Tag: Dan turner

ATHEISM IN PRISON

Recently a Christian guy got upset and accused me of “pushing” my atheism on others. But all I was doing was speaking to someone else, very cordially and reasonably about atheist societies in Europe that have lower crime rates and general better standards of living than very religious […]

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RATIONAL THOUGHT IN PRISON

One very easy way for guys in here to start applying rational thought to their everyday lives is this: Stop with the reactionary dislike of correctional staff. It’s silly. In this state, in this particular prison, to pretend that the guards are sadistic or out to get you, […]

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TIME RUNNING OUT

I’ve been locked up almost 19 years, since I was 18, and now I have less than 9 months until I’ll be walking around out there. Someone just asked me how confident I was that I would stay out of trouble and be successful out there. I told […]

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MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY

Happy MLK Day from prison. It is my hope that more people in this place, in particular people who have pale skin like me, will come to understand about this amazing man, without a doubt one of the greatest Americans who ever lived. A man who dedicated his […]

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ATHEISM IN PRISON

The other day, a guy I was talking with made a comment about how atheists are all selfish (he didn’t know I’m an atheist). It’s just taken for granted, but it’s simply a thoughtless cliche, as ignorant and insultign as saying “Jews are greedy.” Now, I’m not personally […]

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ATHEISM IN PRISON

One of the most common misconceptions about being an atheist in prison is this: “Oh, you just want to be an atheist because then you don’t have to face divine justice for your crime.” Nonsense. It’s not that I want to avoid justice; in fact a big part […]

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PRISON AS HIGH SCHOOL

Prison often reminds me of high school, and not just because of the cliques, the drama, the emphasis on reputation, etc. Also because of the one-size-fits-all programs and the way everyone is crammed into them. We’re often treated like children. Now, there is something to be said that […]

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SOCIETY WITHOUT GOD

Any religious person who thinks that their religion is necessary for a good, civilized society, or that only belief in an ultimate judging deity leads to moral behavior, should check out Society Without God, by Phil Zuckerman. It’s a study of what are probably the two most atheistic […]

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ATHEISM IN PRISON

I wish that an intellectual position had the same power as a religious belief. Religious beliefs get you special benefits, special exemeptions. Especially here in prison. And of course, the religious people snivel when something doesn’t go their way. For example, Jews and Muslims have succeeded in getting […]

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ATHEISM IN PRISON

Every weekend morning when I do my studying in the common room, I bring down a book about atheism, rational thought, a critique of the Bible, something similar, to try to provoke discussion. And I’m consistently amazed by how many guys have just never been exposed to this […]

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ATHEISM IN PRISON

One thing I’ve noticed is almost always, the same people who are religious also believe in other supernatural or otherwise far-out things, such as ancient aliens, ghosts, conspiracy theories, etc. And it’s not so much WHAT they choose to believe, it’s the METHOD they use to determine what […]

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UNDER ONE YEAR

It is now officially less than a year until my release date. Less than a year, after over 18 years. Guys in here always talk about how the last stretch goes slowly, but I’m not finding that at all. It’s like time is warping, flying forward faster and […]

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FAITH IN PRISON

I disagree with religious people, but some of them I can’t even understand. Some of them, especially in prison, don’t ever want to hear anything that might challenge or throw doubt on their positions. I think this is a profoundly dangerous attitude to have. We should question everything, […]

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GUN CONTROL

As a libertarian and a convicted felon, I believe that I have lost my right to own a gun. Even though I am a walking billboard for the adage “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” (since I didn’t use a gun in my crime). I can also […]

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THE OLD POPE

I was listening to some of the Pope’s speech this morning, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of old talking heads on Fox News, complaining about the “kids these days.” Pope Francis complained about the so-called consumerism of today’s culture, and apparent selfishness of kids obsessed with […]

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INSTITUTIONALIZED?

After more than 18 years in prison, I’m at the one-year mark. My entire adult life has been behind bars, and when I get released next October, I’m going to be able to experience everything I’ve missed out on. And I’ve had discussions with people about how I’m […]

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CHRISTIAN HERO

So Kim Davis was given an award by some family group for her brave stand against gay marriage, her wonderful moment of “giving glory to God.” Apparently, she even got a meeting with the pope out of the deal. I don’t mean to be insulting about this, but […]

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FINANCES IN PRISON

There are always guys in here who want to borrow or bum something (a cup of coffee, an instant soup, etc.). And you can spot the addicts and others who can’t manage their finances and habits from a mile away. I’ve learned that you have to tell these […]

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MUSLIM AS PRESIDENT?

Dr. Ben Carson, a Christian, has caught heat for saying he wouldn’t vote for a Muslim president, because Islam isn’t in line with the Constitution. A fair enough point, but neither is Christianity. The god of the Bible is not a fan of the first amendment, for example, […]

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RELIGION IN PRISON

I’m always talking about the cliche that prisoners should “find God” to improve their lives. The first time I went to IMU (the Hole) back in the late nineties, there was a Bible waiting for me. Every cell came equipped with one. Why? Because of the cliche, the […]

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TRUMP AND POPULISM

So Donald Trump said that he would stop American companies from building plants in other countries by imposing a big tax on the products they want to sell in America (in specific, he was talking about Ford opening a plant in Mexico). I don’t know whether he’s aware […]

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LIBERAL PRISON REFORM

There seems to be a common liberal idea that us prisoners are “victims” of our environments, that people commit crimes because they were placed in situations where it was their only option. With all due respect to these people, who are often genuine individuals trying to do good […]

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RELIGION AND PRIVILEGES

In prison, religion will always carry privileges. There are always chapel and programs and religious services, certainly far more than educational opportunities. I once saw a guy get out of a class because he was was Muslim and the teacher was a woman: it was against his religion […]

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THE FINDING GOD CLICHE

It’s ubiquitous in prison. One way I’ve noticed is how religious sevices are treated. If you’re at work, and you have a religious service, it’s an automatic excused absence. Not even questioned. Oh, you’re going to Bible study, or Native American drumming, or Ramadan, or whatever? No problem, […]

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END OF TIMES

I have a cellie who watches these End of Times TV evanglists sometimes, and it’s just amazing to me. Not him in particular, but other Christians I’ve ran into, and the people on these shows, seem actually excited about the destruction of the world and the torment of […]

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INSTITUTIONALIZED?

I’ve been locked up for 18-1/2 years, and I’ll have 19-1/2 in when I’m finally released next year. One thing I’ve often heard is that doing that much time makes you “institutionalized.” See The Shawshank Redemption for a concise description of this condition. I’ve always been skeptical of […]

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RELIGION AND MORALITY

One of the things I always try to impress upon peope, especially in prison, is that religion and morality are not the same thing. And yet, according to all polls, atheists are still seen as being without morals, as nihilistic even. It’s just nonsense. A cursory look at […]

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RELIGION IN PRISON

Another problem I have with guys in here using religion to supposedly better their lives is that they often focus on the wrong things. They debate trivial issues like whether masturbation is okay, as if that is going to make them a better person one way or another. […]

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UNNATURAL IS BETTER THAN NATURAL

Lately I’ve seen this commerical for Fiji bottled water, and their tagline is nature’s most perfect water … because humans haven’t touched it. Right. Do they understand how many people die every year from drinking unsafe water? Are they telling people that they are drinking water right out […]

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