Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jigsaw Puzzle


“Any model that claims to explain everything, explains nothing.” Victor Stenger

Think of science as infinite jigsaw puzzle. The end result - what it is supposed to look like - is completely unknown. The pieces are scattered and many, if not most, are hard to fit together. Some seem as if they make no sense at all. Through deductive reasoning, testing, trial and error the pieces are slowly fit together over time as knowledge grows. The areas previously filled are very likely correct otherwise they wouldn't fit in such a seamless manner without gaps. As more and more of the puzzle is assembled the greater the ability to fit once confusing pieces together. Even some missing areas, while not known, get smaller and the shapes of these “unknowns pieces” comes into focus so it becomes easier to know what to look for. The puzzle may never be complete, but it is far from the random assortment that it once seemed. 

"I do not claim to know the answer to everything, to do so would require me to be religious." Isegoria

Using the same analogy for religion we can clearly see that they are two very different ways at looking at the universe. With religion the jigsaw puzzle is scattered on the table with some pieces together, but it just seems too big to contemplate. At the same time the end result is claimed to be known. The puzzle is put together with pieces arranged and even discarded depending on how they conform to the preconceived notions of what the solution is supposed to be. Some of the pieces are jammed together to make them fit the desired end result. Others that do fit are ignored. There may be some patterns perceivable, but there is no way to actually see the result or where it is going. It is just too fragmented. And that is OK. The puzzle is unknowable. There is no solution or at least not one that could be understood. Stop trying. To try is arrogance. Over time very specific justifications, excuses and rationalizations are invented to explain the gaps in the puzzle. When obvious conflicts arise - such as some pieces being put together by someone else - anger rises that they should dare try and solve the unsolvable puzzle. The puzzle is actually already solved. Just not by humans. End of discussion.

Nope. That isn’t a huge gap in the middle. If you think so then
YOU ARE IMMORAL AND HATE GOD!!!!1!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Morning Quotes: Thomas Paine


Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.

It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous execution, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible (Ed. Note: Old Testament) is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.

From whence then could arise the solitary and strange conceit that the Almighty who had millions of worlds equally dependant on his protection, should quit the care of all the rest, and come to die in our world, because, they say, one man and one woman had eaten an apple.

...to read the Bible without horror, we must undo every thing that is tender, sympathizing, and benevolent in the heart of man.

From the time I was capable of conceiving an idea, and acting upon it by reflection, I either doubted the truth of the christian system, or thought it to be a strange affair; I scarcely knew which it was: but I well remember, when about seven or eight years of age, hearing a sermon read by a relation of mine, who was a great devotee of the church, upon the subject of what is called Redemption by the death of the Son of God. After the sermon was ended, I went into the garden, and as I was going down the garden steps (for I perfectly recollect the spot) I revolted at the recollection of what I had heard, and thought to myself that it was making God Almighty act like a passionate man, that killed his son, when he could not revenge himself any other way; and as I was sure a man would be hanged that did such a thing, I could not see for what purpose they preached such sermons. This was not one of those kind of thoughts that had any thing in it of childish levity; it was to me a serious reflection, arising from the idea I had that God was too good to do such an action, and also too almighty to be under any necessity of doing it. I believe in the same manner to this moment; and I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system (emphasis added).
It seems as if parents of the christian profession were ashamed to tell their children any thing about the principles of their religion. They sometimes instruct them in morals, and talk to them of the goodness of what they call Providence; for the Christian mythology has five deities: there is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, the God Providence, and the Goddess Nature. But the christian story of God the Father putting his son to death, or employing people to do it, (for that is the plain language of the story,) cannot be told by a parent to a child; and to tell him that it was done to make mankind happier and better, is making the story still worse; as if mankind could be improved by the example of murder; and to tell him that all this is a mystery, is only making an excuse for the incredibility of it.




*these are but a few quotes by Paine. The man was a “quote generator” and it would impossible to even pick the top 100. Go forth and read The Age of Reason. 




Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Morning Crazy ~ Michelle Bachmann

Michelle Bachmann wants you to pray for her. She probably thinks that God is sick of hearing from her too.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Once Again...Atheism is Not a Religion


David Lose*, in his post Has Atheism Become a Religion? makes several points to try and establish atheism as a religion. Obviously I disagree.

First let’s define religion:

-a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. (Random House Dictionary)

-belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny. (World English Dictionary)


OK. Here’s the article in bold quote blocks and my responses in normal font.

Before you dismiss the question out of hand (too late, but let’s go through the motions), consider these four inter-related bits of evidence:

Friday Link Dump ~ 5/27/11

Rapture Fail Fun OK~ the May 21st Rapture was loads of fun...until it wasn’t. I said way back in April, that impressionable people were going to do stupid, destructive
things in anticipation of the Rapture, or desperate tragic things when reality set in on May 22nd. PZ Myers sums it up well enough here. I have Rapture Fatigue.

Priest Sex-Abuse Case Hits Church of Pope’s Adviser Father Riccardo Seppia “has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.

Galaxy Closeup Reveals Best Ever Snapshot of Black Hole Jets

Fincher: Unlike President Obama, Herman McCain is “Authentically Black” Clearly, or bi-racial president isn’t black enough for this white man to respect him.

Fashionable Bipedalism Warring theories about the evolutionary benefit of standing upright. I’m going with the “Piss Your Name in the Snow Theory”...it’s new.

Bart Ehrman: The Bible’s Historical Validity

Is the Bible Full of Forgeries?

Bishop Eddie Long Settles with Accusers The hidden benefit of preaching the “Prosperity Gospel” is that you can afford to pay off sex abuse victims.

Early Bronze Age Battle Site Found on German River Bank

The Milky Way Over the Desert in Utah: Pictures by Bret Webster

Physics and the Immortality of the Soul.

Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism

Antihydrogen Could Lead to Antigravity

The Scientific Reasons Why the Honey Badger Doesn’t Have to Give a Shit

Mid-Week Rant: David Cross

The Urban Speaker : Call it today this is one of those clever pieces of interactive urban art that has the potential to teach us something about the way we communicate.

Hitchens: Why Fight Religion?

Detectable Civilizations in our Galaxy (Khan Academy)

Sam Harris: Is Christian Morality Psychopathic?

MMQ ~ Sigmund Freud

Why Dawkins Disappoints Richard Dawkins has refused to debate William Land Craig and is “being accused of cowardice”. Dawkins said years ago that he doesn’t debate creationists.

Focus on the Family Head Basically Gives up on Fighting Gay Marriage Speaking specifically about mindfucking reaching young people, Jim Daly has conceded that 65% - 70% of 20-30 year olds are in favor of same-sex marriage. I bet this has something to do with Glee.

The anti-Christian bias in our society has reached absurd proportions. Just Read it.

Egyptian Pyramids Found Using Infra-Red Satellite Images Technological Badassery.

Good News! Methods for Calculating Species Extinction Rates Overestimate Extinction, Says Smithsonian Scientist.

Canaan vs. Israel. Round II: The Archeological War The Crackpot Chronicle

A View of the US~Mexican Border

15 Styles of Distorted Thinking I don’t even know who to make fun of here.

A Christian Waitress Speaks out for Family Values...in Texas

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sam Harris: Is Christian Morality Psychopathic?



This is an excerpt from the Harris vs. Craig we previously posted, but I thought this was a nice, short example of that debate. Sometimes I think people don't want to spend their time watching a two hour debate on religion. You're all awful.

.

Hitchens: Why Fight Religion?



via bdwilson1000

Monday, May 23, 2011

Detectable Civilizations in our Galaxy (Khan Academy)



more after the jump!

Monday Morning Quotes ~ Sigmund Freud


Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever.

It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be.

The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.

Our knowledge of the historical worth of certain religious doctrines increases our respect for them, but does not invalidate our proposal that they should cease to be put forward as the reasons for the precepts of civilization. On the contrary! Those historical residues have helped us to view religious teachings, as it were, as neurotic relics, and we may now argue that the time has probably come, as it does in an analytic treatment, for replacing the effects of repression by the results of the rational operation of the intellect.

The psychoanalysis of individual human beings, however, teaches us with quite special insistence that the god of each of them is formed in the likeness of his father, that his personal relation to God depends on his relation to his father in the flesh and oscillates and changes along with that relation, and that at bottom God is nothing other than an exalted father.

The true believer is in a high degree protected against the danger of certain neurotic afflictions; by accepting the universal neurosis he is spared the task of forming a personal neurosis.

In the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is only too palpable.

The rest of our enquiry is made easy because this God-Creator is openly called Father. Psycho-analysis concludes that he really is the father, clothed in the grandeur in which he once appeared to the small child.

Religion is an illusion ... it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our intellectual desires.

The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Link Dump ~ 5/20/11



Rapture Parties Planned to Celebrate Doomsday Saturday May 21 I’ll admit that I’m going to be a little sad on May 22nd. The Rapture is so much more satisfying to mock than the “Rogue Planet” that will collide with Earth in 2012. I do plan on leaving a pile of clothes next to my mailbox ~ just to mess with my neighbors.

Jesus Hates Yoga ‘Cus he loves America.

Hundres of Proofs of God’s Existence A brilliant reference tool for the Arguing Atheist.

Monday Morning Quotes ~ Isaac Asimov

The Catholic Church’s New Policy Sucks. Period.

Government comes to atheist party. The Four Horsemen (all four!) are hosting The Global Atheist Convention, A Celebration of Reason.
“The Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau has confirmed that state government funding will be provided to the convention, which they expect to attract 2500 people.”
Australia. You didn’t think it was America, did you?
iPriest iPhone Apps

HiRISE: Hi Resolution Photos of Mars identify a possible landing site.

Newt is Looking Fabulous.

He also claims to have Never Heard of Seven Mountains Dominionism

God told Huckabee not to run for president. Just kidding...about God.

With Huckabee Out, the Next in Line for the Fundie Vote is Sarah Palin I would like to think that at the end of the day, the average American is intelligent enough to understand that Sarah Palin cannot actually lead our country. Yet somehow, this chills my blood.

Mid Week Rant: Penn Jillette - Agnostic vs. Athiest

Stephen Hawking says That Heaven is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark.

Kirk Cameron says that Stephen’s beliefs are “wishful thinking and not good science.” Somewhere, the Gods of Irony are beating a crocoduck to death.

Louisiana Students March on Baton Rouge, Demanding Accurate Science Classes "When Louisiana students apply to college, people won't know if that student was taught creationism in their science classes," says Kopplin. "Maybe they'll think they don't have the science background to get into college."

Michigan to Decrease Funding for Universities that Provide Same-Sex Benefits. This is blatant discrimination. They can’t hide behind fiscal motivations because they will still need to pay for benefits for straight married people in identical positions. Is the goal here to punish universities that hire gay people? Or to punish them for recognizing gays as people.

Gov. Scott Walker Moves to Ban Hospital Visitation Rights for Same-Sex Couples. I am seeing a pattern here.

For Years, Fox News Has Provided a Platform for Anti-LGBT Activity and Attacks

Sunday Morning Hate ~ Tony Perkins

A five-year study conducted by the Catholic Church has blamed the rise in sexual abuse on the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s. There are several things wrong with this study. The most glaring being the way the data was collected...

The Vatican: 2000 Years of Pedaphilia

Theory of a Recycled Universe is Called Into Question

Atheists Thrown Under the Bus by Progressives This sucks, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

Comet Theory Comes Crashing to Earth

Fundamentalism Kills

After Bashing NPR and Planned Parenthood Subsidies, Fox Now Defends Oil Subsidies. Anybody know a synonym for “hypocrite?” I’m tired of saying it.

Tarantulas Shoot Out Silk Like Spiderman Further proof that Stan Lee is a genius.

Pictures: America’s Top 10 Endangered Rivers

Take the Dante’s Inferno Test! See what level of Hell you belong in.

Life with a Bionic Hand

Free Worlds: Billions of Extra-Stellar Planetary Bodies May be Adrift in the Galaxy Another testament to the general disorder of the Universe.