempt to preclude religious student groups from using public schools, the tactics are similar…win at all costs.

    Atheists suggest that faith is to be equated with stupidity and theists suggest that godlessness is to be equated with amorality (or even immorality).

    One point that I would not have credited before hearing your exposition is about prejudice against atheists. After watching the coverage on the VaTech killings, I was struck by all the talking heads…not just politicians, but even network pundits, invoking God and prayer. I am still not sure that we demand that people believe, but it is true that we demand that they pretend to believe.

    I am not sure why we are all, theists and atheists alike, so threatened by the public displays of beliefs that contradict our own.

    Maybe, if we were willing to live in the way that embodied our beliefs, we would find more converts than we do by trying to supress the beliefs of others.

    Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with saying that one should “preach the gospel at all times and, when necessary, use words.”

    Thank you for your contribution to the discussion, one that a religious person can read without offense and which reminds us of how we (by our own stated beliefs)should be living.

    By the way, I find that both science and faith reach the point of being unable to explain the origins of the universe. While faith may, as you point out, cycle repetatively “because God ants it that way,” science can never reach a point where it has answered the final “and before that?” My belief may be an accident of birth, but it is no less sincere for that accident. I do not bear the burden of proof, because I do not insist that you believe. I bear only the burden of decision.

  23. Rick Says:

    I enjoyed your video. You are a skilled rational debator, and that’s so rare in the days of ‘pundits’ and other narrow-minded individuals who embark in quasi-tribalism, whether it’s that their professional sports team is better than another, or that their belief system is somehow more correct.

    Good job, man!

  24. Jacob Good Says:

    I appreciated your video reponse to CNN’s ridiculous “panel” ranting against the evils of atheism. It certainly is good to know that someone sees through their childish behavior and can offer a sincere reply without stooping to their level and telling them to shut up. Thanks for the great video!

    –Jacob Good

  25. Meredith Says:

    I greatly admire the method and humor you use in your videos and I can’t wait to see another installment. On an unrelated note you seem interested in Miyazaki’s films, have you seen Howl’s Moving Castle? Of all his work it is my favorite.

  26. Lizzy Claiborne Says:

    I’m so happy to see your work. The topic may be religion, but real subject is Civil Liberties, and respect for other peoples’ Civil Liberties. And yes, I capitalized them because that’s only real sacred doctrine that creates the United States, the right to think what you want and be left alone about it. And say what you want- but the Founders intended a polite and reasoned discourse, not high school cat sessions like CNN pulls. I’m sick to death of these really warped protestant christians bothering me.
    Defender of the Faith may be a strange title to you, Al, but I think you deserve it. Any voice that stands strong in defense of our legal right to dwell as a free people is an important one. And of course freedom includes religion.
    It’s a shame that every single citizen doesn’t live as defender of that faith, but I guess people won’t grow up, will they?

  27. richard jones Says:

    Thank-you for your efforts to educate the un-enlighted.

    My only criticism is that the use of the term “man descended from apes” is misleading. It also has a detrimental effect on some people’s willingness to accept evolution.

    I prefer the expression – “Apes” and “humans” shared a common ancestor.

    Sorry for being a pedant.

    Keep up your good work.

    Yours,

    Richard Jones

  28. Procrastinating College Student Says:

    Al,
    While I don’t agree with any of your views as a quasi-practicing Catholic, I had never considered the positive points about atheism and randomly found myself enjoying your videos while putting off a term paper. I also found the discrimination against atheists enlightening and surprising. Thanks for the “study break.”

    – Will

  29. resist the fear culture Says:

    sir, you have quickly become one of my favorite finds on the web in 2007.

    keep up the good work.

    and by all means, as you start to thin on material, please come down on the blatant hypocracy in christianity’s “one size doesn’t fit all” system in America. with all the different faiths and churches available, you can find one for almost any set of moral and immoral beliefs…and STILL get to call yourself christian.

    and the fact that christian chastity and morality was constructed as a opposition statement to late roman orgastic pagan practices and was penned by a man who himself was a male prostitute that slept with men and women alike as a young man and then converted to christianity (a very smart political move during the rise of Constantine) and denounced his former promiscuities – writing the first book of christian morality ever published. he was the first man to put out the notion that a priest of god should not know human flesh and that unclean women should not enter the house of god, a concept still practiced by the majority of traditional sects within Europe. of course, christianity doesn’t have a lock on disliking the female gentalia. it seems the vagina is a threat to almost every religious order currently in practice…the vagina, or at least the person who has one.

  30. Subramanya Says:

    Hello,
    I came across a video of yours thru stumble. Really liked it. It was the first atheism related stumble that was not an angry polemic against the church. Good to see that!

  31. Gary Says:

    Al,
    Ran across your videos tonight, fantastic job. Keep it up.
    Gary

  32. GemInI70 Says:

    Wow… What to say… Al, you are freaking brilliant. Your knowledge and the scientific evidence you use are nothing short of intellectual.
    Email me sometime. I would also love it if you continue doing these videos and more.

    Your Awesome Al!

  33. Janu Says:

    Great work! Your videos make me proud to be an atheist. I was raised religous, so it took some time for my deconversion. I can’t believe I used to believe all that wacky stuff.

  34. Kyle Says:

    NICE…

    You’re the first “San Franciscan atheist” I’ve seen who argues more on “science is right” than “belief is stupid”, and I’m glad you’re helping to point out the atheist discrimination. Most atheists don’t even realize they are being discriminated against because they, like you, never really told others they were atheists. It’s just easier that way.

    I grew up in the small towns outside Colorado Springs, I was born a born-again Christian, and my family subscribed to focus on the family publications. I always figured I was just evil because no matter how many time I read the bible I just couldn’t really figure it out. Then during an anti atheist sermon at my best friend’s church I figured out what an atheist was. It was kind of like being a black kid who figured out what racism was by attending a KKK meeting. Good thing atheist’s eyes don’t actually boil out of there heads when they walk into a church, that certainly would have given me away.

    I think our real problem is that discriminating against us is hard. Cus we look just like everybody else. But that’s probably one of the reasons we are hated even more.

    Things I like about you… you point out semantics but you don’t use them (except in jokes)… you research things instead of making them up or generalizing on something you heard… you edit your material and speak to your viewers as equals instead of inferiors… you make me think and laugh simultaneously… you’re a computer guy (Geek Power)

    Things I don’t like about you… you’re a cat person. I’m allergic

  35. Luke Says:

    Check out the film “Pi” if you haven’t allready… you’d dig it!

    Well done on your vid!

  36. Evan Says:

    Hey man, really enjoyed your vids. You should check out Richard Carrier’s book Sense and Goodness w/o God: a case for metaphysical naturalism, which I’m assuming is in tune with where you are coming from.

  37. Logan Says:

    Al,

    Your site and videos are awesome. Your ideas are well thought out and well written. I really hope a new age of reason is upon us with the sucess of Richard Dawkins’ books, along with books by Sam Harris, and now Christopher Hitchens. I really hope rational thought and the scientific method will truly be a candle in the dark, as Carl Sagan wrote.

  38. Ricardo Callado Says:

    helou!! I was a catholic most of my life, and just like everyone discovers that there ir no santa clous
    I found out there is no good. i have been a atheist for couple of years, but recently found out the
    descrimination, your videos are amazing!!! I want to fight now instead of just arguing and convince
    I want to attack, I have 5 more years to be a lawyers so until then, I have a offer. sounds funny, how much
    do you charge to had subtitles in spanish to your videos ( I live in mexico)(98% catholics, top 10 country
    for corruption lol), I want to show to all my family because I just cant keep up my temper while arguing and you have allthe stats and all the explanations. well anyway I just feel desperate because people dont understand, but your
    videos really can convince a religious person. thanks a lot ok hope to hear from you soon.

    Ricardo Callado

  39. Matt Says:

    Hey Al

    Just wanted to congratulate you on an awesome Video, great editing. It was even greater to hear someone echo my own ideas for a change. It gets so depressing listening to the same tired old misconceptions and biases being shoved down your throat every day by the mass media.
    Finally the internet is delivering on its promise of being a force for good. you may have even inspired me to do something like this myself.

    You have an awesome collection of Favourite authours May I make a humble suggestion? Have you read any of China Mieville or Phillip Pullman. Pullmans take on religion I think you will find particularly interesting.

    Take care and here’s to free and open forms of expression.

    Cheers Matt

  40. Michael Says:

    I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog. I’m actually a theist (sort of an agnostic-Christian-deist type), but I hold great respect for your atheism and just think you’re a pretty cool person. Oh, and I too laugh out loud at park squirrels. :-)

  41. Barry Says:

    Great work Al. All of your videos are excellent. I’m a 53 yo atheist from Beaumont TX, who has lost many brain cells.

    Looking forward to more videos.

    Thank you

    Barry

  42. NeilMarr Says:

    I’m probably the only guy here who can put a good few years on old Barry (above). Maybe that’s perhaps why I especially appreciate your mature approach to the subject. As others have mentioned here, some folks who consider themselves spokesmen for our shared *unbelief* can be every bit as childish/condescending/aggressive/unprepared as the very worst of theist evangelists. You’ve already made no mean impression, and I think you’ll continue to make a great contribution to the ideals of reason, common sense and *natural* human decency. My thanks and congratulations. Neil Marr. France.

  43. Conor Says:

    I really enjoy your videos, every argument is supported with evidence that is rational and well thought out. Recently, I have been getting into Rhetoric and Logic. I was wondering if you could recommend some books on the topic that you found insightful.

    Aim: XjustXblazenX
    Mail:[email protected]

  44. Arthurh Says:

    Thank you for putting into words what I cannot. I, like you, generally hide my religious view and change subjects when it is brought up. I find that having no religion tends to offend those who have a religion. It is such a shock to some that I do not believe in the flying spaghetti monster, I mean… god. Keep up the good work, and again… Thank you.

  45. capnlester Says:

    Nice. Preaching to the choir though. Theists trained in narrow way concepts are able to block out reason & reality. The unblockable/unsilenceable are labeled as Satan. Burn the Witch, they cried out!

  46. R.G.Erhart Says:

    New software project for you.
    Make an internet cat Feeder.

    I don’t understand what a 3d barcode reader is, and I have been making barcode application since you were 3 years old.

    http:\\www.boberhart.com
    http:\\dogtreat.boberhart.com

  47. lb Says:

    Hey, I found your videos on youtube and was very impressed. It is great to be reminded that I am not alone
    in my beliefs. I was raised and still live in the Bible belt of Alabama and after a quite long and painful
    journey came to be an atheist. I tried to believe, because it was what I was raised with, but after losing
    “faith” I could not logically come up with a reason to believe. I have now finally accepted that no religion
    knows the answer of why or how we got here. I appreciate your website, but I’m still in the closet about my bel
    beliefs to everyone but my husband and a couple of others. There are not alot of atheist/agnostics here.

  48. James Says:

    I’m a bit of a dodgey athiest as i cant argue in such a well structured fashion. If you have time I would like to know your views on Jesus. I heard that there is more proof he existed than Julius Cesar, but that I can not verify, the source was a bit rickerty. Not to worry if you dont have enough time, I apreciate what you’re doing
    Thank you
    James O, London UK

  49. James Says:

    I also cant spell Ceasar

  50. Ryan Says:

    Bravo Al! I’ve really enjoyed your videos and I’m happy to see that so many others have as well. Keep up the great work, brother! Thank you.

  51. Benjamin Says:

    Al,
    I think that what you are doing is marvellous. You are an intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, undefensive, good-humored and appealling spokesperson for reason and goodness. Maybe your vids will help others to feel better about their view of the world, maybe encourage some to reconsider their beliefs, at the very least show that Atheism is not a synonym for Christian-bashing. Just wanted to say keep it up and may your future be as bright as it certainly appears it will be :)
    Benjamin, Sydney, Australia

  52. Bryan Says:

    I’m a very devout Christian, and I love your video — it was creative, articulate, and thoughtful. Your points are valid and well made.

    In the end, you have said, “Christianity/religion has not proven to me that God exists.” However, before your belief-set hardens up too much, please leave room for the possibility that things are this way because God specifically wanted them this way — that He has a very distinct purpose here.

    “It is one of the ironies of religious history that many mortals err in their understanding of the nature of God and end up rejecting not the real God but their own erroneous and stereotypical image of God.” (Neal A. Maxwell, Sermons Not Spoken, p. 17.)

    God rewards the honest seeker of truth, and as long as you keep seeking (as you have), you’ll find.

  53. Danielle V Says:

    Hello! Love your videos! Not only are they highly informative but they crack me up! Not to mention you’re amazingly handsome. (:

    I happen to be a theist but am currently researching many different spiritual paths and traditions. To be fair, I am also giving Atheism a fair shake and can’t wait to read Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion” Basically I’m just leaving the door open to new information. Good idea right? (: So thank you and keep up the good work. You’ll be bookmarked on my computer and I have your first video on my MySpace. Take care!
    Danielle

  54. Joe G Says:

    Howdy.

    Having been raised by an irreligious family, I never really saw the need to embrace a religion, despite some of my friends being devout Christians and Jews. I never felt strongly on the entire topic at all until I was told by them that I wrong for being an atheist.

    My entire life I have attempted being a helpful, kind person. I did my best to live up to expectations of being moral and fair. I did not understand why exactly what I was doing was so “wrong.” So, after years of avoiding it due to it not being a concern of mine, a friend and I read The Bible.

    While reading through it and finding things that seemed wrong, I questioned my friends about it. I was told not to take the Bible as absolute truth, or that the stories in the Bible were just stories, not actual events. That simply raised my brow even further about what exactly they were basing their faith on.

    I decided from that point that the only faith I needed was the faith that I held in myself and the kindness I know people have. Watching your videos has solidified in my mind that the choice I have made is the right one.

    In your response to Firefly515 your words at the end actually hit me pretty close to home. You said being an atheist gives you the knowledge that this is your one time to live. I lost my father when I was seventeen and from that point I realized how fragile life is. I cannot say how uplifting you are as a speaker and how much I enjoy your outlook on life.

    I apologize for the long post, but I really must say how grateful I am that someone like you may be able to help us atheists change our own view on atheism to a more positive one. You are indeed an inspiration and I look forward to hearing more from you.

  55. Brendan Says:

    Just a quick note to say that I think that your videos and writings are very good; in that they are presented in a informative, not overly complex i.e. concise manner and especially that unlike so many others they are presented in a non-condescending way(I’m not sure that Non-Condescending is a word, if not, sorry).

    Also, like many others, I am pleased that there is someone who is able to express these views in this format, as I am not.

    Peace

  56. John Says:

    Being newly “out” as an atheist, listening to you and to Sam Harris just provide me the assurance that I can trust my own logic in this. I wish you the best in whatever you do, but I sure wish that I could vote for you to run some part of our government!

  57. Kristopher Craw Says:

    I love watching your videos. It seems you enjoy a certain amount of infamy already, but I hope your exposure keeps increasing.

    I’m a finance major, trying to get into a joint JD/MBA program at a top school, with the long term goal of running for political office. I’m also an open Atheist.

    I love your videos, because you make intelligent arguments and don’t attack people for believing in something different. That’s important. You simply attack the flawed arguments they make.

    Many Atheists feel attacked by Theists, so they attack back. You have taken the high road, and remained informed, eloquent, and witty. And I remain impressed.

    I am going to put a permanent link to your site on my political blog at http://yagipolitico.blogspot.com. If you get the time, it’d be a great pleasure to have you visit.

    - Kris

  58. JM Says:

    I’ve listen to your response. You claim that atheists don’t have value as a rock.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. If life is a bunch of chemical reactions, came forth from a chemical reactions, then your brain is a set of chemical reactions. Therefore, there are not ultimate values of right and wrong, but, merely your preferences. Correct?

    So if someone robbed someone that would be his preferences opposed to your preference? Is that not correct?

    Case closed.

    JM

  59. Christopher Green Says:

    I’ve seen all your youtube videos several times. You are an inspiration.

    I am curious, what factors influenced your life? Are there any books, movies, websites, university courses, other youtube authors or anything other kind of media you would recommend?

    Also, which issue in the world do you think we should be most concerned with right now?

  60. -Anderson Says:

    I like your videos on You Tube, you not only come up with interesting arguments to counter the god delusion people have, you also have an interest in the environment . excellent since most atheists I see are bent on disproving an existence, can we not just live, enjoy with out the common hold society has on us? I ask my self that question a lot. it would seem that most religious people practice there religion because they have no interest in help other cultures and society’s, as long as they have their ‘god’ and are faithful to their ‘god’ nothing else matters. What do you think?

    Take care, Anderson.

  61. -Anderson Says:

    Quick response to JM … it is his preference, indeed, however, you are missing one important obligation here, morality.

  62. Jeff Says:

    Hi Al,

    I saw one of your videos on YouTube. I disagree with your conclusions, but I respect your asking the questions. I have found it is the questions that drive me to faith more than the answers.

  63. Sumshee Kirken Says:

    POINTS ABSURD

    Religions are a noble thought!
    Though they try, they just are not
    complete in what they do begin:
    asking what is God and sin.
    The problems that do seem to be
    are in the vast complexity
    of trying to convince this man
    to do the very best he can.
    Tablets, scrolls and manuscripts;
    no one really knows which fits
    the key hole of our universe.
    There are so many what is worse,
    they all just preach the Golden Rule.
    I don’t think myself a fool
    in need of children’s teaching-tales
    of burning bushes, gobbling whales
    and stories long since stretched far out
    beyond the truth and into doubt
    with story tellers’ flailing arms
    and parables all full of charms
    of things that simply could not be.
    I find it hard to think that “HE”
    wanted all this to transpire,
    when all we need is to aquire
    an understanding of some right,
    so that we may sleep at night.

  64. cooltool Says:

    Amazing videos you made.
    Never in my life have I seen some one talk and explain such things in my life about religion and sience in such detail.
    You opened my mind to a new perspectives.

    Biggest question I would ask myself is How did nothing become something? Like for matter to form there would have to be matter in the first place right? kinda like if god exists who created god but same reason for matter to exist. so why does anything exist at all? such questions that can not be explained makes you believe in such things as god I think.
    So instead of getting a head ake over such questions I pick the easy way and to just beleive in a god. then all my woundering and questions will not exist since they will all be answered by god.
    But after whatching your videos i thinking is this the right thing to do?…..

  65. MindlessFaith Says:

    Energy can not be created or destroyed, it was there and always has been there.

    God can not be created or destroyed, it was there and always has been there.

    Do you people understand there is no out there or in here we are all the same. we are all one. we are all energy everything is energy.

    “You are certainly living up to your screen name, which leads me to believe that you are intentionally sounding ridiculous to make theists look foolish. Don’t troll on my site.” -Al (9/19/07) 

  66. David Bishop Says:

    Keep up the great work. Enjoy your videos.

  67. Mike Hynek Says:

    I am so glad I found you on youtube…. I am also an atheist, like cats, have a degree in engineering (Electrical Engineering…. before they had computer engineering ABET approved), work in the field of computers, I know about navy showers (my dad taught me – he was in the submarines), ride my bicycle often, etc. I live in Madison, WI (Thankfully a very liberal minded city).
    Keep up the good work.
    Thank you for showing me there are other people in this world that think like I do.

  68. Kerry1960 Says:

    Keep up the excellent work. Love the videos and how they are edited, not to mention the subject matters and how you elucidate!

    I only wish I was able to put into words my own musings and thoughts about my beliefs as well as you have yours.

    Please don’t stop!

  69. cooltool Says:

    hey what are your thoughts about the law of attaction? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b1GKGWJbE8 heres a video that explains alittle it.

    I dont no if this is much a beliefe then a theory but do you believe it?

    I don’t. The “law of attraction” is just another name for wanting something without having to work for it. It is the type of childish wishful thinking that I do not condone, and I have nothing but contempt for the people who are making money off of this book and its franchise. It is yet another get-rich-quick scam, the same hawked by the snake oil-dispensing, “you too can have a yacht” con artist crowd.

    The premise of optimism and ambition in the face of adversary are of course laudable attributes. But holding that these will solely bring success is the same as thinking that because a placebo will bring down a fever it will also regrow an amputated limb.

    -Al 11/11/07

  70. James Morgan Says:

    I heard you you’re 1/2 asian too. I certainly did suspect it when I saw your video that you were 1/2 asian or Italian.
    Your vids are great, I’m proud of you!

  71. Fred Rahaming Says:

    Al I liked your video on navy showers, thought I’d creat one myself, would like for you to take a look. Ypu can view it on youtube.
    youtube.com/rahfed214
    Title: “A Better Navy Shower”
    Let me know what you think
    Fred

  72. Kerry1960 Says:

    I just wanted to make one thing clear after re-reading what I wrote in message #69.

    I am an anti-theist atheist. Maybe it was clear in the first message, but I didn’t think so after reading it again.

    As I said before, keep up the good work. It is making a difference and in the right direction.

  73. Saul McClintock Says:

    Keep up the good work. Stumbled Upon your Fair and Balanced video. Very well done! Thanks for speaking your mind.

  74. Pamela Richards Says:

    I wish to complement you on your approach when attempting to explain your(and many other people’s) view. There are so many people still so stuck in ther religion issue who are still using their judgement toward “God” or “a god” as the a culprit in a drama. I know that it gets hard to explain the meaninglessness of the words using words!
    You are creating a valuable path for humanity. I applaud you. (what is the sound of one hand clapping anyway?)

  75. Jamie Says:

    You manage to say with eloquence and humour what I’ve been trying to articulate since my teens.

    Well done. I’m looking forward to watching more videos.

  76. Weazal Band Says:

    dude im so impressed..i wish i was ur dad! but im glad i didnt have to pay for your education! however it is serving you extremly well and im sure your parents r extremely proud of ur achievement..now get out there and change the world and win awards!! if u run 4 president i shall change my citizenship and happily vote for you!! peace out man

  77. Ben Says:

    You should check out A Common Faith by John Dewey if you haven’t already. Probably won’t contain anything you don’t already know concerning the supposed science/religion dichotomy, but it is very short and a good read.

  78. Ryan d Says:

    Great videos, website, and computer programming book. You have changed my direction in life, literally. I’ve been wanting to do research in biology, but now this computer programming stuff I am learning is so cool. It is like a whole new world, where I can create my own stuff. It all started with your youtube videos after I clicked on your link to this website. Thank you so much. This might sound like a stupid question but how do you make a website and do you have to pay for it? I should probably do my own research on how to do it, but since I am typing this to you I might as well ask you.
    Thank you,
    Ryan

  79. Joolz Bobbysocks Says:

    Your videos are great! Just discovered them on YouTube and I hope you upload some more. People such as you and Pat Condell are my heroes these days….and Barack too, of course!

  80. Oakley Says:

    WOW! Remarkable collection of videos! I’m stuck in the Bible Belt, so your flawless thought process is a breath of fresh air…

  81. Benicek Says:

    Like you, I believe that supernatural gods do not exist. It’s an excellent, positive and succinct definition of atheism.

    I live in Sussex, England, in a town with a fairly active Jehovah’s Witness population and just down the road from the British HQ of the Scientologists. These fringe groups aside, however, the majority of British people are what might be described as ‘rationalist Christians’, and this includes many Church of England bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself.

    They believe that the bible is allegory, not literal fact, and they are not creationists. Being protestants, of course, they don’t believe in transubstantiation either. In short, they don’t believe in the supernatural at all. To all intents and purposes their beliefs are identical to mine. They believe in the natural world and ethical conduct. The only difference between me and them is that they feel there is an intelligent force in the universe, present in nature, though not shaping it.

    So, I’m confused. Most of my Christian countrymen and women appear to be atheists too. Can atheism actually accommodate a ‘natural’ god?

  82. Danielle Says:

    Dear Al-

    You give atheists a good name.
    Intelligent, precise, positive, humorous.
    You’re amazing.

    Love Danielle

  83. Steel Says:

    Hello, I would just like to leave a message of respect from norway. I am a Classical Marxist, hence an atheist, and find your videos very amusing. You are clearly very intelligent and funny, and logical in your reasoning. And would you research some political ideas, say those of marx, lenin, trotsky, luxembourg, and maybe gramsci, I think you could be a major contributor in making this world a better place, I am ofcourse open for discussing this with you. However I wish you would upgrade your soundscheme and videosource, this would undoubtedly mean more viewers, as I myself am quite displeased with the status quo.

  84. Vessi Says:

    It’s nice to know that there are people (like yourself) who aren’t afraid of voicing their opinions about being an atheist. For a long time, I felt uncomfortable about expressing my thoughts on religion, mainly because I didn’t want to oppose other peoples’ beliefs. At the same time, however, I couldn’t help but sigh and wonder why (during this time and age) others still believe in outdated books and fictional characters, such as the “Bible” and “God”. Yet when I gained the courage to tell people that I don’t believe in god, they were shocked. I guess what must have been going through their minds would’ve been something along the lines of, ‘No, it can’t be – She’s just too innocent and kind to be an atheist’. I know it sounds silly, but I could see it in my 6th grade teacher’s eyes when I told her. She would act more… I don’t know, awkward, I suppose, when she talked to me. Of course, I didn’t hold it against her, because I knew she was a good teacher.
    I don’t understand how all of these countless religions (Christianity, Jewdaism, Buddhism, and so on) are accepted in most places in the world, but as soon as someone mentions Atheism, everyone grabs their pitch forks and chases that person (not literally, but you know what I mean). Even as a freshman in high school, I still have trouble when talking about religion. Someone once asked me, “Why don’t you believe in God?”, and I wanted to say (but I didn’t), “Why do you believe in God?”. My two best friends are religious (one is Catholic an the other Jewish), and they both hate each other. I feel like I’m stuck in the middle, but I can’t go on either side. At times, I think the only reason why they are still friends with me, (even though they are aware that I’m not religious), is because I’m more kind and soft-spoken than your average person.
    If there is one thing in the world that I hate most, it is religion. But it IS good to know that rational people ARE still out there. *points to you* ^__^

  85. Matt Says:

    It’s times like this I wish I had more time to find people like you to sit down with and discuss how to progress the world. But of course that would take a greater supply of money than I currently could employ. It’s hard to tell sometimes if I’m extremely unoptimistic, or too optimistic. I want to believe that people can see past their most obvious surroundings; of course a few don’t even make it that far. Maybe even a depressingly large amount.

    I understand that Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is probably what so many people fail to climb. At times of my life, I have felt that even when I was at the bottom; I could at least still envision and ponder what was at the top. I am so discouraged by the masses in general that I currently hold more respect for cats. I’m not sure if Dr. Dawkins has ever felt this way, but I feel like I’ve been born too early. I look around and wonder if, how, and when most everyone else might catch up. I understand that it is likely I would not feel this way if I had merely been born in a place where the endeavors of living took all the time away from thinking about living.

    If I ever do have children, I will most definitely regret not attempting to do more to provide for them more than a world full of people that I think, if I may steal a line from the Matrix, easily meet and supersede the description of a virus. I value human life and our potential as creatures so much I cannot describe in words the level of disgust I have for how it is being utilized today. I am proud of those few, very few, champions of progress that are out there. I would like nothing more than to travel on a quest to bring these individuals together; to discuss among us our ideas on progressiveness, and how to promote agreed helpful behaviors. So our difference no longer drive us apart, but rather inspire us to achieve more and at a higher standard.

    I’ve been told several times that I expect too much from people, …

  86. Matt Says:

    …yet at the risk of stubbornness I have always replied people do not expect enough from themselves. Maybe this will change when the religious crutch has largely dispersed and no longer supports such things. As it is right now, I’m struggling to find a job that I most likely will care very little to do, that will probably do as much negatively to people’s progress in life or more than positive, so I can live in a place I’d prefer not to be, so I can pay off the debt of a college degree (which in my perspective was a sad waste of 5 years of my life). If I can find a job that pays enough for me to actually survive on, who knows how many years it will be until I have all my debt paid off. I don’t want money. I don’t want a large expensive house with expensive possessions. I don’t want to be around the masses of ignorant people lost in their preset perceptions of how to live and what to strive for = money. What I want seems impossible for me to have, but not impossible to exist. So in short, I’m very unoptimistic about my very optimistic goals in life. Are you satisfied with what you are doing/where you’re at/who you’re surround by?

  87. Mick Says:

    Good work. You explain your thoughts very well.
    Keep itup.

  88. wolf Says:

    your book is easy to understand and i like python so much . thank you for your outstanding works .

  89. Jens Says:

    Dear Al,

    greetings from Berlin in Germany. Tizian, a 12 year old boy and I worked with your python book. Many thanks for it.

    And many thanks for the Alan Turing Poster. I read a book about him from a german writer Rolf Hochhuth. He is very famous in germany. Your poster is great.

    bye bye

    jens

  90. tpgames Says:

    The only reason why I MUST believe their is a God is because I used to not be able to understand a bloody thing I heard AND speech therapy didn’t cure that nor did self healing cure that when it came to the phone. What I heard was scrambled sounds. What did cure it? Some nitwits praying to Adonai (the Jewish God) and ending the prayer with in the name of Jesus. Not only did the offend the Jewish God, but they also offended the Christian God, but I was healed and could understand what I heard for the first time in my life on the phone. I could also understand everything I heard in person too without having to read lips. What you don’t know is that no one could have wanted self-healing as badly as I did when so afraid of dying at the hands of an abusive parent. Yea, I know Jesus is real, but then again He healed me. What has He done for you? Do you know or are you so self made that he couldn’t possibly have done anything for you? We know planets exist even though we’ve not seen them, so why do we insist we have to feel, see, and kill in order to believe God exist? Even Hitler believed in God. Unfortunately, He beieved God told him to murder. He was dilusional and probably had a severe schizophrenic disorder and / or Bipolar – schizo-affective disorder. I believe that latter. However, I must admit its much easier to believe in a big bang theory. ROFL Or it ‘coincidence’ because it doesn’t require you to do anything. Well God was never about the ‘doing’. He believe in giving Man Freewill. This meant that Hitler was free to kill as many Jews as he wanted, as bad, evil and wrong as it was. God never wanted to be a “master of puppets”. This is something too much of the world doesn’t get. They think to believe in God means Rules, and if God really existed then evil wouldn’t exist and god would stop this, that and the other thing. Well, if God was about stopping evil, and forcing people to do something, you would believe in God because he’d make you. He won’t. Your choice.

  91. tpgames Says:

    I’m not meaning to imply that there is many ways to Heaven, because their isn’t. In truth, Christians believe in 1 God, but that He has three parts: The Creater- Father (the Jewish part of God), the Messiah – Son, Jesus/Y’Shua (the savior who died for our sins), and the Holy Spirit (Ruach Kodesh). The don’t believe in 3 separate God running around even though at one time Jesus was on earth. However, while on earth he was actually called “YE-shu-ah”. YeshaYahu (Isaiah in Hebrew) refers to both parts of God. We aren’t holy enough to say God’s name correctly which is why its Yesha, instead of Yeshuah, and Yahu instead of Yahweh. Salvation in Hebrew, incidentally is Yesha’ah and NOT Ye-Shu-Ah. Y’shua just happens to mean Salvation, like Stephanie means “God’s crown” to some people, and ?Greek god to others. I forget if its Greek or Roman god.

    However, I say this not to make you believe, but rather to inform you on what I believe. Feel free to believe what you want. God gave you a choice, its up to you to decide, and for now, you have chosen to deny God. It is your will – Freewill.
    Thanks!

  92. Heramb Says:

    Dear Al,
    I would like to thank you for the fabulous book. At age 35 I wanted to learn something and I had developed keen interest in Python but did not know how to begin with it with interest and fun. As you know it is very difficult to learn with ease at this age.
    Your book was so helpful that it has made me a very good student again . Thanks indeed.
    Please keep writing on Python. And an earnest request please write for beginners as not every one is a tech geek by birth.

    Thanks again

    Heramb

  93. Alexander Kaspar Says:

    I have a novel that is being published this month. A 10 year old son of a friend saw the cover and he said it should be a video game. I am already in negotiations to produce a board game but, as this young man is a game freak, gets thru one every few days waiting for one he can’t beat, I thought I ought to look into this.
    I write, computers are not my thing and I have never played a video game. Do you have an idea where I can go with my game idea?
    Thank you

  94. Scott Says:

    Hello Al,

    My 10 year old son and I just finished working our way through your book and we loved every minute of it. I was wondering where do you suggest we go from here – do we continue learning Python and if so, could you please point us in the right direction as to what we should be focusing on. Or, would you suggest that we try to dabble in another language and if so, which one. Whatever we do, it needs to hold the interest of a 10 year old.

    Many thanks and thanks for great book.

  95. Python Learner Says:

    Nice python book.

  96. Kaya Says:

    Hi, Al,

    I’m a computer engineering student, from Brazil, and I’m going to teach some high school students how to program. I found your book a really nice work to start with. I’m preparing some material (will be under the CC license when I finish it) in my language based on your book.

    Also, I’m improving my skills with Python. Teaching is a nice way to learn.

    Thanks.

  97. j whiteman Says:

    You are a fantastic teacher!

  98. Matthew Turner Says:

    Have you ever thought about making a tutorial for card or dice games. I was curious how one would make a scoreboard. For example if you have 5 dice [2,2,3,4,5] how would you check if that was a small straight instead of making a bunch of conditions.

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