Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"Throughout his campaign Barack Obama has mocked his critics, noting that they just don't get what a novel figure and consistent unifier he has been for his whole life."
I've been hearing that Obama has supposedly been setting himself up as some sort of messianic figure for a long time, but, whenever I hear about him, hear him speak, it is normally not to brag about himself or set himself up as a god amongst men, immune to criticism. But if this your example:
"'They say: We don't know enough about him. His pastor once said something. He's got a funny name, sounds Muslim.'"
then you fail. These are all incredibly inane criticisms that, believe it or not, he has been subject to. They could have been significant if taken in the proper direction, but, unfortunately, the Jeremiah Wright ordeal and internet Muslimification myths clearly devolved from an actual attempt to explore Obama's character into an outright attempt to smear him through guilt-by-association, even when the grounds for the association, or, in the case of Wright, the guilt, happened to false to begin with. More on that in a bit...
"For the first time Obama has called the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's views "ridiculous" and even accused him of being a purveyor of "hate."
To which one might say: better late than never. Maybe Obama never really knew how radical this guy is. "
You do realize how bad it would have been if Obama just decided to bash his preacher of 20 years for little substantial reason at the drop of a hat, don't you? Just because a few conservative pundits are obsessing over Wright's alleged "racism" or "anti-Americanism" really doesn't justify that kind of politically motivated backstabbing that he pretty much has been forced into doing in order to end the incessant attempts to associate Wright and Obama. But, the problem with this whole artificial issue is that Wright is not really "radical"....
"He used to believe that the U.S. government manufactured the AIDS virus and deliberately spread it in the black community, and he still believes it."
I would chalk that up to just plain idiocy, and maybe a wee bit of conspiracy theorist paranoia, rather than as emblematic of being radical and hating America. It's not like typically begrudge preachers for believing in crazy crap....right...(wink wink nudge nudge).
"He thinks America may have conspired to bomb itself on 9/11, and he's never wavered in that conviction"
Is it really that inconceivable? I mean, sure, it goes right back into the conspiracy theory mindset, but, really....is it impossible that certain government officials pulled a Reichstag, or intentionally allowed for it to occur for political reasons, rather than simply being too criminally incompetent to prevent the attacks, despite the signs pointing in that direction.
Oh, wait....Wright ISN'T a 9/11 conspiracy theorist...he just said that America brought the attacks upon themselves through their foreign policy (and it is rather hypocritical of you to equivocate on Wright's position like that...since you have a book written specifically to argue that liberal policies domestic and abroad are actually at fault for bringing the attacks upon ourselves...nice job, Distort D'Newza...).
"Now, and before, he thinks that 'God Bless America' is better expressed as 'God Damn America!'"
Oh noez! He's criticizing the government too vocally! Somebody stop him! (I really don't see how this is much more radical than Pat Robertson, et. al., praying for openings in the Supreme Court [guess how that would happen] and blaming Hurricane Katrina on them sinners what lives in the New Orleans. But, yeah, Wright expressing his disdain for America's violent foreign policy and for its failure to assure equality for African Americans is a much higher crime...).
"Obama has been hearing such messages for more than two decades"
I don't know what possesses Dinesh, or the pundits on the picture tube, to believe that a few soundbytes from Wright (most likely the worst fodder they could dredge up against him) reflects upon the general character of all of his sermons. Eh...whatever....
"He said he could no more repudiate Wright than he could repudiate his own family. This by the way is the speech that many pundits hailed for its originality and brilliance. I think it will go down as one of the biggest blunders in American political history."
And we've all learned to trust your judgments as an accurate depiction of reality....oh...wait....
"What Obama should have said in that speech: "Once upon a time this man rescued my spiritual life. A long time ago when I was spiritually and emotionally at a low point, he was there for me and he helped me get over the hill. So I owe him big time. I know that he's said some crazy things, but I've overlooked them, because of what he did for me." Instead Obama tried to sound like W.E.B. Du Bois. He impressed the liberal intelligentsia, while shooting himself politically in the foot."
What's wrong with trying to W.E.B. Du Bois? His speech did no damage to him, and the Wright thing would've ended there if the media wasn't deliberately trying to preserve the faux scandal for the journalistic lolz. Also, somehow I think that your sample speech would've been a lie. I doubt Obama's "spiritual life" was any different after meeting Wright than it was before even being a Christian. I am of the impression that the very reason that you see the church as radical (because it spends its time addressing social and racial issues) is the very reason why Obama joined it: for the social networks, and for the time spend addressing the issues that African Americans face. Of course, if I am correct on this, that opens a whole 'nother can of worms...
"What has Wright said that has finally caused his disciple to end their relationship? While Wright has been pontificating a lot lately, he has not given us any new bombshells. But he did suggest that, in his beliefs like the one about the U.S. government and AIDS, Obama agrees with him."
Well, my first guess about why Obama wanted to end it was the pressure by the media to do so. My second guess may be that Wright will not simply shut up and step out of spotlight for Obama's sake, so he needs to go into damage control. My third guess is that, if Wright did suggest that Obama thinks that the AIDS thing is true, he ended to relationship abruptly and unequivocably in order to prevent the American public from thinking that Wright is correct about that issue. Because the last thing America needs is an idiotic President (again).
"So he has to say something different! Translation: what we see with Obama is not what we get. And Wright is in a position to know. He's nursed Obama intellectually and spiritually over the years."
You know...just because a person has hung around someone else on a few occasions over a long period time does not mean that the second person in question knows everything about the first with infallible detail. If I gathered up your three best friends, who met through three different venues, your wife, your parents, two of your cousins, two parents of casual acquaintances that you went through your school career with, your boss, two of your co-workers, and that guy you have bought a newpaper from every other day for the past 8 years, they will have very different impressions of you and disagree on some of the details. The point is that we put on different faces for different audiences. That doesn't mean that Obama is giving America a false impression of himself, so much as it means that he may have mislead Wright about how much he agreed with every little paranoid delusion he comforted himself with. It's called being polite...
"The more I examine the two, the more I think that it is Wright who is being consistent and calling it the way he sees it, and Obama who is hiding the part of himself that once embraced this man and maybe still agrees with many of his beliefs but now finds him a political liability. While Obama continues to portray himself as Mr. Straight Talk, at this point he is a candidate enveloped in shadows."
Wright may be consistent, but it does not mean that his assessment is correct (example: Christianity). Obama may be hiding his support for Wright and his ideas, but, unfortunately, he has to due to the fact that Wright has been so thoroughly demonized by the media, and any link between the two will be spun beyond all recognition into Obama wanting to bring about the white male holocaust, or something to that effect. (Also: a candidate enveloped in shadows sounds awesome...as long as it is not Cheney...).
So (hopefully) ends the long, drawn out saga of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man guilty of the high crime of saying that racism still exists in the 21st century, an obvious lie that one needs only to check youtube comments regarding any subject to disprove. It is a shame that Obama has been forced to repudiate Wright, his pastor and mentor, in order to preserve his political career, something that Obama was clearly reluctant to do, but if he did not, he would never hear the end of it. Perhaps we will be able to find a time, not too far from now, when we realize that Wright's comments were simply accurate criticisms of social ills, or uneducated conclusions based upon a paranoia that has been fostered by our hostile racial and political climate. Really nothing radical at all. No calls to arms, no criticisms of events that haven't been similarly critiqued before, both domestic and abroad. Maybe, someday, cooler heads will prevail, even in response to hotheads....but, I guess I may just be a dreamer...
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
"Kids, don't be fooled by the lie that there is a man who lives in the North Pole named Santa Clause, who supposedly brings toys to children across America on December twenty fifth each year. That story is not true!"
Way to ruin your kid's Christmas with the obvious, Bob. But wait...the disturbing and ironic parallels are nigh!
"Think about it: Do you want someone trespassing on your property late at night? That's what Santa would be doing. But Santa has never had a trespassing complaint made against him. You know why? Because there is no Santa. "
Think about it: Do you want someone psychically micromanaging your life from beyond the grave? That's what Jesus would be doing. But Jesus has never been brought up on charges of second degree mind-rape. You know why? I don't know either...Stockholm syndrome, maybe...
Also, to explain your little problem with Santa never being caught: Santa is a 300-year old ninja with the gift of eternal youth, so he has honed his stealth abilities to far beyond that which any mortal could dream of attaining.
"Do you want a heavy sled filled with toys with all those reindeer pulling it to land on the roof of your house? That's what they say Santa does. But think of the awful noise it would make and the damage it would cause to your slanted roof!"
But, you see, Santa's sleigh is magical and can contain an infinite amount of mass without increasing its own weight. And the reindeer are magical, flying reindeer that are also weightless.
"And think of all that awful smelling excrement that the reindeer would leave on your roof! A real mess! But no one has ever complained about such. You know why? Because there is no Santa. "
Maybe the reindeer just know how to hold it? Ever think about that, non-believer?
"Do you want someone sneaking into your house at night while you are asleep? That's what Santa would be doing. "
Do you want someone to watch you while you are taking a shower? Well that's what Jesus would be doing....
"But how would he get in? He would have to break in or you would have to leave a door or window open. But it's dangerous to leave a door unlocked or a window open at night. Instead of Santa, someone else might sneak in and kidnap you or your brothers or sisters. They might even hurt you, your dad, your mother or your brothers and sisters. "
He would get in through ninja skillz....and the fact that he can phase through physical matter due to his magical powerz. The last part is disturbingly baseless scaremongering...typical, huh?
"If you don't leave your window or door open, do you want someone sneaking into your house through your chimney? But go outside and look at your chimney or other chimneys in your neighborhood or town. Do you really believe a fat old man could get down those chimneys? Santa would get stuck! "
Just because you don't want something to be true doesn't make it false. You can deny the Truth that is Santa Claus all you like, but the reality that is Him will remain the same for your blind dismissal of his existence. Oh, and Santa can adjust his weight and size at will, because of his special training amongst the elven warriors of the North....plus magic.
"But if he could somehow come down your chimney, don't you think that he would get his clean white hair, beard and red and white suit awfully dirty by all that black soot? It doesn't matter if your mom or dad had a chimney sweeper to clean the chimney the day before. "
Santa is being of utmost power and purity who is incapable of being sullied by the filth of our pathetic material world. Isn't that obvious to you, you willfully ignorant heretic?
"But if the fat old man insists on coming down the chimney, don't you think that it might be awfully hot and smoky in there? And when he gets to the bottom, how is he going to deal with that awfully hot fire? By the time Santa gets to the bottom, someone will have to call an ambulance or the rescue squad, right?"
I don't think that the chimney would be lit at the time that he comes down it, but it doesn't matter, since Santa is immune to heat and fire (he developed the resistance after decades of fighting dragons). Even if he weren't immune to effects of fire, he has regenerative abilities as long as his head remains attached to his body, due to being an Immortal.
"But if Santa did manage to get by the fire or come out of the woodburning stove, don't you think he would track soot all over your mother's carpet? How do you think your mother and dad would feel about that? And how would your toys you dreamed of look all burned, melted and sooty? "
Santa has an aura of energy that prevents him from getting sooty, and he keeps the toys in his mystical sack of wonders (tee-hee) in order to prevent them from getting dirty or damaged. Next.
"When Santa is ready to leave, don't you think he would dread getting back into the fireplace just to wedge himself back up that hot, smokey, sooty chimney? Or maybe he would think it better to leave out of one of the doors or windows. I would, wouldn't you? "
Have you ever seen a Christmas special in your life? He can fly right back up the chimney by putting his finger on his nose (a special technique that he learned in combat with Rasputin the late 19th century). Besides, he could just walk out the front door anyway, if he didn't have that ability.
"But how do you think he would manage to get back on the roof? Not everyone has a ladder. Maybe Rudolph will throw him a rope."
Don't you dare blaspheme Rudolph (pbuh)'s name in such a fashion! The spite with which you refer to him is an insult to my beliefs, and I will not allow you to speak to me in such a disrespectful manner! Also...Santa has a personal magic elevator in just such an emergency...
"But even if he managed to get back on the roof to his sled, how do you think he manages to get his reindeer and sled to fly? Can reindeer and sleds fly? Sleds are made to slide across snow and ice and reindeer were made to walk or run on the ground."
Yes, sleds slide across snow and ice and yes reindeer walk on the ground. But magical sleds glide on air, and magical reindeer can fly at light speed. Your ignorance is clearly showing in your denial of the Truth. Only a fool says in his heart that there is no Santa.
"Santa has one of the most premative means of transportation and hauling toys, and yet, he can cause it to fly. Don't you think NASA and airplane designers would be very interested in Santa's secret? But they are not. Why! Because there is truly no Santa Clause!"
Yes, Santa's sled is beyond any vehicle that man has invented through the pathetic mortal graspings of science and technology. NASA and airplane designers would only stare in awe at the marvels of Santa's sleigh, but, unfortunately for them, they could not use it as Santa does, for only those whose hearts are unburdened, innocent, and pure can use the sleigh, and only those with Immortality can survive the speed at which travels.
"And why is Santa using a sled and reindeer for transportation anyway, when it may not even be snowing outside? "
Santa uses a sleigh and reindeer for transportation because, in the dimension in which he resides , it is always snowing. It matters not whether it has snowed or not in the physical locations that he visits, because he only remains there for a split second, due to his innate ability to bend space and time beyond the scope of what is possible by his sleigh's speed alone.
"If there is a Santa Clause, why is it that he brings toys to only some kids, especially the rich kids? Why doesn't he visit all children, especially the less fortunate? "
Because he is trying to test to faith of the poorer children, and because not all gifts are physical in nature. In reality, focusing merely on the gifts that Santa brings to you distracts you from truly loving Santa as he desires, and by not giving you a present, he is making it easier for you to realize that such possessions detract from your ability to embrace Santa. In reality, the poor are truly blessed, as they are given by Santa the gift of understanding Santa's plan, and thus a better chance of being able to meet with Santa in his workshop before passing from this world...
"Don't you think it would be a good idea for him to bypass rich children and rather give food, clothing and shelter to the less fortunate children of the world.If Santa is the good ole man that most everyone thinks him to be, why hasn't he thought about that himself? You know why, don't you? Because there is no Santa Clause!"
That would be a good idea, from our fickle mortal point of view. But we have to have faith in Santa's plan, as he is infinitely more wise than we are, and knows far more about the working of this world. Who are we to question Santa's plan?
I really don't what old Robert thought he was accomplishing this. I don't think that there is any possible audience for this, though I did have fun being a Santanic apologist in response to it (and by apologist, I mean making crap up to defend something obviously made up...not sure how much that varies from the actual definition).
Monday, April 28, 2008
This morning, as rotund everyman, Fundie McStrawman, sat across the table from his wife, he thought back to the time when he had first met her as he downed his first bottle of breakfast scotch. That day, in 1984, he had assessed her worth as a demure, subservient homemaker. She was young and plump enough to be able to plop out child after child like a good woman should, she knew when to shut up, and she had all the same superstitions that he had. She was of breeding age, of course (a ripe old age of sixteen), and so he deemed her to be suitable as a contractual sex-slave, or "wife" as his parents demanded that he call her.
"I love you Fundie", she told me.
"You blasphemous, worldly fool of a woman," Fundie replied. "You must not love anyone or anything in this world more than you love Jesus, your Lord and Savior! We are not of this world, we are Heaven-bound, and wasting affections meant for our wonderful God on one another is not what God intended! Do you want to make the Baby Jesus cry with neglect! Do you want your undeniable worldly lusts for me to cloud your judgments about what love for our Creator is!"
"No, Fundie", she replied, deligently picking up the broken shards of the plate he threw against the wall in his rage.
At which point, the phone rang, and Fundie waited for his wife to pick up the phone and bring it to him, as picking up the telephone was women's work. On the phone was his illegitimate daughter, Juliet, asking Fundie how he was and if he had received his birthday present.
"You idiot child", he shouted. "Physical possessions are nothing more than a luxurious distraction from our duty to revere our Lord above all else! How dare you attempt to tempt with worldly objects, with wealth, with trinkets, to drive me away from my personal relationship with Jesus Christ! I will not stand for it! I will not allow my bastard spawn to tempt into sin, to leave me coveting, addicted to presents and gifts like your mother to cocaine! Get off this phone line, I only talk to people that Jesus likes, and atheistic, Darwinist, heathen bastard children like yourself are none of Jesus's concern!"
"I love you daddy", she replied tearfully. "I love you and I always will".
He felt that this reply warranted an irrational outburst, so Fundie spent two hours screaming into the phone. Psychologically, Fundie was in a troubled state, perturbed by the lack of faith and righteousness in his own family. "How sin has infested our society," he said, "indoctrinating young and old alike with such progressive and hedonistic notions." It was in that condition that Fundie answered the doorbell, after his wife refused to do so while crying in the bathroom. A man in a plain blue shirt stood in the doorway.
"Hello", he said. Fundie stared at the car in his driveway. It had no cross hanging from the rear-view mirror, no bumper stickers expressing praise for America, Jesus, or even to the Republican party, all of which disturbed Fundie to the core of his being . "Hello", he replied, after three minutes staring at the patently un-Christian vehicle.."I'm a representative from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation", he said. "I'm collecting money to help care for the sick and dying in Africa. Could you be so kind as to help?". This was too much. Fundie chastised him with a blow to the temple. As the ungodly atheist minion lay dazed on the floor, he contemplated rushing to the kitchen, grabbing a knife, and ridding the world of a dangerous demon-possessed servant of darkness. But then Fundie remembered the secular prohibition against "murder", based upon the pathetic rule of mortal law, that Christians were unjustly not exempt from, preventing the act of glorifying God by slaying those who oppose his power and majesty.
Until the world was rid of such unjust, atheist-protecting laws, all he could do was yell at him ."Medicine", he explained, "will not help them if Jesus wants them to die. There would be nothing 'kind' about 'helping' them recover when it defies God's plan to do so. We need to trust in what God has deigned fit to happen, and it is not our place to try to interfere in his design with the corrupt instruments of man. If you had come to me asking if I would pray for the little dying African children, or asking me to help pay for you to spread the good Word to the unwashed heathens whose only chance of ever getting into Heaven is solely by noble white American Christians to go there and tell them to praise Jesus, I might have given some money. But, unfortunately, you did not, and are just spreading atheism and defying God's will. I'm getting my shotgun..."
With that, the man limped away, another blasphemous fool let loose on the world. "Until God and religion, and all its superstitious tenets and irrational legacy are forcibly imposed upon education, culture and society, human beings will never be free to live in a world in which people sing in unison while going to work, where the sun shines 24-hours a day, and where rainbows are edible. It baffles me that more people, observing my life, have not rallied with me behind the banner of faith in our Lord, the One True Savior, Jesus Christ. I pity those fools. Well, anyway honey, stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about! Strip down, and I'll meet you in the bedroom in five minutes, and if you are not there, so help me God, I will beat you so that even Jesus won't recognize you! "
[Please note that I do not support any of the following: drinking before noon, teenage brides, throwing dishes, loving invisible entities and ideas in place of other people, spousal abuse, berating children for a difference in ideology, leaving children to be raised by cocaine addicted mothers because they were conceived out of wedlock, refusing physical possessions only when it suits your argument, beating charity workers, contemplating murder due to delusional motives, rationalizing people's deaths through unverifiable supernatural presuppositions, thinking oneself superior for race/nationality/belief, threatening people with shotguns, imposing your beliefs on society, feeling entitled to sex within marriage, hypocrisy, and representing a caricature of people you disagree with as an accurate, comical, and poignant critique.
If you found any of that above and are offended by it....awesome.]
I am sure you all intrigued with how he continues to strategically miss so many different points, remain oblivious to that fact, and keep audiences enthralled with his rhythmic feet as he does so, then you surely do want to this exercise in the inane:
"It was Atheist Bashing Week for me as I did three debates over the past seven days with a new crop of leading atheists"
Forgive me if I snicker at the idea of Dinesh "bashing" anyone...at least successfully. Even if he think that he has ever done so, he is probably mistaken in that belief.
"Sinnott-Armstrong offered a more dignified atheism that he said recognizes the accomplishments of Christianity. In one revealing moment he event said schools and colleges should teach students that the crimes of Christianity, like the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials, pale before the crimes of atheist regimes like those of Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot. Overall this was an elevated debate, one of the more high-toned ones I've participated in."
Let me clarify a few things. The things that could said to be the "accomplishments of Christianity" could have been done with the same effectiveness (or, actually, increased effectiveness) under any number of religions, or no religion at all. In the Western world, where Christianity is predominant, Christianity itself cannot be said to be the sole cause of any Western accomplishment, in that much of its successes in government, technology, science, society, and philosophy have their roots in Ancient Greece and Rome, even if the roots that originally came from such cultures only came to fruition in societies that were largely Christian. The point of this is that we can't really credit Christianity with a whole lot, as they may have just happened to be the pet ideology of a few countries in a time where the seeds planted by previous generations and previous doctrines, happened to come into fruition.
Second, there is no problem with mentioning that the death tolls of Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao (you left out Hitler....good boy, here's a cookie) are incredibly high. But it is foolish to assume that the large number of deaths is the fault of atheism, just because these three dictators happened to be atheistic communists. It is also foolish to assume that Christianity somehow gets to get a free ride on its own atrocities, because the death tolls aren't high enough in comparison. The reason why this doesn't fly well is that you have to consider that these atrocities occured during times where methods of killing were less effective, and the number of people that you were able to kill was smaller (to say nothing of the fact that the Inquisition focused more on torture and conversion than outright murder). This is also neglecting the fact that we are ignoring traditional warfare, which is the form in which Christianity was must gleeful in its destruction of lives, and failing to acknowledge that atheism has no common ideology from which to determine behavior (unlike actual religons), meaning that you cannot as easily come to conclusions about atheism itself from these three dictators as you could about them if they had a common religious doctrine. You can, however, infer a good amount about totalitarian regimes, politically motivated executions, communism, and inflated egos from these, and other similarly oppressive, genocidal states . But, I'm not so sure that having three oppressive communist nations with a high execution rate implies as much about atheism as a several hundred year trend of religiously motivated wars and violence implies about the specific religious doctrines behind them. But, I assume you would say I am being unfair about that, right?
"Later the atheist students who organized the debate complimented me on my performance, and one said that I had made numerous arguments that he had never thought of, and that were compelling him to rethink (although not abandon) his atheism"
Either a miracle occured that magical evening in Cambridge, and D'Souza came up with something actually compelling and original (which, judging from what I've seen of his debates, is unlikely), or Harvard students just ain't what they used to be. Or the kid was just flattering him. Anyway you slice it, that student that told Dinesh this needs to slapped! The fool gratified Dinesh's ego, allowing the pompous ass to continue believing that he actually has credibility! He will never be stopped now!
"I went first and focused on Singer's extreme views, such as his proposal that parents be allowed to kill their children up to the age of 28 days. Singer also thinks America and the West can learn from non-Western societies, not to mention ancient Greece and Rome, where children were routinely killed at much higher ages. Oddly enough this champion of infanticide and euthanasia also favors animal rights!"
Can't help but feel that this is either a misrepresentation or that it is deliberately stripped away from the justifications for the position in order to preserve Dinesh's opinion of it. But, anyway, I am not so sure that I could support infanticide. Despite the fact that infants mental faculties aren't completely developed, the fact that they, upon birth, are no longer symbiotic lifeforms, and have been able to feel pain and sense their surrounding for several months, I feel that infanticide, in of itself, cannot be justified without extreme circumstances. Euthanasia, on the other hand, is acceptable, if the recipient of it consents without question or doubt, or if the recipient is simply beyond hope and incapable of communicating in any way, whatsoever. Much of the civilized world allows for euthanasia in circumstances where it is requested (and, in contrast, we do not allow it, but are among the few in the civilized world to still have the death penalty, along with prioritizing military expenditure more than any nation ....God bless, America...).
"Singer argues that we human beings are Darwinian primates. We are on a continuum with the other animals. It is Christianity, Singer charges, that came into the world and elevated human beings on a pedestal. It is Christianity that proclaimed that man is in the image of God, and that creation is for man's benefit. These ideas gave rise to the special dignity of man and human rights and moral principles such as 'It is wrong to deliberately take human life.'"
We ARE Darwinian primates. You admit to accepting evolution, so why would that be news to you? Humans are part of the animal kingdom, yes. The reasons for believing otherwise are based upon egotism extended to one's entire species, not based upon actually physiological differences. But, Christianity was not the first to put humans on to a pedestal. They are the most famous for it, but whether it was explicit or implicit, humans have generally always felt that human beings are special. I mean, what do you think that gods are? Don't you think it odd that the idea of gods are almost universally anthropomorphized versions of aspects of nature? Gods were basically supermen, the greatest beings in existence who just happened to have a humanoid form. Of course, even without religion, humans would still put humanity on a pedestal, because humans tend to put themselves up on a pedestal. When it comes down to it, groups that people associate with are viewed as an extension of the self, and, as such, are held in the same esteem that hold themselves with. Species is just another kind of group we define ourselves by, and that we use to determine our enemies.
Oh, as for morality coming from Christianity: if you think that murder was never unacceptable in an established society before Jesus came around, you simply fail.
"In a sense Singer is taking up Nietzsche's challenge--to rid our civilization not only of the Christian God but also of Christian morality--and his homicidal conclusions, which many people find horrific, are only a working-out of his atheist logic."
Ugggh....Christian morality. If you are not misrepresenting Singer here, I think that Singer needs to be excommunicated from the International Church of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy. But, anyways, your Christian morality has nothing to it that it makes it remarkably better than Hindu morality, Jewish morality, Shinto morality, Buddhist morality, or, despite your misrepresentations, atheistic morality (or, in other words, morality common to almost all non-sociopathic human beings). In fact, much of the moral actions demanded of Christianity are either immoral (stoning people for working on the Sabbath), ignored as irrelevant(not eating shellfish, praying in the closet, all that), or common sense morality that is not limited to any one religion (the golden rule, no murder, no thievery, stressing non-violence, and a variety of other chestnuts...). So, to put it in fewer words: just because you equate Christianity with everything good in our society does not make it true.
"He is a lucid and gentlemanly debater, and he complimented me for eschewing Bible citations in favor of reason and logic and history and science in developing my arguments. I praised him for having the guts to come to a Christian campus and debate me, quite a contrast from the invertebrate Richard Dawkins who seems terrified to take me on even at his native Oxford."
That's nice that you complimented one another and all, but, do you really wonder why Richard Dawkins won't debate you? Because, I can give you a few reasons. You completely misrepresent every fact that you present in a debate, (along with your opponent's after the debate), you tend to fire off a massive amount of generally incorrect data that could take a full year to comprehensively expose as fallacious, and, the best part is, you absolutely insist that people engage you in a setting in which you can get away with doing it! But, I'd say why Richard does not want to debate you is simply because you are already known by the people who actually know about you to be nothing but a pompous windbag without anything but infantile, recycled arguments that even internet trolls have decided to abandon two years prior to when you dredge them up as legitimate. You are not even a blip on his radar, no matter how much you whine and try to smear him.
"Won't it be hilarious if the "party of faith" is unafraid of opposing arguments while the "party of reason" cannot withstand the arguments of its critics?"
No, I'd say that is pretty much the norm. People of faith being unafraid of opposing arguments because they are too stubborn and/or ignorant to change due to them, and people of reason being afraid of criticism because they are willing to concede the possibility that the opposition may actually be able to convince them by mustering up an actually sound argument.
Well that's that...I'm hoping that I won't be compelled to do this everytime that Dinesh decides to open his claptrap about religion, but...well...some things just can't be helped.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Insanity of the Day: This one is a little too subtle for me...but I think it is implying that the justice system is somehow prejudiced. Who knew?
Wisdom from the Bowels of the Abyss: "So, this one time, during the Christmas season, I was doing my Christmas shopping, and was well along on my list, feeling all holly and jolly, when suddenly...I saw it. I felt....I felt so...violated. It was a sign that stood, towering above the K-Mart, looming like a Jolly Roger, declaring war against all that we hold near and dear to our hearts. In big, blood-red letters, it shrieked out to helpless customers 'Happy Holidays', a statement so vulgar, so cruel, so sadistic in its tacit dismissal of the existence of Christmas, that it is practically smacking Jesus in the face everytime that the phrase is uttered. I begged the manager to take it down, telling him how offensive it was. I was on the verge of tears...but he would not budge. He refused to acknowledge how heartless and destructive his Godless banner was...refused to see how much pain and anguish he was causing to innocent children who had the misfortune of seeing that horrible phrase, and have their entire holiday ruined by the hatred and intolerance behind such a declaration.And that is why it was justified homicide, your honor."
-Bill O' Reilly, after taking the concept of a culture war too literally.
Poll: If you could offer up an innocent child as a blood sacrifice to the forgotten gods of the darkened upper echelons of reality, would you?
No. Unless it was that annoying neighbor kid.
1 (100%) [All me! What a disturbingly masturbatory process I have going on here...]
Yes, as long as the god offered good healthcare.
Yes, for any reason, any time, anywhere. Let me at 'em.
No. Because I am afraid of being arrested.
Blog Description: Violating your basic human rights, for fun and profit.
Profile: He who was determined by the prophecy to bring upon the land a temporary peace in a time of relatively less peace, only to later wreak havoc, overthrow empires, eat kittens, and have promiscuous sex with naive young altar boys. And the cheese...oh, the horrible things that will occur involving cheese...
Until that bleak point in the not too distant future, the comparatively young Asylum Seeker entertains himself with doodling apocalyptic landscapes, laughing diabolically atop burning buildings, and plotting assassinations for the lulz.
Currently trying to hide his cocaine stash within the hollowed out corpse of a transvetite hooker. Mood: paranoid.
Location: Suicide Flats, Utah
Saturday, April 26, 2008
America's (ideal) response: "Well, if Ann Coulter supports her...I'm voting for McCain!"
If you don't know why, and have no idea why Ann Coulter should be hunted down by pitchfork wielding mobs in a vain attempt to drive a stake through her non-existent heart to ,at least, shut her up for a short period of time, here's a gem of hers:
"So repellent are Bill Clinton's friends (to the extent that a sociopathic sex offender with a narcissistic disorder can actually experience friendship in the conventional sense) that B. Hussein Obama's association with a raving racist reverend and a former member of the Weather Underground hasn't caused as much damage as it should."
Wow. Bill Clinton is a sociopath, a sex offender, and suffering narcissistic personality disorder? This is very interesting information...I am sure that this isn't merely an exaggeration of traits that most people happen to have, at all. I trust you more than that.
The reason why Obama's "association" with Weather Underground isn't a problem is because it is tangential (he worked with one of the former members several decades after his "terrorist" activities, while both happened to be political office). As for his association with Wright...he is not a "raving racist" like Fox News and white males with a persecution complex try to make him out to be. He was a preacher who criticized government activity, brought up the fact that their community is still discriminated against, and that the people who run the government currently, including Hillary, are predominantly white (shock!) and have not been through the trials of having racism directed at them. I just think it is rather hard to call Wright racist when he is 1. pointing out racism in its more traditional form and 2. pointing out that the black community is still underrepresented in governments, and still not given equal treatment in the justice system.
It is inane, and has basically been nothing more than spin since day one.
Anywho, Ann Coulter is the Anti-Christ, so I am not going to tread too far into whatever tepid pile of horse vomit she crammed through the intertubes. It's not the Democrats associated with Hillary that make her unelectable...it is Hillary herself. Since, well, just look at her supporters (hint: I am referring to Ann Coulter).
Edit: Uggghhh...the amount of fail in this doesn't even warrant a response...
"Sarah Curran Smith, a vice president at Lehigh Coal [said] Bowman's survival is 'pretty unbelievable...I think the universe has bigger plans for Nathan. I hope he realizes that.'"
Yes, the universe does indeed have a purpose for Nathan, and I happen to arbitrarily know exactly what that purpose must be! For you see, we are in grave danger! The Internets are about to go extinct! I know, I thought that it was just a South Park episode, too. But it is very real! In two short years, the internet will be gone, along with all of fancy blogospheres, our cherished trolling grounds, our beloved 4-chan, our handy torrents, and our precious, precious pr0n. It will be the end of modern society as we know it! And that is why, in the same way that it is obvious that Nathan Bowman was chosen by fate to have a grand purpose in the tapestry of our existence due to living after falling down a mine shaft, it is also obvious that only a person with such a significant purpose could be the savior we need to save the internet! Nathan fits the bill, therefore, it is he alone who can save us all from the horrors of having to be antisocial and belligerent in person instead of being able to do it safely behind a keyboard.
So, young Nathan, once you end your stay in the hospital, we can begin your training. Because in only two short years, you will have no choice but to meet your destiny...Remember, you were chosen by forces beyond our comprehension for this task, Nathan...don't fail us, or reality as we know it will be torn asunder!
What better test is there for a person to not only write things that they patently do not believe in, but to also do it in a low-toned, coded fashion that allows for the objective observer to see that there is more to your articles than meets the eyes. How much fun would it be to write about an issue you feel passionate about, but to completely hide the fact that you feel passionate in the complete opposite fashion as your readers and employers, yet they are none the wiser? I could just imagine how giddily I could make my submissions to that paper, writing spiritual poetry that takes tacit jabs at the common idea of God, writing editorials that explicitly condemn non-belief and sin, all while tacitly bringing into question how one could bring yourself to such condemnation without violating Christian principles. And I could see myself laughing as I send in an easily refuted piece of garbage of an argument that implicitly refutes itself, just waiting to see how the magazine responds to the off-handed rebuttals sent in response by the handful of atheists on campus who would bother to pay attention to such trash.
And, thinking about all this, pining for a way to get published and get ideas out there, while also relishing the opportunity to both bamboozle believers and weave intricate dismissals of everything that they believe in the guise of intentionally weak faith-based rhetoric, I wonder: should I go for it?
Well, if I do not do it, it would probably be for the best, and save me some real stress (especially if I am exposed and confronted for basically trying to sabotage their magazine). But, if I do do it, may Poe's Law protect and serve me well....
It is perfectly clear from this that sudden growths in the pirate population helped to decrease global warming, and when they departed, global warming increased, just as the Great Bobby Henderson predicted! Repent now! Beg Bobby Henderson for forgiveness! The evidence of his prophetic ability is undeniable, and if you refuse to admit as much, you simply refuse to believe what is self-evidently true! I pity those of you to stubborn and close-minded to accept the obvious reality of this situation. For the rest of you, our beer volcano and stripper factory await!
Edit: On a related note, non-believers really are fools, aren't they? LOL!
This site may not be a joke...but it is still disturbingly hilarious
Case in point: "But God wants you to succeed, and that’s why he has given us an alternative to intercourse before marriage: anal sex."
Meh heh...ha...ummm...gotta love when people stay true to God's word by trying to find loopholes in it so that they can justify doing whatever the hell they want....
Edit: (Talking about Onan and the problem of "spilling seed") "Getting ejaculate on oneself or one’s clothing results in uncleanness that requires extensive reparations and atonement. Obviously one simple way to prevent the spillage of semen is to have your partner perform fellatio and swallow the emission"
(Can't...stop...laughing! These people have some serious problems...)
http://www.nobeliefs.com/ (Once you've read through some of the quotes, the articles, and comedy material offered, the only thing this site has to offer is the occassional news and video link. Still, nice site to go to if you haven't already spent hours on it previously).
http://www.fstdt.com/ (You can comment on the horrible fundie comments that are dragged onto the site, so, needless to say, it is rather addictive).
http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ (Warning: parody site!)
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/ (especially http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm)
http://gods4suckers.net/ (Loads of hilarious posts to wade through)
http://www.enterthejabberwock.com/ (Make sure to check out the Chick tract dissections)
http://www.religioustolerance.org/index.htm (Religions of all kinds, offered up objectively...which means that it happens to favor atheist's arguments most of the time. Convenient, no?)
http://www.crossroad.to/ (Makes seemingly convincing arguments...but still excessively adherent to her perception of what the Bible demands of Christians. So, basically, typical fundie.)
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/ (Note: disorganized and often unintelligible)
http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/ (As above)
http://www.tencommandments.org/ (Really hates gays and atheists...it's disturbing, really).
http://www.chick.com/default.asp (His religious tracts are legendary...but not in a good way...)
http://logosresourcepages.org/idx_occult.htm (Even funnier if you are familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, et. al.)
http://christiananswers.net/spotlight/home.html (Movie reviews + Christian sensibilities=hilarious)
http://christiancrosstalk.blogspot.com/ (Won't stop ranting about the evils of atheism...scary...)
Some of these are obscure and probably of little interest to most people. Others of them are incredibly popular to the extent that I probably shouldn't even mention them. But, hey...doing things that make sense is not my style!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Of particular interest is this little number: "SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2007"
"Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counsellors called in for traumatized students and teachers."
The only thing that I get out of this is that general high regard for firearms is a good thing, and that paranoia over them is bad. I couldn't agree more...unfortunately, it is more common that paranoia and high regard for weaponry go hand in hand nowadays (and probably to a smaller extent in previous time periods). Besides, on the occasion where a gun was brought on to school property with such fashion, teachers did nothing, and someone died as a result...well...I am sure that if it affected you, you'd be just as pissed as anyone else.
Scenario : Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Swiggety schwa? So...playing with the idea that fistfights have no potential problems, at all, huh? A kid who lived in my hometown died in a fight in which the losing party decided to elevate the challenge in his desperation, and beat the superior fist-fighter to death with a baseball bat. But, yeah...if it weren't for that, I'm sure they would have become friends...
Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Paddling? Homoerotic, much? Besides, how is it that you think that physically coercing a child into silence out of fear is less harmful than Ritalin (which is not supposed to be taken in large doses, is administered by parents, not as a disciplinary technique, and only calms them down, doesn't make them catatonic). Also, ADD is not a disability that I am aware of.
Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.
Wow. Just wow. He would only be arrested for child abuse if he were particularly brutal (hell, we barely get to nab the people who put their children through absolute hell in their abusiveness, so I think John Q. Paddling should be fine when it comes to litigation). Corporal punishment is not a surefire means to make children successful, and how the hell does foster care correlate with gang activity?
Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
W. T. F. Yes, some prescriptions are a little too strong to have in school, because for all the faculty knows, you are hocking oxycontin to freshmen in order to pay for gas money. But, aspirin is far from that, and would be allowed for the most part (though, in some schools, the school nurse is a little reluctant to dish aspirin out, but that's a different issue).
Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
This has never happened, ever, and most likely will never happen as long as there are white men in Congress. And probably will not happen, ever, since, as long as English is the predominant language in the country, they cannot allow people to graduate and enter the workforce unless they have a sufficient grasp of it (whether they are white or not), which your schadenfreude drenched conclusion has its underlying premise.
Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2007 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
Again, a jab at excessive paranoia regarding our security (this time, in reference to terrorism rather than school shootings). Funny...do happen to take a good look at who it is that actually afraid of terrorist attacks occuring within the confines of their everyday lives. Because...well...they are people with ideologies...err...like yours!
Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy .
I don't think anyone has been accused of being a sexual predator for a hug (though they may get filed with sexual harassment if it was unwanted...more common for males hugging females than the reverse, presumably). The teachers who are actually arrested for being sexual predators ARE actually sexual predators, and, in reality, many of the teachers that are actually guilty of having sex with their students are not caught, to say nothing of other authority figures (especially parents). And...people who are actually sexually abused in a fashion outside of your baseless scenario, do often require therapy, whether or not they actually receive it. Others do not need it, but, hey, some people are just stoics.
Anyway, that is all the contrived and ill-informed parody that Brother Randy could muster, so I assume that I do not speak much more on this little gem. I'll admit that he makes a few good points in his deliberate exaggerations, but in many of his other ones, he is mocking and downplaying legitimate concerns that we have for our society and ones that need to be addressed. Paddling your son is not child abuse, in of itself, and hugging a student is not sexual misconduct, but to suggest that accuastions of these crimes are almost entirely limited to an overestimation of harm done to the children is to dismiss the issue entirely.
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he brings up the intentionally weak cases of child abuse and sexual predation to make a critique about jumping to conclusions and rushing into litigation, rather than taking it as a tacit dismissal of a majority of these claims as "not that bad", effectively. But, really...this guy holds his romanticized view of violence in the 1950's in a little too high esteem. Which...is rather telling, actually.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
1. You shall have no other God before me.
2. Do not make any image of what is in the heavens above
3. Do not use the Lord's name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother
6. Do not murder
7. Do not commit adultery
8. Do not steal (actually believed to be a reference to kidnapping)
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor
10. Do not covet.
Okay, right off the bat, it is pretty clear that the first four commandments can hardly constitute objective morals. There is no morality involved in that, they are simply demanding that you be Christian in order to adhere to them. In fact, there seems to be little moral reason to not make artistic depictions of gods, little immoral with saying "God" as an interjection in casual conversation. There is no harm brought about to any at all for working on the Sabbath. And, given that these objective morals are only relevant if you are presupposing the existence of the Judeo-Christian God, it is hardly universally applicable. So...let me just empty those four slots for now, and we will move on.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother
6. Do not commit murder
7. Do not commit adultery
8. Do not steal/kidnap
9. Do not bear false witness.
10. Do not covet.
Alright, for commandment five, I think that we need to keep in mind that 1. parents aren't the only ones in society who should be respected by an individual and 2. some parents should not be honored (namely, abusive ones). As such, I think that Commandment five should be revised to "Honor competent and respectful authority figures".
6. Do not commit murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal/kidnap.
9. Do not bear false witness.
10. Do not covet.
For commandment six, I think we need to revise it from "murder" to simply "bringing death and physical harm to others intentionally", in order to remove loopholes of warfare, justified homicide, and torture. As for commandment seven, I think that the "adultery" prohibition was originally meant to both promote sexual restraint and to prevent unfairness within a marriage (though heavily favoring the male, in that it was only considered adultery originally if the woman involved was married). I think that sexual restraint could be incorporated into commandment 10, and I could change commandment 7 to focus on marital equity. So, commandment seven could say something like "do not violate the trust of those closest to you", to make it a little more universal. And, change commandment ten to read "restrain yourself from potentially damaging desires and moderate your indulgences". Which leaves us with:
8. Do not steal/kidnap.
9. Do not bear false witness.
Alrighty. Well, I will address slavery later on, so I will assume that Commandment is actually what it is commonly interpretted to be. I will leave it relatively intact, but rephrase it to be "do not steal, damage, or destroy property that is not your own". As for Commandment nine, well...even though it is commonly equated to lying, it is really lying within a context that brings about harm and punishment for the person you are lying about. So, I will simply revise this as "do not speak falsehoods to disadvantage or harm others". So, what we have thus far is:
5.Honor competent and benevolent authority figures.
6.Do not intentionally bring about suffering or death for others.
7.Do not violate the trust of those closest to you.
8.Do not steal, damage, or destroy property that is not your own.
9.Do not speak falsehoods to disadvantage or harm others.
10.Restrain yourself from desires that would bring about damage, and do not overindulge yourself.
And, now I have the ugly task of whipping up Commandments that were never mentioned in the original. First off, I guess slavery would be a nice starting point. So, I think that "do not treat other human beings as inferior to oneself" suits that purpose.
Then there is the issue of child molestation, rape, and other forms of sexual abuse. In a sense, revised commandments 1, 6, and 10 would work against this, but I think that it needs to be explicitly condemned. I think "do not exploit others in order to indulge in one's own desires" works for this, and further helps to condemn slavery.
Then, we can get the last two. I think one issue is relative altruism: that is, helping other people when it is desperately needed, if doing so costs you little to nothing. The other issue is to not prompt or directly support people specifically in doing an immoral activity (and, given the strict nature of what is considered immoral here, this would largely be mafia dons, people giving money to terrorists, slave traders,people encouraging Klan members, etc.) . So, we have the following final revised Commandments:
1.Do not treat other human beings as inferior to oneself.
2.Do not exploit others in order to indulge in one's own desires.
3.Give help to others that desperately need it if doing so costs you little.
4.Do not actively promote immoral activities of others.
5.Honor competent and benevolent authority figures.
6.Do not intentionally bring about suffering or death for others.
7.Do not violate the trust of those closest to you.
8.Do not steal, damage, or destroy property that is not your own.
9.Do not speak falsehoods to disadvantage or harm others.
10.Restrain yourself from desires that would bring about damage, and do not overindulge yourself.
At face value, I think it looks pretty good. Not too shabby. Not sure if it is better than the original in being slighly more broad and comprehensive, and not as obsessed with how we interact with the Invisible Man, but, well...it was worth a try...
Step One: "The first step towards the proof that God exists is to determine whether you actually believe that laws of logic exist. Logical proof would be irrelevant to someone who denies that laws of logic exist. An example of a law of logic is the law of non-contradiction. This law states, for instance, that it cannot both be true that my car is in the parking lot and that it is not in the parking lot at the same time, and in the same way."
I can already see where this is going...and it is retarded. But, yes, the "laws" of logic exist. Please, commence the idiocy.
Step Two: "The basic operations of arithmetic are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Laws of mathematics then, are basically descriptions of what happens within these operations (and more complex ones as well) . For example, with the law of addition we know that if you take 4 things and add them to 3 things, you end up with 7 things."
Uggghh...yes...the "laws" of mathematics exist too. Can you please get on with your petty semantics argument already?
Step Three: "Laws of science are basically descriptions of what matter does based on repeated observations, and are usually expressed in mathematical equations. An example of a law of science is the law of gravity. Using the law of gravity, we can predict how fast a heavier than air object will fall to the ground given all the factors for the equation"
You're killing me here! Yes...matter tends to behave a certain way that we have basic rules for describing...therefore, Jesus, right?
Step Four: "I have seldom heard anyone deny that laws of logic, mathematics, or science exist, but I have often heard people deny the existence of absolute moral laws. Whereas laws of logic, science, and mathematics describe reality, and how things do behave, absolute moral laws describe how humans ought to, or ought not to behave.
Rape, and child molestation, are two examples of absolute moral wrongs"
Interesting that he brings up two of the most offensive acts that he could think of, that have little justification within our culture, but, nonetheless, were nowhere near as condemned in societies before this point in time. In fact, these examples of objectively immoral behavior are not spoken out against in the Bible. Maybe that was one of the lost commandments. In this sense, even though it is logically wrong to these things, and such acts are abhorrent to our modern sensibilities, I cannot say that are objectively wrong in any sense beyond the harm they cause, beyond a reasoned look at its unfairness and how exploitative such actions are.
But, sense going with subjectivity ends with the following screed, I will consent that there is objective morality, defined by the logical dictates of equality and group dynamics, rather than by what God slides down to us on stone tablets.
Step Five: "By reaching this page you have acknowledged that laws of logic, mathematics, science, and absolute morality exist. Next we will examine what you believe about these laws. Are these laws material, or are they immaterial? In other words, are they made of matter, or are they 'abstract' entities? - are they physical or non-physical things?"
This is just dumb. The laws themselves do not exist, either physically or non-physically, as "entities". They are explanations for how physical things tend to behave, they do not exist in of themselves. *sigh*. Whatever...abstract.
Step Six: "You have acknowledged that laws of logic, mathematics, science, and absolute morality exist and that they are not material. The next question is whether you believe they are universal or up to the individual. Does 2 + 2 = 4 only where you are, and only because you say it does, or is this a universal law?"
Mathematics, though designed by men to describe reality, will continue to describe reality in the same fashion regardless of human input. Morality is irrelevant without individual input, and is far from universal (I mean, hell, there is a reason why you didn't include murder as an example of objective morality...what, with warmongering, and all...). Logic is irrelevant without a person observing reality to use it and the rules of logic are only universal in the sense that we assume to be able to be applied in that fashion (whether or not is actually effective to do so). I'd say that they are universal in a sense, but only imperfectly so.
Step Seven: "You have acknowledged that laws of logic, mathematics, science, and absolute morality exist, that they are not material, and that they are universal. The next question is whether you believe they are changing or unchanging"
The rules of logic, mathematics, and science do not change because they are based upon the assumption that the rules do not change. It is not very convincing to point out that these man-made constructs, used to describe our observations of reality, are assumed to not change to reflect our subjective experience of a reality that is relatively unchanging in the aspects that those "laws" are explaining.
Step Eight: "Only in a universe governed by God can universal, immaterial, unchanging laws exist. Only in a universe governed by God can rational thinking be possible. We use rational thinking to prove things. Therefore...the proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything."
Hahahahaha...that's rich. "The Bible says: God gives us X. We have X. Therefore, God exists."
You seriously don't see the problem with assuming that God has these qualities described in the Bible in order to make your conclusion? Don't see any problem at all with jumping to the claim that ONLY under this God could things behave in this fashion? It could not simply be that the universe naturally exists in a consistent, and ordered state, and that sheer, unmitigated chaos would be a better proof of divine reign that order?
Really, nice effort. This argument always seems convincing on its face. But, when you factor in the idea that the laws you mention are simply observations of how things tend to act, rather than hardset boundaries on what can and cannot occur, and then see clearly that you are already presupposing the existence of God by attributing Him with immaterial laws governing existence, you may as well be saying that "The Universe exists, therefore God exists". It's pretty much the same thing, except at least that argument doesn't take 8 steps and is honest in the fact that it does not prove anything.
So, internet philosophers, what tired, feeble excuse of an argument for God's existence will you bring back from a dusty coffin next?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I'll give you a brief sampling of his genius work, which lend obvious credibility to the half-dozen published books he has to his name.
The Power of Pascal's Wager: "This central human conundrum is the subject of Pascal's famous wager. Pascal did not invent the wager. It was offered by the Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali in his medieval work The Alchemy of Happiness."
[I know...I can't stop laughing either...]
"The ingenuity of Pascal's argument is that it emphasizes the practical necessity of us making a choice. This necessity is imposed by death...The unavoidability of the decision exposes the sheer stupidity of agnosticism and religious indifference. These are people who refuse to choose when there is no option to abstain. So the refusal to choose becomes a choice--a choice against God."
[Funny that he is assuming that we know enough about this issue to make a choice, that we can choose "against God", and that agnosticism is not the proper position to take about something that is unknown at such a level, including its actual threat to us or benefits. But, of course, if you are assuming that the Christian God exists throughout this little "Wager", of course people denying its existence or not caring about it are going to suffer...that's the entire point of your mythology! If we assume something else, well...agnosticism starts to look a bit smarter, and you look like more of an incompetent a-hole]
"If you are trapped in the den with a hungry lion, and there is a door that may offer a way out, what sane person would refuse to jump through the door? Viewed this way, the atheist position becomes a kind of reckless intransigence, a foolish attempt to gamble with one's soul."
[This is an excellent analogy...if the door in this example could become pissed off at you for not using it and turn into the lion, and there were thousands of other ineffectual doors that led you back into the same room, angering the one true door each time you make such a foolish mistake...along with no immediate, apparent danger to spur you into trying to escape to begin with]
"With their trademark venom, atheists typically condemn, although they cannot refute, Pascal's wager"
[LOL! This is why I love this guy! Almost endearing in his combination of condescension and obliviousness!]
Looking for Nietzsche's Last Man: "Lab-trained atheists like Dawkins, who have hardly any knowledge of history, seem to think that transcendence--the notion of something eternal, something 'higher' than this life--is an invention of revealed religion. This is pure ignorance. An ethical code like Confucianism preserves transcendence without recourse to the gods."
[Spoiler Alert: All he does in this article is keep using the word "transcendence" over and over again, adamantly asserting that it has to exist, when really the only thing "transcendent" that we can really say to exist as anything recognizable or real is simply feelings that lead us to believe that "transcendence" exists...hardly enough to postulate much beyond humankind's ability to yearn for more...]
"What happens when you get rid of transcendence? Nietzsche worried that you get petty, narrow, selfish and grasping human beings..."
["Petty, narrow, selfish, and grasping human beings"? You mean pretty much everyone to ever exist on our planet, right? Seriously...I am beginning to detest the Pacifier Test for philosophical validity (Item X makes people less uppity and mean, therefore X must be authentic, true, and good all around!). Especially when people use it as if it actually proves something...]
" I guess it's not so easy to crack jokes when your voice is failing and your body parts are giving up. Yes, it's sad. For Kinsley the solution lies entirely in pills and cures that he hopes will extend his tenure on the track a little longer, although he fears that modern science won't come through in time for him. And here is what I find most unfortunate: entirely missing from Kinsley's article is any notion of a universe beyond himself, of any transcendent hope that can sustain him when other earthly prospects are running down."
[Sadism for Jesus! Oh, and how is hoping for a cure for your disease a bad thing? Just because he does not fool himself into thinking that transcendence exists, and because he isn't joking gleefully during the onset of illness, does not make his perspective incorrect. Just because something gives you hope does not make it correct. Truth is not determined by what makes you feel best about your position in life!]
Ben Stein Exposes Richard Dawkins: "'How did life begin?' One would think that this is a question that could be easily answered. Dawkins, however, frankly admits that he has no idea. "
[He says this as if it were ignorance, rather than an attempt at agnosticism on a topic with little evidence...]
"Is it possible that living cells somehow assembled themselves from nonliving things by chance? The probabilities here are so infinitesimal that they approach zero."
[I find the probability suggested here is akin to how people viewed the probability of any given species of animals coming about "by chance" as being infinitesimal, before the idea of evolution came about. That is the difference between something popping into existence and coming into existence by steps. As such, cells as we know them today would probably have difficulty forming from chemicals alone. But, primitive cells may have been significantly different from the cells we are familiar with, and could have had a smaller probability needed to come into being. I'm not saying that it is likely, but that it is unwise to dismiss the idea of abiogenesis through the probability argument]
"Crick suggested that maybe aliens brought life to earth from another planet. And this is precisely the suggestion that Richard Dawkins makes in his response to Ben Stein. Perhaps, he notes, life was delivered to our planet by highly-evolved aliens."
[Poor, poor Double D...he obviously has never heard of speaking hypothetically...but, in fairness, neither has Ben Stein.]
Last, but not least...
How Did Life Begin?: "My last blog remarked on the fact that Richard Dawkins, one of the world's leading atheists, now believes in the possibility of 'intelligent design.' "
"Intelligent design is okay with Dawkins as long as that intelligent design does not involve a supernatural creator. "
[Because a supernatural creator leads to more questions than answers, and because, by definition, supernatural entities are beyond the scope of science. Hell, even the nature of this supposed supernatural force is beyond our comprehension and detection, so why bother saying anything about it? In fact, due to the essentially unreachable and unknowable nature of this creative entity, absolutely any form of alternate explanation of origins would be more effective and acceptable from a practical viewpoint, in that, at least if there were naturalistic explanation, we would know more about the nature of our universe and its laws. If we simply posit something outside of nature at work, we can do nothing and learn nothing...hence why supernatural phenomenon are not typically integrated into scientific observation and theory]
"If you enjoy seeing atheist arguments exploded in this way--or even if you're an atheist with masochistic tendencies--you may want to attend one of my "God v. Atheism" debates this week"
[You forgot the third option that most people take when they come to see you debate on these issues: they enjoy seeing you make a fool of yourself! But, I guess someone who spews forth a thousand pieces of semi-factoids to support hundreds of wrong assertions, and leaves with most of them unaddressed, can feel like he has won everytime. It's kind of sad...no one will be able to tear him apart effectively enough to make him realize that he has no idea what he is talking about...]
Well, that's it for that. If you wish to trudge into the filthy world that is Dinesh's haphazardly supported opinions, I suggest you do it with caution....you never know when he will actually make a valid point!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Insanity of the Day: "Interesting fact: Disembodied arms emerging from books are the number one cause of abortion. Husbands, keep those books away from the lady-folk!"
Wisdom from the Bowels of the Abyss: "I will tear your lower intestine out from your throat if you do not sit down, shut up, and accept your place as the lobotomized cretin that you, in all actuality, happen to be. I swear to God, if you let one more inane syllable fall from your slackjawed mouth, I will personally sterilize you with a cattleprod in front of the class, and they will cheer. Do you want that? Do you! Yeah...I thought so..."
-Every public high school teacher in approximately 10 years.
Poll: In your opinion, are there enough white supremacists on the internets?
Yes, they are well represented (50%)
No. The internet is discriminating against our white brothers! (0%)
There are no racists on the internet, silly! (50%)
What are white supremacists? (0%)
I plead the fifth. (0%)
Blog Description: Drunken rantings and ravings from beyond the protective cloak of internet anonymity.
Edge of Oblivion, New Jersey, United States
Your typical pre-adolescent to post-retirement male, who enjoys long, leisurely walks on the beach, drinking the soda pop, playing whatever game he gets his filthy paws on, and bathing in the blood of innocents during each full moon in order to prevent the hobgoblins from eating me while I sleep. If you try to figure out anything about other than the despicable lies that I feed to you through the intertubes, I will find you and commit unspeakable deeds that will haunt your dreams for the rest of your bleak, meaningless existence! Oh, and my favorite color is blue.
Good bye, week of April 13-19, 2008. You will be missed...
Friday, April 18, 2008
Deity: Oh, deities. How much fun has been had at their expense? From Russell's teapot, to the Invisible Pink Unicorn, all the way to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pasta be upon him), many parodies have arisen in how difficult it is to disprove the nature of god or gods, allowing to basically say whatever the hell you want. Which leads me to the following completely unverifiable conclusion of the nature of all of existence as we know it, and if you think I am wrong, prove me wrong:
It has been revealed by prophecy that the universe as we know it is controlled by massive horde of irradiated half-fish/half-chipmunk/half-pterodactyls that exist beyond human senses, and beyond the irrelevant constrictions of mortality and space-time. These creatures reside within the 53rd dimension, and are latched onto every seventeenth human being born during a leap year, or to anyone who bastes themselves in tabasco sauce. In addition, these creatures are personally responsible for giving us the illusion of the reality that is around us, which serves to hide their presence from us. They personally deceive us by manipulating the appearances of this world to make it appear as if it follows the laws of nature and physics consistently, but only do so to mess with us, because we are more tasty when we are confused.
These creatures, henceforth known as Omegapisces, are responsible for creating the reality that we know out of extradimensional soap, before vomitting the collective human mind into existence, and deceiving them into perceiving the universe as we see it, for the transcendent lulz.
Doctrine: Because the Omegapisces enjoy when we are confused, they will be incredibly angry if you realize that they exist. Followers of the Truth that is their existence, however, deliberately worship the false idol Chuck Norris, in order to satiate the Omegapisces desire for humans to be blatantly incorrect, in order to keep an internet meme alive, and in order to make the Bible-beater Norris really peeved. Only those that worship Chuck Norris or other arbitrary and absurdly incorrect messiahs will be favored among the ranks of the Omegapisces.
In addition, in order to be latched upon by the Omegapisces, one must not only be confused and remain confused as expected above, but you must also either be one of the lucky few who are automatically latched on to, born each leap year, or you must bathe within tabasco sauce and sing the haunting melody of the Extradimensional Dinner Call. Only under those conditions can you attain the state of being fused with a parasitic extradimensional Omegapisces.
Eating or harming fish, small mammals, or anything with wings will immediately cause you to lose favor with your guardian parasite and will leave abandoned, and only upon redeeming yourself by chopping off a digit, or limb, can you receive another Omegapisces. In addition, you must not ever speak to other people about anything pertaining to geography, physics, water vessels, weather, bacteria, electricity, Zionism, or foreign automobiles, as these things cause great terror to our half-fish/half-chipmunk/half-pterodactyl overlords, and will prompt them to flee from your presence if you dare to speak of such ineffable things.
Violence, sexual activity, kindness, or civility of any form are of no concerns to these beings, and as such, one has been latched on to will not lose such status for those petty misdeeds, nor gain them.
Afterlife: The best afterlife is observed only by those who were privileged by being latched on to by a Omegapisces before their death. As such, their consciousness survives bodily death, and they enter the 53rd dimension, and immediately thereafter join the ranks of the Omegapisces. Those who knew of the Omegapisces, and worshipped a ridiculous deity instead, but did not have an Omegapisces latch onto them, will survive death and keep their individual consciousness. They will also be given a golden star sticker. Those who knew of the Omegapisces and did not worship anything will receive the same fate, but get no sticker. Those who worshipped the Omegapisces will die an early death and be banished to the Room of Slight Discomfort for the rest of eternity. Those who sincerely worshipped a seemingly legitimate god will be consumed by the Omegapisces, and will be regurgitated into the collective consciousness from which all human minds were originally drawn from. Those who sincerely worshipped ridiculous gods will just die. Just. Die. Those who worshipped no gods at all, yet did not know of the Omegapisces, will be survive death with an individual consciousness, but will have to wear a goofy hat to forever display the shameful reality that s/he never discovered the Truth in order to properly deny its existence.
The collective consciousness pool is continually redumped into existence until they are finally introduced into an illusory reality where they can finally realize the Truth, instead of continuing the trend of being guillible failures like in previous lives. Individual consciousnesses that remain in the 53rd dimension and have no turned into Omegapisces will be able to reincarnate in a privileged position in reality and with some memories of their former life in order to more effectively attain the goals that the others reintegrated into existence can only stumble upon.
Conclusion: Reality as we know it is an illusion established by fish/chipmunk/pterodactyl hybrids from another dimension that will only feed upon us, and thus provide us with the ability to join their ranks, if we deny their existence, bathe in tabasco sauce, refuse to eat certain vague categories of meat, and avoid speaking about certain arbitrary taboo topics. If we fail to do so, we are doomed to either outright die, be exiled to eternal discomfort, have our minds shuffled around with the rest of the human population and shoved back into the illusory reality, or kept relatively preserved, informed of the true nature of existence, and later shoved back into the illusory reality intact (though with altered memories). Are you foolish enough to risk not escaping this endless and dangerous cycle? To refuse the Truth as I set it out plainly before you, and clearly explain the risks of not unconsciously realizing it to be so, while outwardly denying it? Please...repent now! Sever your left pinkie, bathe in tabasco sauce, recite the Extradimensional Dinner Call, worship Chuck Norris, and live your life restraining yourself from affronting the great Omegapisces now, before it is too late!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Serial killers, government tyrants, academic liberals, Catholic
priests, politicians, Mormon Church higher-ups, Jewish rabbis, environmental
extremists, communists, religious heretics, mass murderers, occultists, spies,
and the Illuminati share something hideous and grotesque in common. Almost all
are Sodomites. Worse, most of the sick-minded men and women who comprise these
demented social groups are not only homosexual, they practice the most kinky and
perverted forms of sexual licentiousness-pedophilia, Satanic bondage, physical
torture, bisexuality, transvestitism, and even bestiality. God says that Sodomy
is a sin! NAMBLA
Okay...let's go throught this slowly, because otherwise my entire response to this will just be hysterical laughter. Though I do not doubt that there may have been some gay serial killers (John Wayne Gacy for example) it is hardly indicative of the implied evils of homosexuality anymore than it would suggest that Christianity is inherently evil if there happened to be a large number of Christian serial killers (though it is interesting to point that my previous example, Gacy, probably would not have become a serial killer if it weren't for people like the originator of this quote creating a climate in which homosexuality is unacceptable, because most of Gacy's victims were teenage boys that he had slept with...presumably killing them to frantically hide his homosexuality and protect his reputation).
Interestingly, the few "government tyrants" who were found to be gay also happened to be the most fervent in their opposition to homosexuality in public settings and legislation.
I'm not sure if he seriously entertains the idea that all academic liberals are gay, but just because liberals happen to be side of the political spectrum that support homosexuality does not make all of them homosexuals...it just means that most sane and honest "Sodomites" as you call them would not affiliate with conservative politics, unless they had a touch of legislative sado-masochism about them.
The Catholic priest and Mormon thing is a very clever attempt to associate pedophilia with homosexuality (which he does explicitly later on, and which is a common occurrence in such fundamentalist rants). As for "Jewish rabbis"...I have no idea where that comes from, but I bet that it is just rooted in sheer anti-Semitism rather than actual news items. This seems to be the case, because his last two lines of culprits just seems to be a random string of groups that he doesn't like: "communists, religious heretics, mass murderers, occultists, spies, and the Illuminati ." Gotta love that he decided to put the Illuminati on the list...it's the cherry on top of the insanity sundae. He then goes on to smother it with hatred sauce.
He brings up "Satanic bondage" as a sexual perversion that "teh gheys" are into (though "Satanic" is a bit of a leap, and I wouldn't doubt if more heterosexual couples happen to dabble in it than gay ones). I'm not sure if "physical torture" is supposed to be distinct from Satanic bondage, or if he is saying that they are off getting their jollies in Guantanimo Bay. I don't know how one could consider "bisexuality" as a sexual perversion in an attempt of proving how perverse homosexuality is, but by God, circularity has never stopped these people before!
And thus we come to last two sexual perversions. First, is "transvestitism", which, honestly, could not really be considered a sexual perversion because it doesn't have so much to do with actual sexual activity as it does with dressing up as the opposite sex. That's what it literally means. It is not evil, it is not perverted, it is just a challenge to your Puritanical views to how people should dress. And, then there is "bestiality", which has nothing to do with homosexuality, and is done by people in some countries who still hold that homosexuality is evil and worthy of punishment.
And, after looking into all of that, I get to see the original quote again, in its entirety. A long line of ill-founded accusations of almost every group that this person could think of that does not include himself. And I laugh.