Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Christian militia violence

Though I share some of their views on the government and the current state of freedoms in America, I have to denounce the Hutaree for their choice to enact violence (or planing to use violence) against others to achieve goals that are ideological, political, or religious in nature (the army field manual definition of terrorism). No matter what your views are, picking up a rifle to drive the point home is flat-out immoral. More over, If you keep force and violence in your toolbox, you can't decry others for having those same tools in theirs – unless you want to dismissed as a run of the mill hypocrite and not be taken seriously by anyone with a pulse.

The willingness to evaluate information and come to a judgement on political topics is important, but looking at only slanted information and coming to false conclusions is just the opposite; and I'm afraid our body politic lacks honesty in a big way, we've replaced it with hyper-partisanship, fallacious arguments, smear tactics, and other destructive practices. What's even worse is when a group of extremists like this get together and decide to use lethal force to push their ideas onto others – those clowns must have learned better. If not, they really should have by now, and so they get condemned as just another thug with a gun. If they can't handle democracy and freedom of ideas, they should spend some time in a dictatorship to see the differences.

But, they make another mistake by using their God to justify your gang violence, since every time they do they validate what detractors of religion have been saying for so long: God is a gun.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

More Catholic crime

More Catholic priests raping and torturing children and covering it up? Of course you expect this kind of stuff from that crowd, who have time and time again shown not only to be capable of destroying children's mental health, but to be people who institutionalize the practice of supporting those who do this terrible act. When a father is found to be raping kids, they simply move the predator pedophile around and work hard to make sure justice cannot be served, and that the depraved man can find a new batch of children to break. Maybe they think they are above the law, or above even morality.

When you're this close to the point of no return, when you've shown the world that you're morally bankrupt and hopelessly hypocritical, you should have brushed past a moment of clarity; a sudden jolt should have rocked you and shaken you free from your corrupted ways – there should have been realization that you cannot stop the madness, and so you have to resign, unless you want to see this pattern of destructive behavior continue. If our pedophile priests ever had this moment of clarity, they have chosen to ignore it in favor of continuing the sexual conquest of young boys that trusted them to do what's right. The parents made the mistake of trusting religious leaders, and their children suffered the consequences. These young children pay too high a price for being forced by their parents to meet with rapists and sadists.

What will happen? Something must be done here, right? Surely the parties of God will do the right thing and do what they can to set the wrong things right! Surely parents across the world will learn from the mistakes of other heart broken guardians and keep their children away from this organization that has embraces and protects child rape...

Don't count on it.

The Vatican will continue to kill, rape, lie, and steal as it sees fit, and no country will arrest them -- like the common criminals they are -- when they land on foreign soil. They will continue to be called a benchmark of morality, justice, and ethics, even as they commit the most disgusting crime of all, and fight tooth and nail to avoid bringing the guilty to justice.

It's been said before, and it's worth repeating: the Vatican is a rogue state that harbors the most vile kind of criminals and legitimizes the practice of child rape. I think we could all agree that this kind of habit within the ranks of the Catholics is something that needs to end, unless we want to see more of our young people violated by those that are beyond the law.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Religion's smoking gun

I've noticed that theists often say their religion is backed up by faith, but then they contradict this by using logic to explain their beliefs in conversation. Here's an example:

"Do you believe in hell?"

"Yes I do."


"It makes sense that since there is heaven, there should be a hell. Sort of like a ying-yang line of thinking -- since there is light, there has to be dark."

This is really interesting. It presents us with some really good material for conversation, or in this case, writing. The first thing that comes to my mind is fairly simple: if you assume heaven exists solely based on faith, why would you do a 180 degree turn and use reason to explain hell? Seems a bit strange right? You start building the case using faith, then switch to using reason, and hope the listener doesn't see this? If you are rolling with faith, why not keep going with it? It seems as though the speaker wants to be seen as using reason, or logic, but can't use those tools to start the argument off, since this argument is a non-starter.

Another provocative thought on the "starting point" of heaven is really obvious: you start by asserting the existence of heaven, without valid justification, then use this assertion to build the case for the existence of hell. It's a really interesting move, and if it were a valid way to justify something we would have a much easier time building arguments. Here's an example of this kind of method:

"Since there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), it stands to reason that there must be a Flying Alfredo Monster, to establish a sort of balance between pasta toppings"

See? I just assert the existence of the FSM out of nowhere, and build off the baseless assertion in a manner that seems logical; all the while hoping no one asks for a logical explanation of the FSM. (since if they did, my trick would be exposed.) The idea of balance is one that people really react openly to, since we see plenty of examples in our day to day lives: how a woman's beauty counters her man's ugliness, or how a mother's caring nature offsets a father's heavy-handedness. Appealing to this kind of common observation is a really good idea, and it's sure to be ate up by those that are already hungry for it, but to those of us that don't start with our minds already made up, it's unlikely to do much convincing.

Another funny thought is: if you're using faith (which is simply wish-thinking) to backup claims, why would you wish for hell? Heaven is understandable -- it sounds, to most people at least, to be a pretty chill place. But why wish a terrible place like hell existed? I mean, since we're just wishing here, why not just wish for heaven and call it quits? The idea seems a bit mean right? If you're going to wish for things, at least do it without shitting on other people.

And that brings me to my conclusion. This insane wishing for other people to suffer unimaginable agonies and torture for the rest of eternity -- unjustly -- simply for not sharing your faith. Can you think of something more childish and petty? Murdering someone is one thing, since their suffering does come to an end; but wishing something like hell's eternal punishments on someone is nothing short of psychotic.

This isn't something that can be dodged by Christians either, as maturity demands that you have to wear the yolk of your faith, even if it sucks at times. If you hold a belief, and that belief is the reason for suffering, you're guilty by association. If you believe in, say, gang activity, we will hold you responsible for actions resulting from its practice. Same goes for fascism, stalinism, or any other ideology. So it seems to me that a theist should do a good bit of thinking on their beliefs, and do an accurate and responsible accounting of their faith's effect on other people. You aren't just killing people all over the world, you're wishing the worst possible divine punishment on them as well -- I think we can all agree this has to stop.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

The pushback against stupidity

The re-occurring stories of catholic molestation, and of course, their cover ups (way to take responsibility guys!) are almost more than reasonable people can stand. To make matters worse, the moderate and liberal Catholics can't be counted on to clean up their house; they show either lack of interest or inability to carry out basic justice. But their complete failures illuminate other failures, like philosophy's failure to teach the basics of ethics and virtue to the masses. Philosophers have had thousands of years to get this information out, and it seems they haven't done a very good job.

Our society at large seems to be stuck in a state of solipsism, we just don't give a shit about real knowledge or truth. We seem to think that opinions are enough to justify making objective truth claims; and we don't need empirical evidence – simple gut feelings will do. There seems to be too much value placed on a person's interpretation of something, rather than caring about the true properties of that something. In conversations we spend a good bit of time tripping over each others misunderstandings and subjective statements; it's very hard to talk about anything important when we're forced to spend most of the time debunking nonsense about that something. If philosophers had done a better job of teaching about humility, epistemology, and how to seek truth, I think we wouldn't have some of the problems we have now: the widespread sense that opinions are truth, the belief that being offended is sufficient reason to silence a person, and that we are all whiz-bang geniuses already and don't need to learn anything more than what we already “know”.

Though I don't feel philosophy is solely to blame, I do think it's fair to say that they should claim some of the responsibility for the rampant illogicality we see around us. I think philosophers have an acute sense of what effect their teachings could have on society, and should get their message out there much more than they have so far. When we still have entities like the Catholic church, and they continue to do what they do, it's clear that we need to step up to the plate and start solving some of these problems. But we can't go to bat confidently without having a firm grasp on basic philosophical principles, so let's get those principles out there, and into the hands of masses; it's plain to see we sorely need this stuff!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Atheist Blogroll

This blog has been added to the Atheist Blogroll, a free service that helps community building. If you have a blog you'd like entered, contact Mojoey.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Douglas Wilson

After watching "Collision" for the third time or so, I felt that Douglas Wilson did such a good job defending his faith and religion from the assault of Christopher Hitchens that I thought I should look up some more about him, and see what else he had to say about Theology. Since he did such a good job of presenting his Christian beliefs in a well read and organized way, I thought for sure I had to new reference for how a Christian can be moral. He seemed to have a clear (read: modern) idea of right and wrong -- from the stance of a humanist, or something like it.

I was wrong.

Sadly, brother Wilson seems to have a bad hangup with slavery, and gays of course. He seems to think that some of us should not be allowed to rise beyond the level of chattel slaves. He really thinks that slavery is okay, since his God has commanded it. To him, something as disgusting as slavery is cool, so long as the Magic Man says it is.

Douglas Wilson, you are wrong. Flat out, plain to see, absolutely, and commonly know to be, wrong. Not only are wrong, your view on liberty is revolting -- in the harshest meaning of the word. I would love to see you suffer, as others have, under a system as corrupt as slavery. I would love for your bulbous, swollen form to rise with the sun and work until your owners felt they've had a good share out of you. I would love for you to experience the shame and injury of having your chubby back whipped past the point of bleeding. Though I don't wish slavery on you, I wish you could get a real taste of it, just to drive the point home: your view on this matter is fucked.

I'm rarely, if ever, this harsh on a person for their views. People make mistakes in judgment, we get led down the wrong paths, blah blah -- but this goes further. Wilson says we should observe the biblical tradition on slaves because if we don't, we may give way to worse things -- like homosexuality.


What else can be said; Douglas is morally bankrupt, he's lost his way. Hopelessly perverted by some ancient teachings that cannot be reasonably attributed to their claimed authors. Teachings that cannot be reasonably accepted as decent. Teachings that are sufficiently evil enough to prevent them from being advocated anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. This kind of garbage belongs in history books, and is to be looked down upon by any person with an ounce of enlightenment.

I wonder if Douglas is so far gone he also treats his wife in the biblical way? Maybe he's stoned to death a few of his own children, for being nothing more than mischievous. I wonder, when was the last time brother Wilson killed a person for not keeping the sabbath? That's in the book as well Douglas; please don't be inconsistent. If you're going to be stupid, be ALL THE WAY stupid and murder people for working on the sabbath day. You won't, of course, since you haven't yet -- but that thought is inviting isn't it? Kill a few people in the name of Jebus, be found guilty by your own admission, and be promptly remanded to a federal facility filled past the brim with other violent offenders, the vast majority of which are Christian.

Since you're there, share your thoughts on slavery -- I'm sure it would be a hit.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sorry Texas

I seem to hear about a lot of boneheaded moves coming from the lone star state. The brothers and sisters on The Atheist Experience comment on the bad case of Christianity that is causing more than mild irritations with those of you in Texas that care about preserving our secular democracy.

Here's an example of the issue: Don McLeroy serves the public (kinda) by holding a seat on the Texas Board of Education (kinda), and like too many of his divinely inspired christian buddies, he seems to be letting his delusions shape his decisions in office. Rule of thumb Don: your religion is like your genetils, keep it to yourself unless invited to share. It seems McLeroy has taken a different approach:

"I was elected, I told people what I believed in, and what motivated me, and so what my goal is as an elected official is to speak up and do that."

Fantastic. Another Christian that thinks he needs to spread his illness. To children of course -- they're the most vulnerable. It's the same approach wild animals take when looking for the easiest victim: go for the young, or the sickly. I'm willing to bet that the fact of students being a captive audience played into this a bit; you know how the parties of God love a crowd that can't flee.

Just for fun, imagine if a military grade Atheist, or an outspoken Muslim, said what brother McLeroy did; the religious right would go megaton.


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Friday, March 12, 2010

Commandment #7

Yet another wasted opportunity to help humans along in their progress:

"Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy."

Really? This is it? This is the really important stuff that the claimed creator of the universe felt he had to command us to know? I have a long list of things people could do on a Sunday that are much more beneficial: Volunteer some time to charity, read a book, exercise, spend time with a loved one you don't see much, teach kids about critical thinking, work some overtime, etc. Just because the dudes that wrote this bible didn't want to do certain things on Sundays doesn't mean I have to sit around and praise a God; I could think of hundreds of better things to do.

What exactly is meant by "keep it holy"? How many different Christians believe different things about how to honor the seventh day? How are we sure Sunday is the real day of rest? The Jews that Christians stole their bible from seem to think Saturday is the day of rest, while Muslims claim Friday. Do we just assume all of the faiths are right, and we should have a three day chill period? This all seems very muddled, if the parties of God want to be taken seriously, they should at least re-edit their book and once again reform their dogmas to have a little more organization -- it would help their credibility along.

On a positive note, the punishment for breaking this command has been chilled a bit. Back in the day, if you didn't listen, you got killed. Thankfully we don't see that command being carried out as frequently as it may have been in the past.

That isn't to say that this commandment doesn't have terrible consequences on modern lives -- I can't buy booze on Sundays, thanks a ton guys!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hitchens does the ten commandments

Relevant? Anti-Theist content? Brother Hitchens? It's certainly worth the watch.

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Commandment #6

So it continues, here is number six. Yet another useless order:

"You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name."

Alright, this one is just a little less useless than the previous six; but still, not one single mention of morality in six orders. I think we could do better. No mention of murder, rape, theft, child abuse, etc. No advice about how to live a good life. No plan that will guide you to truth, or knowledge. Not one word about right action, and responsibility. Instead, we get orders barked at us about how we're supposed to fall in line.

Who gives a shit about us using the Lord's name in vain? Using John Stuart Mill's "Harm Principle" -- which seems to me to be a very reasonable benchmark -- we see that no one is harmed by us doing so. If there is no injury, why would it matter? Insecurity on God's part? What kind of God would be so crazy as to advise us against using his name in vain before advising us on basic human solidarity? This is more of the same: another nonsensical and petty command from an imaginary deity who has no sense of punishments that fit the claimed injuries.

Number seven isn't looking any better either.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

More jihad!

Muslims declare jihad on... Switzerland? I await the excuses and contradictions of moderate explanation.

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#5 is not looking any better...

The fifth commandment -- well, this particular version of the fifth commandment -- doesn't show much more promise than the previous four.

"but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments."

More of the same really -- another half-baked promise of love for those that will allow themselves to be broken by this revolting and immoral ideology. What this command is saying is something like:

"In trade for you surrendering your personal responsibilities, your mental faculties, your free will, and your dignity as an individual, I will give you and your children lots of love."

I'm going to have to pass, thank you very much. I rather enjoy my ability to make decisions, reason, and accept the consequences of my actions. I don't want to surrender the best parts of myself in order to gain the love of a bipolar half-wit who's opening commands are to love him, and only him. I'm not a serf, I won't be commanded about by anyone unless I choose to make it so; and I'll never allow an invisible man who murders babies to command me as his servant, as that man has demonstrated that he is not up to the task of morally guiding my actions.

Also, the whole "love" part of that commandment is a bit of a nonstarter. This god's love is, at times, not much different than willful neglect. I've noticed people that have this god's love don't seem to enjoy much of an advantage in life. I've seen this god's loved ones put out of a home for example, and that's just not something a person does to someone they claim to love. The least god could do would be to offer these beloved homeless people his couch for a night.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

#4 and still going strong

Alright, after a small break I'm back with more heretical blabbering. I love living in a country that supports this kind of expression in word as well as in print; it tastes like freedom.

"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me..."

Now, we've all had experience with an overly possessive girlfriend/boyfriend, what's our approach to dealing with this kind of nonsense?

Kick that shit to the curb.

I shouldn't have to instruct a grown woman/man on basic respect for other people, and the same goes for megalomaniacal deities. If you haven't learned to act right, that isn't my problem.

This commandment is very revealing in that god is acknowledging the terrible traits that many christians would have you believe he doesn't have; he is confirming that he's a absolute dictator with a real hair up his ass for questioning personalities and those who choose to walk without him. This is pretty far from the image presented by christians currently; I was led to believe god was a benevolent type, not Stalin on steroids.

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