Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Correlation Does Not Imply Causation; Case One: Happiness vs. Religiosity

Guess who is at it again?
Go ahead.


That's right! Dinesh is back! And this time, his arguments are weaker than ever!

In fact, his regurgitation of data that I have stumbled across before has inspired me to delve into matters of other people leaping to a conclusion regarding causation with only correlationary information. But first, let us deal with the task at hand: Dinesh D'Souza and the Blog of Utterfailure.

In mentioning a variety of studies regarding the happiness of different groups of people, D'Souza says:
"Brooks notes that 'faith is an incredible predictor, and cause, of happiness. Religious people of all faiths are much, much happier on average than secularists.' Specifically, 43 percent of those who attend church weekly or more call themselves "very happy," versus 23 percent who attend seldom or never. Observant Jews and Christians are by Brooks' measure the happiest people in America."

So, what is this? Being a regular church-goer means that you are twice as likely to be "very happy"? Somehow, I don't think so.

It could just be that happy people are more willing to go to chruch regularly, and people who are not happy are unwilling to do anything, with lack of church attendance being indicative of their level of depression rather than their lack of religiosity.

It could just be that people who go to church are exposed to an environment where there is social pressure for them to exhibit happiness, which results in them either being authentically happy, deceiving themselves into believing that they are happy, or feeling unable to express any doubts, sadness, or fears to others, and thus more liable to exaggerate their positive emotions (honestly, though, I don't lend much credence to this thought).

It could just be that attending religious services and happiness are both related to one another through a tertiary variable. In all seriousness, I think that this may be the case, because church attendance is a form of social interaction, and provides one with an extra social network beyond those who do not attend church. If church is used as a social network, to interact with other human beings and build relationships, this will increase happiness just like it would in any other context. Of course, other outside variables aside from extra social networks could be a reduced sense of responsibility due to faith, mitigated stress due to being confident in a second chance at existence, and the mere reassurance of having a controlled routine.

But, let's see what Dinesh thinks!

" So why are secular liberals in general so miserable? I offer two reasons. The first is that liberals are political utopians. They consider human nature to be wonderful, and they expect freedom to be used wonderfully well. So they are always bitterly disappointed when they discover that this is not the case. Conservatives, by contrast, have a dimmer view of human nature. So their expectations are more modest. When things don't turn out half-badly, conservatives are pleasantly surprised. They are happier because it takes less to make them happier."

Political utopians? Human nature is wonderful? And here I thought that I was the pessimist! Apparently, though, I am the idealist with his head in the clouds, and the conservatives are the ones who are deeply disillusioned with humanity. Of course, since he admits that liberal idealists are "always bitterly disappointed" when they see humans do as humans do, would that make both ends of the political spectrum deeply pessimistic, in effect? Or maybe the conservatives only have a "dimmer view" on certain subject matters, (like those involving criminal justice, government influence, and international affairs) but are naively optimistic about others (religion, economy, and environment). Not exactly cut and dried, is it?

"It's not too hard to figure out why religious people are happier. Belief in God gives people a powerful sense of higher purpose in life. It assures people that the universe is in the benign hands of a omnipotent, omniscient, and compassionate higher power. It offers people a code for how to live. It gives us a reason to hope in cosmic justice, which is better than the imperfect justice of our terrestrial world"

Belief in God may give people a sense of purpose, but it probably shouldn't. It is a sense of purpose derived from overconfidence, from unwarranted pride, from the belief that you hold a piece of information that no others hold, and that you are better than them for it. It is a sense of purpose that seems to have no basis in the actual obscure, demeaning purpose that the Bible suggests we have: to serve a tyrannical entity who will only accept us by his side if we happen to accept him first in some sort of celestial guessing game, and do so for the rest of our life. Our supposed purpose is entwined with God's, and God needs no purpose, since He just is; inevitably, our reason for life is lost in that process.

As for believing that an all-powerful, all-good entity is at the controls, and that you have all the rules regarding what you need to do in order to prevent raising his ire; that is reassuring. Unfortunately, as good as that is at relieving stress, it also is a thought process that leads to the development of an external locus of control, a sense that you have no influence over your life. The happiness that shows up in a secure believer could easily turn into a mental breakdown for that same believer who suddenly, despite following all the rules, begins to suffer unduly, and takes as the wrath of God which they can do nothing to fight against.

"By contrast, secular people have little to hope for. They are sure that they came from nowhere--the chance product of random mutation and natural selection--and are going nowhere. They know that terrible things happen, and they don't believe there is any purpose in this. No wonder that secular people have so few children: they have much less reason than religious people to believe in the future."

Does life itself need a divine origin in order to be meaningful to the living? Is an apple tree less beautiful if it came about through natural processes? Is there no reason to live for a young child if they are only allowed to live once? Does explaining away tragedy make it any less tragic?

The answer is no. We are not sure that we came from nowhere, but have no reason to believe that we came from somewhere that is not observably existent. We are the chance product of random mutation and natural selection, and allowing that to depress you is akin to being depressed that you were the chance product of one lucky sperm out of several million and a single egg that leeched itself into becoming a human being over the course of nine months. Knowing that terrible things happen and not positing a reason for it is intellectually honest. Positing a reason for catastrophes comes from and leads to the just world fallacy. And secular people have less children because they are not guilt tripped about using birth control, are not pressured into being fruitful and multiplying, and rationally consider the consequences of having too many children and too little time and/or money. Apparently, one or more of these checks are removed from the faithful, helping them contribute to overpopulation (despite a good portion of these people thinking of the world as corrupt on the verge of apocalypse), and you think that this is a good thing.

And, he ends with "our temperaments are also the consequences of two very different worldviews, one producing the wholesome optimism of What's So Great About Christianity, the other the angry bitterness of The God Delusion. "

And this is the crux of his article: Christians are happy and optimistic due to their religious faith, atheists are bitter and depressed due to their lack of religious faith. And that, of course, despite being a common assumption, is not a logical conclusion from the information he has offered. It follows well enough from his baseless speculation regarding the data, but not from the data itself. Why is it inconsistent? Simply because faith is not necessarily the causal factor for an increased incidence of happiness in the faithful, especially in a culture dominated by the faithful, that attempts to appease their will at every turn, and that is oppressive towards those who are not. That is clear in the nature of the titles that D'Souza is touting. It is not that Dinesh is inherently happier than Dawkins. It is that Dinesh is in a position of being supported by the majority, and being able to appeal to them without fear of significant rebuke. And Dawkins, by contrast, is in a despised, minority position, trying to put an argument forward against a markedly larger group that will most likely ignore him unless he makes his position clear, distinct, and, unfortunately, extreme. Thus, Dinesh gets the privilege of a masturbatory, self-congratulatory title that will attract the proud eyes of believers, and Dawkins gets to help himself to a critical, accusatory title necessary to draw the attention of believers in a similar quantity, though in an incredibly different fashion. It has nothing to do with happiness directly, just as faith may have little to do with happiness as well.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hovind Scale Links

Definition of the Hovind Scale, and Rating Details
The Hovind Scale is used to rate Creationist statements about the nature of reality and assign a value to how ignorant, scientifically illiterate and / or outright dishonest they are.It is named after the convicted fraudster and Young Earth Creationist Kent Hovind. He is currently serving time because of his "overly flexible" attitude to the truth, and before his incarceration was regularly lying for Jesus.

100 - Utter Hovind - the person might actually BE Hovind (if he has net access from his cell), but if they're not they are certainly talking complete and utter Hovind! Lies and ignorance knowingly combined and asserted as fact! The state of the art of Lying for Jesus.
90-99 - Positively Hovindian - while not managing to be quite as ignorant or mendacious as the master himself, this person still displays positively Hovindian levels of scientific illiteracy and dishonesty
60-89 - VenomFangTastic - not quite up in the fully Kentian levels, as there may be some slightly mitigating circumstances (youth or inexperience for example), but still a person who can be relied on to produce long winded and scientifically illiterate or self-contradictory arguments ex recto at a moment's notice
30-59 - Profoundly Creotarded - This person likely has little or no scientific knowledge, and they are actively Lying for Jesus at every opportunity.
21-30 - Creotarded - A run of the mill Creotard, with a balance of ignorance, illogic and mendacity
12-20 - Partially Creotarded - Some very serious misunderstandings about reality, and a hint of zealotry beginning to rear its ugly head
6-11 - Pushing The Limits of Decency - starting to go beyond what is reasonable, but dishonesty or scientific illiteracy are becoming too obvious to ignore.
1-5 - Surprisingly Decent - a pretty good effort, with a combined honesty / scientific understanding far beyond the typical Creationist zealot. You might well be able to have a sensible discussion with this person. Educated laymen with a genuine desire to explore the issues may well turn up in this category.
0 - The Blue Butterfly Effect - a well constructed and intellectually honest argument, informed by a comprehensive general scientific understanding and in-depth knowledge of the specifics of any relevant scientific work. If you want to debate this person, you'd better know what you're talking about!

Calculating the Hovind Factor Score

"Hovind Factor = (X + s + i + p) x (m + 1)
Belief in scripture - “X”
0 - No doctrinal belief required
1 - Metaphorical use of Biblical/Qu’ranic quotation
2 - Belief in scripture as the infallible word of God. Timeless, inerrant and absolute. (AiG/The flud etc.)
Scientific Illiteracy - “s”
0 - Full understanding of detailed, advanced scientific principles
1 - Overall grasp of principles with some understanding of specific area being discussed
2 - Vague understanding of general principle but with poor grasp of many details
3 - No understanding or knowledge of area being discussed
4 - Rejection of basic scientific facts/laws/robust theories and/or denial of any evidence that contradicts scripture
5 - Ray Comfort (Extreme, moronic and puerile level of 4 above)
The idiocy scale - “i”
0 - no discernible stupidity
1 - slightly silly, but understandable
2 - foolish
3 - daft
4 - rather funny in a slightly worrying sort of way
5 - very funny in a very worrying way
6 - scary stuff
7 - very scary
8 - unlikely to be accepted by anyone with more than two functioning neurons
9 - Moronic. Stark-bollock-naked, off-the-wall, wing-nut
10 - Kirk Cameron or VenomFangX
Paradox - “p”
0 = Statement is logical and self-consistent
1 = Statement acknowledges slight flaw in internal logic but glosses over it with babble.
2 = Statement relies on an assumed divine intervention to explain self contradiction.
3 = Self contradiction invalidates statement completely, and is left unaddressed.
Mendacity - “m”
0 - Total honesty
1 - Statement maker knows they are telling enough of a porkie to try to mislead a generally credulous audience
2 - Statement maker knows they are lying enough to try to mislead an educated audience, or they are repeating a lie that they have previously been corrected on.
3 - Whopper! (including plagiarism)
4 - Complete, burn-in-Hell, perjury grade, super-lie - for example, one that is strategically designed to mislead authorities or the general public (e.g. as witnessed in the Dover trial and Expelled).
Using this formula, a completely honest statement of scientific merit would score a Hovind Factor of zero.
The maximum Hovind Factor, HFmax, is a completely insane statement which contradicts all scientific evidence but adheres totally to religious doctrine and which the person making the claim knows to be untrue - while at the same time the statement also completely contradicts itself - would score (2 + 5 + 10 + 3) x (4 + 1) = 100."

Hovind Scale Calculator

(This rating system is truly brilliant! I just wish that truthfulness wasn't weighted so heavily, since, as Poe's law shows clearly, it is really difficult to tell when fundamentalist believers and the anti-science folks are being truthful or not...because it is too insane to decipher. But, it is a nice toy anyway.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Random Reply to Comment of Unknown Origin

Interstingly, I found this comment cut and pasted into a drafted blog post. No notes on where it came from, or who it belongs to, or why I grabbed it. But, I suppose that I might as well respond to it now.

Life on Earth is finite. Human beings have immortal souls. In the scheme of things, I suppose any suffering we endure is as finite as our lives on earth in comparison to the eternity we will spend with God. Suffering is a teaching tool for us, a way to expand our understanding and depth of character, adding to the richness of our relationship with one another and with God. It enables us to serve one another, to understand our own mortality and to see God in one another.

Slight problem with justifying the existence of suffering by saying that it is a "teaching tool": there are other ways that we could be taught, other ways to add character, other ways to deepen understanding, that not only exist and are available to us, but are also ideal possibilities for an omnipotent, loving deity, that all do not involve unfair, excessive, debilitating, and occassionally outright destructive pain that characterizes our reality. I agree that suffering does allow for the best in people to shine, and for people to develop, but, I think that the cost is greater than the benefit, honestly. Not exactly the best setup of reality that God could come up with.
Suffering also exists because we do have free will and we do live in a flawed
Yes. We definitely do. I just wonder why a powerful, loving, wise, and intelligent God who apparently has a fondness for a certain form of sapient primate didn't do a bit of better job.

If you take the Gnostic view, the world was created by a flawed godling
called the Demiurge rather than the ultimate God.
That's a rather interesting view, since it detracts from one of the major components of the Christian idea of God. While explaining why existence is less friendly towards us than it otherwise would be, it just makes one wonder what significance God has if he was not responsible for creation, and cannot override its flaws.
If you take the classical Christian view, it's all due to the sin of man against
Which is simply ridiculous if you do not also explain the several problems that arise from this particular argument.
1. How would an all-knowing Creator God not be aware that this "sin" was going to occur?
2. Why would an all-loving Creator God want to allow his favored creations to suffer, regardless of their supposed crimes?
3. How is an all-powerful Creator God not responsible for the nature of man, his tendency towards committing the sin that He punishes them for, or the existence and nature of suffering [as a consequence of collective or individual sin or not]?
This particular argument tries to seem like more of an explanation than it actually is by being intentionally vague. But, it still fails for the same reason as any other explanation involving the Christian perspective of God.

There are all kinds of philosophical and religious traditions that try to
explain it, undoubtedly not to your satisfaction.

I have no idea who this person saying this is, or who he directed this statement towards, but let me just say that he is rather prophetic.

I find it impossible, in fact, to look at the world and the universe and not see
the hand of the Deity in creating it.

And I find it impossible to look at the world and the universe and think that it would be intentionally constructed in this fashion, especially of life (specifically human life) was supposed to be of high priority in its formation. Yes, the universe is very pretty, and seemingly complex. But, unfortunately, I just don't see any compelling argument in positing that a human perception of design means that a designer had to be involved. We tend to be overzealous in our pattern seeking as humans, and I think that that is at work here.
Science has never been that good at explaining the "why" of things or the
ultimate beginnings. It's fascinating when it explains the how. I find science
quite compatible with religion.
I sort of agree with the first two sentences (save the idea that "why" and "how" are essentially the same kind of question, but "why" has some bizarre implication that you are playing on here, so I'll go with it).. Except, I would disagree if you positted that religion explained the "why" at all. It tries to, certainly. But I would hard pressed to find evidence that any succeed at giving anything more than a few aphoristic sentiments that hold little water in regards to the "why". Sure, it serves to satiate the common man on the street, and gives them something to embrace as an answer, but in reality it is just a glorified guess, wrapped in false authority and appeals to ego and emotion. As such, it is obvious that science is quite compatible with religion: as long as religion remains to be a security blanket with no basis in reality or rational thought, it will never be impeached by scientific knowledge. When it tries to be something more than that though, not so much...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

E-mails Say The Darndest Things.

Alright, here are two e-mail strawmen-lists regarding liberal vs. conservative politics taken from America's favorite source of idiocy, bigotry, and outright hilarity! Please, enjoy.

"21 Ways To Be a Good Democrat.
* You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.
* You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.
* You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.
* You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.
* You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the Earth’s climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs.
* You have to believe that gender roles are artificial, but being homosexual is natural.
* You have to believe that AIDS virus is spread by a lack of Federal funding.
* You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach 4 th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
* You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.
* You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
* You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make “The Passion Of The Christ” for financial gain only.
* You have to believe the National Rifle Association (NRA) is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
* You have to believe that taxes are low, but ATM fees are too high.
* You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem (feminists) are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.
* You have to believe that standardized tests are racists, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.
* You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.
* You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried because the right people haven’t been in charge.
* You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belonged in the White House.
* You have to believe that homosexual parades display drag, transvestites and beastiality should be Constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
* You have to believe that illegal Democrat Party funding by the communist Chinese Government is somehow in the best interests of the United States.
* You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy."

lulz "beastiality". The folks at FSTDT had quite a few good responses to this. But, here is a related e-mail with a similar theme, except directed at Republicans. I find that it works well enough.

"1. You have to believe that teenagers shouldn't learn about safe sex because ignorance is the best way to prevent pregnancy, and besides, only those homos get AIDS and you thank God for that.
2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th graders how to read is somehow qualified to lead all kids in prayer regardless of their faith as long as it's your faith. 3.You have to believe it is intelligent to buy a gun to protect your family and home despite the fact that you are?40 times more likely to kill your own family member than an intruder.
4.You have to believe that it's OK to have an affair as long as you divorce your spouse after you've been caught and marry the mistress. (Dole, Reagan, Gingrich, Barr,etc.)
5.You have to believe that your SUV should be exempt from emission standards even though it spews out 4 times the pollution of any car, because you enjoy sitting high above the congested traffic.
6. You have to believe abortion is always wrong because all lives are precious and you'll kill any doctor who performs one.
7. You have to believe that the minimum wage should be outlawed because thanks to the extreme generosity of corporations you are overpaid.
8. You have to believe that your children will have a well-rounded education by banning books in the public schools and libraries.
9. You have to believe that in case the government goes bad, you'll need your handgun to successfully fight off an organized army that has tanks, aircraft, battleships, missiles, satellites, and 2 million well-trained soldiers.
10. You have to believe that the NRA is good because it supports a self-serving portion of the Constitution, but the ACLU is bad because it supports all portions of the Constitution, even the right for your fellow Klansmen to have a parade in a Jewish neighborhood.
11. You have to believe that a woman cannot be trusted with decisions about her own body, but that large multinational corporations should make decisions affecting all mankind with no regulation whatsoever.
12. You have to believe that diversity on your presidential ticket means two Texas millionaire oilmen from different corporations.
13. You have to believe the Hate Crimes Bill is bad because it gives "special protection" to a group of people, but think that laws that prohibit citizens from suing Tobacco Corporations, Gun-makers and HMOs are not special protection.
14. You have to believe that freedom of speech is cherished as long as you like what is being said. 15.You have to believe that over the past 20 years, no Presidential primary is complete without the name Dole and/or Bush on it.
16.You have to believe that trickle-down economics works because the rich surely won't keep all that money to themselves.Look how well it worked during the Reagan-Bush years.
17.You have to believe Clinton is bad because he lied about a private sexual indiscretion under oath, but Ronald "I don't remember" Reagan and George "I wasn't there" Bush are heroes because they lied under oath about illegally selling arms to Iranian militants and giving the cash to drug-smuggling Nicaraguan Contras.
18. You have to believe that its OK for government to sanction religion just as long as it's your religion.
19. You have to believe the homosexual agenda is to get a purple Tele-Tubby to turn our children gay.
20. You have to believe that hunters need assault weapons to assist in natural selection, because they shoot only the starving and sick animals and will not shoot that magnificent 12-point stag. 21. You have to believe that Reagan's tripling the deficit was good for the economy.
22. You have to believe that the best leaders to espouse family values are those with one or more failed marriages (Dole, Reagan, Gingrich, Barr, Limbaugh, etc.)
23. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you are millionaire conservative radio jock, which makes it an "illness" and needs our prayers for "recovery."
24. You have to believe that the members of your national convention represent a good cross-sectional and diverse group of Americans.
25. You have to believe that a national sales tax is better than income tax because everyone uses the same proportion of their income to buy food, clothing, and housing, but really, the only good tax is one which only the poor pay.
26. You have to believe Jesus was a Conservative and shares your hatred of AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton. You also ask yourself "What would Jesus Do?" and completely ignore the fact that he stayed out of politics, never tried to get a law passed, never tried to obtain wealth, nor spoke of divisive drivel.
27. You believe that charitable organizations should take care of the poor and then give nothing to charity (i.e. Dick Cheney).
28. You believe that a rape victim should be forced to raise her attacker's offspring and then fight her attempts to get welfare when she tries to do so.
29. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher (Dubya doesn't count, because he's not a minority. He just became President with the minority).
30. You have to believe that a great way to lower air pollution is to get others to ride mass transit; that way you can get to work in your SUV much faster.
31. You have to believe the talk of Randy Weaver and David Koresh are more important than actions of Franklin Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, and what happened at Ruby Ridge is more important than what happened at Selma, Alabama.
32. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton was crazy for talking to spirits in the White House, but Nancy Reagan is OK for consulting astrologers to help her decide U.S. policies while Ronnie was in the hospital.
33. You have to believe everything that is said by right-wing wackos on talk radio.
34) You have to believe that Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him with chemical weapons to fight Iran, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney was doing business with him for Halliburton, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
35) You have to believe that the lumber from the last one percent of old growth U.S. forests is well worth the extinction of several species of plants and animals therein. Besides, it will prevent forest fires.
36) You have to believe that Aid to Mothers with Dependent children is wasteful, but giving tax breaks to companies moving American jobs overseas is just what government is for.
37) You have to believe that trade with Cuba is wrong because it is communist, but trading with China and Vietnam is good.
38) You have to believe that the public has a right to know what the government is doing but that Bush was right to censor those 28 pages from the Congressional 9/11 report because you just can't handle the truth."

I may be biased, but I think that this last one is a little bit more of a slam-dunk than the first one. But, then again, I can more easily dismiss the first one as flawed caricature and accept this one as a legitimate critique simply because of how I identify myself politically. Funny how that works...oh well, I doubt that it is indicative of a larger flaw in the way that politics work and the way that humans think, in general....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

He tries so hard...

Ever wonder what atheism and baby-killing have in common? Well, apparently our favorite man-child, Dinesh D'Souza, already knows the answer! It just so happen that the common thread is atheist philosopher Peter Singer. And, obviously, Dinesh cannot contain himself:

"Given the connection that Singer draws between atheism and child murder, using the former as his premise to recommend the latter, I wonder if our atheist friends are going to rush to embrace this guy as one of their heroes. Is Singer showing us where the road to complete secularism actually leads?"

Classy guy, that D'Souza.

Here is D'Souza's summary of Singer's most controversial points:

"[Singer] argues in favor of infanticide, euthanasia and (this is not a joke) animal rights! One of Singer's interesting proposals concerns what may be called "fourth trimester" abortions, i.e. the right to kill one's offspring even after birth!"

Of course, D'Souza is among the few who would actually see a contradiction here. If accounting for the potential for human (or animal) suffering were put into play, euthanasia would not be a bad thing, infanticide would not be a bad thing , and animal rights (protecting the animal from being abused) would be a good thing. It's all very simple, but D'Souza wants to see a contradiction so badly...

Some good points that Singer makes:
"The calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy, while if we make the comparison with a fetus of less than three months, a fish would show more signs of consciousness."

"Characteristics like rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness...make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings."

And D'Souza's attempts to dismiss them as too icky:
"So while Christianity introduced into Western civilization the concept of dignity of human life, Singer explicitly says we have to get rid of this outdated concept. He contends that God is dead and we should recognize ourselves as Darwinian primates who enjoy no special status compared to the other animals. In the animal kingdom, after all, parents sometimes kill and even devour their offpsring. Singer argues that the West can learn from the other cultures like the Kalahari where children are routinely killed when they are unwanted, even when they are several years old."

So, once again D'Souza argues that nobody cared about life, humans, society, morals, or even any form of restraint at all until Jesus moonwalked onto the scene. Oh, and of course, evil atheists are attacking the "dignity of human life" because it is a religious concept, or something.

A newsflash for D'Souza: humans are "Darwinian" primates, no matter how you slice it. Christianity wasn't the first religion to give "dignity" to human life, and religion is not necessary to see that it is a social imperative, in most arenas, for such "dignity" to remain. Oh, and, the thing about infanticide is that killing a human that young would not cause the child too much pain if done without malice, and would cause no duress to third parties or to social networks related to the child and its "journey" through life, which is all that Singer is arguing. And the thing about it is, he is basically right! There would be no social damages or mental anguish felt by any aside from the participants in the act, and the infant, ideally, would not suffer nearly as much pain as any other dying human being would. Needless to say, I emphatically do not support infanticide regardless, since going about a normal abortion gives you more than enough leeway in regards to bringing about the same result. Once a nervous system gets involved in the matter, it is too risky to attempt to justify beyond that, since doing so depends on a definition of humanity that is not just about cognitive function alone, but a certain level of cognitive capacity...which is a slippery slope into eugenics (which I do not feel like defending in the same breath as infanticide).

"He doesn't want state-sponsored killings. Rather, he wants the decision to kill to be made by you and me. Instead of government-conducted genocide, Singer favors free-market homicide."

Funny how you pretend to have a problem with this, when you could care less about death in the name of patriotism and religion. Government-conducted genocide, of course, is wrong to you, but not when it occurs within the confines of traditional warfare, or is directed against indigenous peoples. Free-market homicide is fine to you as well, as long as there aren't wittle babies or people on their death beds involved. As long as the homicide is in the form of an electric chair for people that we are fairly sure deserve it, it is A-Okay. As long as the homicide is in self-defense, it is justifiable. But don't touch our precious brain-dead coma patients, pain-wracked cancer patients, or infants whose mental capacity are on par with the chickens we so gleefully slaughter for our lunches, but are nonetheless afforded protections not afforded to other animals merely due to being a member of our species.

The issue isn't about being able to kill at whim. The issue is about having no logical basis by which we can deem it fit to let the dying suffer hopelessly, to bring harm to animals, and to afford protection to infants who are no more intelligent than the animals we devour. Our excuses for why we do these things are rooted in favoritism for our own species and for a natural tendency to try to preserve the lives of those in our in-group. It has an evolutionary basis, a psychological basis, a traditional basis, arguably a religious basis (beyond that encompassed by the first three), but no rational basis.

But, whatever. Secularism leads to legal murder! Everybody, run before zombie Thomas Jeferson re-establishes the wall of separation of church and state, and then eats your baby! No! Dr. Kevorkian, what hath your experiments wrought?!

In Memoriam: May 5 to May 11

Insanity of the Day: It's true. They are being oppressed. And the Jews also control the government. It's a shame, really.

(Editor's note: the Jews do not control the government. Sleep, America. Sleeeeeep.)

Wisdom from the Bowels of the Abyss: "Heaven: a place where you get to go after death in order to do all the things that you have moral objections to in life."-The Gospel according to popular interpretation

Poll: Which of the following would you do if you met Satan walking down the street?

Run away. That's what heroes do! (100%)
Worship him, 'cause I'm edgy.(0)
Challenge him to a fiddling contest.(0)
Sell him your soul, and then get Daniel Webster to defend your right to keep that soul in court proceedings, just to be a douche. (0)
Buy him a cold brewsky and have a nice chat with him. He of all people needs someone to be friendly to him, just once...(0)

Blog Description: A wonderful place where the lobotomies are free, and everything is laced with PCP.

Profile:A man of few words. Most of them lies.
Location: The Realm of Shadow and Madness, South Detroit, U.S.A.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How To be an Atheist: ZOMG more than one step!

On Ray "Jesus Banana" Comfort's blog, a brilliant man named "Ex-Atheist" decided to offer some insight into how one goes about being an atheist. Let us have a look into this profound masterpiece:

How to be an Atheist:

1) Refute everything in the Bible because men wrote it.

Or we could just refute the fact that it is infallible, divinely inspired, and God-approved due to the fact that was only written by men. But...that's the same thing to you, isn't it?

2) Believe and quote other writings of men to prove that the Bible is wrong.

Hey, if they actually have proof, they've got one up on the Bible. Besides, I'm not the one who has hang-ups about trusting the works of men instead of "works of God".

3) Completely ignore the inconsistency between steps 1 & 2.

It's inconsistent to trust what competent human beings with valid evidence say, but to distrust a book rife with mythology because people claim that it was written by a supernatural entity when that is clearly untrue? Well, forgive me. You can go back to believing your 2000 year old book, admittedly written by men, and thus no more credible than any other holy book or mythological text.

4) Call yourself a “freethinker” and “open minded” but don’t practice such virtues when it comes to Christianity.

Why would we have to be open-minded and freethinking in regards to Christianity when a majority of the population throughout the history of the Western world have given them such a leeway? Sure, it is the democratic thing to do and all, but, seriously, after spending much time, deliberation, and effort in trying to be open-minded about Christianity, I find that I really don't need to be, since the believers give themselves enough elbow room without me helping by trying to give them a level of consideration that I am not expected to give any other belief system or religion. Christians will not suffer if I show them the same level of closed-mindedness that they show to everyone else.

5) Try to laugh out loud every time a Christian makes a statement about what they believe even if you don’t think it’s really that funny. This helps avoid a “serious” conversation.

A serious conversation about theology? Trying not to laugh...but bring it upon yourself!

6) Always bring up Zeus, Allah, and Santa Claus to prove that if you must believe in one God then you have to believe in all of them otherwise it’s just not fair. isn't! There is no possible reason that you would believe Yahweh to be true over any other god that is logically defensible.

7) When referring to the Bible use the word “myth” as often as possible and call believers whatever names you want because the goal is to frustrate the Christian so that his sinful nature comes out and he gets angry and then you can call him a hypocrite

Pssst...they don't need our help! They are usually frustrated, angry, and ready to indulge in their sinful nature far before we even get to the table! Also: myth!

8) Set your own moral standards very very very low so that you’ll never look like a hypocrite yourself. The lower the better.

That is hilarious! it is perfectly alright to have lofty, unattainable morals that you hold others to abide by, no matter how ridiculous. But having morals that are practical, more intuitive, and harder to break without going way off base...that's just cheating!

9) Never answer a question directly but quickly change the subject to make a completely different point. If you’re asked why you keep changing the subject just repeat this step as necessary.

....and that is why the Jews have a natural fear of panthers. Wait. What were you saying?

10) Be as argumentative, loud, sarcastic and verbal as possible – there is no need to make sense or use logic in your arguments – just keep arguing.

The irony. It burns!!11!1!on2!3!!

11) Use words like “strawman,” “ad hominem,” “fallacy,” “red herring” and non sequiturs” against every argument whether you understand those terms or not.

I'll make it a new years resolution of mine to not point out the fallacies in your argument. Which means I still I've got 7 months, motherfucker!! Strawman, implicit ad hominem, all wrapped up in a massive persecution complex. Nice job.

12) Claim that atheism is rooted in “common sense” even though less than 10% of the human population claim to be atheists.

(Spillover warning) Ad populum! Since when has something being common sense or not been dictated by whether people actually realize it or not? Because, to be honest, the things that are typically deemed to common sense are logical, simplistically true, but still overlooked by a sizeable portion of people. Common sense: so obvious, that you decide it can't possibly be what you are looking for.

13) Reject all notions of faith even though you must put your faith in pilots, cars, food, doctors, evolution, and the next chair that you sit in.

Oh yes...the classic fundie word definition project (copyright 32 A.D.). The faith that I require for those people, objects, and ideas is not the same kind of faith you have for Jesus, your Lord and Savior. It is a faith that is marked by trust in thoroughly tested human beings, past observations of performance, concrete evidence and data from these things in the present world, and experience of all the things, with the exception of evolution. Your trust is in people you have never met or seen, your observations are unverifiable by anyone aside from yourself, your evidence is subjective, and your experience of anything that you are having faith in is non-existent (unless you consider the experience of having faith to be an experience providing for faith...which is dizzying). In short, the similarity between faith in the unfalsifiable and faith in the probable outcome is pretty much limited to semantics only.

14) Always ask for evidence for God but never accept anything presented to you. At the end of a discussion remind them that all you needed was some evidence for God.

Ugghh. Ever occur to you that your "evidence" is weak? That all of your evidence of God basically presumes that you already accept that he created existence, relies on faulty reasoning, or is simply anecdotal and could be easily dismissed solely as a psychological phenomenon? No? Yeah. Didn't think so...(sigh)...

15) Quote only the Bible verses that make God look mean and unfair.

You mean, quote the Bible verses that Christians like to pretend don't exist? You mean, basically, cherry-pick for quotes of the exact opposite nature that Christians try to cherry-pick? Because, I think it is patently dishonest for those verses to be left alone by Christians, in that it shows a patent refusal to accept the fact that God may not be exactly what your pastor told you he was. But whatever...obviously looking at the whole Bible is not what a good Christian is supposed to do. Sorry to expose you to the half of the Bible that you were supposed to disregard.

16) Talk about being a good person remembering that you are allowed to define good however you would like because there is no objective moral standard.

I am a good person by your purported objective moral standards, even if none really exist beyond your own suppositions. But that doesn't matter, because the moral standards of your religion are reprehensible.

17) Say that you have read the Bible and that you understand what it teaches whether this is true or not.

I have not read the entire Bible. I may not have understood what it supposedly teaches, but, in all honesty, I think that you take too rosy of a view of what it teaches, anyway. When it comes down to it, I am really hard pressed to find anyone who derives their morality directly from the Bible. What other lessons it teaches aside from that, I do not know. Personally, I think that Buddhism would be better at it anyway. Also, ad hominem in suggesting that atheists do not understand the Bible simply due to the fact that they do not share your boundless love for the text.

18) Only pick on Christians – you don’t want to get killed in a Jihad. However, be sure to say that there is no difference between Radical Muslims and Fundamentalist Christians.

We "only pick on Christians", because 1. Christians are the majority where we reside, and in the world, and are thus the biggest target 2. Muslims are a minority in the Western world, and thus not a comparable social evil and 3. Christians make sure to "pick on" Muslims enough as it is without us helping!

19) Always use the crusades to make the point above.

Hey, you can't deny the past, right?

20) Remember that you are looking for faults in other worldviews not trying to defend your own – do not try to prove atheism! Remember, it’s much easier to destroy than build up.

There is nothing in atheism to build up! Skeptics do not need to prove anything, since skepticism is simply not accepting the claims that others are making about a certain subject! Of course it is easier to destroy than to build up, but, you see...the problem is that you are building things up, but, unfortunately, the architecture is suspect at best and with little to no foundation. Our attempts to demolish the edifices of faith is merely so that we can prevent you from being crushed when it inevitably collapses in on you of its own accord. A house built on fairy dust and unicorns cannot stand!

21) Make the claim that you only have one life and don’t want to waste it on religion.

I have no problem wasting my life on religion. I just don't have any particular reason to pick one over the other. So, I spend my time delving into a variety of religions without adhering to any one of them. It's actually funny how easily atheism comes when you have been exposed to more than one religious worldview. Says something. About religion.

22) If your conscience begins to bother you because of moral guilt you can numb it with drugs, alcohol, sex, or pride. You can give up the first three but never give up your pride.

I've got plenty of guilt, but, then again, if you don't feel guilty, you probably should. Oh, and no drugs, no alcohol, no sex, and I may have some pride, but I hate myself just enough to make up for that infraction. To be honest, I thought that rampant sex, drug use, and alcoholism was more common amongst the Christian folks once they were free and let loose upon the world as adults. But, then again, maybe America really is a sitcom from the 1950's, and Christians are chaste, sober, humble, and friendly by default. Unfortunatley, I find that Ned Flanders is a rarity in our culture.

23) Everyday feel free to thank God that you’re an atheist – just in case.

I'll stick with Brahma, thanks.

So....I'm guessing that this guy just calls himself "Ex-Atheist" without actually being one. A lying for Jesus cherry on top of a fundie-licious sundae. That's it for this dip into the shallow depths of the absurd. Peace!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

These are Your Morals on the Internet

This is an interesting site. Particularly if you're an atheist. You can get a chance to see how your "morals" stack up compared to the average of test-takers (of course, since the majority of test takers seem to be "non-religious", maybe that is a bit hard to do). It's a quite fun, and addictive for a few hours. Of course, once I dug into some of the later tests, it just got depressing. It is really annoying to compare scores to other people who like to choose extreme answers over realistic, moderate ones. Eh. Anyway, it's a nice, tiny window into your conscience, and it is a worth a shot, all in all.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

In Memoriam: Week of April 27 to May 4

Insanity of the Day: The way to Hell may be paved with good intentions...but you really don't want to know what the way to Heaven has been paved with...

Wisdom from the Bowels of the Abyss: "Drinking and driving isn't dangerous. Do you know what is really dangerous? Taking a hit of LSD, and going hunting."-A drunk.

Poll: What level of consciousness is your favorite?

-Crystal clear consciousness, to the point of obsessiveness
-Dulled consciousness, for that perpetually groggy feel
-Altered consciousness, because if I am not hallucinating it, I do not care for it.
-No consciousness, because sleeping is awesome.

(No votes this week. I just stopped caring...)

Blog Description: A haven for the infirm, sadistic, baby-eating psychopaths that only the internet could love.

Profile: A creature of utmost mystery, who is only witnessed periodically by denizens of mental wards or classrooms (understandable, given that in many locations, the two are effectively indistinguishable from one another). Some believe that s/he is an entity beyond space and time, whose appearance is an omen of impending tragedy. These same people posit that s/he has existed throughout recorded history, though was simply too focused on getting drunk to care much about human affairs.
Other people tend to believe that this horrible being is a monstrosity sent from the 19th dimension to stir confusion and dissent, in order to more effectively steal all of the planet's peanut butter fudge supply, which will be later used to restore life to her/his barren homeworld. The invasion will occur soon thereafter.
Still others insist that s/he is merely a figment of a few naive and deranged imaginations.
But, one thing is certain: s/he is now on the internet. And there will be much wrath, quavering, and raisinets...
Location: Everywhere, Nowhere. Country unknown.

The Christocentric Definiton of Atheism

I am sure that you have heard this before: atheists are only atheists because they don't like the Christian God (for whatever variety of reasons). Atheism to people with such a mindset is fervently opposed to Christianity alone, and is simply a refusal of their own doctrine. To such people, no other world views have any factor on the decision to become an atheist, no other gods are being "opposed" or "denied". It is only the god that they believe in that needs to be actively despised or rejected in order for one not to believe in it.

It is hilariously egotistic, thoroughly entrenched in the presuppositions of their own doctrine, and so blatant in its disregard of how they, by the implications of their assertion of atheism being hatred of a deity, must have an incredible amount of spite towards every other god that others hold as being true.

So, yes, atheists are only atheists because they despise Jesus and Yahweh. Serves you right for how much resentment you bear towards Allah, Vishnu, and the entire Greek pantheon.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Atheism: As conceived by those who believe that atheism is inconceivable.

This, my friends, is a flow chart showing how one becomes addicted to atheism!
And here I thought that my daily PCP binges and delicious baby corpse supply were enough to be addicted to. But, apparently, I am also addicted to not believing in god(s). It's like crack to me, I just can't enough of "no God". But, don't take my word for it! Let's go through the process, so that I could admit to all my fellow snorters of the cocaine of naturalism, and finally accept my grievous ailment.

Okay, first symptom is "sin". I have a strong desire to do something morally wrong, that nice, ethically infallible religion would expressly forbid me from doing. I know that I explicitly said to myself, when learning about Judaism, that I would never join them because I have strong desire to eat non-kosher foods. I explicitly forbade myself from becoming a Muslim because I am not the kind of guy who likes to fast, and I really don't that whole pray five times a day thing. I have a schedule to keep, dammit, and I need myself a deity that can understand that! And, after years of searching, I finally came upon Christianity, and saw that they didn't allow people to have sex before marriage! Well, since obviously no Christian could ever break that moral code and still consider themselves sincerely to be amongst the ranks of the saved, I decided to shun Christianity in order to live a carefree of debauched sex that no Christian has ever lived in the course of known history.

The second symptom would be redundant, but I need to see how badly I am afflicted. So, I ask myself, "am I angry with God"? Well, obviously. I am an atheist; the only way that I could fall into such a wretched state is if something catastrophic happened in my past to drive me away from the default assumption which every human being should have crammed into their head: that there is a God, and it is the one described in the Bible, with no possible deviations at all. So, logically, if something bad happened to me, then God is not just, and therefore there cannot possibly be any gods at all. At least that is what my pastor told me before I ran him down with my tractor.

Third symptom is follower syndrome. Yep. Got a boatload of that. There are atheists swarming all around in my neck of the woods, we have congregations where we meet and make sure that we have identical beliefs, and every single idea I have in my head is directly taken from a Richard Dawkins book. I only do what I am told, make arguments that have been made a thousands times before, and refuse to change my position. At complete odds with the religious in that regard.

And now, for the product of those three initial drives: discarding of God. I guess, as an atheist, I have done that. If I hadn't, well...I guess I need a better dictionary.

Oh, and now for the results! First, there is a sense of freedom, where the world becomes topsy-turvy, where sin becomes acceptable, virtue becomes meaningless, and you are exempt from any possible consequences for indulging in your desire to spend hours sodomizing cats. There just is no morality without Jesus looking over your shoulder.

And, our second result is narcissism, where we become our own god when there is none to worship. This sounds about right, as I have yet to meet an arrogant, narcissitic, or prideful religious person in my entire life. There is absolutely no way that you can use your faith to vicariously elevate yourself over all.

This all leads to the inevitable loss of purpose inherent in refusing to accept the undeniable reality that we are all Jesus's divine Chia Pet. Without using excessive theology to explain why we humans obviously have a purpose in the grand scheme things (no matter how crappy that purpose truly is.), we are left without value, and left in a dark depression that forces us to accept the Truth that is Jesus Christ! (Please disregard the fact that a similar depression supposedly leads away from religion...)

And, failing to do this, you are banished to a temporary eternity of hedonism and arguments against religion, since Christianity is the only surefire cure for your physical urges and your desire to tear down establishments through ranting and polemic! Accept Jesus today, and you too can be free from the endless cycle that has been brought upon you by your strong urge to kill, your tragic memory of your little sister drowning at summer camp, and the vile temptations that are the writings of Richard Dawkins. Fight your terrible, unspeakable desires, put your obvious hatred of God for tragedies of yesteryear behind you, and stop worshipping those atheistic authors, and you too can trick yourself into believing that you have the answers, and yet feel as if that is not an inherently egotistic way of thinking. Reclaim your life's purpose today, and get a free T-shirt! *

(Note: You already own the T-shirt, and you will be instructed to give it to yourself upon winning the contest. If you do not own a T-shirt already, you will be instructed to buy one yourself and the expenses will be put toward the contest entry fee, which will be exactly equal to the price of the T-shirt. Offer not valid in Utah, Ohio, or Wyoming, for reasons known only to me and the women who have restraining orders against me in those states. We will not be held legally responsible if your T-shirt happens to suck.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Where the second set of footprints really went...

The devil may be the one admitting it, but you know that Jesus must have gone piggyback and pushed cocaine on us during at least one occasion. It would be negligent of him to not do so...

The Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot Gambit

Okay, I have been seeing a lot of this come up lately, and it grows increasingly annoying because it obvious that it is a hell of a lot easier to ask, remember, and regurgitate across the intertubes than it is to come up with a clear and concise response to why it is more than a little off kilter. The basic idea is this: atheism is no better/worse than Christianity because the worst crimes and atrocities committed by Christians have only death tolls in the thousands, but the atheists Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot all killed a number of people in the millions.

Let me just point out the problems, step by step. The first little complaint is that "atheism" cannot be equated to Christianity as an ideology, in that atheism is simply the lack of belief in god(s) and has no other common doctrine or conclusions attached to the title. As such, there is very little uniting atheists together, and very little that defines them as being similar, and, as such, any given atheist has less in common with another atheist than a Christian would have in common with a Christian (even despite the heavily sectarian nature of the religion), due to the large amount of doctrine that they both are exposed to, are influenced by, and tacitly accept. Atheists have no such comparable exposure or adherence to common ideas, and, as such, atheism in of itself cannot be as connected to the activities of any given atheist as it could be for any given Christian. I know this sounds unfair, and undemocratic of me, but I think it stands to reason that people who all believe in the existence of God, the veracity of the Bible, the divinity of Jesus, the necessity of his moral law (whatever those morals may be...), and who regularly interact with those who share those beliefs in settings focused explicitly on them have slighty more ideological connections to one another than the rare, insular people whose only common belief is that they have no belief in the religions that surround them.

The second problem is related to the first: that, even though these three dictators were all atheists, what defined their actions and mindsets more than simple non-belief in gods alone were the ideologies of communism to which they subscribed (and abused in order to attain oppressive totalitarian regimes). There was far more similarities in regards to their political ideologies than anything to could be said about atheism alone.

The third issue is both of a general defense of any set of ideas, beliefs, or actions that are challenged due to an alleged connection to a set of horrifying events. Though it is tempting to leap to judgment when a (presumably) clear correlation between some kind of ideology's prominence in a society or many societies and horrible events occuring in those locations, it is pertinent to try to reserve judgment unless you have seen that the ideology can and has influenced such behavior in several different socio-political climates, varied in time and location. The more it seems to occur across different times and regions, the more confidently we can blame the ideology itself, rather than underlying problems in the population, societal structure, economy, etc., which is presumably unrelated to the ideas criticized. And, unfortunately, the atrocities of communist regimes are relatively confined to a few struggling nations within the early to mid 20th century. Whether these nations alone reflect upon an inherent evil in communism or atheism, one could hardly say with honesty.

The fourth issue is whether the massive death toll somehow makes Christianity's own death toll from the witch trials, Crusades, Inquistion, etc. less significant. There are few problems with this. The first is that the three atheistic regimes did not engage in formal warfare, which is what constitutes an "atrocity", apparently, whereas this was the primary fashion in which Christianity went about killing a majority of the lives that could be tallied up against it. The problem is that we somehow dismiss the warfare as justifiable and beyond reproach (in fairness, I do not mean to suggest that Christianity in of itself was behind every war of Christian nations, but I simply mean to express that one need not spill the blood of many dissidents when you are sending off your own to kill and die for the sake of glory, satisfying the desire for violence and power in a more "acceptable" fashion). The second is that Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot had a much larger population to work with and, as such, it is a little underhanded to suggest that the failure of Christians to kill millions within the confines of a decade in the Middle Ages, as these three have done in the 1900's, somehow reflects upon some form of restraint. The third is related to the second: Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot not only had a larger crop of potential victims than Christianity had in its more impressionable years, but they also had much more efficient modes of execution. Even if the population had been identical to today back during the Inquisition, the Inquisition would still fail to have a significant death toll comparable to the atrocities of the three communist regimes without the Industrial era tools, transportation, and weaponry to do it (to say nothing of the fact that the Inquisition would need to focus more on execution and less on torture to compete).

So, to put it concisely, atheism is not detailed, consistent, or universal enough in its implications to be blamed for the actions of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot; what is more more relevant to the Big Three's behavior is communist ideology itself (which, even there, they deviate); one should not dismiss any set of ideas or beliefs as the direct cause of certain events without seeing that there is not something else at work (the fact that most successful and peaceful European countries of our day and age are atheistic helps to show that the assumption that atheism itself leads to these atrocities is flawed); and Christianity's atrocities are not entirely mitigated by the fact that they have lower total deaths attributed to them, given the fact that those atrocities may have been much larger in scope if given the population size and technology of the nations that they are being compared to.

All in all, this little argument, though deceptively convincing, is blatantly unfair and is a glorified illustration of jumping to the conclusion of correlation implying causation. As such, this argument is suitable as a rebuttal to a similarly unfair jump in logic of trying to cast doubt upon the entire precipice of Christianity by touting about a few acts of violence of centuries past. When it comes down to it, and you get beyond the false appeal of an argument from consequences, none of the tenets of Christianity, nor the arguments of atheism, are swayed in the slightest. They merely sit, ignored, as we entertain ourselves with horrific distractions.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


In mortal frame, passions withdrawn, I stand
Ever silent, cold and weeping
As man of mud and dust, black soul, dark land
Claim inner flame, mind still sleeping

Triumphant over human flesh, exalted
I sit dreaming, preaching, shouting
Of life beyond where sense is halted
Knowing, seeing, face death without routing.

Yet think of what it means to be
Men composed of flesh, bone and blood merely
Whose thoughts still ring, whose eyes still see
Who can dream, and feel, and think despite me.

Transcendant, foolish, too eager to fade away
I lie, wishing for a life that I once could not stay.

Ten Things We Have In Common

Ten things that believers and unbelievers have in common:

1. We are both human. Sometimes a little too human.
2. We both have feelings (and they can be hurt...I think...)
3. We both enjoy our occasional picture cube program, intertube surfage, or soundbox listening.
4. We can both agree that this guy is insane.
5. We are both imperfect (whether or not we can seriously admit it).
6. We both love love and beauty.
7. We both hate hate and injustice.
8. We both have lives and parts of ourselves that are not solely dictated by religious belief (or lack thereof).
9. ....
10. Profit!

Isn't this special.

This nice little Christofascist has decided to take it upon himself to speak for his God and point out who is going to hell (surprisingly, including entire websites on his list...can blogs burn for eternity?).

Honorable mentions:
"P.Z Myers : P.Z. Myers is not only a Atheist of the worst sort, he is a scientist who promotes the lies of man kind evolving from primate love. NSFA."

"Barack Obama Hussein Bin Laden: Muslim, Pro-Homosexual, Pro-Abortion, America hater. Carries the curse of Ham." (He damns Hillary too, but it is less hilariously wrong/racist).

"The Evil Atheist Conspiracy: Satan worship in 6 languages complete the mark of the beast. Their motto, “We’re after your children and pets.” NSFC"

WARNING: A real church web site but it is under constant attack by Liberals and Atheists making the forums there full of UN-Patriotic propganda. It is frequented by Liberal con artists and who spread lies and abominations. The Front page are articles are safe but the Forums are NSFW, NSFC, NSFA, NSFH."

"4Chan: Evil and Liberalism abound like the Black Plague. “4chan is a simple sinful image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images.” This vile site offers more pornography and free thinking than Playboy magazine. NSFW, NFFW, NSFC<21"

Well...I've got to agree with him on the last one...but his obliviousness in regards to Landover Baptist and Evil Atheist Conspiracy is just priceless!

Edit: Wow...guess this explains why he took Landover Baptist seriously! Place is a Poe site, just like Landover! Guess I'm a bit late to the game on this one....

Releasing the Demonic Liberal Within Me: Guns on Campus guys hear about that shooting that happened last year? was a pretty low profile event, something about some crazy Vietnamese kid, and some college down in Virginia. I don't remember the exact details, since it was barely covered by the news, like, at all. [/sarcasm]

Well, apparently in the wake of the Virginia Tech Massacre, every campus in America has students looking around with shifty, fearful eyes, wondering if they will be next. It is a wonderful paranoia that flies in the face of reason, and is inspired directly from remembering a single tragic event that is etched in one's memory rather than realizing that such horrific and memorable shootings happen incredibly rarely, and claims relatively few lives compared to almost any other conceivable way of dying. School shootings have resulted in a total of 323 deaths over the course of 40 years, which, in light of the fact that the city of Detroit alone had 418 murder cases in 2006, one should seriously be paranoid of being killed wherever you go if you seriously fear being killed in a schools shooting. It reminds of me when kids in middle school (and some teachers) were seriously concerned with the possibility of a terrorist attack in the wake of 9/11. never realizing for a moment that we were a school of 400 students in the middle of nowhere that was of little concern to anyone.

The basic point is that you can't let a few extreme cases of a psychopath going wild define your perception of reality. Because, if you do, then suddenly there are mafia hitmen, serial killers, and Illuminati members around every corner (or at least, that is what you insist to be the case). But, what are campuses across America trying to do in order to address these fears of a possible school shooting devastating their own university? They're entertaining the idea of letting the students overcome these fears by allowing them carry concealed weapons on campus! Now, I don't know about you, but personally I am far more comfortable with the idea of some random student getting pissed off, going berserk, and killing a few people (because it is incredibly unlikely to happen on any given campus), than letting every other person on campus pack heat as a precaution against such a rare, improbable occurence. The problems of trying to fight paranoia by making students believe that they have to be armed in order to be safe is counter-intuitive to an extent that makes me wonder about how logical it is for grown adults to buy into the same concept.

But, that's just my two cents. Also: take away second ammendment rights! Anarchy! Watch it all burn, burn like a thousand gasoline-fueled forest fires! Yes! Yes!