Sunday, May 29, 2011

I previously failed to know how awesome Jonathan Coulton is...

I even once posted a video for the deaf that covered one of his songs.

But, others like "Re: Your Brains" and "Code Monkey", "The Future Soon". Which are very awesome

0 to fanboi in 3 hours is rare.-- To be fair I've heard some of the song before but never put them together and realize that they came from the same nexus of awesome.

Yay. I can post again.

Somehow blogger failed. I could log in with gmail and all, but not post. Very offputting. I really wanted to post this video about how much Jonathan Coulton rocked but I couldn't!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Nobody knows the day or the hour..." - Matthew

The fun bit with Matthew is that that passage is added *BECAUSE* they failed. Early Christian preaching was apocalyptic to some degree from the start. You can see early on the authors pushing the dates back further and further from this generation, to a day is like a thousand years, to you can't predict when it will come. You can pretty much date texts by looking at when they claim the Judgement day will be and subtracting like a decade. If they say it'll be before the Second Temple falls, then they may well be before the second temple fell. If they say that the temple doesn't matter, they are likely writing afterwards.

The line in Matthew is specifically because this sort of stuff was the origin of Christianity. Really, as far as failed apocalyptic preachers go Harold Camping is pretty much on par with Jesus. So all the little "thief in the night" and "nobody can really know" stuff got added after they failed their asses off from the first to third centuries missing every benchmark they set.

The end of the world, "soon", for the last two thousand years. Heck the Jewish doomsayers were wrong so often they gave rise to Christianity. The end of the world is the failiest prediction ever.

So yeah, there's apologetics for why all the doomsayers failed, because starting with Jesus they were always dead wrong. Unless you think that somebody from Jesus' time is still alive, and that generation hasn't known death. And apologetics for the failures got added the the Christian corpus, but Camping is only as wrong as Jesus, with regard to the end of the world. So that's not too bad.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I am the palendrome fear my power, power my fear, palendrome the am I!

Awesome. Just awesome.

(The title is from an episode of The Middle Men).

I'm glad the rapture got press

Usually these things live and die in obscurity. They are wrong but nobody can say out loud and publicly that they were wrong, because nearly nobody heard of them. We also have the 2012 apocalypse coming and I hope some others get a good amount of press. The 2012 is so soon after the elections that it might get sort of drowned out. But, a few more and maybe we can get some press for the fact that all of these preachers predict crap from crap that always turns out to be wrong. It's as if the Bible is a terrible place to get your assumptions and certainty is an emotional state and not a level of reliance we can have on some points.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Errata: Myths of Galileo and Aristotle.

In an old set of posts I did about the BBC series "Did Darwin Kill God", I made a mistake by relaying a common misconception and set of myths about Galileo and Aristotle:

Aristotle was a proponent of science in one's own mind. The idea that one could rightly divine by thinking about an issue the correct answer. This idea may seem compelling, but it has always been wrong. It was wrong when Aristotle concluded that objects of different masses fall to Earth at different speeds, it was wrong when Galileo dropped different masses off the Tower of Pisa to see if they did, and it was wrong when the masses struck the ground at the same time.

Aristotle appears to have argued against that position. not in favor of it. Galileo appears to have actually just done that figuring in his mind and posing some thought experiments as to what happens when you tie a 1 pound weight to a 10 pound weight and likely didn't actually drop the weights from said tower and that story is likely apocryphal.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Star Trek Rule and Argumentary Efficiency.

The Star Trek rule is generally a rule described by Russell Glasser on the Atheist Experience™ blog:as asking theists to keep in mind:

Before quoting the Bible to atheists, always ask yourself whether the same statement would be just as effective in your mind if you were quoting Captain Kirk.

The problem I have with the rule is argumentative efficiency. Due to the sheer mistake per word ratio of creationists and theists and other general wrong people it become critically important to have efficient arguments. That ultimately if you take a minute to refute each wrong claim and they can make four wrong claims a minute, you are going to lose to the sheer divergence of wrongness and leave some claims unrefuted or require four times as much time as they took to make said claims. The problem with the Star Trek rule is that it violates the general brevity required for refutations.

I recall a fairly good video on youtube that took seven minutes to say what I know how to say in a fourteen words, which is largely a refutation to the argument that atheism says something about God and therefore is a faith position and therefore makes atheism a religion. "If I not buying, what you're selling, it doesn't mean I'm selling something else." I believe there was a caller on the atheist experience which called in just to give that great one line rebuttal. And it's the best rebuttal I've seen for that particular argument.

The issue with the Star Trek Rule is that you have to explain yourself and it's not worthwhile. The better answer is to appropriate something Robgene (About Atheist Forum, Twsh Quotes) said: "Trying to prove God with the Bible is like trying to prove Superman with a Comic Book." Which I turned into a demotivator and got some quasi fame. I think this is better than the Star Trek Rule.

I think you can forgo the long explanation and initially undercut the comment by saying:

If you want to relate a nugget of wisdom, ask if I'd be compelled with that same nugget of wisdom taken from a comic book. If you want to try to prove God exists by using the the Bible, please note that it will be about as effective as trying to prove Superman exists with a comic book.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dennis McKinsey on Proselytizers.

Dennis McKinsey said, that when evangelicals come to your door and when they leave and you're still an atheist, you shouldn't count that as a victory. You let two lost souls leave with their delusions intact. You were the one who lost.

That's some optimism. (This was from some webcasted radio program half a decade ago).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Somebody has an odd form of criticism. (of Carrier)

Apparently we are to conclude that Richard Carrier is a pathological liar because he cited #11 when he should have used citation #12. In an essay, from a decade ago, that he's corrected elsewhere and says has some mistakes and is superseded.

Because apparently 1 error = Pathological Liar = Other side wins = God.

Oh, also he removed a lot of crap that wasn't about Jewish burial practices, in his essay about Jewish burial practices, between two passages that were about Jewish burial practices. Clearly because the original intent of the passage is to be long and have a bunch of stuff about how children are stoned to death in boring detail, because that changes so heavily how you bury them?

It's sort of weird, because he's good enough to check the original sources, but terrible enough to be confused as to what is and isn't a valid criticism of somebody's work.

Monday, May 2, 2011

That's an odd thing to run into.

So I was reading through the posts on Debunking Christianity, and came across this one that spoke to me.

It said, "Tatarize..."

Well it really did start off that way.

Tatarize: "I'm Only On the Fifth Chapter."

Which is a review of the book The Christian Delusion, that I posted on About's Atheism Forums.