Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't read this post, I'm going megaton.

I'm in a bit of a grumpy mood today, so I'm going to tee off on theism/religion and some of the laughable things that come out of the mouths of their participants. This is going to get bumpy, you've been warned.

“We can agree to disagree.”

It's true, we can agree to not see eye-to-eye on this subject, but don't think for one minute that this puts both of our arguments on equal footing; one argument is clearly not as logical or reasonable as the other. Don't get it twisted, the theist world view is founded on myths that shouldn't survive elementary school, so if we agree to disagree don't mistake it as a nod of respect for your views or argument. The idea of gods is idiotic at best, and destructive to humanity at worst. I'll respect the person, but I steadfastly refuse to respect their cult, or their creepy beliefs. They get only a cold tolerance based on my respect for the freedom of religion, don't count on conversational tolerance if you start yammering about magic men in the sky and how real they are.

“God X is immaterial, and outside space and time.”

I don't have to waste time pointing out how silly this belief is, the theist does all that work for me. But as soon as they assert their god is undetectable, the opposition wins. Removing all the criteria we use to validate a claim doesn't somehow magically make it true, since we now have no way to determine it's existence we have to disregard its possibility of being true. The theist will literally argue their god into non-existence all the while thinking they're pulling a fast one – I don't think so scooter, try again.

“But it's true for me!”

If the god exists only inside your head – only inside your consciousness – then fine, have at it. But when you say it exists outside of your imagination, if you say it's actually true, that becomes a whole new ball game. If you want to say your god is real, that it exists in the outside world, you adopt a burden of proof to demonstrate your claim as being true, just like everyone else. Can't muster the proof? Tough shit, try again when you can. It's arrogant and childish to think the world outside your mind has any obligation to fit your demands – reality has zero responsibility to change itself to fit your idea of what it should be. If the burden of proof is too much for theists to handle, then they need to go stand in the back of the room with the rest of the cultists.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jon Stewart

After a break I'm back, and I bring Jon Stewart and the daily show...

*NOT WORK FRIENDLY* since it ends up with Jon Stewart telling Muslim Extremists to go fuck themselves. Nice.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sarah Palin shows her ability to reason

I never fail to laugh at Sarah Palin's latest antics. It seems like every time I see her in the news for something it's because she's lying or misleading people; which is par for the course in terms of christianity, but I was hoping that since she thinks herself worthy of leadership roles she would be just a cut above average in things like honesty, knowledge, wisdom, or virtue -- no such luck. She's a walking disaster, a talking train wreck.

This time she's lying through her teeth about the religious beliefs of our founders (as if that is relevant in some way...) and pushing more of this "Christian Nation" myth. I really don't understand the illogical nature of those who buy into this myth; but I'm not surprised to see someone of Palin's quality throwing in with them. She's a sort of perfect storm for the modern conservative: hopelessly under-informed about important things, thinks her opinion is synonymous with fact or reality, feels entitlement as if she's accomplished something significant on the national level, and feels it's her job to force her religion on others -- unconstitutionally -- through the power of the state.

Sarah, thanks for the laughs doll!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

James Randi rocks!

Here's a video that was shot at TED in 2007, and has just now surfaced. In it, James Randi takes an overdose of homeopathy sleeping pills -- don't worry he's fine since he took an overdose of fake medicine, not stuff that actually could hurt or help him. He makes some pretty good points though; it really is depraved to sell your claimed "psychic" powers to the grieving and heartbroken who are still coping with the loss of a loved one. Even to a heartless Atheist that seems just a little too predatory and disingenuous.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rightists and double standards about religion

There seems to be a few logical errors in the ideology and message work of the religious right, the same folks that want to force their views of God into your home and into your life. The topic of church/state separation illustrates one of their more revealing double standards, and sources of embarrassment. There's a forehead slapping contradiction in their ideologies and their propaganda of how Washington is supposed to interact with their lives: when it comes to their health-care, they say 'hell no' but when it comes to their personal beliefs about religion they resound with an approving 'hell yes'! So on one hand they tell us government is not the solution, but then they turn around and say how it most certainly and emphatically is the solution – to forcing their religion on others.

They want the gubment out of our homes, unless that gubment is pushing a goal that falls in line with the personal beliefs of the conservative movement – then they want the state in everyone's house. This is leftist thinking, isn't it? Are they not doing the very same thing they decry progressives and democrats for doing? If you're paying attention the answer is obvious.

They actually mean to say they welcome that bumbling, idiotic, wasteful government (they remind us of those qualities daily in their media don't they?) into their highly personal beliefs about God? They trust those 'crooks' in government with their God, but not their wallets, or their health-care? What does this observation say about their capriciousness in deciding what the state is allowed, or not allowed, to participate in? What can they offer against the argument that conservatives have a private agenda for the direction of government, just the same as progressives do, and are criticized by the right for having?

So, when these hypocritical and ideologically misguided rightists beg for help and handouts from those of us they routinely patronize and denigrate as “enemies of freedom in Washington” – why should those (now insulted) people in Washington not reply by first addressing their insulter's rude and contradictory behaviour? What kind of nonsense are religious conservatives trying to sell by pushing these shameful double standards on the rest of us? Are we supposed to accept that they should be the only ones to have access to the powers of the state? And thereby, would they not be usurping democracy as all of history has know it? What an embarrassingly stinky aroma to have to wear in public; a stench that warns of the deeper corruption that's reliably found in those people (authoritarians) who foolishly maintain double standards, and those that are also guilty of basic hypocrisy and special pleading.

I'd instead suggest that those in favor of using the state to spread their personal religious views correct these positions and messages before demanding by force and violence (read: using the powers of the state) that others should have to follow their rules, or accept those conservative views as reality. I submit that if you're a small government conservative that also believes in establishing an official religion for our secular state, you have an ideological tenant that isn't paying its logical rent.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Count the fallacies with Christopher Hitchens!

Watch Hitchens meet head-on with one of those "christian nation" living-in-my-fantasy types. (they're the worst since when you get some of them on your shoe, it takes forever to wash it off.)

I gave up counting at five fallacies; watch and be amazed at how many miles the christian got out of that presidential non-sequitur!

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Friday, April 16, 2010

National Prayer Day

So even after all the work has been put in, after we've wrestled time and time again, the parties of God (or those working on their behalf) will still use the levers of the state to advance their religious ideas. Obama doesn't care about the Lemon Test? I can't say I'm surprised to see this coming from him.

What happened to the beautiful liberal spirit of freedom we were founded on? You could worship your divine dictator and I could go undisturbed; is that too much freedom for the faithful to handle? Of course we know the answer; spreading their religion is required and encouraged at the cost of your freedom from it -- though if you confront one of them on their infraction they may very well retreat behind the "it's a personal belief" card, thus negating criticism or further debate about it.

Not anymore, at least not with me.

If our government is doing things like a national prayer day, I think I'm entitled to return conversational fire; to mercilessly grill anyone who's trespassing on my/your freedoms. Want to tell me the good news? Then I want to tell you about the shocking and revolting immorality of your God and religion -- sounds reasonable to me. If the parties of God don't want a verbal water-boarding session about their disgusting beliefs, then they'd do well to stop knocking on other people's doors.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mexico has Catholic pedophilia problems too?!

Child rape inside the catholic church is spinning madly past the zone of WTF and straight into the twilight zone of "can this really be happening?"

Another predatory preacher in the land that tries to sell itself as something like a constitutional republic has come forward and admitted to molesting over 200 kids, including two of his own children!

Words don't describe the depth of this kind of crime. Maybe if these child raping pigs had a faith that actually held them accountable for their own actions, they'd act like civilized people.

Just sayin'

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

David Cross

I don't know who this is, but I like his style.

Also, the game.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring cleaning

I want to touch on a few misconceptions that are floating around. Since we know that progress relies on knowledge, and knowledge relies on clarity, I think it'd be beneficial to strip away some of the false notions that have attached themselves to ideas we trade in religious debate. By scrubbing these ideas under warm soapy water we can clear away the muck that has been allowed to gather on them, and by doing so we help move the conversation along since we'll all be armed with a higher grade of ideas. So here we go!

“It takes more faith to be an Atheist.”

This idea is both wrong and strange, I'll start with showing why it's wrong. Atheism is not a faith position. At all. Not even kinda. It's simply the disbelief in one or more deities, or the supernatural. And since we don't have any evidence for believing in any of the near 10,000 Gods that humans have put forward over the years, the act of not believing in any one of them doesn't require any faith at all. Gods have never met their burden of proof and so they can be safely dismissed as a non-truth. (as one man puts it: that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.)

If I told you that there was a square-circle on your head right now, and you didn't believe me, would you say that it requires faith to disbelieve? Of course not, since you know that a square-circle can't exist, it requires no faith at all to dismiss my assertion. Now If I would've said something rational, like: “broseph, you have some hair on your head” – that would've been a different story since you know hair can exist on heads.

“Atheism can't tell me how we got here, so I'm sticking with God.”

This is like your boss telling you that since you can't breath acidic fluids, he's going to replace you with a square-circle that claims it can. The first problem with your boss's thinking is pretty obvious: humans aren't meant to breathe acidic fluids, so to criticize them for not being able to is really illogical. Atheism isn't a scientific discipline, it isn't an answer factory – it's a reply to claims of the supernatural. If you don't require Atheism to bake you a delicious cake, then why would you expect it to do any other task it's not meant to do? Should we not believe in Judaism simply because it can't explain what's occupying the galactic center?

The second problem with this scenario is the choice of “replacement”. Again, a square-circle cannot exist; so when a person comes to any conclusion that requires the existence of one, we know the conclusion will fail since it relies on an impossibility. Think of it like this: if you submit a mathematical proof that starts off by stating “this proof assumes that 1+1=Bacon”, we don't have to continue past the start since we know the proof will fail. Saying that God explains how we got here is not much different than saying 1+1=Bacon – they're both wrong. As a side-note, at least Bacon can deliver eternal life and unending bliss, can your God do that?

“Well, Hitler and Stalin were Atheists, so belief is better than unbelief!”

Wow, really? First I'd point out that Atheism was not the cause for what those two did. Stop the internal dialogue, that wasn't the reason. Hitler and Stalin are great examples of authoritarian style of rule, and what it produces. Secondly, to say Hitler was an Atheist is to be pretty dishonest, he never once denounced his catholicism, as a matter of fact he said he was doing “the lord's work” in his book. He rallied against secular schools demanding religion be taught, and the first deal he cut as the new leader was with the catholic church, a church that liked him enough to celebrate his birthday every year! He talked about not only God, but about Jesus, in his speeches and in private; and he went so far as to have “God with us” put on the belts of his soldiers. I think the religious right is trying to pull a fast one on us, trying to pin the mess of their creation on other people like Atheists and socialists.

Lastly, this argument really fails and here's why: if we grant the dishonest tweaking of causation to make Atheism the cause of what those two did, the religious really screw themselves – their body count can then be measured not in millions, or tens of millions, not even in hundreds of millions – but we soar all the way up to the one billion mark (some say more). So it seems that after some really... creative... tactics the arguer only manages to present a rod for his own back. If I had the evils of religion weighing heavily on my shoulders I'd be very humble with any talk about force and violence; but in the highly compartmentalized mind of the average monotheist no such need exists, since their religion is only the one in their head, and things outside of their construct, like reason and evidence, often fail to penetrate.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Proofs for the existence of God part 3

The third proof we'll look at is presented by William Lane Craig, a leading Christian apologist and philosopher. Craig is known for being as well thought out in his philosophy as he is well rehearsed in his debates. Given some of his great performances against some of the better thinkers in the Atheist movement, he has painted a bit of a target on his back – he's wrecked Hitchens, put Stenger on the ropes, and has been dodged by Dawkins. Here is a syllogism of the argument:

p1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
p2. The universe began to exist
c1. Therefore the universe had a cause

The argument is similar to Aquinas' proof that we looked at in a previous post, except this version goes a bit further by putting the Christian God (CG) outside of Space and Time (S/T). In putting the CG way out there, it makes the proof a bit more believable when it states that the CG was the creator of everything in the universe. After all, it's crazy to assume a being that exists inside of S/T created that S/T – everyone knows you can't exist in something you haven't built yet.

Craig start running aground because even if we granted the claim of the CG transcending our S/T, it doesn't mean that it necessarily exists outside all space and time, that's an assumption on his part, not a claim backed by our knowledge. It may be plausible that since the CG exists outside our S/T, it could have its own S/T, but William Lane Craig doesn't roll with a God that has it's own S/T, he maintains that the CG transcends every S/T – the CG is space-less and time-less – and he does so by simply asserting it as true. We have zero empirical evidence to believe this, it's another faith position.

This argument seems to have some special pleading as well, that's a common problem with these kinds of arguments, if a believer can't make the argument work, they'll just change the rules to help it along. The problem with this proof is that it grants the CG an immunity to the infinite regression while at the same time stating that nothing can be immune to the regression. Well, how logical is that?

I don't normally hear a lot of talk about this next problem, but I think it's worth considering at least; there seems to be an equivocation fallacy relating to one of the terms being used. It's not so clear in the syllogism, but if you ever hear brother Craig talk about this proof it becomes much more clear. In the early part of the proof, the word “cause” is used in the sense of coming from preexisting materials, in the same way my nephew builds his playthings from a preexisting pile of Legos. But as the argument continues, the definition of the word “cause” changes to reflect something that doesn't come from pieces preexisting. One minute we have a pile of Legos which we use to build something, and the next minute, we act as if the Lego pile never existed – I think there's something wrong there.

But that's not all, this argument has another problem: if the CG has a mind – which it must if it's making choices, taking conscious action, or otherwise exercising its own volition – then its mind must exist outside of S/T, with the rest of the God. If that's the case, it follows that we could characterize the CG's mind as being non-temporal (having no time) and non-spatial (having no space, or matter). But that's a big problem since a mind that's non-temporal (read: non-changing) is by definition non-functioning: a mind has to be allowed to change, since it has to be able to reason, will, and feel to be considered a mind, and the only way a mind can do those things is if it has time to do so. A timeless mind would get nothing done since it couldn't take in new information, it can't think about that new information, or form thoughts about what to do with it, since it doesn't have the time to do any of that. By putting the creator outside of S/T, Craig has only accomplished making a self-contradicting entity – one having a changeless mind – and entities of that variety cannot exist.

Thanks again for sticking with these longer posts, I hope some of you found it worthwhile. If you think this subject is worth hearing about, subscribe or digg it please!

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Proof for the existence of God part 2

I'm a fan of Thomas Aquinas, he contributed a fair share to philosophy. Among his better known contributions is the first mover argument, or the argument from first cause. This one goes waaaaay back to around 1250. Though Aquinas was a great thinker, he was a bit odd when it came to the supernatural: I heard he claimed to have flown around the towers of Notre Dame. This proof for God is as follows:

p1. Everything must have a cause.
p2. Nothing can cause itself.
p3. A casual chain cannot be infinite.
c1. Therefore, a first cause has to exist.

This seems like a fairly good argument to some people, but overall this is another argument of wanting, it only convinces those who are friendly to the conclusion to begin with. The first problem we see with this proof is familiar: it's illogical to simply plug your favorite god into the argument as the first cause, or the unmoved mover. This isn't 'Nam man, we have rules. If it can be the Christian God (CG), it can just as easily be the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's another one of those arguments that starts with a canvas of logic, then quickly spirals into a work that resembles a confused watercolor from yours truly after half a day on the whiskey.

Putting that aside, another obvious problem is presented, a pretty bad self-contradiction haunts this proof. It's not kosher to say everything has to have a cause, then turn around and say that one special cause itself doesn't need any cause at all. This has the familiar stench of special pleading, which is reflective of the time Aquinas did his philosophy; back then, if your work didn't include the CG you may have found yourself out of the evolutionary contest.

Also, this argument calls for the question of where does the God come from? Does the God have a cause? If it does -- or could -- then all we've done is stalled the proof at the insertion of God with no empirical way to move forward. It may be said that adding the CG to this argument only muddles the infinite casual chain even more, since we can't determine if the CG has a cause or not.

On the subject of infinity, it's worth noting that our minds are not fond of dealing with it, but that doesn't mean the rest of reality shares our baggage with the concept. This solipsism is obviously not supported when we look at how little the universe seems to care about our comforts and welfare; are we supposed to believe that the universe with an age of about 14,000,000,000 years cares about the mental constraints of a young (200,000 years tops?) upstart race on a remote planet that itself is hostile to their very existence? Clearly, the universe doesn't have a care for us: one day it will give you beautiful child that fills your life with a purpose far beyond driven, and the next morning: a fatal brain aneurysm. It's clear to see that our kind isn't meant to stand as the primary benefactor of all creation, and it stands to reason that reality doesn't care about our uneasiness with infinity.

In relation to infinite casual chains, there have been more than a few scientists armed with information unknown to Aquinas, that have come forward to say that the big bang was the beginning of everything, in all dimensions, so asking what came before the big bang is like asking what's farther north than the north pole.

Overall, this argument isn't going to convince that many thinkers (anymore), but considering what Aquinas had to work with, and the conditions he had to work under, he made some real pieces of work that have lasted quite a long time.

Thanks for sticking through the longish article, I hope you found it worth the effort.


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Saturday, April 10, 2010


Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics.

You're all stardust.

You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded, because the elements carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter, for evolution, weren't created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode.

So forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be here today.

- Lawrence Krauss

I'm sure we've all seen this before, but it really is mind-blowing.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Freedom of Expression

Given the recent climate of political and religious debate, I thought I would dig up an old essay about one of our most important freedoms: the right to speak as we see fit. As a free-thinker I believe the FoS is extremely important to all of us, and I feel incredible gratitude toward anyone who has helped us along our way of instituting and preserving this freedom.

I'm going to try the embed feature on Scribd rather than copy/paste the whole thing, hopefully it works well.

Freedom of Speech

Also, this video absolutely rocks. Thanks again for reading.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Violence is the tool of the immoral

With the increasing violence from the political right we're faced with more examples of why we need philosophy / critical thinking taught to our young people. I would argue that if people had a better grasp on clear thinking we wouldn't see so much of this American political violence, we would begin to find ways of enacting change without having to drop our morals and pick up guns. Anytime someone calls for thug violence (I'm looking directly at you tea-party brothers) in response to non-violent issues they tip their hand, and reveal to all of us that they're clearly not serious about freedom or solutions. When you reduce your political methods to threats and violence, you excuse yourself from normal and healthy debate; you literally move yourself to the margin – in the same fashion an angry child moves himself (with the teacher's help) to the corner when he destructively acts on his emotions.

If you think that real political change can come from threatening our politicians like a bunch of gangsters or Ku Klux Klan members, you're wrong. If you think that your guns will somehow help us maintain freedom and liberty, you're wrong. If you think that force and violence can bring about peace and liberty, you have only to look around the world and see the failure of your beliefs. Let's see how well force and violence are helping those in Africa, or the Middle East, or Palestine. No luck there? Okay, let's look at Ireland, Burma, and Columbia. Still having problems in finding a working example?

The verdict is in: violence only begets violence. If you still cling to fantasies of a Red Dawn style attack, or a repeat of the Revolutionary War you need to wake up and look around. Let go of your childish wishes and realize what the rest of us already know: this isn't the 18th century anymore, we have other solutions. These pro-violence types seem to think pointing a gun is somehow going to fix our problems, what they don't see is that every time we use the gun, we invalidate our own morality and message by using force to enact change we failed to produce through rational means – the gun signifies failure and should be a point of embarrassment by all those involved.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Proof for the existence of the Christian God part 1

Proper thanks to anyone who reads the blog today, it's going to be just a little longer than normal – but if you like to think about proof for the existence of God, you may find this informative, or at least thought provoking. So, here's one version of the argument from design, or the teleological argument:

p1. We appear to observe features in nature too complex to have happened by chance
p2. These features exhibit the hallmark appearance of design
p3. Design implies that there must be a designer
c1. Therefore nature must be the result of an intelligent designer
c2. This designer is the Christian God

This argument has quite a few holes, even at a glance. The first premise has some special pleading (applying or removing standards without proper justification in this case) which invalidates it. The assertion that some life is “too complex” to have been produced by evolution is not valid unless we have some evidence for thinking it's true. We can't take an option off the table without presenting good reasons for doing so, and we all know that simply asserting something is possible or impossible doesn't make it so. On top of special pleading it contains a nice straw man fallacy: it states that evolution is a theory of chance, which is inaccurate, and I may even argue is dishonest. When stronger and faster humans are competing with weaker and fatter humans in a game of survival, you can hardly call it chance when the better specimen wins the contest time and time – one type is more adequately suited to compete, and thus live on to pass their genes down. Another problem with premise one is that it's a mere argument from ignorance, basically it says: “I can't understand it, so no one can!” We know this kind of thinking to be silly and invalid; most of us don't understand the operations of our car engines, but it doesn't follow that no one can understand those inner workings.

Moving down to premise two, we see more problems. What is design exactly, and how do we see evidence of it in the nature world? It seems to me to be a little ambiguous, at the very least. I admit the complexity we observe in nature is jaw-dropping, so is nature's beauty, and its appearance of order – as a whole nature is just overwhelming! But simply stating that these qualities cannot occur naturally doesn't fly. Again, we have to demonstrate why our claims are true. This is another instance of special pleading, we can't simply state things as fact and expect it to pass through the logic filter. Certainly, no theologian would let me assert that a large purple dragon is responsible for all the “design” we see in the world, they would certainly pin me down on this stupid assertion – and they would be right to do so since I don't have any proper evidence to backup my dragon claim. This standard must be applied equally to any position within the discussion, if we want to be honest anyways.

Now, since we've established one or more bad premises, we are not required to continue entertaining this argument. The rules are simple: if we run into a bad premise, we can stop reading and put the argument aside since it's a non-starter, it failed due to a bad premise. If we choose to continue, we do so out of curiosity, or some other interest, not because the argument is sound, or intellectual honesty demands it. But, I'd like to continue looking at the design argument, even if it's belly up.

The conclusion(s), like the premises, are less than acceptable. Though there are a few problems with the conclusion(s), I'll just stick to the one I think is the most interesting and run with it: why does it have to be God A, B, or C? What empirically valid evidence do we have to conclude that the complexity we see is the handiwork of the God of Abraham, or Baal, or any of the deities of the Canaanites? It seems like a waste of time to go this far into the argument just to fall back on wish thinking. Since one party can insert the Christian God (CG) into this hole that's been fallaciously manufactured, what stops another party from inserting their God? What if the ever popular Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) wants a turn being injected into the argument? Can we put forward good reasons to deny him and his complex carbohydrates? I don't think so. Our inability to deny the FSM is one of the reasons this argument doesn't work for the CG: inability to support the claim that any particular God is the cause of the perceived “design”. There is so much more to say about the teleological argument, but this is a blog post, not an essay, so we'll end here.

BONUS! As a reward for those of you who are still reading, here's a real treat... Bertrand Russell had the following to say about the subject of design in our universe:

"Really I am not much impressed with the people who say: "Look at me: I am such a splendid product that there must have been design in the universe." I am not very much impressed by the splendor of those people. Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is merely a flash in the pan; it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions and temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless".

Thanks for reading!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Islamic Extremism

(you can fast forward to 2:30 if you're impatient)

Islam's war on freedom continues, I guess they're tired of dominating the females and free-thinkers already in their clutches and feel they need more subjects to abuse. While some of Europe has allowed this cancerous faith to take root in their territories and begin to corrupt their societies, I'm glad that America hasn't. Islam will find that America does not capitulate to the kind of violence and bigotry other countries have; we value the freedom of expression and religion, as well as equal civil rights for all of our citizens.

Should Islam continue to attack us, or our values, they will not find a silent victim. If they wish to use the gun to spread their ideas, they will find us to be the wall in their path. We learned from great enlightenment thinkers like John Locke that freedom and liberty should not be subject to religious approval, and we embraced this as a core belief in the American experiment. I'm proud to live in a country that will hold the line against religious domination and theocracy, and put the freedom of the masses above the prejudices of a few.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Really Bill? Really?

What else can the Catholic church do to demonstrate their complete moral failure? I mean, after raping children where do you go? I'm sure that other psychopaths are standing in wide-eyed amazement at the staggering power of the christian media machine; these perverted old virgins rape children they've been charged with overseeing, and somehow...

The gays are to blame.

Head = asploded

P.S. Happy Pagan holiday!

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Meat rampage!

This is just too strange to let pass without comment. Some bro in Indiana goes on an anti-meat rampage at a local super-market, in the name of protecting young girls from getting fat, and also because -- you guessed it -- God wanted him to.

Isn't it strange how people's Gods share the same views they do? Anti-choice people have Gods that are also anti-choice, advocates of state violence have Gods that favor murder and violence, peaceful and open-minded people have peaceful and open-minded Gods -- you see what I'm saying.

Have the faithful not noticed this pattern? Have they noticed, but try not to think about it? Most of us heard about the study that reveals when we think about what God would want, we actually use the same parts of the brain that we'd use to think about what we want, this further supports the view that Gods are a projection, and some of the content projected is our own world view or opinions about certain topics. This is the same process by which we project our consciousness onto inanimate objects: we think that hammer meant to hit our thumb, we stub our toe and think "stupid end-table!" and we believe there's a magic man in the sky that just coincidently happens to share our personal views on hot topics.

I don't really believe that the faithful have failed to notice that their Gods hate the same people they do; I think they have observed that when they kill, rape, or torture people, God is just fine with it, or has commanded it. It would be really hard to not see this phenomena, and I wonder what the faithful think about it. I'll ask around and see what explanations I get.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

More commandments!

Alright, time to get back to commenting on the ten commandments, and their foundations, as found in Exodus 20.
After God instructs us about his (third) holy day, we finally arrive at a commandment that instructs us in a useful way:

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

First, the good part: showing respect for your mother and father is important, just as important as showing respect to others in your family, and in society at large. After so much ranting and raving from a hyper-possessive God it's refreshing to hear something worthwhile, and you can't go wrong by showing people respect. While it isn't really deep moral teaching as much as it's another order to embrace authority and sing it's praises, this commandment is leaps and bounds better than the previous bunch.

Secondly, the bad part: the assertion that the land you live on was somehow given to you by God is a pretty silly one; I've never found a rational explanation for how or when this gift was given, and so that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Having your beliefs is one thing, since what goes on inside your mind is your business, but when that belief starts to make objective truth claims about reality, it must accept being examined or tested for validity -- seems fair enough to me at any rate.

One swipe from Occam's Razor seems to settle this matter for me: the most simplistic answer to the question of how I came to live on this land is certainly one that doesn't involve a super-complex and self-contradicting deity -- which people seem to struggle in defining in the first place -- and for who's existence we have zero empirical evidence. Natural explanations are not only simpler, but have evidence to back them up, and even better is the fact that they contain the humility to not claim to know things they do not, or can not, know. Honesty and evidence are important to establishing claims as being fact or fiction, and it's in that area that Gods have a habit of not meeting their burden of proof.

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