Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hmmmm...needs more killing sprees...

Please tell me, after watching this: what was this commercial advertising? Yes, it was supposed to be an advertisement for something. Yes, I am as surprised as you are. And, yes, the father was trying to strangle his family with tentacles composed of disembodied hearts propelled telekinetically out of his body, serving as a host and receiving the symbiotic benefits of temporary serotonin boosts during the course of it (my interpretation).

[Spoilers here]

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Conservative, Fundamentalist Christian guide to the Holidays

January 1st, New Years Day: "I bet you're still hungover, aren't you? Heathen."

Some Monday in January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day: "That's it. This counts as black history month. I mean it."

Third Monday in February, Presidents' Day: "If you criticize our President today, I swear I will fuck you up!"

February 14th, Valentine's Day: "Today is the day that I say that Christianity is the sole source of love in the world. And if you say otherwise I will fuck you up!"

Some random Sunday in late March and or in April, Easter: "If you don't kiss Jesus's ass for all he's done for you today, I will cry persecution, and then I will fuck you up!"

Last Monday in May, Memorial Day: "If you criticize the military today, I will fuck you up!"

All days in late June and early July, Independence Day: "If you criticize America today, you are an unpatriotic killjoy, and I will fuck you up!"

First Monday in September, Labor Day: "[singing] Schooooooooooool's. back. from. summer. Schooooooool's. back. for. ever."

Every other day in September, 9/11: "If you are a Muslim, liberal, or just plain non-Christian, stay quiet and stay mournful or I will go Jerry Falwell on your ass!"

First Monday in October, Columbus Day: "If you mention anything unsavory about the founding of this country today, I will fuck you up!"

The rest of October, Halloween: "If anything, at all, bad happens this month, I am blaming it on Satanic influence. Unless it is the fault of a minority group, in which case, I will fuck them up".

November 11th, Veteran's Day: "You remember Memorial Day, and President's Day, don't ya?"

Fourth week in November, Thanksgiving: "Today is the day that I say that only Christians have anything to be thankful for and pay thanks to, and if you say otherwise, I will deal with it after dinner."

Every other day in November and all of December up to the 25th, Christmas: "Say anything of a slightly religious nature that I do not completely agree with, and I will cry persecution and claim that you are launching an assault against jolly Saint Nick himself. And then I will fuck you up. Or get Bill O'Reilly to do it for me."

December 31st, New Year's Eve: "This year, I resolve to be more Christian..."

[Note: This is not a strawman parody of a religious person, broadbrushing based on exaggerated simplifications. These are FACTS, determined by a telepathic survey of the secret opinions the average conservative fundamentalist has about each of those holidays. As such, I am beyond rebuke. Pelvic thrust.]

The Economy's Dread Return is Nigh!!

The masses, in their infinite wisdom, have yet again offered up their annual blood sacrifice to the dark god called "consumerism". But, no, we would not settle for merely killing someone accidentally underfoot in mob formation, during our pursuit of ideal spending conditions. No. Not this year. Too simple. This year, we hedged our bets. We made sure that our lord and master knew that we meant business. And we had two guys shoot each other to death in a Toys R' Us. We hope that the dreaded one awakens from its slumber, and finds our gift delicious.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Something old: woman poses as an e-love interest to a girl who was mean to her daughter in order to get some revenge in a breakup. The girl kills herself, and the woman gets off without felony charges.

Something new: a 19 year old Florida resident hangs himself while streaming video of himself live, while commenters cheer him in on his attempts to kill himself.

Now, on to the nut-meat.

It seems that there are several issues here. Especially since some people seem to not even understand what causes people to become suicidal. And, clearly, there are quite a few who manage to feel zero empathy for them. So, I will address that first.

I cannot speak on the subject authoritatively, but only speculatively, in what I understand about the nature of depression, and its relation to suicide. Depression is a sadness distinct from the normal emotion, in that it lacks the normal connections and context that makes sadness a healthy response. It is not a reaction to a given event, its duration are far more outstretched, even if its intensity is no greater than a person's normal sorrows. It is comparable to chronic joint pain, with the normal emotion being similarly compared to, say, a sprained ankle.

Why does this distinction matter, you may ask? Because these long stretches of mild to moderate depression can be psychologically taxing to a degree that incredible, but short-term sadness, cannot be. People most often commit suicide while on an upswing after reaching the depths of a depressive episode. Why only after? Because they are depressed too bother killing themselves beforehand. To that degree, suicide is an interestingly paradoxical blend of emotions: it is frenzy after a bout of laziness, it is exasperation at being exhausted, it is a hatred of yourself for always being stifled by sadness in the a period where you are finally free from sadness enough to take your own life away, unimpeded.

For those that wonder why teenagers who have no real perceivable problems commit suicide over seemingly trivial things, that is why. It is about an escape from a cycle of melancholy that isn't attached to events like most people tend to experience sadness. And, in the case of the less cited cases in which it is the elderly killing themselves off, it may be an escape from actual, chronic physical pain (less common in teenagers, though to a small degree it could be a contributing factor to depression).

Now, for the first case, the woman who teased a girl online and accidentally caused the girl to kill herself. Let me just say that I think it was incredibly petty of this mother to do this, but she also did not realize that it would result on a girl killing herself. In fact, considering the nature of a suicidal individual, who usually is not responding to any one event, but the perception that their entire life is crappy, when deciding to kill themselves, it is hardly fair to blame the mother for inadvertently pushing this girl over the edge. It is tragic, but it would hardly be predictable for anyone who wasn't more closely familiar with her (she, at 13, was diagnosed with depression and on antidepressant medication).

The second case brings up the fact that many people plot suicides online (as well as bringing up the ridiculous fact that suicide and suicide attempts are illegal in most places in our country). And, I am sure that anyone who has seen one of those threats to commit suicide have seen the typical internet tough guy responses. Namely, goading the person to go through with it, or verbally brushing them off and dismissing them. This is almost understandable, however, when the amount of these threats made lightly (or without direct results, at least) are high.

And then there are responses to actual suicides. Genuine pity, morbid jokes, indifference, deeming the person who killed themselves to have been mentally weak (and thus, deserving the fate they brought upon themselves), or outright contempt for the person who did so, for failing to consider the feelings of those they left behind. Sometimes it is a combination. But it is the latter four that can become the most disgusting, given the standard tendency of internet commenters towards idiocy, arrogance, and misinformed hatred, all just to maintain a false veneer of bravado and superiority. It is a sad reflection of the more regrettable inner thoughts of a populace who would be far more sympathetic if they could just see a human face.

Needless to say, I don't approve. But, I also feel that people who are trying to determine whether they should live or die according to whether notoriously rabid and moronic internet folk care about them are more or less condemning themselves to a death sentence due to their own ignorance, rather than just due to uncontrolled feelings of worthlessness. This, I also do not approve of.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So....what are you all thankful for during this family gathering, turkey slaughtering, face-gorging holiday season? Please leave all answers in the form of cliches.

Edit: Looks like PZ just gave me something to be thankful for. Namely, a moron being called out on his anti-atheist bull. Praise Athe!

It's alive!!! But still braindead.

Dinesh D'Souza is posting on the internet again. And I just cannot resist reflexively dissecting his newest inane work like I always do.
The central argument of these scientific atheists is that modern science has refuted traditional religious conceptions of a divine creator.
Oooooo. Close. It has shown that "religious conceptions of a divine creator" are naive, unnecessary, unevidenced and occasionally based on ideas that are counterfactual given newfound scientific revelations. It doesn't refute the ideas, it provides us with a framework that makes it clear that those ideas are ill-founded and impotent in comparison.
But of late atheism seems to be losing its scientific confidence. One sign of this is the public advertisements that are appearing in billboards from London to Washington DC. Dawkins helped pay for a London campaign to put signs on city buses saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Humanist groups in America have launched a similar campaign in the nation’s capital. “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake.” And in Colorado atheists are sporting billboards apparently inspired by John Lennon: “Imagine…no religion.”
How the hell is deciding against invoking science in a billboard whose sole purpose is to merely introduce the idea of nonbelief indicative of losing scientific confidence?
There is no claim here that God fails to satisfy some criterion of scientific validation. We hear nothing about how evolution has undermined the traditional “argument from design.” There’s not even a whisper about how science is based on reason while Christianity is based on faith.
That's because they are fucking billboards advertisements, and not jargon filled formal arguments against religion. If you want to bring up the fact that atheists are engaging religion on two different levels (as scientifically devoid of merit and as a sociological hassle) then you might have a point. But you are just saying that atheists (as a unified group in your mind, no doubt) are moving away from science, based entirely on advertisements that probably could not be used as a format for those science flavored arguments even if that were the intent.
In other words, let’s not let God and his commandments spoil all the fun.
More like: "let's not let God's hatred of the butt sex and promises to burn everyone who does not follow him to a crisp spoil all the fun". Could you be any more disingenuous, D'oucheza? Your commandments are an utter crock.
“Be good for goodness sake” is true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
And you were expecting a comprehensive moral code in addition to a scientific refutation of the existence of God? I would be surprised if it was anyone but you.
The question remains: what is the source of these standards of goodness that seem to be shared by religious and non-religious people alike?
The human conscience, which is based in certain rational necessities for our own successful function in society, which is necessary for our survival. No need to invoke Jesus here.
His “imagine there’s no heaven” sounds visionary but is, from an intellectual point of view, a complete nullity.
That's true. It is hardly intellectual to imagine that something which doesn't exist doesn't exist.
The article begins by noting “an extraordinary fact about the universe: its basic properties are uncannily suited for life.” As physicist Andrei Linde puts it, “We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible.”
The anthropic principle. This idea is repeated so often and is so thoroughly entrenched in the belief that human life is an end in of itself that I really can't be bothered to say more to refute it.
Too many “coincidences,” however, imply a plot.
Unless you are too liberal with your definition of "coincidence", in which case it just implies that you are dolt who is trying to find connections where there are none.
Folger’s article shows that if the numerical values of the universe, from the speed of light to the strength of gravity, were even slightly different, there would be no universe and no life.
Issue one: that's why we have a universe with those "values". Because the ones that came short couldn't exist. And the ones where life cannot exist cannot be observed as an existent universe by anyone.
Issue two: this is assuming that we are the only possible reality. That is to say, you may be able to change those cosmological constants and not be able to have a universe as we know it. But there is no reason that it might be consistent with the ability to a different form of reality with different principles to form.
Issue three: equilibrium. Changing one constant at a time might mess things up, but you might still be able to maintain existence as we know it by changing all those values the proper amount so that they can interact with one another properly.
Even Steven Weinberg, the Nobel laureate in physics and an outspoken atheist, remarks that “this is fine-tuning that seems to be extreme, far beyond what you could imagine just having to accept as a mere accident.”
And just like with evolution, "accident" is a strawman. The universe is "fine-tuned", not due to an unknown supernatural agency, but due entirely to the fact that if it were not so, it would not exist.
They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea.”
LOLWUT? Please, I would love to hear that groundbreaking information.
Science is the search for natural explanations for natural phenomena, and what could be more embarrassing than the finding that a supernatural intelligence transcending all natural laws is behind it all?
What could be a bigger waste of time than accepting that as the case? Positing supernatural agencies is ineffectual and bars progress. It is why science focuses on the natural. It sure would be embarrassing to find that a supernatural intelligence is behind all those natural occurrences. But, how that could possibly happen aside from people just leaping to the conclusion when evidence reaches a dead-end, I cannot possibly fathom.
While some physicists are hoping the multiverse will produce empirical predictions that can be tested, “for many physicists, however, the multiverse remains a desperate measure ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation.”
Which is a shame. It is an interesting idea. But, you see the irony of posing that a supernatural agency, with just as much of an "impossibility of confirmation" as the rejected multiverse theory, must be the case, right?
When science, far from disproving God, seems to be pointing with ever-greater precision toward transcendence, imagination and wishful thinking seem all that is left for the atheists to count on.
Of course not. Being self-aware would prevent you from your trademark end paragraph consisting entirely of smug, self-satisfied chest beating and insults, seemingly justified entirely based on the preceding few paragraphs of arguments from authority, strawmen, and dead-in-the-water apologetics. You might as well have just quoted a person saying "design design design" over and over again, because it would have just as much objective scientific content, and slightly less woo. Because, despite all your posturing, all I saw in this article was a common interpretation of physics as specifically fine-tuned for life and the universe (rather than acknowledging that life and the universe are simply the accidental products of physics, and could not exist for us to remark about for non-viable configurations). And, as usual, empty threats about there being evidence for a creative entity. But, since you restrained yourself from providing it, I will have to give you standard grade of "fail", Dineshikins. Better luck next time.

The Website that is a reaction to the website that was a reaction to the advertisement that was a reaction to a religious culture.

I demand that you go here and leave a testimonial. Do it. I command you.

[More direct link here. Feel free to read other people's submissions. Just don't get too engaged...there are a lot.]

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Whew! What a relief!

The Vatican Church, showing that they are now only forty years behind the curve, have recently issued a statement saying that they forgive John Lennon for saying that the Beatles are bigger than Jesus. I am sure he is thrilled.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When Opinions Suck: "I can haz douchebaggery?" edition

In response to an opinion piece done in the local newspaper today, in addition to a common meme I see online a lot, I say "Welcome to post-19th century America!" Marriage is no longer a state-sanctioned bond used to assure that people successfully breed annoying demonspawn children. If it was, we would still be annulling marriages for people who do not have children within a set amount of time, and would prevent the elderly or impotent from marrying. Hell, we probably wouldn't even let people marry unless they specifically stated that they wanted to have children (which some married couples do not). This is a very nice way of trying to justify why marriage is arbitrarily defined as a bond between a man and woman. When marriage served as a sex contract, you probably would have had a point. But, present day, marriage is not a child quota. It is not a man buying property rights to a vagina. It is more or less a partnership contract. One that confers certain legal benefits that we should not be allowed to arbitrarily deny to people just because they do not have different sets of genitals. Your argument from tradition, completely ignoring the state of marriage today, and from the fact that using a tradition of exclusion to support continued exclusion, fails. And your attempts to pretend that people aren't homophobic by claiming that there is no hatred in adamantly clinging to such a tradition are mildly humorous, and would be outright hilarious if your willingness to turn a blind eye to the motivations behind these arguments wasn't so disgusting.

Just because you scoff at the idea that gay marriage is a civil rights issue does not mean that it isn't one. End rant.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And Pratchett gets the gold.

Poll Results:
Favorite Fantasy Series: (13 votes)

Lord of the Rings [Silver] 3 (23%)

Discworld [Gold] 4 (30%)

Harry Potter [Note: This was my vote. As in...the one that I randomly clicked in order to see poll results prematurely] 1 (7%)

Earthsea 1 (7%)

Chronicles of Narnia 1 (7%)

Prydain Chronicle 0 (0%)

Abhorsen Trilogy 0 (0%)

Xanth Series 0 (0%)

His Dark Materials [Bronze] 2 (15%)

[Random Set of Holy Texts] 1 (7%)

Now...has anybody but me even been briefly acquainted with the Prydain Chronicles, Abhorsen Trilogy, and Xanth Series. I wouldn't expect them to be anyone's favorite, but I'm not even sure if anyone has heard of them (especiall the Abhorsen Trilogy).

Also: I now know that I need to actually read the Discworld books. A poll actually gave me productive results! A miracle!

New poll up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OMG! They turned them into the Palin family!

Track, Renaissance, Radiance, Trig, Capri, Renegade, Piper, Celtic, Willow, Rosebud, Bristol.

Which of those 11 are the names of people headed to the White House? Guess.

And, in case that was too easy for you, here's something that might just waste as much of your life as it has mine.

Survival of the Wealthiest

...has reached a whole new level.

I think that all I can do is offer up a quote from the comments section to bring some light to this:
"I know it's British, but this is the principle under which George W.Bush governs."
Indeed. Indeed...

"Not a Civil Rights Issue"

This was a conclusion reached in two of the opinion columns I read in the local newspaper. Two of the three opinion columns, with the remaining one talking about the presidential election rather than Prop.8 aftermath, so thus without a comparable conclusion on the subject matter.

"Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue." Why, you may ask? Well...because...other people don't have a right to marriage either. There are conditions, and only one of them is that one has to be male and one female. That's the excuse. So, let me dig into that briefly.

It appears that, aside from one male-one female being a requirement (and marriage falling out of favor as a glorified childbearing quota system), the only conditions are that the married partners are "of age", aren't blood related, and do not enter into a polygamous relationship. Being the same race is no longer a requirement, obviously.

Now, I am going to just say that the age requirement, though set arbitrarily, needs to be put at some level at around where it exists currently in order to reasonably insure that there is informed consent. Marriage is a legal contract, after all. So, no. No endorsed pedophilia, no bestiality, don't bring it up because it happens everytime that people who disagree with gay marriage try their slippery slopes. Unfortunately, however, now I have to concede that there probably should be a slippery slope when it comes to the other issues.

The restriction against blood-related people getting married is also unjust. If informed consent also applies to that situation, then they should not be prevented from getting married. Ideally, they should be informed of the inherent risks of having children due to their genetic similarity to one another, and they should also ideally take precautions due to that knowledge, but aside from that, I do think that they should be free to marry as well. Same goes for polygamous couples (groups?). If consent applies, then their only crimes are making things confusing in their households, and hogging up a disproportionately large amount of potential mates. The reason for banning consensual incestual relationships is to forcibly prevent them from bearing children with birth defects, and the reason for banning polygamy is, more or less, jealousy. That, of course, is in addition to the fact that they were only instated as laws due to religious hangups (though incest is more of a universal cultural taboo, due primarily to fearful reactions to aforementioned children with birth defects). And, due to that, I think that those definitional restrictions, in addition to the restrictions against same-sex partners, could also be done away with.

I've just affirmed every homophobic nutjobs worst fears by saying this, though. When they say "what's next? Incest and polygamy" they are not used to hearing "hopefully" as a response. But, when you are hoarding exclusive access to secular partnership rights with such fragile reasons for doing so, it is your own damn fault. Denying right to marriage, which grants a plethora of exclusive privileges for those who enter in it (though they are admittedly mild privileges), is indeed a civil rights issue. The fact that you are excluding a few others on an equally shoddy basis is no excuse. Especially since there is precedent, in allowing interracial marriage, of changing these conditions in the name of fairmindedness and, dare I say, common sense.
Especially in light of the fact that the definition and role of marriage has been changing for centuries now, and is now a secular entity distinct from its religious forebearers, which exists in a supposedly secular society that still demands that we collectively adhere to their arbitrary definitions of morality.

Guess what? It is not immoral to love more than one person and have them reciprocate, even while knowing this fact. It is not immoral to love a close relative and have that person reciprocate (it is immoral to knowing bear children despite the inherent risks of doing so in this relationship, however). And it is not immoral to love someone of the same sex. And if you can't come up with a better reason to keep these people barred from marriage than tradition, your holy text, and some vague argument that permitting it is somehow harmful to society, without proof or even the slightest awareness of your uncritical prejudice on the matter, then I honestly think that you no longer have a leg to stand on.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Give me meaning NOW

Dinesh D'Souza, in the most popular post on his old AOL Newsblog, in his typical clueless fashion, asks us: Where is Atheism When Bad Things Happen? He goes on to say:
Blah, blah, blah, I don't give a damn what he's saying because he's a frickin' moron.
Yeah...what he says is irrelevant because one of the commenters leaves a far more eloquent, and equally misguided rendition of the same exact post. Comment number 375, Rachael Todd, welcome to the spotlight!
You talk about how you are insulted when people assume you don't care about when a person dies or believe that you are "heartless," but you aren't being any more tolerant than they are.I am fairly certain that my religious friends would be extremely insulted, as you refer to religion as "magic" and "imaginary friends"--that people who believe in any religion are "idiots."
Slight issue: it isn't intolerance if it is true. Religion does involve what we would call magic and imaginary friends. And religious people are being idiots when it comes to religious issues. If you are asserting that they idiots outside of that general compartmentalized region of thought, however, then it is inaccurate, and is intolerant. Just like calling atheists "heartless".
People who have faith do not have faith because they have evidence. The fact that there is no evidence and yet they continue to believe is what FAITH is. I'm not religious--I'm not atheist, and I try to look at things like this from both sides of the spectrum.
You've got to love faux agnosticism. I'm getting real sick of the tendency for people to claim the middle ground, and then preceding to guffaw about how it is morally and logically superior simply on merits of being in the middle of a perceived spectrum. But, the thing is, this isn't a spectrum from religious to not: it's a massive system of Venn Diagrams with each circle being an individual religion, with the further you are into each circle representing how firmly your beliefs are held, and with the region outside of the circles representing atheism. You aren't in the middle of a straight line, seeing both ways. You are on the cusp of a regionally popular religion, pretending that you can see the entirety of religious ideology from that position.
D'Souza wasn't saying that you have to have religion in order to have compassion and emotions.
Good for him. He really doesn't need any more phail on his record than he already has.
He was saying that if people believe we are just a horrible accident that just happened to end up in the universe, then why does it matter if I shoot somebody--they are just another accident, just like me.
Not a horrible accident: a wonderful accident. We happened to end up in the universe, happened to be born, happened to become who we are today, and have only the good fortune of existing to get us through our days in an otherwise indifferent world. The reason why it matters if you kill someone else is because 1. you and the person you are killing only get one life, for better or worse 2. you and the person you are killing can both feel pain and feel joy, making life worth living and making death a torment 3. you and the person you are killing both have social connections that can be damaged by such sudden deaths or such dangerous behavior. It doesn't matter whether we are "accidents" or not. What does matter is that we exist, we think, we feel, we interact with other beings that exist, and we probably will never exist again after this. Which is as good of a reason as any for you to seize the day, and not take away other people's rights to do the same.
We just came out of the same slime pit at the beginning of time, so killing them isn't a crime at all.
Why? Crimes are defined by society, not by some value judgment on your part that having their origins in slime pits somehow justifies terminating sentient beings. What aspect of coming out of "slime pit" inherently detracts from our worth?
"Molecules acting on molecules." If that's how modern science is being interpreted, then something more, WITH modern science--to give life meaning--would be nice.
This is a reference to Dinesh's inane comment that "for scientific atheists like Dawkins, Cho's shooting of all those people can be understood in this way--molecules acting upon molecules."
It is what I like to call "the straw-chemist". I call it that because not even chemists, who are entirely entrenched in the exploration of the world in terms of molecules, atoms, ions, and subatomic particles that make up all of observable reality think of their everyday existence as just "molecules acting upon molecules". Anymore than architects see buildings as "bricks piled upon bricks", biologists see their pets as "cells clustered with cells", or writers see written texts as "ink stains adjacent to ink stains". All of these things are ultimately true, however, but just focusing on the small picture, rather than the larger scale that we just happen to live in and which is the level that we commonly interact with others on is something that is just not done. Things explained through molecular chemical processes can still be more than just "molecules" to us on the human level of understanding the world. Buildings are more than the bricks that make them up, living things are more than cells, text is more than pixels, reality is more than molecules. Why? Partly because their arrangement is also significant. And, more relevantly, it is because we, subjectively, give them more meaning. We give everything meaning in that respect, including our own lives. It's just a matter of perspective; no gods necessary.
Tor ANY atheist who happens to be reading this: please tell me why you think life is worth living. What's the point?
"To ANY theist who happens to be reading this: please tell me why you think THIS life is worth living. What's the point? We're just a pile of dust set along preset paths by a deity who only cares about us if we kiss his ass, and who each have an eternal life after this one. Why don't I just praise Jesus and have some merciful sinner shoot me in the mouth so that I can get my eternal salvation and be done with it?"

To answer you straight: life is worth living because the alternatives don't give you a lot of elbow room for changing your mind. These ghouls shouldn't play this game, but they always do.

Religion: "We've got paintings!"

Good ol' Janesophie linked to this, and it caught my interest because it was allegedly about the "New Atheists" being forced to reject core parts of Western society and culture in order to fully rebuke the effects of religion. Needless to say, disappointment abounded. It was just another inept attempt to criticize the big atheist authors while not really offering up anything substantiative. So, without further to do, I give you...a dissection.
Few of us, especially as we grow older, are entirely comfortable with the idea that life is full of sound and fury but signifies nothing. However much philosophers tell us that it is illogical to fear death, and that at worst it is only the process of dying that we should fear, people still fear death as much as ever.
It is a damn shame that people are afraid of ceasing to be, and want so very badly for life to have an objective meaning. But, that is only indicative of the human desire to be worth something, the ego, pure and simple, rather than of the thing that we desire to be true itself (namely, that we are inherently significant).
In like fashion, however many times philosophers say that it is up to us ourselves, and to no one else, to find the meaning of life, we continue to long for a transcendent purpose immanent in existence itself, independent of our own wills. To tell us that we should not feel this longing is a bit like telling someone in the first flush of love that the object of his affections is not worthy of them. The heart hath its reasons that reason knows not of.
Again, longing for something doesn't make the thing you desire 1. attainable or 2. real. You can compare the flighty search for meaning to a search for love all you like, but the fact remains that the target of the latter actually exists.
Of course, men—that is to say, some men—have denied this truth ever since the Enlightenment, and have sought to find a way of life based entirely on reason. Far as I am from decrying reason, the attempt leads at best to Gradgrind and at worst to Stalin. Reason can never be the absolute dictator of man’s mental or moral economy.
Can you really blame people, in a civilized world, for trying to move away from being swayed by petty outrages, baseless conjecture, irrational diatribe, and gut instinct, knowing full well the consequences and the capacity for error in such fragile whims? And, I am afraid, if you do not have reason to back up your "mental or moral economy", then you have no objective basis for it and are dealing entirely with subjective, personal concepts. Which is fine, but it doesn't lend itself effectively to transfer given its feeble basis in the reality perceived outside of your own skull.
We had been given to understand that if we opened our eyes during prayers God would depart the assembly hall. I wanted to test this hypothesis. Surely, if I opened my eyes suddenly, I would glimpse the fleeing God? What I saw instead, it turned out, was the headmaster, Mr. Clinton, intoning the prayer with one eye closed and the other open, with which he beadily surveyed the children below for transgressions. I quickly concluded that Mr. Clinton did not believe what he said about the need to keep our eyes shut. And if he did not believe that, why should I believe in his God?
You poor soul. At the age of 9, learning that there is no Santa God. But, seeing as how your "atheism" was entirely founded upon a bizarre lie with no theological basis told by your headmaster...I don't think you really stood a chance.
Dennett argues that religion is explicable in evolutionary terms—for example, by our inborn human propensity, at one time valuable for our survival on the African savannahs, to attribute animate agency to threatening events.
Makes sense, especially given the psychological propensity to see human physical features in almost everything, as well as interpreting parts of random noise as a human voice, and the tendency for children to personify objects and weather patterns.
But of course it is a necessary part of the argument that all possible human beliefs, including belief in evolution, must be explicable in precisely the same way; or else why single out religion for this treatment?
Because religion is an incredibly old, complex phenomenon with a distinct form of belief involved with it, whereas "belief in evolution" is too specific and too new to have any biological significance, in of itself. But, you have a point: maybe he should do tests to see if there is biological and psychological distinction between religious beliefs and beliefs of different varieties.
We find ourselves facing a version of the paradox of the Cretan liar: all beliefs, including this one, are the products of evolution, and all beliefs that are products of evolution cannot be known to be true. know...when you check for whether they are true or not by seeing whether they are supported by objective evidence or not...
One striking aspect of Dennett’s book is his failure to avoid the language of purpose, intention, and ontological moral evaluation, despite his fierce opposition to teleological views of existence:
Which is a testament to the way that our minds and language works. Not proof that this purpose and intention exist.
But, your evidence for this claim is: “The stinginess of Nature can be seen everywhere we look.” Wow. Participating in a long tradition of referring to nature as a personified entity (which is itself part of the natural tendency to "attribute animate agency" to events and the inanimate that you mentioned before). You really got him good.
"says on its second page that religion prevents mankind from facing up to “reality in all its naked cruelty.” But how can reality have any moral quality without having an immanent or transcendent purpose?"
"Cruelty" doesn't have to be a moral quality, and it doesn't have to be one that is relegated entirely to a reference to human behavior. In fact, looking at these definitions, human agency isn't even the first thing that comes to mind.
No doubt Dennett would reply that he is writing in metaphors for the layman and that he could translate all his statements into a language without either moral evaluation or purpose included in it. Perhaps he would argue that his language is evidence that the spell still has a hold over even him, the breaker of the spell for the rest of humanity.
No doubt indeed.
But I am not sure that this response would be psychologically accurate. I think Dennett’s use of the language of evaluation and purpose is evidence of a deep-seated metaphysical belief (however caused) that Providence exists in the universe, a belief that few people, confronted by the mystery of beauty and of existence itself, escape entirely.
Well that's wonderful. Your opinion is noted, and relegated to the "opinion heap". Note that Kent Hovind's opinions are also in there, so the flies have already gathered.
At any rate, it ill behooves Dennett to condescend to those poor primitives who still have a religious or providential view of the world: a view that, at base, is no more refutable than Dennett’s metaphysical faith in evolution.
Issue the first: cry me a fucking river.
Issue the second: "metaphysical faith in evolution"? If evolution is metaphysical, there are a lot of geneticists, ecologists, paleontologists, and just general biologists weeping at this very moment, because they have been dealing in the concrete proof for something that evidently is just pure abstraction according to you.
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins quotes with approval a new set of Ten Commandments for atheists, which he obtained from an atheist website, without considering odd the idea that atheists require commandments at all, let alone precisely ten of them; nor does their metaphysical status seem to worry him.
Ever occur to you that the reason why they grabbed the ten commandments and changed them is to prove that you can have areligious moral codes while simultaneously seizing upon a common religious moral code which is lacking as a springboard and basis for comparison? No, I didn't think so. And stop saying "metaphysical".
The last of the atheist’s Ten Commandments ends with the following: “Question everything.” Everything? Including the need to question everything, and so on ad infinitum?
Why not? It's like a Zen riddle that way, resolvable in a convoluted and unsatisfactory manner which I can change at whim if that resolution happens to contradict another commandment. -or- You're not supposed to take that passage literally!!1!1
Not to belabor the point, but if I questioned whether George Washington died in 1799, I could spend a lifetime trying to prove it and find myself still, at the end of my efforts, having to make a leap, or perhaps several leaps, of faith in order to believe the rather banal fact that I had set out to prove.
Yeah. But, at least you could and would have some form of evidence to support that leap, in which case the comparison you are trying to make is disingenuous.
What is confounded here is surely the abstract right to question everything with the actual exercise of that right on all possible occasions. Anyone who did exercise his right on all possible occasions would wind up a short-lived fool.
Blah blah blah, paralyzed with skeptical doubts, whatever. Questioning everything you can and that warrants such skepticism, and bringing up these doubts within moderation is still a relatively good idea, don't you think? And "question everything" remains significantly shorter than the previous sentence, right? Ughhh...tiresome.
It is not easy to do justice to the book’s nastiness; it makes Dawkins’s claim that religious education constitutes child abuse look sane and moderate.
Gotta love how defensive they get about the idea that "religious education constitutes child abuse". They obviously shy away from nuance, so they see it as some kind of bold attempt to define religious education as a crime, or compare it to physical beating, rather than seeing what Dawkins meant to suggest. Which is to say that religious education to a young child is unfair because they are naturally obedient and credulous enough to automatically believe it, and because the implications of the religion (examples being Hell and the fact that you will go there if you do not believe) have the potential to be psychologically damaging. But, Heaven forbid that these people actually address those problems, rather than crying "how dare he say that!?".
Harris tells us, for example, that “we must find our way to a time when faith, without evidence, disgraces anyone who would claim it. Given the present state of the world, there appears to be no other future worth wanting.” I am glad that I am old enough that I shall not see the future of reason as laid down by Harris
I guess I am happy about that as well.
Is Harris writing of a historical inevitability? Of a categorical imperative? Or is he merely making a legislative proposal?
More like "a collective necessity for future prosperity". It is not inevitable, not possible through law-making, but merely a goal that we must work towards in order to not crumble or blast our way back to the Stone Age.
It becomes even more sinister when considered in conjunction with the following sentences, quite possibly the most disgraceful that I have read in a book by a man posing as a rationalist:"The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live.” Let us leave aside the metaphysical problems that these three sentences raise. For Harris, the most important question about genocide would seem to be: “Who is genociding whom?”
It was very nice of you to keep that last sentence in, because it lets us know that he is describing what happens in the real world, and not prescribing moral behavior. But I'll let the man speak for himself, with the sentences following the quote-mine: "Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world."
He's not supporting genocide, he's supporting self-defense against individuals with overtly aggressive mindsets, and behavior that is indicative of it.
Lying not far beneath the surface of all the neo-atheist books is the kind of historiography that many of us adopted in our hormone-disturbed adolescence, furious at the discovery that our parents sometimes told lies and violated their own precepts and rules.
What a sophisticated way of presenting the idea of "hypocrisy". And, by "sophisticated", I mean to're a sophist.
It is surely not news, except to someone so ignorant that he probably wouldn’t be interested in these books in the first place, that religious conflict has often been murderous and that religious people have committed hideous atrocities. But so have secularists and atheists, and though they have had less time to prove their mettle in this area, they have proved it amply
This old pissing match again?
Science and technology spoil everything: without trains and IG Farben, no Auschwitz; without transistor radios and mass-produced machetes, no Rwandan genocide. First you decide what you hate, and then you gather evidence for its hatefulness
Too bad that science and technology are objectively beneficial and predominantly so. Religion is about as beneficial to mankind as a sugar pill that you think, so very very passionately, makes you a better person, and serves as a source of division while so doing. As for his condemnation of confirmation bias: spot on. Good on you. That's 1/ however many other points you were trying to make. Not a bad ratio for your side of a religious debate.
And in my own view, the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency
You still have gratitude without religion, and you can even have purpose without religion, since purpose is self-defined. You just don't need to be grateful to a non-existent entity, or define your purpose in sync with said entity.
Even if you did not know that Sánchez Cotán was a seventeenth-century Spanish priest, you could know that the painter was religious: for this picture is a visual testimony of gratitude for the beauty of those things that sustain us
You know that you are getting desperate when your sole claim to the merit of a belief system is that there were some talented artists were a part of it. Seeing as how most people in the world were religious to some degree, color me underwhelmed.
On the neo-atheist view, the religious connection between Catholic Spain and Protestant Holland is one of conflict, war, and massacre only: and certainly one cannot deny this history. And yet something more exists. As with Sánchez Cotán, only a deep reverence, an ability not to take existence for granted, could turn a representation of a herring on a pewter plate into an object of transcendent beauty, worthy of serious reflection.
Please forgive the stifled laughter. You know the people who are most likely to not take existence for granted: the people who admit that they only have one life to live, who don't believe that they are given warrant by their deity to dominate the planet and all other life on it, and the people who aren't forever obsessing about things that are beyond existence as we know and experience it (within the strict limitations of heterodoxy, of course). That said, I acknowledge that religion can inspire artwork. But, your extrapolations about why that is so...are pathetic.
But looking, say, into the works of Joseph Hall, D.D., I found myself moved: much more moved, it goes without saying, than by any of the books of the new atheists.
That's wonderful. I also find fiction rather more inspiring and emotionally stirring than non-fictional accounts of actual events. Kindred spirits, you and I.
Hall surely means us to infer that whatever happens to us, however unpleasant, has a meaning and purpose; and this enables us to bear our sorrows with greater dignity and less suffering.
Wow. How beautiful. Telling people to accept their lot in life and deal with whatever injustice comes their way with the ridiculous platitude of their being "a plan" behind genuine tragedies. Effectively telling them to "get over it". What a rich, moving religious tradition.
Though eloquent, this appeal to moderation as the key to happiness is not original; but such moderation comes more naturally to the man who believes in something not merely higher than himself, but higher than mankind.
Or one who knows that moderation is best through experience or by being told that it is objectively so, as the case may be. There are a lot of aspects to life, and you shouldn't devote yourself to much to just one aspect of it.

And he continues to compare a single quote, spanning 2 to 3 sentences, from each of the "New Atheists"' books to chunks of text from some of Joseph Hall's works in order to support his judgments that the atheists are all mean, and heartless, and ineloquent and stuff. It sounds like Dalrymble doesn't practice what he preaches. But, I guess I am just a rambunctious know-nothing adolescent for pointing that out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Raised Eyebrow

Obama's Election Sparks Gun Sales.

"Everyone is here for the same reason: Buy it now or you're not going to have a
chance in the future," said Charlie Street, a gun owner

Sigh. But apparently paranoia is a bipartisan issue.

"One of the strangest things I've had happen in the past few weeks was that I've
had people coming in here wearing Obama buttons and Obama T-shirts," Glen
Parshall, owner of a local Fort Worth gun shop. "[They] tell me they're in here
to buy them before he bans them."
I feel like I am taking crazy pills! [I don't even want to get into the depths of my own paranoia on this issue: that some of these people are out to get weapons to use on Obama, rather than just stockpiling them for whatever convoluted conception of self-defense they hold. I guess I am just a little shaken...]

I iz trippen

This is America.

This is America on drugs.

The colorz! I can taste them! [Please, do check out the last link for some context about this last image. It has some really interesting implications. Or see here for a fascinating exploration of the relevance of population density when looking at election maps.]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some More Steaming Nuggets

Freepers have a say:

"You can also spread the blame to that lame ass presently occupying the Oval Office, and the limp dicks on the Republican side of the aisle. Nobody...and I mean NOBODY of the so-called Republican persuasion inside the beltway so much as raised their voices, let alone lifted fists in anger at the obvious shenanigans of the mainstream media and the Democrats in the Senate. And they were all just as mute and conveniently blind to the blatant banana-belt campaign of the Magic Niggro. The only one with the cajones that might still put the skids to this Marxist illegal alien's ascension to the White House is THE BITCH herself. I never thought I'd see the day that I cheered for this Democrat whore to do anything........but at this stage of the game I am. GO HILLARY!!!!!" -BuckeyeMike: "Republicans didn't hate people enough"

"The media did several stories on crying black voters.

One crying black sounded like Morpheus talking about Neo, The One. He cried so hard about the Obama win I thought someone kicked him in his uterus.

There were crying blacks everywhere. Crying blacks on top of crying blacks. I saw Jesse Jackson crying next to a huddle of other crying blacks and Oprah too, wedged behind someone, crying. All of them crying together.

I also saw some white homosexuals crying next to the crying blacks. It was a nice juxtaposition. Blacks and homos crying.

There were a few white women crying too with the crying blacks.

I didn't see any real men anywhere. There were none in the crowds. No walrus mustaches or anchor tattoos.

Just a bunch of women wearing brown pleather jackets crying, homos crying and blacks crying.

It was like group therapy for assault trauma victims, which is what the democrat party is now, officially."
-Wyatt_Junker, sociopathic closet case. Who, on an unrelated note, needs to revoke his avatar posthaste.

Edit: But wait...the thread goes on!

"The imbeciles are crying for joy now that their racist-in-chief, their Messiuh-uh-uh, has been elevated to veritable godhood. But wait a while. They will be crying in bitterness when they find out that the Magic Lawn Jockey lied his ass off to them and that he cannot and never intended to do what he promised. He's a power-lusting megalomaniac and they're useful idiots. Smile now, fools. You're as f**ked as the rest of us because of your brain-damaged voting for this real-life example of the Peter Principle." -DoctorDoom, projector with an 8-year time delay.

"Your 'crying blacks' image reminds me of a character in a Sci-Fi series: Sliders. The fellow, a little Richard styled vocalist, went by the nickname "The Crying Man" because he could turn on the tears when emoting on stage.Why are the various groups crying? Well some are crying because they have been brainwashed into tribalism as a source of pride - a culture that depends on its grievances and anger as a source pride tends to build up a huge well of entitlement and frustration. The election of a half Kenyan is a dream come true - 'we' are now respected....'we' have power...'God' has emancipated us. Even hyper rich Oprah is consumed by racialism - the call of the tribe and bloodline. Others, such as gays, cry because of transference - they are ersatz blacks and co-victims. Also captivated by a messiah, their very identity is in the "movement" - the grandeur of vapid promises of "change" "yes we can" and "hope" - childish but real to the immature children that pose as adults. To them, Jesus has been put on the throne. (No doubt the secretly believe Obama is also gay).This is madness - the danger of mobs.On the other hand, for all the hoopla, its striking that he only got 52% of the vote - nothing compared to Reagan's victories. " -maxparrish: "Emotion is so...African. And gay."

Nuggets of Wingnuttery

Poor Mo Rocca. He struck a particular rich vein of shrill inanity. Let me present several choice gems, as the insane frantically nurse their wounds by drinking the blood of invisible enemies:

"Has the world gone mad. A man who is a closet Muslim, (who honestly I was going to vote for) until I found out that he had been attending a church for many years where a man (not a man of God) was preaching hate towards not only whites but also all Americans" -Kathy, who doesn't do nuance.

"READ your history books, folks! Cuba wanted change and flocked after the youthful charismatic candidate - guess what - they are still living with that change; his name is Castro."
-shrspen, using the "Change, ergo Castro" gambit.

"It amazes me that the American people are so stupid to put this punk in the whit house especially after all the things he has said about white people in his book and his associates this man is not even an American citizen, he said he would rather help the muslims than the Americans he is a traitor a punk and an ignorant pile of crap, and now comes the socialist states of America, god help us and now is the time to pray for the neo nazis, we need them now more than ever." -william evans, who is hopefully a Poe.

".....thank "Mohammed Hussein" that Gumby will be in the BlackHouse for only 4 years. It will be a hoot to see what his first rulings are on: Original or Crispy Fried Chicken ......what....a....joke...." -Jeep, who had most likely spent the last few hours weeping into his KKK hood.



"I am so sad that Americans are so stupid! They do not even research anything. Whoever thought we had it bad right now just wait for these four years. OMG! I think I need to move to Canada! Americans (McCain supporters) please start digging your bunker because we are going to get bombed!" -noyler32, brilliantly blending paranoia with blatant irony.

"Sane is not associating with terrorists. And not negotiating with them. There really is a common thread there. Sane is years of experience and heroism when things are their most trying. Sane is in substance. Sane is not electing an inexperienced, green emergent because he delivers good speeches (sans substance) and has the media on his side. I think this country needs a good shot of thorizine." -watleyredbarrel, pretending to be sane.

"911 changed the USA for ever. It sickens me to have the Muslims run this country. I truly believe anyone who can not honor our American Flag a symbol of our right to be free has something other than America on his mind. Think of the other countries laughing at us right now. There will be major change in the next four years.
"God Bless Us" No mattered if the demarcates or the republicans ran Obama on there ticket I could never bring myself so low as to vote for a Muslim. 911 made me prejudice if that is what you are referring to. I didn’t just wake up one day and say “I want to be prejudice”" -DP, expanding the War On Consonants from the letter "g" to the later "d". "-ed" endings have had it too good for too long.

"I have never been so disgusted in my country as I am tonight. We all have very short memories. it wasn't bad enough that the Democratic party had no better Candidate to put forward for President. But to think the American People would consider, and elect this disgrace as the leader of the United States of America. A man who won't recognize our nation's symbol's for what they are. We have really forgot 9/11/01. The sad fact is, when this obamanation takes over, 9/11 will look like a tea party. I for one will expect total accountability, if we are capable of directing blame. We have never, ever, been safer as a Nation then we are now. And the sad fact is when our country comes under attack, and it will, Our Historic Leader will conveniently be out of the country. " -ETrennes, Professional Psychic.

"Do we not recall 9/11...for no good, women, children, mothers, fathers, uncles, brothers, many people killed ON AMERICAN SOIL...not one had a choice to survive...and today the people of America choose a "Barrack Hussein Obama" as Commander-in-Chief???" -Kath: Totally not a racist.

"Some of this election had to be in the world, the people of this country put this man in the white house is beyond me. Has to be some other agenda that we the people dont know about....People voted for change just for change sake. The change could be i guess they dont long as there is careful what you hope" - GaryW; speaking the truth/fearmongering/lol.

"Simply put, this man will go down to be THE
worst president in American history.
Obama won because of the media's rock-star treatment for a man who says absolutely nothing, but with great eloquence.
Change? That's all you'll have left in your pockets by the time this complete idiot is through taxing you." -Gormann66, Mind-reader/Prophet/Economist.

"Our forefathers..our great leaders who once made this country what it was..based on honesty and religion are all rolling over in their graves..How could people honestly vote for a man who wont say the pledge of allegence, who doesnt believe in this country except as a stepping stone for terrorists to take over..who will just make this country go to hell in a hand basket as the saying goes...I agree with the person who said we will become just like cuba..." -Pat, who doesn't know how conspiracy theories are supposed to work.


"CHICKEN SHTS...The united states of america, has no use for the fearfull pathetic morons that have plagued these forums for 2 years...Are there any VETS out there...thinkers out there??// OH POO, now youll have to rearrange your underwear drawer to accomodate DEPENDS so you dont sht yourself, everytime OSAMA/OBAMA/YA MAMA, gets on the TV...sheeple...get a grip, if you are so fearfull of one man you will never meet...who brings in your mail, goes for groceries, gases up the car? This is the USA folks...if this turd screws it up? He will get what the last turd got...a fat pension, personal library,and lifetime security guards...and a stupid worthless coin with his bad pic..." -alan patch, a less than ideal rebuttal to the madness.

"For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an american. All of you who voted for oslama will get nothing that he promised and much more than you bargained'll see! but, it may be cormforting to you to know they're celebrating in iran today too!" -truamerican, who will not be one for long.

"Shortsighted people did not take the "whole" picture into consideration. I see the uneducated minorities are already dancing in the street. this is a good thing. don't complain when things don't turn out the way you thought Obama supporters. he does not have the perserverence or leadership abilities McCain has." -gofigure!?, who uses strange definitions of the word "leadership".

"At one point during the campaign, Michelle Obama stated that for the 1st time in her life she was proud to be an American. Now, for the 1st time in mine, I'm ashamed. I cannot believe there are so many people that can be fleeced. Sure, Barack Obama is charismatic, but so is Hitler -- and Obama seems to have just as many people fooled!" -debbie, Godwinning for the lose.

"I cant believe all the tupid young people, They ar enot old enough to remember the last time we had a democrat for president, let alone a black muslim. I fear the worst has just begone. GOD HELP US ALL" -Sonia, who needed to wear irony-proof armor to type up that post.

" It’s a sad day when people speak about not judging others by the color of their skin, but people place a man in the most powerful position in the world, because of his color. It’s either that or two other things, they didn’t look into his voting records on Abortion (the murder of innocent children) & taxes, his stance on homosexual marriage, his radical views on our defense, his views on America (spoken by his friends & his pastor Rev. Wright)…or we just don’t give a flying rip about America, our freedoms & where we stand before God.
I know by the sign that you were standing behind, that you believe that anyone who voted against Obama is racist. I’m white, some Native American, but I was really hoping that we were starting to become a nation that was more worried about character & not color. But, I kinda hope that people voted for him on color, because if they are good with his immoral views, then we are worse off than I thought." - shawn mason: "No, you're racist!"

"I am with the comment that said maybe we should just quit our jobs and allow this "wonderful" new democratic office to take care of us. Other wise we just hand over almost 1/2 of everything we make to take care of people who just won't work." -patrice, who reeeeaaallly doesn't like taxes.

"America is now just another third world socialist country. Obama, Pelosi, Reid. I always say countries deserve the government they get. For me, I'll be keeping my money off shore. He may want to redistribute wealth, believe me folks, it won't happen. People with money will simply move it elsewhere, and forming companies in places like Cyprus is oh so easy." -Tom, giving us a taste of how much "real Americans" care about America.

"Dear Jubilant Socialist Party Members,

Hate to be the one to break it to ya, but Capitalism has produced more common wealth than Socialism and Communism added together, then multiplied times their weight, then squared.

Enjoy your brief moment in the spotlight. I'll be back...

Your nemesis,

Freedom" painesright, mailing to the wrong address again.

"If Barack Obama applied for a job with the FBI or the Secret Service, he would be disqualified because of his past association with William Ayers, a known terrorist. And yet, he is heading for the highest office in the land.
If Obama is elected President he would not pass the security screening to be his own body guard!" -daphne, entertaining us with playful spin.

"Wake up!!! Bloggers who stated that he was calm even after his Grandmother died two days ago...says it all. He doesn't show emotion, he doesn't care about his own family, let alone the American People. This was a Black Vote, period...I for one, will be watching my back, and the skys above....we all need to be on our toes now. Especially since CNN reported this morning that the "Taliban is now willing to NEGOTIATE with American"!! Negotiate with terrorists!!!" -Houston, who is mourning a lost opportunity to call Obama a pussy.

"you are nothing but puppet nation and has been mastermined by a zionists agendas for succing up your economy. You got drawn into and perished by their ever cunning and greed ideologies. So manipulative and who introduced the concept of interest to the world." -joy, on drugs.

"You know the sad thing is, BHO won simply because he was black, not because he has the qualifications to run the most powerful nation in the world. JMC didn't stand a chance with having to fight the mainstream media too, but as soon as BHO is established in the White House, we will become exactly what he & his AntiAmerican buddies set out to make us..The USSA, United Socialist States of America... He HATES America..I guess Ayers will be Minister of Defense,Wright will be charge of the state run church,the black panthers will become the black guard of the White House,ACORN will in charge of welfare,Barney Frank can be minister of Gay rights, but sadly no one will stand up and help the millions of soon to be killed babies who will die as a result of "choice"...Woe be to us...I fear we are in for destruction, just like Sodom & Gomorrah..." -dls54, a walking repository for the election year's talking points.

"Tonight reminded me of a scripture in the bible. where they siad a way with Jesus and release unto us Barabbas. They chose a evil man in the stead of a Good man a honest man. and upright man. And I hope and pray that God protects America from Socialism and Cummonism. And that Gods ears are open to the voice of those who say kill the unborn. I pray that he will bring much pain and suffering their way. To teach them that this Jesus is real and to fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. and all that is an abomanation unto the Lord will be destory with the brightness of his coming." -Dolores Holstein, pro-life enough to pray for the death of dissenters.

"Black have had the right to vote for many, many years and this years presidential election only proved to me, that blacks finally used the right that many whites died for.
Their chant, "We shall overcome" now turns into, "We will take over".
Carter opened our gates to all of Cubas prisoners and the worst of the worst. Obama will now open our gates to radical Islamic muslims, whose soul goal is to dominate the world.
Jews who voted for Obama can sit and wait for another Holocaust, because it will come and when it does, they have no one but themselves to blame.
All Christian rights, in public, have been taken away but we can now look forward to the endless hours of chanting and ranting from Mosques that will pop up on every street corner." -Pat [again], totally not an islamophobe.

In fairness, there was a lot of a crazy in those comments on both sides of the aisle, as well as some reasonable posts from both. But...these were the funniest.

"Adults Shouldn't Have Imaginary Friends"

Just saw the sentence in the title written in Sharpie on a relatively innocuous sign advertising a Bible study group. And I thought that I was a douchebag. At least I don't go around leaving insulting comments on anything that mentions something even mildly religious.

....offline, that is....

A Bittersweet Conclusion

Barack wins the Presidency.
The Senate now has a 54 Democrat majority, and the House Democrats now outnumber House Republicans by 88.
And more good news.
Euthanasia is now legal in Washington.
Anti-abortion laws in Colorado and South Dakota were scrapped.
Marijuana possession will only warrant a fine now in Massachusetts, and severely ill patients in Michigan can register to use and grow medicinal marijuana.

But...bad news on the egalitarian front. Proposition 8 in California looks like it may pass, and consequently revert the state back to its non-gay marriage state via a (state) constitutional amendment. Gay marriage was banned by passed propositions in both Florida and Arizona. And, in Arkansas, a law forcing potential adoptive parents to be married passed, which was a particularly unveiled attempt to bar gays and lesbians from adopting, apparently.
And, less terrible but still a little eyebrow raising, is the fact that race and gender based affirmative action is banned in Nebraska now.

A rather mixed bag, but mostly good. We definitely need to make more progress on the gay rights front in this country (amongst, you know, everything else). Hopefully, time under the new blue administration will help.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Not pictured: John McCain's charred remains.

America's response:

She will not be stopped...

Go, granny, go!

It is settled...and hilarious.

Via Pharyngula:
It's a landslide victory! Obama gets 62% of the vote in World of Warcraft!
Wooooo! We did it! But wait...there's more (as per usual).
here were some game-associated differences. People playing the Horde side (undead, orcs, that sort of thing) were mostly for Obama, while those on the Alliance side (humans, elves, dwarves) gave more mixed results, with dwarves being the only group that favored McCain.
The Horde players mostly favoring Obama makes sense: they are the hardcore nerds who are willing to play what is essentially the evil side instead of delving into the fanciful, traditional fantasy that the Alliance side represents, complete with suggestions that they are morally superior (suggesting that the Alliance would be a more standard sample). But, the dwarf thing...inexplicable. Unless...they think that McCain is one of them!


Don't mess this up people...

Edit: Good. They didn't.

Must...make...non-election-related post...

Aggghhh...can't resist. Strange, strange information. Towns in New Hampshire that apparently are able to yield a grand total of 20 to 30 people a piece get a real hard-on from being the first ones with their votes tallied up on election day, and are done already, an hour into election day. And both wound up in support of Obama. Woooo. Our voting traditions are weird...

The Results Are In!

Some people wanted Obama to be President, and feared the incompetence of McCain. They will be disappointed. Some people wanted McCain to be President, and feared the radical, inexperienced, terrorist, black, eerily charismatic Muslimocity of Obama. They will be terrified.

For, this election season, the winner is Cthulhu/Nyarlothotep by a landslide, with a whopping 93% of the vote (approximately 14 people). Take that, Zombie Jesus and Zombie Hitler! The horrors will now commence...

Monday, November 3, 2008


Even if you're completely out of your mind...

Also: Brad Esposito vs. Frank Tambanelli. Whose side are you on?

It's Almost Here

The draws nigh. Whose blood will be spilt on the field of political battle? What segment of our society will be forced to riot in dismay? What set of fears will motivate the herds for the next few years? And will our good friend the economy get anything out of the deal?

Only time will tell. Yet I grow impatient. I want to know whether I will be sitting contentedly in a stable country for the next four years, or whether I will instead spend the years standing on the rooftop, laughing maniacally as mobs clash in the distance, and cities burn to the ground. Or a combination of the two. You need to plan ahead for those kinds of things.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Feliz Día de los Muertos!

Yep. It's the Day of the Dead (which is on both November 1st and 2nd apparently). So, in the spirit of necromancy, I call upon the lost, the damned, and the forgotten: old blog posts (yippee).

The Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot Gambit: Showing this particular gem to be the disingenuous turd that it really is.
Acceptance: Warning: Poetry.
Building a Better Morality: Ten Commandments Revised : Where I go all George Carlin on the Ten Commandments' ass. And also point out why it is a crappy source for morality and the laws for our country.
Voting: The S & M Way: Article in which I diagnose a quarter of the country with a psychological disorder.
Is God Necessary for Morality -or- Incredibly Retarded Question: It really is a stupid question.
Pacifism: Cheers or Jeers: Where I take a long, hard look at myself and admit that self-defense might be a necessity. Still traumatized.
Feeding a Dead Horse: Pascal's Roulette: Trying to make Pascal's Wager work while encompassing a broad number of theological possibilities. Not pretty.
Free Will and Omniscience: It's a contradiction, and wikipedia's presented arguments against that contradiction throw a portion of God's aspects out the window. That saved some time.
On Truth, truth, truf, and TROOF: a wee bit of fun with fundies' favorite capitalized noun describing a vague concept.

Well, that's enough rotted corpses to decorate my window sill this year around.

"Dirty tricks"? In this election? Really?


a phony flyer bearing the state of Virginia's logo has turned up, saying
that "all Republican party supporters and independent voters supporting
Republican candidates shall vote on November 4th as prescribed by law."
Those supporting Democrats in the battleground state "shall vote on November
5th," it said.
Similar fliers in Philadelphia warn that anyone with unpaid traffic tickets oroutstanding arrest warrants could be jailed if they turn up at the polls onelection day.
Vandals in northern Virginia went on a brief escapade this month, pasting aletter "S" on yard signs so they read "Osama-Biden," in an attempt to link the Democrat and running mate Joe Biden to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Potential voters in key swing states have also been swamped with ideological mailings -- including one DVD from the Clarion Fund called "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," which has been mailed to 28 million people
And the latest, a new ad by the National Republican Trust PAC, hints that Obama would have granted a driver's license to September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta.

Also, a shout-out to Miss Backwards-B herself.

But wait....there's more.

The residents of Broward County, Florida have recently received misleading robocalls telling them that they can vote by phone on Election Day, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Friday.

Stay classy.

On an unrelated note: 2 people voted that euthanasia is a necessary option that people should have and the 4 others who voted would like to take up euthanasia as a hobby, because they are men and women after my own heart. That is to say: sick fucks.

New poll up. And it is the most important poll of your entire lives/weekend.

Why do I do this to myself?

I need to stop clicking on the articles at The horrors inside...they are unfathomable. Spoiler alert: he's a moron talking about the evils of gay sex.

I listened to men justify oral sex on 18 month olds. How often I listened to men claim their pedophilia was an inborn trait; it was natural, ‘this is the way God made me.’

Ergo, no one has any inborn traits. Seriously, what the hell is this crap? Comparing homosexuality to pedophilia? Newsflash: homosexual relationships DON'T INVOLVE EXPLOITING THE SEXUALLY UNDEVELOPED! Consensual sex doesn't hurt anyone, forcing or tricking young kids into having sex DOES!
This “born that way” argument is fueling the case for same-sex marriage in California. Is it a good argument? I know this is a difficult and emotional issue for many people, but I think the reasonable answer is no.
You are right. It is not a good argument in of itself. But that is not factoring in one detail: you've robbed that argument of its context. "Born that way" is not a justification for being allowed to go through with destructive activities. Homosexuality is not destructive, so it doesn't need any such a justification, "natural" or no. Instead, it is argued by people like yourself and the religious to be inherently evil without having any tangible, harmful effect on the parties involved, or even those around them. You and your ilk argue that it is a sinful action chosen with free will, and the "born that way" argument is a rebuttal. And aWrong. good one at that (well....sort of).

Not only is the evidence for being “born that way” questionable, even if it were true, it should have no impact on our marriage laws.
First off: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Second: of course "born that way" wouldn't have any bearing on the marriage laws. But, again, that argument is a rebuttal against reasons why they should be forbidden from getting marriage. Aside from the argumentum ad status quo, the argumentum ad "evil buttsecks" is pretty much all that your side can muster, and the "it's natural" argument destroys that argument of yours if you are not willing to turn into a Calvinist.

First, after many years of intense research, a genetic component to homosexual desires has not been discovered.
Glad you emphasized the word that you placed in there specifically to say "haha, no proof". I mean, in addition to making it so that something has to be genetic in order to have a biological cause.

Twin studies show that identical twins do not consistently have the same sexual orientation. In fact, genetics probably explains very little about homosexual

50%. If one is gay, then there is a 50% that the other one is. Compared to a 10% chance (or 3 to 4%) that a person becomes gay based upon the amount of them in the population, and that no such strong correlation exists with non-identical twin siblings. In fact, a fraternal twins has a 20% of being gay if the other twin is gay. This suggests that yes, there is a biological influence! But, this study also indicates that it is obviously not wholly genetic, and that there probably is some form of environmental factors, or "choice" (not the same thing, in case that needs noting).

How would a homosexual “gene” be passed on?

Recessive traits, motherfucker! Have you heard of them? Not that it even has to be a gene, but geez...don't be such a moron, dude.

Second, the “born-that-way” claim is an argument from design— “since God designed me with these desires, I ought to act on them.” But the people who say this overlook something more obvious— they were also born with a specific gender. This raises the question: Why are you following your desires but not your gender?

Responding to a rebuttal against religious claims again by removing its context as a rebuttal against religous claims? Niiiiice. Also: your counterargument fails, in that gender is not a drive. You are not obliged to have sex with a certain group based upon genitalia alone. It is the sexual desires themselves that give us the drive to do so, and the "God designed me with these desires" argument is an explanation of that: that they have been instilled with a desire to direct their genitalia towards a different group. The fact that they are a certain gender isn't a compelling rationale to have sex with a different gender anymore than having legs is a compulsion for a person with lower body paralysis to start walking (sorry if this analogy winds up suggesting that gay people are impotent).

Ignoring your desires may be uncomfortable, but ignoring the natural design of your body is often fatal.

Your desires are a product of the "natural design of your body" moron. The desire to eat, to drink, to have sex, to sleep, and even the higher cognitive desires to a lesser extent. Ignoring those desires are not just uncomfortable, they are psychologically damaging, physically harmful, or just plain fatal. More so than not knowing the obvious and undeniable TRUTH that is the holy gospel of "penis goes in vagina".

Third, even if desires are not a choice, sexual behavior always is.

That is true. Yet, the thing is, forcing people to repress their sexuality when the expression of it causes no harm is akin to torture.

If you claim that he is not—that sexual behavior is somehow uncontrollable—then
you have made the absurd contention that no one can be morally responsible for
any sexual crime, including rape, incest, and child molestation.

Ahem: PHAIL!!! That consent thing again, you homophobes always seem to forget about it. I guess you spend too much time reading Leviticus that you've forgotten to learn about the Golden Rule (or, more appropriately, Hippocrates, in that some people would very much like to be "done onto").

Laws are concerned with behaviors not desires, and we all have desires we ought
not act on. In fact, all of us were born with an “orientation” to bad behavior, but those desires don’t justify the behaviors.

Yes they are concerned with behaviors. Behavior that actually undermine society. Which consensual sex IS NOT.

For example, if you are born with a genetic predisposition to alcohol, does that
mean God wants you to be an alcoholic? If someone has a genetic attraction to
children, does that mean God wants you to be a pedophile?

Yes on both accounts. Except, for the first one, a tendency alcoholism doesn't come into play until you actually drink some(since it is an can't be addicted to something that hasn't enterred your system). Which means you have a good amount of choice up until that first sip. Homosexuality and pedophilia are innate and not triggered by your own actions (as far as we know). And then the consent problem again...

What homosexual activist would say that a genetic predisposition to anger justifies gay-bashing?

One who doesn't know the difference between being predisposed towards harmful and innocuous actions.

One can say that, but what’s loving about sexual activity that creates numerous health problems, increases medical costs to everyone, and reduces the lifespan of homosexuals by 8-20 years?

STD's: now the sole province of homosexuals, and objected proof that love doesn't exist. Ever occur to you that those dangers and shortened lifespans are caused by people like you discriminating against them (increasing the suicide rate for that segment of society) and depriving them of a means of getting out of the sex-tastic dating game?

But if the sex act is medically dangerous, the best way to love the other person is not to have sex with him. In fact, most of our loving relationships are non-sexual.

Yes, these are both good points. Except, that you are arguing about the "sex acts" being dangerous just on merits of being between homosexuals, not on the merits of one of the individual, you know, actually having an STD. So, close but no cigar.

Yet that’s exactly what government-backed same-sex marriage would do--- it would endorse and thus promote the false idea that marriage between a man and a woman is no better for children or society than marriage between same-sex partners.

How is that idea wrong? And why is the government "endorsing" homosexuality a bad thing, considering that there is nothing objectively wrong with it, and that it is (according to your hypothetical concession) a biological drive that they have? Is the status quo really a justification for depriving such segments of society from equal treatment, considering how many times we've had to destroy such histories before in order to get the semblance of egalitarianism we have today?

legally equating the two types of relationships breaks the link between marriage and childbearing which leads to higher illegitimacy and a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.

The slipperiest slope ever slipped. You know what really breaks the link between marriage and childbearing? Old people, impotent couples, people who already bear illegitimate children without the gays' dark influence, and, of course, those idiots who keep saying that marriage is about love. It's a child quota, and nothing more, obviously!

The bottom line is that desires, whatever their source, do not justify behaviors. In fact, there’s a word we use to describe the disciplined restraint of destructive behaviors– it’s called civilization.

Wait. You admit that "restraint of destructive behaviors" is the relevant issue? WHAT THE HELL!? Are you a half-wit who actually thinks that gay sex is inherently harmful to society, or individuals, or are you just a typical half-wit who accidentally contradicted himself? I would like to think it is a little bit of both.

Instead of restraining negative behaviors, homosexual activists are asking usnot just to tolerate, but to endorse them. For the sake of civilization, we allneed to restrain our destructive behaviors.
It's so cute when they try to pretend that they have an argument, don't you think? Okay...that was my post-Halloween venture into the depths of terror and insanity. I think I still have a case of the bends from it...

Until next rant, then.