Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Post: Slandering the Heretics by Colby Hess


“There is a war going on for your mind;” a war being fought on battlefields and on billboards, in universities and Sunday schools, in blogs and boardrooms, capitol buildings and city parks. From Wall Street to Main Street, from Kabul to Kansas City, the combined facts of seven thousand years of civilization and seven billion human beings struggling to eat, breathe, live and believe are all coming to a head. It has many names and many forms, running the gamut from Terror to Women to Drugs to Christmas—all inextricably linked by the immense power of ideas and the belief systems that propagate them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nothing Gets A Pass Like Religion


We have all heard Christians react to a criticism of other Christians with the typical No True Scotsman fallacy and say “Well they aren’t real Christians.” It happens so often the fallacy has become a cliché. More than a few times and possibly several dozen I have been either lightly or firmly chastised by a Christian or even by non-believers who want no part of confrontation, that religions aren’t responsible for every negative behavior in the world. Ok, seems reasonable. I have no quarrel with that point except to say that I have never said that. This is a misdirection. A kind of straw man. I have never said, nor do I think, that religions are responsible for every ill in the world. Though it tries its damnedest, I do not actually think religion “poisons everything” (all apologies to Hitch). When talking about the negative impacts religion has on individuals, societies and cultures I am pointing out that it is actually religion that is responsible for these actions or behaviors. People are all too willing to give religion a pass. Religion, despite the claims of many of its adherents, has a lot to answer for and usually doesn’t.

The misdirection of saying that religion isn’t all bad, intentionally or not, constantly undermines valid criticism of religion from gaining traction. In instances were a valid criticism is raised and this dismissive line is used it is likely an attempt to shut up the person raising the point and helps preserve the religious from having to think too hard about the consequences of their faith. This happens all the time. Recently, I posted the following picture on Facebook with the comment: “What happens when societies blindly respect religious practices?”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rick Warren is Clueless About Religious Freedom


This is a non-sequitur. An individual’s faith is irrelevant when it comes to the rights of others. Though I cannot presume to know exactly what Warren is talking about I think we can make a few educated guesses. Conservative and most “moderate” Christians oppose same-sex marriage. Catholics and Evangelicals oppose contraception and abortion. These beliefs are based on Biblical grounds. The foundation of these beliefs is faith. However, their faith in Jesus and the Bible are irrelevant and immaterial regarding how they should affect the beliefs and actions of others. These are clear cases of religious imposition, not freedom. Without the imposition of the majority’s religion there should be no opposition to these issues as they have no right to enforce their religious beliefs, rules and mores onto others.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Henry Rollins Ranting Like A Boss

Outdated, but sadly still relevant.

Friday Link Dump ~ 5/25/12


The Center Of All Things We are a tiny, insignificant speck of matter in the vast and indifferent Cosmos.  Good morning!!

Justifiable Fear of Atheism This is a response to Martin S Pribble’s Fear of Atheism.  Mr. Pribble had the good manners to promote his critic rather than just lash out.  This is a gentlemen’s game, after all.  
There are so many logical fallacies in the following paragraph.  At least one per sentence by my count.

"Atheism is dangerous. It claims logic and evidence for itself, but it cannot prove its own position with either logic or evidence. Its main thesis is Materialism which is demonstrably false, being unable to prove its own tenets under its own evidentiary theory, rendering it non-coherent and irrational. Further, Atheist reasoning is post hoc rationalization, and never syllogistic deduction: so it is demonstrably irrational.”

So atheism is dangerous because it uses reason to deny a false positive yet refuses to claim proof for a negative.  The knowledge of reason without the arrogance of faith.  It must scare the blazing hell out of this guy.




BREAKING: NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality Ask yourself why this is breaking news.  You know, don’t you?




Church Member Defends Pastor Worley. I Subsequently Have An Aneurysm
You see, you can’t say something is taken out of context when the entire context is hateful vitriol.  Watch how angry she gets when Anderson Cooper separates the fundamentalist adherence to scripture from the good ‘ol southern bigotry.  That’s one sly silverfox.  


The Escapist : News : DC Says One Of Its"Iconic" Heroes Is Gay They will probably pick someone who does not have a younger sidekick to avoid pedo stereotypes. I'm guessing Plastic Man.  But only because Martian Manhunter has a funny name.


Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil




How would the public react if Seti found evidence of alien life? Yeah, we tend to try to kill stuff we don’t understand.




A Message to Girls About Religious Men Who Fear You “If you were not powerful, they would not take you so seriously and they take you very, very seriously. You should, too. You can set the world on fire.”  

The Religious Extremists Who Want to Ban the Internet A mis-named article.   They really want to censor the internet  within their own community.  The funny part is the amount of technology used to coordinate the event.

The Urge to Sext Naked Self-Portraits Is Primal The urge to ignore other people in the room to chat with strangers from the other side of the planet is fairly new.



Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US Book banning continues in Arizona schools.  If only I had a list of banned books when I was a teenager.  I would be much more cultured now.




Apostasy: Feelings of Loss & Liberation – By Troythulu

Monday, May 21, 2012

NC Pastor: Put all the "lesbians and queers" behind a fence and wait for them to die.

Pastor Charles L. Worley: "I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers…Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there... Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out… And you know what, in a few years, they'll die."

Congregation: “Amen!”

Nope. No homophobia problem in American Christianity. Move along. Nothing to see here…





Friday, May 18, 2012

When Christians Think of Gay Marriage...


I love Community. 

Friday Link Dump ~ 5/18/12

Which side of history will you be on?




“...such statements should be encouraged. Do traditional religious values not say that those sins are equal? Perhaps if more people wrote about what their intolerant faith has them believing more often, fewer people would keep such faith.”
I have to agree with Karli on this one.  This teacher has every right to post this on his facebook page.  Contrary to popular opinion, freedom of speech includes speech that I don’t like.

Fighting the the killing of 'cursed' infants I have written about this type of atrocity before.  This is the worst case scenario for tribal superstition.  






Heavy Penalties for Witches at Liberty University Liberty prefers to dictate the type of magical thinking of its students.



Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived So much innovation came from this one mind.  But most of us never heard of him because he had no desire to make money from his inventions.



Homophobes and Neo Nazis: Behind The Conservative War on LGBT  Can I point out that if you are choosing sides on an issue, and you find Neo Nazis on your side...You may want to reconsider your position.  Just sayin.


Isolating the Youth “...available evidence shows that anti-gay activism is souring young people on Christianity.”   


Because Of Abstinence Education, 60 Percent Of Young Adults Are Misinformed About Birth Control's Effectiveness “40 percent of respondents said that birth control doesn’t matter because “when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.”



MSNBC Host Tamron Hall Throws Conservative Weasel Tim Carney Off The Air Journalism with integrity.  What a revolutionary idea.

Bill Donohue: "Nature Has Ordained" That Only Men And Women "Can Have A Family. Gay People Have Been Disqualified From Nature"  I wonder if regular Catholics are embarrassed by the venom that comes from this representative of their religion of peace.

The Gruesome History of Eating Corpses as Medicine Yuk!  When the modern Christian ritualistically eats the flesh of their religious leader through transubstantiation, it just tastes like bread.





Thursday, May 17, 2012

TYPE YOUR NAME


I saw this on Tumblr and laughed my ass off.


TYPE YOUR NAME: Matt 
TYPE YOUR NAME WITH YOUR ELBOW: m, syhu76tg 
TYPE YOUR NAME WITH YOUR EYES SHUT: matt 
TYPE YOUR NAME WITH YOUR CHIN: znmjsaygh 
SLAM YOUR FACE ON THE KEYBOARD:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

James Randi destroys Peter Popoff



via scragar



via yuutuubu

Thanks to @OnyxOny for the hat tip.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Imagine a world where...


Thanks to our old buddy Vo! The Polish Voltron. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

NOM Bigots Celebrate Amendment One



If you don't think that homophobia and LGBT discrimination isn't a Christian problem in America then you are kidding yourselves.

The grassroots campaigns are done via churches and church leaders. Where does the money come from for all this campaigning? Churches and church-led groups. The entire justification for their stance is Biblical.

2:00 "...the whole point, is simply that you don't rewrite the nature of God's design for marriage based on the demands of a group of dolts*." 

"That's right!" 





*I listened to this at least a dozen times and I swear she is saying "dolts." A "group of adults" doesn't really make sense in this context.

Friday Link Dump ~ 5/11/12

Agnosticism vs. Atheism – Who Ya Got?

Discovery: Did a Copying Mistake Make Humans So Smart?  By “mistake” they mean mutation.  Evolution succeeds precisely because it is a “flawed” process.  Cells do not always make identical copies of themselves.  Those changes can lead to new specific genetic traits.  This would be a good place for the “Guided Evolution” crowd to stash their Creator.

Submission and Respect for Faith

Since Children Choose To Be Homosexual, They Obviously Deserve To Be Punched This ass-hat got a standing ovation at his church after the media firestorm about his bigoted sermon.

“President” Bartlet Quotes Scripture

Amendment 1 Passes In North Carolina   Seriously.  Fuck North Carolina.  Fuck it right in the ear.

North Carolina Voters Approve Marriage Inequality Amendment

News Anchor Confronts North Carolina Pastor

Penn Jillette on Piers Morgan's show Via Lady Atheist  "Jillette gets grilled on atheism by a devout Catholic.  I admire him for not busting out laughing and actually answering the stupid questions.   "How does an atheist fix the economy?"  What the heck?  Do Christians run the economy through prayer?  Well, actually that would explain a few things."

Life scientists unlock mystery of how 'handedness' arises Discovery: Did a Copying Mistake Make Humans So Smart?  By “mistake” they mean mutation.  Evolution succeeds precisely because it is a “flawed” process.  Cells do not always make identical copies of themselves.  Those changes can lead to new specific genetic traits.  This would be a good place for the “Guided Evolution” crowd to stash their Creator.

Mitt Romney’s Gay Problem

Mitten’s Mormonism

The Trouble with Profiling : A guest post by Bruce Schneier A response to Sam Harris’ blog posts on airport security profiling:

Jeff Bezos's "Blue Origin" Space Company Reveals Spacecraft Design

Discovery: Human Body Part That Stumped Leonardo da Vinci Revealed Now that is the true sign of transcendent genius; When we are surprised that da Vinci didn’t know something 100 years before everyone else.

Republicans Get In My Vagina!

More Evidence of Mars’ Watery Past

Using the Microsoft Kinect to Detect Autism

UN Investigator: U.S. Should Return Some Land to the Indians Ahem, they’re called “Native Americans” not “Indians” you insensitive savage.  *puffs electric cigarette*

The reports of dinosaurs dying of farts are greatly exaggerated What a relief!

Headline-spectrum of the day: Dino-apocalypse by ‘wind’ The Science Bit makes short work of these articles.

Ex-Gay Activist Says Being Gay and Christian is 'Blackface' Wow.  Just.  Wow.

Dawkins on Scientific Education

The Mother Lode of pro-evolution & anti-creationist videos HAIL DARWIN
 
Update on Student Who Wore ‘Life is Wasted Without Jesus’ Shirt OK, so I defended this kid when this story first came out because I thought he should be able to express himself – even if what he said was unpopular.  Maybe the whole thing got blown out of proportion.  But after returning to school with the same t-shirt and the apparent smug satisfaction of a member of the only cultural majority that somehow gets to cry persecution…now he just looks like another obnoxious fundie telling people that they are going to Hell.

Q&BA: Which moon has the best chance for life?

Life scientists unlock mystery of how 'handedness' arises We live in a totalitarian right-handed world.  Don’t believe me?  Try using a chainsaw, weed whacker a decent pair of scissors with your left hand.  For that matter, try signing one of those little credit card screens at the supermarket with that little plastic pen that’s always tied to the right side of the signature pad.  You want to talk about persecution?  It’s about time we got to the bottom of this.

And now, Arnold Schwarzenegger cordially shaking hands with the Predator Give peace a chance.

Random Quotes: The Antichrist is Coming!



I would like to shrug my shoulders and say. "What took him so long?" but then I remember that he is the first president in history to openly support SSM.



This Week In History: Vladimir Putin Wins Russian Presidency After Promising He Can Bend Anything With Bare Hands (2000)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitten's Mormonism



Kolob is spelled incorrectly, but that hardly matters when your religion is so obviously* batshit stupid.

Religion is fair game to judge politicians. It is integral to how they think, how they relate to the world (aka “reality”), and their level of rationality. If the lack of religion is fair game, and it is, then what one believes and the veracity of those beliefs is fair game. Mormonism is so quite obviously fraudulent that it hardly warrants the energy to mock it.

…but it is just so easy!

  

*well, that is relative, isn’t it? 



Monday, May 7, 2012

Random Quotes: The Antichrist is Coming!





I thought the Antichrist was Nero?
I thought the Antichrist was Jewish?
I thought the Antichrist was Napoleon?
I thought the Antichrist was Adolf Hitler?
I thought the Antichrist was Joseph Stalin?
I thought the Antichrist was to come out of Soviet Russia?
I thought the Antichrist was Ronald Reagan?
I thought the Antichrist was Saddam Hussein?
I thought the Antichrist was Pope Benedict XVI?
Along with nearly every Pope since the Reformation…
I thought the Antichrist was Barack Obama?
On and on…

People are nuts.  And stupid.

Submission & Respect of Faith

At the military tribunal for five defendants of the 9/11 attack, 
“…Walid bin Attash's attorney Cheryl Bormann, appeared in court wearing a Hijab (Islamic head scarf). She later explained that her client insists she wear this clothing, and she always does so around him.  She also requested that other women at the hearing dress similarly so that the defendants do not have to avert their eyes "for fear of committing a sin under their faith."  At one point during the hearing defendant Ramzi Binalshibh delayed the proceedings by standing up and then kneeling on the courtroom floor and praying for several minutes, with a row of guards keeping close watch.”

                                                                                    via Religion Clause via Daily Mail
Any religious faith that demands others acquiesce and conform should not only be disregarded, but it should not be tolerated.  Any belief that demands this of others has become incompatible with freedom and is, in fact, inseparable with totalitarianism.

This automatic respect for and submission to faith simply because it is faith is typical of religious political correctness and protectionism.  This only allows insane ideas and destructive behaviors to continue and flourish. Imposed respect for belief and ritual is tyranny. Submitting to this imposition is cowardice. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Agnosticism vs. Atheism - Who Ya Got?

Well…I think you should have both.

I know this has been hashed and rehashed across the Internet ad nauseam, but a) I wrote most of this out for a friend recently, and b) I like to think of the blog as an archive. If someone stumbles upon this site and they are generally unfamiliar with non-theistic thought then I would hope we have a lot to offer. Onward!

Agnosticism/Gnosticism is about knowledge. One either has knowledge or they do not. Additionally, agnosticism may also state that certain claims are unknowable.

Atheism/Theism is about belief in god(s). One either holds that belief or they do not.

These terms are not mutually exclusive and in fact do not function properly without each other. 

Properly understood one should classify themselves as either:
  • Gnostic Theist (“I know God exists.”)
  • Agnostic Theist (“I don’t know that God exists but I believe that “He” does and I act accordingly.”)
  • Agnostic Atheist (“I don’t know if god or gods exist and I see no reason to believe that they do.”)
  • Gnostic Atheist (“I know god does not exist.”)

This is somewhat different than Dawkins ‘Spectrum of Theistic Probability’ which I also accept, but I have two problems with it. First, it is cumbersome for self-labeling as I do not think that the nomenclature is self-evident. With a little thought someone could figure out what an “agnostic atheist” is. I am not sure someone that never heard the terms before would have a correct idea of what a “weak atheist” or “strong theist” is. Second, I reject the concept of impartiality in a thinking adult; which I will explain below.

I do not accept the concept of “complete impartiality” or “pure agnosticism” as Dawkins seems to do. Not because one cannot claim to not know one way or the other or that a claim is unknowable, but because one has to choose to believe or not believe once the proposition is put forth even if subconsciously. It is either accepted or it is not. Someone that claims pure agnosticism, I think, is an agnostic atheist by default (this does not mean that I think they must be proactive about it or even care about expressing it that way). If they are claiming that they do not know and therefore do not accept the belief then they do not believe. Similarly, if they are claiming that one cannot know then it follows they do not hold that belief. Why would anyone that claims to not be able to know then claim that they believe or ever have reason to believe? To help illustrate this point we can look at agnostic theism. While not claiming knowledge, it is still making an assertion via belief. The lack of—or the rejection of—that assertion due to lack of knowledge is agnostic atheism. A-gnostic A-theism: a lack of knowledge or an unknowable premise which results in a lack of belief in god(s).

The only individuals one could claim as pure agnostics are infants. They simply have no knowledge either way, are unable to understand the choice, and are unable to formulate a belief or non-belief. Related to this point, I don’t particularly care for the saying that babies are atheists for the reasons I just stated. While it may be technically true is also means nothing. It’s like saying infants aren’t liberal and are therefore conservative. They are incapable of taking any stance.

Personally, I also think anyone claiming to “know” on either side is kidding themselves. What knowledge does one have? I self-label as an Agnostic Atheist as I have no empirical knowledge of a deity and therefore have no reason to believe in one. Although I admit that I am 99.99% of the way to the Gnostic Atheist since I think god is entirely man-made and I do not entertain the possibility of a god existing. There is no reason to.