Friday, July 27, 2012

Introduction to Humanism - Dawkins, Grayling, Minchin & More

via British Humanists

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner. Sure, Whatever.

Toddlers are living Furbies.  I know, because I have one.  When my three year old tells slow shoppers to "move out of the way, jackwagon!" at the grocery store, it's because he's heard Daddy say it numerous times in the car.  And I take responsibility for that.  With that being said, I'm just going to leave this video here.


Thanks to On Knees For Jesus for all the wonderful work they do.

Friday Link Dump 7/27/12

Debunking Christianity: Chicks, Sluts, 'Hos and Niggas--A Response to Those That Mistakenly Believe These Words Empower Them As a black man (naturally, I speak for all African Americans) I must confess that I stopped using the word “nigga” in conversation because it made my white friends uncomfortable.

Why No Denomination Will Survive the Homosexuality Crisis This may be one of the most reasoned articles I have ever read from a Christian website.

American Family Association Calls For Boycott Of Google Over Company's Support Of LGBT Rights  Yeah, this video was posted on Youtube (owned by Google).  Irony, thy name is fundie.

“Members of the House Intelligence Committee are entrusted with classified information that affects the safety and security of all Americans. That information should not be in the hands of anyone with such a disregard for honesty, misunderstanding of national security, and lack of respect for her fellow public servants.”
This would be a good place for a Bachman intelligence joke but I think it's a mistake to say that she is not intelligent. Derangement + intelligence is precisely what makes her so dangerous.

Demythologizing Reason “Ill-considered, untrained and incautious reasoning is quite prone to lead to the most egregious of fallacies, and merely being educated and intelligent is not enough to prevent this.”
I feel like I was just talking about this.

Fuck Purity Balls...They're Creepy  So diabolically creepy...

The Id, The Ego And The Superhero: What Makes Batman Tick?  Duh. It's adolescent rage and awesomeness.  Everybody knows that.

Did Chick-fil-A Pretend to Be a Teenage Girl on Facebook? Poe's law notwithstanding, this is either a desperate attempt by a CFA PR person, a not so clever CFA sympathizer or a social media genius throwing a fresh veggie burger into the rabid Liberal feeding tank  Either way, bravo.

Atheist’s plan to whip the Quran won’t be allowed in the Capitol, official says Good.  Whipping
a Quran acomnplishes nothing but perpetuating the stigma of the myopic angry atheist.

This graph of whooping cough cases in Washington State should scare the crap out of you

Skydiver Fearless Felix jumps from 18 miles up Baumgartner won't come close to space, even on the ultimate jump that's planned for late August or early September. Space officially begins at 100 kilometers, or 62 miles — more than 328,000 feet.”  Space is 62 miles up.  I want you to spend the rest of your day with that fact in your mind.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Carl Sagan says "You're awesome!"

CNN's Dana Loesch to Conservative Christian Against Homophobia "I know you hate Christ."

Normally I would transcribe this, but honestly I don't think I can sit through the whole thing playing it over and over again to do so. I am only aware of Loesch and don't really know of her, but after listening to this I feel a groundswell of disgust. She actually manages to make me want to defend Christianity. THAT IS FUCKED UP!

She speaks in fallacies. The "I know you hate Christ" line is a straw man and she employs judgmental language and shifts the burden of proof. nose if bleeding again....

via Equality Matters

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aurora Theater Shooting Victims Charities

image via The Denver Post

I received an email from Foundation Beyond Belief suggesting The Denver Center for Crime Victims and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance as two of the various charities you can contribute to for the Aurora Theater Shooting. I also started looking for other charities aside from those two. If you know of more please add them in the comments. Thank you. 

You can donate directly through those organizations or via; which also includes choices to donate to the Children’s Hospital Colorado, Red Cross, The Denver Center for Crime Victims, Bonfils Blood Center, and Metro Crisis Services.

Additionally, there are several other charities to donate to victims for medical or funeral services. A general fund for the victims.

Veronica Sullivan: Veronica was only six years old. She was the youngest victim. Proceeds will help pay for her funeral expenses.

Rebecca Wingo: Contribute to a fund for the daughters of Rebecca Wingo who was killed.

Caleb Medley: Caleb was shot in the eye and is now in a medically induced coma. His wife, who was also present at the theater, gave birth to their first child on Tuesday.

Matt McQuinn: Matt was killed in the shooting. Help Matt’s family pay for the funeral expenses.

Jonathan Blunk: Jonathan was killed in the shooting. Donations will pay for funeral expenses, and any remaining funds will be put toward supporting his children.

Jarell Brooks: Jarell was wounded in the attack. Funds will cover medical bills and loss of work.

Micayla Medek: Micayla was killed in the shooting. Funds will go towards a memorial fund.

Petra Anderson: Petra was shot several times, including once in the head. She is recovering. All funds will go to medical bills. Any remaining funds will go to Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.

Farrah Soudani: Farrah is currently in ICU. Donation will go towards medical bills.

Mike White: Mike was shot and is recovering at home. Donations will help pay his medical bills.

Carli & Chris:Carli was shot several times at the Batman premiere in Denver, Colorado. Carli and her boyfriend, Chris, need our help paying for medical bills and counseling.

Richard Feynman "It's much more interesting to live not knowing..."

Order a print of the poster HERE

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A List of Companies that Support Marriage Equality

For those of you mourning Chick-fil-A (I do miss those milkshakes). Here is a list of companies who support Marriage Equality. This is in no way an exhaustive list. It was found using multiple sources. So if you are reading this on an iPhone while sipping a Coke at a McDonalds in an airport wearing Levi’s. Its OK, you are not supporting hate. If you are looking for companies to boycott because they support “teh gays” get the fuck off my blog.

American Airlines
Best Buy
Delta Airlines
General Motors
Gerber Baby Products
Hilton Hotels
Home Depot
Levi's Marriot International
Olive Garden
Proctor and Gamble
Red Lobster
Rite Aid Sears
Southwest Airlines
State Farm
United Airlines
Walt Disney Company

Honorable Mention to Jim Henson’s company for pulling their toys from Chick-fil-A in response to their President doubling down on the hate.

To be clear, I support Mr. Cathy’s freedom to say whatever he chooses.  His company is not  openly discriminating against anyone directly.  They just contribute to organizations that do.  This is America and it is clearly not illegal to be a bigot.  For those congratulating the company for their honesty, I humbly offer this.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Link Dump 7/20/12

It's Just Atheism “When we lump all these groups together and say “this is what we are” we are automatically excluding those that live quietly on our side of the fence. These are the people that need to be attracted to being, at a minimum, open about their irreligion and be comfortable with it.”

Guest Post: Lightning & Disease - A Primitive Thought System Overturned "Foremost among our ongoing challenges,...and rising above all the others, is the struggle against our own ignorance."

Get Your Atheism Out of My Science and Stay Out I really like Gamma Squad, but this wasn't the best reasoned argument. To a degree, I agree with Dan Seitz (obviously, given my “It’s Just Atheism”
post earlier in the week which was timely), but this argument has some rather large holes in it. Something else for us vocal atheists to remember is that not everyone has thought about it as much as we have or had practice debating. Sometimes we need to cut others some slack and not overreact. Actually, I think we should do that more than we do. I commented a few times trying to clear it up all friendly-like.

What Darwin Never Knew (NOVA Documentary) "...I don’t “worship” Darwin. I admire the man for formulating the basis of all modern biology." I'm just saying...that's pretty cool.

Katrina Lumsden's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey The second greatest review of all time (as far as I know). The first being Lindy West’s epic review of the Sex and the City 2 movie.

Priests could be ordered to report confessions of sex abuse to police That’s outrageous! How you expect priests to turn themselves in?

/sarcasm font.

Preachers in Alabama Bully an Art Theater (HILARIOUS UPDATE!) This is proof that it pays that I went to grad school at Bama. Not for the M.A. degree...just so I am privy to info like this.

Fox Back To Bashing The Volt Fox spreading a myth that has already been

What “Dummies” need to know about atheism It’s not really that informative of an interview, but know that Dale McGowan wrote “Atheism for Dummies.”

Make the World Better by Pamela Gay: “I’ve heard people joke that the reason I’m in a research center rather than in Physics is because I have boobs. It’s all said with a laugh. So far, its been nothing actionable or against the law. But it hurts...I know it hurts my self esteem. And I know there is nothing I can do to change the reality I am in.  I could move to another university – I could change which reality I’m in – but that would leave behind a university devoid of women role models who are capable in physics and computer science, the two fields that my students come from. I stay, and I try to be the example of a woman doing things that matter.”

oh yeah...*shakes fist*

Boy Scouts Reaffirm Ban On Open Gays; Call It 'Absolutely The Best Policy' Hmm, well, in light of that I think the best policy is for Americans to stop sending their boys to the Boy Scouts. Navigators USA is an inclusive alternative.

Poor People in Alabama Continue to be Jailed Because They Cannot Pay Fines “A shocking number of these sentences imposed for minor misdemeanors exceeded the punishment for felony offenses.” The new debtor’s prison system.

A New Age for Truth “A public with the ability to spot a hoax website, verify a tweet, detect a faked photo, and evaluate sources of information is a more informed public. A public more resistant to untruths and so-called rumor bombs. (Think "death panels.") This is a public that can participate in fact checking, rather than merely be an audience for it.”

Chemistry Cat meme Yeah, I’m just going to share them all.

Also, fuck you George Zimmerman.

Random Observation I still think there is a disconnect here.

Bill Murray’s minor league baseball team to celebrate atheism night Proving once and for all that Bill Murray is too cool. Also, there is this. Even if the tour isn’t real, the previous party crashing makes Bill Murray my celebrity hero.

Faithful flock to 'bleeding' Virgin Mary Yet again, the inevitable wait for a rational explanation before this “miracle” fades into obscurity.

You know I watch too many atheist videos when I can recall the exact clip that Dawkin's expression came from. The proof is below!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Post: Lightning & Disease: A Primitive Thought System Overturned

For most of human history, life has been a struggle – a struggle against predators, against disease, against natural disasters, and against our fellow human beings as we find ourselves all thrown together on a single planet, vying for limited resources.  In the words of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, life for the many has been “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Foremost among our ongoing challenges, however, and rising above all the others, is the struggle against our own ignorance.  Like newborn infants, naked and helpless, humans have been thrust into this world without the benefit of any instruction book to show us the way.  It is only through patience and ingenuity (and a fair amount of dumb luck) that we have managed to rise above our brute animal nature to occasionally achieve something resembling peace and civility.  Obviously, we still have a long way to go, but if we as a species hope to continue our stumbling progress towards a happier, healthier future, we must acknowledge the various pitfalls and dead ends we’ve encountered along the route, starting with those of the distant past.

To the ancients, one of the most terrifying and inexplicable forces that they would encounter on a regular basis came in the form of blinding shafts of energy hurling down from the sky above, killing and setting fires indiscriminately –  a phenomenon we now call lightning.  Having no ready basis upon which to form a rational explanation for it, they instead let their imaginations run wild and so attributed its power to a mighty, invisible sky king.  This makes a certain amount of sense; after all, if you’d watched your buddy get killed by an enemy’s arrow, the cause was clear as day.  To get hit by a flaming arrow shot from a cloud would therefore seem to be the result of having angered some sort of cosmic archer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dan Barker on Atheism Being Positive

"I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil–you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality,
peace and joy.Trust yourself."

Dan Barker in "Losing Faith in Faith"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Random Observation

I can’t help but notice the “WARNING: the pictures are GRAPHIC” about a cat but not the woman with the burned face. 

Friday Link Dump 7/13/12

Emotional Reasoning “... you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.”

Lou Engle LOVED The Avengers as an Analogy for Spiritual Warfare The guys at Cognitive Dissonance Podcast characterized Lou Engle as a guy that seems like he is just learning how to use his body. Just watch him move. It’s disturbing!  

A Blip That Speaks of Our Place in the Universe “The apparent discovery of the Higgs...provides a remarkable celebration of the human mind’s capacity to uncover nature’s secrets, and of the technology we have built to control them. Hidden in what seems like empty space — indeed, like nothing, which is getting more interesting all the time — are the very elements that allow for our existence.”

Stop bullying the 'soft' sciences As someone in a “soft science” discipline I concur. I’m really starting to lament this need by modern skeptics (and atheists) to shit all over anything that isn’t a “hard” science or proven fact. There is a difference between a plausible hypothesis supported by evidence but not a proven theory (migration patterns of humans to North America)  and an unsupported hypothesis that a superior being exists that created everything and controls everything. The distinction is becoming lost on some people which seems pretty dualist if you ask me.

Anatomy of a Successful Rape Joke There are only two things I want to say about this: 1) the author of the article is dead on. 2) I don’t think Tosh is funny to begin with.

Living Without An Afterlife “Poor David Hume is dying very fast, but with great cheerfulness and good humour and with more real resignation to the necessary course of things, than any whining Christian ever dyed with pretended resignation to the will of God.”

Physics Shows Batman’s Cape Is Suicide Machine pfft. Whatever. My Batman is an awesome Batman. It says so right there in D.C. Comics...

South Carolina Judge Sentences Drunk Driver to Bible Study I would love to get this as a "sentence" and then write up a theologically tight takedown of the whole thing. I would probably end up in jail...

Pretty good advice.


How the Mormons Make Money “According to U.S. law, religions have no obligation to open their books to the public, and the LDS Church officially stopped reporting any finances in the early 1960s.”

Joanna Brooks of Religion Dispatches has good breakdown including this tidbit:

  • Current LDS Church worth is estimated at $40 billion, with an estimated $8 billion in tithing receipts annually.
  • The LDS Church gives an estimated $52 million annually in humanitarian relief, about .7% of its annual income. Bloomberg notes by comparison that the United Methodist Church gives about 29% of its annual income to charitable relief.

The Velvet Worm

Z World Detroit! I want this to happen. I don’t care how saturated the culture is with zombies. Throw in paintball guns and I’ll stay for a week.

Heavy metal is Satanic witchcraft music "The Bible teaches to deny yourself and to to (sic) put trust only in Jesus the Savior of the world." <-- NOT mind control!