Quote of the Month

I almost pissed around and let this month get by me. I only have a few days left, so let’s get this done :)

I found this quote, and it intrigues me, as I have always kind of felt this way. I found out long ago that professionals in the mental health biz had an escape clause for the religious. If it is a widely held delusion it is somehow allright. This has always bothered me. The quote:

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”
Robert M. Pirsig

While I tend to agree with this quote personally, no one diagnoses the religious as holding a delusional belief. They get a free pass.

So what is a delusion? Here are a few dictionary definitions:  A false belief or opinion.  A false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact. Or simply, the state of being deluded.

Let’s focus on the second one there, “a false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.” That pretty much accurately describes every religious person I have encountered, or heard about. But as I said the religious get a free pass from being categorized as mentally ill. Why is that? What makes a delusion an acceptable one? I think culture is the answer, but I don’t care for that excuse. Culture, “The arts, beliefs, customs, institutions, and other products of human work and thought considered as a unit, especially with regard to a particular time or social group.” I don’t see anything in there that should assume people can run around believeing all sorts of nonsense, or to freely allow one to believe in things non existant without question.

When I found out that the word delusion does not apply to religion, I thought about that and came up with this notion, it is from memory and not word for word. But here goes…

There’s a guy let’s call him Joe. Joe is Irish. Joe thinks there are leprechauns in his garden. He is always looking around for them, and quite sure they are there. Is this a delusion? I’m not sure a fanciful belief that leprechauns in your garden is a full blown delusion just yet.

Now, Joe’s belief in the leprechauns has grown a bit, to the point where he is actively looking for them. He is looking behind rocks and trees, and constantly peering out his window in hopes of seeing one. Is he deluded yet? I’m not sure but I think we are getting there.

Finally Joe is so sure of the leprechauns he is building traps trying to catch one. He is also talking to his pals at the pub about them. Despite his friends assurances that they do not exist, and the fact that he has never seen or caught one, Joe still believes leprechauns exist, and live in his garden. Is he deluded yet? Yes, I think so. But because he is Irish and the leprechaun tale is part of his particular culture, he gets the free pass from being delusional? I don’t think so.

Somewhere between having a fanciful belief and actually acting upon that belief despite no evidence at all supporting that belief, delusion has crept in. Joe is fucking delusional.  Being Irish is no excuse. The only reason no one will make this diagnosis is probably because of one of two things. Either the clinical professional suffers from the same delusions, or is fearful of the backlash that would be initiated from such a diagnosis. They are either complicit, or chicken shits.

This is my non clinical opinion.

EDIT: I am going to expand on this issue a little bit. I think one could consider my little story about Joe as a simile for 3 separate stages in the progression of a religious person. The first paragraph you could call a likeness to a deist. Someone that believes in an all powefull supernatural being of some sort, but has no affiliation with any denomination or group.

Paragraph two is the same person who has moved on to prayer, and perhaps associating with some denomination or group…

And paragraph three where the person is attending church regularly, following their rituals, and participating in group activities.

Picture Day!

Well more of a lousy picture day, I keep saying I gotta get a better camera…

I get to do a lot of driving lately, about 5 hours a day, back and forth to where my wife works. As some of you who have been with me a while already know she has totaled two cars in the last 3 years, and for everyones sake, and the sake of our current car, I have been doing the driving. She is too valuable to our family to risk a third incident. It is hard to find a good one (wife that is), and despite her driving exploits she is a good one :)

Anyway first up for your viewing pleasure is this:

DSC02222 (2)

First thing that comes to my mind is, one of these things has empirical evidence of its existence. So I suppose really it depends on who you ask. Next, and the pic quality goes down from here sadly:

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This one, to me sounds like a cheesy come on from a gay Hispanic guy. But again I suppose it depends on who you ask. Next:

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I don’t know if you can make out the signage, but it says and I quote exactly as it is spelled “Chose This Day of Whom You Will Serve” You can’t make this shit up folks. I am almost afraid to try and envision what lies inside this abode. Last but not least:

DSC02226

Again too blurred to make out what this says, it was shot through the windshield with the aforementioned crappy camera, it says “I’m Lord of all.” Not sure if this refers to the driver or his invisible friend. Either way it is kinda creepy. These signs should give anyone who reads this blog an idea what it is like living below the Mason Dixon Line.

I will keep my eyes peeled for more signs and things of interest as time goes along.

Story Of Kid Going To Heaven A Big Fat Lie

You guys and gals may have already heard of this.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2015/01/16/the-boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-untrue-alex-malarkey/21855709/

All I can think of off the top of my head is, You are just now figuring that out?

With the whole of religion being a case of make believe gone haywire, is it any surprise this story is more of the same? Just more stuff for the believers to ignore, along with all that damned evidence they don’t seem to care for. Say isn’t there something or other in the bible about being a big fat liar?

What Is It That Causes Situations Like This?

Catching up with world news this morning I see a story about a girl who knows she will die without chemo. Curious I clicked the link to find that due to the girl, and her mothers air headed-ness, they had missed several doctor appointments, the courts have forced this young lady to recieve chemo.

Apparently the mother and child are both convinced they could seek out optional (I suspect some sort of idiotic homeopathic remedies) treatments.

So now this girl is locked in a hospital room recieving chemo treatment against her will, the treatment that has the highest chance of saving her young life.

I am somewhat torn on this issue. I really don’t like the notion that people can be forced to do things against their will. I don’t like that little fact at all. I also kinda feel like if people are really that lacking of cognitive skills they should be allowed to let nature run its course. On the other hand this young girl, obviously influenced by her mothers ignorance is too young really, to properly make this kind of decision on her own.

In the end I am forced to side with the courts on this one. If a parent is so… blonde, that they would let their own child (and in this case influence with bullshit) come to harm, harm that modern medicine can treat, then it is the right thing to do stepping in and doing what needs to be done.

Often in these cases you will see religious reasons cited for resisting treatment. I did not see any hints of that in the article, so this is probably just a case of regular old stupid.

I wish this young gal well, may the treatment work, and you live a long and happy life. I only hope if things work out that the family has enough sense to be grateful. I also hope that when cases like this come to light, for religious reasons or otherwise, the courts manage to step in and save the children from their own parents case of fucking duh!

http://home.myhughesnet.com/news/read/category/AP%20Online%20National%20News/article/the_associated_press-connecticut_court_hears_case_of_teen_refusing_chem-ap/

To All Of You Slow Ass Drivers Out There…

I don’t know why you drive slow. Maybe you are old and rickety with bad reaction times, maybe the car you are driving is old and rickety with bad reaction times, maybe you can’t see three feet past the hood of your car, or maybe you just don’t give a damn. Whatever the reason, it is your business I suppose to drive how you see fit.

But… There is something you should know. You are creating a situation that inspires other people to react to, many times their reactions being bad decisions.

One of my boys is in high school. He is a senior this year with just a few months left on his sentence. A guy he knows fairly well, they talk cars and guy stuff, he doesn’t come over and hang out or spend the night or anything, they are just school buddies.

This kid and his girlfriend got behind some slow ass the other day. There were two other cars stuck behind Mr. Slow Ass. For whatever reason this kid decides to pass all three cars at once. He hit an oncoming vehicle head on in the other lane killing his girfriend instantly, and he passed shortly after his helicopter ride to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville. The driver of the other vehicle survived. My boy attended a memorial service at the high school today. Right now he is in his room, very quiet.

Now I will be the first to say this terrible incident (I refuse to use the word accident except in rare cases) was not the fault of our slow ass driver. This kid took his chances when he made the pass, as we all do when it is time to pass a slow ass. Nope it was not the slow asses fault. but this slow ass and all of his slow ass buddies need to know that they create dangerous scenarios like this every single day. The thing that really ticks me off is, after a terrible incident such as this, they probably walk around oblivious to their part in the tragedy.

Not thirty minutes ago I was on my way home from picking up the wife at work. We got behind a slow ass. There were five cars behind this slow ass. Four were bunched up right behind him, the fifth was holding back leaving a couple of car lengths between him and the slow train. Well a passing zone presented itself and four of the five cars got around the slow ass. Leaving the slow ass, the content guy stuck behing the slow ass (he did not bother passing the slow ass even though there was plenty of clear straightaway) and me. There was a hill coming up, and I knew I could not get around them both safely, so I decided to pass Mr. Content, then get around the slow ass with the next opportunity.

Just as I got abreast of Mr. Content, the slow ass slowed, then flashed his signal indicating a left turn, with me quickly gaining on him. If it weren’t for the fact that Mr. Content had some decent following distance this could have turned out badly. As it is I owe Mr. Content an apology, as well as a thank you. I have had much closer calls than this, but this was a little too close for comfort.

And I will bet you a cheap cup of coffee and a donut that the slow ass probably doesn’t even have a freakin clue how close he was to being involved in an incident.

Every day I am out on the highways. Every day I see slow asses. Every day I pass some slow ass. Every day I see the situations setup by slow asses. Almost every day I see people making bad decisions and many times I see close calls that could have been really bad incidents because of some slow ass.

I just want to take a moment and tell you slow asses that you are not entirely innocent when bad things happen. You are not as benign as you think you are. You are the chaos factor, floating around without a clue, setting up bad scenarios every time you hit the highway. Dense, thick headed and oblivious, I fail to see the entitlement you recieve to act the way you do. Every day that goes by I see you more and more as the threat to everyones safety that you really are.

Let me state clearly that I am not the kind of driver that has to get everywhere in a damned hurry. No, I am content to do 60 – 63 in a 55 zone, I know my chances of getting a ticket increase as I approach 10 mph over the limit. I have no desire to drive fast, I just have no wish to be held hostage by some sum bitch doing 40-45 in a 55. And half of them can’t even be consistent at that. Oh no, it will be 45, then 40, then down to 35, then back up to 45. It is maddening when you get behind these people. It is no wonder other drivers make the bad choices they do when faced with being stuck behind these slow asses.

I have come to the opinion that people that drive should be subjected to some sort of test that checks for vision, reaction times, and competency (well beyond memorizing the traffic laws). This test should be mandatory for getting a license to drive and then taken every 5 years after you hit 50 years of age. I would be the first in line to take my test, and gladly hand over my right to drive if and when I fail this test.

It will never happen though. I know that a slow ass has a certain freedom in this country to be a slow ass. I also know there is no law against being a slow ass. But I do wonder, how many head on collisions or other incidents and near misses are the result of a scenario setup by a slow ass? I would bet a 5 dollar cup of coffee that this statistic, if it were kept, would be staggering. I have a hunch it is a scary number.

Now I have to fight the urge to knock on this slow asses door tomorrow morning and tell him what I think of his driving. Writing this, I can tell the fire has dwindled a bit. But next time you see a slow ass, think of this post. Take a good look at what you see happening, and please come back and tell me what you see. Or if you have a tale I’d love to hear it.

Quote Of The Month

Back to the founding father quotes this month. This time I have one from Ben Franklin. Franklin an admitted deist, which was common for the day, at least among the more enlightened minds of the time. In this day and age I would liken the deist to the type that figure that a god was responsible for the creation of the universe and such, but has left it unattended to fend for itself, no longer active in the comings and goings of man. I guess that would suffice for Franklins time as well.

I have nothing against a deist, I am happily married to one. I figure deism a step along the path to being able to fully discard the notions of gods eventually. After all tossing the mainstream beliefs of the major religions aside is a huge first step, and one to commend. The mind takes time to free itself of influenced beliefs. These beliefs have to be dealt with in ones own way, and in ones own time frame. With enough time, and enough proper investigation, the notion of gods becomes a silly notion to maintain. There is no valuable evidence to suggest otherwise. Atheism is the last stop on the minds ride to freedom.

Our quote:

“If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both here (England) and in New England.”

A fitting quote this month, especially if you are familiar with the “Ark Park” saga at the hands of Ken Ham. Them silly Christians, persecution is apparently a feature they just can’t do without. Neither here in our time, or throughout history.

The Ark Park saga detailed here:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/12/ark-encounter-t.html

My source for the founding father quotes here:

http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

So, Have You Seen The Sun Today?

I was going through my favorite list of links to visit just now, and I went here:

http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/images/latest.html

…to get my current picture of the sun fix. There are a couple of companies that manufacture Ha solar telescopes and I want one badly, so I looked at the Ha pic first, it is pretty good:

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You can see all kinds of activity including a few enormous bursts, 8/9 and 11 o clock (roughly) And no doubt about the cool, or should I say hot of this picture. Then I clicked on the Fe IX/X filtered view and was just floored:

latest_aia_171

This filter shows you the magnetic loops in great detail. And there is a lot to look at. I was just blown away by these pics, and wanted to share. That link I posted is a great link to add to a browser, if you are inclined, I don’t want to twist any arms…