Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tim Minchin has a properly modern moral zeitgeist.

As I noted previously, the Catholic church and the apologists for the church do not understanding that we put children above the rule of law or any other such things. Doing anything other than completely shunning people who rape children is unacceptable.

Fake Ark, Hoaxes, and psychics.

Apparently there is no God. The Noah's Ark thing was fake. Which clearly means everything in Christianity is a hoax. Just like Piltdown man proved Evolution was fake. However, every atheist I know predicted that the Ark was a fake. Which means that atheists are psychic and have supernatural powers or at the very least some sort of magical power that is not understood. Since clearly something seemingly amazing = something supernatural = something divine = God exists. It's like a paradox wrapped in a paradox wrapped in a hoax circled by some thing that looks a bit like silly lies.

I was the archaeologist with the Chinese expedition in the summer of 2008 and was given photos of what they now are reporting to be the inside of the Ark. I and my partners invested $100,000 in this expedition (described below) which they have retained, despite their promise and our requests to return it, since it was not used for the expedition. The information given below is my opinion based on what I have seen and heard (from others who claim to have been eyewitnesses or know the exact details).

So $100,000 grand for a few hoax pictures. Jeepers. I'd make a fake claim about finding Noah's Ark for tenth that price.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Pope, the Moral Zeitgeist, and Children.

With the latest bit of hot water the church is in with regard to priests diddling kids and the Catholic Church covering it up, I'd like to point out that the Church is immoral. Not the obvious way, clearly diddling kids is bad and even if the stock lame denials the apologists for the Church give lip service to the badness of molestation.

Interestingly, when defenders advocate an innocent until proven guilty stance or argue that such matters should be dealt with restraint and without jumping to conclusions, they are being tacitly immoral. The US law (codified in the 6th amendment) of innocent until proven guilty and giving people their day in court doesn't apply to people who diddle children!

If you touch a child, the general view is far more Biblical. With regard to children, we're fine ruining people's lives with the accusation, forcing you to live in the streets for the rest of your life (sometimes everywhere in a city are too close to schools, etc), or if you go to prison having the general population shank you to death. Murderers get to wait decades on death row before dying in prison. If you touch a kid, you end up stabbed to death by bloodless hands. This is generally the moral zeitgeist with regards to touching children, and most defenders of the Catholic Church are going against this when they advocate that priests shouldn't be condemned in cases where there's very little evidence (often just an individual who said that the priest molested them), but that's enough. When it comes to touching children, we shrug at the murder of a man.

The Catholic church is reviled for covering for pedophile priests. The fact that they fail to put children ahead of their own self interests causes them far more trouble than they would ever expect. Most of society puts children before the rule of law. When defenders of the Church argue that we should embrace the rule of law because it appears to defend their interests, they aren't really understanding that kids are above the law. They are putting their religion, their faith, and their God before children and that's a huge mistake.

Some people suggest that maybe celibacy is the problem with priests. I think that that is tangentially correct for the wrong reason. Celibacy is the problem, not because it prevents priests from having a proper understanding of sex but rather because it stops them from understanding parenthood. Because if these "Fathers" were fathers, they'd understand why societies are far more fire and brimstone than 6th Amendment when you fondle children. They would better understand why the church protecting pedophiles is such a deeply immoral thing. There's a reason why "think of the children!" is such an effective rallying cry, because we really do think of the kids. When the Church administration says "think of the priests!" or the defenders of the church says "think of the law!" they are both woefully shortsighted as to the values most people have.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

There seem to be two main factions of tea partiers.

They are typically the Sarah Palin wing and the Ron Paul wing. In other words the old saying that "nothing is ever sure excepted death and taxes" has one wing delusion enough to deny the former and the other wing delusion enough to deny the latter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Palin and Jefferson.

There's a sort of strange revisionist history that suggests that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, when in reality it was founded as a secular government with a separation between church and state. My guess is she simply accepts the alternative history, the one that gets voted down 9-3 by the Texas School Board.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the montebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus." - Thomas Jefferson

I love the word montebanks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am so smart. I am so smart. S-M-R-T... S-M-R-T....

You answered 33 out of 33 correctly — 100.00 %

Antitheism summarized.

Why do you think religion is harmful?

When you do stupid things, people get hurt. Religion is one of those stupid things you can do.

Robert Sapolsky: The brilliant thing I've seen in a while.

I understand that not everybody shares my interests in the most boring and stupid things. So here's some awesome. I know nobody reads this, but I'd hate to keep subjecting you to things that are admittedly completely stupid.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Short Film: The Atheist -- Dumbest thing I've seen in a while.

God doesn't want a good world he wants a super good world so he makes evil exist. And evil is like the hole in a doughnut or simply the absence of good. So let me get this straight, God is required by freewill to make a world where suffering can eventually exist. But what about natural disasters? Is it really the product of free will to kill tens of thousands in Haiti (what ever happened to that place, I assume it all turned out okay if they stopped paying attention on the news) or a quarter million during the Boxing Day Tsunami. What free will brought that about? And what logical contradiction is wrought by not allowing a young child to be tortured, raped, and killed? If I endeavor to stop such things, am I denying the rapist his free will? And if this world is suppose to be the greatest world God could create without a logical contradiction (Plantinga's argument) then certainly I could do nothing to make this world better, but I really think I can. Further, Christian doctrine suggests that there is something called "Heaven" which is suppose to be a better world, so if true then this can't really be the best world possible.

I've always been an advocate that the best theodicies (proposed answers to the problem of evil) are all themselves worse than the problem of evil. They try to violate one of the premises without seeming too terrible. If God is all-powerful, all-good, and is able to remove evil, then there should be no evil. Since there is evil, it must be the case that God is not all-powerful or god is not all-good. Also, fun side note Isaiah 45 has god say "I create evil." a few lines before insisting that nobody is besides him (a pretty silly notion for a God who sacrificed himself to himself to sit at his own right hand).

Such apologetics even jazzed up in a video are still crap. Go figure.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Geekgasm. Dr. Horrible in NES-style.

Omg. This is the geekest things I've ever loved more than breathing. That's right inhale comes after exhale.

(via ERV)

Near Death Experiences are not Death Experiences.

It turns out it's probably CO2 overdose rather than O2 deprevation that causes NDEs. But still the obvious problems that there is a rather central fallacy at the center of NDE claims. Mainly that near death experiences are like almost-death experiences, so death is like an NDE only longer and stranger and grander. That isn't very likely. When an electronic device is damaged and starts sparking all over the place is it proper to conclude that a completely broken electronic device is a massive fire or bigger sparks? No. The the damaging and sparking go away and it ceases to function. Why people claim that death is like when your brain is very damaged and throwing sparks and crazy things around only more escapes me. The far more likely conclusion is that brains go a bit wonky when they aren't given proper air.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I reply to some jackasses.

It's seems a sign of boredom a little bit like throwing my holy relics to the dogs. As I doubt anybody more than a couple people will see my reply to some aforementioned jackass buried deep on the interwebs I'll repost it here, upping that count by about 4.
I admonish you to start living a principled life. Stop using a Christian date to cash your checks and take a stand young man!

You are a parasite to living order. As the Soviet Union and China have shown us, when a parasite gets control of government, bad things happen. Only when a society is full of living philosophy can an Atheist flourish. The proof is in how the greatest Atheist thinkers have come from nations that have majority Christian populations and deep and rich histories of Christianity. There are no great Atheist thinkers coming from any other culture, even Atheist cultures!

... *grumble*

I've lived a very principled life for many many years. It's rather silly to admonish me to do such things. What do you think I do? I'll stop using BCE/CE dating systems when you stop using the names of pagan gods for the days of the week. This being Wotan's Day and really close to Thor's Day, that might be hard.

Atheist thinkers known to people in the west come from, typically, the west. As such the claim that only Christian cultures produce "thinkers" is rather silly because most cultures are going to be tainted with a good deal of Christian history. That said there are Salman Rushdie was born in a primarily Hindu culture Ayaan Hirsi Ali comes from a Muslim culture, Epicurus and some of the atheistic ancient Greeks came out of Pagan culture. On top of that, most of the major atheist thinkers throughout history and the history of opposition to religion finds its roots firmly in Enlightenment thinking.

There was once a time when everybody believed in God and the Church ran everything, it was called the Dark Ages. If democracy and secularism and Enlightenment freedoms were the result of Christian thought, why didn't they arise during the dark ages? Today in Europe there are a number of quite secular countries that are majority atheist and have the highest standards of living in Europe. Denmark, Sweden, etc score the lowest rates of violent crime, the lowest rates of infant mortality, the highest rankings as far as happiness, and some of the lowest numbers in religiosity. Likewise the United States has some of the highest infant mortality, the highest violent crime rate, the lowest levels of education, some terrible societal happiness scores and the highest religiosity. And even between individual states we find that the states with the highest religiosity have the highest infant mortality, the lowest education, and the highest crime rates. Much of history and social science seems to tell us that religion doesn't go hand in hand with happier people or healthier people. In fact, it seems rather clearly as if the more atheistic peoples of the world might have better idea of how best to live as a functional society.

There do seem to be some ways to live that are notably better and more conducive to good people than others. It may be true that putting women in burkas and preventing them from leaving the house without a male escort might lead to a more peaceful society, but I don't think it will, and I think that such things could be measured and quantified and some people may not have good things to say about the topic. We don't listen to the Taliban on subjects like genetic engineering or quantum physics because generally we don't think they have any good ideas on the subject. Likewise they may well not have good ideas when it comes to suggestions on how best to live as a happy healthy people, and furthermore it seems that the suggestions of religion might well be equally problematic and not conducive to living a good life, after all people who live according to the Bible seem to do notably worse than those who try to live a good life and do right by their fellow man.

To wit, it might be a bit of a better world if you weren't a jackass. And somehow I tend to think that you feel it's your prerogative to be a jackass because of religion, because certainly living a good life and doing right by your fellow man would notably exclude being a jackass.

I wish there was some easy job that involved detailed replies requiring a lot of information about a lot of different things to give snarky replies to jackasses on the internet. Somehow I think I'd be better off building super-intelligent robots to do my bidding. That's just my fall back plan for now.

Scholarly papers on TV shows...

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in't!

What Has Your Free Will Gotten You?

It's sort of strange that some analysis of TV shows are absolutely fantastic, but I suppose I did one read a collection of essays about Firefly and was floored by Mercedes Lackey's take on the problem of providing food and support to the outer colonies and the need for black market trade.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pope's in hot water. Republicans buy things. And life is fine...

Sorry I've been a bit down on my blogging duties. Nothing's really caught my eye. There are plenty of interesting stories out there, but few I care enough to echo around to my two or three readers.

... let them eat awesome.