Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Steve, Adam and Jack continue their conversation from last week with discussions about Slenderman and Jesusween. As afore mentioned we had some leftovers from last week's show and we decided that rather than let them go to waste that I'd cut up a little bonus episode. It's not a full episode, but we're still recording this week despite Huricane Sandy and there'll be another full episode this weekend.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween.
Check out this episode!
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
All you need is enough people to believe and a tax-exemption and you too can turn your contrived cult started by a known fraud into a "respected" religion. Maybe even get one of your cult leaders elected!
via newnamenoah (shared by Peter Boghossian on Facebook)
via newnamenoah (shared by Peter Boghossian on Facebook)
Saturday, October 20, 2012
This week Steve, Adam, and Jack discuss Doctors who claim to have seen heaven, Free speech, and Halloween Myths
(Note: We know this episode is a little late to air, sorry about that. Had some real world problems that prevented me from cutting the episode on time. However, we have a lot left over from this episode so I'm going to try and cut a bonus episode with all the stuff that didn't fit between now and Halloween. :) -Jack)
Friday, October 19, 2012
Due to "real life" getting in the way, the Left Hemispheres podcast episode 05 will not be released tonight. It will, however, be released this weekend so please stay tuned.
In the meantime,
In the meantime,
- Bad news, good news, and asking for help | Greta Christina's Blog We have a lot of admiration for Greta Christina here on Left Hemispheres. She’s fallen into some misfortune and is asking for help. Follow the link to buy her book, make a donation or send her a few kind words. Thanks.
- Romney is a Never-nude
- Replace the Word "Gay" with my Name
- Paul Wallace and the "Real Problem with Atheism"
- Like Smoke
- Mr. Deity: Creationism Is So Appropriate For Children
- Not Being Indoctrinated Into Christianity by Sam Harris
- 'Living Biblically' Not Good Enough For Christian Publisher
- Sierra DeMulder ~ Eleven Years
- Family Research Council: Marriage Is Defenseless Against Homosexuals
- Jesus Ween Yeah, its exactly what it sounds like.
- Homeschooling Advocate Warns Public Schools are Similar to Hitler Youth Right. Because the curriculum is filled with dogmatic indoctrination and pseudo-science. Wait...reverse that.
- Dead stars could be the future of spacecraft navigation
- Holy Crap, Here's a 100-Million-Year-Old Spider Eating a Wasp Ancient ew.
- Saving Teens from Obama: When Bible Study Goes Wrong Another tax exempt institution providing political “education.” They should definitely encourage the Mormon candidate in Bible study class.
- Weird Traits That Make Octopuses and Squid Loveable So many arms to hug with!
- BBC News - Planet with four suns discovered
- In search of Kublai Khan's fleet
- Wow. Just Wow. Anti-Women Propaganda At Its Finest This is a great exercise in logical fallacy spotting. That is, if you can overcome the crushing depression of sharing the planet with these people.
- Ohio soup kitchen slams Ryan: “He did nothing” So Paul Ryan did some gorilla photo shooting in a soup kitchen. By the photos we are meant to believe that he washed a pot that goes to his elbows while rolling his sleeves to his wrist. Stay classy Eddy.
- ChronoZoom: An interactive timeline for all of history.
- Homosexuality Will Lead to Enslavement of Humanity by Ducks Warns Homeschooled Teen Read Animal Farm. It will be the pigs. Prepare to bow before your cloven hooved masters.
- Alpha Centauri Has a Planet This is the closest solar system to our own. The planet is a cinder, so don’t pack your bags just yet but we are now looking at this solar system and may find an Earth-like planet nearby.
- Don’t blame the Taliban Steve says: “This is brilliant. It will probably also get this guy killed.”
- Star Wars in manuscript Joseph Campbell would be so proud.
- Type II : The Mandelbrot Set | Greydon Square Atheist hip hop. Fuck and yes.
- Editorial: Meet a science committee that doesn’t get science
- Inside A Secret NHL Focus Group: How A Top GOP Strategist Is Helping Hockey Owners Craft Their Lockout Propaganda
- Decriminalise drug use, say experts after six-year study Or we could just throw money at the problem. That’s usually a successful technique.
- Italian church to be stripped of tax exemption from 2013
- Romney abortion timeline
- Astro Anarchy | Animations Space is pretty.
- The Inevitable Collapse of Organized Religion in America
- Dealing with Drama and Burnout in the Atheist Movement I’ll say it. Sometimes the atheosphere is a circle-jerk. Other times its an elementary school lunchroom.
- The Value of Critical Thinking & Uncertainty Another gem from the Mighty Troythulu
- Archbishop tells woman to reject gay son or suffer eternal damnation You’d think he would give her advice about how to save her son from eternal damnation. But that would run the risk of a mother choosing to love her child more than her church. What would Abraham do?
This is BRILLIANT.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The following is a status update of a friend on Facebook. I wouldn’t normally share a Facebook status, but this is a brilliantly simple point along on the lines of “if being gay is a choice when did you choose to be straight?” retort. Please share this in whatever manner you may choose.
I am sharing this status because I feel it truly strikes a chord and as an LGBTQ ally I feel this needs to be said because I could replace Kristen's name with many of my friends' names and even thinking that people would feel this way about them breaks my heart.
From my friend Kelly Stewart's friend Kristen:
Dear Friends who are thinking about voting against same-sex marriage:
When you hear or read the "anti" side making comments about gays, replace the word "gay" with my name.
Kristen getting married is a threat to all families.
Kristen cannot be a good parent.
Kristen doesn't love, it is only lust.
Kristen shouldn't be allowed to marry.
Kristen is what is wrong with this country.
Kristen is 'fixable' with electroshock therapy
If Kristen can marry then we should just let people marry animals.
I hope that this contextualizes the argument for you.
The "gay movement" is simply about people who are in love and want to spend their lives together. It’s about a legal recognition and protection of my commitment to my partner and eventually our family.
Now, back to my "gay lifestyle" (grading student papers, editing a manuscript, preparing a conference presentation, supervising family therapy students, maybe getting frozen yogurt later...).
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Some people still believe that *fossils were put underground by by God (or Satan) to test our faith. This appears to be a small subset of Young Earth Creationists. Some believe that due to the biblical account of history, dinosaur bones cannot be older than a few thousand years. This is a ludicrous claim and I have no intention of writing a “Creationists be crazy” post. What I find interesting about this claim and others like it is the psychological process of denying objective reality. Any belief that is maintained in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is usually the case for two reasons:
1. The individual is sheltered or insulated from external ideas or otherwise uneducated/undereducated about contradicting concepts.
2. The individual is aware of alternate ideas and has discarded their content or their source.
The Young Earth Creationist dogma is a perfect example of this sort of willful ignorance because it follows the skeleton of a rational argument.
A. If the bible is written by God
B. And the bible reveals the age of the Earth to be less than 6,000 years old.
C. Then the Earth is young.
Imbedded in this message is a toolbox for discounting any idea, no matter how reasonable or factual that does not gel with the identified religious ideology. It’s the ultimate appeal to authority with the semblance of a syllogism. It provides the framework for every other unsubstantiated claim. We can simplify it even more to apply to an entire worldview:
A. If the bible is written by God
B. And there are facts that disagree with the bible’s claims
C. Then those facts are wrong
Armed with this basic thought process, a believer is free to disregard any evidence to the contrary of the the claims they make. They are not subject to the laws of nature: their God lives outside of these laws. They are not subject to the shared reality that most of us inhabit. They see the world as it “truly” is. You cannot pin down their God to any criteria of character or abilities. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the perpetually moving goalpost. You cannot hold the idea of God in your hands. Just when you think you have him, he’s gone.
You simply can not prove the existence of a being without identifiable attributes. If this were any other claim, it would be laughable. Here’s where they get you. Due to the self-contradictory content of scripture, people can make virtually any specific assertion about the will of God. They can mine any quote or “interpret” any text to promote any agenda. Their claims do not need to stand up to logical scrutiny because of the built-in ultimate appeal to authority. In the end, your claims about God’s will says more about you than about God.
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." ~ Susan B Anthony
They can take this amorphous concept and bend it to whatever end they choose. The tenets can and often do change with the speed of revelation. If you believe that human nature is foul and depraved, your god is likely to be Angry Authoritative God. If you think that all humanity is cut from the same cloth (and that cloth is full of rainbows and sunshine) your god is probably the Warm and Fuzzy God. Take your pick. There are plenty of biblical references to support both.
*Author's note: I found dosens of internet conversations/blogposts about the Creationist (Christian, Mormon and Jahova's Witness) claims that fossils were planted by Satan to test humanity's faith but I could not locate any books or essays from theists on the subject. If any of you can find them please leave links in the comments. Thanks.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Matthew Shepard was murdered 14 years ago on October 12th in Laramie, Wyoming. I wanted to post this the moment I heard it. His story is a harrowing reminder of the destructive force of bigotry and hatred.
Sierra DeMulder is one of my all time favorite poets. When you recover from this poem: visit her tumblr site and buy her book.
To learn more about Matthew's story or to make a donation, visit the Matthew Shepard Foundation here.
Friday, October 12, 2012
- "Andy, Have You Had Enough Rum Yet" The latest episode of the LH podcast, with guest Andy from Laughing In Purgatory.
- Why LH? In which I rant.
- The Universe Is In Us If anyone has ever doubted that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the true and proper heir of Carl Sagan, let them forever be dismissed. No one has captured the sense of universal splendor and awe, along with our connectivity to reality, quite so well since the words were spoken, "Consider again that dot."
- The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato's Allegory in Clay
- "Why I Am Not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell (1927)
- Substance Dualism (Parts 1 & 2)
- Evolution by QualiaSoup An update of the original.
News from the U.S.
- Non-Religious On the Rise This isn't as simple as it sounds, but does show a trend towards secularization.
- Heaven is Real, Says Magazine That Doesn’t Employ Fact-Checkers Ugh. /facepalm
- Third-party candidates press on with their own debates Until people learn that we have other options, nothing is really going to change.
- Saving Teens from Obama: When Bible Study Goes Wrong Well, it starts going wrong when you study it as an authoritative text.
- Sunday Scofflaws: It’s Time For The IRS To Crack Down On ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ Tax 'em. Let them say whatever they want. Their main purpose is providing a (dis)service, not charitable works
- Young Persons Called to Private Grand Jury for Owning Books There may be more to this story, but I won't be surprised if there isn't.
- Mother of Navy SEAL(and MRFF advocate) killed in Libya demands Romney stop talking about him.
- Guess What Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) says are ‘Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell’?
- Fact Check: What a 9,000-Year-Old Earth Really Looked Like "But that's not in the Bible," Broun replies with a straight face.
- Arkansas Republican: Slavery was ‘blessing in disguise’ that ‘rewarded’ blacks with U.S. citizenship This goes well with this. 'Merica 'n Jesus.
- Charlie Fuqua, Arkansas Legislative Candidate, Endorses Death Penalty For Rebellious Children In Book
News from the Wider World
- Taliban Gun Down Girl Who Spoke Up for Rights Look at the previous link. Now look at this one again. Repeat until connection is made.
- Archbishop tells woman to reject gay son or suffer eternal damnation Because the Catholic Church is an international problem.
- Hey Look, It's A Map Of Inequality! That's Neat. Not The Inequality Part. The Map Part.
- Pussy Riot nominated for freedom of speech prize But, now they want to retract it. Because of blasphemy. /facepalm
- Moscow Court Frees One Member of Punk Protest Band More Pussy Riot news.
- New Species Photos: Giant Millipede, Horned Frog Among Borneo Finds Yes, it's "National" Geographic, but the story is in Borneo.
- Commemorating the Lost Lunatic Because the U.S. isn't the only country that celebrates this asshat.
- Gillard labels Abbott a misogynist It's nice to see her stand up for at least one group of second-class citizens.
- The Tunnels of Baiae Like the Oracle at Delphi, this may have been used by huckstering charlatans to gain followers and wealth.
- My Happy 3rd Blog-Birthday Message to You Our friend Martin Pribble celebrates three years of blogging. Cheers, brother!
- How to Spread the Good News of Secularism
- Every Argument Against Marriage Equality Calmly Debunked In 4 Minutes Or Less An amazing series of videos, both for their conciseness and their humor.
- From Stem Cells to Eggs (and Beyond) I love SciFri.
- What the Doctor Ordered: Building New Body Parts Can you tell?
- Super-Earth Planet Likely Made of Diamond De Beers will now be funding a space mission, but only as long as they can send their slave labor.
Matt Dillahunty's explanation of this. I think he has some good things to say that apply beyond the incident itself.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Why the hell are we doing this?
This is a question that has been asked a quite few times during our back channel discussions. It seems like week after week we are beating our heads against a wall of stupidity. And every time we make a crack or knock out a block, theists slap up the same brick of idiocy and adhere it with the mortar of repetition. Not to mention all of the ridiculous bullshit that has been going on in the Atheosphere. We’re a small blog. Our readership is mostly a handful of regulars (and we thank you, one and all). Even on Facebook and G+ we only have a few hundred followers, while pages that do nothing but re-post the same tired memes get tens of thousands. We’re lucky to get one comment compared to the hundreds that “Global Secular Humanist Movement” or an FtB post gets, even though we’re sometimes weeks ahead in getting a story out. And admittedly, one of us does the majority of the heavy lifting around here (It’s not me), which has to be tiring for him. So why are we still doing this?
I’d like to think that we’re helping to stem the tide, but I don’t know, because we don’t get the feedback. We don’t even have theocracy-promoting trolls to use as a gauge. And I’m not sure why. Is it the layout? Our writing? Is it the quagmire that is Blogspot?
Despite all this, we do continue on. We've even expanded by starting to do a podcast, which I think is going pretty well. I got to interview Taylor Muse of Quiet Company, and participate as a member of the press at Rock Beyond Belief. I hope to do more like that.
The mainstream media only picks up the stuff that appeals to our community when it can be spun into some sensationalist pap in support of the status quo, or to warn them of the “atheist threat” (The Black Hand is coming!). This is the main reason why bloggers, vloggers, public speakers and authors are so vital to the secular community. As Jello Biafra once said, “Don’t hate the media, become the media!” So, for me, that’s why I do this. That’s why I want to continue to do this.
We live in a society that is still dancing to the beat of an imaginary drum; and without those voices, however small, to bring attention to that fact, the creeps organizing the conga line win.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
If anyone has ever doubted that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the true and proper heir of Carl Sagan, let them forever be dismissed. No one has captured the sense of universal splendor and awe, along with our connectivity to reality, quite so well since the words were spoken, "Consider again that dot."
This week Adam, Steve, and Jack are joined by Andy from Laughing in Purgatory subbing in for Nick. They discuss the first presidential election debate, Jesus having a wife, how language determines thought, blasphemy, Deepak and more! As always questions, comments to:
firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on facebook, Google+, or twitter (@lefthemispheres).
Friday, October 5, 2012
- Catholic Moral Authority?
- History of Atheism by Steven Goldman
- On Blasphemy “Blasphemy is not about offending God. It is about offending theists. How arrogant must someone be to believe that the creator of the universe could be offended by the speech of an insignificant creature on a random rock hurling through the cosmos?”
- Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks
- Global warming is going to start shrinking fish Well, maybe the water is just cold.
- What Earth Sounds Like “NASA on Monday announced the release of what it said was the clearest recording yet of “chorus,” the audio version of the radio signals emitted by the plasma waves in our planet’s Van Allen radiation belts.”
- ~I want this sound as my cell phone ring. Can any of you “tech people” out there make that happen?
- Earth 100 million years from now I suspect that cockroaches and sharks will find a way to peacefully coexist.
- I Wonder A Kickstarter project for a touching book by Annaka Harris Mrs. Harris
- “Creation Evidence Expo” Exposed A skeptic’s take on the “evidence”
- The Other Believers: Mark D. Hatcher, a Black Atheist It irritates me that Black Atheist is a term. But then it sort of irritates me that we need the word atheist at all.
- California Bans Gay Conversion for Minors This is huge. Its a public reaffirmation that homosexuality is not a mental illness as well as recognizing how harmful conversion therapy is. But let’s be clear, it only prohibits conversion therapy for minors by “state-licensed therapists”. This by no means eliminates it from use by camp counselors, youth group volunteers or religious leaders of any title.
- God Answers Prayers Of Paralyzed Little Boy | The Onion Sometimes the answer is “no.”
- Counting the cost of abuse redress 'Irish religious orders refuse to pay their share of the compensation bill – leaving taxpayer to pick up the tab'
- Beck: God put Romney behind in polls to prove it’s a miracle when he wins ‘Beck recently told controversial “historian” David Barton...[*shakes fist] “I am to the point that — A — God is trying to make this so clear to us that if it happens, it’s his finger. Because nothing looks good. And yet, everybody I know who I consider a spiritual giant feels good,” he continued. “And it bothers me that I feel good because, I’m like, there’s no reason that I should feel good on this.”’
- ~Right. I give Glenn’s mental gymnastics an 8.5. He was a little wobbly on the dismount.