Thursday, January 28, 2010

Evangelical morality

A common message we hear from the faithful is that their religion and dogmas are useful, or beneficial. A common assertion is that their religion is relevant because of the morality it brings to its followers. They normally back this assertion up with a good dose of "Atheists can't be moral" or some other clearly false statement that is derived from Psalm 14:1.

After hearing this propaganda for a few years one has to really wonder: who really believes this stuff? Growing up in working class middle America, the more disturbing forms of abuse thrived in those homes that were filled with the faithful. Indeed, the very worst form of child abuse (sexual) was observed ONLY in christian homes in my neighborhood. In the name of intellectual honesty, I wanted to see more information on morality in religion, since my evidence thus far was anecdotal. I wanted to see how divorce rates, abuses, addictions, and other issues in the religious sectors stacked against secular sectors.

The results, of course, were predictable. Not only did religion completely fail to elevate people's basic moralities, it failed to even produce standard levels of basic morality. The faithful were just as likely, and in some cases more likely, to behave in ways that defy common understandings of morals. All the while, theists routinely assert that the reality is the quite the opposite -- and in doing so they illustrate the corrosive affect of faith on the human ability to reason. Theists will reject facts and evidence, and simply assert their own beliefs no matter how unsupported they are; and in the same breath demand respect for their views.

I am happy to say that I'm not one of those that respects this cult, this wish thinking, this irrational and illogical myth. I treat a theist's beliefs with the same respect I would show to someone who told me they still believe in the tooth faerie. This mental disorder should be treated with ridicule and contempt until those that cling to it realize exactly what they are doing; projecting an image of a father figure onto some entity that they have zero evidence for believing in. So long as there are illogical people that look at the Haiti earthquakes as "god's will" or a "blessing in disguise" there will be people like me that will hold the line against their stupidity.

If you are interested in reading some non-bullshit literature on the subject I would suggest:

"The Authoritarians" can be had (for free!) from:

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union

After listening to our President's State of the Union address I have a few quick thoughts:

1. It rocks to have a President that can complete whole sentences and understands public speaking.

2. I couldn't agree more about how some of our elected officials, and most of our pundits, are shaming our politics with their juvenile smears and useless bickering. Keith Olbermann and others -- he was talking to you.

3. He points out the obstructionist methods some of our delegates have used, and are using, to slow or halt necessary legislation. More importantly, he pointed out how these actions lead the nation to lose faith in our politician's ability to solve issues. He nailed that one right on the nose.

4. Is it just me, or do the republicans seem to have very few delegates that are not strictly white and male?

5. All sides should pay more attention to the Congressional Budget Office when looking for numbers or data pertaining to an issue; leave the number fabrication to fringe figures and others who have zero responsibility to be honest. *cough Jason Lewis cough*

6. You have to be thankful to live in a country like ours. There is no military dictator presiding over these functions, there is more than one party in power to ensure that no side is too heavily favored, and open debate is allowed, in both private and public, about what the President says. I fucking love America.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday double!

Since Sunday is the day of rest, I would like to stir the pot by doing double posts on God's holy day. Yes, I know Sunday is only one of three holy days on which God told us to rest, but doing doubles on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is just too much; even if the parties of God claim all three. Don't blame me for their confusion.

Let's talk about the christian sense of acceptance and tolerance. We all hear that the faithful are open-minded, welcoming, forgiving, etc. Then we see this:

Atheists rent a billboard, and display a non-aggressive, insult free, and harmless message; and within just two days the owner of the land on which the billboard sits receives threats that were substantial enough to warrant the message be removed. Yeah, the threats are not leveled at the Atheists that rented the sign, or the owner of the sign -- but the poor guy that owns the property.

Are the faithful so insecure that they can't tolerate the idea of someone else being able to live their life without their space daddy? Is their sense of reality so warped they can't fathom the idea that other people may not share their wish thinking? Are they so scared by the presentation of such a reality that they would call for a Stalin-like censorship of someone else's right to free expression? Yes, yes, and yes.

Look, this is America, the first and only secular democracy this world has ever known. One of too few countries that recognize their citizen's right to freedom of expression outside of international law. In this country, you can't be dragooned into silence simply because the state, or a small group within the country, decides they don't want you to be heard. Despite taking advantage of the freedoms granted by our First Amendment, the faithful are very quick to whine, kick, scream, and threaten, in an attempt to deny others those very same rights. This is shameful, childish, and just plain anti-liberty.

If a theist wants to rent a billboard that says "All atheists will burn in HELL!" I don't care. If some other crackpot wants to rent another sign saying "Join our religion of love and peace or suffer eternal damnation!" that is fine too. Just be ready to accept the same amount of hate you dished out. If you can't, then shut the fuck up.

In this case, the parties of god did not receive hate, or even ill will. They saw a sign that simply read: "Don't Believe In God? You are not alone." and just lost their minds, they went ape-shit on an innocent party to boot. They don't care what the message is, or who is responsible, if it isn't their message they want it taken out -- and fast.

Can you imagine what would happen if we showed this kind of censorship to these cultists? They would start crying like girls with skinned knees and demanding their right to free expression -- the same right to expression they are so quick to take away from others. Well fuck them and their fantasy land; if you don't like the freedom of speech, then try living without it for awhile and see how you like it. The freedoms put forward in our founding documents apply to not just you fucktards; they are for everyone, even the ones you hate.

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We live in the twilight zone.

President Obama received some very unlikely support against the claims from far-right extremists like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh that he was trying to politicize the Haiti earthquakes in his favor. You know your smears are bad when someone like Bush won't get behind them.

It is surprising that in a literate culture like ours, extremists like Limbaugh and Beck even exist. How their followers have not noticed their insane comments, and written them off as a result, is beyond me.

It is like we are living in the twilight zone. A pundit like Beck hopes and prays for a financial depression, economic armageddon, so we can "reset" the system; then in the next shows tells his listeners that he, and they, are "the center" or "the norm". What?! You are praying for a financial fucking meltdown so you can remake the system in a way that you prefer? How is that principle any different than a far-left Marxists calling for the same? Or a military dictator hoping to have the same opportunity to rebuild a society in their vision?

It isn't. It is exactly the same thing.

Yet Beck and others insist they are normal, everyday people. Not insane political radicals that want to completely overhaul our current government into something they like better. They repeat this to their followers like a mantra, hoping like hell none of them break free and say the obvious:

"If your views are normal, why the fuck do they not resemble ANYTHING like the norm we observe now?"

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Democracy sold: Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the amount of money that corporations are allowed to spend on candidate elections has created quite some heat. The official ruling can be had here:

Basically, this spells out some RADICAL changes in democracy as we know it. Big business will no longer be restrained on how much money they care to throw into the political sphere. If you thought the average person's voice was being drown out already, you are in for a real shock when you see billions of formerly restricted dollars flood the political scene.

Jamie Raskin, an American law professor had the following to say:

"I looked at just one corporation, Exxon-Mobil, which is the biggest corporation in America; and in 2008 they posted profits of 85 billion dollars. If they decided to spend just 10% of their profits in just one year, that is 8.5 billion dollars, that would be three times more than the Obama campaign, the McCain campaign, and every candidate for house and senate in this country spent in 2008. That is just one corporation, so think about the fortune 500."

I don't have to point out that this is harmful to the democratic process, that much is obvious. What I want to know is:

Who in their right mind thought this would a good idea?

Ask your family and friends to summarize their thoughts on the control big business has on our politicians, I bet they will say what my family and friends say; corporations have too much influence on our legislation.

I guess the Supreme Court thought otherwise.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

More propaganda on health care

After reading Brock Lesnar's struggle I am left with two main thoughts: first I wish him a fast recovery, and second I would like him to be a lot more honest when he talks about politics. Read his story here:

Here is the shorter version:

Brock eats like an idiot and gets sick, after a few weeks of illness(!) he finally gets checked out, American doctors don't fix the issue, so he heads to Canada for some hunting. While there his condition gets even worse and he goes to a hospital in "the boondocks", when the hospital couldn't fix his self-inflicted damages, he runs back to the US and after more fumbling around gets the help he needs.

This story is beyond stupid and here is why:

1. If you have that kind of diet, you are inviting problems. Eat your vegetables dumbass.

2. You wait weeks before going to the hospital, showing the same kind of bad decision making skills that got you into this trouble in the first place, (refusing a CT scan?) but somehow expect us to trust your insight into the health care quality provided by trained professionals in Canada? I wouldn't trust you to make a cup of coffee correctly, let alone critique highly trained doctors and nurses. (in ANY country)

3. His problem doesn't get sorted out by the American or Canadian doctors, yet he maintains that Canada is behind the curve. Another logical failure! Oh, and he refuses to name the Canadian facility that gave him such terrible care. (read: same amount of success that the American doctors had) Thus preventing any investigation or questioning into the matter. (clearly shady, requiring us to rely solely on his clearly malfunctioning mind -- no thanks.)

4. Thankfully he does gets the help he needs, and finally comes to realize what the rest of us already know: a bad diet ruins your health, and refusing medical care can have serious consequences.

Brock really does insult us by trying to sell this snake oil, just how credulous does he think we are? He completely fails to maintain his own health, shows terrible reasoning, then points his finger at an unnamed group of trained professional in Canada while tacitly refusing to hold the American doctors to the same standards. Brock, peddle that nonsense somewhere else, no one here is buying your propaganda.

To top it all off, he says he is making the changes he should have made decades ago, and is also praying a lot about the situation.

Which one of those changes do you think will help his health?

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