Discussing Religion

If you travel the internet circles I do, (take a look at the Blogs I Follow) you will often see conversations pointing out flaws in religious thinking, and they are many. These flawed arguments appear to be never ending. Mind numbingly rampant even. You will see the philosophical arguments, the always amusing argument from many fallacies, or my favorite, the argument from bible verse. Which is itself a fallacy. Assuming your little black book is the end all authority on a subject is quite the leap, especially when it is obvious to anyone with two neurons to rub together, that book was written by men, for the sole purpose of creating a means to subvert and control those for whom an irrational fear of death, overrides common sense. Never mind all of the internal inconsistencies, and ancient claims of fact in there, already debunked by modern science.

One of the things I often see in many of these conversations is, the religious arguing about some sort of knowledge, or some kind of obvious-ness we should all be aware of, but none of these things are self evident or existing in any form I can detect. Things like “waterfalls are beautiful, therefore god”, and other equally ludicrous assumptions. Then you have the many factual claims of existence, by theists, which to me are a non starter until they can provide some damn EVIDENCE for anything they blather about… gods, devils, magic, zombies, hell, fluds, people living in whales, souls, you name it. It is all fiction. The only proof they have for the existence of any of it, is “cuz we said so” That childishly brilliant argument doesn’t seem to be as silly to them, as it is to me.

As far as I’m concerned, the minute you allow for the discussion of any of these things without supporting evidence, you are playing their game on their turf. Once you go down the road of infinite possibilities, the word games, and the philosophical arguments begin, and these are sometimes difficult to distinguish, as most philosophical arguments are word games. These tactics that they use allow for all the weasel room in the world, for them to demonstrate the “xian crawfish” (otherwise known as moving the goal posts). Amongst all of the turmoil on the battlefields of logic, always remember this: They need to define their claims, before they can make any. Before we can argue all things godly, we need a definition for a god. We need to know where it is, where it came from, how its magic works, where it sleeps, who its daddy was, if its magic is finite,  if this magic power is detectable in any way, or if this magic has unintended side effects such as causing a god to go missing for 2000 years. We need to know what they have besides unfounded claims of knowledge with the only explanations being nothing but hot air, misdirection, and the never ending ride on the merry go round. Circular logic…is circular. We have all seen it. The only other dull knife in their toolkit is the one where they pretend to be scientific, and harp away on the sidelines about how their theory of ID has some sort of merit (it doesn’t) and argue that the ToE can’t possibly be correct because (insert flawed argument here) Nevermind that these so called scientists that work in these so called think tanks have never actually produced any actual science. Get back to the initial point here which is, they got nuttin.

Still I get the desire to engage them about the reasons why their assumptions have no merit, and I think it is a good cause. So while my thoughts here are my true feelings, I know these things, our arguments of reason need to be said. I know their bad arguments need refuting, if nothing else so some innocent bystander, who is unanware of the tactics creationists use, has a reasonable, logical, well thought out, fact laden reply to the well crafted deception that is Professional Creationist Speak. To expand further on this topic, these same people, who have never had any evidence, have built huge institutions of deception based on this big fat zero. AIG,  (Answers in Genesis) the DI (Discovery Institute) the ICR (Institution for Creation Research). These are the pinnacle of nothingness. These are the spin doctors plying their trade. The snake oil salesmen of yesteryear never died, they became professional creationists.

Even knowing these things and feeling as I do, I will still catch myself arguing on the fundies turf sometimes, darn well knowing better. It is a damnable spot to be in. I would in no way try to discourage any one that would engage them, I really understand the desire to fire back against all of the absolute insidious claims they make. They got nothing but bluff and bluster and one bad argument after another, but yet they believe they hold the high ground. It’s a joke really. It is Bahgdad Bob. It is Bozo the clown. It is a dazzling Vegas display of fluffery. It is a great play in which all of the actors play their roles, to keep the rubes in the pews, and the cash flowing from their pockets.

It has become a minefield of misinformation, and lies out there. The trademaked ‘truth’ the professional creationists reveal is nothing but a shell game, rigged to deceive the uninformed. There are the professional liars in charge, and the dutiful minions that hinge on every word of their authoritarian keepers. These minions are too dimwitted to do any fact checking on their own, but they are everywhere, regurgitating the nonsense their keepers have instilled in them, and they ‘just know’ they are right, without ever investigating their own belief. They are legion. They are out there trolling the net. They take up living under bridges on free thought sites. Waiting for a chance to march in, waving the flag of ignorance proudly, and leaving droppings that are easily refutable with grade school logic and easily obtainable facts. The task lies before us. It is a shame it amounts to janitorial work.

Just remember, they got nuttin. Do not give them any wiggle room. Demand definitions. Ask the tough questions. Show them the facts. Demand the evidence for their claims. They are entitled to belief, and opinion, but we all answer to the same facts. Make them cry.

Guess that makes me a militant, and this my manifesto.

My thanks to to all of the bloggers, or website enthusiasts out there (that for whatever reason don’t want to be thought of as bloggers), that have helped to shape my thoughts on these matters. It is the comraderie out there, and the free exchange of ideas that help us all form our views, and share them with the world.

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Weirdness on the Internet

I am used to internet ads on the sites I visit often being related to a Google search or a website I was at, or a topic discussed somewhere. You know, if you say… look at a telescope on a vendor site, you are hounded by telescope ads everywhere you go. I get that. I have come to terms with it.

Yesterday I was replying to a post on a blog about of all things, scents. A word I was going to use, and was unsure of how it is spelled, prompted me to type in “po pourri” in a Google search, knowing that my guesstimate of a word I seldom use let alone have need of typing, would be self corrected by Google and a link would probably pop up with the correct spelling. Here is the kind of links that popped up. Ads for:

Image

Now every page I visit, has these stupid Poo Pourri ads on them. Next time I will use: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ 

Live and learn.

Many New Species Discovered In The Amazon (Purring Monkey?)

I stumbled across this story here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025085909.htm 

The Science Daily piece was about a purring monkey, which got my attention. Then I decided to investigate the source (which I will often do if I am compelled to write about something I see on a website) Which led me to this story:  http://worldwildlife.org/stories/brightly-colored-lizard-among-441-new-amazon-species-discovered-since-2010

The second link has a slideshow of several of these new species and well worth looking into. It is amazing how much we learn about our surroundings on a daily basis. We are talking about over 400 new species uncovered in the last few years. I cannot imagine how many days of slogging through what must be very difficult terrain and miserable conditions, it must have taken to find all of these species. I envy those who have the tenacity to do these things.

If you like seeing new creatures only recently discovered, I strongly suggest reading the Science Daily piece first, then go to the Worldwildlife.org site for the pics. Which…by the way, is yet another site I will be addicted to. 

The bad news is, many of these new species are already considered endangered, deforestation the main cause, and there are concerns about potential dam sites as well. The constant pursuit of profit will be the undoing of our planet, and probably life as we know it. Just give it time. 

 

 

Still Learning This Word Press Thing

I only just now discovered the little “thought box” button. It magically displays all of the comments and replies to comments!There were comments I made months ago, and forgotten. Replies to my comments I did not know existed. I feel like I just hit the scratch off lotto ticket for 50 bucks! Hell I didn’t even know I had any followers…yay! 

I try to be a presence here at W.P. and participate in the thoughts and comments of blogs here that interest me. There are a lot of good blogs here, I have I think 24 blogs I follow here as well as elsewhere and a few not shown, for odd reasons. For instance I could not get the Bad Astronomy blog to show up, except as a generalized Slate blog thing that included other blogs besides B.A. So that one isn’t showing up till I figure that out…also I havent figured how to list the blogs in the “Blogs I Follow” widget in any sensible order, I can list them alphabetically in my reader, but not in the widget. Oh well…

Still learning the ins and outs of this thing and enjoying the ride. Glad to know a few are along for the trip. Thanks.

More Evidence Of Catholic Coverups

This time in Minnesota. I took the liberty of paring this article down considerably to point out what I felt relevant, edited a lot of fluff, took some liberties with the presentation, and interjected my thoughts along the way. Link to full article forthcoming at the end of this post:

Jennifer Haselberger went public with claims of sexual abuse on children by priests in the clergy. Haselberger took on the church after she felt that: “her warnings about troubled priests were being ignored.” She resigned in April after she says Archbishop John Nienstedt and others did not respond appropriately when she found pornography, including images of possible child pornography, on computer disks that once belonged to a priest who was still in ministry. This came after she says church leaders ignored her repeated warnings dating back to 2008 about another priest who went on to molest two boys in his camper in 2010. Her reason for resigning was: “because church leaders weren’t listening, and she went to authorities and to the media because they wouldn’t change”

After she went public Nienstedt’s top deputy has stepped down, and the church set up an independent task force to review its policies. (isn’t that a bit like appointing the fox to watch the henhouse?)

Haselberger has gone to law enforcement about two priests, and she says she had brought concerns about others to church leaders. She declined to elaborate, but said she expects more details will emerge. Now…get this: Jim Accurso, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, said he could not comment on Haselberger or her resignation because it is a personnel matter. Accurso has said the information portrayed in the media is incomplete because it has been presented without context. (What? A whistleblower came forward about child raping priests, what context does one need to set this straight?)

After a lot of useless fluff and insights to our whistleblower, that lead me to believe that even though she is a church loving, god soaked, anti abortion activist type, she was capable of combating her CD long enough to do the right thing when confronted with sweeping this under the rug, or coming forward.

They end the story with this: Archdiocese attorney Tom Wieser said in a recent court hearing that Haselberger was a “disgruntled former employee” who was unauthorized to investigate allegations of child pornography but did so anyway, something he called “unsophisticated and imprudent.” According to a court transcript, Wieser said Haselberger decided for herself that the images were illegal, and went to authorities, who found no evidence of child pornography. St. Paul Police have since reopened their investigation.

All I can say about our Archdiocese attorney is, shut up you fucking douchebag! Let’s shift the blame here, yeah, make it the whistleblowers fault, and then partake of some character assassination. Oh, and then make it sound like she is a vigilante attacking their esteemed institution for some personal vendetta. Lawyers make me want to puke. Classic denial and coverup strategy. When…when will people stop assuming that they can trust their children with priests? How many children must be raped? What is that number? I want to know. Is it 100? 200? 1000? 10,000? Tell me. With all of the cases coming to light, and they are legion, when will people begin to take thier children’s personal safety seriously? 

Here are some things I have learned througout my life. Some wisdoms if you will. First, do not trust your friend with your girlfriend. Even the best of intentions often lead to places you do not want to go. Second, do not trust family members with money, odds are good you will never see it again. Third, there is no such thing as too much rope or extra tarp. And lastly, granted I do not know this one from personal experience, but the evidence is in folks… Do not trust your kids with the priest down the road. I think at this point they are all suspect, and sooner or later I am going to have to start holding the parents responsible for ignoring this one.

As promised the link with the full story and useless fluff: http://home.myhughesnet.com/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/ap-church_whistleblower_says_she_didnt_do_e-ap

Blissful Ignorance

I remember being blissfully ignorant on many issues. Such as the fact that creationists are trying desperately to dumb down children by eliminating proper science from school texts, and attempting to inject their pseudo scientific pet “theory” of ID into classrooms. I remember being blissfully ignorant of over fishing, anti vaxxers, modern day extinction events, endangered species close to extinction events, global warming, shark finning, the crusades, the holocaust, holocaust deniers, tsunamis, dumb ass rednecks, hell I was even blissfully ignorant of sex when I was quite young. Though I have to admit that one gets a thumbs up.

If you, like me, remember these things that which you were blissfully unaware. Do not click this link:

http://www.newsdaily.com/article/83a868f54fcc4aac5c6485b4217a0bb9/argentines-link-health-problems-to-agrochemicals

Up until this morning I was blissfully unaware of the health crisis in Argentina, probably due to malicious misuse of agricultural chemicals. The amount of face palming/head desk moments in that article surprised me. The fact that the system is corrupt from the top down (I’d guess too much $ to be made to be concerned over a “few” sick people) does not surprise me at all. There is a large representation of the population world wide that believe that the companies they have stock in, should be allowed to trample all over the eco system, and if a few people die or get severely ill, that is of no consequence as long as there is money to be made.

I would so like to be blissfully unaware of those people…you know there are days I am ashamed to be a man, when I have read about the blatant mistreatment of women, then there are days like today I am ashamed to be human, to know that all of these things that which I was blisfully unaware, are allowed to continue, and prosper. They are selling out their own species all for a few pieces of gold. The fallout…acceptable losses.

Quote of The Month

I let October sneak up on me, it is the 12th already? Let’s see what we can find…

How about Thomas Paine? Paine wasn’t actually one of the founding fathers, which this Quote of the Month series is based upon, but he was an influential writer at the time and was at least on good terms with our founding fathers. Paine’s writings helped to stir the fire in preparation for the revolution to come, and he was inspirational to many of the day. I believe his position still stands upon solid ground. Without further ado:

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God.  It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.”

Indeed, anyone who has ever read the bible would be hard pressed not to see what Paine is referencing here. Brutal killings, genocides, the trampling upon women’s rights, the dashing of thine enemies childrens heads upon the rocks, the flud that never happened but claimed to murder the entire population of the earth save but a few. (never mind that at the estimated time of the flud, the many advanced cultures all over the globe never appeared to notice) The bible is filled to the brim with these incidents that would be rightfully labeled atrocities today. Atrocities at the order of this supposed loving god.

I can do without that kind of love…thanks.

The site where I get these quotes: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

EDIT: I woke up this morning, and over a cup of coffee decided Paine was worth a little more investigation, as usual Wiki was helpful. It turns out while Paine was a very influential thinker of the day, later in life he wound up being ostracized from society because of his views of religion, and a tirade against G. Washington, after his imprisonment in France that he suspected Washington of being complicit. He died a lonely man apparently, but you have to give him credit for staying with his ideals, right to the end. The Wiki page is very enlightening. I posit the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine  It is always nice to learn something you did not know yesterday, and I find it odd this guy was never really mentioned in my youth at school. This guy should be right up there with Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin, indeed without Paine the colonists may never had risen to the challenge of the revolution, food for thought. I found another quote there by Paine well worth reading, I leave it as a tribute to Paine, an unknown American hero.

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the, Jewish church by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”